Using an Author Box to Reduce Sidebar Clutter

Today I came up with another idea to get rid of sidebar clutter, an author resource box.

Usually, an author resource box is used in blogs written by multiple writers, or by authors who routinely write for article directories which syndicate their articles out to everyone and anyone. An author resource box is the only way the writer can keep credit and get something back in the form of self promotion for their written work.

With an author resource box I can give readers a little blurb about myself and link to my Twitter, Flickr and other social media networking profiles. A very short note including my credentials as a writer and a little self promotion. As an added bonus I can remove those social media links and widgets from my sidebar.

My other recent changes to reduce sidebar clutter are about using sub-pages instead of sidebar space. I’ve put my links (blogroll) into it’s own page which can be found in the top menu. My Lifestream feed has been moved to a sub-page where it doesn’t slow down the load time for the main page(s) of the blog.

I really think it is important to consider what people (other than myself) are actually going to look at in the sidebar. If something is mostly there for me to see it, then I can move it to a page and see it there.

Note: After quite a bit of trial and error the plugin I am using to create the author resource box is New 2 WP Author Box. It is a bit too wide, but it may get some finishing touches as it goes along.

Keep Working on it Kirstie Alley!

Kirstie Alley’s Big Life is better and more inspirational than watching all those Jenny Craig commercials. To see her actually exercising, going hiking and climbing those stairs… it is far more real than all the polished commericals ever were. I think before it seemed she had someone lose the weight for her, it was never real. We get so used to seeing Hollywood being fake and fawning over each other. I really like seeing Kirstie as someone real, doing real things, feeling real things.

I’ve laughed, I’ve cried and I’ve wondered at how different the Hollywood lifestyle is (cause there is no way I would have thought a rat running around my house was cute – dead, not cute).  But, watching her last Sunday and again this weekend, I can’t believe she is really doing it and being a real fat woman versus someone selling a diet program. Good for you Kirstie!

I’ve been trying to eat less. I don’t exercise. I try to walk more but not really thinking of it as exercise. I can’t say I will do more after watching Kirstie but I don’t feel quite so alone in the world.

Kirstie on Twitter and her Blog

Have a look at Phitter too.

Phitter is a Phitness Phocused community and gift from Kirstie to encourage talk or ‘Phits’ about health, diet & exercise while making new Phriends in the Phitter-mmunity and having Phabulous Phun…Phew!

Found on Oprah.com:

Recipe created by Kirstie Alley and Sean Prenter
In her quest to lose weight, the actress eats this green soup made with as many organic vegetables as possible.
Servings: Makes 23 cups
Ingredients:
Kirstie Alley’s Green Soup
6 to 8 big chunks shallots
8 leeks (Cut leeks just above their white part, about 2 inches. Peel the outer layer off and then slit them open lengthwise, but not completely severed clear through. Rinse them out well.)
1/3 cup organic olive oil
2 big bunches asparagus (cut the hard ends off about 3 inches)
3 big bunches broccoli (cut the stems off halfway up the shafts)
2 big bunches spinach (cut off the tiny part of the dirty ends)
6 containers (32 ounces each) organic chicken broth (for vegetarians, use vegetable broth)
Sea salt (at least 3 tablespoons of coarse grain)
Pepper , to taste
Directions:
Peel and slice shallots thinly.
Put all the olive oil in a very large, deep pot. Turn the heat to medium-high. Put the shallots into the oil and sweat the shallots. “Sweating” means to cook the vegetables to tenderize them without browning them. Adjust heat as necessary to ensure they do not brown.
Add 1 tablespoon of coarse, ground, good quality sea salt to shallots to absorb while they are sweating. Cut the leeks into thin slices and toss them into the oil with the shallots. Sweat the leeks along with the shallots. Chop the asparagus into small bits and then add them to the mixture and sweat them, along with the shallots and leeks.
When the shallots, asparagus and leeks are fully sweated and tender, break the broccoli into small chunks and throw them into the soup pot. (If the shallots, leeks and asparagus combo gets too dry before they are tender, just add small amounts of chicken broth to the mix and keep on sweating.)
Let the broccoli sweat a little while (about 2 minutes) and then add half of your organic chicken stock. Cook this for about 10 minutes.
Add remaining chicken stock and continue cooking for another 5-10 minutes. (You want the broccoli to be tender, but not overcooked, and you want the color of soup to always remain a nice, bright green.) Add all the spinach and cook for an additional 3 to 5 minutes. Turn the flame off the mixture and season to taste with sea salt and pepper.
Transfer the soup into a blender by increments and puree the mixture. Put the pureed soup mixture into one big pot. Then taste and season it to your liking. Only season with salt and pepper. If you desire any other seasoning, create an individual serving, not in the whole pot.
Split the soup into 2 equal parts, one for you and one for your Chubby Buddy or for storage. Cool the soup before refrigerating and/or freezing.
You are basically adding the vegetables in order of their hardness. The spinach is so soft, you would never want to add it too early. If you do, it can make the soup turn brownish…ICK!
Eat this soup once or twice a day or whenever you are hungry. Green Soup is 62 calories per cup.
This recipe yields about 23 cups of soup, enough for you and your Chubby Buddy for an entire week. Make sure your cooking pot is big, or you can halve the recipe.

