Through several comments I’ve learned that I’m not the only one in the Friday Fictioneers group who has problems with the block editor. Since that one is the future and Classic won’t likely be functional by next year, I’ve collected a few tips and tricks how I made my peace with the block editor.
This will be image-heavy. Don’t open the full post it if you have a slow connection.
Since I’ve learned that this is too long for many people to read, here’s a
It’s been two years yesterday. Where did the time go? And what am I doing here anyway?
When I discovered the internet in the Nineties, I was delighted by the possibilities for communication across borders and barriers. I started out discussing on mailing lists. I loved them, but they became obsolete. Then came forums. I loved them even more, but by now they are pretty much unknown. I then moved to livejournal which I didn’t love all that much. It was a strictly fandom place, and at times I felt like being back at highschool with all the goings-on there. Eventually I gave it up. I never got warm with facebook, liked g+, but most people I knew weren’t there. I only now tentatively tip my toes into the stormy twitter ocean. Instagram and whatnot I don’t even bother with. I have nothing to say. I’m neither an artist nor a great photographer. I’m an introvert and I’m also a coward because I don’t really want to expose myself to all the hatred and idiocy that goes around in comments these days. And I never wanted to write a journal. So why am I here?
I’ve seen people blog. About their art, about their crafts, about their food, about their ideas. I liked it and wanted to try it, especially for the online learning that had caught my fancy around that time. I dutifully followed blogging101, but towards the end, we lost our dog, and that put a damper on any enthusiasm for communication I had at that time.
Then I got a new dog and blogged about her. I wrote a bit. I took some pictures. It all was more or less blah. I don’t consider myself expert enough on anything to confidently write about it. Interested: yes. Expert: no. Add to that the fact that I don’t really have time to write
good blog posts, research topics, find good pictures… I started a schedule for myself but couldn’t keep it up. I merely plodded along.
Enter the Friday Fictioneers. A weekly picture prompt for flash fiction. There are many challenges around, but this one appealed to me instantly. I entered and was welcomed by many with friendly words and hearts. I couldn’t be happier with that choice. People have been understanding and encouraging. I see that all writers, published or not, ambitous or not, more or less struggle with the same issues. And this helps. Writing a 100 word flash fiction post every week is something I can manage most weeks. I stuck with it and that’s where I’m now. I can still communicate with people, but it doesn’t burn me out.
Amazingly, there are still a few people from the first blogging days around. Thank you, old friends. And a good number of new friends have come. Thank you, new friends. Onwards to year 3. 🙂
My blog celebrates its first birthday today. It’s been a good little blog.
I wanted to have a blog for some time, but I had no idea what to write about. I’m not really an expert in anything ‘the bloggiverse’ would find all that interesting. I dabble in many things, but am neither a cook, nor a photographer, nor an artist, nor a fashionista, nor interested in sharing much personal information… So, what does a completely boring and ordinary person write about?
Early last year, I learned about MOOCs, massive open online courses and jumped right in. I learned so much, and was so excited about them: that’s something to blog about, I thought. And that is how “Flights of Fancy” came to be, with my first blog post about the Coursera Mooc “Creativity, Innovation and Change.” Continue reading “Happy Birthday, dear Bloggy!”→
It’s time for spring cleaning, and I’m thinking about finally changing my layout to something easier to organize. I really like the McKinley theme I have now, but it doesn’t have a side bar. I think a side bar makes it easier for readers to find their way around, just in case someone is interested in the blog, not only a specific post. Also: I’ve wanted to try out the poll feature. And so today there is this poll about your blog-reading habits, dear readers. Please don’t be shy, I’m very interested in this. I do like large images, but if they annoy my readers, I can tone down. If readers don’t care, that’s helpful to know, too.
I’m still not done with tidying up the blog. Imagine my horror when I found out that after re-arranging and re-naming my tags, my old links didn’t work any more. I should have thought about this, of course they couldn’t work, they were tied to the tags. I’ve fixed that now… I think. If there are still dead links, I apologize. I’m working on it.
My pages will be finished soon, I’m now thinking about a few embellishments to make my posts less boring. One of the experiments is the image to the left, that’s also on the Flighty Friday Page.
