Tag Archives: blogging

Priorities… I’m moving on, getting to less

Priority: n. something meriting attention before competing alternatives

365 Words Beginning with P is winding down. Not because of a paucity of peachy P-words – indeed the peerless pantheon of P words is scarcely pricked.

My purpose – nay, my priority – was to prod my procrastinating pea-brain into a practice of producing pontifications on a daily basis until I had proffered at least 365 of them, thus proving to myself that I could write regularly.  This is #377. Who knew vocabulary could be so much fun!

(To those whose interest in 365pwords was more literary than political, I apologize for all the Palin posts last fall. It’s not my fault her name began with P.  I thank god she’s not our vice-president — pity those poor people in Alaska.)

What I’m saying is my priorities have shifted and I must move on. Literally. To a much smaller home, with much less stuff.

But I’ve caught blogging fever, and my new blog, Getting to Less, is shaping up nicely.  If you’re at all interested in getting to less in your own life, or you just want to keep me company on the journey, please please c’mon over.  And bring your own downsizing tips and (mis) adventures.

Pitching your possessions has got to be more fun than pulling your own teeth, right?

I’ll be back here occasionally when a P-word just screams to be written about. Meanwhile, join me over at Getting to Less.

Possessed by possessions: P-post #366!

Possessed: adj. influenced or controlled by something (as an evil spirit, a passion, or an idea)

Possession: n. something owned, occupied, or controlled; property

With this morning’s post I have proffered and probed 365 words beginning with P.  365 P-words may seem like a plethora, but really it’s a paltry potpourri; I’ve barely penetrated the pregnant possibilities P-words provide.

You could say I’ve been possessed by P. Although I will continue to post here, it won’t be so regularly because I have a pressing priority: dealing with my Possessions.

I’ve got to get rid of about half my stuff so I can sell this house and move to a smaller place.  But, I’m not going away.  I’ve started another WordPress blog – on downsizing, cataloging the process of Getting to Less.

I hope that some of you will join me over at Getting to Less. Advice, moral support and tips from your own experience always welcome. Maybe you’ve got ideas about selling art? antiques? Dealing with boxes of photos, big honking scrapbooks.  Aaaagh.

The blog is a bit sparse so far… I’ve edited and moved over about 20 former P-posts that seemed on topic (so if you read a post that seems strangely familiar; it is – like I’m using this post title but the content is different).

Soon the material will be All New!

Posting performance: a progress report

Post: v. to write and upload a blog entry to WordPress

Performance: n. the execution of an action; something accomplished; the fulfillment of a claim, promise, or request

Progress: n. movement toward an objective or goal; gradual betterment

Yesterday’s post was my 350th since my first on April 4, 2008. To reach my goal of 365 posts in one year (an average of one a day) I need to pull together 15 posts more in the next 14 days.

I believe I’ll make it. And yet I’ve only begun to scratch the surface of great P-words. The question is, will I continue to post so regularly?

Probably not, because I’ve got some other writing projects in the fire that need more attention.  But then, P-words are addictive. Once you start looking for them, you realize there is a plethora of plummy ones patiently waiting to be plucked and picked apart.

A Prompt to Perusers: proffer your comments, please…

Prompt: n. something that reminds or incites to action

Peruse: v. to browse, to look over casually; to read carefully

Proffer: v.t.  to offer up or present for acceptance

Dear Perusers, Passersby, Lurkers and Regular Readers,

WordPress has a clever way of keeping track of how many folks visit a blog, which posts they looked at, which terms they used to find the blog or post, and which links intrigued them enough to link through.

So I know you’re out there. I know you stop by.

Some of you are friends and family, but most of you are total strangers. A couple of those who started as strangers comment often enough that I now think of them as real friends, and that feels really good.

I started “365 Words that Begin with P” to trick myself into a regular writing practice.  (The posts listed here will explain why “P”, etc.) I said that I didn’t care if folks read or commented on what I wrote because that wasn’t the point.

But evidently I lied. I do care.

Since April 6, 2008 I’ve written 292 posts, a number that astounds me (and yet hundreds of great P-words still remain untouched!). I’m having lots of fun.

Now I’d like to hear what’s on YOUR mind. Your favorite P-words and why. Your problems with practice productivity priorities people politics passion perseverence parenting pickles poodles or parsnips.

I have my own favorite posts, but they’re not reflected in in the WordPress stats, which are driven by what people are searching for or being linked to from a popular blog.  Mention a political controversy (all things Palin) or a celebrity (Randy Pausch and Paul Newman – both Unitarians who died recently) and I get LOTS of hits. Mention something of interest to ME (prunes, packrats, plethora) and maybe a hundred take a peek. Though who knew that a hundred people a month would want to read Patron – about the older men in top hats lurking/leering just offstage in the paintings of Degas and Fourain  (students googling “Degas” in preparation for a paper?).

So… in the new year, indulge me by commenting every now and then. I promise I’ll comment back. Let’s have more of a conversation!

Precocious! 7-year-old political blogger

Precocious: adj. exhibiting mature qualities at an unusually early age, from the Latin praecox = early ripening.

My kids were really really smart little whippersnappers. My grandkids are also RRSLWs. But this kid, Stanislaw Gunkel is a super RRRRRRSLW.

He isn’t blogging in pajamas in his mom’s basement; he’s in the family library. His blog is called Planet Stas (his nickname).

