9 More Cincy blogs to follow

Cincinnati has a vibrant social media scene, with bloggers covering everything from food and drink to urban living to Cincinnati's neverending options of stuff to do. Here we highlight some of the Queen city’s most tech-savvy writers (and one podcaster).
 
Cincinnati Illustrators Blog
Christina Wald“The Illustrators Lunch is a weekly event started by a group of illustrators (including C. F. Payne, John Maggard, David Michael Beck and others) over 20 years ago (many years before I was involved),” says Christina Wald, moderator of Cincinnati Illustrators Blog. “It is a great group of peers, and we talk art and share what we are working on. Most of us work from home in hermit fashion so it is a great way to get out of the house and socialize. We encourage anyone who illustrates or is a student of illustration to join us! At our yearly Illustrators Lunch Christmas party in 2008, we decided to start the blog as a way to get the word out about all the cool things different local illustrators were working on. Sadly, even though the papers over the years have been very illustrator friendly, the landscape has changed dramatically and the real estate in traditional venues is greatly diminished. … We have a lot of great contributors that keep [the blog] going. Not only is there a lot of local talent, but they are great people!”
 
What do you hope to achieve with your blog?
“There are many goals of our blog. The first is to show off the talent this city has to offer. So many local artists are working on high-profile, international projects: Loren Long illustrated Barrack Obama’s children's book; C. F. Payne has illustrated many celebrity book and the covers of many national magazines; Tara Calahan King had a book she illustrated on Reading Rainbow; Woodrow Hinton III and a filmmaker (Anthony Francis Moorman) recently put together an illustration documentary called Making It that was screened at Cincinnati Comic Con last weekend and has gotten a lot of national attention. These examples are just the tip of the iceberg.

“The second is to make people aware of local events like book signings, gallery shows, classes and so on.

“The third is to post links and news and reviews of interest to fellow illustrators. Personally, I am a big fan of the international illustration community and what is happening in the field. I recently attended the Icon Illustration conference in Portland, Ore. Others in our group attended the National Cartoonist Society yearly conference, San Diego Comic Con, The Guild of Natural Science Illustrators, SCBWI Conferences ... We try to report on our experiences as time allows. We are all so busy! I love it when people send me info on events that they think would interest us so I can post about them.

“Finally, it hosts a collection of links to individual illustrator blogs and websites.”

What’s your most “Cincinnati” post? 
“There are so many to choose from! We cover the Books By the Banks poster every year (I illustrated it in 2011), the artist for this year's Summerfair Poster posted on the blog, and of course John Maggard's Mini-Heart Marathon posters. So many of the people who come to the weekly lunches and contribute to the blog have done art for many Cincinnati institutions! [Examples include:] Christian Morelein, Jim Effler’s beer labels and yearly Bockfest poster, Kevin Necessary’s WCPO Reds cartoons, Jerry Dowling’s Reds art/cartoons for The Cincinnati Enquirer, Newport Aquarium, the Zoo, and many more.”

Describe what it’s like to be part of Cincinnati’s social media scene. 
“The actual Illustrators Lunch group predates social media and even e-mail! There is a spectrum of illustrators, from the media savvy to the completely analog, old-school. I encourage those who are less digitally skilled artists to send me their information so we can get the word out about their shows, books, teaching gigs, etc. I know many artists from around the world through Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr ... I have just recently started to meet other local non-art bloggers. Darcy Vorhees Van Horn of Flaming Medusa Studios recently started a Cincinnati Animation Network blog. There is a lot of overlap, and we have done a lot of cross promotion for events.”
 
CincyMusic.com
Courtney PhenicleCourtney Phenicie, editor in chief of CincyMusic.com, has been writing her entire life. “I have also been a huge music fan for as long as I can remember,” Phenicie says. “When the opportunity arose for my brothers (Ian Bolender and Nathan Bolender) and I to start CincyMusic.com, it just made perfect sense to me.” The focus of CincyMusic.com is to showcase local music and events happening in Cincinnati. “We have the most comprehensive music calendar in the city, with an iPhone app that allows you to carry our calendar in your pocket,” Penicie says. “We also have two radio shows spinning only local music (CincyMusic.com Soundcheck on WNKU 89.7 and CincyMusic Spotlight on The Project 100.7 and 106.3). We also hope to attract more touring artists to Cincinnati by exposing our strong music community and increasing awareness about new artists.”
 
