Welcome back to Z Crew News, here for our fourth episode in the hit series! I’m your host, Ziana Yang, here with coverage you can count on. In this episode, you’ll find the usual Around the Blogsphere (now hosted by Paris Elliot) and What’s Up, AGW? segments, along with two super-special spotlights with Julia and Jo!
Now, onto Paris for the fan-favorite segment, Around the Blogsphere!
Hey, everyone! Paris here with the latest scoop from around the blogging world. In this segment, we feature awesome blogs that we love who are accomplishing some awesome things, going on hiatus, hosting a giveaway or contest, reaching a milestone, and more!
thedolljournalist from Little Doll Journals is hosting an American Girl course! The six week course may not have any actual educational value, but you will learn a ton of awesome new things about American Girl that you never knew before, including hairstyling and dressing your dolls, AG’s history, and all about AG. The course will launch on (insert date), and you can check it out here.
Natalie from The AG Spot is creating an AG Blogger’s Club! Members of the bloggers club will be able to reblog their posts, get publicity, have their site listed, make friends, do collabs, and more. The official site will launch soon, and you can sign up to become a member here. AGW is super excited to be apart of Natalie’s AG Blogger’s Club!**
Arabella from Sparks of Ara created an aesthetic blog also, titled Arasthetic. However, it was mysteriously deleted, without any notice, about a week ago! We contacted Ara, and she says, “I deleted Arasthetic because although it was a fun blog, it didn’t have much purpose and I could have been posting that stuff on my main blog, Sparks of Ara…I also knew I probably wouldn’t end up posting a lot. I think at some point in the future I will start a similar blog to Arasthetic. It’ll be focused more towards my life, with aesthetics and photos as well. I’m hoping to start it as summer comes, because I can share things from the summer!”
AG’s in Alaska, whose doll blog is titled the same as her original username, has started a brand new personal blog, called Swingsets and Snapshots, and changed to the pen name Morgan McCartie! “…as I’ve gotten older, I’ve realized that I feel quite limited in what I can post about on my doll blog,” she said in a recent post announcing the news. “I’m sure many of you feel the same. I don’t want to be limited by only being able to post about dolls, so on my personal blog, I’ll be posting about photography, traveling, reading, writing, Alaskan life, my pets, and maybe even cooking!”* Why Morgan McCartie? She explains in the post that a long time ago her family’s last name got changed from McCartie, and her parents thought about naming her Morgan. Morgan thinks the two names go together perfectly, and the AGW crew and I couldn’t agree more!**
Mary from Middle Mary, Just Around the Corner, and Forever American Girl is celebrating one year of blogging with a stationary-themed giveaway! The prize package includes stickers, washi tape, clips, scrapbook paper, and more. You can enter here.
Ariana Evans from Ariana’s Archives recently changed her blog name from Ariana’s Flying Life to Ariana’s Archives! She also is now hosting weekly challenges on her blog and started a theology podcast, also called Ariana’s Archives.
Following the footsteps of many other bloggers who recently started podcasts (including Christina’s Convos, Blogging 101, and Ariana’s Archives), Heaven from Glorify Christ and her sister started an Adventures of Odyssey -themed podcast called Raspberry Ripples! Check out the podcast at their new site, Raspberry Ripples.
Dozens of bloggers are back from Camp NaNo hiatuses, and even more joined the winner’s circle this year! “Over 70% of my cabin finished their projects this year!” Emmie says. “I’m so proud of everybody! We all worked so hard and did such a great job!”
And that’s it for the latest news from Around the Blogosphere! Back to you, Z!
*Post excerpt used with permission.
**None of these mentions are part of a blog tour.
Now for our next segment, What’s Up, AGW?, where we chat with Emmie and the other AGW dolls to find out the latest happenings and what’s coming up on the blog!
“I won Camp this year!” Emmie says excitedly. “I can’t believe it! Before Camp, I re-outlined Paris Takes The Shot, and renamed it Trying for the Sky. I recreated all the characters except Paris and Alexandra for copyright reasons, and restarted the actual writing part of the book. And now I’m at the first pinch point and almost 26k! I’m so happy and proud of myself!”
And what’s coming up on AGW this summer? “My school gets out on May 9th! I have a TON of things planned for this summer (including Forever Season 2)! There’s also going to be some BIG changes and BIG things coming to American Girl World (expect a post on that soon)! And, as usual, I’m planning a HUGE surprise.”
