The time has finally come

Time for me to get back into writing.  Time for me to start another course.  Time for me to learn more. Did I mention it was time for me to learn more?  This time the learning will be via Blogging201.  Does everyone have their seatbelts on? The seats do not have to be in an upright position.  Comfort is my aim.  Bring it on Blogging201—-

Today’s assignment: consider what you want to accomplish with your blog. Write down three concrete goals. For bonus points, write a post detailing your blog’s goals and publish it. Making your goals public ups your accountability. Your readers will cheer you on, and might even find ways to help you achieve your goals.

  • con-crete existing in a material or physical form; real or solid; not abstract
  • goal the object of a person’s ambition or effort; an aim or desired result:
so a concrete goal as I shall look at it is a real or solid desired result  That sounds easy enough. I have had this blog for less than a year.  One original goal was to come up with its purpose within a year of starting it.  This assignment might just help put me ahead of my goal.
  • Why do you blog?laughterman “To clarify your own thoughts”/feelings? “To connect with others”, both like-minded and not so like-minded?  To teach and to learn? To make someone laugh?
  • If your blog exceeded your wildest dreams, what would that look like? How often would you post? Who would you reach? Who would you teach? What would you teach? Who will teach you? Who would you hope reads it?

According to Blogging201, answering these questions should give me a “vision for my blog”. I shall then be able to turn this vision into concrete goals. Look at that I have learned something already.Learn

  1. by December 2015 I shall completely go through all my drafts and publish at least 3 of them. (this goal is a bit scary as I have been wanting to work on my drafts for quite a while,  I just can’t seem to get it done)
  2. have 5 of my posts reblogged or tweeted by March 2016 (you may include posts that have already been tweeted or reblogged.) So only 2 more to go.
  3. By June 2016 have 3 comments that go something like this, “that is exactly what I needed to read.”

So there you go I have completed my 1st assignment of Blogging201.  Yes, I am still working on completing Photo101.  I shall not worry about that at this time.

and

if anyone has any ideas or suggestions on how I might meet my goals, feel free to let me in on them.

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figured something out????

When I first started this blog, I had no idea what to do or where to go with it.  All I knew was that I felt better when I wrote shit down.

Here we are roughly 6 months later….

  1. I have taken blogging101
  2. writing101 came next
  3. then Photo101
  4. then Life got in the way

I became obsessive over completing Blogging101.  See my history and you might understand why.  I learned so much from this course.  I was wicked new to blogging and I was learning stuff that a woman of my age should know.   widgets, image widgets, feature, Know your audience, INSPIRATION…. COMMUNITY!!!!

I did not expect or have any clue that starting a blog came with such a fantastic community.  I am very grateful I was led to WordPress.  Yes Lily Pup you are to blame for that.

After Blogging101 came Writing101.  I am proud to say I did well with this class.  The obsession I had during Blogging101 was not present.  Damnitall.  I read a blog post recently where the writer talks about swearing, I’ve been swearing ever since.  It is part of my Distinct Voice, which I also learned about in writing101. I learned so much more than I could have ever anticipated.

Writing 101 is where I received my first bit of criticism.  Maybe it was Blogging 101? It truly does not matter now.  The assignment was to write about your home.  I requested constructive criticism and I got it.  It basically said, “show me, Don’t tell me.”  Funny how one of the very next assignments was “Show me, Don’t tell me.” 

Russell J. Fellows on April 8, 2015 at 8:56 am said:

What a peaceful sounding place. I think I’ve told many people the same thing, but I want to tell you also: be more immersive in this writing. You have a lot of good description to work with, but I want to experience it through your eyes, not just through you telling me what is what. Instead of “The entrance to where I am is like a dirt road that leads you through a tunnel…” say “A road of dirt and rock leads you through a tunnel of beeches and oaks to a clearing…” or something like that. Does that make sense?

Then came Photo 101. Another great WordPress offering. I have yet to finish this course, but I have many great excuses. Life stuff took over for a while and I was unable to keep focused on learning about photography.  I still have hopes to finish this class, but will do so in my own time.

