The New Blog Has an About Page!


Still not the final post here. I’ve got a rockin’ About page at the new Just Gene’O.

© 2014.

© 2014.

Also, sharing buttons and deep comment threads.

And posted my first music video over there today.

Would love it if you check the blog out and tell me what you think about it.

That’s all. Have a fabulous day!!

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Not the last post, but the last one is written


If you’ve enjoyed this blog for the last few months, you should know that I’m moving. I’m afraid I waited too long to do this, and probably have to start over at the new blog, but I don’t care. What it comes down to, really, is that if you look at the address of this blog and take the “wordpress” out of it, there is no reason I should pay to have my own domain with this address.

The simplest solution was just to set up a new one with a better address, redesign, and move the archives, so that’s what I am doing. I am moving toward setting up several domains, all at once, and working from there. Anyways, if you are still paying attention to this blog, you want to follow the new one.

justgeneo.wordpress.com

Here’s my social media strategy through the end of the year. It’s an ambitious plan written with realistic goals in mind. Some of it will get done, some of it won’t. That is just the nature of the game.

At some point in the next month-to-six weeks, I’ll do a farewell post here and the transition will be complete.

This blog will then sleep for awhile, but it will not go away entirely. I’ve put too much into it to abandon it. It will still function, just in a different way.

I’m looking at the followers here, and I am really interested to see how many jump to the other blog before the switchover is complete. It’s an experiment.

Image from Life as Lee Ann Knows It

A Bit of a Hiatus


Not a hiatus from blogging altogether, just from blogging here. My content has slipped here lately. That’s because I’m closing in on the busiest time of year for me professionally, and I’ve been spending a lot of time preparing for it. That, and I have so many blogging friends now, I just have to make an effort to keep up, and I have to consider guest blogging opportunities when they’re offered. So, here’s what I’m going to do:

  • Take a whole week off from blogging here.
  • Continue as much of my other blogging as I can. This means the Saturday coffee feature will run at Sourcerer this week. It’s time to see how it plays over there anyway.
  • Decide, when I see how this week goes, what to do next. That may mean another week off, twice-a-week blogging for a while, or any number of other options.

Given the unique character of this blog, I don’t see a week or two off doing any long term harm. I think  it would be worse to get to the point where I’m phoning stuff in just to say I posted every day. The audience here is small, but I get comments when I prompt people or manage to be interesting. It makes more sense to put up the Gone Fishin’ sign and take a breather than to allow the content to become uninteresting. So that’s what I’m doing.

GoneFishinThis may even have some positive creative benefits. I’ve been thinking for months that this blog needs an overhaul and a two-or-three post per week schedule. Perhaps this will help me figure out what I want to do with it. Sometimes when you’re stuck thinking about a project, it helps to put it away for a bit and look at it later with fresh eyes.

Happy weekend, all, and thanks for reading!

Blogging here will be somewhat truncated this week.


Expecting a busy week with offline stuff (actually, already having one), and I’m a little behind on my writing as it is. So, not much in the way of written stuff here this week. I’m hoping to still do a Wordless Wednesday and a poetry feature, but that will probably be on Thursday.

Sourcerer will roll on, though, thanks to our mighty contributors.

I hope to be back to the normal schedule next week.

If We Were Having Coffee 5


If we were having coffee, I’d tell you I have the awesomest sister in the whole world. If it weren’t for her, this blog wouldn’t exist and I’d never have gotten to know all the people I’ve met through blogging. She convinced me that if we worked together and found a few people to collaborate with, we could do something I’ve never been able to do in 10 years of trying. That we could be

One of the people in this photo is my awesome sister, but it's hard to tell which one because they are all in disguise.

One of the people in this photo is my awesome sister, but it’s hard to tell which one because they are all in disguise.

successful enough bloggers to not walk away in frustration after six months and go back to scribbling things in personal journals. She was right, and I’m glad I gave it one more try. So if you enjoy chatting with me or reading this blog, or if you’re a Sourcerer fan — even if you just follow one of our many ongoing features — you should stop by Part Time Monster tomorrow and tell her thanks on her coffee thread.

