Tag Archives: Blog

No Time to Write

I’m feeling stressed about working on my book. I have to get a draft together for the spring tutorial for my Stanford writing certificate. My parents will be living near me for two months, so we will be compressing a lot of visits into that time period. And lately, every day work gets out of hand and I don’t get to my writing.

So I was thinking that it would be smart to re-post or re-blog some posts that I liked but that didn’t get a lot of traffic when they were first posted.

But how do you feel about re-posting versus re-blogging?  If I re-blog, you will have to follow the link to get to the original post.  That way you can join the commenting over there, if you see fit. If I re-post, you get the whole post on the page, looking fresh as the day it was written. And it would start with a blank slate for commenting.

I’d like to start this right away and keep it up until fairly early in January.  I’ll still be around to read other blogs and to respond to comments, but the time I would spend writing posts probably ought to be spent on the book for the rest of this month.

So which is it? Re-blog or re-post?

Thanks for taking the poll and letting me know how you feel!

On another note, when my kids were in town, we all went to see the ZooLights at the Phoenix Zoo. We had a good time together, although I was not impressed with the customer service of the zoo management. Here are a few pix from that night.

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Filed under Blogging, Creative Nonfiction, Nonfiction, Photographs, Sightseeing & Travel, WordPress, Writing, Writing goals

WordPress Groupie No More

[I’m going to cross-post this on Don’t We Look Alike? because the same holds true on that blog.]

Since I began blogging in July 2012, I’ve been a devoted fan of WordPress.com. The organization of the system and the ease of use hooked me from the first day.

What have I liked?

  • I don’t know very much about computers or the internet, but I was able to set up my first blog without any help from anyone, other than glancing through WordPress for Dummies.
  • The look of my first blog was just what I wanted. It was a snap to blend my taste and that of my daughter (the first one was our adoption blog Don’t We Look Alike?) with the theme WordPress had to offer.
  • One of the best parts of WordPress blogging has been the sense of community. I participated in blog awards for many months, although I have decided more recently not to do so any longer. It was fun getting to know about other blogs through the award posts when bloggers would list their ten or twelve favorites.
  • It felt as if I quickly caught on to blogging and, within five or six weeks, one of my posts was Freshly Pressed. I hadn’t even been blogging long enough to know what Freshly Pressed was! Then I realized I could access all the other Freshly Pressed posts as one way to find other blogs I wanted to read.
  • I learned how to read some of the stats. The part that I found of particular interest was that I could see the list of followers of my blog—and I could use that list to check out followers’ blogs and decide if I wanted to read and follow.
  • My favorite part of WordPress has been the list of blogs I follow and my “reader.”  Under the edit function for the blogs I follow I could set up email notifications for new posts. I could decide if a blog warranted a daily or weekly notification or if I needed to know instantly when a new post hit the internet.

My experience with WordPress has been so rewarding that I have been sad when I’ve lost blogs I follow to Blogger or to WordPress.org or some other platform. I like to keep it all in the family.


I am so disappointed.

First, the easy access to emailing support for troubleshooting disappeared.

Then, I started getting lots of spam followers. Once you get too many spam followers, it’s not smart to keep checking out who your new followers are, so you stop looking. It’s hard to believe WordPress doesn’t have a way to keep out the majority of these fake followers.

Most recently and most disturbingly, I no longer get email notifications of blogs I follows.  That is, I only get a couple.  I used to look forward to a long line of emails every Monday morning and a shorter line-up on the other days. If I felt overwhelmed I deleted some without looking, but I was pretty faithful.

Without those notifications, I have to go through my reader to find posts, and honestly, the same bloggers show up over and over. This is great for me to keep reading their blogs, but what about the others? A lot of my regulars are not showing up—at least not at the times that I scan my reader. If you haven’t been getting all the love from me I’ve shown in the past, this is why!

I’ve been faithful to blogging on WordPress, but WordPress has let me down.

Where do I go from here?


Filed under Blogging, Creative Nonfiction, Essay, Nonfiction, WordPress

Does Anybody Know Why WordPress is Giving Me Grief?

I’m mildly freaking out about WordPress.

I’ve always regarded WordPress.com as very reliable, but now I’m not so sure. This week WordPress has mostly stopped sending me email notifications. I say “mostly” because every once in a while a notification slips into my inbox.

