Hi readers! I’ve hit the 100-post mark… again. I did it once before with my previous blog here on WordPress (the one that had all the great writings on it but then I abandoned), but this time is different. For some reason, it feels like more of a reason to celebrate. So, today, we are going to have a party! But this is my party, so we are doing it my way. We are going to celebrate all the great things about the blogosphere. Pour yourself a bevvie and let’s begin.
1) Stalkers and Newbies. My first acknowledgement in the blogosphere goes out to internet stalkers and newbie followers. Ever notice how you have the same readers over and over again? Maybe your stats look a little bit like the heart monitor of a critically ill (or dead) patient in the hospital? Read: flatline. Then, every once in a blue moon your stats shoot way up into the stratosphere and you feel like an absolute literary rockstar! Yay for the internet stalker who found your blog! Or maybe you’ve managed to rope in a new follower who is so riveted to your writing style, that they’ve gone computer-blind reading your posts in one fell swoop. We love those people. They give our stats some serious altitude.
Of course, the bad news about this is that WordPress has decided to show us visitors versus multi-reads. I don’t know why they did this. It makes no difference to me if the same reader has been reading the same post for the last 5 hours. Before, when I was blissfully ignorant, I liked to believe that the 58 views I had were 58 different people, or at least 45 different people, with a few doing more than one post view. Now I just know I have a stalker and/or a newbie. But that’s not the fault of the newbies or the stalkers.
2) Freshly Pressed. Okay, there is a code to getting on Freshly Pressed. I just don’t know who or what it is. I try to follow the ‘rules’ and the ‘guidelines,’ but I still get overlooked. Maybe my writing does suck that bad. But until I get better and achieve the ultimate dream of being Freshly Pressed, I will still have my eyes firmly fixed on the prize. When, and if, that day comes, this is all you will see plastered all over my humble blog:
3) BBFF. That stands for Blogging-Best-Friend-Forever. There are a few blogs on here that I felt a sincere connection to when I first came across them way back a year ago, when I first joined WordPress. Unfortunately, a lot of them have fallen by the wayside, some were one-hit wonders, some are still blogging away like crazy (Heather Christena Schmidt, Go Jules Go, Sweet Mama, and Thoughtzarella), some are new and exciting (Speaker 7, Maddie Cochere, Guapamole), and one was even a long-lost first cousin of mine that I hadn’t seen in almost 20 years (The Real Barman– that is a nice story that perhaps I will tell another time). I have loved the fact that many of these blogs make me laugh until I cry. On several of them I have agreed whole-heartedly with the experience of the authors. On one, my heart broke for a man, who albeit a Clown most of the time, is actually a father in his real life, fighting for the right to take care of his son, because I have fought that battle and lost it. (Le Clown, that is what you, me and Britney Spears have in common.)
4) Assistant in my quest for world domination. Okay, I am no Hannibal (I mean the conqueror, not the cannibal… but I am not a cannibal either), nor am I Alexander the Great. Gracious, I am not even Octomom! But WordPress is certainly getting me out there and around the world. If I had visited every place my blog has gone, my life would be rife with experience. If I had a visa stamp in every country that has graced my blog, I would need a new passport. WordPress (or, shall I call it WorldPress?) has allowed a part of me to abide in the life of thousands. Maybe I made someone laugh in Singapore. Did I make an Iraqi smile? Perhaps I gave hope to a Ukrainian. Could I have touched the life of a Swede? The ripples of the words I have dropped into the ocean of blogging have reached many shores. I feel proud of that.
5) Challenges. There is the author that I read that, for the life of themselves, cannot seem to stray from the same topic. This person seems to only know one thing and writes, writes, writes the topic to death. (I am not talking about Grisham’s law-thrillers or Koontz’s California-based horror; I am talking about one specific thing that has been addressed until it has no pulse and no pull.) Well, I don’t want to be this type of writer. I love to write. I don’t feel complete if I am not writing. The six-month hiatus I took from my blog seemed a kind of punishment that I didn’t deserve. I don’t want readers to get bored, so I try to be versatile. That is why I entered challenges.
The Trifecta Writing Challenge is a challenge that comes up twice a week. The first challenge of the week falls on a Monday and generally calls for challengers to use a word in it’s third-definition form in a piece that ranges from 33 to 333 words. On Friday, we are given a prompt (sometimes a word, sometimes a picture, sometimes a theme) and then we are told to write 33 words about it. This challenge has broadened my use of normal words (typically, the third definition is not used often), and has forced me to cut my loooooong-winded writing right down. It’s been great. A wonderful cure to writer’s block, too. Try it out, if you haven’t yet!
The BlogFestivus Challenge was launched around the holidays. We were meant to write nine posts– one a day between December 11th and 19th– about the nine reindeer associated with Santa Claus. This was my first post-adolescent attempt at fiction. I didn’t think I could do it, but I had a lot of fun with it. I cannot wait for more challenges from Blogdramedy, though she has taken a break for the holidays and has yet to return.
6) The invasion of my blog. As many of you know, there was some controversy around my blog in the early days. Eventually, the gig was up and I needed to come clean to my husband. (His discovery of my blog name is responsible for the stat spike of January 2.) We agreed that I could continue my blog as long as I left out personal things. That was kind of tough, but I muscled my way through, and I came out the victor in the end. Straying from non-fiction into fiction has allowed me to get creative juices flowing, and now I am currently working on two novels that I hope to have published within the next year. Most likely, they will be self-published, which could be a disaster or a success– I’ve seen both. One of these novels has been developing over the course of the last four weeks on my Trifecta Writing Challenge (check out weeks 58, 59, 60, and 61). The other has been kept close to my heart. Perhaps when it gets closer to the end, I will post a teaser. If you are interested in proof-reading or editing (self-publishers need both), please contact me.
7) Awards. I have been playing back and forth with awards. While I admit that they are little kitschy and kind of like chain-letters, I am starting to see them for much more. I am finding them to be great sources of validation. I see talented, humble writers accepting these badges of honor from fellow-bloggers, and their acceptance of such accolades does not diminish their validity or skill as writers. So, in a blogosphere full of award-haters, I have decided I am not among them. While an award doesn’t necessarily validate my skills, acceptance of it does not invalidate them, either. In accepting an award, I am acknowledging the thoughtfulness and compliments of my fellow-bloggers. I am not asking for awards, but you can put me on your “accepts awards” list. (Maddie, I will be handling your Liebster on Wednesday.) I am also going to put my first award (also a Liebster) back on my page because: You know what? It’s my blog and I want to! As a matter of fact, maybe I will just start my own award to begin passing around…
Thank you, readers, for frequenting my posts. In the next 100 posts, you can expect more fiction, more fun, more challenges, and definitely more WTF Fridays. Stick around for the ride, will you?