Blogger, Where Art Thou?

I can’t help thinking that life around the blogosphere had been a little ho-hum lately. Truthfully, I’ve been adding to that ho-humness myself by remaining a little quiet over the past year. I thought it was just me, and the fact that I’m having problems keeping up with all the great blogs out here, but I’ve heard the same from a few other bloggers.

Where have all the bloggers gone? Kind of sounds like a song to me.

As I check out the blogs in my Feedly.com I see more and more have not been active for a very long time, or else are only blogging sporadically. I’m not criticizing, just wondering what the heck is going on. Are we all becoming bored with our blogs or is it simple too time consuming for what we get out of it. I can honestly say, there isn’t a mad rush to get on over to my blog as soon as I publish a post. Doesn’t much surprise me since I’m really not all that interesting. I’ve been saying that for years! Sorry, but I’m just stating facts here. Believe me if I knew how to be more interesting I would, but then that probably goes for many of us.

If you’re a blogger or simply follow blogs, I don’t have to tell most of you that blogging is a huge big commitment. It’s not simply a matter of putting a post up and waiting for people to come hurry on over to read your latest masterpiece and splatter comments all over the place. It involves getting to know other bloggers around the blogosphere, checking in on their blogs to see what they’re up to, interacting with them on some level and generally getting to know who they are. That’s the “social” part in social media. I have to say I’ve met some pretty nice people through blogging that I otherwise wouldn’t have. I like meeting people. I only wish there was more time for that. But my first love is writing fiction and that’s of far greater importance to me right now. I have a bit of time off work at the moment and I’m hopeful that I’ll be out there visiting more often than I have in the past, maybe getting a few more posts up at the same time. I can’t make any promises, however, I’ll just hope for the best and see how it goes. I’m sure you can all appreciate that I’ve been busy promoting my new book this past while, but I haven’t forgotten you.  So that’s my hope at the moment, and with a little luck I’ll be able to keep my end of things up. I’m working on another writing project that I’m excited about and I have high hopes that my first draft will be completed before Christmas. Mind you, I did say “high” hopes.

How about you, have you found people are generally blogging less than they were a few years back? How about you, are you devoting as much time to blogging and other social media?

Creepy Messages From Blogland

Every so often I get an email that says, “Someone is now following, Laura Best, author.”

Sounds a bit creepy, right? Someone is following you..

I mean, should I be checking over my shoulder? You know, just in case some weird little guy with big eyes, stringy hair, and bad oral health is after me?

Na, afraid not,there’s nothing sinister or vile about these emails. In fact, it’s all good. WordPress so kindly lets their bloggers know who out there in blogland is following their blog. But what if the person following your blog isn’t a blogger themselves or a wordpress blogger for that matter? Since WordPress doesn’t know you, the email sent simply states— “someone.” So take heart, if you’re not a wordpress blogger you’re still someone. If you’re someone following my blog, then I happen to think you’re an extra special someone. So take a bow or maybe even do a little dance to celebrate your specialness.

I’ve got to give credit to all my non-blogging friends who drop in to read my posts. You’re all pretty special and I appreciate your visits. Although I don’t publish every post I write to Facebook, I can pretty much count on the fact that if I do, many of you come on by to read what I’ve got to say. Just so ya know this writer/blogger appreciates those visits.

I’m always astounded when my non-blogging buddies get up the courage to leave a comment, especially that first time. I try and put myself in your place, wondering if I would be so brave. Of course to do so, I’d have to get in my time machine, and go back in time before I ever had a blog of my own, back when a blog was this mysterious and scary thing that I would never dream of commenting on.

Maybe that doesn’t sound like such a big deal to all the bloggers out there, but I know it takes courage to post a comment, at least for the first time. It can be just as scary as hitting “publish” on your very first blog post.

Quite a few of my non-blogging friends have subscribed to my blog, which simply means they receive an email every time I update. Since I added that little feature to the sidebar of my blog a decent number of you have signed up, and I just want to say thanks. I really do appreciate the support. I sometimes think that those of us in the blogging community forget about all the non-bloggers out there who stop by our blogs. Don’t worry, we all appreciate the support we receive. To us you’re all “someone,” regardless of those creepy little emails informing us that we’re being followed.

* Oh, and by the way, that creepy little picture of Gollum was sketched by my son, Matt, back when he was in high school. I wanted to add a caption below the picture but wordpress kept saying no. Anyway, I think it was the first sketch he ever drew. Pretty darn good I’d say. Wouldn’t you?

Miss Popularity–That’s me!!

I’ve been holding out on you all for awhile now, keeping things kind of quiet for some time now, but then it happened again just the other day over at Diane Lynn Tibert’s blog. Diane nominated me for the Versatile Blogger award, which then reminded me that hey, Pauline over at Brightest Blue had also nominated me for this award, which then reminded me that Darlene Foster had nominated me for the Liebster Award.. I mean, all this nominating how did I get to be so popular? Little ole me…

So, thanks ladies, you all have terrific blogs and you make me feel more than welcome each time I visit.