I have also been unable to keep up with my weekly feature OTT.  I have decided none of this matters.  What matters is that Today, I am doing every thing in my power to be okay.  My goal today and every day is to beat depression.  When my head tells me I am better off staying in my pajamas, I get in my clothes and do something.  When it tells me, “you don’t need a shower today”, I go out, get extra dirty, have fun doing it, and have no choice but to shower.  When someone who counts asks me How I am, I tell them the truth.  I have chosen to take the word “FINE” out of my vocabulary.

When my therapist suggested I leave little notes around my house that simply say “BREATHE”, I listened.  Now my house has little notes everywhere reminding me to breathe.  Breathing is such a simple thing to do, yet so very difficult when I need it most.  I have also learned along the way that deep breathing helps with so much more than just anxiety.  Provided I remember to do it.  The more I do it the easier it is to remember.  Everything takes practice.

So, take a minute. Stop. Just breathe. and don’t forget your blog

Duh. I almost forgot to mention what it was I may have figured out?  If blogging has rules, I do not think I can follow them. I am okay with suggestions, but I don’t believe I have any hope with rules. It has been 6 months and I still do not know what this thing is about.  I am okay with that.

Are Ya Ready for Tomorrow????

Obsessive Thought Soup ====
Start with Numerous Random Thoughts
Add 4 dashes of Fear and Worry
Stir 16 times
Let simmer for exactly 64 minutes
Breathe and Let it Go
REPEAT

I’ve been Wicked obsessing again.  I can’t really focus on random obsessive thoughts today because it is so much more than just thoughts right now.  My brain feels like a family size pot of Obsessive Thought Soup, anxiously simmering on the wood stove. OTS should not be confused with LPS or Llama Poop Soup which in itself can be obsessive, but is a completely different kind of soup.

Okay, my most prevalent recent obsessions are as follows….

  • obsessing over never having finished Photo101.  Life got in the way of that and it was put on the back burner.
  • Obsessing over last weeks Photo Challenge (Close-Ups if you missed it).
  • Obsessing over this
  • that
  • all those other things.
  • And now I am Obsessing over how many cooking references I can accidentally have in one post.

I tried sitting with the thoughts and letting them go. I tried distraction as a way to rid myself of these thoughts. Old negative coping techniques no longer work so I shall not even go there.  I could verbally rant, but I don’t feel like bothering anyone else with my batshitcrazy way of thinking right now. Maybe if I take each named obsession one by one and rant a bit, they will lessen.  If I do this right, I should be able to rid myself of these obsessive thoughts, complete Obsessive Thought Thursday (maybe a day early even), do some work on Photo101, and release from my mind the other close-ups I’ve been obsessing over.

I do believe I am feeling an increase in anxiety which may be causing an increase in obsessive thoughts which definitely is causing more anxiety which leads to compulsions…………….OR did the obsessive thoughts start first which led to the elevation of anxiety which led to more obsessive thoughts which in turn led to compulsions……………All I know is I am obsessing.  Other coping skills did not work, so right now I am attempting to rant them away by writing. I shall write those obsessions right out of me. Write and rant about obsessions in order to rid myself of those same obsessions. Is this making sense to anyone???? I think I may have confused even myself.  I refuse to add to the anxiety by starting to obsess over the # of times I just wrote “right” and “write” or obsess over those run-on sentences I let stay.

Ah, I just took a break for breathing.  Breaks for deep breaths are good AND I completely forget about them almost all of the time.  How come the stuff that is the best for me when I obsess and feel anxiety are the last things I remember to try?  If I didn’t mind bothering other human beings, the very 1st thing they would have told me to do is BREATHE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Each and Every One of them would have said in a firm, yet tender voice, STOP and BREATHE!!!! and not in a loud voice either.  I have been doing very well with firm, yet tender prompts. “No, buts, just STOP and BREATHE.” They may have to repeat it. And possibly repeat it again, but it helps.

