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Featured Blogger: Jackie Paulson – Seeking Knowledge & Truth…

“Be the change you want to see in the world.” Mahatma Gandhi Featured Blogger: Jackie Paulson - Knowledge and Truthseeker... If you click on Jackie Paulson’s About Me page, you will see that, amongst her many qualities and the experiences that have shaped her life, she is a mother, traveler, researcher, a Christian, animal lover, avid reader and blogger. Jackie’s background includes work as an investigator, organizer and paralegal. She calls Illinois home, and lives there with daughter, Jorden, and her two cats; Wiley and Dee. Jackie and I connected ...

I Have a Few Questions

I am a question asker or maybe I am more of a question thinker. On any given day, I think of  a few... more than a few...OK a  lot of questions, to which I would love to know the answers.  Mind you I don't always ask them aloud  or pose these questions to other people but still I question a  LOT of things. This has not always been the case.  There were times that I should have asked questions and didn't.  I got off to a ...

Flowers & Childhood Memories

The first “flowers” I can remember as a child were the pretty yellow ones that grow wild and abundantly for every child to pick and go happily home to present them to their mothers. These “flowers” were usually taken and put with tenderness and love into a wonderful container and set in a very prominent location. When I was a child they were put in a mason jar in the center of the kitchen table where the cat would knock ...

Memories: A Few Songs To Remember…

“Memory is a way of holding on to the things you love, the things you are, the things you never want to lose.” Kevin Arnold Memories: A Few Songs To Remember...Music memories bloom like flowers Not long ago, I shared some of my favorite songs. Today, I read a post, Bygones, by fellow blogger John, on Blithe and Untroubled Life that got me thinking of the powerful influence music has on our memories. When I listen to a song or hear an ...

Friday Around the Water Cooler

Time for us to meet at the water cooler and hash  over some of the week's most  chat worthy stories. This week's news loop... Let's just get the big one put away.  I mean "the story"  not " the wiener"...but I understand  the confusion.   Anthony Weiner has resigned today so the story should start to lose some of it's momentum.  Still, the story made a strong presence in this week's news reports. As you might remember from a previous post, I have this ...

Fun Flower Facts: Forget-Me-Not

The Forget-me-not is an unforgettable flower! Just about everyone knows its name! Known scientifically as myosotis, forget-me-nots are plants with clusters of dainty little flowers, about 1 cm in diameter. There are about 50 different species. These popular spring time flowers are commonly blue with yellow centers, but white and pink varieties are also available. Leaves are grey-green, hairy and stalkless. In the wild, they can be found in wet places like woodlands and stream banks. Forget-me-not is a favourite with gardeners. ...

Life in the Slow Lane

This week has been incredibly slow in the area of weird or unusual news.  Let's assume for the sake of argument that it isn't that I have gotten so jaded that nothing is striking me as weird.  Yet, that might be the case. There were a couple of stories that I thought had some potential to report to you, but the media is being a little less than forthright in giving details. For example:  There has been a video on You Tube ...

Facing the Hills….

Here’s a great guest post from one of my favorite online writing buddies, Eileen Knowles. She’s funny, insightful and loves coffee as much as me – how can you NOT like somebody like that? If you’d like to write a guest post for The Daily ReTORt, check out the guidelines here: ======================================================== My family and I recently moved from North Carolina to Georgia. It’s a coming home sort of move for my husband who was born and raised in North Georgia.  For me, it still feels like ...

Someone Had To Be First

We know so many important names in history, the first human to set foot on the moon, the first person to fly solo over the Atlantic or the first intrepid souls to reach the poles or scale Mount Everest, but who was the first person to have their picture taken? Having our picture snapped is an occurrence we all take for granted. You don’t need to be a famous fashion model to be photographed relentlessly. We’re photographed at the DMV, entering ...

Awesome Beethoven Flash Mob

I don’t know about you, but flash mobs are one of my favorite types of YouTube videos to search and view. If you’re not familiar with what a flash mob is, it’s basically a pre-orchestrated gathering of co-conspirators who seek to surprise and delight a crowd in a public setting by doing something funny, shocking, beautiful or unexpected. This video below builds from one musician to a full orchestra and chorus performing Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9. It’s pretty cool. Question: Do you have a ...

The Silk Road

We’d left Cappadocia and were driving along the Anatolian plain in central Turkey when our bus pulled off the road and headed down a narrow path, gravel crunching beneath our tires. I had no idea why we were stopping but at least it was an opportunity for me and Mrs. C. to stretch our legs. Our guide informed us that we’d arrived at the Sultanhani Kervansaray. “The what?” I mumbled under my breath. I didn’t remember reading anything about this on ...

