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Archive for the ‘blogging world’ Category

1. The end of the month and the end of NaBloPoMo for me. I have done it three consecutive months and I’m tired. I think I have successfully built up the posting routine once again so mission accomplished. Yay!

2. New monthly feature which I think I will be calling “Introducing…” in which I will introduce my readers to an indie author. I have writers lined up for February through June, I think. I’ll be looking for others. If you have a suggestion, fill out the contact me form in the sidebar and let me know who and where. This feature will run on the first Monday of the month, at least that’s how I see it right now.

3. I’m joining several blogging challenges so you’ll be seeing badges and visitors that are new here and some new commenters. It’s fun for me to meet other bloggers and part of that fun is blog hopping. I hope you’ll all enjoy that with me. I’m still struggling with some of the rules on some of them and I can’t seem to get some of the linkable badges to work on my sidebar so we’ll see how it all works out.

4. One of the groups I’ve joined is 1000 Voices Speak For Compassion, #1000Speak. The idea is to get 1000 bloggers to blog about compassion on the same day, February 20. You’ll probably be hearing a lot about this. There are currently over 1000 bloggers signed up to participate, including me! You may see some compassion posts in the coming weeks with a “main one” on the 20th. So keep your eyes open. And if any other bloggers would like to join, check it out here.

5. You may also see more than one post in a day from me. Not long posts but shorter ones. Maybe. Not sure. But maybe.

6. And if you have nothing better to do on Sunday, don’t forget to cheer for the Seahawks! We are 12!!!

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Over the past three months, I’ve made a conscious effort to renew old connections and make new ones.  I started blogging again and committed to writing a post for this blog every day in November and again in December.  Part of blogging is reading other blogs.  Over the past couple of months I have read countless blogs and found many of them are just not my cup of tea.  Some are a collection very poorly written posts but at least the person is trying so you have to give them credit for that, and I do!  Others, while very well written, are just not of any interest to me as they have a very narrow focus that doesn’t cross with any of my interests.  I have found others, who I have absolutely loved and began following them right away.  Others I commented on but didn’t follow, not because I was not  interested in them but because I did not want to bog myself down with too many blogs to follow because when I follow a blog, I read all their posts and comment or at least “like” their posts whenever possible.  It takes a long time to read through all the blogs and I usaually do so in the morning and again later in the day when more people have updated their blogs.  It’s time consuming, especially when some of the bloggers sign up for challenges where they post every day, like I did!

I’ve found that over the last two months, I have put myself in the role of “mom” more than once.  I’ve come across blogs written by young women who are going through difficult times with family, work, relationships, etc., and I’ve found that I can relate to their posts because I have been through similar situations and I have tried to post what I feel are encouraging and understanding comments when I’ve come across such blog posts.  I sometimes will leave one of these comments then wonder if the writer will think I am being a nosey busybody but I hope that they take the comments in the spirit in which they were offered.

There are four women whose blogs I have begun following since November or December.  I’ve gotten to the point where if they do not post on any particular day I worry about them because I know that they were intent on posting every day.  I don’t know these women or anything about them other than what they have posted about themselves.  I’m particularly worried these days about two of these women who I know I are going through some very difficult times.  One of them has not posted anything at all since December 19 and it really worries me.  I don’t have a way of getting in touch with her to check on her.  That’s one of the frustrating things about blogging.  Although there are connections made and there are definitely “friend feelings” we don’t know each other and don’t know how to reach one another except to post on one another’s blogs.  So what do I do?  I guess I sit and wait and hope that they will begin posting once again, but I really do worry about them, and one in particular.

So as you can see, when we blog we share a part of ourselves and when we comment on other blogs, we do the same.  We are inviting others into our lives, however minimally.  Connections are made.  Some are long time connections while others fade away, but those connections are made.  Some become friendships, others just acquaintances.

At least that’s how it is for me.

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I discovered this week that my blog doesn’t have an “About” page. I think I used to have one when I first started this blog but I deleted it at one point because I was unhappy with it. I have trouble describing what my blog is about or telling people what I am about so that page no longer exists. But that should not be the case. I thought I had one. Oops! Well, I resolve to write a new “About” page before the page turns to October on my calendar. (Well, I don’t really have a calendar, nor do I wear a watch or use one, but that’s maybe something I can put into my About page.)

