Month: December 2014

Start the New Year Off “Write”

Princess Jai

It’s finally here — my favorite day of the year: New Year’s Eve.

If you caught me on WBHM 90.3 FM last week then you know that I’m not much of a fan of Christmas. But New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day are my favorites! On these days I am full of excitement about the future.

I hope you’re feeling that way today, too.

Last week a lovely local lady emailed me after ordering her ticket to next month’s event with Carrie Rollwagen and said she was eager to attend the event because she wanted to “start the year off write.”

I love that!

If you want to start the year off “write” too, here are a few things you can do to help you do just that:

1) Buy your tickets for From Blog to Book. At this event, set for January 20, Carrie Rollwagen, author of the book The Localist, will give tips on how to transform your blog idea into a book idea, how to rock your Kickstarter campaign, and how to self-publish the right way. Carrie will also give tips on how to better support local businesses. Order your tickets here.

2) Twenty lucky official See Jane Write members will have the chance to attend a free goal-setting workshop with me in early January.

3) If you don’t want to miss out on events like this in the future become an official member today. Basic membership will increase to $50 starting tomorrow and premium membership will no longer be available. Learn more here.

4) If you have a host of dreams for 2015 but you think you don’t have the time to go after them, think again! My new e-course How to Write and Have a Life will help you find the time to pursue your passion. The course opens tomorrow! More details coming soon!

Jane About Town: Black Nativity & Birmingham’s Best Bites

Here are two events a Jane about town shouldn’t miss this weekend:

Birmingham’s Best Bites

bham best bites
Food Network Star Martie Duncan and several popular Birmingham area chefs will be at the Birmingham Public Library on Saturday, Dec. 13 to sign copies of the new book, “Birmingham’s Best Bites: Favorite Recipes from Restaurants, Bars, & Food Trucks Around the Magic City’’ from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. The book, which features more than 80 recipes from more than 60 area restaurants, is $25. Proceeds will benefit the library. Some of people’s favorite recipes are in the book like Hot and Hot’s Tomato Salad, Ashley Mac’s Mac and Cheese, Dreamcakes Brown Sugar Pound Cake with Bourbon Caramel Glaze and many others. Chefs such as The Fish Market’s George Sarris, Little Savannah’s Maureen Holt, The Gardens Café by Kathy G, Primeaux Cheese & Vino’s Ric Trent and Chris Vizinna will sign books on Saturday. Refreshments will be served.


Black Nativity


The Aldridge Repertory Theatre will present a dinner theater production of Langston Hughes’ Black Nativity at 6:30 p.m. on December 13 and 2:30 p.m. on December 14. Black Nativity is a retelling of the classic Nativity story with an entirely black cast and gospel music. The show was first performed Off-Broadway in 1961. Dinner at this weekend’s performances will include grilled chicken, caesar salad, grilled mixed vegetables, rice pilaf, rolls, tea, and dessert. Tickets are $35. For more information and to reserve your seat call 205-538-1828 or visit


Partner with See Jane Write for January

Collage Consignment
Collage Consignment was one of our lovely sponsors for this summer’s Bloganista Mini-Con

January will be a busy month for See Jane Write, which means it will be a great time to partner with us. In January we will be hosting a special members-only goal setting workshop and a From Blog to Book — a special event with local author, blogger and bookseller Carrie Rollwagen at which Rollwagen will discuss how to transition your blog idea into a book idea, how to successfully self-publish and how to rock your Kickstarter campaign.

January sponsors will receive the following: one sponsored blog post, the opportunity to speak directly to attendees at one of two events scheduled for January, and promotion via the See Jane Write Facebook page, Facebook group, Twitter account, and weekly newsletter. Also your logo will be added to our blog’s side bar for the month of January.

If you are looking to promote your product, service, book, blog, or business to creative and ambitious women in Birmingham, See Jane Write is the perfect way to do just that. But don’t take my word for it.

Emerging graphic designer Aly Hathcock partnered with See Jane Write this summer after attending our Bloganista Mini-Conference. Here’s what she had to say:

See Jane Write proved to be a game-changer in my media career. I initially attended the SJW conference as a regular attendee, hoping to learn a couple tips of the trade for blogging (something I had tried and failed at many times) and meet some cool people. What I got out of the conference was so much more. I learned so much about blogging, met some incredible women, and (after offering discounted services to SJW participants) received multiple freelance jobs from connections I made. The amount of work I received from SJW participants allowed me to invest in new equipment, further expanding my business. I’m so thankful for the opportunity to attend the SJW conference, and I look forward to being able to continue this partnership with SJW members.