Describe what it’s like to be part of Cincinnati’s social media scene. 
“To be part of the Cincinnati social media scene is exciting. At CincyMusic.com we have developed a staff of about 30 of, who I feel to be, some of the most talented writers and photographers in the city. Given our shared love of music and Cincinnati, the folks at CincyMusic.com are like a large family now.”
 
What’s your most “Cincinnati” post?

“It was an honor for me to interview Louis Langrée, Music Director of the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra. His introduction to Cincinnati last summer with LumenoCity has really changed the game. I feel that Louis Langrée and the CSO are doing amazing things for Cincinnati as far as bridging gaps between age groups and bringing people from all areas down to the city core.”
 
Digging Cincinnati History
Ann SenefeldAnn Senefeld started blogging in March 2011. “Digging Cincinnati History focuses on the history of buildings in Cincinnati,” Senefeld says. “I believe buildings have ancestors, and learning their stories adds a human factor to history. My blog is for anyone who is interested in learning more about Cincinnati’s past.”
 
What inspires you to blog?
“I love Cincinnati history, but most of all I love to share the stories of people who lived in our city through the buildings where they lived or worked. I think we forget history is truly just stories of real people of the past, and I hope my blog makes history more personal.”
 
What is your favorite blog post?
“Picking a favorite blog post is like picking my favorite child! It can’t be done because each post is so personal to me. I get attached to each family I research. I feel sad when I read about children who died young, which was so common throughout Cincinnati’s early history. I am happy when I see a family who had successes in life. These families become real to me and I try to share what I find with any relatives of the families I research. I am proud of my blog post on what remains of the original Christian Moerlein Brewing Company, because it took a lot of time to research and to correct mistakes in previous books.”
 
Describe what it's like to be part of Cincinnati’s social media scene.
“It is still amazing to me that I have so many followers. I started my blog as a way to share my love of Cincinnati’s buildings. My Facebook page started as a way to share some photos I took of a tour of churches in Over-the-Rhine. The Facebook page just took off after that, and I am flabbergasted that I have over 5,600 people interested in the work I do.”
 
Do Today Well
Jen Mathie AndersonJen Mathie Anderson says she became a writer the day she was diagnosed with advanced breast cancer in 2012. “‘Do Today Well’ became my mantra early in my cancer journey: I cannot control anything beyond how I respond to my circumstances today,” Anderson says. “My blog draws my friends and family, and a surprising collection of stranger friends who have tuned in to my story. Writing my life out loud has opened a door, and I continue to be amazed at the blessings that come in because of my blog.” 
 
What inspires you to blog? 
“Writing is incredibly therapeutic for me. Writing brings me to a place of peace, a resolution. When I finish writing, I am the best version of myself: centered, resolute, calm and ready to take off for whatever comes next.”  
 
What is your favorite blog post and why?
Bedtime list is a favorite blog post because it is a story about how my then 5-year-old daughter triumphs over the cancer beast in our lives. She, a babe, was able and is able to re-frame adversity into joy. My heart bursts with pride at her victorious nature.”
 
What do you hope to achieve with your blog?
“I hope to continue living my life out loud via my blog. In telling my story on the Internet, I unwittingly found out that it was a great way to connect with people. My peers, friends and family always know what is going on with the Andersons; I love that. I wish everyone would blog so that I could have that insight into the lives of everyone I love. I unveil cancer for those who want to love cancer people better. I encourage other moms about perspective: Laundry and dust are not really problems. I’m a storyteller, and story time is a childhood relic that never gets old.”
 
Freckle PhotoBlog
Melissa SpeelmanMelissa Speelman’s blog and domain name were a birthday gift from her sister in June 2006. “Frecklephoto is a place to share my photos and interests with anyone who cares to listen,” Speelman says. “My audience consists of moms, photographers, art teachers and creative spirits.”
 
What inspires you to blog?
“As a mother of four, my life is pretty chaotic most of the time. While I thoroughly enjoy our bustling family life, I also feel a great desire to create. I minored in photography in college and have been obsessed with making images my entire life. Documenting my family is one of my greatest joys. My blog started back 2006 as creative way to share my photographs with friends and family. I soon found that others were interested in my images and blog musings. I teach 7th and 8th grade Visual Arts at Sycamore Jr. High. I began sharing art projects and student work on my blog.. As a result, I have many art educators that regularly stop by frecklephoto. I have collaborated and become friends with art teachers in the U.S. as well as Australia and Wales. It’s pretty amazing. Teaching art is another one of my passions, and I love sharing artwork and ideas through my blog.
 
“I also love sharing my ‘projects’ on my blog. When I feel overwhelmed, sometimes I need to dive deep into creative project. Here are a few of my favorites: Elle’s Adventures in Wonderland, Four Speelmans Weekly, 10 Reasons I Love You books and Year in Review collages.
 
