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I have been reading lots and lots of blogs over the past three months and I keep coming up with blogs that aren’t very Reader friendly or sometimes even inconsiderate…not that the blogger is doing these things intentionally. I think they just aren’t aware of it.

One thing that would help, and I realize it isn’t possible on all blogging platforms especialy if you have a free blog, is changing the font. I have to increase the view size in my No Squint plugin to about 150% in order to be able to view the font without serious eye strain. I know some blogs have a variable font size where the Reader can pick the font size. I love those blogs but I think it’s probably a feature available only on pay blogs. However, if there is anything you can do to improve the size or the crispness of the font, that would help your Readers.

Another thing that would help is to keep in mind that your Followers probably follow a lot of other blogs. When I follow a blog, I read every single post as soon as I am notified of the post. Each day I spend upwards of three hours reading and commenting on blogs. So, when a blog I follow post five, six, seven, or more times in one day, that’s a bit much, especially when a lot of them are just reports of what the Blogger is doing at the moment or is about to do. Some Bloggers seem to run to publish a post every hour to report on every detail of their lives. Too much. And often too much information, too! Be considerate of your Readers’ time or you may lose those Readers.

And that brings me to commenting. Why would you make your Readers jump through hoops to comment on your post? First I have to enter all of my identifying information, then I have to prove I’m not a robot, then I have to post my comment and then I have to preview it before it publishes and then it will finally publish. It often takes me longer to comment than it does to read the post and by then, I’ve lost interest in commenting. Then there are a couple of blogging platforms that make you join their platform before you can comment. Not going to happen with me.

I often tweet the urls of blogs I enjoy so that others can visit them, too. However, if there is no Share button available or if it is there but not configured, then I have to copy the url, open Twitter, paste the url, type in any hashtags I want to add, type in a comment, then post. Takes too long. I’m not doing it and you are missing out on shares and visits. So get that Share Button up on your blog and get it configured so that all Readers have to do is hit the button and share it!

These are the top things bugging me about reading blogs today. There are others but these made it to the top of the list today. It may not apply to all of you, in fact I know it doesn’t apply to most of my Followers. However, when you have just spent the last three hours reading, commenting, and sharing blogs, these things are really aggravating and they keep me from coming back to your blog!

To those of you who are nice to your Readers by not being guilty of any of these pet peeves, thank you, thank you, thank you!

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If we were having coffee, I would tell you that I really want to go back to bed. The pillow and blankets are calling me and it’s really tough not to listen to them today. I’ll put it off for a while though. I want to get a little caught up with blogging. I need to read a lot of blogs that I didn’t have time to visit during the latter part of the week. But I look forward to a nap in a couple of hours.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that today is my 120th day of a streak of writing at least one post for this blog! That’s the longest I’ve ever gone. I’ve done 60 days but this is twice that many! Yay me! It’s funny because I started out in October to try to revive the blog as I had not posted in over a year and a half. That month I managed to post 9 times. I had wanted to post at least 20 times. So then for November I signed up for NaBloPoMo (National Blog Posting Month) and blogged every day then did it again in December. January rolled around and I kept on blogging and before I knew it, it was February. At the beginning of the month I told myself it was okay to miss a day as the blogging habit had been established and it would be easy to miss a day and jump back in. However, on the two or three days that I almost didn’t post because of lack of energy, illness, or busy-ness, it drove me crazy and I ended up posting anyway. So I guess the blogging habit has really taken hold! Let’s see if I can make it through March!

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that my grandson turns 5 next Saturday so this week will be spent helping my daughter with all of the stuff that has to get done for the party…Lego party. Anderson is already asking if his birthday is “tomorrow”. So I think later today we will make him a countdown so he knows. He loved advent calendars this year so I may make him a mini one for his birthday. We’ll see what I can come up with.

I would also tell you that Monday is Read Across America Day and also Dr. Seuss’ birthday. When I was teaching, I planned an entire day of reading for my class. We did nothing but read. We covered all the academic subjects but through reading. I also invited adults to come read to the kids. We had a couple of parents join us and we had the Principal and two of the Teacher Specialists as well. The kids loved it. I miss those days and I’m thinking that next year, when Anderson is in Kindergarten, I will see if I can help the school plan some events and readings for the day.

