Sweet Dreams (Are Made Of This)
Dear readers, I admit to being in a bit of a pickle.
In youth, life seemed limitless, infinite.
Writing was the same, I just wrote, not a lot of stopping to think.
Such is the power and joy of youth.
And as we age limitations don’t just come from the outside, but from your own body:
Sagging (oh no, those should still be much higher).
Weird spots randomly attach themselves to your skin (“Out, Damned Spot!” doesn’t work, believe me, I’ve tried).
Eating cake may seem more exciting and less work than other, er, strenuous activities…
But if you’re not aging, you’ve discovered the Fountain of Youth (good for you, care to share?), or you’re dead and you just don’t know it yet.
Sigh, so many things I wish I’d done or not done.
Sweet dreams lost, given up, given away, or stolen…
Sweet dreams fulfilled, waiting in the wings, and yet to come…
There’s also a certain grace, a wisdom, a knowing that comes with age, even for books. Remember how those new and shiny ebooks were going to destroy the book industry? Make books into relics only viewed in museums? Those dire predictions may have been premature. The texture and weight of a book in your hands tells you so much about the content; ebooks all feel the same.
Deep in our DNA, we’re storytellers, not just those who write, but those who read. We don’t just want to experience the stories, we want to share the stories. It’s about connection.
Many of those stories are by independent authors, not backed by a marketing budget larger than most of us will earn in a lifetime. Does that make them somehow less? Personally, I never cease to be amazed at the talent, the passion, the wonder never appreciated, just because it isn’t a bestseller.
I’ve reviewed books on and off for 30 years, yet ironically, I’m not always a fan of book reviews. I don’t enjoy a book report disguised as a review (we got it, you read the book, now, why should I?) and being told I should like or dislike a book. That’s silly, no one can tell you if you’ll like or dislike something, just why they liked or disliked it.
I love a story that transports me, takes me with the characters on their journey. I want to be there, a part of the story, which happened when I called upon Atonement, Tennessee…and never wanted to leave.
Teagan Riordain Geneviene kindly and brilliantly invites us to visit a small Southern town where things are not as they seem, but instead, is full of mystery, intrigue, murder, dashes of magic, romance…even a cat naturally more attuned and intelligent than her human counterparts (guess that goes without saying).
I admit being a tad miffed Atonement, Tennessee didn’t come with a warning label, something like: Don’t start reading if you have anything else you need to do for the next couple of days. Of course, obsessively reading this book also helped me cast the movie and/or TV series, let’s see, how about Ian Somerhalder, Richard Armitage, and David Tennant? Look how cute and cuddly they are…oh, and there’s cats too!
This is fantasy at its finest, but still left me wanting more…more…more…
And thanks to technology, we can have more on Teagan’s wonderful blog, including her online serial, and even hints of a sequel, Atonement in Bloom (waiting with bated breath): https://teagansbooks.wordpress.com/
Maybe I could 100% honest review your books too, just contact me, see, over there to your right – ‘Sending Me Stuff’.
Age can sure make you restless, even more so than in the bloom of youth, for we have the knowledge of what has been, what never was, and what could be. I guess what I’m trying to say is, no matter what your age, and the only real limits are those of your courage and your convictions.
The Phantom of the Blogging Tips
If you are reading this blog there’s a good chance you’re not just a reader, you could also be a blogger yourself…or one of my family or friends (Hi family and friends!).
What I mean is, many people who read blogs are also bloggers who send their creativity out there, into the universe, in one form or another, through an intricate web.
Yet too often, The Phantom of the Blogging Tips (er, Blogera? No? That’s not a thing?) is inside your mind, telling you how to blog instead of letting you find your own voice.
So before you’re past the point of no return:
1. Don’t second-guess yourself, there are literally millions of others out there willing to do that for you. Go with your instincts.
2. Before you post you may stop and think: will my readers like this, hate this, be offended, not press ‘Like’, will Unfollow, or what if they send an army of robot ants to carry me off in my sleep? Let me help, the answers are: Hopefully. Possibly. It’s a distinct possibility. Maybe. Hopefully not. And it’s the internet, stranger things have happened.
3. You’ll do a post you think is amazing, you’ll press publish (very important step, many bloggers forget this one) and tumbleweeds will roll across your blog and you’ll wonder, what did I do wrong? Probably nothing, most likely it was WordPress..again.
4. Your posts could be awesome, but people are busy and there’s an infinite amount of information out there…or they just can’t find your posts. https://yadadarcyyada.com/2015/08/27/message-in-a-bottle/ Get out there and be your own Number One Fan (but not in a creepy Stephen King way).
5. You may never be Freshly Pressed https://yadadarcyyada.com/2015/03/26/why-i-will-never-be-freshly-pressed/ or gets tons of Likes, or receive awards, or become an overnight sensation…don’t compare yourself to others, it will suck the joy out of blogging (and life).
6. Don’t be afraid to try something new or different. Tell us about a movie, a book, something you cook, draw, paint, build, remember, did, crafted, give us advice (we might not take it, doesn’t mean we don’t want to hear it)…anything, but it’s your voice we want to hear, authentic, not copied, or some regurgitated whatchamathingies we’ve read everywhere else.
7. Even if aliens are stealing your likes, keep trying, they’ll give up at some point or move on to another planet.
8. Expect the unexpected, roll with it then work it into a post, like the other day I heard two guys whispering, ‘I’d tap that MILF’ – naturally I looked around to see who they were talking about, then realized it was me. The feminist side of me was appalled and outraged, but the feminine side of me was all-Southern-belle-I-do-declare-swoony. Then they ruined it by adding, ‘Or is she GILF?’. I so don’t look old enough to be a granny! OK, but maybe a cool one. https://yadadarcyyada.com/2015/01/30/revenge-of-the-nouns/ https://yadadarcyyada.com/2015/02/26/coulda-woulda-shoulda-2/
9. Keep a good sense of humour, balance, and if you can, relax, it’s just your diary you’re letting the whole world read, ok, when I say it like that it does sound kind of terrifying. But remember, when in doubt, chocolate out!
10. Find your own style, your own groove, your own path, your own magic. Cookie cutters are for Christmas, be yourself.
11. Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. This applies in blogging too.
12. So ignore all The Phantoms of the Blogging Tips, even me. You can do this.
I’ve Had The Time Of My Life
You’re the one thing I just can’t get enough of.
I’ll tell you something, it could be blog love.
Because I’ve had the time of my life
and I’ve rarely felt this way before,
I swear, it’s the truth and I owe it all to you…
Always liked Dirty Dancing’s message that nothing is impossible (well, except a sequel with Patrick Swayze…or Jennifer Grey’s original nose). And that nobody should put me in a corner, unless I paint myself in (true story).
