Lord, I’m a Ramblin’ Woman.

I was interviewed by Karen at Blazing Minds. She has a great blogger interview series in addition to other engaging content that includes blogging tips, music & film reviews, memes, as well as Twitter tips. I receive daily updates by email, which helps me stay current on all Internet related news, i.e., cyber-threats, blog ads, iPad apps, etc.

Have a look-see and you’ll see the breadth (not bread) of fascinating articles available at Blazing Minds.

FYI, like the Tardis, Blazing Minds appears smaller on the outside. You know Who would know that, thus reminding me that I need to make a doctor’s appointment.

SURREAL PICTURE OF A BLAZING FIRE. 
(I require the use of a visual aid)

Blazing FireImage by Poe Tatum via Flickr

Blazing Minds – the ultimate all-you-can-eat buffet for your eyes. That’s why I keep coming back for more.

When you get a moment, please stop by and let me know if my ramblin’ was interesting or more like a case of diarrhea of the mouth. I can’t believe I spelled diarrhea right.

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19 Questions to Stress Over or I’ve got a Memegraine.

I got tagged by Rebecca at The Snee, who is a hilarious satirist, fella New Englander and bloggy buddy.

My assignment. To answer the following 19 questions to the best of my abilities or to the best of a highly intelligent amoebae’s abilities.

1. if you have pets, do you see them as merely animals, or are they members of your family?

  • We had one of our dog’s Bat Mitzvahed.

2. if you can have a dream come true, what would it be?

  • To astral plane to Tahiti.

3. what is the one thing most hated by you?

  • Hate.

4. what would you do with a billion dollars?

  • Invest it with Bernie Madoff.

5. what helps to pull you out of a bad mood?

  • A good mood.

6. which is more blessed, loving someone or being loved by someone?

  • Loving someone who just sneezed.

7. what is your bedtime routine?

8. if you are currently in a relationship, how did you meet your partner?

  • Bumping into him at a train station then again several days later on a crowded 68th street subway platform after a free Simon and Garfunkel Concert in Central Park. We were in the same class in high school.

9. if you could watch a creative person in the act of the creative process, who would it be?

  • Van Gogh. I want to see if he really cut off his ear. If I didn’t say it, Evil Twin would have. Evil Twin is Reffie’s alter ego at the always funny and highly entertaining Reflections of a Former Geek.

10. what kinds of books do you read?

  • The ones with words.

11. how would you see yourself in ten years time?

  • Through dark sunglasses.

12. what’s your fear?

  • Seeing myself in ten years.

13. would you give up all junk food for the rest of your life for the opportunity to visit outer space?

  • No way and be forced to eat that packaged space crap.

14. would you rather be single and rich or married, but poor?

  • Married and poor. That way I always have someone to bitch at.

15. what’s the first thing you do when you wake up?

  • Grab my glasses off the night stand and then drop them on the floor.

16. if you could change one thing about your spouse/partner what would it be?

  • Stop him from talking in his sleep. I can always stick a sock in his mouth.

17. if you could pick a new name for yourself, what would it be?

  • Who me?

18. would you forgive and forget no matter how horrible a thing that special someone has done?

  • Yes, as long as it wasn’t done to me.

19. if you could only eat one thing for the next 6 months, what would it be?

  • Pizza. Is there any thing else?



I Live in a Place Called Hope.

Light the fireImage via Wikipedia

A metaphysical place that is . . . as I reflect on the past year without cracking the satirical whip.

Right now, in the east, it is bitter cold and snow covers the ground. Folks are losing their jobs and there is a huge gap between rich and poor.

Despite my own dismal employment circumstances, I cannot help but still hold onto hope and the possibility that tomorrow sunlight will burn through the gray bloated sky that hangs over this new world order.

This new world disorder challenges me to use different skills and to improve upon the old ones. It pushes me to think in different ways, to create something out of nothing and to reinvent myself.

