Not My Same Old Blog

This feature, the Drop Cap reminded me of Illuminated manuscripts and sent me scurrying across the internet to see precisely what the difference is. Illuminated uses a Drop Cap, a larger initial letter, with an illustration within the letter. The letter itself is often very elaborate. I guess WordPress still has room for growth. I think I’ll have fun with this flourish.

The block feature is interesting. I’ve been trying to use it, and must say I am not really sure about it. I was comfortable with the old way. I can see the potential. I’m just not sure I will ever use it to advantage, because I basically just plain write. But this feature may entice me to change the look of my blog and my approach to my writing. I’m thinking glossy magazine vs. black and white newsprint.

I may have to upgrade my media, but that should be easy with Pixel, and all the great open-stock materials. I actually gave away my Rebel Camera, and my video camera to my grandchildren. My phone and tablet make it so easy to take photo, and I still have my bin of photographs. For today, enjoy me pictures of Shadow, with a glimpse of Blue eating in the background.

I was worried I’d come back and would have forgotten everything, but no worries, as long as I can think of something to write about.

So Dramatic

IMG_0282
In Public Square, Cleveland, Ohio

An ambulance with lights flashing drives up to the emergency room door, where doctors and nurses are waiting to receive the patient.  No!  Not one ambulance, but two, and we learn a building collapse, or traffic accident or shooting, has taken place. Injuries are grave, and everyone gets to work, knowing life and death hang in the balance.   Families in panic beg for information, doctors skirt personal issues, ordering tests, stopping bleeding, and fighting death.  Then the drama is ratcheted up with an overflow of patients and no other hospital to send patients to, every doctor and nurse is treating multiple critical patients at deaths door.

Dramatic ?  Yes!  This is one of my favorite shows, “Code Black.”  Medical shows make good television because of the potential for drama.  Other good choices are police shows and who done its, legal dramas, and soap operas.  Just sit back and ask yourself what is the worst thing that could happen?  What is the worst choice this person could make?  These bad events and bad choices add to the drama, but if the show is coming to an end, watch for the lucky break for a satisfying conclusion.

These dramatic shows manipulate our emotions to keep us watching, and keep us coming back for more. Our favorite books do the same thing, and I would wager our favorite blogs do a little of this also.

Real life drama is just as riveting.  I have been on the edge of my seat watching the parties elect their candidates, and watch how the candidates try to position themselves to look good (before flags, before military boats) while making the other candidate look bad by repeating every bad thing that may have ever been thought about the competition.  We watch reports of war, and rumors or war.  We watch as gunshots fly and bodies mount up.

Some people will argue that trouble in the world is aggravated by the fictional and real representations of violence.  I would argue that fiction and news can show us not only the worst, but the best of what we can be in a crisis.  We can see the way people band together to help each other in crisis.  We can see many reach out to give comfort in times of suffering.  We can see that there are those who reach out in times of suffering due to injustice.

Real life is not a dramatic show for our entertainment.  Real life has complicated issues that we cannot solve in an hour.  Our entertainment may show a reflection of real life and a hint of the complexity of the issues of life, but it can’t provide solutions.                                                                                                                     #

Are You All Right?

Am I alright?  Do I feel okay? Am I having trouble remembering things?  How am I feeling today?  These are the things Hubby asks me from day-to-day, and sometimes repeatedly throughout a day.  These questions got me thinking, am I all right?  Are you all right?

Today there is a break in the weather, with sun shining and temperatures headed for the 50’s.  This is a very nice break from the recent week of cold, bleak days with clouds crawling across my sinuses.    Seasonal Affective Disorder can plague many when the sun disappears for days.   You don’t need a full-blown case of SAD for the long dark days of winter to leave you heading for  warm blankets, and a book, to wait for the sun.