Angry Birds: 10 Games That Didn't Make the Cut

Blockbuster game "Angry Birds" I don't understand the game Angry Birds. I've never played it but virtually everybody I know does - I don't get it. At its core, the game pelts suicidal birds at shoddily constructed buildings in the hopes that the structures will collapse on and kill green pigs that are inside. Could you imagine the public outcry if any part of that scenario was actually true? As inhumanly cruel as it sounds, that's the premise that was approved, designed and ...

An Edsel And The Crown Jewels

Our annual kick-off event for the summer of ’63 had just begun; neighborhood kids had gathered around the Zenith in our living room to watch Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein. The local TV station always ran the comedy the Saturday after school let out. We watched the movie in a different house each summer. This year it was my turn. Dad was attending big brother’s baseball game and I couldn’t wait for my mother to make herself scarce. She’d already hung ...

A Modestly Monumental Success…

A Modestly Monumental Success...

Today was my weekly WeightWatchers weigh-in. As you may have seen last week, I was within striking distance - losing an additional 1.5 lbs. - of losing a total of -30 lbs. This past week, I was focused on achieving that goal by sticking to the PointsPlus Values plan, closely tracking my food intake as well as "moving" for at least :30 minutes every day.  As a result, when I stepped on the scale before today's meeting.... ..I was down -2.4 lbs. for a ...

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Elizabeth - Mirth and Motivation

On Blogging: Can We Talk?

The heart and soul of blogging is the individual and/or the group of individuals opining on the fly and responding post-haste to one and all. Michael Conniff

On Blogging: Can We Talk?

Overview: It is hard to believe that we have come to the end of the road on the blogging challenge. It has been an exhilarating yet challenging year with tons of lessons learned. This post will answer the eleven questions posed to us earlier in the week, and then add a few reading links as tips in each section to help us enter 2012 with zeal and focus. In an effort to offer a comprehensive look back at the 2011 blogging challenge, I have divided the post into relevant sections. I hope you enjoy the insights shared here.
Why did you start the Post a Day/Week Challenge? I started the challenge as a way to focus on blogging daily, connect with other bloggers, and to help myself stretch and grow as a writer. I also wanted to face the inner critic, work to deaden or perhaps embrace that negative voice, and then move past it.

Describe the state of your blog at the time you started the challenge. It was not as focused. I blogged occasionally and wrote on a wide range of topics. I had decent traffic and a handful of blog friends who commented on my posts, but it wasn’t a cohesive endeavor. I used to spend a lot of time cultivating relationships on social media sites which helped with traffic but not with comments. That all changed with the daily post challenge which has helped this blog grow exponentially. More below

Read – The Inner Critic:  Why It Is Your Best Friend

Writing in the Cold (Failed Writer #5)by Yuvi Zalkow

Silencing the Voice That Says You’re a Fraud By Melinda Beck

“There are no magic wands, no hidden tricks, and no secret handshakes that can bring you immediate success, but with time, energy, and determination you can get there.”  Darren Rowse

On Blogging: Can We Talk?

How did your blog evolve over the course of the challenge? The bigger challenge was, once I committed to write a daily post, deciding what to write about. We’ve all heard the line; Write What You Know… Of course it is easier said than done. Initially, I struggled with a number of topics that didn’t interest me, and even struggled with my version of Writer’s block: the blank slate at 11:45pm. But once I honed in on prompts and ideas that were in line with my positive sharing goal, and made the effort to start a post, the rest followed. I also developed the format I use now; quotes, pictures, content, questions, wrap up. This has helped me organize my thoughts. It evolved to where Writer’s block became less of a problem. And connecting and engaging with others helped a ton.

Read  – On Writing/Blogging: As Seth Godin suggests in his post, it is better to just write poorly than to not write at all. Daily Post: Seth’s Blog Talkers Block excerpted from Seth Godin’sTalker’s Block Why then, is writer’s block endemic? Writer’s block isn’t hard to cure. Just write poorly.

Daily Post: Does Grammer Matter, Finding Worthy Topics

Jacqui of Worddreams.Wordpress offers Tips on Writing and  Robert’s Rules of Writing: 101 Unconventional Lessons Every Writer Should Know by Robert Masello

Mirth & Motivation: Ten Reasons To Blog

“I believe the term “blog” means more than an online journal. I believe a blog is a conversation. People go to blogs to read AND write, not just consume.” Michael Arrington

On Blogging: Can We Talk?