There are 4 January sponsorships available at only $100. January sponsorships will be offered through December.

Click here for more information on partnering with See Jane Write.

If you are interested in partnering with See Jane Write for January contact me, Javacia Harris Bowser, at

5 Tips for Taking Instagram Food Photos


Even though I LOVE food, I am not a food blogger and never well be. You see, when I say I love food I mean I love to eat it, I love to socialize and celebrate over it, and I even like to use it as a reward for making it through a hard day. But I HATE cooking. Don’t get me wrong, I do cook. After all, hubster and I have to eat something and neither my wallet nor my waistline could handle us eating out every night. But every moment in the kitchen I’m thinking of all the other places I’d rather be.

Nonetheless, I admire food bloggers. I admire their creativity and passion and, of course, I admire their gorgeous photography.

bham bloggers brunch


Today, I attended the Birmingham Bloggers Instagram Workshop Brunch. The event featured a 4-course brunch and food photography tips from Rachel Johnson, who is currently serving as a fellow at Cooking Light magazine.

While some bloggers at the workshop, which was held at The Nest, had fancy DSLR cameras hanging around their necks, Rachel assured us that with the right light and styling you can take beautiful pictures even on an iPhone 4.

babe at brunch

1. Let your light shine. Obviously, good lighting it key, so be sure that nothing’s blocking the natural light that you could be using to illuminate your subject. If you find that the light is creating a a harsh shadow on one side of your subject, use a white book or sheet of paper to reflect the light.

2. The bird’s the word. A bird’s eye view or overhead shot is best for food, Rachel said. Get right over your food when shooting it.

3. Pile it on. If you’re shooting a bowl of granola, really pile on that granola. When photographing food in a bowl, fill up the bowl for a more interesting shot.

4. Keep it simple. Don’t photograph your food against a busy surface. Also, don’t get carried away with filters. If you do use filters adjust their intensity remembering that sometimes less is more.

5.  Hash it out. To help your food photos get more exposure on Instagram, Rachel recommended using popular hashtags like #f52grams and #eeeeeeats. A good time to post photos to Instagram is early in the morning or around 7 p.m.

Many of these tips, Rachel said, apply not just to photographing food, but can be used when photographing fashion, too.

After the tips session, Rachel had us style and photograph the first course of our brunch — yogurt parfait. It was quite entertaining and I appreciated the hands-on activity. Rachel was very sweet and said my photos looked great, but I thought they were pitiful compared to the pictures produced by most food bloggers. And obviously, I had the most fun eating the food — which was delicious!

For bad food photography and more, follow me on Instagram @writeousbabe.


The #bloglikecrazy All-Stars

Each November I challenge the women of See Jane Write to #bloglikecrazy, to publish a new blog post every day for a month.

Today I’d like to take a moment to salute the women who stuck with it and gave their readers 30 posts in 30 days.

JenJennifer Dome King of Stellar Fashion & Fitness

As you might have guessed from the title, Jennifer’s blog is about fashion and fitness but is also about so much more. Jennifer says she wants her blog to motivate her readers to “become stellar people.” Whether you’re trying to become more physically fit or learn how to dress in a way that truly expresses your personality, Stellar Fashion & Fitness needs to be in your blog roll.


Irene Latham of Live Your Poem

Irene Latham is a poet and novelist whose blog Live Your Poem encourages readers to do just that. How can you live your poem? “Cultivate a secret life,”  Irene urges. “Take the road not taken,” Irene challenges. And “when the time comes, let it go, let it go,” she says. For musings on books, writing, and living a life worth writing about, you need to read Live Your Poem.

LLG home

Leslie Golden of The Books That Follow You Home

For some people books may just be words on a page. But to Leslie Golden books are magic and that’s what her blog is all about. Leslie’s blog is about books “that follow you home,” books whose stories and characters become a part of you.  Leslie blogs about all types of books —  fiction or non-fiction, classic, modern or indifferent, genre specific or fusion — “as long as they’re good. Good enough to be thought about, good enough to be re-read, good enough to be shared.” If you love good books, Leslie’s website will become the blog that follows you home.


I also want to give a shout out to Edward T. Bowser of Soul In Stereo. Since he’s my better half, Edd is basically an honorary member of See Jane Write. Every year the hubster blogs like crazy with me and my Janes on his music blog Soul In Stereo. Edd has an encyclopedic knowledge of pop culture and one of the reason his blog has become so popular through the years is the fact that he never pulls any punches. If you want honest rants and reviews of hip-hop, R&B and even current events, you need to check out Soul In Stereo.

Thank you all for blogging like crazy with me this year!