Bloganuary Day 10: What five things are you grateful for today?

As you know, at the end of every day I write down my best moment of the day, my worst moment, and something I am grateful for. I started this grateful shindig a few years ago and I think it’s the most effective way I’ve found to concentrate on the little things, and how wonderful life actually is. I truly believe that it’s the little moments that make us.

So right this very minute I am grateful for:

  1. dog clothes so that I don’t have to look at my dog’s really pale, lightly furry body
  2. E books so that I can find a book to match my mood even if I end up not liking my choice and reconsider ever browsing in a book shop again because I continually browse and buy sub par fiction (for the record, I have never once regretted a non fiction organizing, personal growth or coffee table book that I browsed in a store- those in particular are always my faves.
  3. My new pink cart which I am using as a quasi self care station and it’s just a delight to wheel it from room to room and know that fuzzy socks are right there if my feet get cold
  4. Fuzzy socks
  5. my little hot plate like device that keeps my tea warm as I write

Gratitude Saturday: November 6

Sometime last week, I reached 5,000 followers!

I am grateful to all those who have chosen to hit FOLLOW on their screens!

I am most grateful to the fifty or to people who comment every day, because those are the people who make me look forward to sitting at my laptop each morning!

I know that sometimes my blogs make people mad- to be fair, sometimes I do that on purpose (Sometimes- Sometimes people just get mad no matter what I write…). There’s a lot of hypocrisy going on around us, and sometimes I don’t know how much we see what we are doing. Sometimes there are things right in front of our noses, and we miss it. This includes me. I try everyday to take off my black suede pumas and put on a pair of cowboy boots, or docs, red patent heels or maybe some crocs and take a walk, just to see how different something feels. Sometimes I will write a post from the opposite viewpoint of how I really feel, just to try it on for size. Ever try to spin positive something you think is a negative? Try it. I promise you it won’t hurt…but just might make you think. If thinking outside the box is your goal, anyway… If thinking the same way about everything everyday is your thing, than have at it… Everyone has the right to their own opinion, and to keep that opinion every day of their life.

We have to watch our own egos. Trust me…it may not always seem like it, but I really do try to hold my ego in check. As stated…sometimes I want to shock you into thinking or feeling or doing. But remember- when I use a story as an example of something, that story is true. Maybe my writing might bring out a nugget of something, but I tell you what I see in front of me, what I learned, and how it made me feel. I just might do it backwards, or flip it upside down, but you get it. The story is true, the way I write it is probably to prove a point. The exception to this was my one week experiment which I really had no idea what I was doing but knew I had to try it out. FYI- it shook up something in my brain and now I am writing fiction based on an idea I got from that. And I really like it so far. That’s why you need to think and try new things and did I mention think outside the box?

Ok- speaking of things I did not know what I was doing, I thought that this would be a quick one graph post saying thank you. But why write one graph when you can write a really long post?

I am grateful for all of those who follow, who like, who comment, and even those who don’t like. You are all valuable to me as a blogger and as a person.

Thank you.

PS- looking for alternate word for sometimes- suggestions?

Anything Can Happen Friday: Crosswords

Fun Fact: I do the New York Times crossword puzzle every day. I have a subscription and either at 10pm or 6pm, depending on the day, I receive a notification about the puzzle for the next day.

Monday and Tuesday puzzles are very easy- I finish them rather quickly. But the rest of the week can be any degree of challenging. Suffice to say, I tend to start the puzzles in the evening but finish sometime the next day.

This past week I was working on Sunday’s puzzle. For those of you who are not puzzle fans, in a weekly newspaper, Sunday is the biggest puzzle. So I had 3/4 of the puzzle completed, but I was struggling with the lower right corner. The central clue that I was struggling with was:

76 (across) Posted One’s Thoughts

I finally got 76 (down) Abacus Piece- BEAD

So I knew my word at 76 Across started with a B…

hmmmmmmmm- I thought…What is “posted one’s thoughts” that begins with a B????