Did you post as often as you had hoped? Why or why not? Yes, I posted every day and never missed a posting day. I even have memories of battling the occasional cold/fever as I struggled to add a coherent post or two to this blog. I know others who did the same thing so this is not unusual. Some posts were scheduled in advance, while others were written on the spot. As time went by, I realized I could submit a partial post and then complete it after the fact. Working with my blog plan and using the prompts that were offered through Daily Post and others made my blogging effort easier. I’ve listed some of my sources for prompts below. Each offered a nugget or two on a regular basis.

Read – Help with Prompts:

Daily Post, Daily Post Topics We Want -253 comments from us with tons of topics

Plinky , Soul Pancake , MamaKat’s Writer’s Workshop

Utter Randomonium has a list of many sites that offer prompts. I like HuffPost Creative Exercises

Steven Johnson – Where Good Ideas Come From

“Yes, blogging is entertainment. It is performance. Each blog post a show, sometimes an opera, sometimes a 30 second commercial. Like a show, it may start with a bang, lead you along from song to song, have a great climatic moment, then leave the audience wanting more.” Lorelle VanFossen

On Blogging: Can We Talk?

What type of blogging strategy works best for you? People utilize a variety of strategies to keep their blogs alive and fresh. Some of us post by email, cellphone, laptop, invite guest bloggers, conduct interviews, vlog, and even post on the run. We use the full range of multimedia tools available to us including re-blogging and vlogging. I blog from my laptop and have included photography and interviews on my blog. I plan to add other mediums next year. As per specific strategies, I’ve found that what works best for me, once I decide on a topic, is to formulate a relevant title and then gather all the other tools I need for the post; quotes, photos, videos,and such. Typically, I write directly to my blog or create a word document and then transfer the completed post. Once a post is up, I check it again for errors, omissions and typos. The editing phase is ongoing as I sometimes update a post with new information or a new photo.

Read – Helpful Tools:

Daily Post: Write Better Titles, 5 Easy Ways To Keep blogging,

WordPress: Get More traffic 12 pointers that include; commenting, linking, guest blogging, regular posting, paying for traffic and more.

Poynter.Org: 10 Questions To Help Write Better Headlines

“Some blogs have become the best check on monopoly mainstream journalism, and they provide a surprisingly frequent source of initiative reporting.” Harold Evans

On Blogging: Can We Talk?

If you could go back to the beginning, what would you do differently? Because blogging is such a public endeavor, we fail and succeed in front of many others on the internet. It can be a daunting task, yet, if we don’t meet our fear of failure head on and blog anyway, we’d never find out if we have the stomach and the love for writing. Staying engaged with our audience is critical to our survival and unless we spend time cultivating a range of relationships, we can lose a chunk of our audience. What I might have done differently is spend some extra time shoring up my social media relationships and maintaining my other blog. I didn’t give enough time to my Twitter, Facebook, SITS, Stumbleupon, BlogFarm, BlogFrog and LinkedIn friends and will have to do better. I could also give more to my WordPress friends. However, I made many new and lasting blog friends on WordPress through the daily challenge and the various search engines; that remains the best gift.

Read – Audience: How to Understand and Keep Your Blog Audience by Danny Brown

These tips will help define your blog’s target audience by Sherilynn Macale

WordPress: Tips On Better Blogging

♥♥♥ Here’s Wishing All Of You Peace And Abundant Blessings In 2012! ♥♥♥

More on the Post a Day/Week Challenge: A look Back at 2011, Below!

“In at least one way we are atypical bloggers. That’s because we just keep on posting. The typical blogger, like most people who go on diets and budgets, quits after a few months, weeks, or in many cases, days.” (Stephen J. Dubner)

On Blogging: Can We Talk?

What are you most proud of accomplishing this year? The fact that I honored my commitment to write a post daily under all sorts of conditions is an affirmation that what we put our hearts and souls to will flourish. Making meaningful connections with many truly amazing bloggers and readers was another source of joy. My writing style evolved, and I found out that even on a truly lousy blogging day, finding an idea, a line, a small vignette to share was possible. There are many schools of thought on what the ideal frequency on blogging should be. I would say write when you can, commit to your daily or weekly schedule, and choose a style that works best for you.

Read – On Frequency:Do You Really Need it Every Day? by Jonathan Fields

Read – On Style: Write like you talk: 5 Tips via Copyblogger

I Write Like: Check which famous writer you write like.

“I’ve developed some deep relationships over the past couple of years blogging and I realize that those relationships manifest themselves in the links I find when I do my 28x a daily ego search over at Technorati.” Jason Calacanis

On Blogging: Can We Talk?