Which lead me to Laggies, ok Sam Rockwell lead me there, but intrigued and entertained, I stayed. Kiera Knightley plays a quirky woman (no surprise, but this time, no British accent, way to step out there) who too often waits for others to make decisions for her. Instead of living life according to someone else’s schedule, beliefs, and dreams she decides to follow her heart, her dreams, and finds a her version of happiness.
I’ve been getting along with my happiness Project, here’s the first 10 weeks and the next 4…
1. Company from out-of-town, got them hooked on Haven, muhahaha…also, food involved.
2. Realized people would be 500lbs if they ate as much food as the characters in Joanne Fluke books.
3. Read a great book on memory…can’t remember the title.
4. Re-pledged undying allegiance to public libraries.
5. Thought about taking up knitting….hmm, instead read a book about women in a knitting club, close enough.
6. Read Beekeeping for Dummies…I have more chance of being a bee than a beekeeper apparently.
7. Tried not to second guess myself, wait, unless that’s a bad idea.
1. Had a zen moment where I just felt floaty – good job remembering not to do this while driving or operating heavy machinery.
2. Donated more stuff.
3. Dental emergency – I know I’ve always tried to be good to you, teeth, but I’ll redouble my efforts.
4. Pain from dental work, watched The Originals and thought, do vampires need dental work?
5. Some pain, not as much as Orphan Black (wow, Tatiana Maslany playing endless clones just never gets boring), had me revisiting The Island of Dr. Moreau, did I almost forgot how epic H.G. Wells was?
6. Went to mall and yard sales, not sure which were more surreal, people buying junk or selling it.
7. Watched Fear The Walking Dead, really, like anyone would notice the zombie apocalypse that quickly these days, especially in LA.
1. Haters gonna hate, but they’re just noise, listened to the good stuff instead.
2. Lost more of my baby weight, sure, my baby’s 17, but better late than never, right?
3. Computer’s dying; it has Windows Vista if that gives you any idea of it’s age. Looked for new one.
4. Worried excessively about passing driving test until I noticed I had chocolate…feeling fine.
5. Passed my last driving test, yup, you can teach an old dog new tricks. They’re dreadfully obsessed with parallel parking, so this is about parallel posting, aka, please leave your link here (in the comment section – any post) for others to find to celebrate with me.
6. Saw a music video that made me wonder if I’d been dancing incorrectly for years as my underwear doesn’t show.
7. Master of Horror Wes Craven, died. I always wondered, could some of my insomnia stem from watching Nightmare of Elm Street?
1. Spent time chatting online with Microsoft; quickly realized I knew more than they did.
2. Reminded again how wonderful and brave my son is.
3. Sang Nothing Compares 2 U, out loud, thinking of my blogging friends.
4. Oh, so that’s what it sounds like when the doves cry.
5. Thought about what I’m going to do next, writing wise.
6. Made a bouquet of pencils.
7. Wrote more emails to politicians and news people.
Remember, it’s just an illusion the world is racing past, go at the speed that makes you happy. Have the time of your life.
Message In A Bottle
To me, blogging is
a version of the
in a bottle.
The blogging world
is a vast ocean,
we throw our
message out there
and hope against hope
someone finds it.
Some of us are trying to
connect, share, find others,
teach, or maybe even
send out an SOS.
So how do you start
your own ‘message in a bottle’
and make it reach others?
1. Don’t think about if your readers will love what you write or you’re going to be discovered, just make sure you love it, then hopefully, they will. If not, there’s always chocolate.
2. Remember as you send these bottles out, those you’re trying to reach are never far from the madding crowd (hearing people mispronounce the title, Far From the Madding Crowd is actually more fun than the book/movies, is that wrong?). People are busy, so when they open their email to see a hundred billion bottles washed up on their shore, it can be overwhelming.
3. In this same vein, posts can be vampires, sucking away time. Or maybe sometimes a vampire is just a vampire.
4. Posts can also be zombies, shuffling into our readers or mailboxes, taking bites out of the day. I don’t know if I Fear The Walking Dead so much as opening my email, in other words, know your audience…it can be a grave error to write long or many posts if your readers don’t have time to read them. You make your readers snooze, you lose.
5. Adding images to posts amuses me, makes me laugh, makes a point, or just makes me happy. Hopefully they resonate with others.
6. Sometimes readers won’t get what you’re saying or don’t agree. Sometimes your jokes fall flat. Maybe they haven’t read the same books, watched the same movies or TV shows…Some are trolls, actively dislike you, perhaps even use your Gravatar at which to throw darts – the internet is built on people being offended, appalled, shocked, and downright grumpy. Just do what you do.
7. How can you expect people to have a deep relationship with a shallow person? Be real, write your own stuff, if that makes people think, learn, laugh, smile, cry, or even spit their coffee out…they’ll want to read more.
8. Like it or not, successful blogging has a degree of popularity. Let’s jump back to vampires, they depend on brooding, pouting, sparkling, hotness, intensity, and overacting with a penchant for black clothes, especially black leather, but blogging can’t all be about flash and no substance.
9. Get out there, enjoy other blogs, find those messages in bottles and answer them, don’t be timid about liking, sharing or commenting – let others know you’re out there. Make them feel like they’re not alone in being alone.
10. Most of you are part of a large, sprawling, at times dysfunctional, human race family, so you’ll be part of the blogging family. Like vampires, family can sometimes be a pain in the neck, but still we hunger for the connection.
11. When the unexpected or unwanted happens, say, your computer breaks, you have a dental emergency, you can’t get a song by The Police out of your head; out of town company; Fibroflare; anxiety about a coming event; a sinus infection and the list goes on…um, write a blogging advice post?
12. Wow, that advice is bloody awesome…or terrible, depending on your point of view. Forget all of it, just do whatever feels right to you.
And I hope that someone gets your…I hope that someone gets your message in a bottle. Here’s mine.
Plan To Be Spontaneous Today
In the summer, readers run away from blogs like swimmers running out of the water away from the shark in Jaws (We’re going to need a bigger blog).
So what do you do in a blogging slump? Post more? Less? Write longer or shorter posts? Add more pictures of cats? More tweets, likes…eat more chocolate? Or just accept it and take a break for the rest of the summer? Acceptance is such a strange thing, isn’t it? It can be positive – you accept a gift, get accepted into a club, accept an award, or it can become something you feel forced to do, such as compliance or acquiescence.
I accept The Imitation Game was a brilliant film starring Benedict Cumberbatch (who apparently can’t be anything but astonishing) about WWII. I don’t accept it’s completely factual, clearly they took certain liberties such as Cumberbatch portraying Turing as though he had Asperger’s Syndrome. I don’t know if that’s Hollywood pretending everyone who’s a genius has Autism, or because they wanted Cumberbatch to play Turing more like Sherlock.
Joan Clarke (played with dazzling brilliance by Kiera Knightley) wasn’t recruited by Turing, crossword puzzle or otherwise, but was engaged to him.
