No “Woe Is Me”

 

I have lost a lot of my readership but what I have left are those who are closest and dearest and mean the most. Some bloggers have gone by the wayside, some are on sabbatical, some are tired, a few are dealing with events beyond their control, some are ill, others have dropped me as I am no longer a faithful reader of their blog, and a few have returned full of vim and vigour. Such is the cyclical nature of the blog world. I am a small fish in a big world, but I am a happy small fish—and grateful for the true friendships I have made in this my alternate but very important world.

We often hear of the “next dimension”. I believe that bloggers who form friendships through their blog posts are members of this dimension. We form a community, and by careful weeding and nurturing, the community we form is one of our own creation. My blog world consists of those who are not too critical (a little critical is okay), warm and loving and supportive.  Many of us share deep bonds that are not so fragile that they can be broken by a little time away.

I also have some friends and family who follow me and do not have blogs—and I want to thank you along with my blogging friends. Thank you for taking a little time out of your day to read my postings.

I guess this is a Thank You Blog – I would never have imagined that a world that is at my fingertips would be so fulfilling. I have friends from all over the world that I would never have met without this. And one more time—I would like to thank my niece Chay who inspired me to blog—and even set me up on WordPress, lo those three or so years ago. And my sister Peg who has been with me since the beginning, and my brother John who I know reads me even if he does not comment much, and Krista …..okay this is not an Oscar speech so I cannot possibly thank all of you by name—but you know who you are.

Has your blog audience changed?

I Blog, Therefore I Am

A classic fairy with a wand

This has nothing to do with this blog post — I just liked the magic of it.(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

“A blog is in many ways a continuing conversation.”  ~  Andrew Sullivan

Right on Andrew! Apparently Mr. Sullivan is “the first mainstream journalist to experiment with blogging.” Called The Daily Dish, his blog started in 2000, “soon gained a large following, enabling him to interact with his readers and garner almost instantaneous responses to his work.” (Found this bit of blog history in The Writer’s Devotional by Amy Peters.

All I can say is Thanks Andrew ~ we will all happily continue your tradition, mainstream journalists or not.

Bliss is blogging, whether it be as a mainstream journalist, a little known journalist (like me), the hobby blogger, or the social blogger–what do you think?

Published in: on May 30, 2013 at 1:54 pm  Comments (42)  
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Coming Back for a Limited Time Only

The title of this post is somewhat misrepresentative–I am not coming back for a limited time only–I just thought that might get you interested in reading this post. As a journalist I know the importance of a headline, but I also know the importance of honesty–so to be more accurate — I am coming back on a more limited and day-to-day basis. Maybe I will even come up with a schedule (stranger things have happened–but for now I am leaving things a bit loosey-goosey, as opposed to henny penny.)

My so called “sabbatical” is just not working for me–I miss this lovely cyber world too much to leave it–but I am returning on a basis not quite as rigid as the one I had set myself up for lately. I think the poem a day in April exhausted my creativity in that I liked some of my poems, but some were produced under a certain amount of self-directed duress just to keep up with the challenge, and were not totally satisfying. I now know what it is like to hit “publish” and not be happy with what I produced.

Blogging Heroes

Blogging Heroes (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I have discovered a fellow Canadian blogger, David Kanigan of Lead. Learn. Live.  just recently, and his words resonated with me on why he blogged. He has adopted Seth Godin’s reason for blogging as his own. He says:

Why Blog?  I think Seth Godin captured my inspiration for blogging when he was asked why he blogged.  He said “if you are blogging for other people you are going to be disappointed…even if no one would read it, I would still blog…this is a great chance for me to clear my thoughts and put them into the world, what an opportunity.” ~ David Kanigan

My second inspiration for the day comes from another fellow and favorite Canadian of mine,  Le Clown,  whose post today served to make me feel less guilty about sometimes not fulfilling responsibilities in a timely fashion (or sometimes at all). He quoted an online friend of his who said:  “NEVER feel guilty if you don’t have time to do something. [...] Life is WAY too short to waste any time on people who make you feel guilty.”

So, I am back. And though sometimes I may hit Publish when I am not sure I should, I am going to take Seth’s statement to heart and take the opportunity this blog affords in getting my thoughts out into the world, with the addition of dropping a little guilt along the way. (Don’t pick it up if you see it on the side of the road!)

Bliss is doing what feels right.  Not posting did not feel right to me. What about you?

 

Going Out on a Limb for Bliss

This is my “going out on a limb” post–where I am being very revealing for me.