Emmie gave the ZCN Crew one cryptic hint of her surprise. She revealed the letters “DD” in her interview, and we’re puzzled at all of the possibilities!
“I’m the third of seven girls, a reader, writer, singer, blogger, and dreamer. I homeschool, and love my coffee,” Julia says. Her friends would describe her as “Funny, writer, loyal. [And,] I love to sing and draw. I don’t call myself and artist yet in the drawing category, since I’m not that good yet. But I really want to get better, and in the future, get a drawing tablet.”
“I began blogging from a mixture of motives: I wanted other writers to learn from my mistakes, so they wouldn’t do the same (sometimes dumb) things as me. 😝 The other part was that I wanted to start growing an audience for my writing,” Julia says. She’s been blogging at JCC for just over a year and a half.
Her main goal for her blog is to help other writers. “My readers are basically what keep me going. I love knowing that I’ve helped someone with a problem, or to learn something new!”
She’s also working on growing her audience and making everything better for them. “I want my blog posts to be easier for them to understand, and fun to read. I’ve been putting in clear, followable steps at the end of my posts recently so that they can implement what they’ve learned from my post in their own writing.”
“I’ve written all types of posts in the past: interviews, tags, book reviews, cover making reviews, and writing posts. The majority of my posts are all writing-related, and I have to say, those are actually my favorite to write!” she says about the different posts on JCC. “They help me understand the subject better myself when I’m trying to put it into words for others, and I know that, somewhere out there, there’s a writer who needs this post exactly in their life right now. Feels pretty great!”
“I have one book available for purchase at the moment. It’s on Amazon, and it’s called The Storm Inside. At this time, though, I am actually rewriting that book to make it even better! 😃 Once it’s ready, I’m going to also put up a print copy to buy, instead of just an e-book format,” Julia says.
Her favorite genre to write is fantasy adventure, and her favorite part of the writing process is rewriting. “I love to see everything become better than it previously was. But I think this part is the easiest because I’m pretty good at seeing what’s bad about my own writing and what I should change in it. With the first draft already written, I can just work with it and rewrite it to be better,” she says.
Julia recalls her first ever novel. “Oh man, it was really bad! 😂 I called it The Changelings Six, unaware that mythical creatures [were already a thing]. These six kids were brought to another world, and are supposed to defeat the evil president there: Evan Evansan. (as you can see, I’m super with those last names) I cringe every time I think of that book!…As far as first books go, I think that I did okay. I tried to give everyone different personalities, and everyone was supposed to have their own motives. It all went crazy, though, when I threw in about sixty more main characters in book 2. It was nuts.”
The hardest part of writing for Julia is the end of each part, whether it’s writing the first draft, editing, revising, planning, or something else. “I love to make up new books, see them build before me, become better, and then perfected. But toward the end of each phase, I start to hate the current one I’m in, and wishing that I was in the next one already. I have to admit, that’s where I’m currently at in my writing right now. 😅”
We were so happy to have Julia on ZCN! Thank you so much, Julia! We enjoyed learning new things about you and your writing and blog! Don’t forget to check out Julia’s Creative Corner and subscribe to her email list!
For the next spotlight of this episode of ZCN, please welcome Jo from Pananaw and formerly The Lens and the Hard Drive as part of a blog tour!
“I’m Jo, I’m weird, and I can tell stories. XD I try to do everything I can get my hands on, and I try to do everything for God’s glory, and I’m a hopeless fanperson. Hopeless, I tell you!” Jo describes herself.
Her favorite part of homeschooling is “Getting to try things I could’ve have if I was in regular school. Because of homeschooling I am able to blog, to write, to join Bible Bee and NaNo, and I have a much more flexible schedule…it’s pretty neat! Also no social interaction. It’s both a pro and a con.”
In a few words, her friends would describe her as “IDEK. I. don’t. even. Know. It’s an inside joke about MBTI and how I get different results when I take the test. XD Pretty accurate, I gotta say!”
“People often think I’m Chinese because the corners of my eyes are turned up just slightly,” she shares a random fun fact about herself. “But honestly, I couldn’t look any more different- even if I am part, part part part Chinese.. ehhe. XD It’s kinda hard to label someone who’s a lotta things, I guess.”