BLOGGED

And then I was able to compete the puzzle…

Contact

Though I have a contact page with my very long email address attached, I rarely get emails concerning WUOTWSO50. Perhaps it’s because my email address takes about an hour to type. Maybe it’s because no one needs to speak to me offline. However, someone looks at my contact page almost every day, yet I rarely recieve anything exciting.

It hurts that no one emails me…

Ok- not really.

But one day I did actually get an email from a real person.

This person said she loved how people got so involved with my posts- how people commented and there was a back and forth and everything was so lively.

As they were a newbie blogger, they asked if I had any tips for creating a compelling blog with lots of idea exchange and conversation.

(before I go any further I want you all to give yourselves a round of applause because it is because of all of you that my blog has this great spirit and energy. If you don’t take part in the discussion, nothing happens- take a well deserved bow)

Where was I? Oh yeah- I promptly wrote the blogger back. I gave them a tip or two that I have learned in the past few years.

Well, when the blogger wrote back to me, they said that they were surprised that I answered them, much less quickly. They were very appreciative of my taking the time out to converse with them.

So first off….

I know that I am an IMMENSELY POPULAR BLOGGER WITH A HUGE FAN BASE.

I get that I don’t normally have time for the HOI POLLOI, but I guess every now and then I need to throw them a crumb…

But seriously-

Do I come across as an ogre?

Do I appear to be the type of person who wouldn’t resond to someone asking a question?

or

Do people just not respond to inquiries or questions?

Is my down home folksiness an anomoly is the rough and tumble world of competetive blogging?

So I must ask the questions:

  1. Why do people look at my contact info and then not email me?
  2. If someone emailed your blog contact something generic or innocent, would you respond in a timely manner?

Reading and Writing and Writing and Reading

One of my blog friends (R. Douglas) made a comment to me a few months ago, and it really stood out. He said that he often wishes to write for readers instead of writing for writers…

I began to think about that. When I write my blog, I know that most of my audience are fellow bloggers- other people who put their thoughts into words and hit publish. When I write my blog I know that I am writing to writers…I also know that there is instant feedback…

What would happen if I wrote my blog and disconnected the comment section?

How would that change my writing?

When I was working on my book, I found it hard to tell a story.

I found it hard to write for readers.

I like a lot of dialogue. I don’t like description. I don’t like a lot of deep prose paragraphs…I don’t like doing the things that appeal to readers…

However, in my blog, I write to you as I speak. I may not be as blunt as I am in real life…(trust me: I am blunt in real life and I can’t hide my emotions), but you are getting 100% me…

Aside from my poor grammar and lack of editing skills, I like writing for writers…

But how do I bridge the gap from writing for writers to writing for readers?

As I work on a memoir (yup- jumping on that bandwagon) I find that I can use the style that I have cultivated in my blog- I don’t have to rely on the traditional aspects of writing- I can rely on my ability to put words on paper in my unique (I hope) way…

But will readers want to read that?

Cause let’s face it: if I write a book I want it to be read…

And I can’t write a book with a comment section that I can reply back to…

But…as I have a comment section, right here, right now…

What do you think is the difference between writing for writers and writing for readers? Or do you think writing is writing and an audience is an audience?

What are the things in books that most appeal to you?

Help a sister out and give me your opinions…

Write it Down

Welcome to today’s version of “How A Book Inspired LA to write a Blog Post”

Today’s book: Homeland Elegies by Ayad Akhtar.

While Akhtar considers this a novel, not a memoir, there are aspects of his real life in this book. Akhtar is a Pulitzer winning author so he has some literary street cred, so when he talks about his craft I listen.

Akhtar goes home at night and writes, with as much detail as he can muster, the events of his day. People, settings, feelings, situations….He will spend about two hours retelling his day.

Talk about a journal…

Is this the only thing besides actual talent that separates me from a Pulitzer? I just don’t take the time to write down the minutia (sometimes, not always) of my day?

Show of hands: How many of you journal? Brain dump? Morning pages? I can’t see you because I won’t Zoom, so tell me who you are.

