Category Archives: metablogging

crumbs


Waffle aftermath.

Life has been busy the last few days, full of lots of good things, but leaving me without much time to write much of substance here. In my commitment to posting daily this month, it feels a bit like I’ve been dropping crumbs.¹ I have several posts that are brewing in my head, but not yet ready.² One post that will be coming up soon is thanks to my friend Sarah, who has picked me as one to carry on a meme about the writing process. I entreat you to follow these crumbs to her blog³ and sample her words. Her writing is expertly prepared, rich with buttery layers, and baked to a golden perfection.⁴ If you are like me, you will find her blog to be at once satisfying and leaving you wanting more.⁵

¹ Or scraps and the occasional shard. I admit that I do enjoy the sequence.
² Though with my crumb metaphor, a baking metaphor would be a better one. The dough of several posts is rising in my head? Um…I don’t think so. My brain doesn’t like the sound of that at all.
³ And by that, I mean, click the link.
⁴ I totally just made myself want a croissant.
⁵ She also said some nice things about me.
⁶ This post has a very high footnote to sentence ratio. This footnote doesn’t go with anything, really. I just felt like it.

daily bloggin’, no foolin’

I have decided to post every day this month, and I am totally not making an April Fool’s Day joke. I considered writing some sort of funny post for today, but I didn’t. I did, however, enjoy playing a few jokes on the kids, who were very excited about the whole thing. This is the breakfast that I had ready for them when they came downstairs:

A wholesome bowl of wooden blocks, with a side of crunchy raw new potatoes, and a glass of fresh-squeezed rainbow loom bands.

This is going to be a busy month for work/school, getting ready for a couple of conferences coming up in May. I have also decided to try a month-long home organization project called The Subtraction Project. The decision to blog daily this month is because I just really want to. I still have a lot of stories I want to get out of my system, and pictures I just want to put out there. (You can expect to see some photos of ice from my extensive collection. And seeing as it looks like the spring weather has arrived, there will probably be flowers.)

haiku acrostic, acrostic haiku

Here are two short poems:
1.

Hallmarks of these lines comprise
Allusion, evocation and expression
Impressions of nature and sensation
Kept short in sound, long in symbol
Using a constrained scheme

2.

planted rows of words
reveal another pattern
sprouting in the fore

A couple of days ago, I solicited suggestions and requests for things to post to help blow me out of my blogging doldrums, and said that I would respond to them in the order received. Sally was first in line and gave a lovely list of suggestions.¹ First on her list was a request for either a haiku or an acrostic. As you may well be aware, it is often hard for me to choose one or the other when “both” seems an equally valid choice. So I decided to do one of each form, but made each one be about the other type.

Craving more? I seem to have a shocking shortage of haiku in my archives, but I was terribly tickled that Ally Bean recently composed a haiku for/about me². You should go read it.

I did once make another acrostic, which was also rather meta. I’ve played around with other poetry forms, too, usually in response to a Monday Mission³. You can find a tanka, and another tanka in the form of a tanga, as
well as a villanelle (about pants). To see other less structured instantiations of my bad poetry, check out my tag “bad poetry.” I find such exercises fun, given my general love of playing with words.

¹ Up next, I will probably hit the first item off the next commenter’s list, and then run through the commenters a second time for their next items on their lists. If you have not already done so, I’d love a comment from you on my last post to suggest another post theme. The more the merrier!
² It was as a prize for getting an answer right in one of her posts.
³ Monday Missions are a now-dormant group blogging activity that I enjoyed.

in no particular order

I have been struggling to decide what to post. It’s not that I have any shortage of things to post. Just the opposite. I have too many photos I want to share, too many stories. But when I find time when I could conceivably put together a post, I spin. I come up with reasons to not post each particular thing, at least right at that particular time. There are two many photos of this set. I have too much to say about that story, and not enough time to write it. These photos are now months out of date. (Who wants to see Christmas photos now? Or Halloween ones, for that matter?) I’m saving those photos for a theme I have in mind. (But I never get around to running with that theme.) I sometimes wish I had some method for deciding what to post when. That’s probably why I have participated in the Friday Foto Finder thingy, and used to love things like the Monday Missions¹ and other group blogging activities. For that matter, this is why I kept up the Themed Things Thursday for so long. Such bits of structure make it feel a bit like there is a reason for my rhyme. (Or a rhyme to my reason?)

I know that it doesn’t have to be that way. This is my personal space, and I can post whatever, whenever. Lately, though, it feels like my posts are more like “never” than “whenever.”

So, would you (whoever you are) like to help out? Leave a question or a request or a suggestion or even just a word in the comments, and I will post something in response. In the order of comments received.²


¹ This is a now-defunct blogging activity whereby a host would select a format or style (like a real estate ad, a course description, or campaign coverage) for participants to use for a post. I just looked back through my archive with the Monday Mission tag, and these were some of my funniest posts, if I do say so myself. And I do say so myself. I seriously crack myself up!