So I have no idea when the blogs I follow publish new posts without happening upon them by accident in my “reader.”

As some of you know, I have three blogs, and this has occurred with all of them.

Therefore, I ask you: has this happened to others or is it personal?

Do you know how I can fix the trouble? I want to continue to read your blogs!

On a related note . . .

I used to be able to email Support when I had a problem, but I can’t find any place to contact them. If I go through their Support contact form, I can only leave a message for the community. Then I don’t know how to go back and find where I left my question to see if anyone has responded.

In one word:



Filed under Blogging, WordPress

How Much Do You Do Before You Click “Publish”?

The other day I posted to a friend in a private forum that if I had known that my Writer Site post was going to be Freshly Pressed I might have spent a little more time on it. I could have read it with a critical eye–expanded some passages, perhaps cropped others. I could have edited more.

As I pondered this notion, I thought I could have added some research, links, more images or videos, and doodads to jazz it up, too.  Or not.  Maybe that wouldn’t have been a good idea. The story needed to speak for itself.

My mind went back and forth and all around, wondering if I could have done more.  Have you ever felt that way?  Like maybe if you could just have a do-over.

But even as I was writing and thinking (thoughts going more RPMs than the written words), I thought how spending a lot of time editing and sweating over each blog post would be like always wearing your best underwear in case you’re in an accident. Or always having the house cleaned in case you have guests. But blogging, when it’s done in a routine, is wearing your everyday underwear and allowing dust to lie on the coffee table. It’s allowing yourself to just live (or to write).

This is very different from other types of writing–at least for me.

In writing my book, which is a memoir, I revise over and over again.  I am not happy with one chapter, one scene, maybe not even one paragraph . . . yet. When I finish the project, it will have taken ten years, or so I anticipate.

I’m planning to start compiling a poetry manuscript.  The only problem is that I am not satisfied with any of my poems. I will think I am, then I get second thoughts and want to revise again. On occasion, I’ve revised the life right out of a poem and have had to delete it completely.  Mostly, the poems get better the more I work on them.

When does revision stop? I don’t know because I am still in the revision process for most of my work. Even my published poems are being revised.

Other than Spell Check and a once through for glaring errors, my blog posts don’t get revised unless I find new information that I need to add to a post, and then I make it clear that I am adding something at a later time. (One caveat: if I do a re-read after I hit “publish” and find a typo, I do correct it).

Fellow bloggers, how do you feel about revising and editing blog posts? Do you do it or just click publish after you write a draft? And if you write elsewhere, how does your blog post writing process differ from that of your other writing?


Filed under Creative Nonfiction, Memoir, Poetry, Research and prep for writing, Writing, Writing prompt

Here is Elizabeth Cutright’s “Interview with a Blogger (Part 2),” featuring some “immortal words” by myself and a few other bloggers. This is where I explain what scared me about starting to blog and what is most difficult about blogging.

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Filed under Blogging, Interview

Grateful x 7+

I feel so blessed lately with award nominations by other bloggers (and embarrassed, let’s not forget that part).   Being noticed by your peers has got to be one of the most satisfying (and embarrassing) feelings possible.

Although I’ve posted before about some of these awards, since then two bloggers have nominated Writer Site for the One Lovely Blog award.  They are Write Brain Trust and Terry1954.  Write Brain Trust, published by a group, is an in-depth resource for writing which focuses on marketing and publishing “in a digital world.”  It’s a go-to site for all writers.  Terry is a sweetheart who writes heartfelt stories, both nonfiction and fiction.  My favorites are about her dear brother Al, who is disabled by Parkinson’s.

If you have ever felt that you received more Christmas gifts one year than you deserved, then you know how I feel.  It’s a little overwhelming.  I want to stay focused on the task at hand and not pat myself on the back, thus losing sight of my mission (i.e., WRITING!–something I put off for too long).

Still, it’s true that I don’t feel comfortable not acknowledging these “pass along” awards because they give me the chance to honor the work of other bloggers and thus keep us all connecting with each other.  Therefore, I am forever grateful to Write Brain Trust and Terry for giving me a positive beacon in the blogosphere and also for the opportunity to pass this light on to other bloggers.


