6 Small Thoughts Upon The 6th Anniversary Of This Blog

A glimpse into my personal blogging evolution…

1)  I like my writing better now than when I started The Spectacled Bean.  I’ve learned how to write in a smooth flowing chatty style that is genuine, not dry & academic.  I express myself with more attitude, more gratitude, less awkwardness, and a propensity to use goofy big words that I love.

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2)  I write more in-depth now on one event or topic or person, instead of glossing over and combining many things into one post like I used to do.  I’m more focused, definitely less ditzy.

3)  I think of my blog as a newspaper lifestyle column now in which I share my observations, experiences + research, making sense of these things, so that I can start conversations which, I hope, add a bit of love +  learning + laughter into the world.  I no longer think of this blog as a diary or a variety show or a scrapbook.

4)  My posts look prettier now thanks to the instant availability of font sizes, styles, and colors.  Plus it’s so much easier to add images and videos now.  I sometimes wonder why any of us read any blog considering how text-based and bland they all looked.

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5)  I find myself more engaged with my followers now than ever before.  Lots of  fascinating articulate people have found The Spectacled Bean, and I have found their blogs.  I appreciate everyone who takes the time to read my posts, and thank you for making me part of your lives as well.

6)  I’m much mellower now about this whole blogging thing.  No more angst over what to write about, little worry about how to write it, still some concern that I’ll make a spelling or grammatical error.  But overall, I’m chill– and comfortable in my role as a suburban blogger.

Image sources: |1| |2|

An Experiment: Photographing The Woods With My iPhone

I need something new + creative to do in my life so I’ve thought about maybe joining Instagram.

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In order to get an idea of what it’d be like to be an Instagramer, I wandered down our backyard stone steps to the terrace-level…

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walked across some crunchy leaves…

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then sat down on a chair where I started taking photos of the autumnal beauty around me with my iPhone.

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Looking at the blah results of my experiment I wonder if I’d ever be happy using a phone to photograph my life.  I do well capturing my life using my camera, but if I was on Instagram I’d be using my iPhone.  I dunno. Maybe yes, maybe no.

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QOTD: 

Are you on Instagram? What do you like about it? What do you photograph? How often do you go there?

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Of Hummingbirds & Humility

screen-shot-2016-10-21-at-7-41-34-amI was dive-bombed by a hummingbird the other morning.

I was wearing a bright pink fleece jacket, sitting outside on our deck in the sunshine, drinking coffee from a red mug.

I was lost in serious thought pondering what I might write about next on this blog, when *flutter, flutter, flutter* a small energetic little bird started diving at me.

I knew that the bird was a hummingbird;  there are lots of them in the wooded ravine behind our house.

They flit around.  You cannot miss them.

I knew that to this little bird I must look like the biggest darned flower in the land, a doozy of a good find.

I tried to sit still hoping that the little bird would tire of attacking me, but you know what?  That little bugger just kept going.  The Energizer Bunny should be so determined.

Eventually I decided to *shoo* the hummingbird away from me because I needed to sip my coffee while it was hot to get my brain going.  I had important things to think about like the topic of my next blog post.

But of course my brain, that can be a tad self-absorbed and egotistical, was blinding me to the obvious.

That is, the topic of this post was making itself known, quietly, right in front of me.  A humble little idea showing me the way, while at the same time reminding me of the basic premise of The Spectacled Bean.

A premise I explain thusly:

  • be here now;
  • make sense of what you’re seeing | feeling | experiencing;  then
  • write about it.

In other words, PAY ATTENTION.  Life is in the details, and that’s where you’ll find the best stories.

Always.

The Iceberg Illusion: Reflections Upon The Occasion Of My Return To The Blogosphere

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{ source }

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WELL… I’m back.

August turned out to be every bit as hot and humid and hateful as I anticipated it would be.  Just a miserable excuse of a month during which I did not do much of anything except think about what I will be doing in the future.

Planning?  Or procrastinating?  You decide.

Whatevs.

Bottom line?  I’m here now with a renewed sense of purpose.

To wit, I’ve decided that blogging gives my weeks a bit of much-needed structure, provides me with a way to process the details of my life, and overall it’s fun.

Plus I’ve concluded that I’m doing something right and helpful here, considering how many people follow me and make the effort to comment.  Thank you.

So I’m going to keep on keeping a blog.

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BUT… I’ve also realized that writing a quirky personal blog, such as The Spectacled Bean, has morphed from a hobby into an unpaid part-time job that has a certain work-y-ness to it that you, my gentle readers, don’t see.

Rather like an iceberg.  Much going on below the water line to make this blog engrossing and twaddle-y, so to speak.

I’m not complaining, mind you.  Just explaining that if I disappear from the blogosphere from time-to-time, it’s not that I don’t love you all to pieces.  I do.

It’s just that I’m an introvert who occasionally doesn’t know what to say.  About anything.  Here.

Or in real life.

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Anything Could Happen August: Taking A Break From Blogging

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{ From 25 Proven Ways To Relax }

I don’t like August.

It’s too hot outside.  Too humid outside.  Too pollen-y.  And there’s not one holiday to celebrate during all 31 days of it.

It is boring.

So instead of straining my brain to have something to say here during a dull time of year, I’ve decided to take a break from blogging until September.

Why not do something different?

In other words, my gentle readers, I’ll be around the blogosphere from time-to-time, but I plan on spending most of my free time lollygagging and frittering my days away like a non-blogger.

Just to see how the other half lives.

Later, kids.  Catch you on the flip side.

Blogging Tip #88: When Your Writing Mojo Melts Away, Colorful Photos Work

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Personal blogging is difficult when your writing mojo melts away.

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This problem may, or may not, be a result of your air conditioner breaking as June begins, and the temps + humidity skyrocket.

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Said lack of coolness in the air could leave you hot + cranky, without the inclination to sit down, to write something pithy, to fulfill your personal blogging goal to show up to your blog at least once a week.

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 If that should happen to you may I suggest that fussing around with your words isn’t worth it;  instead post a few photos, preferably colorful + pretty.

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And then promise your gentle readers, who you hope are an understanding lot, that you’ll be back next week after the AC is fixed– and, we can only hope, your writing mojo returns.

I’m Doing The A To Z April Challenge 2016: For Better Or Worse

Just the facts, ma’am…

  • I’ve joined the A to Z April Challenge 2016.  I’m in the mid-1500s on the list, should you care to find me.  There’s still time for any of you, my gentle readers, to join in.  Never let it be said that I didn’t invite you.

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  • I’ve never tried to do this challenge before.  When it comes to The Spectacled Bean, I tend to fly by the seat of my pants, so following a schedule, which this challenge requires, looks suspiciously like work to me.  But I’ll do my best to keep on track.

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  • My theme for this challenge will be FOOD: Talking The Talk.  I plan on sharing sayings, such as proverbs, idioms, or slang phrases, and a few quotes or product names as examples of how we talk about food, even when we’re not necessarily talking about food.

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  • I promise, as I go through the alphabet, that I will not be pedantic.  In fact, I imagine that this sort of challenge will allow me to flaunt my natural tendency toward flapdoodle and twaddle.  With a little snark thrown in for good measure.  And occasionally, a few facts.

… That is all.