I’ve been invited by Dr Gary Lum from yummylummy.com to join in a writer’s blog hop, along with another Canberra food blogger Michele Walton from Fineeating. The blog hop is a chance to gain a little insight into the motivations of bloggers and an opportunity for the blogger to reflect when answering the questions.
What I am working on?
Probably too much. Between work and family commitments I don’t get a lot of blogging time and I do wish I had more time for blogging! As well as the food blog CBRfoodie which I started earlier this year, I am in the early stages of putting together a blog about political campaigning, which is closer to what I actually do for a living. Down the track I hope to be able to do a bit of both without upsetting my partner or children!
How does my writing differ from others in its genre?
Probably not by much, although every blogger I have met recently has a different approach. I think good writing is essential in any form of communication, but food blogging also relies on a sense of aesthetics as well. The good bloggers (or those that take it a bit more seriously or have been doing it for longer) seem to have a more elaborate approach. Their equipment is usually a bit more serious (DSLR, WordPress, Instagram and tricky apps for quickly manipulating and posting images). I like to take a positive approach to the writing as well. I usually don’t post negative comments and devised a rating system whereby even the lowest rating was still basically a recommendation to try the restaurant, but I use “Canberra Beanies” instead of Chef’s hats or Michelin stars.
Why do I write?
I write primarily for the creative outlet it provides. I also enjoy searching for and eating affordable food. Last year I decided to resuscitate an abandoned research/writing project on political campaigning via a blog, however it quickly became apparent that blogging is not as straight-forward as it might initially seem. I realised I would need to teach myself some basic WordPress skills and that it would take some time before I felt my technical inability would not hamper the writing and blogging process. Having worked in the city for a few years I was aware that there was a lack of information about affordable food and thought a “cheap eats” style list for Canberra would be an achievable blogging project to develop the skills for a more elaborate blog. That said, the food blog has been more fun than I expected and has developed into a hobby all of its own. If you’d like to read a more intelligent and considered explanation about the motivations and challenges of food blogging, here is an awesome article from Zoe at Progressive Dinner Party. It has some very interesting and helpful links for new bloggers.
How does my writing process work?
Realising I needed a critical mass of content before I started the WordPress blog, I made an effort to start Tweeting and posting on Facebook to build a supply of content a couple of months earlier in November 2013. My initial approach to the micro-blogging was very simple: I’d get hungry. I’d look inside my wallet, to find a few notes and coins. I’d buy food and usually take a couple of iPhone shots with the camera. I eat and pay for my meal. If I have a few minutes to spare I often tweet something that day and if I remember post it on Facebook that night or next day. Once or twice a week I blog about the lunch and try and promote the blog again through twitter. As I progressed however I remained more comfortable with Twitter, which is where I still share most of my tips and conversations. I’ve developed a comprehensive twitter-based list of Canberra foodies. I’ve also developed a couple of aspects to the blog which I hadn’t anticipated: a comprehensive list of Canberra food blogs and a series of interviews with other foodies. The list of blogs has been a great source of ideas and conversations, particularly with visitors to Canberra who want to know about food experiences from local foodies. I think the interviews have been popular because they represent a very human aspect of the blogging and foodie experience and have been a great way to meet more experienced food bloggers and learn from them.
Now I get to pass on the blog hop baton to two other bloggers who I will briefly introduce:
Tara Cheyne is one of the proudest advocates for Canberra I have met in recent years. Her well-regarded blog ”In the Taratory” started as a creative record of her adventures discovering Canberra’s hidden tourist gems but has evolved over a few short years into a reliable source of information for locals and tourists alike. Tara is also a community activist and is Secretary of the Belconnen Community Council and also on the Board of the Belconnen Arts Centre. If you want to know ANYTHING about Belconnen she’s one of the best sources you can find! Make sure you follow her on Twitter! I love this photo of Tara stomping on grapes at one of Canberra’s many regional wineries.
James Tew moved to Canberra late last year through his work in the Navy. In his spare time (or what little he has) he blogs at “ three daughters” and also runs @TweetCanberra which he has turned into a fantastic news source and blog about events and people across our city. James also ran the highly successful SMR2014 (Social Media Revolution) Seminar a few months ago and has single-handedly raised the bar for social media networking in Canberra, bringing together professionals, amateurs and aspiring newcomers into the exciting and evolving world of social media in the most well-connected city in Australia. The photo below was taken by me when James and I decided to treat our daughters to a day of toffee apples and cider (non-alcoholic of course!) at an apple-festival near Canberra!
Thanks to Gary for inviting me to be part of the blog hop and thanks to Tara and James for agreeing to participate and accept the batons!
Liz Posmyk, standing proudly in front of her extensive library of cooking and food books.