Bleeding Heart

(MY) Bleeding Heart (Photo credit: dog.happy.art)

I have a confession to make. My bliss resolution is having some good days and bad days. But that is not the confession. The confession is that I want to take my journey to find my bliss and turn it into a book, including your comments. You will not be identified unless you want to be—but the kernel of my idea is to use each post as a chapter of its own—with a summary of your comments to give it more life.

The writer, many times out of necessity creates in a vacuum. The writer who creates, then posts their creation on their blog gets feedback. Voices other than the author’s are given their due, and in fact make what the writer wrote originally more interesting. At least that is my theory. And I am sticking by it.

I have found a wonderful world of smart, wise, and kind bloggers and readers. Some of you are sweet; some of you are to the point; some of you are philosophical; and some of you are thoughtful; but all of you round out any post I make into a piece that I think is worth sharing.

Knowing this, today I am asking you to provide me with a short synopsis of what would make your bliss come to fruition if you could eliminate it from your lives.

I will show you mine if you will show me yours. That is only fair. I am not going to ask you for something I myself am not willing to do.

Generally I do not like to reveal too much, but today I will so you will feel more free to open up too.  The one thing that is preventing me from reaching full bliss is an ongoing lawsuit, that is going into its ninth year. It has stripped us of a business we owned and set us on a path that has made me both more compassionate and humble. I have had to ask for help on many different levels—and if there is one good outcome from this infernal lawsuit that is it.

In the past I refrained from asking for help as much as I could, thinking that it showed weakness. That it was a chink in my armour. But it is not. I have asked for help and received it with great patience and compassion. There have been some hard times, but through those times I know there are people I could call on to help me out. And sometimes that is all I need.

No one can simplify their lives down to one thing that would make a difference. But today, I am asking you to choose that one thing that seems to be barring you from a life of bliss.

Okay, I am going to press publish now….

 

Published in: on January 30, 2013 at 2:00 pm  Comments (70)  
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A Blogcation

James Taylor at Christmas

Wikipedia

Just a little heads up:

I am taking a week off from blogging to concentrate on a number of things that need my attention–so while I will be responding to commenters today–I will not be seen or heard from much until December 1st. Enjoy this last week of November and see you back here next Saturday.

Note: Make a note in your calendar to come to my virtual Christmas Party on Saturday, December 15th.

Here is my Formal Invitation:

Virtual Christmas Party

Date: December 15th

Where: Virtually Here

Why: It Is Christmas!

Theme: Come as your favourite author or character in a book.

Co-host: Robin Coyle (she does not know this yet)

Bring: Your favourite appetizer from the 1970’s

Music Provided by: James Taylor and Rodents & Rebels

Special Entertainment: Margaret Atwood. She promises to be festive.

Requirement: Description of your author or character’s outfit, appetizer, and favourite song request from either James or R & R.

I will provide an update closer to the 15th. Idea stolen from Robin Coyle who threw a virtual Cocktail Party that was a raving success. You can wear your shoes in the house if they are clean. Reindeer socks will be provided at the door for those who need them.

See you in a little less than a week!

English: Author Margaret Atwood attends a read...

English: Author Margaret Atwood attends a reading  (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

~ ? ~ Or Commenting: A Dangerous Sport

Confused Winter Hummingbird

Confused Winter Hummingbird (Photo credit: Ed Gaillard)

Do you ever get comments that you don’t quite get? Or that you think may be humourous, but then again, may not be? And how about those ever so helpful comments you get that tell you that you are wrong about something (because they did not get your attempt at humour). And they always say: “I know you will not take this the wrong way,…..” (but I do). Then once in a while you get these people who take the moral high road and give you a tiny slap in the blog. It does not happen often. I have received (just a minute I am going to check here) 5,523 comments and less than ten were, shall we say questionable or insulting.

 But a few more were confusing—but I confuse easily.

 Because I love to read comments, I will sometimes answer with a ? and then the commenter will elucidate their thoughts (which it turns out was really quite clear in the first place—I am just a doorknob). Sometimes I will serve up a noncommittal answer to their comment with a clever emoticon, or thank them for stopping by when I am not sure what was meant.

When I first joined the blog world I made some mistakes in commenting. Once I was flippant, then tried to cover it up by making an apologetic re-comment. Once I corrected someone who needed no correction and found out that everyone loved her and that if I were to keep my place in the blog world, I better never hint at saying anything untoward to her again (sorry again Brigitte, though the angel that you are, you took no offence).  And once I did correct a spelling mistake in someone’s blog—because the rest of it was so perfect, I could not help myself. They thanked me, but I will bet they did not really want to.

