4 posts tagged with “blogging”

  • Blogging for a cause: Meet Charlene Theodore

    Publish, get huge hits, land a cookbook deal.

    It’s the recipe for success for many food bloggers. And why not? That sounds pretty sweet. But there other places food blogging can take a person.

    I heard the stories of a few who broke the book deal mould when I was at the International Food Bloggers Conference in Sacramento in July. The conference (if you’re a food blogger, go!) included a session called From Blog to Business.

    I didn’t read the fine print beforehand, so I figured it would be about turning food websites into big money makers through sponsored posts, advertising and book deals. It was better than that. It was a panel of three Sacramento food bloggers sharing their story of how food writing launched them into spinoffs that bettered their community. Blogging for a Cause would have been a more accurate name for this inspiring session.

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    Category Beyond Niagara


  • Peach Tree
  • Coming back

    A rough outline of one of the chapters in Niagara Food: A Flavourful History of the Peninsula's Bounty.

    It’s been a long time, hasn’t it?

    I have to apologize for my absence. It’s not that I’m no longer interested in being here. No, not at all. In fact, I look forward to being here a lot more again now that my manuscript is done.

    I have to say, when the last word was typed, it was a little anticlimactic. With each word I wrote that brought me closer to the end, I had visions of throwing the monstrous pile of papers, notebooks and books on my desk into the air and dancing a jig on top of them when they landed. But considering it was 2 a.m. and everyone else in the house was asleep when I had no more to write, I didn’t think it would be appreciated.

    Actually, I didn’t have the energy. So I just stared at the screen, expecting some euphoric feeling to overtake me but nope. It wasn’t exhilaration that I felt either. I felt panic.

    There is a vulnerability to writing 43,000 words about something that you adore, as I adore Niagara food and farming. This isn’t my usual 600-word news story that’s here today and forgotten tomorrow. I feel as though my credibility as a writer and as a champion of all things edible and Niagara — and the people producing them — is on the line. What if people hate it? Worse yet, what if no one reads it? What if this is the only book I ever write? I worry about that because I really want to write more. I’ve wanted to be an author since I was a child and I have so many ideas.

    I know people could love it, too, and that’s what I hope, of course.

    My soul feels laid bare with this project. I’m not sure that feeling will have subsided by the time my book comes out in the fall, though I look forward to holding it in my hands, to seeing the cover, the words on the pages, to breathing deeply the smell of the ink and paper, and the sweat and tears that went into every moment I devoted to this nearly year-long work.

    I will feel as though I have given birth again, my second labour in the same year.

    Niagara Food: A Flavourful History of the Peninsula’s Bounty is due out this fall. I nearly had a heart attack when I saw that it was already listed on Amazon for advanced sales back in May. The words weren’t even finished when I discovered it. And every time I’ve looked at it since (yes, I did go to Amazon while writing and call it up to see it, just to keep me going), it still didn’t feel real.

    If you are interested, though, please check it out. If you do decide to buy a copy, know that I am grateful. I hope more than anything that my love for Niagara will be apparent with every turn of the page. We have amazing people here doing some really inspiring things with food. What’s not to love, really?

    To coincide with the upcoming release, my Eating Niagara column will be running twice monthly in all the Niagara dailies this summer. I look forward to getting out and meeting more people doing important work in local food and farming. Perhaps I’ll have the fodder for a sequel soon enough.

    Mostly, though, I look forward to coming back to this space, my creative outlet, and sharing food stories again, like the reviews in the works on two recipe collections that are welcome additions on what’s becoming an overflowing pantry shelf. Or my last two —and long overdue — instalments of the Canadian Food Experience Project, and all the other inspiration that I know I’ll find in the weeks and months ahead.

    I’ve missed you guys and I promise I won’t go so long without saying hello again.


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  • Peach Tree
  • Lessons in blogging: Saying yes to a big brand, then saying no

    Source: Shutterstock

    It was a thoughtful pitch. Solid, even.

    The PR consultant knew my name, that I hated celery, that my food blog was intensely Niagara-focused.

    Those personal touches made it tough to ignore, unlike the myriad of other poorly researched and impersonal offers I get to be a brand ambassador for coffee, or to write a review about everything from medjool dates to exercise equipment.

    That’s why, rather than hitting delete, I considered writing a review of the new Sobeys store in St. Catharines. Not only was it a local story, it was right in my neighbourhood and, the consultant pointed out, the store now carried many products with a Niagara connection.

    I’m always very reluctant to do sponsored posts or take up a company on a product review offer. In fact, I can count on one hand those that I’ve done since starting this blog five years ago. I’m careful who I lend this virtual space to, not wanting to shill for anyone and everyone because I got something free. After all, it’s my reputation, my brand, as it were, that’s on the line.
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    Category Food Security


  • Peach Tree
  • The Canadian Food Experience Project: A resolution to do better than the best

    It ain’t nothing but a four-letter word. And it’s one that I hope to see much less of in food writing this year.

    Really, we can all do better than saying something is the best, can’t we?

    I avoid describing anything I eat or drink as the best with the same fervor that I steer clear of celery on a vegetable platter. It’s for the simple reason that it has no substance and it’s harmful. (Don’t believe me about celery being harmful? If you were stuck on a desert island and all you had to eat were those pale green stalks, you’d die).

    Every time I see a tweet with best to describe a food product or meal that isn’t homemade, I lose interest in what that person has to say. Their credibility becomes dubious. And I see it a lot, particularly from foodies and food writers.
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