You Should Never, Ever Announce a Big Blog Change Like This

Tartitude in its red phase

When you move your blog to a new site, there’s a process one should follow to ease the transition.

1. Let your readers know a relocation is coming. Perhaps even get a few involved in the design. This will build anticipation and buy-in.

2. Set a date in advance.

3. Because any change is disruptive, offer incentive for people to stay connected. Theoretically this could be a lineup of cool guests, a contest, a giveaway, a free ebook, or something that would prove irresistible to your audience.

I know this. I’ve seen it masterfully done. It works.

But I’m afraid, being typical Jan, I’m going to suck at the execution. That’s okay. If I wait to do it perfectly, I’ll never act, and at Tartitude, we’re all about eating the fruit, not the rind. (Unless it’s in marmalade, because without the pretty colors and tartness of citrus peel, marmalade would just be boring jelly now, wouldn’t it?)

So. Without further ado, I’d like to introduce the cause for my recent silence:

The blog itself is at

I wanted to use this photo on the new site to symbolically express the three pillars of Tartitude: Art. Attitude. Vitamin C.
Molly told me I can’t. It’s “cheesy” and “looks photoshopped” and “gauche.” Remind me why I was so keen to have children…?

It’s a work in progress. I still have to move my links and repopulate the blogroll, etc., but it’s getting there.

Now what about you? expressed a willingness to automatically resubscribe email readers. I’m going to take them up on it, and I’m hoping they’ll come through for me. I’m going to presume those of you who’ve subscribed will be willing to check the new place out, and if it doesn’t work for you, I understand. Just unsubscribe. (Though I hope it works for you!) Please note I’m not certain they will automatically move your “subscription”, so if you don’t want to risk it, do pre-emptively follow.

I haven’t figured out what to do for those of you on RSS readers. You’re on your own.😉

If you’ve linked to, I’m grateful. Please consider updating your links.

If you come visit, let me know if you have technical difficulties or challenges. I want the site to serve you.

This is a bittersweet moment, guys. I’ve been thinking about doing this for more than a year, but a few things have always held me back: the time, the concern about technical challenges, but mostly sentiment. This place is where I conducted my first interview (Laura Kinsale). It’s where I discovered I enjoyed blogging, got connected into the Writer Unboxed world. If not for this blog, I wouldn’t know many of you.

We’ve had good times here and more than a little zaniness. I hope to see you at the new digs, where I’m certain the insanity will continue.

If not, Zesties– if we part ways– be well. Life is all too fleeting. Go after what you want, seize it and make it your bitch.

Just do it in the other room, ’cause some of us are offended by deviant behavior.  ;)

/Tart Out

Can You Outsmart the Tart? (Visual Pun #8)

Well, this one is a little rude, but what do you expect when you make a joke that involves fruit?

Below is the visual representation of a common expression.

Can you figure out what it means?

Turn to page two and scroll down for the answer. If you enjoy these, please feel free to share them with others.

Daggers Drawn in Your Critique Group? This Post Can Help (Writer Unboxed Redirect)

I’m up at Writer Unboxed today with a critiquing model taken from my medical-school-teaching days. I won’t pretend to be the world’s best critiquer, but these principles work when applied by more illuminated people.

Hope you can join us.

CORBS: 5 Little Letters that Can Keep the Drama on Your Page and Out of Your Critique Group

Can You Outsmart the Tart? (Visual Pun #6)

Below is the visual representation of a common expression.

Can you figure out what it means?

Turn to page two and scroll down for the answer. If you enjoy these, please feel free to share them with others.

ETA: If you saw the first version, apologies! I had to change the labels in the image for it to make sense.

My Son Survived a Freak Bicycle Accident, but He Could Have Used that Blood

If you ask a parent what they worry about when it comes to teenagers and biking, you’ll hear several themes: inattentive drivers, incautious cyclists, and what about that helmet? You’ve paid money and nagged. Will it stay on your kid’s head once they’re out of sight, or will it be relegated to the backpack to protect your teen’s requisite coolness?

Did you ever worry about handlebars?

Me neither, which is why I’m writing this post with Frank’s full permission.

Last week, the ToolMaster (my husband) and Frank (my son) went on a training ride to prepare for this summer’s holiday biking trip. They were in the home stretch, sticking to relatively deserted city roads, their minds on getting a soda at the local 7-11 to celebrate. Then Frank rounded a corner at the low speed of 10 miles per hour. As best we can tell, he took it too sharply. His front wheel jack-knifed on him and he was abruptly pitched forward.

I got the phone call ten minutes later. Could I come pick them up? Frank seemed fine, but a minor abdominal cut was leaking fat globules.

I took one look at the 1-inch non-bleeding wound, which looked like a tear, and we loaded the bikes and were off to emergency.

Hours later, stitches in place, we went home and to bed. Separately.

I wasn’t concerned. The wound had been probed. Though the forceps went deep enough to make me squeamish, and we hadn’t identified exactly how the injury occurred, nothing had penetrated into his abdomen. Frank’s blood pressure and pulse were stable. The ER doctor didn’t even think he needed antibiotics.

The next morning, Frank was under the weather, feeling all manner of stiffness and pains. He was tired. But this was to be expected, right? We’d gotten home at 1 AM, so he was short of sleep. It’s normal for muscle aches to be worse the day after an accident.

Only when he mentioned a specific type of pain did I realize we were dealing with bigger issues—confirmed on the way to our van when Frank briefly passed out.

Continue reading