Blogging 101: Saying “Hi!”

The 3rd assignment in the Blogging 101 class is to make some new friends:

Today’s assignment: follow five new topics in the Reader and five new blogs.

Community has become a big part of why I blog- to meet other like-minded writers and share stories, tips, and generally find folks who want to discuss the matters of the day. You can see my blog roll to the right of my page, and to stay true to the course I’ve added 5 more today. I’ve also written briefly on a daily prompt below, from The Daily Post:

Happy Radars

I’m usually a pretty good judge of the temperature of a room. If you’re reading this and know me and disagree, please say so in the comments! Do we (collectively) tend to put on a “good face” when we’re unhappy or feeling low? Yes. I can almost always tell when that smile is hiding sadness or anger.
Maybe because a large part of my job involves listening to people talk, listening for clues and cues as to their wants and needs, but I can usually hear the underlying sentiment even when it’s being sugar-coated outwardly. Can I read minds? Of course not, but I’m a very empathetic person.
Unfortunately, I seem to be able to communicate far more eloquently through the written (typed!) word than in face-to-face conversation, but that’s probably a topic for another chat. Or maybe for a therapist 😉

Absolute Beauty

For the next Daily Post Blogging 101 assignment, we are supposed to edit our tagline and title. I’m pretty happy with mine for now, but reserve the right to change it without advance notice. Instead, I’ll take up their daily prompt:

Absolute Beauty

We’ve all heard that beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Do you agree? is all beauty contingent on a subjective point of view?

Ultimately, beauty IS in the eye of the beholder. I’m a man of Faith, and for me there is in many natural creations an inherent beauty.

NASA/ESA/Alexander Gerst

The stars, sunlight through clouds, or a majestic mountain range, to name a few. I have no doubts that there are those who do not share my opinion on what is beautiful, and there will certainly be things others find beauty in that I do not.

It would be quite presumptuous of us to say what another person should or shouldn’t find beautiful. It’s what makes Art such a wonderful and personal experience.

Teaser Tuesdays – September 16

This is a weekly feature at Should Be Reading. Play along and remember to link your post in the comments there!

TeaserTuesdays2014e

I’m currently reading Fluke, by Christopher Moore. If you’ve never read his novels you’re truly missing out on one of the funniest dark humorists of our time.

p.211 After the left, Clay turned to the two surfers. Thirty years of working with the best scientists and divers in the world, and this was what it came down to: two stoner kids.

Blogging 101 Assignment #1: Introduce Yourself

In an effort to inject some life into my stagnant blogging, I’m participating in WordPress University’s Blogging 101 class. School starts today and the first assignment is to post an introduction so readers know who I am and why I’m here in the first place. Here we go.

When I started blogging, years ago now, it was an exercise in self-therapy. I had things to say that were simultaneously clogging up my brain and keeping me from sleeping soundly every night. I decided to share some of those in a blog format though I kept readership private and for my eyes only. The physical act of typing things out was cathartic, as was being able to go back and re-read my thoughts. Could I have written them in ink or pencil in a notebook? Sure, but I’m a computer geek so I preferred the blog format. I think I knew then I would eventually open up my writings to others but had no interest or motivation for it at the time.

As I worked through some personal issues and started sharing more random, philosophical-type musings, I decided I would take down the privacy screen and allow others to read what I was sharing, if for no other reason than I didn’t want to deny anyone the pleasure of hearing my wisdom. Ha, that’s a joke, though not an especially funny one. Am I truly an egomaniac? I really don’t think so, but maybe my subconscious is in which case… well, who knows?

I always claimed I didn’t care if anyone else was reading my blog and I certainly didn’t care (then) what people thought about the things I had to say. I was writing/blogging/sharing because I found the material interesting and enjoyed the process, period. Over time though, I found I really enjoyed the idea that people, even strangers, might read my blog and then hopefully interact with me about what I’d written. I wasn’t blogging/fishing for comments, but I enjoyed being able to converse with readers, many of whom were writers too. I still enjoy the community that comes from being a blogger, even if I’m not as active as I’d like to be. I hope this class changes that.

I have written about Life, Love, Food, Sports, Parenting, Gaming, and other topics in my blog that blend between multiple genres. I’ve written poetry and fiction. I’d love to continue connecting with other fiction writers, food/cooking bloggers, and sports bloggers, and parents. I may start sharing more opinions on, as I learn more about the subject, whole foods/nutrition/natural health.

I wrote about the St. Louis Blues. I’m a big fan if you couldn’t already tell from my nom de blog, and I had the chance to write articles and opinions on a “fan site” called BleedinBlue.com. It was enjoyable but time consuming and I had to step back from it. I will continue sharing my thoughts on the team as the new season starts this month with training camp and pre-season games. A big part of my reason for participating in this class is to make my blog more current, more frequently read, and to make some contacts in the blogoverse/writing world that might eventually lead to getting paid for doing something I love.

Teaser Tuesdays

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

• Grab your current read
• Open to a random page
• Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
• BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
• Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

My teaser is from This Magnificent Desolation, by Thomas O’Malley.

Duncan knows that Joshua is staring at the ceiling in this moment, just as he is. The anxiety of this time in the morning, when- despite the quiet, the stillness- the weight of the day seems to press heavily, burgeoning upon the nerves, a day when so many things can go wrong and this hour when all he has is the time and space to think of them.