Kirstie Alley’s Green Soup Recipe created by Kirstie Alley and Sean Prenter
In her quest to lose weight, the actress eats this green soup made with as many organic vegetables as possible.
Servings: Makes 23 cups
Ingredients:
Kirstie Alley’s Green Soup6 to 8 big chunks shallots8 leeks (Cut leeks just above their white part, about 2 inches. Peel the outer layer off and then slit them open lengthwise, but not completely severed clear through. Rinse them out well.)1/3 cup organic olive oil2 big bunches asparagus (cut the hard ends off about 3 inches)3 big bunches broccoli (cut the stems off halfway up the shafts)2 big bunches spinach (cut off the tiny part of the dirty ends)6 containers (32 ounces each) organic chicken broth (for vegetarians, use vegetable broth)Sea salt (at least 3 tablespoons of coarse grain)Pepper , to tasteDirections:
Peel and slice shallots thinly.
Put all the olive oil in a very large, deep pot. Turn the heat to medium-high. Put the shallots into the oil and sweat the shallots. “Sweating” means to cook the vegetables to tenderize them without browning them. Adjust heat as necessary to ensure they do not brown.
Add 1 tablespoon of coarse, ground, good quality sea salt to shallots to absorb while they are sweating. Cut the leeks into thin slices and toss them into the oil with the shallots. Sweat the leeks along with the shallots. Chop the asparagus into small bits and then add them to the mixture and sweat them, along with the shallots and leeks.
When the shallots, asparagus and leeks are fully sweated and tender, break the broccoli into small chunks and throw them into the soup pot. (If the shallots, leeks and asparagus combo gets too dry before they are tender, just add small amounts of chicken broth to the mix and keep on sweating.)

Let the broccoli sweat a little while (about 2 minutes) and then add half of your organic chicken stock. Cook this for about 10 minutes.
Add remaining chicken stock and continue cooking for another 5-10 minutes. (You want the broccoli to be tender, but not overcooked, and you want the color of soup to always remain a nice, bright green.) Add all the spinach and cook for an additional 3 to 5 minutes. Turn the flame off the mixture and season to taste with sea salt and pepper.

Transfer the soup into a blender by increments and puree the mixture. Put the pureed soup mixture into one big pot. Then taste and season it to your liking. Only season with salt and pepper. If you desire any other seasoning, create an individual serving, not in the whole pot.
Split the soup into 2 equal parts, one for you and one for your Chubby Buddy or for storage. Cool the soup before refrigerating and/or freezing.You are basically adding the vegetables in order of their hardness. The spinach is so soft, you would never want to add it too early. If you do, it can make the soup turn brownish…ICK!
Eat this soup once or twice a day or whenever you are hungry. Green Soup is 62 calories per cup. This recipe yields about 23 cups of soup, enough for you and your Chubby Buddy for an entire week. Make sure your cooking pot is big, or you can halve the recipe.

Stop Writing Mid…

Posted by Claire on Twitter:

Claire code: shirt = short and pie = pre. You can tell when I was tired, those days I just stopped writing mid sentence.

How would your writing be if you just stopped mid-word or mid-sentence a few times? Do you need all those words? Should some of your sentences be split into two, or even three sentences of their own? Is the meaning still there if you say less, stop telling earlier than you had planned?

On another topic… have you ever written your own short code?

Who Will Win the UnDeath Match?

So far the werewolves are ahead. They’ve outlasted zombies, vampires and angels. (Are angels undead?)

I would have to pick dragons as their next challenger. No, dragons are not undead. But, I can’t seriously see angels as undead. I think that opens the options up to other immortal creatures and a dragon can give a werewolf a pretty serious bad day, any day. As much as I love Kelley Armstrong‘s werewolf characters (especially Elena) I know they can’t walk away from a match against dragons. Though, I will admire them just for having the courage to show up.

There are too few books in the paranormal chick lit genre which include dragons. The last one I liked is a bit old now and not so likely to be found on the shelves at your local Chapters. Have you read Stephanie Rowe’s Immortally Sexy series? Looks like it ended at the fourth book a couple of years ago. A shame, we need more dragons in paranormal fiction. Especially the kind which can ferociously battle werewolves while enjoying a full, passionate life full of chocolate, good books, adventure and treasure hunting!

What do you think? Which undead/ immortal creature do you pick as the ultimate winner in the UnDeath Match? Check in with them on Twitter too.

Tweepi Cleans your Twitter

Want to go through your Twitter account with a fine tooth comb? Try Tweepi. You can choose to look at everyone on your list and see who does and does not follow you in return. You can look at a list of just who does not follow you. Or, you can look at a list of who follows you that you may have missed. It’s lovely. Works well, even though they say it is very beta. Took me some time to get through all my followers and non-followers and prospective followers but I did. I feel better about the whole Twitter experience now.

101 + Links for Doodling and Drawing by Hand

Lots of links, not in any real order due to a small mishap with cut and paste somewhere along the way. Most of these are for beginners who draw on pen and paper, but not all. I think everyone will find something to stir their imagination and (I hope) pick up a pen to doodle. Join in for Doodle Week this weekend.

Nominated for Best Twitter Bio

What do you have for your Twitter bio? It’s the space you have on your Twitter profile to say something about yourself. Not a lot of space, it is Twitter after all.

I nominate @DPopTart for best Twitter bio.

The wind says my name. It doesn’t put an @ in front of it, so maybe you don’t notice.

Now that you think about it… what can you come up with for your own Twitter self? Something a bit clever, something sarcastic, something that shows off your writerly wit?