No one who is interested in food and social media in the Canberra region could say they haven’t been in touch with Liz Posmyk, either through her famous blog http://www.bizzylizzysgoodthings.com/ Twitter, Facebook, mainstream media, food event or other channel. Liz has been a prolific poster of “Canberra Foodie” news for many years. When our local journal of record The Canberra Times (which has 74 staff on twitter, I think, here’s my latest list: https://twitter.com/Elias_Hallaj/lists/canberra-times-staff-etc) was looking for local cooks who also blogged they turned to Liz, who promptly gave them the names and details of capable cooks/bloggers to interview http://www.goodfood.com.au/good-food/food-blogs-finest-20140307-34bgv.html
Let me begin by stating I love Liz’s blog (www.bizzylizzysgoodthings.com) . When I started blogging three short months ago I thought “if I do this for ten years I’d be happy to be as half as good as Liz” in terms of content, credibility and sheer aesthetics. If I had more time for food photography I would simply try and copy her best shots. I was surprised to learn recently that she isn’t a Canon or Nikon aficionado (like most professional photographers) but happily snaps away with a Olympus OM-D EM5 (Eileen (@TheFoodAvenue) also uses an Olympus camera for her great photos).
My favourite Bizzy Lizzy posts include: “Canberra Show Postcards and Morsels” http://www.bizzylizzysgoodthings.com/2/post/2014/03/postcards-and-morsels-2014-royal-canberra-show.html and http://www.bizzylizzysgoodthings.com/2/post/2013/02/postcards-and-morsels-2013-royal-canberra-show.html and numerous local festivals and winery celebrations such as this one: http://www.bizzylizzysgoodthings.com/2/post/2013/11/postcards-and-morsels-wine-roses-and-all-that-jazz-festival.html\ Liz also has a great synopsis of food and wine festivals across Australia here http://www.bizzylizzysgoodthings.com/events.html which of course also links to the great list of local festivals in the Canberra region via the Visit Canberra website here http://www.visitcanberra.com.au/find/event/food-wine .
You can see from Liz’s blog that she understands how to communicate using great pictures and images (supporting the truism that a good picture is worth a thousand words). I also like the fact that Liz’s passionate advocacy for local food and produce extends beyond cuisine and conveys a deeper cultural experience. Perhaps subconsciously sometimes, she highlights the personal passion for food and culture that many Canberrans share and she herself is a great advocate for our sense of community and ability to share and care for each other.
So Liz, who are you? I’m an old school food writer based in Canberra and was part of the committee instrumental in the establishment of the ACT Writers Centre (no apostrophe).
From 1993-2002, I wrote a popular weekly cookery column in a Canberra newspaper. I earned the nickname ‘Bizzy Lizzy’ when I juggled the role of promotions manager of a 30-store produce market with co-ownership of a leading cooking school, and marketing a line of organic foods (I was headhunted for this role). Working my proverbial off, across a decade I managed a hugely successful program of events that welcomed some of the world’s leading cookery writers and celebrity chefs to Canberra. For four years I also featured as the voice behind The Ten Dollar Dinner on 666 ABC radio with James Valentine and Rod Quinn.
My career has included stints in both the Federal and ACT public service, most recently with DesignGov. In 2012, I received an Australia Day Achievement Award for leadership, innovation and service to the Australian Public Service Federal Department of Industry.
In 2013, I was selected as the winner of the Food Narrative Category of the Best Australian Food Blog Food Writing Competition 2013 run by the SA Writer’s Centre Inc/Food Bloggers Australia. Professor Barbara Santich was one of the esteemed judges, so this was quite an honour for me.
In January 2014, I retired from the APS to concentrate on Good Things, my online journal (or blog), which I founded in 2011. This new-found free time gives me the opportunity to cook to my heart’s content and share my favourite recipes and photographs. It also gives Peter and myself the opportunity to relax and rejuvenate after a lifetime of working hard; and also to travel and explore Australia and its food regions.
Age? 55 and loving it!
Where do you live? In Harrison with my life partner, Peter. I was born in Canberra and have lived here all of my life.
How long have you been blogging? Blogging since 2011, writing about food and cooking since 1993. Honestly, though, I’ve been a writer since early childhood and creative writing was my favourite subject from grade one in Infants School.
Other hobbies? Photography (love snapping macro shots of bees and flowers); cooking (obviously); travel; meeting like-minded people; reading; going to the cinema; gardening; swimming; walking; oh, and playing Call of Duty 2 (I’m a crack sniper, true!).
Apple or Android? Apple imac (27 inch) which is great for publishing.
Car/bus/bike? Car to get from A to B, and bicycle for pleasure.