These dark days are perfect for dreaming and thinking about the future.  Spring will come in a few short weeks.  Gardeners are planning their gardens.  We plan our Summer travels.  Many are thinking about life transitions with weddings, babies, new homes, graduations, and new jobs on the horizon.  These transitions bring mixed feelings, excitement and fears.  Our personal worlds are full of joy, questions, fears, and we keep moving forward, with hope that we are making the right choices.  In most cases there is no one correct answer to our life choice questions.  Any choice we make is a good choice or bad, depending upon how we look at it.

Others in our world aren’t as lucky as you and I.  There is war, and conflict throughout the world.  Personal tragedies colored by racial prejudice and injustice cause concern for all of us.  There are so many problems in our world.  How do we respond to the many problems.  I am no expert, and have no solutions to the world’s problems, yet as a blogger and a human, I can’t help but think about my personal feelings and understanding of what is going on in the world, and feel concern for those innocents caught in the crossfire.

Am I alright?  I am thinking.  I am trying to figure out what is going on in this world, and is there anything I can say to make it better.  I don’t have solutions, except I know communication and understanding has a better chance of bringing a resolution to conflict than hate.  But I must acknowledge, there are horrible things happening, and I would like nothing more in life than to wipe the people who are the source of these atrocities from the face of the earth, and send them to their just reward.

So, again I ask:  Are you alright?

A Versatile Blogger

I was so surprised and delighted to see I was nominated for the Versatile Blogger Award by Trina’s North Germany. I look at fashion, style, art, cooking, news, and other types of blogs that are so amazingly focused on one topic that I sometimes worry that I am blogging wrong. Versatile is definitely the word that would describe my array of topics. I have written on my favorite soap opera, my pets, my family, guns, lifestyle, health, national and world events. I keep getting encouraged with a few followers and likes here and there.

A nice benefit of sharing blogs is getting to know about people, and their world, that you would otherwise never even meet. I have now had contact with people from around the globe. My father was from Germany and it is nice to know a little more about modern life in Germany from Trina’s blog.

Thank you Trina, for your blog, and for this nomination.

There may still be some things that readers do not know about me, so here are seven:

  1. I have a broadcast and multi-media degree from Kent State University.  I loved making video’s in college, but writing has always been my first love.  There are so many animal video’s because they are entertaining segments, without editing.  Editing video takes a lot of time.  I have not developed my home editing skills, yet I am thinking about doing a video in the future.  It will take awhile, I am not yet fully comfortable with WordPress.
  2. Shadow is now my constant companion.  She climbs all over the desk and keyboard as I try to write, research, or read anything, or she is in my lap.  Being black, Shadow is extremely hard to take a good picture off, but I am working on it.
  3. I am a very tactile person.  I love fabrics and yarns of all times and enjoy the feminine arts: needlework, crochet, knitting, and sewing.  I am not an expert in any of it, but I enjoy doing it all and appreciate the fine work of others.
  4. I love anything made by hand with skill and an artistic sensibility.
  5. I can’t spell.  Thank you to whoever created spellcheck.  I always have the dictionary handy.  I am also a terrible typist, so I can sometimes blame that for mistakes, and I am slightly dyslexic, especially when tired.  So how did I win a spelling award in the fifth grade?
  6. I long for city life.  A neighborhood where I have a choice of where I can walk for meals, watch the people go by, have art, music and events close at hand.  And some money to spend on it all would be nice also.
  7. I love the mountains, the shore, the coast, the plains; all of America from sea to shining sea.  I can’t wait for hubby’s retirement in two years, so we can travel with our camper more than just on vacation and an occasional weekend.

Here are the rules for my nominees:

  • Show the award on your blog.  (Guess I better learn how do post mine.)
  • Thank the person who nominated you.
  • Share seven facts about yourself.
  • Nominate 15 blogs.
  • Link to your nominee’s blog and let them know.

