Blogging


The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2014 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A New York City subway train holds 1,200 people. This blog was viewed about 4,300 times in 2014. If it were a NYC subway train, it would take about 4 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

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A big THANK YOU to everyone who commented in 2014, especially the winner: Angela Brown. I… don’t know what she’s won apart from my gratitude and hope that she and all the other commenters will continue to comment in 2015. Do let me know if there’s anything you want to read about on this blog. And most of all, have a great 2015!

Happy New Year

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November, for my third year running, means: NaNoWriMo, that month when crazy people around the world, together or alone, type out a lot of words, hopefully 50,000 of them. So if you don’t see me around so much, you’ll know what I’m doing. As usual, I haven’t planned enough of the novel in advance, but I have a provisional title and a cover that I rather like.

Cover2

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Last night, at my Toastmasters Club, I gave a speech called: A Novel Approach. I’m sure you can guess what that was about. It was my second speech there. I didn’t think my first one was good enough to publicise. This one wasn’t perfect either, but it’s an improvement:

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Today, I discovered a new, comprehensive map of the Machane Yehuda market, which features in my novel: Neither Here Nor There. It’s designed by Joel Haber and includes a complete list of all the stalls, shops, bank and whatnot in the area. I used the map to rewrite part of the novel:

So, Esty is at number 7 when she spies Mrs G and her accomplice marching towards her. She has to get away from them. Along 16 and back along 3 and 4? No, she’d be too visible there. So she goes along 6 and 5, then turns along 12 and hops on a train at 29. But the two women are just behind. Will they catch her?

but I think  prefer the original!

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The other day, I read a blog post that made me angry. I was so angry that I decided to write a blog post about it, even though it wasn’t about anything this blog is about. When I’d finished writing it, I felt less angry and decided it really wasn’t suitable here. So it remains in my draft posts. Perhaps I’ll put the sentiments into a novel one day. Perhaps I’ll put them into the novel I’m about to write. We’ll see.

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Whether you’re doing NaNo or not, I wish you lots of success and will be back on the other side, if not before.

BackInApril

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No, that’s from a different break.

This time it’s December.

Some of the things we think of as bad can also be good.

Cholesterol isn’t all bad. There’s bad cholesterol and good cholesterol.

And traffic isn’t all bad. There’s bad traffic.

Bad TrafficAnd there’s good traffic.

Blog StatsAccording to Totsy, traffic comes to your blog if you write about politics and sex. Hmm. How many times have I written about politics on this blog? Well, I did mention voting once. You can see me posting my ballot. And I wrote an ode to the PM’s wife. As far as I remember, that’s as far as it went.

And sex? Nothing. Zilch. But I can put that right, right now. Are you ready? Don’t you dare scroll down if you’re under eighteen or feeling squirmish….

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Yes, I know squirmish isn’t a word. That’s why you’re still here, isn’t it? So, about sex…. I’ve never written a sex scene. But in the novel I’m reading, The Beltane Choice by Nancy Jardine, the sex scenes are written beautifully. Just the right amount of detail, shown with passion and sensitivity. I will write more about this novel when I’ve finished it.

Sending good traffic your way….

Yesterday was my blog birthday.

Five

Five years of blogging. When I started, I never expected to last that long. It’s been hard but fun and fulfilling. I wouldn’t have done it without your help and encouragement.

24 March, 2014

Hey! They remembered.

HappyAnniversary

Thank you, WordPress.

I realised what I want from 2014 when I commented on Annalisa’s blog: “I had fun in 2013. I want 2014 to be fun, too, but more productive and fulfilling. I want to push myself more.”

Last night I had more fun when we welcomed 2014 with a little celebration at folk dancing. The January New Year in Israel is always a bit subdued compared to many other parts of the world. Although we know it’s not religious, there’s a feeling that this holiday isn’t really ours. “Happy New Year” refers to a different time and today is a normal working day.

Before that I made a decision about the 100k in 100 days challenge. I’m going to do it. I’m going to write lots of blog posts and stories and more and hope to reach the target. I succeeded at NaNoWriMo in November, so there’s no reason I shouldn’t be able to do this.

The only problem is that I haven’t done enough planning and will have to decide what to write as I go along. Any suggestions will be gratefully received.

One of the ways I think I should push myself is by blogging more about social anxiety and how it comes into play in everything I do. Because not mentioning it is like trying to pretend it doesn’t exist, which I did for much too long. I started writing in order to raise awareness of social anxiety and I need to carry on doing that.

So that’s what my ‘Fourteen will be about: Fun, Fulfilment and Forcing myself to cross new boundaries.

What will your 2014 be about?

In 2013, I blogged about

  • memoir writing, from which I learned a lot
  • my three trips abroad
  • writing courses
  • various aspects of living in Jerusalem
  • a couple of books in review
  • social anxiety
  • snow

and more.