Now I don’t know how much his parents help him with his punctuation (quotation marks! parentheses!) and spelling, not to mention the sophistication of his thinking, but at this rate he will be taking over for Markos any day now.

He started the blog when he was in kindergarten, focussing on things of childhood like Legos. And it just expanded from there.  The more I think about it, the more I think letting a child blog is a fantastic educational experience – he has to formulate his ideas, spell out the words to articulate those ideas, and then as if by magic, get feedback from around the world.

Here is one tidbit:

My mom told me that I shouldn’t base my election analysis on “feelings” (I like him/her) or “beliefs” (I share his/her beliefs) but on logical arguments. She asked me to create my own rational explanations for my support of Obama. Here is one of my arguments:

McCain and Palin are not be qualified to be President / Vice President of the U.S. The President’s job is to do good for the country and the world. To do good for the country, the President must make smart decisions on important situations.

Governor Palin believes the world is 6000 years old. This is absurd. This is not a rational belief. This is a mistake. Scientists, experiments and evidence have shown this to be completely false. Therefore, she is not rational. If she is not rational, she should not be allowed to be President or Vice President.

Somehow word got to Obama about Stas, and he wrote him a letter a few days before the election:

Senator Obama’s advice to me:

“Dear Stas, Thank you for your kind words and for your support. I am impressed with your interest in politics, especially at your young age. I encourage you to visit my website kids.barackobama.com to learn more about everything we’re doing to make your family’s future even brighter.

I leave you with three bits of advice that will make your life more fulfilling: Look out for other people, even when it does not directly benefit you; strive to make a difference everywhere you go; and get back up every time you are knocked down.

Thanks again for writing to me. Seeing young people like you who care about making things better inspires me and gives me great hope about the future of our country and our world. Sincerely, Barack Obama”

Pressure to perform and produce

Pressure: the act of pressing or pushing; urgent claim or demand; a constraining influence upon the mind or will; a burdensome, distressing or weighty condition.

Perform: v. to begin and carry through to completion; to fulfill a promise or obligation; to carry on, function.

Produce: v. to bring forth; to create by mental or physical effort

The weather is lovely today – a clear fall morning, vine maples turning, mists rising from Salmon Creek where I walked with a friend, crystal air.I want to sit in the garden with a good book.

I said I’d write every day in my blog.

I don’t want to write today.
I definitely don’t want to write about politics.
I don’t even want to write about other matters.
I don’t want to do my laundry.
I don’t want to make the phone calls on my list.
I don’t want to clean up the kitchen or go to the grocery store.

My puritan head says MUST. KEEP. COMMITMENTS.

My pagan heart says not today.

It sure is hard to give myself permission to be a slacker.

Post #100 – Persistent Practice Pays!

Yay me!  I’ve averaged one post a day for the past three+ months in pursuit of my main goal in blogging: to create a daily writing practice.

I am a writer by profession, but only write under deadline–if you don’t count the occasional dreary whines into my journal.   If one wants to improve in skill or expand one’s ouevre (love that word, ouevre – sounds so Important), one should write every day.

Since self-discipline isn’t my strong suit I had to create a ruse to make me place pen to paper (fingers to keyboard). I needed to feel that I was talking to someone outside my own skull, and that that audience (however tiny) expected me to keep my agreement to produce on deadline.

It’s said that it takes 21 days to make something a habit. For those of us with self-discipline issues, it may take longer.  For me, it took about 60 days to arrive at a point where I WANT to produce a post.  I called the blog 365Pwords, but at this point I suspect I could go on forever, because there thousands of great P-words, and many of them are worth revisiting several times.

Three side benefits of keeping my focus narrow (at least it seemed narrow when I began):

  • I see the world through p-colored glasses.  P-words pop up in unexpected places like colorful toadstools after a spring rain.  Oooh. I have to write about THAT.
  • Roget’s Thesaurus is my new best friend.  If something noteworthy happens and I’m plagued by a paucity of P-words to describe it, I get out Roget’s and lose myself among a plethora of word associations until I find the perfect one.  (Forget the online thesaurus, folks. Or the alphabetic ones. If you want to boost your creative thinking, you need the original Roget’s on paper.)
  • I’ve discovered the dictionary. When I was little and asked the meaning of a word, my mom would say, “Go look it up in the dictionary…” which just pissed me off.   I had resisted it ever since, until the P-word Project.  What riches lie within those pages! Try it yourself sometime. Again, the paper dictionary, not the online one.

Prolific Posting is good for you

prolific: adj. producing abundant works, results, or offspring

prolix: adj. wordy and tedious

Since I began this blog April 6 of this year, I have created 81 posts. Whether I’ve been prolific or prolix is up to you to decide. I’m having fun and (almost) don’t care what you think.

My purpose in having a blog was/is to practice, practice, practice the art of writing. For years I’d been saying that writing was a priority, but I wasn’t doing it, so mission accomplishing.

Am I saner as a result of such prolific posting? Probably not. But evidently some people are.

Last week Newsweek reported that some mental health experts believe that the confessional blog has therapeutic power, and are incorporating it into their treatment plans.

They say that blogs are a step up from plain old diaries, chiefly because of the built-in audience. We feel someone is listening. Someone who sympathizes. Because of the anonymity, “It’s high intimacy with low vulnerability.”

This blog is definitely a step up from diarying for me. My diary is where I whine or process material not fit for human consumption. In fact, the other day as part of my paring down process I opened a box of old journals and came darned close to tossing out the lot of them. Such drivel.

Why do you blog?