Through the blog storm,
we reach the shore
We give it all
but they want more
And we wait for views
With or without you
Can’t blog with
or without views
And you blog yourself all day
And you blog, and you blog
And you blog yourself away.
If this had audio you’d know I sang it just like Bono of U2, it’s like we’re twins, ok, maybe closer to the Swedish Chef from The Muppets, but it’s all good.
Blogging is a lot like cooking. Some people do it instinctively. A pinch of this. A dash of that. Somehow they know just the right blend. Others follow a precise recipe.
1. First thing you need to decide, what kind of cooking, I mean, blogging do you enjoy? Home-cooked, formal, informal, sugar-free, spicy, sweet, sour, no artificial flavours or colours, grilling, gourmet, fusion? Do you want to indulge your readers with moist, sweet chocolate brownies (my secret, melt the butter, let it cool then slowly add it to the mixture) or spicy chipolte chicken taco with guacamole (drooling)…
2. With blogging, like cooking you need an appreciative audience. Those who don’t just eat to live, but live to eat. Those who don’t just like blogs, but love them.
3. Posts can fill up our email like a meal can fill up our stomachs, but too much of a good thing can be overwhelming, sometimes a snack is the way to go.
4. Processed food, junk food, fast food, sure, they call themselves food, but really, food by any other name is not always food…same goes for blogging.
5. The blogging community is family style dining, so just dig in, reach over, around, share, like, join in, engage! Don’t just invite others to your table, sit at theirs too! Eat up! Even indulge in blog parties…
Jason – https://aopinionatedman.com/
Elena – http://blogsharelearn.com/blogsharelearn-linky-party-may-1316/
Niki – https://therichnessofasimplelife.wordpress.com/
Shawna and Shareen #LinkYourLife – http://honeyquill.com/
Danny – http://dreambigdreamoften.co/
Carolina – https://yesterdayafter.com/
Vicky – http://www.singlemotherahoy.com/
Pop Down Under – https://amommasview.wordpress.com/
Janice and all the lovely ladies that give us
Friday Blogger’s Pit Stop and Inspire Me Monday –
6. Don’t think if people will: Like it, share it, reblog it, tweet it, agree, disagree, hate you, be a troll under your blogging bridge, or if you’ll end up looking like Mr. Bean with a turkey on your head. Just do what you want to do…that turkey looks good on you.
7. When you don’t have time to prepare a meal, aka a post, or you need some comfort food or a comfort blogging advice post…
8. Sometimes you slave over a hot stove aka computer, plate your hopefully tasty content, and serve it up….you wait for readers to gobble it up, but sometimes they never come to the table, even when called repeatedly. Maybe they’re busy, after all, when they open their email, it’s like a giant buffet has been served up, how much can they possibly eat? Maybe they’ve already eaten or are dining elsewhere. It happens. Try again.
9. Get out there, be a shameless social media self-promoting bloghussy (like me), most of all, enjoy!
Where I’m a complete twit: https://twitter.com/yadadarcyyada
Endlessly baffled by humanity: https://www.facebook.com/yadadarcyyada
The desert where I wander: http://www.pinterest.com/dpark2/
Where I google, not nearly as fun as it sounds: https://plus.google.com/112672588892199127381/posts
10. You can tell someone how to cook or blog, but that doesn’t mean they can do it, or do it like you. Or should. Cook what you want, blog what you want, eat what you want. Taste life.
My best advice about blogging and cooking? Don’t miss the donut by looking through the hole. Dear readers, any favourite blogging tips or recipes you can’t live with or without? Bon Appetit!
Dear Readers, how are you today? Happy, I hope.
Lately I’ve been in a shall we say, reflective mood, thinking of the highs and lows, cons and pros of being human.
I know, like so many things, it’s complicated.
Let’s start with the Pros:
1. We’re amusing.
I never understand why people go to the zoo when they can watch people instead, such as, on public transit. In one ride I saw: a guy with a bag full of copper wires sucking down a giant blue slurpee who collected paper transfers from the bus floor, tore two apart, licked them, put them together then showed ‘it’ to the driver; another guy was reading a scientific magazine, upside down; a photoshopped woman talking loudly and graphically about her knotty/naughty love life via cellphone; an older gentleman wearing PJs, cool, I did that too, in high school, the top one day, bottoms another, but as I get older I just think, sure, that looks comfy, you could get off the bus and right into bed. Who needs The Oscars? Hop on a bus, be awarded.