How detailed do you get when you free write?

I do a brain dump in the morning. I tend to do a combo of things that I need to do that day and I probably obsess about one detail from the day before. There’s usually some reason I become fixated on something and eventually it probably becomes a blog. But I rarely write the whole thing- I did not talk about the smell of yesterday’s heat when I complained about it. I didn’t write down the body language of the guy I didn’t trust yesterday. I didn’t write down how I met someone for the first time and how he referred to me as Sister…

  1. Why didn’t I write these details down, when they are so clear in my mind?
  2. Should I be writing these details down?
  3. Is my lack of detailed notetaking the only thing that separates me from being a Pulitzer winner?
  4. Why have I become so obsessed with Pulitzer winners?

What do you think about writing down your day in detail?

Do you think you would benefit from it? Why or why not?

What do you think about free style journaling? Pro or con?

Write how you feel…

Anything Can Happen Friday: Quotes

I have a little desktop calendar: every morning I flip the page and read my new quote. I love this way of starting the productive part of my day. I read the quote, get inspired, and then I begin to write, first a brain dump and then my blog.

Quotes can be wonderful. But only when they are not misquoted.

On Wednesday I wrote about a quote that had recently come up on my calendar. As the quote was a stand alone, I took it literally. There was no context, nor did I search for one. I assumed the publishers of desktop calendar had done due diligence.

Never assume.

It turns out the quote may, or may not have been, from a satire. If indeed it was supposed to be read as a satirical comment, then the thoughts that one would attach to it would be quite different.

Now, it the particular case of Wednesday’s post, we had a rousing discussion. It worked out as a great starting point for talking about personal satisfaction versus personal responsibility. Turns out many of us know a person or three who has chosen satisfaction over responsibility. And we all know people who have clearly chosen responsibility over satisfaction…

But the real point is, be careful what you share online.

Make sure you aren’t just blindly copying and pasting something.

Make sure you’ve thought about what you choose to post to the world.

I know I am going to be a bit more careful before I blindly add another’s thoughts to my posts.

Just because something looks pretty doesn’t mean you Blindly share

Know What you are sending before you copy and paste

Gratitude Saturday May 8

It’s my blogiversary!

Four years ago I started my blog!

Yay!

People often ask how I can write almost every day. The answer is simple: I love blogging. When I wake up I am excited to sit in front of my computer and pump out a few hundred words, even when I have no idea what I am going to write about, which, let’s face it, pretty much every day. I open my computer with a few scribbled notes that I probably wrote months before, or, like today, I just start writing and end up with long run on sentences. Who said I always have a plan?

Ha

I want to blog every day. I am excited to interact with everyone. If I’m not feeling it, I don’t write. Period. I pen a note that I’m taking a few days off (this gives me accountability in my head) and I chill until I get the urge to write again. If you don’t love sitting in front of some electronic device and blogging, you need to ask yourself why are you doing it. I once saw someone had named their blog something like “Why did I start this damn blog” and I wonder at that as a title- if your title says that you don’t want to blog, why are you doing it?

Blog because you love it. Any other reason is just not worth it. Unless of course it’s your job, but if it’s your job and you hate it, maybe you should consider another job maybe…

But anyway…

I am grateful for my blog

I am grateful for WordPress (most of the time anyway)

I am grateful for all those who choose to read me

I am grateful to all those who choose to randomly “like” my blog

I am grateful to those who choose to follow my blog

I am grateful for all those who comment!!!!

I am grateful for all the wonderful people who I have met on this journey! You inspire me!!

Thank you!

How Do I Write? Let Me Count the Words…

What inspires you?

Recently we talked about how my family always being underfoot has made it difficult for me to be creative, how I need solitude in order to tap into my muse. My muse is an introverted thing, and she needs to be alone in the house with music softly in the background and the scent of lemon wafting from the diffuser, and a cup of black tea with milk and sugar sitting on the side.