I’d tell you I’ve gotten behind on the networking again for the second week in a row. That happens to bloggers when the content runs low. I didn’t have much time to write last weekend, and I had a couple of pieces to run this week that just couldn’t wait. So I’ve been playing catch-up with the writing since last Sunday. On the plus side, I have nearly everyone who talks to me on the blogs bookmarked in a set of folders so that I can eventually visit about 50 blogs a week to read, comment, and share links on my other social media. It’s just that the writing schedule and the offline life have been a bit demanding of late.

I’d tell you that I’ve decided to go ahead and change the name of this blog to Just Gene’O. Rather than try and change it on all my social media at once, I’ve indicated in the tagline that I’m in the process of a name change. That’ll get me by for a week, and I haven’t finalized a permanent tagline, anyway.

coffee

And I’d tell  you that fall is bearing down on me already. Fall is hectic, and there are long periods during the fall when I don’t  have much blogging time. I have another month and a half at most to blog at the pace I’ve been going at this summer. At some point, I’m going to have to step off the accelerator until January. Then we’ll see how much of the progress we’ve made since March is real, and how much is about hitting news feeds two and three times per day consistently. However that turns out, it will give us valuable information about blogging. I may have discounted the importance of posting frequency when we first started out.

I’d also tell you that I have a couple long-term projects in the works. Neither will require a lot of time or effort. One of them is hidden in plain sight on the sidebar and labeled top secret because it tickles my funnybone to present it that way. The other one actually is top secret, but once it’s ready to roll, you will find out about it in a way that I hope you’ll find entertaining.

Then I’d ask how your week of blogging went.

(I’m taking a real break from blogging next weekend. It’s the 4th of July in the U.S. next Friday, and I’m spending most of that weekend with my family. What time I do have will go into networking and restocking the old content heap, I’m doubling up on the photoblogging next weekend and not publishing a single word after next Thursday. If you’re in the U.S., I’ll wish you a safe and happy Independence Day weekend in advance. But that’s a week away. We’ll have plenty of good blogging in the meantime.)

If We Were Having Coffee 4


If we were having coffee, I’d tell you the story of my wedding.

My wife, Vicki, is a bit older than me and we’ve known one another since 1993. We met when I was an undergraduate in college and she was working on her Master’s degree. We shared a house for awhile with another coffeefriend in the late 90s and eventually came to be best friends. I moved to Texas in 2000 and stayed there most of the year, then lived in Mobile, AL for awhile after that. The whole time I was gone, I called her, on average, at least twice a week.

We became romantic in 2003 and got married in the spring of 2004. Vicki initiated both the romance and the engagement, which is one of my favorite parts of the story. We chose May 13 as the day because Vicki’s grandparents were married on May 13, 1929.

We didn’t want to spend a ton of money on our wedding, and we didn’t want it to be a big production with everyone we knew looking on. We wanted it to be serious and intimate. Once we’d made the decision, we told our families we’d be getting married soon, but didn’t tell them the date. When the day arrived, we took Vicki’s daughter, who was already grown and married by that time, with us to be our flower girl and drove across the state line to Alabama. Mississippians elope to Alabama quite frequently. Alabama doesn’t require a blood test or a waiting period for a marriage license. In Alabama, you can walk into a courthouse with $50 and no appointment and walk out married half an hour later.

The courthouse scene is what makes this a story worthy of a writing blog. After we filled out the paperwork for the license, the clerk congratulated us and presented us with a care package. This was a small, white satin bag which contained the following items:

  • Travel-sized his and hers deodorant,
  • two disposable toothbrushes like the ones you get in hospitals,
  • a tiny tube of toothpaste,
  • some coupons (I forget what they were for), and
  • three condoms.

Amused as we were, we appreciated the thought. We had a long discussion on the drive home about what sort of situation prompted the Circuit Clerk of Washington County, Alabama to decide those care packages were necessary. We didn’t use the care items, but we kept the bag. Now it contains ten years’ worth of keepsakes from things we’ve done together – seashells from the beach, ticket stubs from plays we’ve seen, things like that.

The clerk went and told the judge we were there, and when he came out of his office, he was putting his portion of the marriage license fee in his coat pocket. We’ve always imagined that he spent it on lunch. He was very judgely, but friendly with a sense of humor. Just the sort of person you want to pronounce you married.