What surprised you about the challenge? Giving, receiving, and keeping up with comments was the biggest surprise of the Daily Challenge. As the blogs I visited and commented on grew, so did the amount of time needed to maintain a commenting schedule. There were so many wonderful blogs that I loved reading, yet I couldn’t comment on all of them daily. I would say that the amount of time it took to visit, like, and comment on blogs was astonishing. Blogging is reciprocal, and so it is vital to maintain the flow of conversation and show appreciation for the generosity of others by commenting back; both on our blogs and theirs. I am still working my way through the comments because this is an important part of growing a supportive blog relationship; no matter how long it takes, we owe our blog friends a comparable reply.

Read – On Commenting: Should we turn comments on/off?: Ten Reasons Commenting is Good… by Chrisg, Blog Strategy: Commenting by Junta42

DailyBlogTips: Commenting, Problogger: Commenting Strategy, CopyBlogger: Blog Comment Traffic

Mirthd & Motivation: Blog Comments & Influence

Your blog is your unedited version of yourself. Lorelle VanFossen

On Blogging: Can We Talk?

What advice would you give to others who want to blog regularly? From my suggested readings below, you might guess what my first tip is: Don’t be afraid of rejection. It is imperative to stay focused on our goal and the key question I ask myself daily: Why blog?  Make friends with other bloggers and people, far and wide, cultivate blog friendships and support others. Another piece of advice is to develop our blog content with our audience in mind; not just our current but also our future audience. Put effort and thought into it. How do you want your blog to be remembered in 1, 5, 10 years from now? Develop a daily schedule and adjust it as needed, but stick to it. Take advantage of the tips and tools offered by expert bloggers, and get creative with the prompts you find; they are a wonderful resource for ideas.

Read – Other Critics: From Jacqui of WordDreamsRejected? You have Stellar Company.

Read – On Content: What you see: Problogger: How Write Great Content

Chris Brogan: 40 Ways To Deliver…

CopyBlogger: Top 5 Tips For Writing Well…

“Make it a habit to tell people thank you; to express your appreciation, sincerely and without the expectation of anything in return. Truly appreciate those around you, and you’ll soon find many others around you. Truly appreciate life, and you’ll find that you have more of it.” Ralph Marston

On Blogging: Can We Talk? Thank You All!

Wrap-up & A Mega Thank You!: What are your blogging goals for 2012? To continue writing, developing relationships, and learning more and new ways to communicate effectively on the internet. I have had a fantastic blogging year and I’d like to say a huge Thank You to everyone who contributed to my growth: WordPress Daily Challenge coordinators Scott and Erica, all of my fabulous blog buddies and blog friends – too many to list, my terrific blog visitors/silent readers, my social network friends, my offline friends, my family and my Creator. Without your love and support, this venture would have failed. I thank you all from the bottom of my heart! I also want to thank the following for their generous blog awards (Please alert me if I missed yours!) and to extend the awards fully and freely to all of my fellow bloggers. Enjoy them and Share them happily! Thank you!

Blog Awards Given To Me –

Thank You, Thank You, Thank You!

♥♥♥ Here’s Wishing All Of You Peace And Abundant Blessings In 2012! ♥♥♥

What about you?

What are your thoughts?

What has been your experience of the the year blogging on the Daily Challenge?

Where do your blog ideas come from?

Why do you blog and how often?

Do you plan to continue next year?

Do share! Thank you.

This post was inspired by a prompt from WP Daily Post: Remember when you first decided to take on the Post a Day/Week Challenge? Here are eleven questions to help you determine your blogging strategy for the new year See questions highlighted/in bold above*

Positive Motivation Tip: Blogging is a process… enjoy the ride and grow.

PHOTO CREDITS/ATTRIBUTIONS: All Photos Anonymous blogger, via Wikipedia. Or Onblog Seth quote, OnBlogging Is, by Will lion, Call to Action, by Cambodia4kids, Blogtips, by Mexicanware, Onblogging lady by Mike Licht, Voice-In by Blogging Librarian, BlogWords by Kristina B, Thank You by Jenosaur via Flickr

Until Next Time…
Ask. Believe. Receive. ©
Elizabeth Obih-Frank
Mirth and Motivation
Positive Kismet

Elizabeth - Mirth and Motivation

Motivate. Elevate. Laugh. Live Positively… I am a mother of two, sister to many and a card-carrying certified optimist. My family and friends are golden because our love and trust is unequivocal. I've traveled, I've lived, I've had my share of happiness and hurt and I remain grateful for God's grace in my life...

4 comments to On Blogging: Can We Talk?

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