Weekend Coffee Share: In Which I Find Myself at a Crossroads

If we were having coffee, I’d tell you I miss writing for the #WeekendCoffeeShare linkup. I also miss writing the pop culture posts, and wanking about social media, and occasionally ranting about politics. Writing — especially high-frequency writing that’s done just for fun — has to be a habit if you’re going to do it consistently. Sadly, I’ve gotten myself out of the habit.

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I’d tell you I miss reading a dozen blogs a week and chatting with people on comment threads even more than I miss publishing my own posts. Facebook has somewhat taken over my social media life, because for the last several months, my internet time has come in unpredictable 20- and 30-minute blocks. And let’s just face it. Communication on Facebook is way easier than communicating on blog threads.

Well, I have a lot more free time than I am accustomed to this weekend, so I’m planning to spend quite a bit of time in the blogosphere. After I add this post to the linkup at Part Time Monster, I plan to check out the Princess Bride Linkup Party at WriteOnSisters.com.a-princess-bride-linkup-party_

I may even re-watch that movie this afternoon and see if I can rush out a post for the linkup myself. You can check out the FAQ here and you can add your own post to the linkup here and you can also share Princess Bride links using the hashtag #PrincessBrideParty. Check it out! It’s sure to be a lot of fun.

If we were having coffee, I’d tell you we’re closing in on the time of year where I typically cut back on my blogging and start planning for January. I do this because in my experience, mid-November to late December is the worst time to try and get anything except holiday-themed content seen on the Internet. I’ve blogged so little this year, there’s really nothing to cut back on, but I am still taking stock and trying to make some decisions about what I’m going to do next year.

Part Time Monster and Comparative Geeks have both moved recently and they are both still thriving, so I feel as though I accomplished the two most important goals I set for myself when I came back to the blogosphere three years ago. My blogging, in the first instance, was always about giving either Part Time Monster or Sourcerer a chance to break out. And about forming a community of bloggers that was loose enough to tolerate a broad spectrum of worldviews, but close-knit enough to hang together whether I remained at the center of it or not.

I think Part Time Monster still has a chance to break out, and a lot of the contributors I recruited for Sourcerer during the two years I ran that blog are still talking. In fact, a lot of them are contributing for the new-and-improved CompGeeks. That makes me unreasonably happy. I feel that all the energy and sweat I put into the blogging between 2013-15 was worth it, even though I am a peripheral part of the operation at best (for now).

Getty stock image.

Getty stock image.

All this said, my own blogs are practically dead. I wasn’t able to bring Sourcerer in for a soft landing. I’ve almost slapped a coda on that blog several times just for the closure, but when I sit down to write the last Sourcerer post ever, I just can’t bring myself to do it. It hasn’t been updated in nearly a year, and the last post is a comics post Luther published for me in the last days before I decided I had to let it go for awhile. Sourcerer at this point is a like a story with no ending and that pains me. It’s still the most valuable piece of internet real estate I’ve ever developed, though — especially when I include the twitter account I built for that blog. That’s hard to let go of.

As far as this blog is concerned, it’s been through several iterations, and it has never performed to my satisfaction. I have around 350 Facebook friends and followers. More than half of those are bloggers and people I met through blogging. Even if I go back to posting a couple of times a week here on a regular schedule, I’m not convinced this blog is ever going to get me more than I’m getting with well-timed public Facebook updates.

So I am not sure where to go with my blogging in the next year. I feel as though I need to either commit myself to publishing one high-quality post per week, or else I just need to walk away. And I have no blog of my own that’s good enough at this point to post my very best stuff, because I can’t get enough readers on my own blogs to make it worth the time and energy I put into my very best posts.coffee

I’m still thinking, but it looks like I’m going to be a contributor at CompGeeks and occasionally at the Monster for the next little while — if I am able to get back to blogging consistently at all. This blog will be for infrequent personal posts and political rants, unless I can find a way to get Sourcerer running again.

I’d love to have some input from those of you who have followed me for a long time, and from those of you who have more blogging experience than me.

This post is nearly 1,000 words long, so I’m calling it a day. Maybe I’ll see you for coffee again once or twice before the holiday season kicks into high gear. Have a photo of my puppy, who I’ve talked about here a time or two before. She’s nearly a year old now, and this was taken a couple of days ago.

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Have a great weekend, and keep blogging!

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Weekend Coffee Share: Long Time, No See

If we were having coffee, I’d tell you I hope the last couple of weeks have been good for you. They’ve been (mostly) good for me, but this has been the most crazy, hectic month I’ve had since I started blogging in 2013.

Getty stock image.

Getty stock image.

I moved into a new house recently, and it’s great. Three bedrooms, two baths, a nice yard, covered front and back porches, a garage, a separate laundry room, and outdoor storage. It even has a tool shed! It’s shaded by oak trees for most of the day. My landlord lives next door and treats us like neighbors. My in-laws (who I get on with VERY well) live two miles away.

This is a fabulous situation. Vicki and I have been working on finding the right place and getting it done for awhile now. The small, overcrowded apartment in the bad neighborhood was a major source of stress for us for a long time, and well. That problem is solved.

