Just another helper monkey 2014 review….

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

Well, thank you helper monkeys.  I’m no statistician (can’t even spell the word without help) but I have poured over this report and come to a few conclusions.  I have listed them at the end, where all good conclusions belong.

Here’s an excerpt:

The concert hall at the Sydney Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 33,000 times in 2014. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 12 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

People are reading my archives.

I was more interesting (or made better tag choices and was thus easier to stumble upon) last year.  And the year before that.  Or somehow these old posts, as the monkeys suggest, have staying power.  Only the monkeys know for sure.

I have some very loyal readers/commenters.  Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

Jazzy needs a new purpose in her life (besides consuming truckloads of red wine) so that she can make a come back.

Today, for some reason that even the monkeys can’t fathom, is my best day ever for follows.

Here’s to a happy blog crazy 2015.  We’re almost there.  Just have to get these monkeys off my back.

Knocked Over By A Feather

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This badge may call itself silly but it’s something I am now very proudly displaying on my sidebar.  Because silly rules.  After my best stretch of procrastination ever I finally put together a silly picture collage for Merry at KNOCKED OVER BY A FEATHER so that I could be FEATURED there.  OMG, I have never been featured anywhere, so this is a really big deal.

It was a labor of love, because if you know Merry, you love her too.  If you don’t know her, poor you.  Time to find out what you’ve been missing.

Bunnies and Birds

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Seriously, what a traumatic experience, completely changing the look of a blog.  I think it might still be a work in progress.  Because flora and fauna?  Really?

Okay, that probably didn’t make sense to anyone but me, but that’s okay.  The site is under construction.  Watch out for flying debris.

Spring Blog Cleaning

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Spring Blog Cleaning is like Spring House Cleaning only no major muscle groups are involved in making a blog tidy.  So it should be a lot easier.  However, “should” is a very annoying word.  And so is Spring, come to think of it, not making its appearance or even hinting at pretending to think about doing so.  At least not in my God-forsaken corner of the world where it’s still twenty below.  But as usual, I digress, so just ignore that, or store it away with the other bazillion weather complaints you’ve heard this week.

Today I deleted my second blog, which very few people knew existed.  Sorry to my 3.5 random followers, but I’m pretty sure you won’t even notice I’m gone.  All nineteen (yep, count ’em, nineteen!) blog posts from “Before the Lights Go Out” written over the past two or three years are now pages in a drop down menu in my header here between Home and About.  If you would like to check them out before they sit there collecting dust for the rest of my life, that would be nice.  But no pressure.

I also spent the better part of my Monday afternoon checking out other Word Press themes and trying to make the number of widgets I have less ridiculous.  It was a little like shopping for clothes and trying to de-clutter an entire house all at the same time.  There was something horribly wrong with some little thing on every theme I previewed and something endearing and wonderfully right about the things I couldn’t make myself delete.

From all this hard (brain) work we can now safely conclude that I am a creature of habit, stuck in a colossal rut, and not good with change.  Although, you know, deleting an entire blog was pretty gutsy I guess.

And it’s not the only thing I did today either.  While I was curled up on the living room couch this morning checking my emails and reading blog posts that were several hundred times better than this one, the sunlight caught my right leg at just the right angle for me to notice I’m beginning to look like an orangutan.  I didn’t gasp; it was the opposite of a sharp intake of air, and more like feeling totally incapable of drawing another breath.  I think this is how people die.  Stunned breathless, or something like that.  Anyway, my monkey legs are now shaved hairless and no one else’s life is in danger for the time being.

So, cleaned up blog, destroyed razor, onward and upward and spring is on the way.  I hope your Monday was equally exciting.

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If You Build it They Will Come

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Diary (Photo credit: benleto)

Daily Prompt:  Personal Space.  To what extent is your blog a place for your own self-expression and creativity vs. a site designed to attract readers? How do you balance that? If sticking to certain topics and types of posts meant your readership would triple, would you do it?

This blog has always been a hundred percent self-expression (because aren’t all bloggers by definition raging egomaniacs?) with a bit of creativity thrown in.  The only readers I expected to attract were family members and close friends and maybe one or two morbid curiosity seekers after my death.  You know, if anyone happened to be looking for eulogy material.  I have no idea who those people might be and it’s possible they don’t exist.

