The best weaponry
To slay thy enemies well
The best weaponry
To slay thy enemies well
He was a little less oblivious than she believed. He’d feel it now, without seeing anymore, how her expression would change from the melancholic stare out at the water while she washed dishes or while they were out on the sand and she casually sifted it through her fingers to pick out shells or sea glass for photo projects or perhaps something poetic. Yes, he knew she was already gone across oceans.
He’d known for some time, watching as she drifted into her dreamscapes within the screen, feeling the sweet release of understanding from him – the other hims.
He knew all about her yearning explorations, racing off from the edge of her keyboard to faraway places of sand-groping windstorms. He knew that she whispered with them all about his limitations, searching for commiseration and to be desired at the same time. Daring and challenging any of them to be her answer. She loves him, but…
Yes, Davis knew all about her whole other world and he knew it would only be a matter of time before he told her he knew. It was only a matter of time. He loved her, but…
You know those times when your mind is just flooded with inspiration, plans, the memories of great events – all great blog fodder and you think, I’ve got to write some of this stuff down, but you don’t because there is just so much that, you haven’t got a clue how to get started? Yes? Well then, you don’t even have to read any more and I appreciate any commiseration and sympathies you might be willing to share with me.
I’ve had a really wonderful month of August by spending most of it in the fabulous maritime province of Nova Scotia. This visit really is worthy of several columns, but I suppose until I come up with some unique-ish perspective on all of it, it will all end up just sounding like those old vacation videos everyone used to cringe at when invited to watch them. Oh, don’t breathe out too much of a sigh of relief just yet; there is definitely one or two of those coming. ……..
It also happens to be the time of the year when the to-do lists begin to pile up for fall work promotions and kick-offs, the requests for volunteering needs, and oh yes, school prep. That is, if school is going to start any time soon in our area. I came home to the news that the school strike/lockout from June is expected to head into late September and possibly even October. That certainly explained all the parental teeth gnashing, and possibly breakage, I kept hearing while finalizing my plans to fully unpack.
Then some cretin, formerly known as friend, sent me one of those countdown to Christmas memes. Had me pondering how seriously and how far I was willing to take my Jason costume idea for Halloween. (Well, there is a prize for most committed at the annual party).
Time, oh time, where ‘for art’ thou? Why hast thou forsaken me?
Then there are the social causes I support of which lately, there seems to be a lot of developments that capture my attention and emotions. … Now that I think about it, I guess I have done a lot of writing lately, but that’s been copious letters to the Editors or in reply to other reader comments. There’s no shortage of sources of misrepresentation or outright fabrications for virtually any topic in news sources. Actually, this writing activity has also been a lot of fun. There is something empowering and de-stressing when getting to counter misinformation with fact. Enlightenment lightens! That’s my August guru moment.
Carrying on, facts tend to be a kind of conversion stopper for some, but they can also send another kind of mentality straight into Loony Town. Not that, that’s my intention, mostly, but drawing out the argument is an irresistible opportunity to correct even more fallacies. Plus, no matter how much someone debating you wants to discredit your views, what you’ve written will always be there for other eyes open to um, informal learning.
Hey, that’s really not unlike our blog posts. So, despite feeling like I was falling behind on one of my most cherished activities, I really have loads of posts already published for world-wide viewing. Oh why oh why didn’t I sign them with my blog name? #missedopportunities. Sorry, I’ve been tweeting with the zeal of the newly converted too.
So, it’s confirmed then, I’ve been writing all along, even through all the extra inspirations, plans, and memories of great events. Now, must add the latest item on that to-do: catch up of fellow blogger posts. Can’t wait!
Okay, if you ever get an email where the subject line says ‘congrats, you’ve been freshly pressed’, do not automatically send it to the trash folder assuming it’s just another clever piece of junk mail. Just sayin’.
Instead of madly retrieving crucial mail, maybe check the sender’s name by say, a Google search or checking the supposedly being Freshly Pressed post ‘likes’. It’s likely that name is there too, in which case, let out a big breath and semi-whisper WTF?
For non-bloggers, Freshly Pressed is a showcase on our host website, WordPress.com. It’s the site where they feature editors’ picks and community favorites to a following of millions of writers.
If you’re like me, you will then re-read that email repeatedly. After that, it starts to sink in and then, really? Will what I blurted out in a moment of bravery inspired by an hour of heroism by someone else matter that much to other people?
WordPress Editor Cheri Lucas Rowlands thought so, and I’m deeply grateful that her take on people sharing vulnerabilities is that it’s important and a path to understanding.
So, before I knew that Cheri had, however miraculously, set her eyes on my post, (103 People Unfriended Her…) I calculated that a total of 50 of my loyals would read it. Freshly Pressed sent it shooting past thousands of eyes. Kind of heady stuff.
Anyway, it is quite an experience, and natch, I took notes as I rode the “FP” roller coaster.
Seeing as how mine was pressed the day after the Oscars, it felt like an extension of the awards. Hey, this IS my Oscar.
Anyhoo, once pressing is done, you know you’re going to get more readers than usual, and you do, lots of new viewers.
One notification came that totally cracked me up, “Your blog, Blog Woman!!!, appears to be getting more traffic than usual”!
You get the coveted blue Freshly Pressed badge in your Widget tools. Way cool. It’s added to your collection once the post is pressed.
Without a doubt, what was really, really outstanding, were the comments. The overwhelming support for the point of my post was heartrending. The amount of thoughtfulness is amazing. The humor, the sincerity, the straightforward opinions are just beautiful. Each comment touches my heart for its own reason.
All those comments and only one that I didn’t know how to take. Joke or jerk? I published it anyway.