I must be a visionary and not let go of hope, or I’ll lose the spark and determination I need to keep putting one foot forward and prevent slipping backward.

I cannot afford to give up or dwell on past mistakes. I need to harness the creativity and passion inside me and around me, to dig my way out of the intellectual, emotional and financial hole that this new world order shoves me into from time to time.

And these times are the most difficult I’ve ever known. But I won’t let it defeat me or steal my dreams or erode the illuminating light of hope and inspiration. It’s everywhere. Just harder to find.

My bloggy buddy Heidi, the brains behind Momma Politico, recently posted an inspirational story about the elementary school where she is principal. They initiated a care package drive to send comfort items to a colleague’s husband and his battalion in Afghanistan. The elementary school kids and families donated supplies and raised enough money to ship 10-12 boxes.

However, after accumulating an abundance of supplies and filling 200 goody bags for the troops, the school realized they had to ship forty priority boxes, not 12, which they didn’t have the money to ship.

The challenge of raising enough money to ship forty priority boxes was insurmountable, as they had exhausted their fundraising capabilities in addition to facing a diminishing window of time. No matter how unrealistic their goal appeared, because of their passion and drive, and an outpouring of support from the community, they were able to ship the forty boxes to the troops in time.

Please read the story The Christmas Wish that Almost Wasn’t: How We Pulled Together to Pull off a Christmas Miracle at Heidi’s site Momma Politico .

Heidi’s story is only one of many of inspiration. Another involves, Tasiasmama, a recovering addict, determined to keep her life on a positive path by staying clean. She blogs about her life as an addict and her recovery at http://anaddictsinnerself.blogspot.com and dailymemoirstofindingmyinnerself. Tasiasmama really puts the word “struggle” into perspective.

Beside these wonderful stories, I also find inspiration everyday in the blogosphere in the talented Bloggers who write stories that amuse, inspire, and infuse my life with hope from their boundless creativity, passion and ingenuity.

Thank you for enriching my life.

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How to Prevent Traumatic-Post Stress Disorder.

 

Hands collaborating in co-writing or co-editin...

Channel your energy to your writing and not to outside distractions.

Fads pass through the blogosphere faster than a toe-tapping politician can talk his way out of a bathroom stall while an unamused cop rattles a pair of handcuffs.

But fads are just distractions, as is stressing over frivolous stuff, like your subscriber count, which always changes, while your reasons for writing remain the same – passion and connecting with readers. The two are inextricably bound. You can’t make a connection with a reader if your heart isn’t in your writing.

And you only have seconds to make that connection. People have short attention spans. If a reader doesn’t fall in love with your content at first sight, he/she will leave your site.
  • How do you keep a reader from leaving your site?
    • By writing compelling posts.
  • What is a compelling post?
    • A well-written post that triggers an emotional response in a reader, which establishes a connection.
The word “connection” is the operative here and the key to maintaining a bustling readership but is like a slippery bar of soap that can easily evade your grasp.

That’s why you must be passionate about what you write while keeping the content in your comfort zone. If you’re squeamish about what you write, it will be apparent to your readers. In other words, don’t write about something if your heart’s not in it because you’re worried about repercussions from friends or loved ones.

Don’t write about stuff that can come back and bite you in the ass, like your husband yelling at you because you bought expensive whipped cream cheese (on sale) instead of the more affordable (less air pockets), slab of cream cheese – a huge difference according to dairy aficionados specializing in cream cheese cuisine.