When I participated in blogging 101 last fall, one of the assignments was to introduce a new feature to your blog. I was thinking about that back then, but didn’t follow up, until I reread the assignment because it happens to be the assignment of the current blogging 101 event today. And what do you know? I’ve done that now by giving myself a schedule and challenge myself to at least three posts per week.
I still need to vamp up my themes pages and organize the navigation lists there, though. And there is one thing I wanted to add, and will do so today, and that is:
The Blog Traveller
I’m reading many blogs (and that reminds me that I should add making a good blog roll page to my to-do list) and often find interesting posts I would like to find again, and also share with you, dear readers. I think I’ll collect these posts under the ‘Blog Traveller’ tag, maybe sort them according to my themes, maybe not… but it will be a regular feature, and get its own tag.
When I’m on facebook or g+, I sometimes share posts with myself that I find particularly useful and don’t want to lose. I have mostly MOOC and writerly friends there, and don’t want to spam them with posts about dog training, or space images, or whatever else tickles my fancy. I tried to do this with a blog post here, too, a while ago, but found that this doesn’t work. While I don’t regret it in this particular case (it was about reactive dogs), and understand that reblogging sometimes is a compliment, I don’t want to overdo it and “steal” other people’s content. Some simply don’t like it. I think making lists and linking to these posts will highlight the posts, lead interested readers there, and help me finding these posts again.
Another Share Your World Post, this time on Tuesday because I skipped this week’s MOOCy Monday. So, without further ado:
Where did you live at age five? Is it the same place or town you live now?
I moved many times. It is not the same place I live now, not even close.
You are invited to a party that will be attended by many fascinating people you never met. Would you attend this party if you were to go by yourself?
That depends on who these fascinating people are, and if there are some other people present I know and feel comfortable with. I only feel comfortable at small parties where I know almost everyone. I don’t have a problem to go by myself, but I’d most likely stand in a corner all by my lonesome and just eavesdrop on other people’s conversations. What would I have to chat with fascinating people anyway? Going to presentations and talks: any time!
Did you grow up in a small or big town? Did you like it?
I grew up in a small town and did not like it at all. I found it an oppressive, and boring place ruled by cronyism. I left as soon as I could.
As a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?
I either wanted to be an artist or a vet. Teachers gave me clear clues that my artistic skills would lead me to a life of debt and starvation. I later earnestly considered studying veterenary medicine, but there wasn’t an option for studying as a vet for pets and small animals only, you had to go through the whole program, including the slaughter house practical training. I’m not overly squeamish, eat meat and have predators as pets, but I don’t think I could have actively worked there without becoming a nervous wreck. So I buried that dream.
Given the choice of anyone in the world, whom would you want as a dinner guest?
Buzz Aldrin, or Alexander Gerst, or any other astronaut who spent some time in space. No, hold on… Ian Dunbar and Patricia McConnell, I’d pump them for information about dog training, and listen to their anecdotes. No, wait, how about Jane Goodall… or maybe Denise Comer, the teacher from English Composition I… or how about the best option: my friends. Yes, that’s it. My friends, new and old, virtual and ‘real’ all together at one table. That would be great. 🙂
When did you last sing to yourself? To someone else?
I hate to sing in public, this is one of the most embarrassing things you can ask of me. That doesn’t stop me from yodeling in the car when I’m alone in it. I don’t sing for people if I can avoid it. Last time was at a Christmas party at work a few years ago. It would have been overly capricious to refuse, and so I yodeled a ‘O Tannebaum’.
If you could wake up tomorrow having gained any one quality or ability, what would it be?
To heal every disease in the world. More selfish? To be a really good animal trainer.
What, if anything, is too serious to be joked about?
Abuse. Of children, people, animals, of everyone and everything.
In September and October, I was busy and had fun with Blogging101. I learned a lot, things I had hoped to learn about (like blogger netiquette), and things I didn’t expect (like visiting unknown blogs and leaving comments for people I don’t know yet). There were many exercises to promote interaction with other bloggers, which I thought was very good, because it helped me get over the shyness of leaving comments. I basically learned that most people who are relatively new to blogging and not (yet) set up professionally have similar problems and shyness/fear to intrude as I do.