My muse took up residence somewhere else during COVID…

But anyway…

Turns out I need to be alone to actually put words on the paper…

But…

In order to be inspired…

in order to find things to write about…

I need to be out and about. I need people, places and things from which to get ideas. I am never going to get ideas from sitting in a room with my diffuser and a cup of tea. I mean, those things might make it into a work, but for the most part, how much can I write about them?

ok- expect a post about my desk sometime in July

I am a sensual person. I am inspired by the things that I can touch, taste, see, hear and smell. When you are a sensual person, you need to be interrupted. You need to be amongst the people. When you are a sensual person who is looking for those ideas, you need to be disrupted. You need some sort of controlled chaos.

Quiet to write.

Distraction to be inspired.

Look at the things that I choose to blog about. I do not get these ideas while sitting in my desk chair, smelling the lemon and drinking my tea. I might read a great comment, or be treated poorly by someone. Run out of toilet paper or talk to my sister. All these things get my brain working…makes me reach for my planner and pink pen and jot down the idea…At the time I write the note I may not know what my post will look like, but I know that I’ve hit on an idea that I can expand…

The toilet paper post of this week- do you know what my note was for that day?

things I did for my family that they didn’t realize

I wrote that note months ago because I knew that somewhere in those words was a blog post. As I sat down to write and thought about that note, the incident from the previous week popped into my mind…

Inspired by chaos and distraction…

Enough about me:

What inspires you?

Where do you get your ideas from?

How do you keep track of the things that you want to write about, paint, photograph, whatever your chosen medium is?

Do you just think of things, or do you need some sort of distraction to inspire you?

What activates your muse?

Discuss

Gratitude Saturday April 17

Have you all noticed the new WordPress thing, the one where other posts by the blogger show up at the bottom of the screen, as well as posts along similar subject area? Tater and I were talking about this the other day, as he posted about it. I was telling him that one of my posts, the one about whether or not reading was better than other pursuits, was getting a lot of hits (well, lots of hits for me) I told him that last week I gained like a hundred new readers (again- abnormal for me). So I wondered what my blog about reading had linked up to.

A few days later, tater contacted me. He told me that my post about reading was at the top of the Discover page. That’s when the lightbulb went off. My post was at the top of the page designed to highlight a post or blogger and introduce them to others.

Fine.

Now the hits and the new readers totally made sense.

So I am grateful that my post was at the top of the page for a bit of time and I found some new readers and exposed my ideas to more people.

However…

You knew there was going to be some sort of angst along with this, didn’t you?

The past ten months, I have not been really writing blogs. I have been asking questions to get the conversation started. I thought we needed something to focus on that wasn’t necessarily what was featured on the news that day. I wanted us to come together and discuss ideas. This didn’t start out as my goal, but it seemed to work. People were joining the discussion. There was a roundtable of sorts where people presented their thoughts and reflections and I know I certainly learned a lot of things, and thought about things in different ways.

This has been fun. I’ve enjoyed posing these questions.

However…

This does not mean that these have been the best blogs that I’ve ever written. Far from it. These have been pieces that have gotten me through all the challenges that we have faced throughout the past year.

So, the piece that was at the top of the charts so to speak…The reading post was like a bubblegum pop song that makes it to the top of the charts. It was cute, it sparked reaction, but it was by no means representative of what I have done or could do as a writer.

I have so many blogs that I am proud of, so I am a little sad that one of those did not get the same recognition as this one did.

Part of me wants to scream to the new readers-

“This is not the best of me- let me show you the posts I think are good. Let me show you the posts that made me cry as I wrote them. Let me show you the posts that I still laugh about. Let me show you the posts that made me who I am…

See how something “good” can be a blessing and a curse?

My guess is, knowing myself, I am going to try to up my blogging game. I am going to try to write the Great American Post. I am probably going to check my blog for error and spell check…I’m going to try to appear smarter or better or just more…

But at this moment in time….

I am grateful for having a little bit of the spotlight..

I am grateful for 4000+ followers

I am grateful that I want to open up my computer and blog everyday

I am grateful that there is no blogging award acceptance speech…could you imagine what a train wreck that would be?