² I don’t, however, promise that what I will post will necessarily make any sense to anyone who is not me.

substantially insubstantial

30 days and 30 posts in, this month has flown by. Unlike in years past, I found it quite easy to post daily. The reason for this was likely that, beyond the act of daily posting, I had no particular goals for NaBloPoMo this year. The downside to this comparative ease is that I don’t much feel like I posted much of substance. I was happy to post a number of photo sets that I had been saving in my digital hoard, and I had a few things to say here and there with more words, but I didn’t find myself sharing more of the stories that have been buzzing around in my head that first prompted me to start a blog in the first place. Those stories take time, and time isn’t something I’ve had in abundance this month. In spite of this lightness of post content, though, I still feel fairly satisfied. Having the daily creative outlet, and this commitment to doing something daily that is purely for my own enjoyment, has actually been more satisfying than I might have expected. I am sorely tempted to continue in this commitment to daily blogging–if not actually putting up a post every day, at least spending a bit of time each day working on a post.

This was a photo I took on November 30, 2010, taken during my participation in Project 365, a commitment to taking photographs daily.

seven years in

When I started this blog, 7 years ago today, I had no idea where it would take me. Over a thousand posts later, I find that this blog has served its original purpose well: as a record of my life and as a creative outlet. What I didn’t expect from starting this blog was that blogging would become an important part of my life. I didn’t know that blogging would be the means by which I would learn and grow and forge lasting and important friendships. So, happy birthday to this blog, and thank you to the friends and visitors who have made blogging a more fun and rewarding experience than I ever would have imagined!

photos of exclamation points

I happened to look at the search terms people used to find my blog today, and saw that someone had come seeking “exclamation point photos.” I found this rather surprising. Perplexing, even. For one thing, I haven’t posted (or hadn’t yet posted), to my knowledge, any actual photographs of exclamation points. (I did once compose and post a rather nice graphic of an exclamation point made of punctuation marks, but it’s not a photo.)

For another thing, I was surprised that someone out there would actually be looking for “exclamation point photos.” That is, someone out there who is not me. As it happens, I have found myself noticing exclamation points in the wild for the past several years. They are elusive and rare creatures, but happily, once spotted, they tend not to run away. Many of them will even consent to having their photos taken.

First, my earliest wild exclamation point sighting. This little guy was seen at the Japanese Tea Garden in San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park in March of 2009.

It seemed to be made out of green tea, which is common for wild punctuation marks in the area. Sadly, shortly after this photo was taken, the little exclamation point was squished and smeared across the table by the fingers of a curious nearby preschooler.

This rather startled looking specimen was seen on the ceiling tiles in a lab at MIT. I think it was trying to run away. (Spotted March, 2011.)

This cute little guy was on some steps of the Great Wall of China, near Mutianyu. It posed for me in May, 2012.

And most recently, this timid creature was seen at a zoo in Massachusetts in August, 2012. It was trying to hide under a few leaves, possibly out of concern that it would be stomped on. (And it may have had some reason for concern, as I believe that the feet in the photo belong to the same individual who smushed the green tea exclamation point of the first 2 photos back in 2009.)

As you can see, my blog will now be THE go-to place for photos of exclamation points. Perhaps one day I will write a guide book on the subject.

the longest shortest month

Even for those of us who love a bit of winter, the season can get a bit old come February. The cold, the gray, the cold, the gray. The snow, the slush, the ice. Gray skies. Bare trees. Cold hands. The bright lights and festivities of the winter holidays seem like ages in the past, and spring remains stubbornly out of reach. February may be the shortest month, but it certainly feels like a long one where I live.

It was a packed month for me, too, and it’s hard to believe how much happened: concert, blizzard, visit from my mother, school vacation. A birthday for one child, and kindergarten registration for the other. I posted every day of the month, and I reached my thousandth post. I posted a lot of photos, and worked through some nervous energy. (But I still didn’t manage to post a bunch of the things I’ve had in mind to post. Will I ever?)

And here is one last photo for the month. For Annette, who finds herself taking too many photos of bare trees. (Though they are lovely bare tree photos.) Look! I got you another photo of bare trees. And for Sarah, whose words about the many grays of February brought a bit of light into the end of my month. (You see? This photo only looks slightly different in black and white.)

There are subtle hints of muddy brown and the barest hint of bluishness in the sky and snow. But mostly we have black and white and gray. No need for the box of 64 crayons to color this scene.


And here we are with the that last bit of color drained out.

a post in a thousand

Here is a list of a thousand things:

I know, I know. This list is not 1000 things long. But they are thousand things. Because this is my one thousandth post on this blog. (Also, the word “thousandth” is really hard to say.)




image credits: millefiori bead from Fire Mountain Gems, mille-feuille by okki, paper cranes by James..g, the M in stone photo is my own, taken in Barcelona. The thousand dollar bill is not mine, nor did I take it.