blog

Sideways

I began this great blogging adventure one year ago. 320 posts. More than 100,000 words. Random thoughts. Musings. Rants. Discoveries. Shiny objects. I called it The End because, well, I had to call it something… and I knew that one day, in the rear view mirror, it would seem prophetic.

That day is not today. We are not at the end of The End.

But we are at the end of the beginning of The End.

I’m taking a little break. Call it a hiatus. A sabbatical. A nap. With the dogs.

shadow selfie carbon beachThe truth is, I’ve only made three posts since the fire in mid-September that turned life-as-I-know-it upside down. And I’m fine and everyone’s fine and I’m still living on the lucky side of life’s ledger. We’re putting the jigsaw puzzle pieces back in place to match the picture on the box. Or, what we can remember of the picture – the box is long gone! Instead of being upside down, my life these days is merely sideways.

So, progress. But focus is not my strong suit in this season of lengthening shadows and shortening days… Though I do look forward to catching up with the actual following of the folks whose blogs I follow. What I didn’t know a year ago when I landed on planet WordPress: blogging’s rewards are only half in one’s own writing. The rest of the treasure is buried in the creations of others. That’s been my great discovery here. Terrific people sharing their stories: compelling, amusing, provocative, entertaining. In all the forms that words and pictures can take.

On occasion, someone you follow may have gone beyond the blogosphere. And I’m very much looking forward to reading Margaret Rose Stringer’s And Then Like My Dreams.

No rules to this. I may post again tomorrow, or not for another month. Photos may pop up here and there. Whatever else, I’ll see you soon, or before too long. – Steve

The End (so far)

[011] Blogging

wordpress-logo

It’s been 10 weeks since I flipped the switch on this blog. I’m still getting my sea legs. Figuring out how WordPress works and who’s who and what’s what and who’s what is where. My posts are still just random musings, and that’s OK. Crawl, walk, run. Trip. Fall. Swear. Knees hurt. Swim. Or something like that. There’s a rhythm to this and to each his own. It’s a journey; there may or may not be a destination. Or there may be many.

What I have discovered so far is that WordPress is a magnificent galaxy swirling in the infinite blogosphere. I’ve reconnected with an old friend who’s been at this a lot longer than I have. I’ve newly connected with people I’ve never met, likely never will. Except that true and honest writing can be more intimate and real than any bar conversation or face-to-face. For me, it’s a fascinating trip into the realm of non-linear interpersonal communications. I put something out there for no one in particular, or for my small but lovely band of followers — and everyone else out there. And then, some magic happens. Likes, comments, connections, conversation, sharing ideas and perspectives — with interesting people all over the planet.

Here’s the map of the countries where my blog has found some wordpress mapreaders. I need to become more interesting to South America and Africa and China. And Scandinavia. And Eastern Europe. Have I told Lois in Oman how thankful I am to have her anchoring my Middle Eastern audience?! And you can’t see the tiny little dots of Singapore and Hong Kong — but they are well represented at The End.

It is a different sort of online community than Facebook, which is (in my experience) mostly people you already have a relationship with in ‘the real world’, and their friends, and a billion other folks. And it’s different from Twitter, which is you and 200 million other quasi-anonymous #hashtag junkies. (I admit to being burned out on FB and utterly fascinated with Twitter. I just have a hard time expressing myself in only 140 characters. I have a hard time expressing my self in only 140,000 characters.)

So blogging on WordPress is a new earth-like planet in this social solar system. It’s easy to find similar people with similar interests… and similar people with different interests… and different people with similar interests… and different people with different interests. And then, there are the people who are so exotic and bizarre, who express themselves in spectacularly weird ways. I call them 20-somethings. Fascinating creatures.

Blogging — from my new blog cabin on WordPress — makes me happy. Day 011 #100happydays

The Liebster Award!

As you know (or as you now know), I’m new to the blogosphere. It is a strange and wondrous place filled with strange and wondrous (but mostly just strange) people. It feels like wandering through a rambling old mansion. I’ve only explored a few rooms. Each one seems to be filled with those monkeys who, given enough time and scmsupersterlingrandom key strikes, will produce the complete works of Wm. Shakespeare. I’ve also run into some very talented, pithy, honest writers and creative types.

I’m one of the fortunate ones, as I learned to type at Eastern Junior High in Riverside, Connecticut on a Smith-Corona manual typewriter. The kind where the keys would get jammed together if you struck them too quickly. (You don’t know what the hell I’m talking about? That’s OK. Here’s a spoiler: Being in your 40s is overrated.)

So, the blogosphere in its munificent omnicience lets me sit in the rooms with the monkeys. It’s very gratifying. Like the first time your parents let you ride your bike out of sight or earshot. It’s a heady mix of independence and feeling grown up and a little scary too, because you’re kind of on your own – even if you’re just a block or two from home.

What’s really exciting, though, is when you’ve launched your blog out into the ether and you still don’t really have a clue as to what you’re doing. Maybe you’re still tinkering with the theme and the widgets and the fonts and the colors and the imagery. Because it has to be. Just. Right. Then, out of the blue, someone likes one of your posts. What?! And before you know it, another person has left a applause.redcomment, maybe even a compliment like “LOL” or “Great post!”. Wowww!! But you’re totally unprepared for the chest swell as you get a notification that another blogger is following you! It’s not even one of the friends and family whom you’ve shamelessly and quite relentlessly harassed into following your blog – because, yes, that falls under the category of what we do for each other, dammit.