They did concede Turning’s machine was based on a Polish cryptologic machine (the Polish broke the Enigma code years before), but that he’d built a better, faster machine for the more sophisticated code.
This is Hollywood. They add drama.
Unlike previous films about the Enigma code, this film didn’t cause international snits like U-571, or put us to sleep like Enigma (despite a stunning performance by Kate Winslet, wait, wasn’t she in another famous historically inaccurate film, something about a ship?).
I don’t take umbrage to movies that play with history. Most of history is changeable, written by the victors and those who want to cast themselves in a positive light. I read history books and watch documentaries, but even those should be taken with a grain of salt. Movies, TV shows, and books, even those based on real-life people and events, those are for entertainment.
This delightful movie wasn’t actually about the war or codes, it was about acceptance. Alan Turing was a gifted mathematician and cryptographer and yet, in the end, it didn’t matter if he saved millions of lives or gave us the basis for modern computers, it mattered that he was gay. He was only 41 when he committed suicide after being forced to endure chemical castration. His future work, his life, all lost because no one could accept he wasn’t their definition of ‘normal’.
Fear and discrimination are the real enemies. People refusing to accept the differences of others. Differences should be encouraged, supported, celebrated. Different isn’t less, most often, it’s more.
As for the blogging, who knows, maybe this is a good excuse to write that book I’ve been putting off.
So plan to be spontaneous today, here’s some, er, blogging advice to hold you over.
And snap out of it, WordPress, you’re driving bloggers insane (perhaps a short drive, but still a waste of gas).
Anyway, this was rather delightful excuse to post lots of pictures of Benedict Cumberbatch. You’re welcome.
How To Get Your Book Published
As a writer I’ve read literally (that might not be the correct use of that word) thousands of articles on ‘how to get your book published’.
Then I noticed something strange about all of those articles, something they all had in common – they’d all been written by published authors.
What? This is a complete travesty! There are so many more of us, unpublished writers, looking for work and those authors are hogging the spotlight. They get books published, then they get articles published about how to get published. What a scam!
I’ve read enough self-help books to know what had to be done, those books (ironically, also written by published authors) clearly tell us that if you want something bad enough, you just have to imagine it, wish for it, and you’ll get it. Or was that a book about fairy tales?
Anyway…here’s my version of imagining it, wishing for it, my 12 easy steps to get your book published, I mean, how hard could it be, there are whole buildings full of books.
How To Get Your Book Published:
1. Write a book.
2. Books or manuscripts (as they say in the biz) are generally typed on typing thingies. Some famous writers in history seemed to prefer typewriters, who knows, maybe they didn’t know about computers back then, I don’t have all the answers. I suggest going for a more personalized approach – handwriting your book. Publishers will appreciate your dedication and they’ll understand you really want this book deal.
3. Go on a book tour. Don’t wait for your book to be published, the public is hungry for your words, bring them to the masses. Go to a book store and start telling customers all about your book. Sign books they’re holding or books on the store shelves – someday when you’re famous they’ll thank you for it.
4. Get an agent. As exciting as it might be, not a secret or special agent.
5. You need a literary-sounding name. If your name isn’t already literary-sounding, change it to something like: J.K. Rowling, Dan Brown, Dr. Seuss, Jane Austen, Stephen King, Stephenie Meyer, George R.R. Martin, Shakespeare, E.L. James, Suzanne Collins, Agatha Christie – something really authory.
6. Writing for children is different from writing for adults. For example, don’t use the name Stephen King or anything he writes about…ever.
7. Have family and friends write glowing book blurbs and reviews. If possible, have them use a well-known authory name, see #5 for examples.
8. People love pictures. You should totally get some of those.
9. Have characters in your book. Characters is just a fancy literary term for people you write about, either made-up people or those you know (I doubt anyone will sue you).
10. People like when characters do stuff in books. Have your characters stay busy. I don’t want to tell you what to write, but supernatural, scary, science, and sex (or a combination thereof) fly off the shelves. Have fictitious people who don’t even slightly resemble your siblings, parents, children, boss, ex, celebrities, anyone, living or dead or undead, doing fictitious (nudge nudge, wink wink) stuff.
11. Have your publisher help you promote your book. Sorry, did I skip that part? Get a publisher, preferably one who showers you with money, then get them to help promote your book (see #1).
12. Be prepared. Get ready, not only for fame and fortune, but to discuss and possibly explain your book, at length, on or in: TV, radio, podcasts, blogs, forums, bathroom stalls, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Skype, planes, trains, automobiles, restaurants, conventions, parties, family gatherings, fan sites, stalker fan sites, book signings (see #3 and don’t forget to bring a pen) – yes, everywhere and mostly to people who haven’t actually read your book.
Now you’ve done all the hard work. Take some ‘me time’, relax in a bubble bath, have some tea or wine.
Let those royalties roll in and remember, show some love to those who helped you out. You’re welcome.
Rock Me Amadeus
No one ever talked or did stuff like they did in 80’s movies. Ever.
In the future, they’ll probably dig up 80’s movies and come to conclusions like: Ferris Bueller was a god, aliens could phone home from Earth, “wax on, wax off” was a common phrase, and paternity results were only told to your child in space, after you cut off their hand. They’re going to think the 80’s were even more messed up than they were.
And what was with romance in the 80’s?
Why sit on a table with a birthday cake and a cute boy? I can think of much better things to do…with that cake.
Everyone was dancing – dirty dancing, flashdancing, Kevin Bacon dancing (don’t know what else to call it).
A guy with a boom box and a trench coat outside your house…nowadays, restraining order, or it would go viral, or both.
Officers, gentlemen, risky business, funny business.
Adventures, in space or babysitting, as long as they were most excellent, dude.
Supernatural, psycho, science, time travel – sometimes all at once.
Where’d they get all the gremlins, goonies, vampires, muppets, and aliens?
Actually, that all sounds like the soundtrack to my 80’s.
Know what also ruled in the 80’s? Political incorrectness. Who could worry about offending anyone when girls just wanted to have fun and boys wanted girls to have fun, especially with them?
I kind of miss it. Sure, political correctness is good in theory, don’t say unto others what you don’t want said to you, but has the correctness over-corrected? I don’t know if you can change human nature, people just say weird stuff.
“That’s the best kind of cancer to have.” Let’s review that sentence. Nope, still looks weird. The best kind of cancer is no cancer.
“Don’t worry.” Why are they telling me not to worry, is it because they know I should be worried and they don’t want me to panic?
“Do you have a bathroom?” Did you mean to ask if you can use my bathroom, because yes, I have a bathroom, I don’t ‘go’ in the yard.
“Money won’t make you happy.” I think money and I would be very happy together, we’d make the perfect couple (couple of million).
“Time heals all wounds.” Not true. Time doesn’t heal anything, it just passes.