And I tried various challenges:

  • 100k in 100 days
  • A-Z challenge
  • 100 word challenge
  • NaNoWroMo

WordPress sent me my stats for 2013:

  • I posted 91 posts. This must be number 92.
  • My visitors came from 79 countries.
  • My 5 most active commenters were:

2013Commenters

Thank you, Angela, Jean, Rachael, Rosalind and catdownunder and all the other commenters and visitors. Without you I wouldn’t be here.

And so, as 2013 draws to a close, I have to make a decision: will I attempt the 100k words in 100 days challenge again, starting tomorrow? If I do, I’ll have to come up with more ideas of what to write. Hmm….

What I’m sure about is that I will continue blogging in 2014 as long as I still have visitors.

Happy New Year

I’m taking a break from blogging for a month or so. When I return, I expect to have plenty to tell you about.

Don’t do anything I wouldn’t. Or do things I wouldn’t, but keep safe.

Until then….

Miriam

I’m popping out of hibernation just to say it’s my blog birthday today.

This was my first post:

Speech is silver, silence is…

…not golden. Just a fake gold that soon dulls.  Like the necklace I bought in Cyprus. They told me it was gold. I knew they were lying, but I bought it anyway. I felt I had to buy something because they gave me tea….

I’ve been keeping silent for most of my life. It’s time to talk.

And I’ve been talking for four years. Thank you so much for listening and encouraging me to continue.

I’m… like… confused about why… like…  people… like… like, if you… like… know what I mean.

Facebook is the mother of likes, I think. It has many objects you can like. Posts, comments, pages, photos. In WordPress, you can like blog posts.

But why? Why does anyone like anything? Possibly you:

  • Just want to show you like the object.
  • Want to show you agree with the object.
  • Don’t have anything particular to say about the obect.
  • Are to lazy to say anything about the object.
  • Don’t particularly like the object but want to encourage the person who created or posted it. Saying, “This is awesome!” would be going too far, but one click of a like… well, that’s OK if it makes someone feel good.

While these can all be valid reasons, surely when you click that four-letter word you’re aware that you’ve made yourself  visible to a lot of people, some of whom might know you or know of you, but most of whom will not. Surely you’re aware of the possibility that some people might want to know more about this person who clicked this button.

In WordPress, in order to like a post you need to have defined a gravatar. I have no idea why it works in this way, but it does. A gravatar is a sort of profile. It tells people things about you. In particular, when you define your gravatar, or when you edit it, you can add links to it. You can direct people to your blog, Facebook page, Twitter profile or whatever you like.

And this leads to the reason why I’m confused.

Confused

Of the (currently) five people who liked my last post, only one has any link at all on their gravatar. And that one contains two links that no longer exist and no link to the author’s blog, although I know he has one.

And I ask myself

WhySurely most people who press like, especially on a blog post that is usually viewed by other bloggers, are interested in publicity. Surely they want new followers and are keen for others to find them.

So why don’t they all update their gravatars and include links to their blogs/websites/social media profiles? Perhaps they:

  • Don’t know how to.
  • Can’t remember their password.
  • Can’t be bothered.
  • Other (please state).

Those problems can be solved. I think it’s important to solve them. Don’t you?

It feels good to be appreciated. I don’t think I get a lot of appreciation at home. Generally, I’m taken for granted.

Yesterday, I received two signs of appreciation online.

The first was about a new short story anthology, which includes a story of mine: Reflections in Watercolour. It’s published by Stringybark Publishing and is called: Hitler Did It, a title I’m not too enamoured with, although the story with that title is a beautiful tale set in wartime London.

If you’re interested in reading the anthology, it’s available here as an ebook and there might be a print version soon.

Hitler Did It

The other sign was a blogging award:

Very Inspiring Blogger Award

which I received from Rachael of Honest Speaks. Thank you, Rachael!

So I’m supposed to list 7 things about me and 15 inspiring blogs.

  1. I have worked with computers all my working life. That doesn’t stop my son from telling me I know nothing about computers.
  2. There isn’t a lot of food I adore. Eggs, potatoes, white chocolate. I think that’s it.
  3. My favourite drink is cold borscht.
  4. I love the weather in Jerusalem. Cold, rain, sun, heat, snow, I love it all.
  5. I’ve never been to the Far East, but hope to rectify that soon.
  6. I’m not good at pronouncing Rs, which is unfortunate since there are three in my name.
  7. I love most classical music and pop, but not jazz.

Now for the blogs:

  1. http://jeandavisonwriter.wordpress.com/blog/
  2. http://bottledworder.wordpress.com/
  3. http://susanwritesprecise.com/
  4. http://davidrory.com/
  5. http://mythoughtsonthesubjectareasfollows.wordpress.com/
  6. http://fortyoneteen.wordpress.com/
  7. http://victoria-writes.com/

I think seven is enough.

This blog post has added 247 words to my word count for today. No – 256… 257…

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