Close-Up of Toad that kept jumping out at me

Close-Up of Toad
that kept jumping
out at me

Time to stop ranting and writing and hit save.  This breathing thing is calming me down.  I am obsessing less and think that I just might be able to stop writing for now and maybe eat supper. Who cares when I finish Photo101?  I can’t just pull photo’s out of my ass, I mean hat, to match the subject of the assignment in the order they are assigned. Look at this past weeks weekly challenge.  It just happened to be close-ups.  To start, I went looking for close-ups. After I published my 1st attempt, close-up opportunities kept popping up everywhere. Inspiration can come from anywhere.

Day Seven of Photo101 Big & Point of View.  Ah screw it.  I am feeling better. Less obsessive, and no anxiety. I am no longer obsessing over finishing Photo101.  I also did tomorrow’s regular weekly feature today. So that leaves time open tomorrow to work on last months Photo101 assignments. and I forgot my 5:32 PM Ativan again.  So here’s to Obsessing or to Not obsessing.  I much prefer not.

First Evah closeups

closeup3Just wondering if it against the rules to do the Daily Post’s Weekly Photo closeupagainChallenge twice????  I found these and felt a bit of pride. and an obsession to share….

My original close-ups I took the other day.  These new ones I just found on my computer.  Facebook is so good at reminding you of things.

I took these quite a few years ago. So they would be my first evah attempt at a close-up.  Maybe there is a little bit of a photographer in me yet.

I never did find out if the cocoon was related to the caterpillar or not. I just loved the colors of both.

3rd Leibster award nomination

I have again been nominated for an award.  I do not usually accept awards because I can not follow the rules that come along with them. I do like this award in particular because I love answering the questions that come with it. The questions become part of my “about me” category.

I was nominated by Suzanne(FindingHerVoice)

Eleven Questions For You:

1. What ultimately got you motivated to get started and how long have you been blogging? I have been blogging since February 2015.  My archives say January, but that was a minor mistake on my part.  My therapist encouraged me to write because she thought writing would help me see things clearer. She also thought that the way I was able to express my thoughts and feelings via writing might be beneficial to others.  I met a woman on a web site who had a blog. lily pups life – bipolar and recovery. She encouraged me to try one myself.  I did and here we are.

2. Do you prefer to write best in the morning or at the end of the day?  I guess I  prefer the morning.  I like it when it is quiet and no one is home but me.  I like to sit down with my iced coffee and just write. Kind of like what I am doing right now.  Thank you for helping me write today Suzanne.

3. Do you give like that it’s somewhat anonymous or do you give your blog URL the friends or family? Such a simple question that is going to get a most difficult answer.  I like that my blog is somewhat anonymous.  My husband has the key, and one very old friend. I let one friend in because I hadn’t seen her in 30 years and thought it would be an easy way for her to see what I have been doing.  No one else in my real life knows where my blog is. Although if they truly wanted to, it would not be hard to find. I have shared a few stories with a few other relatives, but am not ready to say “hey here it is!!!! Read it all!!!!  My Mom and I discussed giving her access, and we both agreed it would be better if she didn’t have it.  Some things she would prefer not to know.  When I write something I think she may enjoy, I print it out for her.

4. Did you keep a journal as a child/teen? I did keep journals when younger.  I probably still have each and every one of them stored somewhere.  Journals were different from blogging for me.  Journals were for me and me alone. I shared them with no one.  I do not know what I would have done had blogging been an option when I was younger.

5. Are you an emotional writer? Do you write more for your heart or your head? I like to think I do a little of both.  I definitely start by writing from the heart, but then my head always seems to get involved somehow. I have tried doing it the other way around, start with my head, but it just doesn’t seem to work out as well. I think my heart is a better motivator than my head.

6. Do you have more blog posts that you have begun (in draft mode) or that you have completed)?  I am going to guess and say that the number of published posts and drafts are about even.  I have one particular draft that is full of random thoughts and ideas.  I sometimes take these ideas and turn them into published posts.

7. If you could/did write a bestselling book what would it be about? I did not have to think about this question for very long.  Angels!!!!  I would love to write about angels and how I believe they have touched my life and others. Since I started this blog, I have written a bit about angels, but only published one so far. The hardest thing Evah would be my brief introduction to writing about angels. Also, I mention angels in a couple of my Relationship posts.