“If you get lost in the woods, don’t panic.” Of course I’m going to panic! I’m lost, in the woods!!! Surrounded by bears, badgers, and bugs, maybe zombies in the dark (when I picture being lost in the woods, it’s always dark), and with my luck, zombie bears, badgers and bugs (note to self, pitch a spin-off to AMC, working title, The Walking Bears, Badgers, and Bugs™ ).
“Everything happens for a reason.” Technically correct, but I’m not sure that’s how people mean it.
“I think therefore I am.” Not true for everyone, have you been on the internet?
“I know you are, but what am I?” This one is actually timeless.
Back to 2015, my Don’t Worry, Be Happy 365 day project enters Week 3, will I falter?
Week 1, amazing: https://yadadarcyyada.com/2015/06/03/dont-worry-be-happy/
Week 2, a revelation: https://yadadarcyyada.com/2015/06/09/to-blog-or-not-to-blog/
1. Remove 15 minutes or more per day of sitting time (replace with dancing, but with less enthusiasm to Falco’s Rock Me Amadeus, my knee will thank me).
2. Remove another 100 calories per day (Again, not veggies…perhaps cake, but not, like chocolate cake, right?).
3. Remove 15 minutes or more of screen time per day to read or research.
4. Do 1 thing I’ve put off doing.
5. Read a book I said I’d never read (doesn’t leave me the range you’d think it would).
6. Pay it forward, aka do something good and don’t tell anyone what I did.
7. Try a food I haven’t tried (I guess I can’t sneak cake in and pretend?).
To Blog or Not To Blog
I have always been me and despite many attempts to make me not me, I still seem to manage to be me.
That’s not always a good thing.
Read some of my stuff, comment, critique, praise, ignore, puzzle, or just do whatever you want.
That’s my blog bio…everything else you’ll learn in my posts or you don’t care.
Every time I think I understand, even vaguely, how the world works, it tilts on its axis, spinning me right round, baby right round, like a record. Turns out, the blogging world is no different. Like everyone else on the planet (that might be a slight exaggeration, overstatement was never my strong suit), I have a blog. If I had a cat it would have a blog about sleeping, eating, and occasionally chasing a mouse lurking around the property. The mouse would have a blog about his adventures trying to escape the cat that bothers him while he’s trying to lurk around the property. And so on.
August 2013, I started this blog to relax, to practice writing, and to be more concise, with varying degrees of success. My Very Me-ness doesn’t always translate well, but no need to worry (hear that brain, no need to worry…forget it, it’s not listening), I’ve been embraced by readers, bloggers, etc. and I feel snug as a bug in a virtual rug.
Blogging has been difficult in many ways, but has made me fall in love with writing again, which guided me to start a year-long project to add even more happiness (Or contentment? Peace of mind?) to my life.
I more or less doubled my 7 goals in my first week https://yadadarcyyada.com/2015/06/03/dont-worry-be-happy/, even giving up 4 TV shows, but then I added 2, drum roll please, ok, I really only gave up 2 (math rules!).
This week’s goals:
1. Remove 15 minutes or more of screen time per day and play a game with my son (I want chess, he wants Pokémon, maybe we need a Pokémon chess set).
2. Remove 100 calories per day (No cheating, it can’t be veggies…Step away from the cookies).
3. Remove 15 minutes or more of screen time per day and just write, doesn’t matter what.
4. Remove 15 minutes or more per day of sitting time (replace with Yoga and Tai Chi).
5. Spend 15 minutes or more per day submitting articles and manuscripts, especially knowing they might be rejected.
6. Change 15 minutes of internet time to relaxation and rest.
7. Give away, use, or get rid of 1 or more items a day.
Blogging myths busted and wisdom learned:
1. Blogging is solitary. Wrong. Blogging, my friends, is social and addictive, like sugar, and as the song by Maroon 5 says (I’ve tried to get it out of my head, believe me), I need a little sweetness in my life, your sugar, yes, please!
2.You need to have something to say to have a blog. How snotty and daft was that assumption? Everyone has something to say.
3. Blogging is simple. Wrong again, complicated, yet worth it, despite the intricacies that sometimes make you feel like your head might explode. Mistakes have been made and more shall be made; it’s all part of learning.
4. Success! I thought I needed to be a world-famous writer, then I saw comments that said I’d made people laugh, smile, and think. Anything else that comes along would be the icing on this delicious, chocolatey cake of a blog experience thanks to you, dear readers.
5. Blogging is constant. Wrong. As with life, the only thing you can count on in blogging is change.
For example, I believe the WordPress motto is: If it ain’t broke, fix it a few times a day.
Twitter seems to have a midlife crisis every few weeks and I don’t know what happened to Facebook.
There are: trolls, traffic, topics, taboos, privacy issues, time, concentration…what was I saying? Oh yes, so the question today is, to blog or not to blog?
For now, the answer is…why not?
I Can’t Make You Love Me
It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a woman in possession of a blog, must be in want of readers.
For some, blogs take off faster than a Nascar driver chasing after sponsorship, for most others, like me, it’s a slow ride…
I know some of the reasons it’s been a slow ride, I’ve broken the first rule of The Blog Club, don’t talk about The Blog Club, no, that’s not it, oh yes, find a niche. Never have, probably never will. I figure if I get bored, you will too.
To me, giving blogging advice is like trying to explain to someone how to: dance, paint, drive, or make love in a canoe. Sometimes you just have to do it and make the mistakes, have the close calls, possibly tip over at the most inopportune moment.
When asked my blogging advice I offered https://yadadarcyyada.com/2015/04/10/im-hooked-on-a-feeling/
…but with a rebel yell you cried more, more, more…so here goes:
1. Choose a name for your blog. I didn’t know this was important when I choose mine. Live and learn.
2. Size matters, but it’s more about how you use it, mind out of the gutter, I’m taking about post size. Remember, it doesn’t matter how much they love your posts, your readers have lives.
3. Try to use images that work with your post. Adding a random picture of an adorable kitten just to suck up to the cats who run the internet might be smart, but come on, who does that?
4. Don’t get too stressed about the numbers, like right now, most numbers seem down on WordPress, who knows why? First, I blamed the Royal baby, but Princess Charlie is just too awfully cute. Then Mayweather/Pacquiao fight, Mother’s Day, elections, weather, labour unrest, but in the end I had to admit the truth – it’s WordPress. They probably changed their algorithms, come on, they’re always changing something, so statistically (and they love stats), it has to be them.
5. Poofread, er, proofread or get someone else to (and you can always correct it afterwards). We all make mistakes.
6. I can’t make you love me, well, actually, my posts, but one of the best parts about blogging is connecting with your readers and other bloggers, without all of you, what’s the point? Like everything else, sometimes you have to take someone’s hand and other times, offer yours.
7. It’s not a race or a contest. Don’t worry if a post is going to go viral, or get Freshly Pressed https://yadadarcyyada.com/2015/03/26/why-i-will-never-be-freshly-pressed/ or be nominated for awards, or making you rich and famous. Take a deep breath. Right now is about right now.
