Sunday Stew with a side of Workshop Update

Today I’m serving up one of my stew posts, a bit of this and that. Plus, it’s time to let you know about my brilliant, fabulous, stupendous progress toward my workshop goal. Grab a spoon and bowl; the line forms on the right—women first because this is a matriarchal blog.

BLOGS: Lately, I’ve visited several blogs that frustrated me. I wasn’t frustrated with the content of the blog, just the presentation and/or navigation. A lot of the popular blog themes use either small white fonts on dark backgrounds or small greyed-out fonts, which are hard to read at my usual screen resolution of 1680×1050. I’ve been grumbling for a while. Fortunately, I just learned that I can enlarge the fonts with the keyboard code Ctrl+plus. Still, I hate having to do that so often while I’m browsing, especially because I sometimes click through to another blog where the fonts are now HUGE and I have to use Ctrl+minus to get back to normal.

Another thing that bugs me is a blog with no search capability, or categories, or even archives—some way to get to previous posts. I always wonder if the blog author is ashamed of every post they’ve written except the current one. Sometimes I go back to a blog and want to reread a previous post and have to jump through hoops to find it—and sometimes I never do. Please, Bloggers, add a search box or at the very least use a category list or cloud because it’s unlikely a reader will take the time to go back through your archives looking for the post where you mentioned some particular person/place/thing especially if it wasn’t named in the post title.

Hmmm, I guess I should ask: do you find anything frustrating or annoying about my blog?

Twitter:No, this is not going to be another rant about Twitter. I’ve made my peace with it. I’ve learned to glean some useful information from it and use it to keep in touch with writer friends. I’ve also learned that I can live without logging on every day. I no longer worry about how many Followers I have (or Facebook Friends, for that matter) because unless you have thousands of them, it means nothing—and maybe not even then. An acquaintance recently explained how she amassed such a “following” so quickly (she’s not famous.) One of her methods is to use a lot of hashtags and buzz words in her tweets. She also accepts ALL followers. When I asked her how she could possible keep track of all those tweets and status updates she gave me a look that clearly questioned my sanity and told me she doesn’t. In her Twitter app, she creates a list of the dozen or so followers she really wants to follow and then only watches the tweets in that list. (She does the same in Facebook, only there you can just Hide the “friends” you don’t care about.) I didn’t dare ask which category I’m in. 😕

I like to Tweet and ReTweet good links for writers. Here’s a few recent ones:

  • Things I no longer believe (via Scott G. F. Bailey at The Literary Lab) http://bit.ly/dzBXD5 This is tongue-in-cheek, but speaks to the frustration at all these writing “rules.”
  • @LadyGlamis blogged about the need to back-off when reading a fellow writer’s work: http://bit.ly/9cpgXs
  • Another post from Scott at The Literary Lab | A Question of Genre: http://bit.ly/9suLqW
  • And one from Edittorrent: Does your POV make it hard to like your character? http://bit.ly/aKeWvB

Also on Twitter, @karenfrommentor reminded me the other day about the virtual parties we used to have here on my blog. They lasted all weekend and things got a little crazy. Ah … the good old days.

Creativity Workshop update, Week 4

I completed my weekly goal for Merrilee’s Creativity Workshop, so I will take another step up. This week’s poem continued the theme of personifying the seasons, and depicted Spring as an ingénue. (Yeah, yeah, cliché.) Here are the notes from my week:

  • Monday: Chose the triolet as my form for this week’s poem. Wrote my first two lines (A and B) and then filled in the fourth (A), seventh(A), and eighth(B) lines of the form. Jotted down some possible third lines.
  • Tuesday: Went to Rhyme.com to find possible rhymes for last words in lines A and B. Decided to change end word of line A because of difficulty in rhyming. Wrote some possible third, fifth, and sixth lines.
  • Wednesday: Changed one line and now have a completed poem, though I don’t much like it. I think I could have written a better poem about Spring without this rhyming structure, but then I suppose that’s the challenge. If I were truly a poet, I could write a good poem in any form. I’ll look at it again tomorrow.
  • Thursday: Changed several words in an effort to mature the poem.
  • Friday: Took another look and declared the poem awful. Revised it. It’s okay now, definitely not one of my favorites because the rhyming still assaults my ear. But after having now read numerous triolets by published poets, I recognize the fault is only in my amateur application of rhyme.

