Let’s Connect: That Which Motivates + A List Of Who’s Doing What

{Image courtesy of geralt | Pixabay}

I’VE HEARD IT SAID THAT people use social media either for affirmation or for information. This is said as if the two motivations are mutually exclusive, but I don’t think they are. I’d suggest that there is a continuum with affirmation on one end and information on the other.

We each fall somewhere along the continuum, depending on the social media we’re using and our mood that day.

I suspect that people probably don’t stop to analyze what their motivations are when they check their FB account, or Linked In account, or Twitter account, or Instagram account. The whole process has become habitual rather than intentional.

Or at least most of the time.

I know that I mindlessly pop onto IG to see what’s up. I’m not looking for much of anything other than a way to pass a few minutes, pleasantly. While there I might experience 20% affirmation [someone liked my photo] and 80% information [photos of new decks, for instance].

I can tell you those percentages in retrospect, but I don’t plan my motivations and how my experience will unfold before I visit the website. Do you?

ANYHOW THAT’S WHAT’S FLOATING AROUND in my head this morning. Nothing controversial. Nothing profound. Nothing humorous. Just a few thoughts about social media, something we seem to take for granted now.

And when did that happen? I cannot remember a life without social media, can you?

All of which brings me to the following informational list of ongoing [mostly] blogging challenges & prompts. It’s not meant to be an exhaustive list of all that is out there on the WWW. Instead it features bloggers, who in addition to creating challenges & prompts, have connected with me via comments.

[Thank you]

For clarity I’ve stated the names of the bloggers alphabetically using first names, shared a link to their blogs, then added whatever details I could find about what they’re doing.

~ • ~

A LIST OF WHO’S DOING WHAT

Amanda at the blog Something to Ponder About has Friendly Friday

Cee of the blog Cee’s Photo Challenges has Flower of the Day (FOTD) Challenge

Dan at the blog No Facilities has Thursday Doors

David at the blog Fiction Can Be Fun and Deb at the blog Debs Despatches have Insecure Writer’s Support Group [@TheIWSG and #IWSG on Twitter]

Deb at the blog The Widow Badass Blog and Donna at the blog Retirement Reflections are starting What’s On Your Plate [#whatsonyourplateblogchallenge on IG]

Isa-Lee Wolf at the blog A Bit To Read has Ten Word Photo Prompt [example of her prompt] [#TENWORD on Twitter]

John at the blog The Sound of One Hand Typing has Go stand in the corner! and is part of the A to Z Blogging Challenge [#AtoZChallenge on Twitter]

Junie-Jesh at the blog The Jesh Studio has All Seasons [example of her post]

Linda at the blog Linda G. Hill has One-Liner Wednesday [#1linerWeds] and Stream of Consciousness Saturday [#SoCS]

Marian at the blog Marian Allen, Author Lady has A WRITING PROMPT FROM ME TO YOU [example of her prompt]

Mary at the blog Mary J Melange and Susan Scott at the blog Garden of Eden Blog are part of We Are The World Blogfest [#WATWB]

Melanie at the blog sparksfromacombustiblemind has Share Your World [example of her questions]

Natalie at the blog Natalie The Explorer has Weekend Coffee Share

Paula at the blog Light Motifs II had some fun prompts, but her blog is under construction at the moment so stay tuned

Su Leslie at the blog Zimmerbitch has Virtual Afternoon Tea [example of a post] [#virtualteaparty2021 on IG]

Terri at the blog Second Wind Leisure Perspectives has Sunday Stills Photography Challenge

Trent at the blog Trent’s World has The Weekly Smile [#WeeklySmile on Twitter]

~ ~ • ~ ~

A March Mélange: Googly Eyes, Passing Grades, and Snazzy Socks

I bugged out of blogging last week.

I didn’t mean to neglect you, my gentle readers, but it was a spontaneous decision on Monday morning. I wanted to finish my online self-directed college class and decided to just do it, get all the reading, research, and writing over with. It took me a few hours every day causing my eyes to blur and spin in my head, but I finished the class a few weeks early, earning a passing grade of 93%.

And that, as they say, is that.

It was fascinating to see lectures, read assignments, do homework, and write a research paper again. It took me outside of my usual thinking patterns, so the mental challenge was a good one. For winter. During a pandemic.

Was it worth it? Will I do it again? That is, take another online university class with homework?

Welp, I’m going to say probably NO.

I didn’t hate being a student, but I didn’t love it either. Fortunately I understood the subject matter [history learned through the interconnections among antique objects and academic disciplines in a museum] but I vehemently disliked the computer user interface for this online course. It was clunky and awkward, visually cluttered– and there were typos and inconsistencies that bothered me, a writer.

The mediocre system made every assignment a struggle and as such sucked the fun out of this whole adventure in higher education. No matter really. Nothing ventured, nothing gained.

In fact, continuing on with the idea of something gained, much to my delight while in the process of researching my final paper I stumbled on the word SNAZZY used in an advertisement in the current Vermont Country Store catalogue. Don’t ask how I ended up there, but I did and it was worth it.

Yes siree kids, it’s my all-time favorite word spotted in the wild.

In this case the best word ever is used to describe mild-compression support socks. Granted the topic of socks had nothing to do with the project I was working on and I don’t think I need these particular ones, but I am getting older so maybe I do and just don’t know it yet.

Anyhoo, that’s where I’ve been and what I’ve been doing. And you? Whatcha been doing?

Spill the beans in the comments below. Missed ‘ya. Mean it.

A Thursday In February: Seeing The Sunshine Whilst Not Doing Something I Should Be Doing

The snow isn’t deep here, the sunshine is warm & lovely, but the temperature is frigid outside.

~ ~ • ~ ~

WOULD YOU BELIEVE ME IF I told you that by writing this blog post I’m avoiding going to class and doing my homework?