8. Blogging advice can be confusing, here’s the problem, what I think is terribly catchy and clever might not be to others. Obviously I think I’m writing something good, otherwise why would I publish it? Do what you want to do.
9. To be a shameless self-promoting bloghussy like me or not to be, that is the question. Whether tis nobler in the mind to suffer the slings and arrows of outrageous rejection while promoting on social media….aye, there’s the rub. I like Twitter, Tumblr and Pinterest, but Facebook just lays there like a mouldy, old ad-filled sock.
10. Don’t worry about if you’re going to offend someone, it’s the internet, someone is always, and I mean always, offended. Always.
Who am I kidding? I have no idea what works. I’ve poured my heart out and had the post sit there, alone, shivering like the last leaf on a tree before winter. Just do what you feel is right, in the famous words of those sage philosophers, Cheap Trick, “Surrender, Surrender, but don’t give yourself away”.
What about you, dear readers, what would be your best blogging advice?
It’s a Nice Day to Start Again
Have you ever had one of those days, dear readers, when you’re so frustrated with yourself you don’t know whether to: cry; give yourself a time out; scream; give yourself a hug and say you’ll do better next time; or maybe all the above and not necessarily in that order?
Too many things I try lately are thwarted, either by circumstances, or by me responding to circumstances. I keep giving myself pep talks, but I have a suspicion I’m not listening very well.
Happiness is a choice. Apparently, this isn’t just a platitude or a wall plaque, according to researchers, happiness is really a choice (as well as a booming business). So instead of beating myself up for my utter failure today, I decided to go to a happy place and figure out how to reduce my stress. I’m not one for magical thinking, I like to believe in goodness, happiness, etc., but the realist in me knows that any broomstick I’m handed will come with a dustpan, not a flight into the moonlight.
Maybe today was a good day to read MeQuilibrium: 14 days to Cooler, Calmer, and Happier (Harmony Books) – wait, what, 14 days?!? That’s a long time, 2 weeks, a fortnight, half a month, I need help right now! Deep breaths, remain focused on the outcome, not the obstacles.
Ok, Jan Bruce, Andrew Shatte, Ph.D. and Adam Perlman, M.D., dazzle me with your wisdom. I hope the rest of the book is better than the title, sorry, it doesn’t really thrill me, but Blogging for Books wanted an honest review in exchange for the digital copy of this book, so ready or not, here it comes.
Day 1, sure, let’s pretend that’s today. This book has a lot of logical points, including changing the way you think about a problem or situation, although most I’ve heard in the labyrinth (ok, I just spelled that correctly for the first time in my life, things are looking up) of self-help I’ve traversed in my journey to now.
As I read about our Emotion Radar and how we scan and see situations and things, I had to squint as the light bulb over my head turned on. I went into this morning’s debacle looking through an ‘anxiety radar’, therefore, I saw things to be anxious about, then became more and more and more anxious, trapping a bunch of poor little monarchs in my stomach as my heart tried to smash through my ribcage.
This book, while well-written and easy-to-follow is basically a giant ad for their ‘wellness’ program, but that doesn’t rule out any a-ha moments (Excuse me, I need a moment to dance to a-ha’s Take on Me, don’t be shy, join me! As I watch this video again, there’s clearly a lesson to be learned – no matter how drawn toward someone you are, it’s probably a bad idea to go into a comic book just because the cute guy winks at you and extends his penciled hand).
Society has become busier and busier as we rush from one thing to the next to the next. We barely have time to breathe, let alone think. The answer might be to unlock our problem-solving room, go in and get calm, figure things out, before we fall into the stress traps.
As I reboot and relax listening to Duran Duran’s Save A Prayer then Billy Idol’s White Wedding (I moved on, but couldn’t quite leave that decade apparently) I realize, if I should stumble, I can catch my own fall. Perhaps I didn’t do as badly as I thought, in retrospect, I actually learned a lot from the experience.
It’s a nice day to start again.
All The Ways I’m Told I’m Stupid Everyday
Every day I’m told I’m stupid. Repeatedly. It can be exhausting and difficult to handle, but I’m sure it’s for my own good.
Governments practically scream how stupid I am from the rooftops. Apparently lying about everything and making rich people richer is more important that taking care of all the citizens, more important than eradicating poverty, feeding the hungry, affordable housing, good jobs, education, healthcare, ending wars and conflict, or treating people with dignity and respect. If I don’t agree, that’s because I’m stupid, I don’t understand their brilliant plan, which seems more like an overly elaborate Scooby-Doo plan that never turns out properly and if it does, it’s quite by mistake.
I don’t understand why so much money is spent on politicians, their cronies and bagmen; on ads promoting themselves; red tape, then again, what do I know, I’m a delicate flower, I do declare without all these rich men telling me what’s right I doubt I could put on my own shoes in the morning. Thank goodness I now understand how stupid I am.
Today is Earth Day, why does anyone even bother? I used to think it was important to try and save the planet, but luckily I now understand how stupid I was. Turns out climate change isn’t real and even if it is, it’s not that bad. I should stop whining about the environment.
I should understand that all this extreme weather is simply an opportunity to rebuild cities, towns, and homes over and over again when they get destroyed by weather events.
I stupidly used to think oil was bad for the planet too, but now I’ve been enlightened and feel much better. I even thought fracking was bad just because it wastes a massive amount of clean water, causes earthquakes, contaminates groundwater and air, etc. I should have understood that fracking is a fun way to invade the Earth on a fundamental level that causes it to shake, rattle, and roll.
I’m so out of it, I used to think when I read product reviews they were real. Duh, no, most are not even done by real people. Many were written by computers programmed to make spelling mistakes and grammatical errors, to appear as though they were done by real people not corporations (but aren’t corporations people?). Isn’t that clever?
I’m being lied to by everyone, all day, every day…even my memory lies to me, probably because it knows I’m too stupid to know any better.
I was so stupid when the Occupy Movement started, I thought they were protesting the corruption of democracy, and how the banks and corporations control our governments and every aspect of our lives. Luckily the news, who would know because they’re run by those same corporations, told me it was a poorly organized joke.
Whew, what a relief, I thought this movement might actually challenge the corrupt system and bring about positive changes. Thankfully the news and the government keep explaining to us, I’m sure because they love us, that anyone who doesn’t agree with them are: radicals, flakes, terrorists, idiots, kooks, hippies, felons, drug users, and uneducated trouble-makers.
I hope they keep explaining it because what if people actually start to believe they don’t have to live in a society run by the rich who only care about the rich?
What if we actually believed we should expect our leaders to do what’s right for all of us?
Thank goodness I have people to set me straight, to tell me how stupid I am for believing we can have a good economy and a good environment, or believing that we are worthy of an equal, kind, and fair society, that we are worthy of the truth.
I’m sure someday I’ll look back at this and laugh, if I can understand it.