“Ultimately, I think that connecting with other creative spirits, moms, art teachers, photographers and budding filmmakers is the reason I blog. I have forged some wonderful friendships online.”
 
What is your favorite blog post?
“My favorite category of posts is my ‘12 Weeks of Summer’ challenges. Over the past few summers, I’ve put together a series of weekly photography/video challenges for my blog followers. The challenges focus on photography basics: composition, point of view, lighting, etc., and also subject matter challenges: self-portrait, family photo, photo of your city. I post the challenges on my blog, but the real interaction takes place on my 12 Weeks of Summer Facebook page. This is where people can post photos and comment on one another’s work. It’s become a supportive little community. I have also been dabbling in video editing and filmmaking. Last summer, my 12 Weeks of Summer Challenges focused on the basics of video editing using a smart phone, point + shoot camera or DSLR. I’m still learning myself, so I wanted to push myself throughout the summer. For years I’ve put together a year-end family slideshow. This project has now become a hybrid of photos and video using my DSLR, iPhone and point+shoot camera. This year, I will add GoPro footage to that list. This is my 2013 family film.”
 
What’s your most “Cincinnati” post?

“Earlier this Spring I had an opportunity to climb to the top of the Roebling Suspension Bridge and photograph the city. We arrived at 7:30 a.m. on the Covington side of the Ohio River to solid wall of fog. Photographing the fog was wonderful, but we couldn’t see anything on the other side of the river. After about an hour the fog started to burn off revealing the Cincinnati skyline. The whole experience was amazing. The opportunity arose from a local photography group that I am a part of, Misfits with Camera. This group formed as a result of the Capture Cincinnati books, which have also been a big part of my photography life. The fourth book was published last year. Many of us became good friends after the first book was published back in 2007. I have gained so many wonderful friendships with many incredible photographers around the city.”
 
Little One Love
Lindsay DewaldLindsay Dewald started the Little One Love Blog in 2009 (under a different name, Coffee in the Classroom) when she was teaching full time in New York City as a way to document her journey as a new teacher. “As my life shifted and evolved and after I stopped teaching full time to start The City Flea with my husband, and then became a mother, the name changed to Little One Love as I wrote more not only about my own child and motherhood, but about children’s fashion, design, homemaking and family life,” Dewald says. “It seemed like a much better fit. My readers are women ages 25-35, usually moms from all over the country.” 
 
What inspires you to blog? 
“I like the idea of having an archive of my family life and daughter for years to come. There are so many emotions that come with raising a child, being a wife, running a business, maintaining friendships, etc. I want to be able to look back on posts (similar to how you read old journals) and see how I’ve grown (or not). Writing and documenting our little life also helps me appreciate the life we’ve created, and writing so often gives me clarity if I’m struggling to see something clearly.” 
 
What is your favorite blog post and why?
“It’s really hard to choose one because I go through such a range of emotions depending on the type of post it is. I think my favorites to look back on though are the letters I’ve written to my daughter. I started the series when I was pregnant, writing a letter each month to the daughter I had yet to officially meet and carried it on until she turned 1. I think I’ll cherish those posts the most. Talk about feeling ALL the feelings :).”
 
What’s your most “Cincinnati” post? 
“I have a ‘cincinnati’ tag on my blog as well as a ‘thecityfleatag’—those are probably the most Cincinnati my blog gets. Even though my blog is not focused on Cincinnati, I sure do love when I have the chance to talk about our amazing city.” 
 
Motherhood Support
Jennie JanzenJennie Janzen started blogging about four years ago, with a focus on parenting. However, she also includes posts on fashion and crafts, offers recipes and product reviews, and hosts giveaways. “My audience consists mainly of younger moms, but I have a few dads that follow along, including grandmothers.”
 
What inspires you to blog?
“I am a stay at home mom, so blogging keeps me connected to the real world! I love being able sit down at my computer and connect with moms all over the world. We all have different backgrounds, family stories and struggles, but we can all relate to the job of being a MOM! It is the hardest, yet most rewarding job out there. I love that we can all share, learn and grow with one another through the blogosphere.”
 
What is your favorite blog post?

It is OK to ask for HELP: I love this post because I think, as moms, we feel like we have to do it all. We compare ourselves to other mamas out there and never feel like we are enough. This was my post to tell all moms out there (whether they agreed with it or not), that I was giving myself some grace and allowing myself to receive help! If we learned to lean on each other more, we wouldn’t feel so exhausted and burnt out at the end of the day, in my opinion.”
 
