To Comment Or Not To Comment

Here are assorted musings on one topic.  Make of them what you will.

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For the past few weeks I’ve made a point of reading new-to-me blogs– and then leaving a comment on the blog.  I’ve found that I’m not alone in doing this.  Many people have stopped by The Spectacled Bean for the first time during November and have left me a first time comment.

I appreciate that effort very much.

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I know that I’ve seen some bloggers write about how easy it is for them to visit someone else’s blog and toss out a comment.  (Or to hit the “like” button available on some blogs.)  For them interaction via comments is a given– and they do it as a matter of course without any hesitation.

I envy their ability to get involved so easily.  I’m not like that at all.

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For me, an introvert, it takes a bit of effort to leave a comment on someone’s blog.  Perhaps that’s how all introverts feel.  I don’t know.

All I know is that I’m self-conscious about inserting myself into someone else’s life.  My goal is to encourage with what I say in a comment, but I’m never entirely sure that I carry out my goal.

Good intentions, dubious results.  Perhaps that’s the reality of all earnest people.

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I realize that there are always lots of people who lurk on my blog.  Through my stats info I see you out there.  You arrive here at the same time every day, from the same place, and stay long enough to read what I’ve written.  But you never interact with me.  I don’t take it personally– and honestly, I rarely even think about it.  I understand that’s how some people consume blogs– detached and anonymously.

It’s safer that way.

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I’m always concerned that there will be a misunderstanding about what I say in a comment.

I try to be clear and specific in what I say in comments, but without visual clues there’s no way to know exactly how what I said is being received.  And it’s this sense of vulnerability that slows me down when commenting.  I want to tell my truth and I want to do it with grace– while honoring the thoughts of the blogger who has written the post in the first place.

It’s a delicate balance to do.

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Behind The Scenes With A NaBloPoMo Blogger

As of today I’m one-third of the way through my commitment to post something on this blog every day this month.

√  I’m amazed by how easy it is for me to come up with ideas about what to write here each day.  I suppose I shouldn’t be surprised;  I’m a generalist after all. 

  On the flip side, I’m worn out by the actual writing and posting of said ideas.  Daily posting takes more time than you can possibly imagine– says the free spirit who usually keeps this blog on a more casual basis.

  As per my desire to meet more bloggers, I’ve introduced myself to 10 bloggers who are also doing NaBloPoMo Seven have stopped by here to say “hi!” right back.  Good to know that there are other people who are willing to reach out and meet someone new.

  The total word count on my posts to-date is: 2765.  If I was doing NaNoWriMo, which asks a person to commit to writing a 50,000 word novel during the month of November, I’d be at the 16,667 word count mark by now.  Clearly, I’m a blogger and not a novelist.  A woman’s got to know her limits.  

~ ~ ~ 

[And the seven bloggers who have stopped by to say “hi” are: alejnaJaneKristenLauraMelisaPollyZazzy.  Click on a name.  Meet someone new.]

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10 Questions

I’ve been tagged by the lovely PollyBurns2 of caughtwriting to answer 10 questions, so we all get to know one another a little better.  The idea is to then tag someone else, preferably someone who is taking part in the NaBloPoMo project.  So here goes:  

1. Describe yourself in seven words.

I laugh. I learn. I love. Usually.

2. What keeps you awake at night?

Lower back pain from a goofy gardening accident.  Other than that I sleep quite well.  In fact, I’m rather known for my ability to sleep for long periods of time.

3. If you could be anyone for a day, who would you be and why?

I’d like to be Diane Sawyer.  She’s smart, articulate, interested (and therefore interesting), and pretty.  She anchors a newscast where she is responsible for setting the news agenda for the evening–  and she is married to a successful, creative man.  Yep, that’s who I’d want to be.

4. What are you wearing right now?

Faded jeans, an aqua t-shirt with a teal cardigan sweater, and brown leather clogs.  And eyeglasses, of course.

5. What scares you?

Political dictators.  All of ’em across the world.

6. What are the best and worst things about blogging?

I agree with PollyBurns2’s answer.  “Best thing:  sharing ideas and getting inspiration from the amazing bloggers I’ve discovered so far.  Worst thing:  there are so many blogging events and challenges to get involved in, that there just isn’t enough time to do everything I want to do.”

7. What was the last website you looked at, apart from Twitter and Facebook?

Arts & Letters Daily

8. If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?

I’d be physically stronger.  I can workout every day of the week  and never gain any noticeable muscles.  No definition, no wow factor.  I always remain the same old flabby me.

9. Slankets – yes or no?  (This apparently divides the blogging world.) 

First, I had to find out what a slanket is.  [Click here.]  And now I can tell you that I’m not a fan.

10. Tell us something about the person who tagged you.

PollyBurns2 writes insightful posts about what she’s thinking about;  and is a kind-hearted woman who included me in this meme so that I’d have one more thing to post on my blog during NaBloPoMo.

I’m going to tag the delightful Zazzy at zazamataz.com who is the only other blogger I know who is doing NaBloPoMo.  Take it away, Zazzy!