Favourite TV show? There isn’t one in particular, though I do enjoy a variety of documentaries on SBS and the ABC (including cooking and travel shows). I also love dramas produced by the BBC, such as Broadchurch and The Escape Artist (recently), as well as Dr Who, Grand Designs, etc.
Favourite devices? As in phone, plaything? My phone, for making phone calls.
Can we take a peek at your home screen? No, sorry, it’s way too cluttered : ) … <wow, no one else has said no to any of my questions so far! 🙂 >
Most-used app? On my phone? The keypad for making phone calls : )
Favourite social media? Twitter (I enjoy the networking aspect of it and love connecting with people through food).
What’s the first thing online you check each morning? The IN box on my email account.
What do you worry about at night? That’s a very personal question. When I do worry, it’s about things I’d rather not discuss.
Most exciting recent news? An invitation to attend a MasterClass at Red Lantern with Luke Nguyen ahead of his new series Luke Nguyen’s France!
Ideal career? Full time food, cookery and travel writer and consultant. I’m currently living the dream. : D
Recent book you recommend? Wow, there are several, but how about Horrie the War Dog by Roland Perry (Allen & Unwin). It’s the story of Australia’s most famous dog. Oh, and The Dirty Chef by Matthew Evans, the gourmet farmer (Allen & Unwin); and Rick Stein’s memoir Under a Mackerel Sky (Ebury Press).
Recent online video you laughed at? A clip produced by The Checkout team on the ABC. http://www.abc.net.au/tv/thecheckout/ They’re very clever, and so informative! here is one of the interesting and fun snippets from The Checkout https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z1SlTy2RAMw&feature=youtu.be It’s not what I call hilarious, but it is interesting and humorous
Favourite food? I love a diverse range of foods, including Hungarian, Vietnamese, Chinese, Persian, Greek, Thai, modern Australian and Italian. Among those cuisines, there are lots of favourite dishes that I cook regularly.
If you want learn more about Liz Posmyk, one of Canberra’s very own Award Winning Food Writers
Follow her on Twitter: @bizzylizzycooks
Follow her blog: http://www.bizzylizzysgoodthings.com
She’s also on Linkedin: au.linkedin.com/pub/liz-posmyk/58/b23/689
This is my third interview with some of Canberra’s better known foodies and bloggers, inviting them to share information about themselves so we can learn more about what makes them tick and why they are such cool people.
My third interview is with the Trish (@eatshootblog), who has been an active member of Canberra’s constantly evolving online community for several years (I first noticed her great snippets of advice about food, photography and parenting in Canberra on Twitter in 2010).
Trish is between blogs because she’s about to launch a Kickstarter campaign and all her creative energies are going straight into that at the moment!
Who are you Trish? I was born, raised, educated, married and became a mother in Canberra. I started writing online as a contributor to parenting forums when my kids were babies, and in 2004 organised my thoughts and opinions into a blog. That blog evolved and endured for almost ten years though I recently stopped blogging to focus on writing a novel and right now I’m getting ready to launch my own company. I tweet about anything and everything and post lots of pictures of food on Instagram (both as @eatshootblog). I am a very proud Canberra resident but since we turned 100 and we’re all grown up, I have vowed not to engage in any more debates with Canberra-bashers. Rather, I say a short prayer of thanks that they don’t live here. My favourite place to go in Canberra for an affordable, tasty meal is The Duxton for Thursday night Burger + Beer $15. It’s my local, so I’m a bit of a fan.
<For those that want to check it out some of the regular specials at The Duxton, check this out. http://www.theduxton.com.au/whats-on>
Age? 42 and a half.
Where do you live? O’Connor
How long have you been blogging? About ten years
Other hobbies? Cooking, writing, photography, travel.
Apple or Android? Apple
Car/bus/bike? Bike, car, foot.
Favourite TV show? ‘Australian Story’
Favourite devices? The remote control for my garage door.
Can we take a peek at your home screen? I am currently homescreenless J
Most-used app? Instagram
Favourite social media? Toss up between Instagram and Pinterest.
What’s the first thing online you check each morning? My email.
What do you worry about at night? I usually go to bed worrying about how tired I’m going to be in the morning on account of going to bed so late.
Most exciting recent news? I can’t say, but it’s got something to do with my new company and the product I’m launching.
Ideal career? Working for myself.
Recent book you recommend? I’ve been reading a lot of very dry books about business and marketing and crowdsourcing. The last novel I read was Elizabeth Gilbert’s ‘The Signature of all Things’ and I really enjoyed it.
Recent online video you laughed at? The goats – http://youtu.be/58-atNakMWw
Favourite food? Fish Tacos.
Follow Trish on Twitter @eatshootblog