The Company You Keep

My idea of good company is the company of clever, well-informed people who have a great deal of conversation; that is what I call good company.

The third assignment from Blogging 101 this year is to follow five new topics in the Reader and five new blogs. I’m constantly finding and following new blogs almost every day. Writer blogs, gaming blogs, parenting blogs, whatever I’m turned on to by other blogger/writer friends, usually through social media.

I’m going to give you five relatively random blogs/sites that you should check out and follow if you wish. Following and connecting with other bloggers and connecting with authors through social media is one of the best ways to grow your own audience, but try to remember that interaction is still the engine that drives the whole blogging machine. Comment and converse with your fellow bloggers!

Studio30 Plus

Okay, that was actually six, we’ll call one extra credit. But it’s not about “how many followers can I get?” It’s about reading what interests you and sharing and connecting and writing. I don’t have nearly enough time to keep up with all the blogs I follow and want to read every day, but it’s always rewarding to do so.

Will A Blog By Any Other Name Still Be Thorny?

Who gave it that title, gangsta rap? It’s reality rap. It’s about what’s really going on.” ~Eazy-E

For Day 2 of Blogging 101, we were to address the first thing readers see when visiting the blog, the Title. The Tagline is also important as it’s intended to give a general idea what the blog is about. That’s tough when the blog is really about everything, or nothing, at least not in particular. I’ve struggled with the title for as long as I’ve been writing my blog.

Cautious Realism stems from considering myself to be a Realist where others might call me a Pessimist. I’m not a doom and gloom kind of guy, but I’m not going to pull punches. I’ll tell it like it is as I see it. Maybe I should change the title to be more of a warning to potential readers? “Caution, Snark Imminent!” or something like that?

SNARK

Leave me a comment with any suggestions on a new name and thanks for reading.

Why I’m Here

Thinking is the hardest work there is, which is probably the reason so few engage in it.

~Henry Ford

Years ago I decided that I would start a blog and it served primarily as a way to engage in self-therapy. I figured that if I could just start talking, even to myself, I might be able to work through some issues I was having.

I’ve always been a writer at heart and I still feel that way though I seldom make the time to be one in practice. This blog became a means to that end when I told myself I’d make a post every day, or when I started publishing bits and pieces of my writing (fiction) here via various prompts and/or activities, like the Blogging 101 class, for instance.

When I started blogging I never cared much who might read it or if anyone would read it, it was mostly for me. As time has gone on I’ve found I really enjoy engaging with readers and other bloggers with regards to the opinions or thoughts I share on my blog. Getting a huge audience has never been a priority, but I definitely enjoy the fact other people read my words and I’m probably a bit more careful with the presentation as a result. I’m not going to censor myself because others are reading, but I’ll probably proofread a second time or be more mindful of my composition. I’m vain and I wouldn’t want people reading my blog thinking, “This guy sounds like an uneducated imbecile.”

Readers may think that because they don’t agree with my opinions, but that’s fine. I’m not asking anyone to agree with everything I say.

Onward & Upward

Having my own blog led me to start writing about the St. Louis Blues on other websites. You can currently find my hockey posts at The Hockey Writers. I’m definitely still looking for opportunities to write more and I would love to be writing for a living. That chance hasn’t presented itself yet, but I’ll continue looking for it.

Whether you follow my blog or just come every once in a while to check out what’s new, you’ll find me occasionally voicing my opinion on current events, sharing recipes, restaurant experiences, baseball insights, or samples of my favorite music and books. Since I’ve taken my specialty writing (about hockey) off-site, my blog remains a sort jack-of-all-trades kind of entity. That’s not to say it couldn’t become something more focused in the future, but I enjoy a lot of different things in life and for now I’m content with them all being a part of my blog

Thanks again for taking time to read, I hope you’ll leave comments during your stay.

Musing Mondays (July 20) Bluenotebacker Style

MusingMondays-ADailyRhythmThis is my response to a weekly prompt I found at A Daily Rythm. Be sure click through. Play along if you’re so inclined.

