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.
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?).
Around this time of year people often pose the question: what’s your worst nightmare? For me, something horrible happening to my son, and the rest of my family and friends.
My nightmares, when I actually sleep, are few, but they all start the same, running. Not jogging, all comfy shoes and music, but frantic, desperate, trying-to-get-away-from-something-running. I’m not scared of the running, but of what I’m running from. Maybe that’s why I love to walk, little chance I’m leisurely strolling away from a zombie, vampire, alien, mass murderer, serial killer, etc., right?
Luckily in the nightmares my son is usually running ahead of me; he’s fast, so he makes it.
I know what you’re doing right now…hopefully reading this:
1. The origins of Halloween are ancient and include: sacrifices, celebrating Harvest, fairies, demons, feasts, Druids, Celts, scaring away spirits, appeasing spirits, passion, death, and so much more…and this is for children now, hmmm.
2. In Medieval England hearing an owl’s call meant someone was about to die, well, duh, it was Medieval England, of course someone was about to die.
3. Ireland is believed to be the birthplace of Halloween so why does no one drink green beer on October 31st?
4. Harry Houdini died on Halloween 1926…coincidence?
5. We have carved: beets, turnips, potatoes, and pumpkins for Halloween, weird amount of veggies for a candy holiday.
6. Safety first, sadly, children are twice as likely to be killed in or by a car on Halloween.
7. Some animals shelters have stopped adoptions of black cats near Halloween, because people sacrifice them. What is wrong with…sigh, I have no words.8. Orange symbolizes: Harvest, Fall, and strength. Black implies darkness and death, including the death of summer…I just like wearing it.
9.Witch comes from wicce which means wise woman. I know a lot of witches.
10. Halloween can cause poor behaviour and deindividualization. In costume, together, people care less about consequences of individual actions; doing things they normally wouldn’t do alone.
12. Some suggestions for definitely too-soon Halloween costumes: Sexy Hazmat suits, zombie Robin Williams, terrorist, Ray Rice dragging a doll…just don’t.
13. Halloween has had many names: All Hallows Evening, All Hallows Eve, Samhain, Witches Night, Lambswool, Haunting Night, Summer’s End, Snap-Apple Night, wait, doesn’t that last one just sound like Snapple Night? Mmmm, Snapple.
And if you inadvertently find yourself in a horror movie this Halloween, here’s some help: https://yadadarcyyada.com/2014/03/20/25-ways-to-stay-alive-in-a-horror-movie/
The supernatural has intrigued humans for all long as anyone can remember, but does anyone think of their side of the story? Do supernatural creatures ever get a chance to just kick back and enjoy life?
They seem too busy conjuring, hunting, and doing evil to just enjoy the little things. Maybe they should visit a supernatural spa, take a long supernatural walk, enjoy a stunning supernatural sunset, or read a supernatural book, give themselves a supernatural break.
Instead they enrage already angry mobs, dodge bullets, arrows, demon hunters! Avoiding being burned at the stake or getting a stake through the heart! Avoiding the sun, salt, garlic, silver, conflict with others in various realms – there’s a lot of avoidance behaviour there.
Just seems exhausting.
They must feel like saying, Supernatural Calgon take me away!
They just don’t seem like they get a lot of time to themselves.
So they’re creepy but are they happy?
None of that explains why we like the supernatural, superstition, mysticism, religion, etc. so much.
Does scaring ourselves let us come to terms with our fears in a sort of safe mode?
Can we sense the supernatural in the natural world and we’re trying to make sense of it?
Perhaps it’s the illusion of control? To believe in supernatural causality, that somehow one thing causes another to happen without any natural process between them, perhaps it’s comforting.
In the spirit of Halloween I’ve been reading creepy and kooky and sometimes even spooky books, including The Bane Chronicles by Cassandra Clare, Sarah Rees Brennan and Maureen Johnson (Margaret K. McElderry Books/Simon & Schuster), a sort of spin-off from The Mortal Instruments series where Bane (not one of my top characters at least in this series, but these historical follies were amusing), an immortal warlock goes on a supernatural bar hop scavenger hunt through time. I got a chuckle from the inference that he’s the reason we have the idiom, Bane of my existence…hmmm, I suppose that could refer to Batman’s Bane as well. But I digress…
Of course, reading this made me wonder even more why we can’t get enough of stories of: warlocks, witches, zombies, aliens, demons, demon hunters, ghosts, angels, monsters, fallen angels, werewolves, vampires and other supernatural beings?
Do we need to put a face and a name on the things that go bump in the night?
Try to calm the inner turmoil caused by our fight or flight response?
Or is dressing up at Halloween and scaring ourselves with movies, books, TV now merely entertainment?