Archive for the ‘The Fine Art of Blogging’ Category

Far and Away

Hello, I’m not here.

Instead, I am here.

Come visit me over at Karen’s place where you will learn all about the sort of stupid, but sort of great new life adventure I am about to embark on. And no, I am not pregnant. But that may have been easier.

Just to recap. Not here. Here.

(Hey you! The slow guy in the back. Iiiiiii’mmmmm. Noooooooooottttt. Heeeeeee….Aw, just forget it. You’d get lost on the journey anyways.)

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It’s just a break…

I’m taking some time off from this thing called blogging. You and me, we’re on a break. That doesn’t mean I’m giving you permission to sleep with other red-headed, Canadian, Mommmy of three bloggers. Oh, no no. Unless you happen to receive an indecent proposal from Jennifer Aniston or David Schwimmer (in which case, I’d say go for it…duh!), you and I? We’re still exclusive.

I’m just tired. I’m just disinterested. My posts are sporadic and I couldn’t write my way out of a paper bag right now, either. Sure, I think up some fantastic posts all the time. While I’m driving or showering or pretending to listen to Richard babble on and on about the latest high-tech-gadget-must-have and how we need to suspend all grocery and utilities spending IMMEDIATELY and instead go out and blow the wad on a Video Laser Gaming Lawnmower 3000 – now with GPS. I just can’t put brain to keyboard and come up with anything smarter than: “Today is Wednesday. It is sunny and warm. My mood is neutral.”

You know what else? I’m addicted to Facebook. I’ve found a bunch of old friends from school and past jobs. I’m interacting with people I haven’t heard from in 17 years and I’m online with people who live up the street…people I wave to on my way to work. I’m catching up with their lives, I’m seeing their families. I find THAT very interesting.

Hey, if you’re on there, look me up on Facebook. You know who I am. Also, I’m just an email away my friend (Gawd, I should write for Hallmark! Cheesay!).

…nothing is final. It’s just a break. And it’s not you. It’s me.

A Perfect Post

I think I read parenting blogs because with almost every post I read, I can relate to the blogger in some way. My kids did that too. I also struggled with that issue. I remember my baby being like that. Sure, my kids are much older than the children of most of the good bloggers that I read (I have 72 blogs in my reader and they are all such talented writers), but I love reading their stories because it helps me remember what it was like when they were babies and toddlers and pre-schoolers. They didn’t have “blogs” in 1991 when I first became a parent. I didn’t get online until the mid-nineties and I didn’t have the opportunity to record all of the special moments in my children’s lives. Yes I had baby books for all of them (Ashley’s is completely filled out, Andie’s has a couple of entries and, sadly, Adam’s is still in the original packaging. This is what happens when you have so many kids), but there’s only so much you can put into them. Their first word, a lock of hair from their first haircut, a picture or two. New parents of today have the opportunity to record every minute detail of their baby’s lives on their blogs, including digital pictures and videos. While it is true that feeding schedules and diaper changes are extremely boring reading material, good bloggers manage to take the daily dealings of raising children and make it entertaining. The excellent writers in my blog reader regularly bring me to tears or make me snort coffee out of my nose and some of their words literally suck the wind out of my lungs, as I gasp at the beauty of what I’m reading.

One such post was The Best One, written by Dutch of Sweet Juniper. I originally found Sweet Juniper by following a link from another favourite blog. I was bored one day and thought I would try and find someone new to read. Lucky for me, I landed on Dutch and Wood’s site, named after their sweet two-year-old daughter, Juniper. From the first post I was hooked and in the year or so that I’ve been reading, I’ve managed to go back a ways in the archives and read most of their story. I don’t think I’ve ever clicked away from Sweet Juniper without marvelling at the way Dutch and Wood bring their story to the screen. They are both incredible writers.

The Best One gets my vote for the Perfect Post for March 2007.

I realize now this is just part of what it means to fall in love. Negatives slip away like dead skin. You don’t even notice they’re gone. You are left with the overwhelming evidence that you’ve got the best one. Logic dictates that not every husband, or wife, or child can be the best one. Yet in the face of that terrible logic, belief persists.

…you can view all of the Perfect Posts for March at Suburban Turmoil and Petroville.

