Helpful Hints for Blog Enjoyment

At last, all those hours I’ve spent reading blogs can be put to good use!  Here are a few tips for readers who are new to the wide world of blogs.

Navigation in the blog

Nowadays, there’s some blurring of the lines between blogs and websites, but our blog is pretty traditional:  it’s written journal style.  On the home page, the most recent post appears at the top of the page. You move backwards through time as you scroll down the page. Reading from the home page is useful if you want to read several posts in a row.

You can click on the title of each post to read it on its own page, and the comments to that post (if there are some) will be visible at the end of the post.  You can move forward and backward between the posts by clicking on the post titles, at the top of the page just below the photo of the sun coming through the trees (called the header).

If you’re reading from the home page, you won’t see the comments until you click on that little gray speech bubble up by the post title.  The number in the speech bubble tells you how many comments there are.

About comments

Without comments, we have no forum for conversation.  With comments, we have multi-directional communication.

It’s easy to comment.  Click on “Post your own” and you’ll go to the comment page.  Although you are asked for your email in order to prevent spam, etc., the email address is not published, or added to a mailing list.  Please give commenting a try.

Easy reading

Here are some different ways you can access our blog, all of them easy:

Bookmark the home page  – do this in your browser

Pros:

  • easy to check the blog whenever you think of it
  • most recent post will be on top
  • manageable if you don’t read many blogs

Cons:

  • you might miss some posts if you don’t check back for awhile, or you might be checking more often than new posts are available
  • not too efficient if you’re reading several blogs

Email subscription – set this up through the link at the bottom of our blog

Pros:

  • sends a new post to you by email, in a timely fashion, so you’ll stay up-to-date
  • manageable if you don’t read many blogs

Cons:

  • if you subscribe to several blogs by email, your inbox could get cluttered
  • fine tune your Junk Mail Settings, or your emails might be filtered out
  • edited to add, it appears that links to videos may not show up properly in the email, so if you are puzzled by some non-English-seeming line of text in the email, click on the post title at the top of the email, which will take you directly to the blog page where everything should be fun and functional
  • also edited to add, with the emails, you won’t see the comments, unless you click through to the blog (the email is sent right after the post goes up, while usually the comments will trickle in over time, so I guess my general recommendation is that you check the blog page every now and then, to keep up with the comments and the extra stuff)

Feed Reader – For example, the Feeds in the Favorites on the Internet Explorer browser or the RSS Feeds in Microsoft Outlook are easy to set up, if you use either of those two programs already.  If you have a Google account, Google Reader is the one I like.

Pros:

  • great if you read several blogs
  • all blogs are gathered in one place, you can easily see when one is updated
  • lots of different ways to do this.  Try a few to see which one works best for you.  Leave me a comment if you want some help.

Cons:

  • can’t think of any!

That’s all for now.  Let me know if you have any questions.

Elizabeth

BLOG

Image by Thomas Hawk from Flickr

A little issue of procrastination

Procrastination is an understatement.  It has taken me a couple of months to get the courage together to write my first blog post.  I love the idea of having a blog – not because I am an accomplished writer and am looking for an outlet but rather because I am a connector.  It is what I do.

My blogging partner Elizabeth and our first and hopefully regular guest contributor Angela are fabulous writers.  My writing tends to be short and to the point; get from point A to point B and move on.

Sometimes you can spend too much time thinking and researching what it is you would like to write about.  The truth is, I am interested in a blog because I love to share information (lots of different kinds of stuff) with anyone and everyone I think might benefit from it.  If I worry too much about how I’m expressing myself or if my writing is eloquent enough, I may never get out of the starting blocks.  So, please accept it for what it is.  That is who I am and that is what I do.

I wanted to start by sharing with you a book entitled The Nine Modern Day Muses(and a Bodyguard)  10 Guides to Creative Inspiration for Artists, Poets, Lovers, and Other Mortals Wanting to Live A Dazzling Existence by Jill Badonsky.   One of the points that Jill makes in this book is that “we must give ourselves permission to go beyond our fears.  Some of us miss out on a life of creative joy because we subscribe to our fears.  We fear inadequacy…”

The author asked the question “How come such a process of joy brings up so many fears?  The answer could be because creativity is the ultimate growth process, fear is simply an affirmation that growth is happening.”

Okay, that means I’m growing!  This book is absolutely fabulous!  I borrowed the first edition (2003) from the library and have already ordered the latest (2010) from Amazon.  It’s a great read if you interested in this kind of stuff.

About two years ago, some of the gals from the Orangeville area formed a Creativity Group (I’m thinking we did come up with a better name but it escapes me at the present).  Over the last couple of years, the four of us have read and discussed books, worked through creativity exercises, attended artistic events and even organized a drumming session.  Our latest project (you guessed it) is to work through the above mentioned book.  Stay tuned to find out how we make out!

Thanks for listening,

Laurie

What’s it all about?

Why have we started this blog?  And what are we going to talk about?

A few years ago, Laurie and I and two friends decided to study Julia Cameron’s book The Artist’s Way together.  We worked through the book and met regularly to discuss each chapter.  Despite quibbles with different parts of the book from each of us, I think this experience impacted us all, at least a little bit.

As you may know, The Artist’s Way involves daily journaling.  This was something I never completely accomplished.  But I still felt at least two benefits of sporadic journaling:  writing of any kind became easier; and it was helpful when I was trying to make a decision, or to work through issues.  Something about putting things in writing helps to make them jell for me.  I notice this when I take notes at school:  the act of hand-writing seems to open a connection with my brain.  Crazy?

But, truth to tell, my journaling fell apart around the time we finished discussing the book.  Sometimes I crave it though, when I’m working through some thorny problem.  And, I think a blog presents another way of working on problems, with built-in accountability, and the possibility of connection with others.  Worth a shot.

As to what we’ll talk about, I think we’re not so sure.  We want to make it interesting reading for our friends, hopefully talking about things that our friends are thinking about.  For sure, we’re interested in creativity in all its satisfying forms:  artistic, domestic, entrepreneurial, personal.  As well, we’re women of a certain age, and we want to explore that from a wellness, fitness, hormonal-ups-and-downs perspective.  And pass on some links and book recommendations and other stuff that we hope you will find fun, useful, or diverting.

OK, so maybe we’re a little fuzzy on our purpose.  But we’re glad you stopped by, and hope you’ll check back regularly.  If you want to be notified by email whenever we put up a new post, scroll down to the bottom of the page, where you’ll see the option to subscribe.  Or just bookmark us, or add us to your feeds, or your blog reader.  (I use Google Reader to keep all my blog subscriptions in one place.  What do you use?)

Also, we’d love your feedback, so leave us a comment.  Most of all, we want this to be a conversation.  [Seriously, I’m not at all sure that I’ve set the comment feature up properly, so leaving a comment would be very helpful.]

Bye for now,

Elizabeth

Walking and Talking

We are two friends who met on a school field trip when our daughters were in grade two.  We started walking regularly on the Bruce Trail, as a way to get fresh air, exercise, and stay connected with each other.  Our little girls are now in university, and we’ve put a lot of miles on our hiking shoes.  We’ve discussed our daily challenges, identity crises, dinner menus, creative projects, world politics, and everything in between, at least once.

Over the years, we’ve often been joined on our walks by our friends.  But it’s not always easy for all of us to get together on the trail.  So this blog represents a way to keep the conversation going with friends near and far.  Circles widen and life brings changes, but we can still connect with each other and share.  We hope our friends will contribute their wisdom and insight so we can all grow together.

Laurie and Elizabeth