So I have given. And I have received. But I have learned. And I am shocked that I have made so many friends—seriously who knew? I guess people who have a Facebook account know that you can have cyber friends, but I do not have a FB page. I have a Twitter account, but for the life of me, do not yet understand it. So my blog is my foray into having friends at the other end of a keyboard—and I must say I like it (I really like it – this is me channelling Sally Fields in a rather warped way).

So, if any of my comments ever offend you—I am sorry. If any confuse you, just ask me to explain, because I am sure it is my confusion not yours that is to be blamed.

 Adieu, and keep on commenting. (Yes, I mean you brother John. Sister Peggy comments on everything! lol)

The Letter ~F~ Or If Hamlet Were Writing This: “To comment or not to comment~that is the question”

The third quarto of Hamlet (1605). A straight ...

The third quarto of Hamlet (1605). A straight reprint of the 2nd quarto (1604) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Failure to communicate appropriately is the topic of this little post today. I have found myself guilty of perpetrating this crime, and am looking for an antidote.

My question: Are you careful when you comment on other blogs?

I try to be careful, but every once in a while when I am in a bad mood—I get carried away and reveal more than I generally would, or heaven forbid—criticize someone. Then I feel bad. Really bad—because you cannot take your words back—they are out there.

I try to judge any comments I leave behind on someone’s blog or response to a comment on my blog using one criterion: if I received that comment how would I feel? But sometimes I fail to meet my own criteria, and leave a comment that could perhaps be misunderstood or that I would not want to receive.

I am really not the proverbial good sport—I try to be, but I am not. I am generally a pretty gentle soul, or at least that is how I present myself. But we all have our breaking points. Today I left a comment on someone’s blog whom I trust, and the criticism that I voiced was not toward her at all—my comment to her was complimentary, but then I complained about a comment I received recently that irked me.

I wrote an Addendum comment to her telling her that I think I do not take criticism well in the blog world because, on the whole, I receive such overwhelmingly warm and lovely responses, that something that even hints of criticism (and it really was only a gentle hint) gets my nose out of joint. I have since decided to “mature up” and not take myself so seriously. But I find that I am at my most vulnerable (and height of grumpiness) when other things are bothering me.

It is a bit of a conundrum—the antidote being: do not leave comments or responses when you are in  less than a jolly place. So when my universe is spinning a bit out of control, I am going to  put my tap happy fingers to another task for the moment, hold my tongue, and find my happy place before unleashing my reaction to the world.

Published in: on September 6, 2012 at 1:56 pm  Comments (64)  
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Day 8 – 200 Words &

Paris Sunset from the Louvre window

Paris Sunset from the Louvre window (Photo credit: Dimitry B)

 

I was going to cheat and use the “tagged questions” from  Vikki (The View Outside)  as part of my 200 words, but since they made up 150 of my 200 words I could not in all good conscience do that.  Still fairly new to the “goings on” in the Blog World, I am trying my best to fit in, so if a game of Blog Tag helps me achieve that then I am up for the challenge.

Her questions:

1. Who is your favourite author?
2. If you could live in another time period, what period would that be?
3. You’ve been published, and you’ve just landed a movie deal. They ask you, which two  actors/actresses do YOU want to play the two main roles in the movie of your book?
4. What is your most treasured possession? (not people or animals)
5. If you could live anywhere in the world, money no object (just imagine you’re Stephen King lol) where would you live?
6. Who is your idol/hero?
7. When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up, did you achieve it?
8. What’s your perfect day?
9. You get a HUGE advance for your first novel, let’s say 250 thousand dollars or pounds. What’s the first thing you’d buy?
10. How many times a day do you check your e-mail?

My Answers:

English: Author Margaret Atwood attends a read...

English: Author Margaret Atwood attends a reading at Eden Mills Writers’ Festival, Ontario, Canada in September 2006. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

1. Margaret Atwood – without her there would be really no such thing as Canadian literature. Okay this is a bit of an exaggeration, but she has brought it to the forefront.

2. Any time after there was indoor plumbing. I am intrigued with the Victorian era, but  I would say Paris when all those writers were drinking and writing and carousing.

3. Justin Bieber and Selena Gomez. He is Canadian and cute as a button. She is cute as a button.  That is my very discerning criteria.