Well, it’s the truth.

You see, in January I signed up for a pass/fail college course that is from the history department at Harvard University offered through edX. The course is entirely online and you do it at your own pace following an official syllabus to keep you moving along in a timely manner.

[Currently I’m failing, btw. I have 63% and need 65% to pass, but whatevs.]

I should be doing the right thing this morning: that would be watching the lectures and reading the articles and answering the questions, but I don’t want to. And therein might be the most dramatic difference between younger me and older me. Younger me was the good Do Bee” student [Romper Room, anyone?] while older me is a wise “Your Ken can kiss my Barbie” woman [The Big Bang Theory].

Case in point, I’m not doing my schoolwork today and you can’t make me. Ha!

~ • ~

HOWEVER I WILL SHARE WITH YOU something I learned in the process of doing research for my final project that is due in a few weeks. Interestingly enough I came across a word that can be used to describe the feeling you’d have if you were standing outside in the sunshine, like the birch trees are in the photo at the top of this post.

The word is Apricity [Merriam-Webster] and it means the warmth of the sun in the winter.

Yes this is another word to add to your personal lexicon because who doesn’t like the joy of knowing an obscure word and using it in a sentence? I mean, why else would you be here today if not for another unique learning experience– and the opportunity to answer a timeless question on a cold winter’s day.

Thus I leave you, my gentle readers, to answer and comment below: do you want to be right or do you want to be happy?

~ ~ • ~ ~

A Letter Home Blog Post + Food For Thought On A Tuesday Morning

February 9, 2021

Dear Friends & Relations,

Not much happening around here, but I’ll write to you anyhow because it’s Tuesday, my favorite day of the week. Huzzah!

Nowhere to go, no one to meet, but things to do.

We continue to wait until we are eligible for our first Covid-19 vaccine shot. Then, of course, there’ll be a wait for the second one, which seems to be in short supply around here, so maybe not getting the first one yet is a good thing?

I dunno. We’ve been home together in our own little bubble for about 11 months now, so what are a few more weeks or months? We’re safe, we’re healthy, we’re doing low-key things.

Here is where we updated the cookbook.

We’ve finished updating our Family Favorites Cookbooks, 3rd edition. Yep, this is a re-do of a re-do of my first home computer project that I completed in February 1994, then updated for a second edition in April 2005. The bottom line is that we now have all our favorite recipes saved in the computer as well as printed, put in binders, and ready to go in the kitchen.

Move over Martha, you ain’t the only kid on the block who has it going on with her recipes. Ha!

The epicenter of clutter where the paint fan now resides.

We’re also in the process of deciding on a new exterior paint color for the trim and siding of Chez Bean. A new roof a few years ago + a new limestone retaining wall last December + a new deck sometime in 2021 [fingers crossed] = time to repaint exterior of the house bringing the color scheme into this decade.

Deciding on a new color is fraught with design peril. Oh yes it is. We have four seasons with natural light shining in different ways on four sides of the house, and there’s a need to coordinate with the brick and new retaining wall. Thus there are many variables, many possibilities– and one dithering me.

Our “communication center” where I await your replies.

And with that I’ll end this missive about our humdrum daily life, hoping it finds you well. What’s new with you?

Very truly yours,

Ally Bean, the bored

~ ~ 🔹 ~ ~

Food For Thought: When’s the last time you wrote a letter home? It seems quaint now to think about doing that, let alone write one that includes snapshots. Remember doing that, too?

~ ~ 🔹 ~ ~

Words Do Not Fail Me: A Study Of Wordiness In My Blog Posts & Your Comments, Forsooth

I got curious.

I got to a’wondering about two things about this blog’s word counts. I realize that what follows is a somewhat meta post, but it’s winter and I have time to think about word counts.

My two questions are:

  1. How many words have I written in the 962 posts I’ve published here; and
  2. How many words are in the average comment here.

• Answering the first question was easy.

WordPress provides information on word count by post and by year. Looking at the chart featured at the bottom of this post you can see that I’ve written & published a total of 962 posts with a total word count of 282,612 words.

This averages overall to 294 words per post, although last year I got wordier averaging 360 words per post.

A digression… according to this article, A Word Count Guide for 18 Book Genres, Including Novels and Non-Fiction, 80,000 words is the ideal length for a novel. “If you’re working on a novel-length book, aim for 50,000 words at the very least — but it’s better to aim for 90,000. Editorial trimming is inevitable.”

Ergo, keeping the above rule of thumb in mind while applying it to my blog word count [282,612 divided by 90,000] you can see that in essence

I’VE WRITTEN THREE BOOKS.

• Answering the second question took more effort and required a few assumptions.

Because there’s no stinking way I’m going through all the comments on this blog to find the total comment word count, I made a few, shall we say, educated guesses.

Thus I decided that I’d only look at the comment word count on my 2021 blog posts AND that I’d only look at the comments made by the top recent commenters [according to WordPress] because I figure those people are a good representation of all commenters.

The top recent commenters are: Linda, LA, Dan, Nancy, Tara, and Kari. Go visit them and say “hi!”

To wit, there are 38 comments from these individuals with a total of 1616 words. This means that the average comment word count is 43 words.

Do what you will with this statistic; I was unable to find any articles written on the topic of comment word counts, so I don’t know how to interpret this number. Other than to say

THANK YOU TO EVERYONE WHO COMMENTS HERE.

Curiosity satisfied. The end.

Questions Of The Day

When you write do you keep track of your word count as you go along? Are you aiming for a specific number?

Did you know that the word *forsooth* is an archaic or humorous word meaning “indeed”?

Do you have any idea how I made the pretty text box featured near the top of this post? I hit some buttons and it happened, but I’ve no idea what I did.

~ ~ • ~ ~