Uh, omit that last passage (or not). In all fairness to my husband of twenty-five years, sometimes while in the throes of the after-work crankies, we spew insensitive nonsensical crap before we’re able to satisfy our irascible appetites with a cream cheese smeared saltine snack. It’s all good. He apologized. 
But I digressed. Back to the point on connecting with your readers. 
I just revealed a marital melee, thus providing a peak into my personal life, or minutiae me, not blogger me, or avatar me. 
Because the Internet is an intangible void, readers have an insatiable desire for intimacy and need to bond with the blog writer. The content must intrigue, surprise, engage, hold the reader’s attention long enough to form a connection with the brains behind the blog responsible for entertainment.
For colorless writing, readers visit websites with processed posts that feature news or “how to” and informational articles, or sites that provide solutions to problems. No emotional investment there. Just a quick information fix.
People are innate seekers of information even of the absurd. . .
Newman: I hear you’ve got some lip reader working for you. You gotta let me use her for one day. Just one day. 
Jerry: Can’t do it Newman.
Newman: But Jerry, we’ve got this new supervisor down at the post office. He’s working behind this glass. I know they’re talking about me. They’re going to transfer me, I know it. Two hours, give me two hours.
Jerry: Not going to happen.
Newman: (Sinister) All right, all right. All right you go ahead. You go ahead and keep it secret. But you remember this. When you control the mail, you control… information.
Larry David is truly the master of his domain. Because of great writing and quirky memorable characters, we still quote Seinfeld episodes twelve years after the show went off the air.
We relate to Seinfeld characters because they are flawed human beings like us.
Since the Internet is devoid of humanity (and only reflects images of human souls), it is even more critical for a blogger to establish a relationship with his/her readers.
But not every blogger wants to reveal sensitive personal situations that can leave teeth marks on the ass. 
So, what if you don’t want to write about your personal life? How can you still connect with your readers? 
By injecting your personality into your writing or as it is called among literary types, voice. 
What is voice? 
Write101.com
In writing, voice is the way your writing ‘sounds’ on the page. It has to do with the way you write, the tone you take–friendly, formal, chatty, distant–the words you choose–everyday words or high-brow language–the pattern of your sentences, and the way these things fit in–or not–with the personality of the narrator character and the style of your story.
There you have it, the ingredients for creating your voice, the vehicle for your passion, and reader magnet.
If you’re still confused about voice, visit one of your favorite sites. Study the blogger’s style and tone inherent in each of the posts, and then analyze what attracted you to the site.
Experiment with different writing styles to see what best suits your personality and then practice, practice, practice.

If I miss one day of practice, I notice it. If I miss two days, the critics notice it. If I miss three days, the audience notices it.
Ignacy (Jan) Paderewski
 

Writing isn’t rocket science but it entails dedication and passion. To write compelling posts, you must enjoy the writing process, or otherwise it is torture. How can your audience possibly enjoy reading your posts if it pains you to write them? 

When writing becomes torture, it’s time to take a bloggy break and refuel the creative brain cells. No self-flogging allowed. Just some chill time on the observation platform, a perfect spot to seek information for inspiration even if it’s absurd.

Embrace your voice, write your passion, and have fun doing it!
 
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Premeditated Blogging, Criminal, or Anal?

A scene from Disorder in the Court.A Scene from Disorder in the Court.Image via Wikipedia

Warning: Blogging Crime Scene!

Sometimes it takes me two hours or more to write a blog post.

Initially, the words bleed out onto the page, but then I review what I’ve written and the autopsy begins. Afterward, I put the pieces back together in a postmortem revision.

I wonder if that’s a good thing.

Shouldn’t blogging be a mental carnage brain-dump without an analysis from internal editorial forensics?

My internal editor also removes word splatter from my clothes.

Reading a raw blog post with all its flaws is more entertaining than reading a post that has been tweaked to death. I’m guilty of murdering many of my posts. So, cuff me, bring in CSI, and dust this blog for prints.

My DNA is all over the Blogger dashboard. I always shed cells while bashing the keyboard with my fingertips. I’m surprised there isn’t blood on the screen from smashing my head against it when I have writer’s block a.k.a. thought constipation.

No one should suffer from thought constipation. Someone please tell me. Why isn’t there Metamucil for the brain?

I get thought constipation when I think too hard and painstakingly choose my words. I can’t even spell painstakingly right. There’s a red line under the word. I should leave it there to prove my point – but I didn’t. Damn anal editor.

What was my point?