Okay, so with every blog award that goes around in blogland there are rules in place, but what to do when there are several awards on the line?  Too many rules, too many blogs to nominate. What’s a tired blogger to do?

Why, make things up of course!!! I’m a fiction writer for goodness sake.

So I’ve decided to invent some of my own rules, taking a little here and a little there. Kind of like coming up with a new recipe of sorts, try what you like, leave out what you don’t.

I like the rule where you tell seven things about yourself. That one I’ll do.  So I’m going to tell you some totally useless things about myself, because well, I’m just not that exciting. If you know me in real life, you’re nodding your head about now.

Are you ready? Here goes.

  1. I’ve been harbouring a secret from most of you these past two and a half years, but I’m ready to come clean. I know it’s not evident from viewing my gravatar photos, but I’m vertically challenged. Yes, I know it’s a shock, right? Those of you who have met me in real life have no doubt figured this out on your own, ‘cause nothing gets past you. This news is more for the blogging community although even a few of you are in on that highly guarded secret. It is only a matter of time before Miss Charlotte joins the ranks of all the other children in my extended family who touches their hand to their heads and then over to mine to see how much further they have to grow to pass me. This usually begins at around the age of five. I have three years to wait. Oh joy, oh joy.

  1. I like Mars bars. If you’re on my facebook friends list you’re reading this and saying, “No kidding, mama!” The mighty Mars often takes up space on my status updates. Admit it. You’ve seen it. You even “liked” it.  Oh lovely, lovely Mars, you were worth hiding in the bathroom to savour when my kids wee small and driving me up the wall. But how many of you know that for a few months last year I had a Mars Bar Fairy who showered me with gifts of Mars Bars left in my mailbox?  Tis true. Tis real. I kid you not.

  1. My ring size is 4 ½. Yeah I know, you’re thinking, so what shorty. Someone mentioned ring size the other day so this tidbit seemed reverent while writing this post. I’m not a “ring” person. I like them, even admire them for their beauty. I sometimes walk into the jewelry store for a gander. I wear my wedding ring (unless my knuckle is swollen.) That’s it most of the time. I do have a family ring, and engagement ring and a birthstone ring given to me by my significant other when we were dating. That’s it. I don’t go for bling bling. I love it, but it’s not me.

  1. On separate occasions it was thought that my daughters and I were sisters. Wow, does that sound like an awkward sentence, and me a writer. Now some of you might think that’s quite a compliment. But truly, they only say this when they see me at a distance. Have you ever gone out into a Christmas tree lot and you saw that perfect tree, only to get closer and see all the big holes and flaws? Well here’s the truth people, women my age, like Christmas trees always look better when viewed from afar. True story. Listen to me on this. I live a whisker away from the Christmas tree capital of the world. I know my trees, and my wrinkles. Not to mention when you’re short people think you must be young.

  1. I once found a wallet when I was a kid with three two dollar bills in it. A group of us combed the cottage area looking to find the owner, because to us, if we didn’t know who you were you had to be a cottage owner. An entire Saturday afternoon was taken up. We just had to find the owner. But good old resourceful Dad found the owner’s phone number in the wallet that evening after we’d wasted an entire Saturday afternoon. Turned out he was from a neighbouring town and had been in the area driving his dune buggy with a friend. I thought I was rich when he gave me the six bucks for returning his wallet. Do you know how many Mars Bars that would have bought back in the day? I mean what? 10 cents a piece and no taxes back then either. I could have had sixty of those lovelies. And just think, the energy to burn off all those extra calories.

  1. On Valentine’s Day 1965 a small green lunch pail was found out the roadside in our little community by a passerby. Upon further investigation a handful of Valentines were discovered signed by one, Laura Legge. And for a small amount of time it was thought, by some of the neighbours, that I had been possibly kidnapped. Oh yeah, the minds of many spin mighty fast in small communities. It makes me wonder what the good folks thought my sisters were doing whilst I was being kidnapped, drawing straws to see who was going to break the news to Mum and Dad once they got home from school at the end of the day?  Turns out that at five years old, I’d tied the handles of my lunch pail to the end of my scarf. When the knot came out I hadn’t been aware of it. Mystery solved. So ended Dalhousie Road’s first near- kidnapping case.

  1. When I was a kid, my sisters and I used to spend our summers picking strawberries for money. Since we lived a long way from the berry field, often times farmers would bring in pickers from outside the area and change them a bit for room and board. The very first time I went off to make my fortune in strawberries, I got homesick and seen called Dad to come get me. Turns out my instincts weren’t all that bad. We later heard that the building the farmer had put us up in had once been the home of pigs. Yup, that’s right, I quite literally slept in a pigpen.

So there’s a whole bunch of useless information that I’m sure you’ll tuck away at the back of your mind never to think about again but, quite frankly, I enjoyed rehashing some of these memories.