8. What is the best feedback you’ve received on a blog post?  All feedback I get is important to me.  I have 2 bests though.  1 would be acknowledgment that something I wrote made a difference in someone’s life.  Especially if that meant making them laugh. The other is constructive criticism.  I asked for it once so I could improve my writing. I got it and it helped me see how I could make my writing better.

9. Where do you get your ideas for your blog posts? I get my ideas from my daily life. For example, I was cutting down tree saplings in my yard and had to go to the store.  It turned into a post called Has the Future been written already ????

This must have been a good day as you can see the crab rangoons on the left

This must have been a good day as you can see the crab rangoons on the left

10. What is your favourite food? This is an easy question to answer and it comes with a picture. Buffalo chicken tenders with Jojo’s.  If we have extra cash, we will get either onion rings or very special crab rangoons on the side.  The crab rangoons are very special because I will only eat them from this particular restaurant. They are 128% better than anything you might find in a Chinese restaurant.

11. What is the best advice you can give your fellow bloggers about how to get new subscribers? The best advice I have is the only advice I have.  Engage with other bloggers.  If someone likes a post of yours, visit them and see what they have written.  If you like what you find let them know that.  Even if you think their blog is just not for you, at least let them know you were there. The feeling I get when someone acknowledges something I have published is a darn good one.  I like knowing I might be able to help others feel the same way. 

Whoa.  I am done already.  That went quicker than I thought.  It took a while, but it did not feel like awhile.  Thank you again Suzanne for the nomination.  Maybe if I can ever figure out how to follow rules, I will start accepting awards.  For now, I will just have to go back and answer the question I missed.liebster-award

Day Thirteen: Moment & Motion

I had to suffer and sit outside for a very long time to capture these.  It was a horribly, beautiful, sunny, summer day, but I suffered through it.  All just to capture some motion. It was time well spent.

Treasure/Close-up Photo 16

Day Sixteen: Treasure & Close-up

This is a treasure I found on my Dad’s headstone shortly after he passed away. It has been there ever since.

Guardian Bell

A Guardian Bell is a small metal bell attached onto a motorcycle to ward off evil spirits or gremlins. The bells have more of an effect when they are given as a gift.

Legend has it that evil road spirits/gremlins have been attaching themselves onto motorcycles for as long as bikes have been on the road. These spirits are responsible for mechanical problems and bad luck on a journey. They enjoy causing trouble for bikers.

To stay safe, all one needs to do is to attach a little bell somewhere on the bike. Legend goes on to say that by doing this, the gremlins, curious as to where the ringing comes from, put their heads up into the bell. They become trapped. There, the constant ringing drives them insane, making them lose their strength and power until they fall to the ground and die.

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There are many different variations of the guardian bell legend.
image

Photo one oh one Day 15

Day Fifteen: Landscape & Cropping

My landscape is actually a waterscape.

I took these pictures expecting to use them for Day Thirteen: Moment & Motion.  Looks like I get to go back out tomorrow and find some motion.  Better yet, I have a humongous Family Party on Saturday.  I bet I can find lots of motion there.imageimageimage

cheating a bit today

Day Eleven of Photo101: A Pop of Color and Last Thursdays OTT

Life has gotten in my way recently. I am trying to get myself back into this Blogging thing. Also, I missed O.T.T. again last Thursday. I did think about it. I just didn’t do it. I am also wicked far behind in Photo101.

So today, Monday, I am going to combine O.T.T. with photo101.  I am going to challenge my OCD by getting back into my assignments, but I will mix things up a bit and do the assignments out-of-order. I obsessed a bit when taking pictures of this Pop of Color I found. A bit more when it came time to edit.  But, It was not to the point that I felt out of control. Just some minor anxiety that was easily managed.

This is progress.  The big test will be whether I can stick with doing the assignments out-of-order. Please note that there are 3 pictures.  Not 4 (down from 8).  This is a big deal to someone with my kind of OCD.

Now that I think about it, had I ventured down to the water I could have taken care of Day Seven: Big & Point of View as well.  Next time I will go to the bottom of the dam and look up.