So there you are, putting up posts and getting some likes and some comments and some follows, and in turn you are liking and commenting and following. You’re a blogger now. THEN: WHAM! You get nominated… for… a blogging… award?! You didn’t even know that blogging awards were a thing. But apparently they are, because you just got nominated for one. Your palms break into a sweat. Your first thought is, My tux is at the cleaners. Then you realize, with a frisson of disappointment, that the awards ceremony won’t be at the Beverly Hilton or Radio City Music Hall or Kennedy Center. It will be in the blogosphere, where everyone is pretty much in jammies or boxers, anyway. Unshaven.

I’ve just experienced this for the very first time. My fellow follower (and dear, dear blogging friend of approximately two weeks) Peterisms nominated me for the prestigious Liebster Award!!

liebsterawardThe Liebster! OMG! What is it..? I don’t care! I never win anything. I soon learned that blog awards are given by one blogger to another to foster new blogging connections in a fun way. So I’ll have a look at my fellow nominee blogs named by Peterisms, and will in turn nominate some of my favorite undersubscribed bloggers (with under 200 followers). I’ll find some interesting posts I wouldn’t otherwise have seen. Maybe I’ll start following a few new blogs. It’s kind of like sharing favorite book lists – but you get to share your list with the authors as well as readers. So that’s a cool twist. However, unlike Oscar, Tony, Emmy, Grammy and the Globes – where first you work and then you are feted – the Liebster nominees have some work yet to be done. And at the end of it all, there isn’t even a winner! No limos provided by the studios. No Governor’s Ball. No Tina. No Amy. No bags o’ swag. Hmmm. What’s 2nd prize – TWO Liebsters? Well, as they say, it is a horror honor just to be nominated.

THE RULES

Here are the rules for the Liebster Award nominees:

  1. Thank the person who nominated you and link to their blog.
  2. Answer the 10 questions from the person who nominated you.
  3. Come up with 10 questions for your nominees to answer.
  4. Nominate 10 of your favorite blogs (with fewer than 200 followers) and notify them of their nomination.
  5. Make sure all of your contact info is up-to-date so the Pulitzer Committee can more easily find you.

Q+A

Here are the 10 Questions that have been put to me, along with my answers:

1. What are 3 things about you I wouldn’t know by looking at you?

(1) I am invisible.
(2) I am standing right in front of you.
(3) It wasn’t the wind that just knocked your hat off.

2. If you could only listen to one CD for the rest of your life and it couldn’t be mixed, what would it be?

streisand.thebroadwayalbumStreisand’s The Broadway Album. And If you don’t like that answer, I will come to your house and sing Somewhere at the top of my lungs until you beg me for mercy and admit that it was, in fact, a perfectly good answer to the question. If you think it is too much of a gay cliché, I will do all of the above – and then we’ll go to brunch, maybe do a little shopping, and sue a red state for marriage equality.

3. Love at first site, true love, soul mates or none of the above?
Love at first sight. (Which may also have been love at first site, but I’m not saying.)

auntie-mame-new-dvd4. If you become any character in any book or movie, who would you be and why?

Superman. Zeus. Harry Potter. Mame Dennis.
She has more fun than anyone.

5. How do you define sexy? Quiet confidence.

6. What are your 3 simple luxuries?
The beach. French fries. Good coffee.

7.  What are 3 books everyone should read before they’re 40?
(1) The Bible – Various
(2) God Is Not Great – Christopher Hitchens
(3) Pilgrim At Tinker Creek – Annie Dillard

8. If you were on death row and could order anything for your last meal, with no price or amount limit, what would your order?
nobu
I would have Nobu Matsuhisa prepare sushi and sashimi until his knives were dull.

9. Why would you be on death row?

I suppose it would be for kidnapping Nobu Matsuhisa and imprisoning him in my basement sushi bar! No, I wouldn’t really do that. I would put the sushi bar in the kitchen. Would I ever do something that would land me on death row? I hope not. What good is such a memorable meal if you only have mere hours to savor it? Can I blog from death row? I’ll bet there are people on death row blogging right now. But they probably call it whittling or finding the lord. I don’t think I’d ever be sent to death row. Hell, maybe. But not death row.

10. Biggest regret? Never having kept a journal. Because I’ve forgotten more than I remember. And I know I’ve forgotten some really great stuff/things/people/moments. I don’t know what they are, of course, since I cannot recall them. But there’s just this nagging feeling at the back of my brain that they’re there, you know? Like when you walk into a room and can’t remember why? Like that.

10 Questions for my Nominees

Here are 10 Questions for my 10 Nominees. Good luck!
Note: Most questions have an implicit part deux: “Why?”

1. Why do you live where you live?

2. Favorite Ben & Jerry’s flavor?

3. If you had to live your whole life in only one season, which would you choose: Spring, Summer, Fall or Winter?

4. Tattoos. Yes or No?

5. God. Yes or No?

6. You can take a one-way trip 100 years into the past or 100 years into the future, or you can stay put in the here-and-now. What would you do?

7. If it were up to you, would you decree that everyone has a gun, or no one has a gun?

8. A powerful gamma ray burst kills half the human race and destroys our ability to generate electricity for 100 years. Question: Would you rather be among the living or the dead?

9. Super Bowl tickets or a weekend in Paris?

10. Have you ever fostered or adopted a dog, cat or other animal companion from a shelter or a rescue org?

thenomineesare

I may waive the 200-follower limit.


Mark.

Unorthodox Foodie

The Mandala Writers Circle

Elizabeth Karlsson

Meanhood

Coffee Shop Junkie

The Outskirts

Blog Blogger Bloggest

SidewaysGlance

Lens Cap

###