Goals & Objections

goals-2As the first assignment for this month’s Blogging University’s Blogging 201 workshop, we were asked to set three goals.  I did a similar exercise in Blogging 101 last fall and my goals and objections at the time were:

  • write 5 – 7 days per week, whether or not I hit publish or not;
  • publish 75 – 150 posts; and
  • reach 200 WordPress followers.

Continue reading

Blogging 101 – Success Over the Next 30; A look back and a look forward

On September 15th, the first day of Blogging 101, I posted Work-in-progress as my introductory post.  In it I responded to one of the prompt questions as follows:

If you blog successfully throughout the next year, what would you hope to have accomplished?

I will have written 5 out of every 7 days, whether or not I hit the publish button. I will have published 75 – 150 posts and reached 200 followers on my blog.

By October 3rd, I had started using an editorial calendar thanks to the Daily Post’s Three Habits of Highly Effective BloggersI am finding that an editorial calendar not only helps me plan but also keep track of my progress.

With this post completing Blogging 101, I question how successful was I for the last 30+ days.  I am a bit of a numbers geek, so let’s look at the data shall we?

  •  24 posts: Including this post, I published 24 posts. Even if I cut my productivity to 50%, I should be able to easily reach my target of publishing 75 – 150 posts within one year.
  • 104 followers: At the start of Blogging 101, I had 39 followers, 65 new followers in a month.
  • 6 Facebook fans: Created a Facebook fan page and have 6 followers.
  • 8 Pinterest followers: Converted my personal Pinterest account into an account for my blog.  Check it out, please and let me know what you think.  I got creative and used song titles for boards not named after one of my blog’s categories.
  • 7 Twitter followers: Decided to keep one twitter account and have 7 new followers obtained because of blogging.
  • 5 post ideas: the number of post ideas I wrote on the sidebar of my editorial calendar/planner that I still need to work on.
  • 3 project ideas: the number of project ideas I jotted on the sidebar of my editorial calendar/planner for planning out.
  • 1 new feature: I started my #FF feature as a result of Blogging 101.  If you care to join in let me know in the comments section and I will add you to the blog roll of #FollowFriday bloggers that will be appearing on the sidebar of my #FF posts starting this Friday.
  • 1 new community event: I joined in on Silver Threading’s community event feature called Writer’s Quote Wednesday.
  • 3 community events: found three other community events I want to check out.
  • 5 items on my to-do list: added 5 blog maintenance items to my to-do list – get out and take some photos to use on my blog; update my blogatar; clean widgets throughout; create image widgets for social media Follow buttons; work on creating a consistency in my social media presence.

It looks to me that Blogging 101 lit a fire underneath my blog.  I am happy with what I’ve accomplished and can see a plan for the immediate future. So what does that mean for the next 30 days?  In the next 30 days, my readers should expect to see:

  • 4 Writer’s Quote Wednesday posts;
  • 4 #FollowFriday posts;
  • 2 Saturday Suppers posts;
  • 1 post per day for NaBloPoMo; which my regular features will be included in that post per day in November.

What you might see in addition to the above?  Perhaps the following:

  • 1 new monthly feature in November if I decide to add it to my blog.
  • 3 of the 5 post ideas jotted on my editorial calendar sidebar actually published.
  • the announcement of a new feature to start in December.
  • the third installment of Serially Lost and Found.

Blogging 101 provided a foundation that I will hopefully expand upon during Blogging 201 and NaBloPoMo.  See you in the blogosphere.

The Liebster Award

On Thursday, I was simultaneously nominated for the prestigious Liebster Award by Chris at Chris Jurewicz’s blog and engaged in a discussion in The Commons for Blogging 101 about the pros and cons of blogging awards and whether to accept and nominate.  I was fresh off the euphoria of being on the red carpet Continue reading

Follow Friday – Realistic Optimism, Foodie Alert, and Ciao Italia

I discovered all of this week’s #FollowFriday blogs while reading and commenting over at the Daily Post’s Three Habits of Highly Effective Bloggers, which contains some great tips both in the post and in the comments section.

Realistic Optimism

Fill Your Own Glass

Karen Pearce, a reformed pessimist, writes with “A realistic approach to an optimistic life” over at Fill Your Own Glass.

Baby Girl…You Look Fine, the first post I read on her site, is powerful and courageous. She discusses fat shaming and not being comfortable in her own skin. Her words resonate with so many women as she speaks honestly about a struggle most women deal with in some shape or form at some point in their lives. You rejoice in her epiphany when she states, “I will allow myself to be enough.” The lesson of Baby Girl…You Look Fine is one we should pass on to our sisters and daughters.

In a more light hearted piece, Life Should Be a Musical (With Jazz Hands) she writes of “Musiclandia”, a utopian world where words are replaced with music and dance.

Visit Fill Your Own Glass when you have a chance; I’m sure you will not be disappointed with her unique blend of realism and optimism.

Foodie Alert!