That a polished post takes the spontaneity out of blogging and the fun out of writing extemporaneously. Wow! Spelled that right.

Is it me, or has blogging evolved into something totally opposite of what blogging should be?

Hermetically-sealed, prepackaged posts clutter my desktop. They shouldn’t be gathering dust on my desktop while the “all about” stuff wrecks havoc in my head.

The “all about stuff”- worrying about stuff that has nothing to do with writing – causes writer’s block.

Stuff like …

  • What is my subscriber count?
  • How many comments did I receive on that post?
  • Am I wearing the same clothes I wore yesterday?
  • How many bullet points constitute a proper list?

As bloggers/writers, we have to remember why we started blogging in the first place. For me, it was to prevent thought rot from damaging my brain. Rot also gets into wood and can create a termite problem.

That’s all I need – critters feasting on my brain cells.

Writing/blogging should be fun, not work. When blogging becomes work, it’s time to take a break and revisit your roots. My ancestors are from Hungary and Denver, Colorado. I have a picture of my grandmother when she was a girl seated on a horse drawn carriage.  I was going to use the word “buggy” but it reminds me of termite infestations.

Hey! That was spontaneous. Live blog TV without the moving pictures. Before there were blogs, Twitter, and FaceBook, there was vaudeville and actors performing live in front of an audience without a rewind button.

I’d like to put my rewind button back into mothballs even though mothballs smell horrible. That’s why you put mothballs in places you rarely venture, like the attic where you can never find that book that went MIA or the closet with toxic BO blouses lying in a pile on the floor.

I guess a dry cleaner would be a more suitable place for the blouses if I want to spend money having a stranger clean my clothes. However, since I don’t know where he’s been, I’ll wash all shrinkable things cold, except myself. Even after undergoing therapy, I still prefer hot showers to cold.

I torture myself enough, which is why I need to write. However, writing is only therapeutic when words are victims of their own crimes or unpremeditated.

Let’s get rid of the rewind buttons, thesauruses, and expel spell check from our computers. Let it try to spell extemporaneously without looking it up.

Will I do a spell check once I finish writing this post? Damn straight. My internal editor is always looking over my shoulder and removing word splatter from my clothes. Although, I will place my editor in mothballs every now and then to see if she can handle the stench of preserving perfection.

What are your thoughts on blogging? Would you rather be outside doing dog poop collection?
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Adventures in Blog Land.

Illustration of "A Mad Tea Party" in...Image via Wikipedia

Recently, there’s been talk around the bloggerhood about what is real, prompted by a post by Mrs BlogAlot called Blog TV.

Okay, maybe the question is only circulating around my hood, uh, er, head. With that said, my response to MrsBlogAlot‘s post was, “I know I’m real because I pinched my arm and it hurts.”

Really? What kind of answer is that?

I now refer to Alice in Wonderland when Alice says, and I’m paraphrasing, “I must be real because I’m crying tears.”

To which the Mad Hatter or another character responds with, “How do you know they’re real tears?”

Exactly, how do I know MrsBlogalot is real, or Tracie at Stir-Fry Awesomeness, or Reforming Geek at Confessions of a Reforming Geek, or Ziva at Ziva’s Inferno, or JD at I Do Things So You Don’t Have . . ., or any of you for that matter.

I think Ivy at UnscriptedLife is real because she guest posted here, and we’ve communicated by email. I know. I’ve spoken with others by email. But email doesn’t bleed, and for all I know, I could have been conversing with Alice, or Miss Marple, or Madame Bovary, or some other fictional character, or even a spam alien.

Well, you can pinch your arm all you like, but still it is you that is pinching your own arm and telling me you’re real in a virtual world that thrives on nano seconds and imaginary trips around the world, swinging from one site to the next on monkey bar links that disappear, like a room, after you leave it. Remember a tree falls in the forest? Well, does it make a sound or not?

Goddamn it! I want to know the truth.

“You can’t handle the truth!”

