Storyteller’s Toolbox – Blogging 101 assignment

As my regular readers know, I’m determined to remain anonymous.  But today’s prompt inspired me to step outside of Janey for a bit and post something I originally wrote about a dozen years ago.  Then a couple of years back I posted this on my other blog. That blog is still available online, though I haven’t posted there in forever.  I went there this morning fully intending to delete it completely.  That didn’t happen; there’s a lot of good stuff there.  Happy memories; rants; wonderful comments from the friends and followers I found.  I just couldn’t do it.  So in order to maintain my anonymity, I deleted only the post this was in from the other blog.  As far as I know, it isn’t posted anywhere else on the Internets; but if you should stumble on it elsewhere just know it’s mine and keep it on the down low please.  Thanks.

G ~ you’ll remember this.  🙂

Fall is not my favorite season.
At least that’s what I tell myself as
I dig out sweaters, scarves, mittens and caps,
making ready for the wild weather to come.
But as the air cools and the days grow short,
I know I’m a liar.

Fall is when I walk instead of ride to the store:
crunchy leaves of topaz and ruby carpet my path.
Crisp, tart apples fill my shopping bag,
along with sweet and sticky caramel cubes.
Tonight the apples will swirl in melted candy,
then march in formation across waxed paper.

And I will linger near dancing flames,
cupping a mug of hot cider and
sinking into my latest mystery novel.
As content as a baby newly fed, or
my ancient, tubby cat, curled in my lap.

Life Changing

Today’s Blogging 101 assignment was to share some of the blogs I follow so other readers might be awed by their glory … or something like that.  Since I messed around last week with my sidebar and added the Blogs I Follow grid I think I’ve got that covered.  So instead, here’s a semi-real post!

I recently stumbled across an interesting article and it was so wonderful I had to share.  Mauricio Estrella makes a good argument for loving your passwords people.  I can’t speak to its effectiveness yet because while I did change my password straight away, it wasn’t really a quantifiable choice.  I need to rethink what my goal is and make another change before I make any judgment.

If you try this I’d love to hear how it goes.  Have a great week everyone!

How a Password Changed My Life.

“About” Inspiration

Yesterday I visited a bunch of blogs I’d never read before and while I wanted to post about that, including links and remarks my work day got a bit … um, shall we say challenging.  Yes, that sounds so much better than fucked up, which is what it really was.  With a secretary out I counted myself fortunate to have the time to do any browsing at all.  They do pay me to work after all damn it.  (I listed the blogs below along with links to their home pages in case you want to check them out.)

In any case, I managed to comment on four or five and I plan to go back and visit them again.  Inspiring today’s post is Gelatinous.  I don’t even remember which post I originally read but I was curious about the blogger so I went to the About page where I found this:

Bio: I have been a poet since fourth grade, a mother since 1990, and I love words more than just about anything. I’d put them first in front of coffee and chocolate, but the last two items help me write the words so it’s truly a symbiotic relationship. If I was stranded on a desert island I’d hope to have my Bible and my copy of A Tale of Two Cities. I will always stand by the Chicago Cubs in good times and bad. The bad seasons require more coffee and chocolate to cope. See above.

I loved her description of coffee, chocolate and writing being a symbiotic relationship.  In my case it’s more coffee and writing, but then I’m not a big fan of chocolate (don’t stone me!).

The inspiration though was her inclusion of what she wanted to have if she was on a desert island.  I included a response to that in my comment but I wanted to explore that further.

Finding myself on a desert island would be wonderful – no, that doesn’t quite say it.  Marvelous!  Not there yet.  Welcome – yeah, that’s it.  Think about it – if my basic needs were met (food, shelter, private potty) and I was all alone?  How awesome would that be?!  For awhile anyway.

I’d want music; lots and lots of music.  I’m not overly picky but I’d want multiple types so I could mix it up, and it would have to be all older stuff.  Next I’d need notebooks and pens – tons of both.  Not literally tons – there’d be no beach left!  My time would be spent rising when I felt like it; eating a leisurely breakfast to the Rolling Stones; walking the beach with the Beach Boys; scribbling for hours and hours and then delving into older notebooks to review what was written.  A stack of books from my To Read list wouldn’t be out of order either.  Biographies, suspense novels, humor, chick lit, classics, unknown authors – you name it, I’ll give it a try!