Zest and Herbs

I was delighted to find Zest and Herbs, a culinary blog written by Simon Davis while reading comments on the Daily Post’s entry Three Habits of Highly Effective Bloggers, Simon’s post Book Review: Rick Stein’s India not only left me craving Indian food but also reminiscing about and salivating for all the fish and chips I ate the year I lived in West Sussex.

He uses the theme Suburbia and the layout is splendid for a food blog and easy to navigate. All foodies should definitely check out Zest and Herbs here on WordPress or on twitter at @zestandherbs.

Ciao Italia!


Lizzie over at dreamdiscoveritalia is an expat living in Venice who writes about her experiences throughout Italy. Entertaining were her recent first-hand accounts of Venice leading up to George Clooney’s wedding to Amal Alamuddin complete with photos of celebrity sightings and a turn of the camera onto the paparazzi.

In addition to travel pieces, dreamdiscoveritalia runs an Italian language feature called Italian 101. These posts are informative and delightfully written; check out How to say hello in Italian. Italophiles be sure to head over to dreamdiscoveritalia to enjoy all things Italian.

ciao ciao

Until next Friday.

Truth Serum no. 5


Blogging 101: Make a Prompt Personal

Today’s assignment: publish a post based on your own, personalized take on today’s Daily Prompt.

Sitting in her downtown D.C. law office, Katherine Robinson fidgeted with the amber-colored bottle on her desk.  The instructions she had been given echoing in her head.

“Be careful.  The formula is powerful. Do not dispense it without receiving consent first.”

She’d received the bottle through covert sources; a former CIA operative friend.  As a lawyer, Katherine knew the ramifications of giving truth serum without consent.  It was risky, for sure.  But, no one she wanted answers from would consent. Continue reading

Summer Ends at Fenway

Summer ended abruptly shortly before 5 p.m. on this sunny Sunday evening with the temperature soaring in the 80s and a RBI infield single and the Yankees’ 9-5 victory over the Red Sox ending Derek Jeter’s career and less than luster filled seasons for the rival teams.

For many, summer begins and ends with Memorial Day and Labor Day. For others, summer directly aligns with the summer solstice and autumnal equinox.  For me and many other Fenway Faithful, summer begins and ends with the crack of a bat.  Summer begins with the first crack of a bat in April at Fenway Park on Opening Day and ends with the silence that soon follows the last crack of a bat come October in the years the Red Sox advance to the post season or in September when the season and summer end all too soon.

This summer there was a drought at Fenway Park and Red Sox Nation was left feeling like we had not experienced much of a summer at all.   Last summer with our beloved Red Sox going from worst to first, we let ourselves believe that this was going to be another memorable season.  Some, including myself, even dared to think that we could win back to back World Series.

At times, this summer was so painful I couldn’t bear to watch. What happened to our team that made baseball history and helped heal a grieving city after the Boston Marathon bombings?   What happened to our team that united its reeling city and answered Big Papi’s rallying call when he proclaimed last April to a cheering crowd at the first game at Fenway after the bombings, “This is our fucking city!  And nobody is going to dictate our freedom. Stay strong.”

Ironically all through the summer of 2013, the Fenway Faithful watched on in awe and amazement waiting for the other baseball cleat to drop. And through the summer of 2014, we watched on in despair and disbelief waiting for the season to turn around.  It never did.

It was incomprehensible that we could start a season with essentially the same World Series winning roster and perform so badly. Losing only outfielder Jacoby Ellsbury to the evil empire also known as New York Yankees and infielder Stephen Drew to free agency for just over a month at the start of the season should not have impacted the team. Neither player could be considered the glue that held the 2013 team together.  Essentially our 2013 Boys of Summer were seemingly unscathed but appeared not to show up to play in 2014.

Then, we stood by in shock as management cleaned house at July’s trade deadline. By the time July was over, gone were Peavy, Lester, Gomes, Lackey, Miller, Drew and Doubront.  The fans, Big Papi and what remained of the 2013 roster looked around the dugout and said “Where the heck did everybody go and who the F are you?”

There were good moments. The ring ceremony was definitely the highlight. Ortiz hit his 400th home run as a Red Sox player on August 16th.   But, this season was not meant to be so the Fenway Faithful patiently and sometimes not so patiently waited for the season and our collective suffering to end.

All season long I kept thinking of the Adam Sandler and Drew Barrymore movie, Fever Pitch when Uncle Carl says to young Ben who started to like the Red Sox after his first game, “Careful, kid. They’ll break your heart.”  And that they did this year.  I like so many Red Sox faithful couldn’t wait for the season to end and just stop the bleeding.

So on this last day of summer, the Red Sox and the Yankees gathered at Fenway’s Cathedral to play one last game and send the Captain off in style.

And as the season ended the team and fans turned their attention to next summer, opening day is only 189 days away and our beloved Red Sox have a lot of work to do this off season.

And as we are known to say in Red Sox Nation, wait until next year!