And according to all of the activities Jo loves to do besides blogging, she certainly is a lotta things! “AOLKGGNOLJGNOGLKNG EHEH YES YES YES—so I’m an amateur acting enthusiast as well as a martial arts enthusiast- which is my way of saying that I love these things and do them but I’m not very good at them. XD I also like audio and video editing… and memes. Ice skating. Violin. You know. Things. Analyzing Marvel, LOTR, Naria, Wingfeather Saga, and the books I alpha. Fun stuff. “
Jo, an Emmie Award winner for best new blogger, blogged at The Lens and The Hard Drive for one year and a few months. “Which, as we all know in blogging years, is pretty long, all things considered,” Jo says. “It’s hard to believe everything that’s happened within the course of a year.”
Jo was inspired to create The Lens and the Hard Drive by “…my sister, who, before she left for college, ran this beautiful and deep, and sadly, archived blog. My sister inspired a ton of stuff 😂 and blogging was one of them…I wanted to [create TLHD] because I thought that, hey, maybe it would be fun to share thoughts with the world, make people smile, and y’know- I don’t think much. 😂”
But soon, Jo decided it was time for a fresh start with a new blog. “I kept trying to change The Lens & The Hard Drive’s theme and look, and y’know, stuff like that, but (as I believe Tess says) sometime last year was the end of a chapter in my life, and a new one was already being written down. Pananaw [her new blog] is a result of that change affecting everything in my life, blog included.”
Pananaw means Vision in the Tagalog language, and Jo wanted to reflect that on her new blog. “Originally I was going to name my blog Viewfinder, keeping in with my camera theme, and playing on the words “view” and “finder” to kinda show how I was trying to find that view for myself. But since that name was taken, I had to think of something unique, still meaningful, and hopefully one word…Pananaw is what happened after relying on my culture and some creativity.”
She blogs “to glorify God, make people smile (and think and laugh) and to have a blast. That’s it. XD What keeps me going is the fact that apparently, people do smile and laugh and think because of reading my posts, and that’s motivation to keep blogging.”
The types of posts Jo loves to write and the type of content that will be on Pananaw is “anything that lets me be sassy. And have GIFs. And memes. Oh the memes. And have a ton of references, cause, y’know, they’re pretty great. I usually write those, but I also tend to write about a lot of topics that I think about, such as well, movie themes and how they compare to real life, to the Bible; about how shutting your emotions down can be damaging, and how fast food workers are really important. That mix is what I’m hoping to bring to Pananaw, as well as a hint of Filipino culture- just a little bit. 😉”
We’re so thankful to have the chance to chat with Jo as part of the Pananaw blog launch! The link to the Pananaw blog is hidden in some of the different blogs in the tour – so you’ll have to check out every post to find the link to the blog! Follow the tour here:
Character Interview with Ava @ https://elysianartiste.com
Combo with Enni @ https://onthewingsofadreamblog.wordpress.com
Interview with Rose @ https://apurposeofwingeddogs.wordpress.com/
Combo with Grace @ https://www.gracefullyinthemoment.wordpress.com
ZCN News Interview + Spotlight with Emmie @ https://americangirlworld.blog
Interview + Blog Spotlight with Isabel @ https://chasingfantasia.wordpress.com
Interview (aka squealing) with Tess @ http://steeplechase-blog.com
Charrie Interview + Spotlight with Merie Shen @ https://imperialscribis.wordpress.com/
Interview with Allison Grace @ https://allisongracewrites.com/
Blog Spotlight with Meredith @ https://artsyarrow.wordpress.com
Combo with Christina @ https://christinaandcamera.wordpress.com
Character Interview with Chloë Mali @ https://chloemali.wordpress.com/
Blog Spotlight with Maya J.T @ https://mayajt.wordpress.com/
Combo with Amie @ https://crazya.blog
Character Interview + Blog Spotlight! Penny Wood @ https://asouthernbellewithstoriestotell.wordpress.com
Blog Spotlight with Bayance @ https://bayance.wordpress.com
Blog Spotlight with Starling @ https://starling7.wordpress.com
Character Interview + Blog Spotlight with Liz @http://www.homewithhummingbirds.com
That’s it for this episode of Z Crew News, where there’s Coverage You Can Count On! We’d love to hear from you – don’t forget to leave us a tip through the contact form or the comments! (Plus, you could even get spotlighted if you do!) Thanks for reading, and we’ll see you next time on ZCN! Z Crew, Out!
What’s your favorite segment on ZCN? Are you excited for Pananaw? Are you going to check out Julia’s blog? Do you want to see more of ZCN?
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