We went into the office and there was a bit of awkwardness for a minute while the judge figured out which one of the beautiful ladies accompanying me was the bride. Once that was sorted, we said the vows. It was solemn and it was sweet.

We went outside, took a few photos in front of the courthouse, then took the stepdaughter home and went out of town for a couple of days. After we called our mothers and told them we were married, of course. We had a small reception with just the family a few weeks later.

And after I told you that, I’d ask you how your week went.

😉

If we were having coffee 3


coffeeIf we were having coffee . . .

I’d tell you I wrote fantasy fiction for the first time in seven months this week, and it felt good. I did a word sprint with some friends. What that involves is, everyone checks in (we used Twitter for it), then starts writing at the same time, stops at the same time after 15 or 20 minutes, and compares word counts. I managed to produce three pages of fiction for about 45 minutes of writing time, which could be a record for me. Typically I’m doing well to get a page and a half per hour.

I noticed something interesting about writing that way. What I came away with was all action and dialogue – almost no description or exposition. Of course, stories need a little description and exposition, but those can be added in revision. I was so happy with the three pages I came away with that I’m thinking about getting an egg timer and writing action and dialogue in 30-minute stretches a few times a week until I have 100 pages of it. That could easily turn into 250 once I add the descriptive parts. Action and dialogue move the plot. I’d rather have 10 pages of nothing but action and dialogue than 10 pages of description, because once the action and dialogue are there, you have a viable draft to work with. If all you have is description, it’s much harder to turn that into a story. At least the way I write.

I’d tell you I haven’t forgotten that I promised to write a post about the story of my wedding day. I plan to do that very soon, perhaps for one of these Saturday posts.

And I’d tell you a little secret about how I think about blogs. We joke around a bit about Part Time Monster Media with its affiliates, but really we’re just being silly with that. I think of social networks as places. The thing that makes blogs different from Facebook and Twitter is that both those networks are set up so they feel like one huge, crowded place. WordPress isn’t like that – it feels like a lot of small, interconnected places.

My Facebook timeline doesn’t feel like my own space in the same way that a blog does. At best, my Facebook timeline is like a tiny little room in a huge hotel. People will like my posts there if they happen to see them in their feeds, and tag me with stuff. But no one ever comes and looks at my timeline unless they’re looking for something specific. The blogs are more like little countries to me, each with its own ruler or rulers and its own way of doing things.

Good fantasy geek that I am, my metaphor of choice, in my own private brain, it to think of blogs as kingdoms. And I’m very fortunate to be part of a federation. Because really, who wants an empire these days? I think of Part Time Monster as the capitol and Sourcerer as the second city of our little federation. Each of those blogs has its own identity, but they would be very different if they weren’t so closely affiliated. This blog is my private estate – just a quiet little village in the countryside. Our friend and constant collaborator Jeremy also has his own estate now, and I couldn’t be more happy about that. And we have allies. Lots of allies. Just go and read our Feminist Friday threads, or take a look at how I’m using my Twitter account these days, and you’ll see what I mean.

I view Twitter as a huge commons, for two reasons. It gives me a way to find potential readers, and it gives me a way to interact with bloggers as bloggers. I know tons of bloggers who write things that are good but, for various reasons, I’m not able to reblog them or link to them. Twitter gives me a way to see what they’re posting and help them with my social media without featuring them on my front pages. On Twitter, it doesn’t matter to me what you’re blogging about. Food blogging, mommy blogging, using your blog as a personal journal – as far as I’m concerned, all those things make you just as much a blogger as people who write literary essays and social commentary. And I like to know and help out bloggers.

I’d tell you that I’ve finally figured out how to keep up with 50 blogs a week, and I’ll explain that in my “Blog Traffic and Engagement” post at Sourcerer tomorrow. It’s such a simple solution, I can’t believe I just now thought of it. And this is a funny thing. I’ve been following blogs so long, I could write you a passable history of the blogosphere (I may do that next year), but I’m still learning things that make me feel like a n00b for not knowing them all the time. This week, it happened twice – with the writing sprint and with the way of organizing 50 blogs so that I can visit them all once a week.

Then I’d ask what’s up with you? Feel free to tell me on the thread.