My nominee’s:

Viewed from the Outside

876LoveR

Glorious Results of a Misspent Youth

https://madelinescribes.wordpress.com/

Behind the White Coat

lucile de godsy

Living, Learning and Letting Go

Wanders The Metro

Silver Treading

The Crafty Lady in Combat Boots

The Write Perspective

wtf Am I On About Now?

Janey Does Blogging

sappy as a tree

Send Sunshine

Celebrating!

Share the Happiness
Share the Happiness

This is a bonus post, because I am celebrating another milestone.  Over 100 followers in 25 countries around the world means I have reached all my stated blogging goals through the end of the year.  How wonderful is that!  I’d like to give a special shout out to Marissa Bergen, my most loyal follower and fellow blogger the Rock and Roll Supermom herself and her blog Glorious Results of a Misspent Youth.  I love her poetry, you will also.

Speaking of poetry, my first efforts at writing poetry ever appear on my blog, Tonka Tribute is written in memory of my sister, and Anointing is inspired by Luke 7:36-48.

If a Man is in the Woods continues to be well read, as well as all of my recent posts.  You will be happy to know the Black Cat is now named Shadow, has settled in nicely with the rest of the animals, and is learning to be gentle with claws and teeth.  She is gaining weight, and has been given a certificate of health.

I have another great post coming for Friday.  See you then.

Blogging Lessons

As a newish blogger there is a lot to learn: how to post a blog, links, adding pictures and other media, and what the heck is a pingback and a blogroll? I thought content would be my big problem. You know, thinking of things to write about. It turns out I can always find something to write about, but is it something you would like to read about? How do I figure out what you like to read? So I entered the world of stats.

Stats is a mysterious land that tells me how many people actually visit my posts each day. I think. I really wasn’t sure. So I started clicking on anything that could be clicked on and was surprised at what I found, and what I learned.

Lesson 1: Write from passion. Have something to say.
The idea to start a blog came to me in 2010, four years ago, and quickly stalled out. Three months ago, I committed to writing, motivated by the death of Robin Williams. The responses I received surprised me. While I was interested in my earlier blogs, they lacked the passion, the urgency to communicate, that was now aroused within me. I had a message that I needed to share. This is in fact my most viewed post. But this was not the only lesson I learned from studying the stats on this post.

Lesson 2: Use titles to drive search engines, as well as categories and tags.
I have no doubt that the main reason this is my most read blog, is because Robin Williams name is in the title. I had zero followers at that point. Someday, maybe my name will be enough, but until then, I need to use what I can to get my work out there. Close behind this post is another one, for an entirely different reason.

Lesson 3: Make them laugh, but also give something of substance.
People love to laugh, and If a Man is in the Woods is a funny post with a sensitive side. This post deals with something all of us are concerned about, relationships. This post got the most comments, but comments are not the only measure of how a post is received.

Lesson 4: Just because they aren’t commenting doesn’t mean they aren’t reading.
When we sit in a room by ourselves reaching out with our words, we wonder, “Is anybody out there?” Some people say they only write for themselves. I wrote for myself for years, in notebooks, stored on my computer, and there is a privacy setting that allow you to do just that. When we hit the publish button we are reaching out. We want to have an impact. One such post is Safety Dejavu. This post received one very long response, with one very long reply back. Given my readership, it was very well read. The other thing I learned from my stats, is that even people from Facebook have been reading, even though most have not commented or liked. It is good to know my friends are supporting me, if silently.

In general my 37 posts show my readership is growing. I’ve learned to use pingbacks and what a blogroll is, and bunch of other stuff thanks to Blogging 101.

Name Change

Did you notice I changed the name of my blog?  I think this new name gives a little bit of a hint that I am writing from my own viewpoint.  This is where everyone says, “Well, duh!”  Of course, whose viewpoint would I be writing from, but it is a little more creative than just my name.

You will still receive the same eclectic content, mixing current events, in with anything else I can think of, including the occasional poetry.

I am open to ideas for my blog’s name.  If you don’t like this one, then leave a comment with your suggestion.

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