One Foot on the Platform, the Other Foot on a Train

Video

Today is my 10th wedding anniversary, and I have an awesome marriage. It’s the best personal decision I’ve ever made, and one of the few good ones I made before I was 35. Vicki’s agreed to allow me to tell the story of our wedding day on one of the blogs, and I’ll be doing that in the next couple of weeks. I’m still not sure where I’ll post it, but I’m thinking, perhaps here. Because it’s a story. What writer doesn’t like a good story?

I’d planned to tell the story today, but wasn’t able to write it in time. Because life. When she gave me permission, Vicki asked me to include this video. It’s her favorite song, and in my top 20. We collect YouTube videos of it, and this version includes an extra stanza that’s played so rarely most people don’t know about it. So here’s a video, because it needs to be posted on the actual day, even if the story isn’t ready yet.

I’d intended to have an A to Z reflection tomorrow, but it doesn’t look like that’s happening. It has to happen before I can move on to other things with this blog, though. I need closure, and it helped me figure out some things about where to go here. I need to write them down and invite people to comment.

I’m two days away from being done with the most hectic three weeks offline I’ve had in six months. I’ve had to step away from the blogs lately to take care of business, do family stuff, and just recharge a little in general. And I have a commitment to Sourcerer.

My blogging friends really came through for me today. I have four Sourcerer contributions in my inbox, another one coming, and an out-of-the-blue submission coming this weekend. We lucked into traffic today, we have a post on a trending pop culture topic to talk about tomorrow, and a first post by¬† a new contributor posting tomorrow who you may already know. ūüėČ We have a plan laid out through the end of the week over there. So it will likely be the weekend before I can get things back on course here, but it will be relatively soon.

I’m on track to have my professional obligations squared away by close of business on Thursday. My grandson’s little league season ends this weekend. He’s in his first year of coach-pitch, and he’s a slugger. That’s what I’ve been giving a lot of my time to over the past couple of months.

I’m gearing up for a week of serial blogging and frequent tweeting next week. I’ve been just keeping it going for the last little while and taking care of other things. I need a personal vacation, and I need to spend it with my social media peeps. So I’m taking one.

Here’s a preview of my plan for this blog.¬† I’ll discuss it in more detail when I post my A to Z Reflection.

  • I need to give more space here to poets, poetics, and poems. There are tons of poems in the public domain, and I am well-versed. It’s the first thing I spent years trying to master.
  • Worldbuilding. The worldbuilding and the post about my personal fantasy project were both well-received. I know lots about building convincing worlds, and it’s one of my favorite things to talk about.
  • Posts in which I take a single writing concept or principle and explain it on my own words with a short, conversational post. That’s what I did for all of April, and the 26 posts I wrote for the challenge barely scratched the surface.

I’m thinking of focusing on those three things here and working myself up to twice-a-week posting with frequent reblogs of things I like, then building from there. That’s doable, but it may take me all summer to get there.

Thanks for following, and for reading. I’ll be back in business here soon.

 

Happy Blogiversary to Me, to Me.

Six months ago today, I took my lunch and my laptop to Starbucks and launched Sourcerer. I’d kicked off this blog half an hour earlier. I didn’t trust the scheduled posting – I published every post manually that day, and spent a lot of time between posts watching my stats.

Our page views and visitors that day, on all three blogs, tripled my expectations and convinced me to keep going. I haven’t looked back since. I’m not linking to those first posts here — I’ll do that at Sourcerer¬†later today. Here, today, I’m nominating bloggers for the I Am a Part of the WordPress Family Award.

The rules as I understand them are to nominate 10 bloggers, display this image on your blog, and link back to the person who nominated you. That’s my kind of award, so:

wpfamily

If you don’t do awards, no worries. Think of this as me encouraging people to read and comment on your blog, and just keep being yourself. I’ll continue to read whether you acknowledge the nomination or not. Just know that if you are on this list, I love your blog.

Continue reading

Notes from a hectic week.