No alarm clock!  No commute!  No family responsibilities!  No cleaning up cat hurl (ack)!  I could so handle that.  For about a week maybe, then I’d probably start pulling my hair out.  Of course we all know the solution to that don’t we?  I just need to add the Internet to my desert island wish list!

Two of Gelatinous’ posts that I visited today were excellent reads; check them out if you have a moment.  Autumn Dance and He said, She said.

* * *

These are the other three blogs where I remember commenting yesterday.  I enjoyed them all and even made a point of saving some of the information I gleaned while there.

All I Breathe

Cooking with a Wallflower

Madamsabi’s Blog – Apparently I wrote this one down incorrectly and I couldn’t figure out how to find it again :(.

Blogging 101: Let’s Get Personal

Today’s assignment was to personalize our blogs so I tried a little color change-up.  I went through various color schemes but there was always something off about them.  Oh the pale pink was lovely, don’t get me wrong.  But then my tagline didn’t show up very well and I couldn’t figure out how to change the color of my blog title and tagline.  I don’t think I can do that on this theme, but if someone out there knows otherwise please hit me up with the answer?

Obviously if you’re reading this you’ll see I’m back to the original color scheme for Truly Minimal; which I loved anyway.

Next I thought it would be fun to figure out a header; I really wanted something that would mesh well with the blog title or alternatively, compliment the idea of blogging anonymously.  Enter silhouettes!  Lots of silhouettes!  Randomly appearing silhouettes depicting life’s path, or some malarkey like that.

What?  You expected me to get all serious or sentimental about life?  Boy are you on the wrong blog!  😀

I’m not sure why these spoke to me, but as an anonymous female blogger, there was just something about them that said “I am Janey Doe.”  Not literally; the images didn’t actually speak.  But if they could, don’t you think they’d volunteer for this duty?

Let me know what you think? (I think if you want to see more than one you need to refresh the page.)


The theme’s the thing!

With apologies to William Shakespeare.  Today’s Blogging 101 assignment was to try on different themes.  I finally had some free time and did just that.  It wasn’t as simple as the instructions led me to believe.  Interpretation:  I was quickly frustrated, but I pressed on.

I looked mainly for simple, uncluttered themes and liked more than a few.  The ones I didn’t care for were the busier layouts – those designed more for folks who often post photos or other types of graphics.  With no artistic talent to speak of, I left those behind and narrowed my “likes” to three.

If you’re reading this you can see my new theme – Truly Minimal.  I LOVED the lighthearted polka dots and the layout of Adelle, but I was having trouble with the font used for the posts.  Between the font size and the way it seemed to disappear against the background, these tired old eyes were ready to rebel.  When I saw how clean, crisp and readable Truly Minimal is I was hooked.  I hope you like it as much as I do.

If not, it’s been nice knowing you.  😉

And if anyone knows why my emoticon won’t work in the new theme please enlighten me?  Thanks!

Dream Reader – Say What?

Post disclaimer:  This post is written with tongue firmly jammed into cheek; please do NOT take anything you read here seriously or personally.  That is all.

Dream Reader huh?  I think I was clear yesterday when I said that I’m not here to accumulate a following, but I’m going to let this assignment percolate a bit and I’ll get back to you.

Tick tock … tick tock … tick tock

Much, much later…

After reading through a bunch of other responses to this assignment I’ve come to the conclusion that I have absofreakinglutely no idea who my dream reader might be.  And thankfully, I’m not alone! (Waves to others in the same boat, or um other boats I guess. Why would you wave to someone in the same boat?)  But before I wander too far into digression let us move on.

Since I haven’t a clue who I’m writing for besides myself, I think I’ll describe who I am not writing for, how does that sound?  Rhetorical question folks; I can’t hear your answers anyway.  And if you’re nodding or shaking your heads – what’s wrong with you?!

My dream reader will not be devastatingly good looking.  Average all the way you guys.  If you’re not average looking, get outta here.  I don’t know about you but I remember hanging with the misfits in high school.  We got together almost by default as we didn’t fit in anywhere else.  One of our group was extremely cute though, and if she hadn’t been so darned nice I think we might have strangled her and left her in a shallow grave.  (See disclaimer above.)