I’m also experimenting with changing my blog theme but I have to spend some time looking at what is available because a lot of the themes I have seen appear very cluttered and confusing to me. When I can’t figure out how to navigate a blog I land on, and I spend some time trying to and still can’t, then I have to conclude that the theme is too difficult for the Every Day Person to figure out. I have been blogging, writing them and reading them, for close to two decades so if I can’t figure it out, then something is wrong. So in the coming weeks I hope to find a new theme that works for me (and for you), however, if I don’t I’ll modify this one and update it so it looks a little newer. I will at least have to find a new header photo. The one I am using now shows my oldest grandson when he was about 20 months. He’s now 4 1/2 years old! So I need to change it!

I also want to add a page with books I’ve read in 2014, or maybe a widget listing the book I am currently reading or a link to my Goodreads page. We shall see.

Posts I need to write soon:
1. How to effectively critique a piece of writing without stomping on the writer and making them back into a corner never to pick up a pen again. Yeah, that happens. It shouldn’t. I’ll write about it.
2. My experiences with writing groups: what makes them work and what doesn’t (hint: it’s related to number 1 above).
3. How to help a child begin writing so that they learn to love it (should work for “non children” as well). I guess it will be an assortment of tips and tricks I’ve used while teaching writing and coaching writing teachers. I’m actually thinking it could be a once a week thing or maybe a separate Writing Page on this blog.

As you can see, I’ve a lot to do with this blog and I figured that if I put it down here, it makes me stick to doing it. These are my plans for this blog and I hope to get some of them done by the end of October so I can be free to concentrate on NaNoWriMo once again. Some things won’t be done but I hope to have started them…such as the Writing Page/Series.

So y’all come back now, y’a hear?

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Today’s blogging and writing exercise prompts didn’t ring a bell for me.  I ended up fixing myself a cup of coffee and sat in my corner of the couch to mull things over and see if I could come up with a room or a view to describe (today’s exercise).  I put the tablet aside and reached for the coffee cup that sat on the magazine table to my right.   Wrapping both hands around the chunky cup, my hands were warmed by the aromatic liquid and, instantly, I felt the soothing feeling flow through the cup to my hands and from my hands through my body.  That’s when the ritual took hold of me.  Slowly, one sip after another, my mind began to work as I relaxed and let it wander where it willed.

This is the important part of the day for me.  With luck, it happens in the morning but it could happen later in the day.  In fact, if it hasn’t happened by the evening, even thought I know I’ll have trouble sleeping, I go ahead and have that cup of coffee anyway.  It’s my “alone cup of coffee”.  It It’s thinking time.  It’s feeling time.  It’s my time.  When that first cup is gone, I can read or talk or get going.  I can begin the day and any of busy activity.  Or I can just sit and have more coffee but it’s that first cup that’s the ritual; the cup I allow myself to share with only myself.  And if it doesn’t happen, the grounding doesn’t happen and things just don’t flow on that day.

I guess you could say that it’s the grounds that ground me…at least the ones in that first cup, the ritual cup.

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I’ve been at a loss for blogging topics lately.  Actually, I have so much to write about that I can’t quite narrow down what I want to write about so I end up not writing anything.

One thing I do have is a lot of email.  A lot.  Like almost 2000 on any given day.  When I was going through it the other day, I noticed that I was in the 1900’s and the numbers reminded me of years.  Since then I’ve been toying with the idea of blog posts inspired by the years suggested by the number of emails I have in my inbox.  Boy!  That’s quite a mouthful!

This is the first of such posts.

1997

That seems like such a long time ago.  I guess it was.  Let’s see, in 1997 I was still living in Los Angeles and I was working as a substitute teacher most of the year.  In September, I began working as a full time teacher in a sixth grade classroom.

I remember one Saturday evening in August when my daughter and I went grocery shopping.  I took the youngest one with me and the two older ones stayed home.  It was a big shopping trip and must have taken almost a couple of hours.  I remember driving in the driveway with a smile on my face because I had gotten everything on my list along with some extra goodies because the kids and I were having a movie night so I had picked up some chips, and theater boxes of candy and some sodas, all in individual packages, just like at the movies.