50 Things to Get Busy Doing Before 50
1. Reach 49.
2. Forgive. Doesn’t matter if they deserve it, you do.
3. Some people will be negative and hate, so what, what’s that got to do with you?
4. Learn your parents, family, and friends’ stories.
5. Ignore people who tell you to try surfing or skydiving or extreme sports if you don’t want to do it, they’re not going to spend the time in hospital or rehab.
6. Help someone who needs help and don’t tell a single soul you did it.
7. Learn to compromise.
8. Conquer a fear. Doesn’t have to be a big one.
9. Take the time to write that email, make that call, write a letter, visit, send a card, it may not matter, but what if it does?
10. Ask for help. Accept it gratefully.
11. Smile. Laugh. Often. Quit thinking about why. Smile. Laugh.
12. Cry. Into someone’s shoulder, a pillow, a cat or dog, a tub of ice cream, a gooey chocolate bar, but cry.
13. Walk. Look around. Walk some more.
14. Quit measuring. Your food. Waist. Accomplishments. What others have. Still measure before cutting wood, fabric, and when you bake.
15. Nurture yourself so you can nurture others. The world works best when everyone cares for someone.
16. Say yes more often.
17. Say no more often.
18. Do something you didn’t think you could do. Maybe you still can’t, but isn’t it glorious that you tried?
19. Read. Doesn’t matter what.
20. Laugh so hard it hurts and you think someone might call in help because there’s something wrong.
21. Don’t be too serious, it causes wrinkles and it’s no fun.
22. Believe in something, stand behind it, no matter what.
23. Find some magic, whether it’s in a book, a sunset, a blog post, a smile, a party, a kiss, a moment…Find it and keep it.
24. Belt out a song at Karaoke, especially one you don’t know or with inappropriate lyrics.
25. Watch the stars…sleep under them if possible.
26. Roll down a grassy hill with your friend (make sure there’s nothing in the way first).
27. Change your hair, not to follow a style, or to cover gray hair, or because someone tells you that you should.
28. Let go of hate.
29. Lay and watch clouds for a minimum of one hour. You’re welcome.
30. Sit alone in a restaurant, don’t hide behind a book or your phone or pretend to be engrossed in your noodles (they’re not that fascinating). Look around, be in the moment.
31. Make an unrealistic wish on a shooting star.
32. Have a huge crush that can never be returned. It’s freeing.
33. Follow a dream, even if everyone tells you it’s ridiculous, especially if everyone tells you it’s ridiculous.
34. Move forward. You don’t have a time machine.
35. Compassion first. Compassion second. Compassion third. You get the idea.
36. Be so completely wrong you’ll never believe how wrong you were.
37. Be so completely right no one will ever believe how right you were.
38. Visit Niagara Falls, really, any enormous waterfall will do. You will walk away with a million and half questions about the universe.
39. Don’t follow trends or fads, do what you want, your time is limited.
40. Be like your parents.
41. Don’t be like your parents.
42. The answer to life, the universe and everything. Use it wisely and sparingly.
43. Stop saying, ‘Life isn’t fair’. It never was.
44. Be happy with what you have and what you are – at least it’s real.
45. Have goals. Fulfill some.
46. Stop using the word ‘impossible’. Substitute ‘improbable’ if you must.
47. Spend a whole day just listening.
48. Spend a whole day telling the truth.
49. There’s no scorecard, so be yourself, quit trying to get points.
50. Life is too short to do someone else’s bucket list. Be your best you….at any age.
We’ll Be Counting Scars
Doesn’t age have any advantages? I still don’t sleep well. Stars glistening, moon beaming, I think of bills, appointments, problems… I make lists, read, try to write (curse your inevitable betrayal writer’s block), and tried to simultaneously organize and turn off my thoughts.
It gives too much time for reflection. I ponder if my life would be easier if I had a hero. He can’t be just any hero; the term so loosely used nowadays. He’s gotta be strong…he’s gotta be sure… and he’s gotta be larger than life….my exhausted brain sighed, you’re just tossing and turning, with that Bonnie Tyler song in your head. I think of heroes as I slip into the arms of the sandman.
As a teen, I was a soap opera junkie. I couldn’t get enough of the endless tangled story lines, because like sands through the hourglass, so was that phase of my life.
I was breathless as Bo, a streetwise Hercules roared in on his motorcycle and saved Hope from a fate worst than death (really?). Her excessively cumbersome 80s wedding dress bunched up, arms around her hero, they rode off on his fiery steel steed, impossibly large 80s hair rarely moving in the wind.
Strangely, I didn’t find them nearly as amusing once I had some soap trials and tribulations myself.
We love superheroes because we are them. We may not have the capes or gadgets or tights (ok, some have tights), but who hasn’t felt like they’re from another planet? Been of two minds? Felt like we could do more? Wanted to save people? To help? To do good? Felt guilty because we could have done more? Tried to prove ourselves? Wanted things back the way they were before something horrible happened?
Life gives us chances to be heroes or villains.
Chances for joy and loss.
Chances for creation and destruction.
Sometimes, scars are born, on the surface and others deep inside. Too often seen as disfigurements, as imperfection when they’re actually signs of resilience. So much is written in the scars. Never the same, but no longer bleeding, no longer open. Healed.
We can heal. We may never be exactly the same as we were.
We may never get back to our ‘old self’.
Things may never get back to ‘normal’.
There’s no time limit for healing, it takes as long as it takes.
It doesn’t matter how many times we get knocked down and there’s no time limit on getting back up.
Hopefully, not destroying everything around us in the healing process.
So we rise again and again, getting and giving help along the way.
I’m Hooked on a Feeling
I can’t fight this feeling, deep inside of me, I’m hooked on a feeling…blogging, you don’t know what you do to me.
I’m not entirely sure how many posts about blogging advice I’ve read in the past couple of years. Some posts were extremely helpful, others decidedly unhelpful, many didn’t pertain to me, and others gibberish. So here’s my best blogging advice that will most certainly change the way you blog forever!
1. Have a blog.
2. Write posts that are 300 words to whatever-your-readers-think-isn’t-too-long. Think of each post as a summer hat, you want it to cover your face and neck, but you don’t want to be the one with that Royal Wedding hat.
3. Add pictures and images to your posts. There are many ways to do this – take photos, make memes, scan, find, paint, draw…and please credit them, if possible.
4. Publish the post – this part is way more important than it seems.
5. Read. Not just books, but other people’s posts as well. If you don’t have time to read, how do you have time to write?
6. Before writing or posting, don’t think about if people will: Like it, share it, reblog it, tweet it, agree, disagree, unfollow, hate you, become your worst nightmare troll, make voodoo dolls of you, or nominate you for awards. Don’t think about becoming rich and famous. Just write. Write, because if you don’t the words will burst out of you like an alien bursting out of your chest! I can’t guarantee they’ll show up at your blogdoor with flowers and candy for each post you write, but it’s worth a try.