I have been writing all my life.  Stories, poems, notes on cards, letters, diaries, journals, lists. I have also been reading everything that’s readable for as long as I can remember. The greatest lesson I’ve learned from both of these activities is that a person never ever stops learning.

With a head chock full of information (useless or not) and in danger of exploding, I find writing down my own scrambled version of things helps to relieve the pressure.  So really and truly, the bottom line is,  I do this for myself.  If I sound like a pompous lecturing ass, it’s just me talking to myself, trying to convince myself, whipping myself into shape, trying to become a better person, stay relatively sane, and ultimately not bore myself to tears.

In order to never run out of things to say (like I need help with that) I do things like this daily prompt challenge, trifecta challenges, blogging for peace, prompts for the promptless, even some photography challenges, although my photos would do best in the category of photography for the challenged.  I link my posts to Facebook and Twitter.  Still trying to get attention from my family.  Doing these things means that I am attracting readers, and it would be a giant lie to say I’m not happy with that.  Some days I am deliriously happy because someone I don’t even know has said something nice to me.

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SCD (Photo credit: WarzauWynn)

Having my readership suddenly triple because I stuck to certain topics or post types would probably just shut me up completely for a  bit, it would be that scary.  All I ever wanted was to just blather away happily here about my life and maybe make the odd person laugh or smile or feel sorry for me along the way.

I want some of our family stories to be remembered and the people who were part of them to live on in our hearts.

I love the blogging friends I’ve made and the people I’ve “met” who inspire me every day. This is fun.  I feel like one tiny link in an enormous chain.  I don’t need to stand out or be bigger or more important or have some huge readership fan club cheering me on.  I’ll keep writing until there’s not another coherent thought in my head.  That might have happened yesterday, but what I don’t know can’t hurt me.

I will continue to write, because I don’t know how to stop.  Having people read what I’ve written and sometimes actually get something good out of something I’ve said – that’s a sweet bonus.  An unexpected perk.  You encourage my scribbles, and I am grateful.

Hey, it’s just another one of those 2012 Reviews!

But since the WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog, I do feel obligated to publish it.  Thank you WordPress.

Here’s an excerpt:

4,329 films were submitted to the 2012 Cannes Film Festival. This blog had 27,000 views in 2012. If each view were a film, this blog would power 6 Film Festivals

Click here to see the complete report.

I am so pumped that my blog could power six Film Festivals.  Whatever that might mean.  Thank you, thank you, thank you to all the people (however misguided), who visited this year.  And to everyone who clicked the follow button and for all your delightful comments.  You’ve encouraged me to keep on going.  And to all the googlers who got here by accident, try to be a little more careful when you search for random stuff or you’ll just end up back here again wondering why.  It’s because my tags are all over the place.  Sorry.  But thanks for dropping by anyway.

What I’m Looking Forward to in 2011

If we look at great expectations on a number line we’ll see that all of mine hover around the zero mark. That’s really the only thing that makes them great because it’s so easy for them to drift either way. No plummeting or soaring required. That way if something fails to happen or turns out all wrong, it’s okay. Kick it off into the minus zone and carry on. And if something beautiful and joyous and wonderful comes along I can gratefully embrace it and leap up to the plus side for however long it lasts.

Anticipation can be a crippling waste of the present moment if it grows big enough. I try to keep it in perspective so that it won’t consume me.

So, in other, faster, less round about words, there is really nothing major on my personal agenda for this year. Might take a trip to Ireland. Maybe go on a river cruise in Europe. Get hit by a bus. Have a heart attack and die. There are a lot of possible scenarios out there.

Right now I’m going to start a second blog site and begin writing a story of some sort or other. The rest of you here have all inspired me. Everyone has something interesting to say, and I think if I type away for long enough perhaps my own unique something will pop up when I least expect it. Stranger things have happened I’m sure.

Seems to me to be as good a way as any to start off a brand new year. One day at a time, one word after another, moment by moment by moment.

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