And speaking of kindergarten, we just found out that this school district is changing to a six hour kindergarten in September! So instead of being in school for just a half day, Anderson will be gone for the whole day and the bus will pick him up and drop him off…no having to drive him over and back. Times they are a changin’.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that I am participating in the A to Z Blog Challenge this year for the first time. I have a theme and have managed to list each post. However, I still need a post for the letters U and X. I’ll think of something. I’ll let you know the theme in a couple of weeks. I think it will be a fun one. There’s another blog event I want to participate in but I’m afraid it might be biting off more than I can chew so I’m not sure yet. It’s the Great Villain Blogathon. I have my villain picked out but I haven’t committed to it yet. We’ll see how I feel about it in a day or two. This Monday I will also be posting my second monthly “Introducing” post in which I introduce my readers to an indie writer. So I hope you stop by and take a look at that post.

So how has your week gone? What is on the schedule for you in the coming week? In March? Are you a planner that has it all scheduled out way in advance or a “pantser” that flies by the seat of their pants, often typing the last word two seconds before the last minute? I’m kind of like the second one but I’m finding that I am changing a bit and planning things out more. Old age does strange things to us! 🙂

Thank you for stopping by. I’ll come around to visit all the blogs on the linky over the weekend. And I’m not sure if coffee will be Saturday or Sunday next week because of the big birthday party but it will happen, one day or the other. See you then!

If We Were Having Coffee is a weekly blog share and link up hosted by Part-Time Monster. You can join in the fun too! Just write your post and link it up at part time monster.

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“Your abuelito is dead, Papa says early one morning in my room. Esta muerto, and then as if he just heard the news himself, crumples like a coat and cries, my brave Papa cries. I have never seen my Papa cry and I don’t know what to do.”

This meme is from Freda’s Voice. Grab a book and give it a go!
Rules:
*Grab a book, any book.
*Turn to page 56 or 56% in your eReader
(If you have to improvise, that’s ok.)
*Find any sentence, (or few, just don’t spoil it)
*Post it.
*Add your (url) post below in Linky. Add the post url, not your blog url.
*It’s that simple.

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The Friday 56

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“She thanked every saint she knew for her sons’ safe return from war. She read the letter over and over and cried on it. When my father got home he had to pry the letter from her hand. By then it was falling apart with her tears and the magic letters were stained and faded.”

This is a meme hosted by Freda’s Voice. If you want to join, read the rules below and don’t forget to add your post’s url to the Linky at Freda’s Voice.
Rules:
*Grab a book, any book.
*Turn to page 56 or 56% in your eReader
(If you have to improvise, that’s ok.)
*Find any sentence, (or few, just don’t spoil it)
*Post it.
*Add your (url) post below in Linky. Add the post url, not your blog url.
*It’s that simple.

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Since I’ve gotten back to writing in this blog, I’ve also gotten back to reading blogs. They go hand in hand. Without reading and commenting on other blogs, you won’t get much traffic on your own blog. Also, one of the reasons I enjoy blogging is to make friends and have the (virtual) conversations that I lack in daily life.

While clicking on links from lists for NaBloPoMo and other blog challenges, I’ve come across a lot of younger writers, some of them really struggling with a number of issues and some of them just questioning and exploring. I guess it’s my maternal nature kicks in at these times and I find myself taking an interest in many of them and commenting on their blogs. I try to leave encouraging, even inspiring little “pep comments” whenever I can and I leave little bits of caring and support wherever I can. That’s just who I am.

Yesterday I got a reply to one of my comments and I replied back to the blogger then she replied to me thanking me for always being supportive. Another blogger, also yesterday, thanked me for supporting her “fledgling writing attempts”.

Needless to say, it has left me with a big smile on my face. I guess being me is making a difference to a few people. I guess my attempts at encouragement and support are hitting their marks. Yay! It really makes me feel good to know this.

And so I keep reading and commenting.

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I’m not recapping 2014.  Instead, I’m looking forward to 2015.

One of the things I hope to do on this blog is to help indie authors promote themselves.  I know the indie route is very difficult.  I have several friends and several blogging buddies that have books out now and are roughing it.  How can I help?

One way I can help is to invite them to introduce themselves on this blog.  I’m thinking that once a month, or more often perhaps, I will feature an indie author on this blog.  I will let them choose whether they want me to interview them or if they want to write their own post to publish here.  I know some people I can get started with and as soon as I can figure out how to put up an “Email Me” button I will do so and others can contact me to set something up.

How can YOU help?  First, by reading those posts and commenting on them and sharing them with your friends.  Then, you can also ask yourselves if you know some indie author that can benefit from a post on my blog.  If you do, you can let me know or have them contact me.  Some of you already know my private email address so that’s fine.  Others can wait for an email me button (I’ll post when that’s done) or let me know in the comments.

I’m hoping this will benefit authors as well as readers that might find a new author to follow.  I’m hoping it will be successful in giving a little more exposure and confidence to indie authors out there.  Let’s all hope it will help bring us all some new things in 2015!

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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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