7. Think of the internet as a massive, sprawling, loud house party. Sometimes it takes time, effort, and quite a few trips to the ‘refreshment area’ to find people and have them find you.
8. Engage with your readers and other bloggers, be generous, share the works of others, but don’t always expect reciprocation in kind. Think of the blogging community more like a big chain link fence – the links don’t all connect, but altogether they make something strong.
9. Don’t worry about who’s reading or not reading your blog and what they might think, although, you might want to worry if you worry about that too much.
10. Share your work. Be a shameless self-promoting bloghussy – like me! Be as overexposed as Miley Cyrus, wait, even as I type that, it sounds like bad advice. A little mystery goes a long way. The important thing is to be out there, getting experience and learning.
11. Most of all, enjoy the process. Never in the field of human communication has so much been written by so many to so few. It’s a massive virtual haystack (yes, sadly, you’re the needle in this analogy), so just sit back, type on, press publish, and enjoy the ride.
12. Ignore all the aforementioned advice. Do whatever makes you feel comfortable and happy. Get whatever you need from the moment.
What about you, dear readers, what would be your best blogging advice, besides Ooga-Chaka Ooga-Ooga
O-o-h Child Things Are Gonna Get Easier…
In the dusty sanctuaries of erudition (cooler word than knowledge, which is sooo five centuries ago)… black and white, truth and lies live comfortably, side by side, lined up…we, elbow to elbow, heads bent, allow worlds to cascade around us. ‘Take us home,’ they whisper seductively, promising to reveal all their secrets.
Within the walls of a bookstore or library it’s clear what’s fiction and what’s non-fiction.
In the real world, not so much.
Some of you, dear readers might be aware it’s Autism Awareness Month. You may have Autism; know those who live with it; love those who live with it who you can’t live without; or know those you don’t even know are on the Autism Spectrum. Still with me? Good. Reading Me Being Me Is Exactly As Insane As You Being You by Todd Hasak-Lowy (Simon Pulse) – we’ll get to the title in a minute – had me thinking of Autism’s infinite variety, as well as the still surprising amount of intolerance in the world.
12 things I thought about while reading this novel:
1. It’s all lists. I like lists.
2. The title is too long…oops, I’m one to talk.
3. The main character, a teen named Darren seems to be on the Autism Spectrum.
4. Part way through the book, I realized I had read other works by this author and felt a ‘doh’ moment. It passed.
5. The writing was accessible, appealing, and made me want to read more, yet around page 400 I found it was dragging and even I was growing tired of lists (is that even possible?).
6. Made me remember high school…Actually, I might be thinking of Glee, I don’t remember my high school having that much singing (luckily, this book doesn’t either).
7. Parents should care about themselves by caring for their children.
8. I wanted to buy Darren some ice cream and tell him, ‘O-o-h child things are gonna get easier. O-o-h child things’ll get brighter.’ I have this Five Stairsteps song in my head, I blame Guardians of the Galaxy.
9. You can’t escape the world, it follows you everywhere.
10. Different can be bad or good, so much depends on intention and perception.
11. It might be comforting to tell someone things will get easier, brighter, or better, but it’s not always true. One of the best things to say is, ‘things are ok right now’. If that’s not true either, then, yes, by all means, say things are going to get easier, brighter, or better.12. I love books. I love free books in a different way. Refer to #10 and in this case, different is good.
It’s Not The Years, Honey. It’s The Mileage
Our bodies might be temples, but mine is starting to look like it needs an archaeological dig.
I’m going to agree with Indiana Jones, “It’s not the years, honey. It’s the mileage.”
Sigh, it might also be the years.
Maybe it’s just that women need more upkeep…or we’re told we do.
Women spend an inordinate amount of time trying to remove hair from their bodies…and if we can’t remove it, then we need to curl it, cut it, dye it, straighten it, lengthen it, wax it, shave it, shape it, and give names to the shapes.
Men generally just want to hold onto every single hair they have, for as long as they can.
Women spend hours they’ll never get back trying to pick out just the right shade, tone, tint, texture that’s going to: smooth, cover, cleanse, conceal, reverse, resist, beautify, bronze, define, alter, prime, primp, plump – for the dry, normal, oily, sensitive, acne-prone, combination; all of which will then be removed.
Men leave the house, perhaps after brushing the precious hair they have left and hopefully their teeth.
Women will do everything short of selling their souls (and that might be up for consideration) to keep themselves looking young, including being injected, operated on, rituals, who knows?
Women worry about every bit of food that passes their lips, weigh ourselves obsessively, worry about body fat, calories, diets. They will fast, cleanse, purge and look too often into the abyss (aka the full-length mirror).
Obviously these are generalizations, but why are there such differences between the sexes? Is it our brains? Bodies? Society? History? It should be about acceptance. Men and women aren’t that much different, except women usually get paid less and their products and services cost more.
We’re all human (well, most of us, there are exceptions), we should accept each other and work together.
In Raiders of the Lost Ark they should have said, we have top people working on it. Why? Because we may just be passing through history, but it doesn’t mean we have to keep reliving it.
Exploring New Horizons
Shocking news! Reports are pouring in from around the world of senior citizens leaving their homes and care facilities to join terrorism groups.
Over 145,000 aging Baby Boomers, fed up with living in poverty and feeling like they’re a burden on their families have left for war-torn countries in the Middle East.
“I spoke to a nice young man at ISAS, he reminded me a lot of my grandson,” a senior, calling herself ‘Hilda’ told Senior Today News. “Next thing I know, I was up to my support hose in sand, cooking over an empty steel fuel can, darning socks, and knitting flags,” she said, smiling. “Mind you, the air raids interrupt my programs and the cries of ‘Death to America’ disturb my sleep, but at least here I feel needed.”
Authorities are bewildered and at a loss of what to do to stop the radicalization of seniors.
“We didn’t even think of seniors being radicalized,” a top aide to Obama told this reporter. “They weren’t even on our radar and now they’re using walkers as weapons in this bloody conflict.”
Young people, upon learning that over half of the new recruits were their grandparents and great-grandparents have decided it’s no longer cool to be radicalized.
“When I went online and saw that my Gram had joined the same terrorist caliphate as I was joining, well, it was Facebook all over again,” Caleb Smith explained as he unpacked his knapsack. “How can I commit acts of merciless violence with my Gram watching?”
The only upside? Decreased burden on pension plans, as well as reduced wait times for healthcare and spaces open up in care facilities.
Although experts see no end in sight to this bizarre recruitment of the elderly, sources tell us that the terrorists seem to be tiring of being asked the same questions over and over again…and watching Wheel of Fortune.
Happy April Fool’s Day!
Old Habits Die Harder
Don’t you think this would be a perfect title of the next Die Hard movie? Call me Bruce, we’ll talk…
Oh, you know there’s going to more, this isn’t over yet.