Musing Mondays is a weekly meme that asks you to choose one of the following prompts to answer:

  • I’m currently reading…
  • Up next I think I’ll read…
  • I bought the following book(s) in the past week…
  • I’m super excited to tell you about (book/author/bookish-news)…
  • I’m really upset by (book/author/bookish-news)…
  • I can’t wait to get a copy of…
  • I wish I could read ___, but…
  • I blogged about ____ this past week…

THIS WEEK’S RANDOM QUESTION: Are you able to read while in a vehicle (in motion)? Have you always been this way?

First things first, I’m currently reading the “Fate of the Jedi” series of Star Wars novels. It began about a month ago with the first book, Outcast, by Aaron Allston. It was okay, but at the time I wasn’t sure I planned to continue reading the series. For reasons I cannot pinpoint, I’ve never been a big “Science Fiction” reader, though I’ve always been a huge Star Wars fan. I’ve also never been big on plot when choosing my favorite fiction, and while there were certainly familiar characters in the book I just couldn’t sink my teeth into what they were doing. It happens to me often when trying to read Sci-Fi and unless the characters are extraordinary I usually lose interest.

Not surprisingly, knowing many of these Star Wars characters (and the fact there were Jedi and lightsabers involved) drew me back strongly enough to give the second book, Omen, by Christie Golden, a try and the rest has been fantastic. Allston, Golden and Troy Denning alternate writing each book and I just today finished Allies, by Golden, which is number six in what became a series of NINE consecutive novels.

If you know anything about Star Wars you’ll recognize many of the characters, places, races and historical tidbits in these books but I’ll wager you will not know them all or be able to picture them anyway. On many occasions I’m prompted to look up a particular alien race online, to “put a face” with the name, so to speak. It certainly helps to visualize when you have such a widely diverse cast, even within one group- the Jedi, for example- much less the entire universe.

To put the setting into perspective for other fans, the “Fate of the Jedi” takes place an estimated 40 years after the events of what we know as Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope. I urge every reader though, Star Wars fan or not, to give the books a go. They’re for the most part well-written fiction, and good, fun Summer reading. I *am* a big fan though, and they’re definitely whetting my appetite for the new Star Wars movie coming this December.

RANDOM QUESTION ANSWER: I cannot read in a moving vehicle. I don’t know if I did as a kid but I know as an adult, I can’t even ride in a car without feeling a little dizzy and sick. I have to be driving to avoid being uncomfortable.

Thanks for reading!

Glacially Musical Metal Giveaway!

TWC

The Wolf Council

Fellow music lover and blogger, Nik Cameron, over at Glacially Musical, has the enviable task of reviewing albums sent to him by bands and record labels. His musical taste is varied, and spans a wide range of genres over the last 30 years of listening. In addition to reviewing albums, Nik also has opportunities to interview bands, occasionally as they come through town as well as via phone and Internet. He’ll even review your band’s stuff! Just follow the submission guidelines on his blog.

Given that he will sometimes receive packages from record labels is stands to figure that Nik might come across freebies, and who doesn’t love free music? Starting Monday, June 15, 2015, Nik is sharing the wealth by offering a free copy of:

“The Wolf Council” by The Wolf Council

Beginning Monday, anyone can enter to win by Tweeting to Nik. Tweet to @13blog  and include “ @TWCMN@statictension” somewhere in your 140-characters-or-less message!

Spread the word, GO TO HIS BLOG and read his reviews & interviews- I’ve discovered a TON of new-to-me music there, and next Monday, Tweet to win. Nik will sort it out in the end and pick a winner, but you must include the text above in your Tweet to be eligible. You can also find and follow Glacially Musical on Facebook.

Check out The Wolf Council:

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11 Quirky Truths About Being A Writer

Sean J:

After reading this list I’d say I resemble almost everything on it!

Originally posted on 101 Books:

After a decade or so of doing this writing thing, I’ve decided that writers are a unique lot. We’re kind of weird, wouldn’t you agree?

Recently I noticed some of my own quirks and thought I’d write them down.

But, certainly, these can’t just be truths about me, right? Certainly, you guys who write deal with the same stuff, right? I’m not the only one, am I?

You tell me if you’ve noticed the same things:

View original 183 more words

Offseason Blues

And thus begins the long period of waiting for the other shoe to drop. And for the other shoe to drop. Nothing’s happening with the Blues, my favorite NHL team and the subject of my opining over at The Hockey Writers. Check out my posting there, I’d greatly appreciate it!