Dear Reader, you will also be the complete opposite of a fitness freak.  If your exercise habits extend beyond reaching for the remote or another cookie, please turn in your Secret Decoder Ring.  (So says the grandmother of nine who lost 45 pounds in the last year. 😉 And the crowd goes wild!)

My readers will NOT be perfect parents, or grandparents for that matter.  Please do not email to tell me what I’m doing wrong.  None of my six kids is in jail; all of them survived childhood, and four of them still talk to me.  So there.  Feel free to scram.

Grammar Nazis and nitpickers can hit the road.  I’m my own worst critic and if I missed something pre-publication I either left it in on purpose or I had more than a few beers while editing.  Or possibly both.  However, I reserve the right to offer constructive criticism where and when I see fit.  Deal with it. (Again, please see disclaimer above.)

Book publishers, editors, agents, authors – all y’all make tracks far, far away.  Oh sure, I’ve imagined being a published author once or twice, but how in the heck could I pull that off and remain anonymous?

Finally, if you’re here for a laugh, maybe the occasional topic to make you think, or to voyeuristically witness the ongoing meltdown of a middle-aged woman – stick around.  I make no promises, but you sound like my kind of people.

Somebody pass me a cookie, will you?  


Howdy Neighbors!

I didn’t start this to gain a following, let me just say that up front.  But I have to admit to a certain tingle of excitement when I realized I suddenly have more than 50 followers!  Then I take a step back and ask myself, who are all these crazy people?  And why are they so interested in what I have to say?

Nah, I don’t really ask myself that, but today’s prompt made me take a second to reflect on where I want this blog to go.  Do I really want more followers?  That wasn’t the point of writing for me, but it feels good when someone says they enjoyed my post.  It’s even a nice boost when they merely “like” something I wrote.

I followed today’s prompt more for the exercise it offered than any need to add new readers.  If you find me, you find me.  If you don’t, I won’t know it anyway, will I?  And neither will you.  I am not discounting the importance of feedback and interaction.  We all need others in our lives – real AND virtual – who can provide constructive criticism or praise or support as need be.  My best friend is someone I met through my (and her) blogging.  But I didn’t start this to “get” readers, if you understand my meaning.  I so appreciate them for taking time out of their busy schedules to read my posts and especially when they take the time to comment.  It makes me happy to write something which others connect with or which in some way moves someone.

If you’re finding me for the first time, welcome.  Put your feet up, sit back and enjoy.  If you’ve been here a while already, thank you; I’m so glad you’re here!

This is Me

Leave it to me to screw up which challenge I’m a part of on the very first day no less.  I just spent 20 minutes free-writing for the Writing 101 challenge, went to click on the Commons so I could post it over there and was told it was a private site.  That reminded me I wasn’t doing the Writing 101 challenge this time but the Blogging 101 challenge.  Well if that doesn’t just start my week off with a bang I don’t know what would!

I’m supposed to introduce myself and tell everyone why I’m here.  [Standing up and shifting uncomfortably from one foot to the other] Hi, I’m JaneyDoe.  Please feel free to call me Janey, or just about anything so long as it’s not “late for dinner”!  That’s what my grandfather used to say when I was growing up.  Now I’M a grandmother!  I am (mostly) happily married and we have six children who have blessed us with nine grandchildren…


…uh, sorry, sorry.  [Fans self with magazine.]  Just thinking “grandchildren” is strange enough but NINE of them can take your breath away.  Plus?  Menopause is a bitch.  Just sayin’.

I’m here blogging as therapy because I can’t afford a really real therapist, or the time it would take to GO to therapy.  And I don’t follow direction well, so when the therapist told me I need to tell whomever it is I’m having issues with that I have issues with them, well let’s just say I wouldn’t.  Why pay someone to tell me to do something I won’t do anyway?

Writing has always been sort of cathartic for me and I set this blog up as anonymously as possible so I would be free to unload anything I wanted here without hurting family or friends.  That will definitely happen at some point – the unloading, not the hurting (if I can help it).  For now I’m content to review the daily prompts and write when inspiration nudges me.  I signed up for Blogging 101 because I’m interested not only in writing, but also in how to update my blog’s appearance and I’m looking forward to learning more about WordPress in general.

Welcome to my world.