In which I send you all away

I’ve been spending a lot of my online time over at Maya’s Mom since I signed up late last week. If you’re in my Google address book you probably got an overly excited email from me telling you to go directly to that site and sign up, sign up, sign up now…the sky is falling! I apologize for my exuberance, but guys I was literally peppered with welcome notes and friendliness and sugar and kittens and rainbows and ponies from the minute I signed up. My first journal post garnered 9 comments in as many minutes. Nine! I very nearly kissed the monitor. So, if you haven’t done so yet, get ye on over to Maya’s Mom and sign-up. Then add me as your friend. Also, if you’re from the same great country as me, register yourself in the Canadian Connection Group. You’ll be glad you did, eh.

I’ve added a lot of new blogs to my feed reader on Google in the last month or so. The next time an interviewer asks me to describe my dream job, I’ll be keeping the line about the Doritos but adding that I’d like to enjoy them whilst reading blogs for a living. Anybody got that kind of position available right now? Anybody seen one? Anybody, anybody? Bueller, Bueller? Anyways, I’ve found quite a few of these new brilliant bloggers by reading Plain Jane Mom’s Go Read It Today entries. This gal reads a LOT of blogs everyday and picks out the best entries for others to peruse. Somebody should definately pay Jane a lot of money (and also a bag of Doritos) for reading blogs.

Two funny, funny ladies I’ve just picked up on are Erica AP and Here In Idaho. They are so funny, in fact, that I’m planning on kidnapping both Erica and Kristi and putting them in my pocket. I will let them out only to help me write incredibly humourous posts that will make you all split a gut like I do when I read their blogs. Also, we will all three be best friends forever and wear matching sweaters and play hop scotch at recess. Then we will braid each others hair.

Another site I signed up for last week is My Blog Log. See all those pretty little faces near the bottom of my sidebar under the heading RECENT READERS? Yeah, those beauties. They’re all here courtesy of My Blog Log and I’ve noticed a rise in my traffic stats since signing up, so if you want to attract new readers AND if you want to attract new attractive readers, My Blog Log seems to be a good option. Oh my God! I see from looking at that box full of pretty people that Kristi was just here! Kristiiiiiiii! Wanna play hop scotch?

Another thing I did this week was a little bit of work at my actual job. And thusly my boss is eternally grateful and has decided to pay me on Friday as usual.

…anybody need a good Blog Reader? Will work for Doritos!

Scroll with me

Signbot

Idea stolen from fussy…because copying is the best form of telling someone you love their blog (the quote does so go like that!).

One Word MeMe

Day 21 of NaBloPoMo, otherwise referred to by me as NerDoThAg (Never Doing This Again). God. What kind of piffle am I gonna come up with to put on my blog today?

Thank goodness I surf blogs a lot. Ahem, A LOT. Ahem, ahem, outrageously too much.

Because I found a MeMe! And MeMes they are easy.

The One Word Meme

Yourself: Stubborn
Your partner: Soulmate
Your hair: Satisfactory
Your Mother: Insufferable
Your Father: Easygoing
Your Favorite Item: Comforter
Your dream last night: Naked
Your Favorite Drink: Bellini
Your Dream Car: Nissan
Your Dream Home: Any
The Room You Are In: Cubicle
Your Ex: None
Your fear: Birds
Where you Want to be in Ten Years: Alive
Who you hung out with last night: Andie
What You’re Not: Slim
Muffins: Apple
One of Your Wish List Items: House
Time: Afternoon
The Last Thing You Did: Alphabetizing
What You Are Wearing: Dresspants
Your favorite weather: Sun
Your Favorite Book: Outsiders
Last thing you ate: Biscotti
Your Life: Bitchin’
Your mood: Lethargic
Your Best Friends: Forever
What are you thinking about right now: Homebuying
Your car: Minivan
What are you doing at the moment: Typing
Your summer: Gone
Relationship status: Taken
What is on your TV: Nothing
What is the weather like: Torrential
When is the last time you laughed: Yesterday

…dear Mother Nature, thank you for making Mary, who you created in an extra special Blogging Goddess image, so that I could pilfer MeMes and ideas from her site in order to provide content for my little blog and for this damned NaBloPoMo thing that I stupidly signed myself up for.

Nine more days of hastily put together crap posts people. Nine.