As I drove into the driveway, Tina ran out of the house and by the time I shut the engine off, she was at my door waiting for me to get out.  I could tell something was wrong.  With tears in her eyes, she said, “Princess Diana was in a car crash and she’s in the hospital.  She’s going to die.”  Our eyes locked.  Just two days before she had told me that she had a feeling someone very famous was going to die.  I had asked her if it was the Pope (John Paul II) who had been very ill during that time and she had answered that it was someone young and that it was going to be a shock to the whole world.  She often came up with things like this or would wake from dreams to tell me that some tragedy was going to happen and it would.  In 1997, she was 12.

We went inside and, within minutes, the news was saying that Princess Diana was indeed dead.  I wanted to watch the coverage but I was afraid to because of Tina’s reaction but the kids all wanted to watch, including Tina.  So we watched.  During the whole thing and in the following days, I kept an eye on her and could tell that she had really been spooked by her “prediction” this time around.  I tried to tell her that she shouldn’t be scared; that it was a gift.  But she wasn’t completely convinced.

Then, a few days later, she again said, with great sadness, that someone else was going to die.  This time she said it would be someone old who had been sick.  People would be sad but it wouldn’t be a great surprise to people, she told me.  And she was right.  Mother Teresa died on September 5th.

Note: Wow.  I didn’t know I would end up writing this.  This was a total surprise.  I just started with the year and this is what happened.  I think this will be an interesting way to come up with posts!

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This year, through a number of circumstances, I will be alone over the Thanksgiving Day holiday weekend.  I have been trying to convince myself that it’s okay but the more I worked on psyching myself up to be okay with it, the more I realized that I was not going to like being alone.  I thought that I might volunteer at a homeless shelter or something but in the end, my daughter is going to borrow my car to go out of state so I will also be without transportation.  And although the Portland Metro area has an extensive public transportation system, I’m in a rural area and the bus just doesn’t go near me.  I would have to drive to the transportation center and leave my car and take a bus in to town.  In the end, my bus trip would be shorter than my drive to the transportation center.  I won’t have a car to drive there so that’s out.

Just as I was starting to feel a panic about being alone, I read a Facebook post that came across my Wall.  It seems that there is a reading event in which I can participate this weekend!  I’ve done similar events in the past and have really enjoyed them.  So I signed up to participate in Thankfully Reading, the 2010 edition.  This will be great!   This type of event offers participants the opportunity to participate in a group event independently.  Through blog comments and FB posts and Twitter tweets, we all get to know a little about one another and about what we are reading.  It’s a wonderful way to make friends and get some leads for books to read in the future.

Now I am looking forward to the weekend and looking through my Kindle books to see what I want to read this weekend.  I’m excited!

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Okay, I have procrastinated long enough. Over the past couple of weeks, I have been tagged for this meme FOUR times. So Deadpan, Tigereye, Elissa, and Someone-Else-That-I-Can’t-Remember, here you go!

Here are the rules (I do memes my way so don’t be surprised if I fudge on the rules). I have to post five links to previous entries.

The first one must be about family. Let’s revisit my Accidental Traditions post which is kind of Christmasy but really mostly about my kids and I.

The second must be about friends. I would like to re-share Everyday Hero about my friend Dean Christy, who was not ever found. In fact, as of a week ago when I last checked, his body has not been recovered.

The third is supposed to be about me. Let’s laugh at me. Confessions Of A One Time Santa will do that.

The fourth link has to be about something I love. This is tough. I love my kids. I have three. Meet Tony, Tina, and Susie.

The fifth can be anything I want. This is tough. I think this one is kind of one of those posts that we can all relate to. It’s about life getting in the way of our plans.

Now, according to the second set of rules, I have to tag five other people, two of whom are new acquaintances so that we may get to know each other better. I want to know you ALL better and I don’t like tagging so if you are reading this, consider filling this out and posting it on your blog and then link back here.

Here are five bloggers I would like to introduce you to:

Elissa

Quill Gordon

Steve Peer (go make friends with him, he’s far from home)

Ron — beautiful photography, and usually wonderful music to match!

The Little Fluffy Cat — for a view of life from a cat’s point of view

Okay, I’ve done my job! Whew!

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