2. We’re ingenious.
Really, we came up with all kinds of stuff, like: flying, fire, medicine, books, family, duct tape, technology, chocolate, the internet, music, blogging, swimming inside in the winter, batteries, politicians, money, cake, saunas, friendships, trains, Johnny Depp as a pirate, pool noodle under fitted sheet so a child doesn’t roll out of bed (wish I’d known this when my son was young), driving, driving with dogs on our laps, wait, someone needs to explain this one to me, does the dog think he’s driving, does he even comprehend what driving is, I doubt he passed a driving test, I mean, how did he fill out all the forms, reach the pedals with his paws, not bite the instructor?
3. We’re endlessly curious.
We ask questions such as, but not limited to: “How bad can it be?” (very bad); “Could it get any worse?” (yes); “How stupid can you be?” (have you heard some politicians?).
4. We’re brave.
We live on a planet where the earth shakes, volcanoes spew lava, mountains of snow grow, and storms make us remember there’s no place like home…and then invite tourists, cause it’s that awesome.
5. We fall in love and out of love.
Love can go from oh’s to ex’s…ex’s to oh’s or so I’ve heard…at least, in song. Our hearts can stay, stray, delay, relay, live to love another day. Don’t think my ex’s or oh’s haunt me, but I’d like to think someday my Prince Charming will ride in on his baggage cart and sweep me into his manly arms, yes, apparently in my flight of fancy I’m dainty and light as a feather, his bronzed flesh glowing, huh, glowing? Too much of the X-Files reboot? But I digress…he’ll have room on his baggage cart for my baggage too and we’ll be off, into the sunset (Risky Business-style sunglasses firmly in place), hopefully not ending up like Thelma and Louise, Romeo and Juliet, or Butch and Sundance…
6. We yearn.
For more, for other worlds and explore them through books, movies, TV…finally saw Star Wars The Force Awakens aka A-New-Hope-revisited when I took my son to a movie marathon for his birthday. It was great, but I have to wonder, what is it with people dropping children off on desert planets? Do they think it’s desert daycare? Do they think the children might go all Home Alone on the scum of these wretched hives of villainy? At what point should we just admit they’re bad parents?
7. We all want to be heroes or funny anti-heroes.
Yeah, I saw Deadpool and laughed so hard my sides hurt. I’m having a bit of a Ryan Reynolds week (how often can you say that?), saw Woman In Gold too, how does Helen Mirren do it? But we don’t have to wear a cape, or a mask, have mutant powers, or fancy gadgets…just be good to one another. But if you get a chance to be be Batman and drive the Batmobile, do that too. Kindness is true heroics.
The Cons? Maybe another time, or…all of the above? Anything you want to add?
As a writer I have to believe words have power. One of the words I dislike is hate (note I didn’t say I hated hate). It’s overused. People hate their life. Family. Weight. Home. Car. Cats (maybe they sense your hate). Government. Politicians. Job. Hair. Cake (you are so reading the wrong blog). Books. TV shows. Songs. Actors. Movies. Vegetables (how do you hate something plant-based?).
I’m tired of hearing people say they hate…I’m not sure they know what that word means. Hate should be reserved for really, really bad people and things, like: child abusers, rapists, murderers, Hitler, warlords, dictators, alien overlords, stuff like that.
1. Let’s review, do you really hate your life or just certain aspects? Your whole life is a big category with many moving parts, pick the right part to hate, let the rest roll on.
2. Standing in the middle of a room silently or loudly screaming, “I hate my life” or “no No NOOOO!” repeatedly will probably make you feel slightly better for about 30 seconds, but it’s not a long-term ‘fix’.
3. This is usually the point when advice-giver types tell you to change your life. That’s all well and good, but what if some things are beyond your ability to change? Should you just accept them, or rail against them, lay down and kick and scream until you feel better, or until someone offers you ice cream to stop, or threatens to call the authorities (and no ice cream)?
4. How much time do you spend each day ‘hating your life’, I suggest you cut that in half, help others with the other half, you’ll feel the hate drift away.
5. Take a deep breath. This probably won’t help you hate your life less, but hopefully you might get a nice breath of fresh air, or the smell of fresh-baked goods.
6. Do something, maybe something different, or something to help someone else, again, may not make your life full of singing and woodland creatures doing your housework, but it might remind you of the good things.