Let’s Get It Started In Here

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NaBloPoMo 2011

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Guess what I’ve decided to do.  Go ahead.  I’ll wait while you figure it out.

[HINT: look to your right and read the details on the big square.  Click on it, if you so choose.]

Yes, I’ve joined something.

[I know… it’s not like me, the free-spirit, to get involved in anything organized.]

And the something that I’ve joined is National Blog Post Month– informally known as NaBloPoMo.

[Cute nickname, huh?  It’s fun to say really fast as you type it.  Don’t judge me… we all make our fun where we find it.]

So, what does this really mean?

[If you’ve read this far down the page, then you must be a skoosh curious about what I’m up to this time.]

It means that I’ll be posting to this blog every day in November.  Contributing as much flapdoodle and twaddle to the blogosphere as I can.

[Sounds like fun, doesn’t it?  A challenge.  An adventure.  A way to make bloggy friends.  Plus,  for a limited time only, “Glorious Madness.”]

So for the next thirty days, I’ll write.  You’ll read.  And we’ll chat in the comments below.

[Any questions?]

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Suitability: An Explanation Of What The Heck Is Going On With My Blog Template

[… for those who have wondered why things look different around here… and have taken the time to contact me about said… allow me to explain…]

Having the right look for my blog is important to me .  In fact, since I started this sweet little bloggy last January, I’ve had four different [free] templates. 

Let’s review, shall we?

#1  The one with the glowing orange candle up top.  It is called Coraline & described by WordPress key words thusly–  clean, conservative, generic, light, minimal. Yep, it was.  But in the end, it was not me.  So I moved on.

#2  The one with the lonely little pine cone up top.  It is called Pilcrow & described by WordPress key words thusly– clean, conservative, formal, generic, light, minimal, simple.  Again, yep it was.  But it had some features that I didn’t like, so I moved on.  [Also, I accidentally deleted it late one Friday afternoon.  There was drama.  There was swearing.  We’re not going to re-hash that event here.]

#3  The one with the bunch of bananas up top.  It is called Fruit Shake & described by WordPress key words thusly– artistic, colorful, faded, whimsical, yellow.  Again, let me confirm that this was an accurate description.  However, its cheeriness drove me bonkers and the way it scrunched up my words on the page was difficult to read.  So I moved on.

#4  The one with the big black rectangle up top.  It is called Quintus & described by WordPress key words thusly– calligraphic, elegant, formal, nostalgic, retro, textured, traditional.  Yep, it is.  And of all the ones I’ve tried, this one is the easiest to use, the most clear to read and the least annoying for me to look at.  In fact, a further description of it says:

“A theme that has an old-style appeal with semi-academic graciousness and elegant typography. Fitting for displaying either text or images, Quintus offers a fresh look with room for customization….” 

Now this is a look and description I like.  So I’ve stayed here.

Why have I been changing my template so often? 

While my academic background is in words/relationships/communication, my later-in-life inclination is in images/color/design.  The result is that I like to change things around and that I’m never satisfied with how things look… until I am.  All this trial and error here is really just me attempting to find the most suitable look for my sweet little bloggy.  Which I think I have with this gracious, elegant, fresh template.

At least for the moment.  😉


This & That

{august – monday – late afternoon}

√  No, I haven’t lost my mind.  Yet.

On Friday, after I wrote and published my earlier post, I did something really annoying; I accidentally deleted my blog template.  Not the blog contents, mind you– just the template.  So, I had to find myself a new template– right quick, as they say.  And this little banana number is the one that I picked.

It’s kind of cheerful, don’t you think?  And the price is right– as in FREE.

Someday I’ll work on putting together a more appropriate header, but until that magic day arrives I plan on sticking with this bunch of bananas.

√   The Big Dig continues.

The landscape crew is here today planting bushes & shrubs & perennials & who knows what else.  This project has dragged on for so long now, with so many revisions, that I no longer know [or care] what is being planted.  I’m beginning to think of Greg, the land planner guy in charge of this project, as my very own Eldon.

Did Eldon ever finish painting Murphy’s townhouse?  Will Greg ever finish creating a backyard for us?  Stay tuned to find out.

√  I want to paint the hutch that is in our dining room.

(Actually, to be entirely accurate and forthcoming, it isn’t a hutch– it’s a pie safe.  But no one knows what that is, so I’ve taken to calling it a hutch.)

The “hutch” has scratches, gouges and is a dreary dark brown color.  Not pretty at all. But what color should I paint it?  Therein lies the problem.

So I’ve spent much of this afternoon looking online at photos of hutches.  I now can say that my head is swimming with possibilities— none of which seem quite right to me, but all of which are quite lovely to look at in someone else’s home.

I was hoping that after an hour or two of online research, I’d  find the perfect hutch– painted the perfect color– and it’d become my inspiration.  Which would give me the confidence to go forward with this messy, labor-intensive project.

But no such luck.  Yet.