4. My laptop—my gateway to the world and my work.

5. Provence or Tuscany

6. Oprah.  What I like about her is that she is just a person, albeit extremely wealthy.  She still has her crosses to bear, and she shares her idiosyncracies.

7. A writer ~ Still achieving it

8. No stress

9. Dental work

10. Too many times

Day 7 ~ 200 Words

Ladies' underwear advertisement, 1913

Ladies’ underwear advertisement, 1913 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

English: A person wearing long johns.

English: A person wearing long johns. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Picked up the book “Freedom is Blogging in Your Underwear” by cartoonist, blogger, and author Hugh MacLeod simply because I liked the title.  It is obviously a title a male would come up with, as not too many females I know would sit at their computer and blog in their underwear. If I had written the book, it would have been called “Freedom is Blogging in Your PJs”.

MacLeod, who started blogging ten years ago, believes that it “permanently and irrevocably change(s) the world for the better”.  He provides a healthy list of reasons why he is such an advocate. First and foremost he says that through blogging his cartoons “have reached millions of people.” He also met his girlfriend through his blog (which I think should have been his foremost reason for loving the world of blogging, but I am a hopeless romantic), as well as his business partner and all his clients.

I have been bit by the blogging bug—and not for the original reason I decided to develop a site. Everyone, including MacLeod, raves about the community feel of blogging. And for now, for me, that is enough. Fame and fortune I am sure will follow.

MacLeod’s blog is gapingvoid.com.

Published in: on July 12, 2012 at 2:23 am  Comments (41)  
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Angst–or a pity party for one

Traditional Scuderia Ferrari logo

Traditional Scuderia Ferrari logo (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

This post will be understood by fellow bloggers who have not yet hit the “big time” of being Freshly Pressed by WordPress.  For those of you who do not know what this means—it is the equivalent of (almost) getting a book deal, buying a new silver Ferrari, and thumbing your nose at your bill collectors.

How does one get Freshly Pressed? I read the instructions on improving your likelihood of being FP (as those of us in the biz call it) and have tried to incorporate the suggestions into my posts. I have tried be topical and give  proper due to those I have quoted. I take great pains to add pictures appropriate to my topics (though I have not yet figured out how to put my own pictures on the blog yet—but that will come); and I try to be as grammatically correct as my aging brain  and English degree will let me–but still no recognition! What am I doing wrong?

And today—today, I lost one of my followers. I read a blog recently where a fellow blogger  lost a follower, and I understood his dilemma, and was sympathetic,  but I had not yet been hit by the delete button. Now I fully understand—what did I do? Did I comment on a site and the comment was misunderstood? Did one of my posts offend someone? Or,… and please don’t let this be it—did I bore them to tears?

I have had my blog since August 2011, but because I am so simple-minded, my niece, Chay Geauvreau, set it up for me. She asked me my favourite colours and put a lot of thought into getting me on the right track. She knew I wanted a forum for the columns I write weekly for the newspaper where I freelance. (Of course, I passed  this by my editor, who told me that because I am freelance the columns belong to me, even though the paper pays for them: Bonus!) We tried to call this just “On The Homefront” but apparently we had to add “and beyond” as someone else was using the name, or something like that. That was okay by me, as this is the name of the column I write, so I did not have much trouble remembering it.

When I started out, I was only posting about once a week. In December I started to pick up the pace and post stuff (great works of creative literature – lol) that was just for the blog and not merely recycled columns. In the past three months I have tried to post at least four times a week, and my stats have risen dramatically. Not dramatically for those of you getting thousands, or even hundreds of hits, but dramatically for me. So what is the next step in this whole process? Why to be Freshly Pressed, of course!

Okay, the pity party is over. Even if I never get Freshly Pressed, I am enjoying this blogging experience. I have met some of the most wonderful people, and been nominated for a number of awards, which, when and if I ever become organized enough, I will be recognizing by doing my due diligence and posting the awards and naming some of my favourite blogs, which is going to be difficult because I have so many.

Spend no time feeling sorry for me, we all have to get rid of our little bit of angst sometimes. I am over it now- sort of, kind of, in a way.

(If any of you have any idea why I have not been chosen—let me know. But be gentle, as I am a rather delicate soul. And to the person who deleted me, if you still look in on occasion, I would be interested to hear from you. Maybe the reason you deleted me is the reason I have not yet been Freshly Pressed.)

English: The logo of the blogging software Wor...

English: The logo of the blogging software WordPress. Deutsch: WordPress Logo 中文: WordPress Logo (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Published in: on June 26, 2012 at 5:50 pm  Comments (94)  
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