Accepting the award obligates me to write seven things about myself.  Since I’m on the theme of gratitude, I’ll focus on how much I have to be thankful for as a writer:

1.  I am grateful for my past writing instructors in all genres.  I’ve had so many favorites, but include among them John Woods, Stuart Dybek, James Arthur, Matthew Lippman, Caroline Goodwin, Kazim Ali, Carolyn Forché, and Gina Welch.   One of my instructors, Otis Haschemeyer, taught me the value of keeping a writing log.  He shows what his looks like in this WordPress blog post.  I could keep going, but I will end up looking like a lifelong student nerd (I am).

2.  I am grateful for my Stanford Writing Certificate cohorts.  You know who you are.  Love you guys (gals)!  You can read a few of their blogs at Fluent in Fabulous,  The Diarrhea Diaries, and Tanzania5.0.  Here is a great column, called From Where I Sit, written by one of my cohorts.

3.  I am grateful for my in-person writing group: Linda, Renee, and Rudri.

4.  I am grateful for my sweet and lovely friends who read my blog posts whether they got enough coffee or not and if they are having a good day or not.  I love each one of you so much!

5.  I am grateful for my friend Wilma Kahn (Jeannie Unbottled), writer and editor, who edited my dissertation and many other pieces of slop I’ve managed to crank out.

6.  I am grateful for my blog followers and other bloggers who make my world so much more lovely.  Much love to all of you . . . .

7.  I am grateful to WordPress for creating such a pleasant online experience.

Oops.  Adding another one for good measure:  I am grateful to all the lovely books I’ve read which have inspired me.

Um, one more.  I am grateful to my husband who taught me how to properly use a semi colon when we were college freshmen.

Finally, I get to nominate 15 other bloggers for The One Lovely Blog Award.  I’ve decided to nominate blogs which I have recently discovered.   Here we go–enjoy!!!

pressions of a princess

bits ‘n pieces

a Portia Adams adventure

The beauty of sharing our writing

Weaker than Water

Chronicles of Illusions

Poems from Oostburg, Wisconsin

Back Track

Saturday Evening Porch

The Puffin Diaries


Kate Shrewsday

Pale Blue Reminders

Blessed with a Star on the Forehead

My Life in Lists


Filed under Blogging

My Daily Creative Writer Interview (part 1)

Elizabeth at The Daily Creative Writer interviewed me and a few other bloggers about the process. This is her first post, focusing on why we started our blogs.

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Filed under Blogging, Creative Nonfiction, Interview, Memoir

From the Cat Choir

inspiring2What an inspiration to be nominated by silence & honeysuckle for the Very Inspiring Blogger Award!  Woohoo!!  It feels great to get a nod from another blogger, whether it’s a “like” or a thoughtful comment or an award with a really pretty badge for the ole blog.  I love “events” like this that promote camaraderie and community among bloggers.

Like all blessings, this one comes with responsibilities, which include:

*Display the award logo on your blog

* Link back to the person who nominated you

* State seven things about yourself

* Nominate 15 other bloggers for this award and link to them

* Notify those bloggers of the nomination and the award’s requirements

Seven things about me:


1. I’m like a deer in headlights when asked to list facts about myself.


2. I’m pretty sure I’ve been hit on by Studs Terkel and William Shatner.

3. When that happened I was a LOT younger.

4. My kids still talk about the time I left the Disney World tickets back home in Michigan and the time I drove off with the metal tube belonging to the bank.

5. My four cats are a perfect choir: one soprano, one alto, one tenor, and one bass/baritone.

6. When I was a kid everything I wanted to be started with an A: author, actress, archeologist, architect, archer.

7.  I know what you’re thinking.  No, not like mind-reading.  I was talking about #6.  You know, another word beginning with A.

I’m supposed to limit the list to 15 bloggers?  Sigh.  It’s so difficult to narrow down!  OK, these bloggers inspire me a lot and so do more than are on this list!

1.  Little Girl with a Big Pen

2. Writing the Girl 

3.  manoftheword

4.  We’ll Be the Last Ones to Let You Down

5.  oldsunbird 

6. JMGoyder

7. The Daily Creative Writer

8. Draw Near

9. Writing Life Stories

10. Wolfe

11. Snide Reply

12. Nancy Wait

13. seyisandradavid

14. retiredruth

15. The Meandering Matriarch


Filed under Blogging, Creative Nonfiction, Memoir