I woke up in the night with my leg in a bear trap. The pain was excruciating. It was dark and there was no one around to help me. As I struggled to my feet, feeling at my ankle for blood I realized I’d been dreaming. My mind, trying to process the pain of the fist-sized charley horse in my leg had incorporated it into my dream.
I’d done a prolonged and unusual activity the day before, sadly, it wasn’t nearly as exciting as it sounds. I had broken a habit of procrastination and avoidance. OK, maybe I’d at least dented the habit.
The trouble with habits, these sometimes helpful, sometimes hurtful patterns of behaviour – they so can easily become addictive and breaking them is complicated.
Phase 1 – Some call it denial. You don’t have a problem, everybody else does. This habit isn’t hurting anyone. Phase 1 can last for years and years.
Phase 2 – You consider you might have a bad habit and contemplate whether to part ways with the habit. This phase can also last a long time.
Phase 3 – You start looking at the good, the bad, and addictive. I like the habits, no, I hate the habits. Pros and Cons lists are made. Arguments for and against are hotly debated in your head.
Phase 4 – The most public phase. Until now you fought the habit war in your head. With action, people will know. It’s all out there. You’ll get narrow-eyed looks, comments, praise, questions, and/or criticism. But your resolve is firm.
Phase 5 – Staying the course. You’ve done it, kicked that habit to the curb! It’s not going to run your life, you are in charge. This is when you have to maintain. They can take our habits, but they can never take our freedom!
Phase 6 – When the ugly stats that 9 out of 10 people relapse back into their habits within a year. And the older the habit, the harder is it to break. You get the bad news, you have Chronic Reversion Syndrome. The tests all show, the habit is back. Your family and friends fear the worst, but you know you’re going to fight it.
In your rush to recover, you should be careful, to change a habit, you need to move toward something new and better, not just away from the habit you’re trying to kick. Or try to replace a bad habit with a good habit.
How do you quit bad habits, dear readers?
Have you had success or like me, do you suffer from Chronic Reversion Syndrome?
Why I Will Never Be Freshly Pressed
I don’t own an iron…
Many of you reading this are WordPress Bloggers. You may have heard of being ‘Freshly Pressed’, where WordPress Editors pick out posts that are instantly given a lot of attention. It feels like their way of saying some bloggers are better than others, that they’re more worthy of sharing.
I even Googled, ‘How to get Freshly Pressed’.
Hmmm, note to self, next time you search, add, ‘on WordPress’, because, wow, that got weird, really fast.
Apparently none of my blog posts have: ‘enlightened’, ‘inspired’, ‘entertained’, or got the WordPress Editors ‘talking’.
Oh well, at least I’ve learned a lot about blogging, sorta…
I’m more concise (applause).
I know about: fonts, stats, sharing, widgets, I know what SEO stands for, Search Engine Oops, maybe I don’t.
I’m on Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads, LinkedIn, Google+, Pinterest – I’m everywhere and as it turns out, nowhere.
I’ve virtually met fantastic people…or who knows, maybe they’re all one giant app that pretends to be bloggers and readers.
I’ve made mistakes…many. I’ve had popular posts and some you could hear crickets chirping as the post sits there being ignored.
I’ve been encouraged, discouraged, disappointed, and delighted.
I’ve learned to not take it too seriously.
Yet for Freshly Pressed folks, apparently I don’t write ‘unique content’ that’s free of ‘bad stuff’ (where’s the fun in that?).
I don’t have a ‘point of view’ (that’s silly, everyone has a point of view, even if they borrowed it from someone else).
I don’t paint them ‘a picture’ or make it easy on their eyes (this seems like a blatant attempt to get me to buy a Premium package).
I don’t add ‘relevant tags’ (too many tags, not enough tags, make up your mind).
My headlines can be ‘ignored’ (I already put the word ‘Obscure’ in my tagline).
typoos, er, typos. Sorry I’m not prefect, WordPress.
I’ve tried, I really have, for over 500 posts, but sigh, I’m still in The-Land-of-Never-To-Be-Freshly-Pressed. It’s worse than being Friend-zoned.
- Well, I never really wanted to be Freshly Pressed anyway (so there).
You can keep your FP Clique.
You keep your special jackets that say FP on them and super-duper secret decoder rings.
Keep your secret Clubhouse where all the Freshly Pressed elite virtually hang out and talk about us losers that will never be Pressed.
Just realized, this little rant probably got me banned from being Freshly Pressed, for my blogging lifetime. So what? I was never going to be anyway (er, was I?).
So, why will I never be Freshly Pressed? Ummm, no clue….
Take your time, hurry up
Last night, as I checked on my beautiful boy, now so grown up, I noted again that time has raced by yet he still looks like my baby when he’s asleep.
Having a child with Autism, those sleep times give you some much-needed downtime and perhaps, a curious understanding of time and dimension, hmm, or maybe that’s too many years of Doctor Who.
In this frenzied world, we need more compassion, appreciation, and hope; less rushing, lies, and bullying. Maybe we don’t have time to stop and smell the roses, but I hope we can at least notice the roses are there.
The best time to take a deep breath is when there’s no time. At the end of your life, I doubt you’ll look back and think, thank goodness I spent my life like a hamster on a wheel, that was sooo fulfilling.
Stop flogging yourself for mistakes. They happen. Learn from them. So you write or say the wrong thing. Fall in love with the wrong person. Press the wrong button and start a nuclear war, ok, that example is pretty much the worst mistake ever, try not to do that one. Time moves forward for a reason, so should you.
I think you can be happy with or without money. Money just makes life easier, not always better. Stop trying to buy your way to happiness or keep up with the Kardashians. If you’re coveting someone else’s stuff, you’re not focusing on you and those you love. You can’t be happy doing that.
Don’t get into friendships or relationships (or stay in them) for the wrong reasons. Do you really loathe your own company that much?
Don’t reject someone because you’ve had a bad experience either. That experience taught you something, it had a purpose.
Fall apart once in a while. You’re not always “fine”. Sometimes it’s fine not to be fine.
Worry is passive and self-indulgent; you’re not enjoying that moment and not letting others enjoy it either.
Trying to be someone you’re not is like trying to hide a dinosaur in your bedroom, it’s too big, smelly, messy, and extinct. Why be someone else, they’re already doing it.
Holding grudges or hating people is a toxic waste of time and energy. Forgiveness isn’t agreeing, you’re just not going to let it poison you or those around you. That includes forgiving yourself too!
If we have time to shop, play games, check the internet, go on vacation, go out to dinner, we can spare 5 minutes to vote. An hour to volunteer or help someone. We can’t make a difference if we don’t at least try.
Instead of thinking about what you don’t want to happen, think about what you do want to happen.
Those who love you don’t need you to explain yourself and pretenders, bullies, or enemies, they’ll believe what they want to believe.