7. Take charge of your life, unless you wouldn’t feel comfortable having you in charge, after all, do you even remember where your keys, or the remote is right now?
8. Are you at least changing the things you hate about your life? You’d hate to get stuck in a rut of hating the same things for decades.
9. Check your birth certificate. Are you old enough to hate your life? There are some weird laws out there, you don’t want to be breaking any.
10. Write down what you hate, maybe there’s a great book, or movie or TV show, song, etc. in all that hate. As much as people say they love positivity, so many popular shows, movies, books, plays, songs, etc. are about dysfunction, hate, crime, death, destruction, apocalyptic worlds, and misery, including Misery.
Maybe the haters just need a nap. A nap always makes you feel better. I’ve been enjoying a tiny bit more sleep (even when awake) in the past week (new meds).
Fibromyalgia and sleep don’t get along, but as much as I can hate the pain it inflicts on me 24/7, the constant fatigue, feeling left out of life sometimes, there’s no point, it is what it is. I have a choice, I can choose hate and be all grumpypants, or I can choose love and keep enjoying what I have and hoping for better days ahead.
If I said anything wonky during my blog party https://yadadarcyyada.com/2016/01/29/always-on-my-mind-blog-party/ (still open by the way, drop by anytime and promote your blog, for free, yes, free – we hear that word often, but it’s rarely true, in this case, it is) – I’ll blame it on the drugs (totally legal ones). Thanks to all those who came out. Happily, my bed and I are back on speaking terms, for now, and we didn’t even need sleep counseling.
Haters gonna hate, so let’s bake them a cake…seriously, who can hate when eating cake?
Be brave. Be bold.
Choose love…and naps…and cake
(not necessarily in that order).
Hello, it’s good to be back!
Thanks to all of you for standing by me, supporting me, my blog, and my blogging break.
Against all odds, I’ve tried to keep up with your blogs too, but couldn’t seem to muster the energy or inspiration to write a post myself.
I’ve resolved not to make any resolutions this new year, but to keep exploring this uncharted life of mine.
But here’s what happened when I was gone, sort of….
1. I learned I’m never going to be a proper gym bunny. It seems to involve an excessive amount of hair-flipping, giggling, spandex, and a thong or two where they don’t belong or two.
2. Inconsiderate people keep using my public library to take out books I wish to read. On a brighter note, they’ve increased the hold limit to 60 items!
3. Another plane, another train, but no way to get those Beastie Boys outta of my brain. Every time I see or hear an ad for the movie, Brooklyn voices inside my head sing: “No sleep till Brooklyn!”.
4. If you don’t try you can’t fail, but you can’t succeed either.
5. I miss when stuff didn’t have so many names or labels, when you could just like what you liked. My lovely childhood crushes on Tom Baker, Kirk, and Bobby Darin, ok, that one ended badly when I found out he’d been dead for several years (somewhere beyond the sea, for sure), anyway, all that would now be called ‘fangirling’. Long before Mr. Darcy plunged into that lake and Daryl Dixon picked up a crossbow, I had labels I didn’t know about. Forget labels, just be you, that’s enough.
6. People who say, “I’m not going to say I told you so” are really saying, “I told you so”.
7. I missed blogging! I needed a break, to write my book, catch up on life, which is being dreadfully uncooperative, but I missed this and you, dear readers and I bet you missed all my, er, blogging advice.
8. Imagine, you win millions in the lottery, would you spend it on a vanity project? That’s what Alice (Kristen Wiig) does in Welcome To Me, a weird little film with a big, brilliant cast including: Tim Robbins, Joan Cusack, James Marsden, Wes Bentley, Linda Cardellini, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Alan Tudyk. Full of uncomfortable moments, it had me questioning quite a few things, especially blogging – is blogging just a vanity project, a sort of emotional exhibitionism?