 

 

WWW Wednesday 7-24-13

One of my favorite prompts, from Should Be Reading.  

To play along, just answer the following three (3) questions…

• What are you currently reading?
• What did you recently finish reading?
• What do you think you’ll read next?

 

I’m currently reading Sandman Slim, by Richard Kadrey. It’s the first of a series and I love a good series. Especially when the characters are fun. If you’re a fan of Harry Dresden I think you’ll like this one too.

 

 I recently (yesterday) finished reading Revenge: Stories, by Yoko Ogawa. A collection of loosely, oddly connected short stories. Creepy, but I thoroughly enjoyed it. I’ll definitely check out more of her stuff.

 

 Next I’ll be reading Rock on: An Office Power Ballad, by Dan Kennedy. I was turned on to this one by blogger friend and fellow music lover, Nancy Davis Kho, and I actually won a copy of this book signed by the author. In my Top Favorite Things of All-Time, music and books are essentially tied for #1, so this was doubly intriguing.

 

Be sure to link back to the original WWW Wednesday post and share yours with everyone.

 

100 Word Song – Mirrors

Written in response to this week’s 100 Word Song Challenge from Lance and Leeroy over at MyBlogCanBeatUpYourBlog.

I’m a fan of JT. I like a lot of his music, he’s a decent actor, is very funny, and seems to be quite intelligent. I will crank the volume up and sing along with this song in the car, much to the dismay of my family.

It makes me think of The Police’s “Every Breath You Take,” and how our reflection in a mirror is always there watching and mimicking us, whether we like it or not. The 1983 song was, I suppose, intended to be romantic, but it’s kind of creepy, yes? Thanks for bringing romance back too, JT.

Teaser Tuesdays, July 16

I found a new (to me) prompt today and so I figured I’d post some content to the ol’ blog. Been a while, Life is a bit crazy these days. Anyway, it’s called Teaser Tuesdays and it’s from MizB at Should Be Reading. Check it out and play along…

 

  1. Grab your current read
  2. Open to a random page
  3. Share two (2) teaser sentences from that page

BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)

Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

“What was looking over the hedge should be described at this point. What Anathema saw was, she said later, something like a prepubescent Greek god.” 

~ p. 142 Good Omens by Terry Pratchett & Neil Gaiman

WWW Wednesdays 3-13-13

A weekly installment of WWW Wednesdays prompted by Should Be Reading. You should be reading that blog too. 

To play along, just answer the following three (3) questions…

• What are you currently reading?
• What did you recently finish reading?
• What do you think you’ll read next?

 Currently I’m reading Grimspace (Sirantha Jax, #1) by Ann Aguirre. It’s another sci-fi series I found thanks to Goodreads friends, and so far it’s not terrible. Jax is a fairly interesting character and it’s a pretty quick read. That sounds much more negative than it should- I’m simply not a huge sci-fi reader, despite my love for Star Wars etc.

 I recently finished Dreamland: Adventures in the Strange Science of Sleep by David K. Randall. It wasn’t nearly as good, or overall insightful as I’d hoped, but it did touch on some intriguing concepts, namely that “normal” sleep patterns may have once involved going to bed as the sun went down, sleeping 3-4 hours, then waking again for a few hours, then sleeping again for a few hours. Apparently, in the absence of artificial light our bodies naturally fall into this routine and experience more satisfaction from sleep than when we try to get 608 straight hours of shuteye. Who knew?

 Next will be Revenge: Stories by Yoko Ogawa, a collection of short stories all connected by a common thread. Supernatural, possibly, and suspenseful. It’s sitting on my desk at home, we’ll see how it goes. I thoroughly enjoyed the last collection of shorts I read, which is atypical for me.

 

WWW Wednesdays 3-6-13

This weekly event from Should Be Reading gives us a chance to share what’s we’re reading and often find new treasures we might have otherwise missed. Join in the fun!

To play along, just answer the following three (3) questions…

• What are you currently reading?
• What did you recently finish reading?
• What do you think you’ll read next?

I’m still working on the same books I had open last weekVampires in the Lemon Grove, by Karen Russell and Dreamland: Adventures in the Strange Science of Sleep, by David K. Randall. I’ve also started Grimspace, by Ann Aguirre.

 In between continuing those titles I picked up and finished Hounded (The Iron Druid Chronicles #1) by Kevin Hearne. I have to say, I nearly put this one down before I was halfway through. I loathe being unable to finish a book, but I didn’t feel like this was very well written. The dialogue seemed a bit clunky, too forced at times. The characters though, are intriguing. I’m also a huge fan of mythology and it’s well represented here. The book is a pretty quick read, so I finished it and you know what? I’m going to give the next in the series a shot. Hearne has something here to build upon and I’m hoping I enjoy the other “Chronicles.”

 Kevin’s titular druid, Atticus, reminded me a lot of a character I’ve met before and really loved, which may be why I’m giving that series a chance. The Alchemyst (The Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel, #1) by Michael Scott is one of my favorites, the first installment in one of my favorite series ever. If you’ve not found Scott’s books yet, I highly recommend them. I may read this again next.

 Hexed (The Iron Druid Chronicles #2) by Kevin Hearne will be coming up soon too.