I got a really good look at how many blog names are incredible, amazing, and hilarious. Oh you witty writers.
If, like me, you get a kick at seeing the notification box light up orange, you’re really going to like the first few hours of being pressed. You can just sit and stare as that little box lights up with each blink – like the cats that love that red dot.
Anyway, all those eyes! Thousands! Wow, right? Little reality check – reading is not the same as liking. In fact, the stats say roughly 10-15% of the overall readers hit that like button or commented.
On the other hand, those 10-15 percenters were damned overwhelming with how much they opened up. As I read through them, I thought this must be what the Ellens and Oprahs feel like when they come out from behind the curtains and feel a whoosh of emotion so moving, that I’m surprised any hair or make-up stays on.
Then, some of those 10-15 percenters also perused my other not Freshly Pressed posts. That was also awesome sauce, and their comments were absolutely uplifting on those too.
Oh, and seeing new followers, well, what’s a higher compliment than that?
Finally, my agent (AKA 12 yr. old son) said that when I go on Ellen (he’s determined to get me there), I better have a thank you list, and he’d better be #1 on it!
So, thank you all so much for this fantastical ride, it’s been stunning fun so far. … And to my agent, I am nothing without you.
Could I also leave you with this 4 minute video that happened to show up on my Facebook page this week? It couldn’t be a better example of the definition of what is beauty. It is by Oscar winner Lupita N’yongo. I believe that most of you exhibited that to me in your comments. It’s taken me one more step away from “the seduction of inadequacy”.
Dare you to keep a dry eye:
Recently I witnessed two prominent blogs, each followed by several thousand readers, cause disturbing ripples across the blogging community.
Although I’m fairly new to this arena, I did have contact with both of these bloggers, but it was minimal, and so I watched the dramas unfold from the safety of the periphery. Nonetheless, it left me unsettled and a little disconcerted.
One of the blog-sites fully imploded due to revelations of wide-spread improprieties toward other bloggers that included bullying, coercion and sexual harassment. That site’s owner/writer ended up closing down that blog and all its associated webpages, but it had run for quite a long time prior because the harassed had been intimidated into silence. The other had to deal with a very strong backlash regarding a post in which he called out another blogger as less than worthy of public acclaim. This one also closed, but only temporarily, presumably to lick wounds and regroup.
In both cases, regardless of how much damning proof there was, there remained for both of these bloggers a strong base of supporters who were willing to excuse and even completely overlook the accusations toward these, their heroes, and for many, their ‘on-line friends’.
In retaliation of the revelations, these supporters were also more than willing to demonstrate their solidarity by writing the victims and/or injured parties and their followers to demean and belittle them and the charges, some even issuing threats. This is a pretty strong example of when people don’t like to admit they’ve made a mistake – especially about someone they look up to. Especially one that questions, “Was I a sucker”?
Each case reminded me of the often repeated cautionary tales that we speak to our kids about when it comes to internet usage – whom to associate with and what we choose to post online. It also reminded me that we have to re-think how we make heroes out of appearances of success.
In the blogging world, a successful following and wider readership is attained through, in large part, making mutual blogging contacts and following each other’s work, but like our warnings to our children, we also need to be more discerning about with whom we choose to support and associate.
The last few weeks have served as a tough reminder to many of us to remember to be responsible for what we say publicly, or be willing to take full responsibility for the results, and it is also a reminder to behave; act with decent propriety and respect.
In the interest of general face-saving and self-preservation, we should also pay attention to that old adage of listening to our gut. Follow our heart in what we want to say, but definitely pay attention when our Spidey senses start tingling while we’re writing, reading, or in a discussion. Let’s face it, in this realm, we really don’t know who we are be-friending. If we back-off from something that feels wrong, that’s a win. Maybe we will miss out on a chance to step up a notch, but it’s far more likely that there will still be plenty of opportunities to grow.
The last thought I took away from all these events, is yes,yes, yes it is OK to stand up for yourself, respectfully, when you’ve been wronged. Even in the blogosphere, no one is too big to have to own up to bad behavior.
Arrrrgh! I am falling behind in my own writing and I can’t get up. It’s entirely your fault! Yes you, you fellow bloggers. I have been catching up on your writing. I follow a great number of blogs, but only because a great many of you are great writers!
I frantically flip through the humorists while scarfing down my favorite yogurt and fruit in the morning. You are funny as hell, by the way. I read the short fiction stories while I scarf down a quick lunch – wow, if only I had half of that creativity. While contemplating my son’s requests for later bed times and higher allowance, I read the thoughtful musings on everything from parenting to how we view ourselves, to what really burns someone’s butt. Thanks for the respective reassurances, great ideas, and food for thought. It goes on and on from there, and I stand transfixed while dinner burns.
I wonder if I’ve fallen into some kind of wordy Alice trap – navigating through mazes and mazes of great advice, ideas, creativity and interesting and thought provoking opinions and situations. I think I should be inspired by all of this, but I somehow come away feeling — empty. My mind is the storied black hole. Am I intimidated too much by so much goodness? Have I morphed from a ‘journaling’ addict to a comparative reading junkie?
So much to see, so much to learn, and I know I still have opinions and thoughts of my own aplenty. I just don’t seem to be able to string them into a reasonable string of sentences that will eventually make a point.
WordPress itself tries to help me with all their daily great suggestions and writing tip prompts. Great ideas WP and I will get to those, maybe right after I catch just this latest post from Ned. And You’ve Been Hooked, and Twisted Sifter, and Gotta Find A Home…. Arrrrghh….
So, uh, anyone got any good tips?