The image above is what I imagine it looked like when the Blues lost (again) in the playoffs this year if viewed through a Fail lens.

Another Blues Season Ends Early

THESCOTT31015This was my first season writing about the Blues over at The Hockey Writers, and unless you follow me on Twitter or are generally a hockey fan you probably didn’t read much of what I had to say there. As with my personal writing, finding the time to do it is usually my biggest challenge.

If you have a moment I’d appreciate you checking out my final post for the 2014-15 season HERE and maybe letting me know what you think of it regards to the writing. Don’t worry about the content if you”re not a hockey fan, I’m just curious to know if what I’m putting out there in the public eye is worthwhile. I’m looking for glaring mistakes and criticism FAR more than I’m seeking praise, just so you know.

I plan to continue writing there for as long as the editors will have me. Plenty of news goes on during the off-season and I may even have more to say (though I doubt it) before this season’s Stanley Cup is won. The Blues have never won a Cup but I’ll continue being a fan, can’t help it.

As always, I hope to make more time to continue my personal writing here as well, and as always, thanks for taking your time to read my words.

But Wait, It’s Still Hockey Season!

HOCKEYFirst of all, I hope you laughed at my April Fools post last week. I hate birds (except for raptors) and always will. I would never waste my time or yours discussing winged rats like pigeons.

Now that we’re all back to reality, I saw bits and pieces on TV last night of a show that was apparently sports. Baseball or something? Yes, it was Opening Night 2015! The indomitable St. Louis Cardinals were featured on national television facing off in the Windy City against the hapless Chicago Cubs, to a not very surprising result, a 3-0 shutout victory for Adam Wainright and the Cards.

If you know me, I’m not ready to fully dive into caring about baseball yet because, say it with me, “IT’S STILL HOCKEY SEASON!” The Blues were also in Chicago last night and also won their game versus their division rival Blackhawks. You can read all about what I think of the Blues at thehockeywriters.com

I’m glad the Birds on the Bat were able to make it a clean sweep for the day. It was fun to see the trash talking by Chicago teams prior to the action. Tweets like this:

While St. Louis was, naturally, quite pleased:

Waino was Waino, with six scoreless innings and the bullpen looked rock-solid, with a nice cameo by 5th starter Carlos Martinez who, because of days-off this week, isn’t slated to pitch until Saturday. The Cardinals also harkened back to the days of WhiteyBall with FOUR stolen bases, more than they had in all of the NLCS last season. The only downside to a rousing beat down of the Cubs and their shiny new (overpaid) Ace, lefty Jon Lester, was that Matt Adams continued his struggle facing left-handed pitching. Big City went 0-4 with 2 Ks and left 5 men on base. Not the start he was hoping for, surely, and nothing to inspire ANY confidence that he improved himself against lefties during the Spring. But as I said, it’s still hockey season and the Blues still have 3 regular season games this week. The playoffs start April 15, and until the Blues bow out I’m not likely to mention the Cardinals again.

I’ll leave with this plug: my company, Office Essentials, is an Official Corporate Sponsor of the team this year, which is great for us. You’ll see our logo in Busch Stadium and we’ll be a part of the official Opening Day pep-rally in downtown St. Louis before the home opener.  Thanks for reading, and Happy “It’s Still Hockey Season But Everyone Is Glad Baseball Has Begun!” season :)

Spring Into Change!

PIGEONARTThank you so much to all the followers and readers who take time to visit my humble blog. I know I’ve not been active much lately, but I wanted to take an opportunity to let you all know that I’m going to be changing the format of my page.

PIGEONSFrom this point forward, I’m going to only be blogging about Pigeons. Those who know me well may find this new direction strange, given my irrational hatred of birds in general, but I think it’s time to expand my horizons and take on a topic that has long baffled me.

Where did pigeons come from? What are they doing here? Why do they tend to poop all over defenseless statues in the town square? These are just some of the questions I plan to answer in the future of my blog, and I hope you will stick around and discover them with me.

Did you know pigeons like art? Neither did I!