Next: My fourth, and last, poem for this section will be about Autumn—or Fall, depending on where I take it. 🙂 I have done no advance work on this one, so I’m hoping some of that Tuesday morning magic kicks in.

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Stone steps photo credit: Michael D. Perry – MikePerryMedia.com

21 thoughts on “Sunday Stew with a side of Workshop Update

  1. In keeping with the stew theme, my comment feels a bit scattered, so I’ll just list my thoughts, haha.

    Thanks for frequenting my white-on-dark-gray blog so often. It means even more, now that I know I’m killing your eyes. :/ (Sorry!!!!!) Perhaps I’ll change it someday, though I’m not sure to what – I’m a creature of habit, and it’s hard for me to get used to changes like that. I’d have to really like the new theme to make the switch. 🙂 Oh, and I added a “search” box, thanks to that awesome suggestion!

    I like being one of your Twitter writing friends. It’s encouraging to me, and fun. You also tweet good links.

    Can you believe it’s already time for the last project of the first set?! Your poetry set is almost complete, wow. I’m looking forward to my project for this week (MUCH more than last week’s…), and to the next set (song lyrics). Oh man. Fun times.

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    1. Don’t worry, Kayla, your posts are always worth my trouble. 😀 I could have used a search box on your site the other day though, so I’m glad you added one.

      I have to say I’m glad this will be my last poem for a while, but I’m not sure if I want to keep to my original order for the next two workshop sets. Wow, four stories in four weeks! What a challenge … for me at least.

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  2. I never really considered this before, but now I’m curious to know if my blog is hard on the eyes. I don’t think it is, but please let me know if it is at the high of a resolution – I don’t want to be chasing people off! And I don’t have a search box, just a blog archive, so I hope that’s enough.

    Anyway, it seems like time has gone so fast; I can’t believe next week is the last week of the first workshop set. It makes me realize that I need to start taking it more seriously, like you do. Did you find it hard to work on poetry? Do you think you’d do it again?

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    1. I do enlarge the font on your blog, Chibi, but probably most people don’t have to. And you DO have a search box, all blogspot blogs do, in the upper left.

      Yes, poetry was hard for me. I’m not a poet. I will continue to write an occasional poem, but they will probably all be free verse.

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  3. In regards to unreadable web pages:

    Get the Readability plug in: it lets you hit a keystroke to see any page as black text on a white screen.

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  4. Huh. I recently changed my theme and I think it has the gray-toned font. Is it hard for you to see, Linda? No one else has mentioned that.

    I don’t know what browser you’re using, but if you’re using Firefox and don’t want to use the CTRL+ keystroke to enlarge the font, try downloading and using the add-on NoSquint. It enables you to set page-by-page magnification of either the whole page or text only. GREAT utility. (If you’re not using Firefox though … *shrug*)

    Have a great weekend, and Happy Memorial Day. 🙂

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    1. Not when I enlarge your font. I just read that so many themes are going to greyed fonts because it’s supposed to be easier on the eyes, so I guess it’s mine.

      I am using Firefox, so I look for the add-on.

      Have a good weekend yourself. 😀

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    1. Well, it isn’t easy for me, at least. 🙂 But neither is writing fiction. Poets and fiction writers each have to learn a craft. I’m just too lazy to learn their craft while I’m still learning this mine. Whenever I write a “good” poem, it’s purely by accident. 😉

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  5. Thanks for the shout out! I did a blog post series about visually pleasing blogs, and I think it helped a lot of people. I said clearly on there that I couldn’t stand too-small print, black backgrounds with white text, and large blocks of text that look like they’ll take forever to get through. Of course, those were just my opinions, but it’s nice to see you agree on a level. You have a very nice blog and I’m subscribing. 🙂

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  6. I can’t read the dark blogs at all and it is such a shame. Some of the most talented bloggers I know use those backgrounds, but the strain on my eyes is just too much. I hate getting old.

    I remember laughing (in my youthful ignorance) at those crabby women in the grocery store that complain about the print being to small on everything. Who would have thought I’d grow to be one of those crabby women.

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    1. Trista, if you use Firefox, try the add-on DarcKnyt mentioned: NoSquint. Not only can you quickly enlarge the text, but you can also change it to black on white. If you don’t browse with Firefox look for the one Paul mentioned: Readability; I think it works with all browsers.

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