First, writerly stuff. Taylor and Trent both catalog writing resources in their own ways. Anyone else out there doing that? If so, feel free to drop me a link. I have to give this blog an overhaul soon, and I’d love to have an index of writing resources when I rebuild the pages. That’s the sort of thing I had in mind to do myself when I started this blog, but I haven’t gotten it done yet. I’m thinking an index of other bloggers’ writing resources might be even more helpful than whatever I would¬†put together.

I considered withdrawing from the A to Z Challenge this week. I made the decision¬†in January with the idea of setting it up during spring break. I didn’t feel like I was taking on too much at that time. I had a good two months of weekends to devote. I thought it would be a good way to do something for the writers who read my blog, and a good way to make friends.

Here’s a list of things that have occurred in my life during March, which I had no way of anticipating in January:

I made a long term commitment to support the Campaign for Southern Equality with all the writing, social media, and political skill I have. These people weren’t even on my radar in January, and I drove two hours one-way last Sunday to evaluate their methods and look them in the eye before I made the¬†decision. This is a serious commitment, and I’ll have more on how I’m going about supporting them soon.

I invited people to have a discussion about feminism with me and a few of my friends Friday-before-last. So many people responded that the conversation is still ongoing, and I need to do my part to keep it going for as long as possible.

I had to spend most of the weekend before Spring Break convincing a blogger who misrepresented me to correct his error. That affair ended amicably, but made me realize it was time to disclose my ideological commitments in a public post, which killed the rest of that weekend.

I had to spend most of my Spring Break stirring up outrage against a bill in my state that simply could not be allowed to pass.

I had to spend the weekend after Spring Break sending a message to everyone who follows me that if they collaborate with me, I will move heaven and earth to back them up when people treat them badly. I’m not even linking to that one. The comeuppance I delivered was artful, but it was a sorry affair. I’ll never brag about it despite the fact that it’s the most skillful pieces of serial blogging I’ve ever done.

My twitter account exploded to the point that I actually have bloggers to Tweet with, have¬†social media mentors helping me find ways to achieve¬†my long-term goals, and have to spend time maintaining relationships with my tweeps. I’m not actively building the Twitter account like I was in February and March. It’s set up now for steady, incremental growth, it’s a useful asset, and I know how¬†accelerate its progress any time I get the notion to do so. I’m shifting priority back to the blogs, and to building relationships with bloggers who have offered me friendship. I think learning to be effective on Twitter was worth the effort. It was the right move at the right time, but it did have its costs.

Professional commitments have required me to spend the last two weeks¬†crunching numbers and putting a LOT of energy into¬†really being on my game offline. I can’t say more about¬†this one, because you don’t talk about business on a public blog. But I will say I performed so well, I’m calling my performance a real accomplishment.

All those things on that list were things I felt like I had to do, but the feminism discussion is really the bottom line. I offered to talk about it, and over the last week, it¬†has inspired eight¬†or nine original posts that I know about. People have reblogged and shared links on Twitter. And it’s generated real engagement. Not just people interacting with me, but having conversations with one another, as well.

It’s convinced me that we’ve managed form the core of a real network based on shared interests and mutual respect. That network is the reason I started all this to begin with, so it has to come first. I set out to build a social media community with these blogs. Not a community centered on one blog or one platform, but a community nonetheless. I’m not prepared to say I see a community emerging yet, but I do think, at this point, it’s fair to conclude that my methods are sound.

I was going to lay all that out and use it as a reason to bow out of the challenge. Not so much because of the writing – I only need about 1200 words to get through the first week – but because finding art is time-consuming, and I still have to maintain my other blogging while this is going on.

Two things happened yesterday that convinced me otherwise. I woke up to find that a couple of Sourcerer contributors had stuffed my inbox with enough content to keep Sourcerer posting for a week without me writing a single word, and Diana reminded me that finding art should be a snap if I use Pinterest for it instead of Google. So I’m sticking in.

You can find a list of A to Z ¬†participants here. PartTimeMonster and David of CompGeeks are both doing A to Z, too. So in addition to visitng five new blogs a day during April, I’ll be doing my best to liven up Diana’s and David’s¬†comments threads.

The best 1:40 of live music ever posted on YouTube:

image: Pinned from Treasures of the Southwest by my co-conspirator.

(This was the post I referred to earlier this week as something that started out easy and turned into a monster.)