But, as with any big change, no matter how necessary and positive the change is, there are unanticipated consequences. It took us a LOT longer to move than we’d expected, in part because our moving truck broke down with all our belongings packed inside it.

The house hadn’t been lived in for awhile when we moved in, and never by a family of four. So the first night we were here, we all took showers and discovered a plumbing issue that had to be sorted out. That’s fixed now, and it wasn’t a big deal, but it still meant a few days with no showers or toilets.

The yard isn’t that big, and eventually it’ll be beautiful and easy to maintain. But at the moment there’s grass to be gotten into shape — it was overgrown when we moved in, and the grandson and I spent two days raking after it was cut the first time. There are hedges to be dealt with. At the moment, I have an entire pickup load of hedge clippings piled up in the front yard waiting to be hauled off. The outside of the house needs to be washed with bleach (that’s at least a 4-hour job).

Featured Image -- 3218These aren’t complaints. I know how to maintain a house, it’s just been 10 years or so since I’ve done it. I’d forgotten how much time and effort it takes to get the outside of a house into proper shape. I’ve not been on the internet for the past few weeks because I’ve mostly been in the yard.

 

Then there’s the commute. I don’t live 5 minutes from my office any more. I live about 30 miles away. So, even thought the commute isn’t excessive, I’m spending an hour of every day on the road now, and I haven’t done that in almost 15 years. It’s not so bad right now, but from mid-August to mid-May, it means I’ll leave my house at 9 am every day (7:15 on days when I have 8 am appointments), and I won’t make it home most nights until 7:30 pm. That’s a major adjustment.

But all this is totally worth it. There are lots of benefits that come with all this extra work and time.

When I walk out my front door, I don’t end up in a busy parking lot. This is the greatest benefit. The grandson is old enough now to play in the yard without an adult standing over him 100 percent of the time. At the apartment, if he wanted to ride his bike or skateboard, we had to either drive to a park, or someone had to sit in the (unshaded) parking lot and keep eyes on him at all times. Now, he just has to ask to go outside. He’s barely picked up an inside toy since we moved the first boxes in, and his tv time is way down.

Storage is more-than-adequate. No more sharing a closet with Vicki. No washer and dryer in a closet off the kitchen. Outside toys are kept in an outdoor storage room and locked up at night. I don’t have a bike stored two feet from my workspace, and we’re NEVER tempted to play with soccer balls in the house, because the soccer balls are not actually in the house. The dining table is no longer overflow storage. It’s kept clean at all times, and we eat at the table. No more eating at the coffee table.

I don’t have to pay money or drive anywhere to wash my cars. I just have to pay my water bill and buy some soap. And just in general, there are lots of things to do for free because we have a yard and have family nearby. When you live in a tiny apartment in the middle of a medium-sized town, practically every diversion you can come up with costs money.

The kitchen, living, and dining areas are a semi-open square. I stepped this square off a few days after we moved in and discovered just that part of the house is the size of our old apartment. Everyone has a room they can go to an shut the door when they need space or quiet. And very few personal belongings — only things like books and board games — are stored in the public areas of the house.

I can do a lot of simple automotive work in my driveway instead of paying a mechanic to do it.

Once we get some adequate patio furniture, I’ll be able to blog outdoors!!!

So, I’m pleased, but I’m exhausted. I’ve got no idea what’s been going on on the Internet for most of the last month. I’ve missed two Weekend Coffee Shares, two Blog Blitzes, and a blogathon I really wanted to write for. I haven’t stopped by Sci-Fi, Transmedia, and Fandom to see how the Feminist Friday discussion went this week.

And once I publish this, I have to haul off a bunch of tree limbs, finish cleaning out a storage unit that Vicki and I stashed some things in 10 years ago when we vacated our last house and moved to an apartment, and replace the bumper of my truck because I was involved in a minor accident this week. Fortunately, the truck has a six-inch wide chrome bumper, and it totally saved my radiator (thanks, people of Dodge City, Warren, Michigan!). Which is to say, I’m still not actually back on the Internet for any serious length of time. Maybe this evening, or tomorrow.Emanuel_Wynne

I’ve put an awful lot of time, thought, and work into building these blogs. I’ve certainly got no plans to shut them down or let them go quiet for any great length of time. I just haven’t figured out how to fit the Internet time into this new lifestyle. Seems like there’s always one more thing to do before I turn on the computer.

Always only a couple of hours of daylight left to get that stuff done. Then, once it’s dark, I am sweaty and exhausted and thinking about what time I have to wake up the next day. I’m assuming things will level out and I’ll find the new balance eventually. I just don’t know when, nor what the new balance will look like.

The grandson is loving all this, though. Any time I go out the door, unless I’m going to work, he’s in the truck with me. He loves, loves, loves to do yard work and wash things with the hose. I have to make him take breaks to keep him from giving himself a heatstroke. He’s lost weight these last three weeks. So have I. I’ve doubled my caloric intake since we started this move, and my waist is two inches slimmer than it was a month ago. Also: I’ve shaved off my beard.

Have a great weekend, and don’t forget to add your coffee post to the linkup at Part Time Monster and share it with #WeekendCoffeeShare on Twitter.

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