I know I can’t. I get it. I prefer fantasy, as fiction is my game. Making mole hills into mountains is an obsession that sends my thoughts flitting about on endless tangential romps or head trips, as I like to call them. If only I could anchor my thoughts, but they seem to have a mind of their own.

But enough about me and more about you. You know who you are. Glenn at Man Over Board and J at Bonehead, and is Bonehead the name on your birth certificate? C’mon. Really? All of you. Are you real or not?

And is reality more like Einstein’s Theory of Relativity or your Aunt Rose’s smeared clown lipstick face? I need answers, and I need them now!

Also, is there really a God?

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Blogging: Connecting to Readers via a T1 Line to the Heart.

 

New welcome mat from my parentsImage by mcclouds via Flickr

THE HUMAN ELEMENT.

I had to get this off my sagging chest by writing this, shall I say, wireless blog post, that, hopefully, like a wireless bra, will be both uplifting and supportive, without any annoying restrictions – a way to raise the consciousness, as it were.

One day, when I wasn’t paying attention, I had a thought that mattered. One of those “wholly crap” moments. It wasn’t about life, politics, or the economy, which incidentally sucks. It was about blogging.

THE THOUGHT NOT HEARD ROUND THE WORLD.

There is a reason why some blogs are successful and others are not. It’s the human element, stupid (like, it’s the economy, stupid . . . but I’m not calling you stupid.) – connecting to readers by being human and sincere, while also entertaining them.

Mrs. Blogalot brought up this very point in one of her posts, If a Blog Posts in the Forest.

Mrs. B was dead-on:

But then she (a blogger) asked what kind of posts she could write in order to get more traffic to her site…. and that’s when it hit her…

Coming to me was a complete waste of time.

Because I felt it was the truth, I told her that what each blogger posts is a very personal thing. Something that only she could decide.

Just swing by Stir-Fry Awesomeness, who gets an average of 70 or so comments every time she posts. Why? – Because she is honest, real, and funny as hell. We, as readers, want to know what happens next in her life because it is a mini-soap opera, told in an incredibly entertaining fashion. The Screaming Me-Me is another blog as is Confessions of a Reforming Geek, Unscripted Life, Man-Over-Board, Mrs. Blogalot, who I mentioned earlier, Ziva’s Inferno, Quirky Loon, Redhead Ranting, Speaking From The Crib, Virtual Synapses, Bonehead, and I Do Things So You Don’t Have To, to name a few. No specific order. Just mayhem as usual. I hope I didn’t leave any one out. There are so many great blogs out there. Apparently, I did leave someone out. Thank you, JD. Here’s another addition to the fabulous blog collection: The Junk Drawer.

Each of these blogging microcosms draws an audience because they offer something unique to their readers. And their readers get something back in return, an emotional connection with the blogger and an ability to peer through a window into the blogger’s life via an entertaining platform that relies on humor or candor, or both, and at the same time, is also well-written – which is key.

A MINDLESS EXPERIMENT TO TRY AT HOME.

While kicking back on your couch on planet earth, channel surf the 300 stations of crap on your television and notice the shows that make you stop. Wendy Williams is one. She is wacky, honest, and talks to her audience like a girlfriend. Regis is another because we want to see what Regis says or does next. He always says what’s on his mind like Wendy does. When you watch Wendy or Regis, you see their vulnerabilities, their humanity, and feel a connection to them.

BLOGGING GETAWAYS.

Unlike the 300 stations of crap you have on your television, in the blogosphere, there are billions of amazing travel spots to explore. Just contact your blog travel agent a.k.a. Google. The list of all-inclusive blogging getaways is endless and the cost is cheap in comparison to a real vacation. What’s that anyway?  Although, in cyberspace, you’ve only got five seconds, if that, to grab a vacationing mind’s attention before it gets bored and hurtles away to the next blog-stop on the Internet highway.  Don’t be the one to let it get away.

Why do you read a blog or watch a particular show? 
This inquiring mind wants to know.

 

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