What’s your most “Cincinnati” post?
“I have a section on my blog titled Family Fun. If you look through there you will see my posts about my Cincy adventures with my family, activities and venues to explore, and much more. This will give you a great idea on all the things that Cincinnati has to offer!”
 
The Walking Green
Liz McEwanLiz McEwan moved to Cincinnati in 2005 and started blogging as a way to process life changes—leaving home, ending a relationship and maturing her faith. With an education in music ministry and communications, she’s spent her nine years in Cincinnati working in the nonprofit world, most recently as part-time event coordinator for Keep Cincinnati Beautiful. Initially, she blogged a lot about her music, but now that she’s married with kids, her content has changed. “Sometimes it gets personal about marriage or motherhood or my faith, but sometimes it’s completely practical like the Where We Play series I’ve been doing this summer in which I review local parks and playgrounds,” McEwan says.
 
What inspires you to blog? 

“I’m inspired by the day-to-day business of raising kids in the city, how the urban landscape colors our life here, and how my faith informs my relationship to my family, community and the world.”
 
What’s your most “Cincinnati” post?

“Cincinnati can appear to be a pretty politically hostile environment, with old-school conservatives holding the cards and the money, and progressive liberals pushing for change. Whether it’s true or not, that’s the political rhetoric of our city (or maybe political rhetoric, in general). I’ve always felt trapped between the two, sympathetic to both sides of the argument. Last December, I wrote a post titled Seven Truth About Conservatives, which is basically an apologetic for honest conversation between those pushing a progressive, liberal agenda in Cincinnati and their conservative counterparts, the ones often characterized as stingy, uptight city-haters. This post was written right at the height of the streetcar debate and, therefore, was a very timely post.”
 
What do you hope to achieve with your blog? 
“I guess my intent is twofold. First, I have a lot of friends back home in Chicago and in other places around the country who read my blog to stay abreast to what I’m doing with my life. Most of the personal content about issues of faith and family life are probably written for them. The other side of my blog is more locally focused, and my goal for that content is to offer a different perspective on family life in the city and local politics. I think I have a unique voice: a conservative Christian homeschool mom living in the urban core. My hope is that I can be honest and respectful while speaking clarity into issues that are usually polarizing and controversial. (Cute photos of my kids help keep it interesting, too.)”
 
Working Moms Against Guilt
Susan Wenner JacksonSusan Wenner Jackson founded her blog in 2006. Today, it features 25 contributors from different backgrounds, parts of the country, family structures, and professions, and receives 40,000 monthly page views.As busy as they are, though, working moms make time for us,” Jackson says. “Because they feel guilty. Or because they don’t. They have five minutes to scarf down lunch at their desk and need to read something online that makes them feel normal. Working Moms Against Guilt provides working moms with as much entertainment, knowledge, comfort and good stuff as we can.”
 
What is your favorite blog post and why?
“One of my personal favorites is Advice for the Working Mom-to-Be: Going Back to Work After Baby. I wrote it for my cousin, who at the time was approaching her return to work. I wanted to give her some of the wisdom and hard-learned lessons I didn't have as a new working mom. Even though it didn’t really help her (she decided to quit her job and stay home), I still feel like the advice is valid and hopefully continues to help other moms out there seeking help with this challenging transition.”
 
Describe what it's like to be part of Cincinnati’s social media scene. 
“We’re a small town with a big social media presence. I’m constantly amazed at all the folks I come across with popular blogs, Twitter streams, Facebook pages, Pinterest followings, etc. Cincinnatians are influencing a lot of people far beyond the Tri-State area! Personally, I’ve developed some great friendships with local people through social media. We might have met on Twitter or in the comments section of a blog, but we followed up with drinks at a happy hour or lunch to talk about an event or even rooming together at blog conferences. It’s been a blast.”
 
What do you hope to achieve with your blog?
I hope I can turn Working Moms Against Guilt into the No. 1 online resource for working moms looking for career and family advice, reassurance and a like-minded, supportive community of women. I’d love it to go beyond a blog and become a media conglomerate with offerings like satellite radio channel, video network, books and live event series.”

Meet 9 more women who blog about local food, drinks, to-dos and general musings about urban living.
 
More Girl-Powered Blogs To Follow

Read more articles by Kara Gebhart Uhl.

Kara Gebhart Uhl is a freelance writer and editor in Fort Thomas, Ky. Through pictures and essays, her Pleiades Bee blog has documented the joys and challenges of parenting since 2008.
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