Now I couldn’t possible pass these awards on to as many people as I’m supposed to, and since I know that many of the beloved bloggers I follow have already had awards bestowed upon them, how about we skip that part?

Instead, I thought I’d mention a few blogs that many of you might not have discovered, and thought I’d give a shout out to.

Pam Chamberlain-— Writer’s, there’s knowledge to be gained here, tidbits of info that you might not be aware of. Look into the mind of an editor. I worked with Pam in the past and she’s a real smart cookie.

Half Awake and Dreaming—If Lissa’s art work doesn’t blow you away then I don’t know what would. She’s wonderful. It’s always a thrill to go visit, to see her newest creation. Head on over, poke around, tell me you’re not impressed.

Lavenderlines-–Colleen is a writer/blogger/ book reviewer from good old Prince Edward Island. Check out her review policy. She also has book giveaways from time to time.

Life according to Loup—Dog lovers head on over.  Loup Graham is about as lovable as any dog out there. He’d likely argue and say he’s THE most lovable. One thing I know for sure is he’s the most articulate pooch I’ve ever met, and a real tease.

Miss Julie’s Hodgepodge—Julie’s a local gal who dishes up a steaming helping of hodgepodge with every post. Her posts are filled with wit and charm. She tells it like it is on the beautiful South Shore of Nova Scotia

So there you go folks, some useless information along with some great blogs to check out. Enjoy the rest of your weekend!

I’m Going to be Famous

So, I’m going to be a famous blogger somewhere in the future in case I am not already. So says one of my spam comments the other day.

Hallelujah! It’s a miracle. An honest to goodness miracle.

Here’s the comment in question:

I don’t even know the way I stopped up here, (Hey buddy, I’m asking myself the same thing) however I assumed this publish used to be good. (Used to be good? Sheesh. Maybe “used to” is a good thing in this dude’s world. Did I just say, dude?) I don’t understand who you might be (Oh there are days when I ask myself the same frigging thing.) however certainly you are going to a famous blogger in case you are not already ;) . (Woohoo. dude is certain I’m going to be famous, did y’all hear that? Did I really say dude again?) Sorry for bad English Cheers from India!  (Hey, I can overlook a little bad English, I do with some of my facebook friends, and well, especially since I’m going to be famous and all. But what’s that wink added for, right after he says I’m going to be famous.. He’s being sarcastic isn’t he? Figures.)

Luckily, these comments are held over in the spam queue and don’t end up as actually comments on my blog. Many of them basically say the same ridiculous thing. I’ve been noticing a lot of these spam comments lately. Hey, maybe that means I am famous (in the spam world at least.) I wonder with Christmas coming if the spammers will take a holiday.

How about you, are you experiencing an increase in spam comments lately? Any funny ones you’d like to share? I could use the laugh.

Am I Really Jinxed?

There’s the phenomenon that my children used to joke about when I was sending short stories out for publication. If you want to go out of business accept work from Laura Best. They used to say I was jinxed, and I guess there were times when it kind of felt that way.

Come in a little closer, what I’m about to tell you is not a secret but did in fact  happen to me more than once (okay maybe five or six times to be truthful.) I would receive an acceptance from a literary magazine saying they wanted to publish one of my stories. Great. Woohoo! Music to any writer’s ears. But that’s not where the story ends. Before my work ever had time to grace their pages, the magazine would cease publication.

Gone without a trace…Zippo!

Add to that the fact that my work has appeared in the last issue of about three more literary magazines over the years, and I began to wonder if my kids didn’t have a point.

So it’s no big secret that literary magazines struggle to keep going, and quite often they are forced to cease publication for various reasons. It’s a sad truth but a truth nonetheless.

I feel jinxed when it comes to blogging sometimes too. I find a blog I decide to follow, add it to Google Reader, everything goes along great, and then all of a sudden the blogger stop posting. Gone without a trace…Zippo!

This evening, as I was catching up on some blog reading, I realized that my Reader has quite a few blogs that haven’t updated for many, many months. It makes me wonder if they’ve abandoned their blog or simply taking an extended blogcation. Life sometimes becomes complicated and blogging simply isn’t an option for us. We can all understand that.

I resist the urge to unsubscribe to these seemingly abandoned blogs because well…they may start blogging again. I’m loyal if nothing else.

Bloggers come and go as do blogs. Usually, we begin a blog with a certain objective in mind. Sometimes we stay true to that objective and never stray far from it, while other times our blogs change, and become something totally different over time. So while I know it’s ridiculous to think I’m in any way jinxed, I’ll keep hoping that some of those wayward bloggers will feel inspired in the New Year and pick up their blogs where they left off.

How about you, has your blog stayed true to itself or has it shifted and changed over time? If you’re a blogger, have you ever abandoned a blog to start a totally different one? If you’ve subscribed to a blog where there hasn’t been any activity for a long time do you unsubscribe or do you stay loyal to the end?

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  • Publication date April 30, 2020. Available for pre-order NOW.

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