9. While suffering from Doctor Who, The Walking Dead, Haven, The Blacklist, Into The Badlands withdrawal, which wasn’t pretty and mostly consisted of me trying not to whine about it, since these are clearly First World Problems, to the extreme, I decided to read more (is that possible?). Why not get caught up on a few of the fascinating ‘And Philosophy…’ series from Open Court? I started with Doctor Who and Philosophy, then Downton Abbey, Homeland, and The Walking Dead. I noticed all these books toil to shatter the myth that TV is simply a vast cultural wasteland. Fighting zombies, taking tea, traveling through time and space, those are hooks to get us to watch and keep watching, it’s really about the interaction between the characters, the choices, the sacrifices, those moments when we see ourselves and feel or learn something. If it can happen in a book, why can’t it happen on TV or in movies? I love these books because like the TARDIS, they’re bigger on the inside, making me feel all esoteric, ideologicalish, and thinky, but without getting that time-consuming philosophy degree. Just the way I like it.
10. I sometimes forget (or wish to forget) what a tricky beast and ruthless, relentless taskmaster Fibromyalgia can be, but I’ll keep trying to keep on keeping on…easier said than done.
Tomorrow we could be alive or dead, but today, my friends, today we are alive, so go out there and live.
Christmas is a time of cheer…right?
Yet during the
with images of
Everything from: Family dinners, parties, drinks with friends, hugging, skating in pairs, walking together looking at lights, Secret Santa and gift exchanges, spontaneous snowballs fights, eating roasted chestnuts, and of course, people running into the arms of loved ones at airports…
But what if those things aren’t in your life?
The social media holiday barrage, Christmas FOMO (Fear of Missing Out), anticipointment, Facebook, Instagram, TV, Google+, Twitter, MySpace (kidding, just wanted to see if you were paying attention) – all bursting with shiny images of happy people enjoying the holidays together. It can be overwhelming yet it’s only a day, like any other.
So if you find yourself less-than-surrounded by family and friends during the holidays, try to:
1. Marathon your way through the season, which apparently now begins in July with brief visits from other holidays. Don’t limit yourself to Christmassy stuff…be glad you’re not invited to a Game of Thrones Christmas party; see who survived (Christmas) on The Walking Dead; try to figure out what they’re cooking on Breaking Bad; or catch up with Mrs. Brown’s Boys (Dear Santa, I can explain…). Soon it will be January (sorry, I skipped ahead, was I wrong in assuming you don’t have anyone for New Year’s Eve either?), then you’ll have a few weeks to recover before the Valentine’s Day trauma begins, maybe.
2. Gently add yourself to someone else’s Christmas or add someone to yours.
3. Find dating sites/apps and go on a holiday dating spree. Eggnog your way through stories about his/her ex, mom, ex’s mom, work, football, baseball, hockey, fashion, cars…Who knows, maybe you’ll find a Christmas miracle.
4. Adjust your expectations. Social media is one long high school reunion. Everyone is wearing their best outfit, just lost weight, and sharing only highlights of their life.
5. Read, write, blog, sing, bake, work, clean, declutter, exercise, sleep, go to a movie…flashback to the 70s – dance, wear turtlenecks, bellbottoms, ponchos, and go see Star Wars, or not. It’s all good.
6. Have a Single Christmas Party (not for singles, just you, be your own party).
7. Ignore the season, the gaudy decorations, the commercialism, multiple Santas in multiple malls (unless you work there, try to stay out of the malls altogether) and create a Michael-Bublé-Bing-Crosby-Burl-Ives-free #safespace.
8. Start a new tradition with yourself or others, hopefully one that doesn’t involve eating your feelings (and don’t forget legal).
9. Help others this season – the best way to keep your mind off your problems is to help others with their problems.
10. Under no circumstances drink too heavily, that could lead to calling, texting, or emailing an ex, or watching other people having family time, especially through their windows. Though oddly specific, it’s good advice.
It’s not about what you have, what you get, or even who you’re with, this season is about anything being possible.
Want to know how to get away with Christmas? Simple, enjoy the season and each day, not the way everyone tells you is enjoyable, but the way you enjoy it.
I triple dog dare you.
Life is full of good things and bad things.
Sometimes good things go bad.
Sometimes bad things go good.
Sometimes a bit of both.
The good stuff doesn’t always make the bad stuff easier to take, but the bad stuff doesn’t always ruin the good stuff either.
We should try to be grateful for the good stuff, especially when there’s bad stuff.
We Could Be Grateful For:
1. Family and friends. The memory of family and friends. The possibility of family and friends.
2. Knowledge, free will, and finding respectful ways to agree to disagree.
3. Enjoying what you have, instead of always thinking about what you want.
4. Remembering both the good times and the bad – and not living in either.
5. Enjoying the everyday things. Life isn’t about the big moments.