No Comment

I am turning the comments feature off for a while. A “test period” if you will. Comments have forever been the bane of my existense in blogging. They have always been the meter which I use to compare my blog to other blogs. To compare my writing to others’ writing. And really? That’s just stupid. IStupidTM.

I have to realize that my writing is going to be just that. MY WRITING. It’s mine. It is me. It’s the best I can give. And people are reading it. I can see that by looking at my stats counter. Sure, some days there are 14 of you and other days there are 71, but people are reading here. I need to make that good enough. PEOPLE ARE READING HERE AND THAT’S GOOD ENOUGH!

I found a brilliant declaration on Izzy Mom the other day that she is allowing others to use and change to suit themselves. Thank you, thank you Izzy Mom. This couldn’t have come at a better time for me.

As we head into November and I begin to participate in NaBloPoMo, I am choosing to focus on the joy of writing. Hopefully, I can stick to the rules and, by throwing my procrastinating tendencies to the wind, manage to post something each and every day of November. But it will be about the writing and not about me leaping into my gmail inbox every hour to see if I’ve received any comments. Because that’s just stupid. IStupidTM.

From Stop the Insanity! by Izzy Mom:

A Blogging Declaration of Independence

1. I will only write when I feel like writing. I will not allow myself to feel obligated to write a blog post or do any other blog-related activity if I don’t feel like it. (Vicky – except in November…got to post daily. DAILY! After November? Whenever I feel like it bizatches!)

2. I will no longer stop to consider if a post will be boring to other people or use that as a deciding factor in what I write. (Vicky – everybody’s boring to some degree. Except me. I am having cabbage soup for lunch)

3. I will write from my heart and remember that my blog is about me and whatever I want to write about. (Vicky – I like salt n’ vinegar chips and bright, shiny objects !)

4. I will not compare myself to other bloggers. (Vicky – I will make a special point of not going to a bloggers archives and discovering that, although they have only been blogging since March 2006, they are getting 226 comments a day and wah, wah, wah I am only getting 1. I will especially not throw staplers and tape dispensers at my monitor upon discovering this injustice, because those items are company property…as is the internet connection I take far too much advantage of here).

5. I will not allow myself to feel bad if I notice that someone doesn’t come to my blog anymore. (Vicky – note to self: refrain from hunting said reader down and stalking their surfing habits. Step away from the night-vision goggles.)

6. I will not concern myself with comments or stat counters or other numeric devices that might have the ability to affect my mood or what I write. (Vicky – as I said, I’m turning the comments off. The stats counter? I can’t bring myself to go THAT far. Eep!)

7. I will not feel bad if something I care about doesn’t get a lot of feedback or comments. (Vicky – I will no longer know. No comments = freedom!)

8. I will always try to remember that blogging is a hobby first and foremost. When it stops being fun, I will step away and re-evaluate. (Vicky – note to self: get new hobby. Consider model trains, peti-point or bungee jumping)

9. I will no longer feel guilty about not commenting “as much as I should” because my first responsibility is to myself and my kids. Though I love reading and connecting with other bloggers, real life needs to come first. (Vicky – real life? Is that some new blog I haven’t heard about? Could you send me the link?)

10. I will make an effort to not get lost in blogging. Just because I can while away an entire evening (Vicky – workday) in the blogsophere with relative ease doesn’t mean I should.

11. I will not worry about losing readers if I change my focus from time to time. (Vicky – screw the mommyblog, I’m gonna write about tire treads)

12. I will be true to myself and my feelings. I will be cranky if that’s how I feel. Being a diplomat 24-7 is just exhausting and unnatural. (Vicky – Welcome! Thanks for reading. How are you? You look great. I’m tired now and I need to lie down.)

13. I will try really hard to fight that feeling that I am missing out on something if I’m not reading and commenting on blogs. (Vicky – but what if Amalah sells her condo and I’m not there as soon as she publishes the good news to congratulate her right away? What if Beth asks a question and I’m not there to chime in with my assvice? What if the Blogosphere implodes without me? Gaaaa! Pressure!)

14. In committing myself to this declaration, I am setting myself free so that I can enjoy blogging more and stress about it less. (Vicky – that and martinis…for numbness)

15. I will update and add to this declaration as necessary.

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So while comments are off, if you need to say something to me I’m still at procrastamomATgmailDOTcom.

…stripping off the shackles (**low whistle**)