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On the ground, finally

I’m sitting in my hotel room in Florida, and jetlag has brought the hammer down today. I think I’d better sit, and be still…let my body and mind catch up to each other. So, if I remember correctly, I was getting ready to board the plane for Zurich. I  like to board early, and get my stuff sorted. The lounge attendants had other ideas, they really did not want me to leave when boarding started. So, I sat back down, I ...

#88

“…and finally, this weekend’s prompt: As you know, Trifecta has a history of dedicating the entire month of October to Halloween.  We’re kicking it off early and easy with this prompt: You’ve found some old books.  On page 3 of one of the books, this illustration appears: - Give us the 33 words that follow this illustration.  What happens next?” When the moon is full… I don’t always stand waist-high in green goop, swallow fish whole and have a bobber dangling from my arm pit— but when I do, I roll like this. Artist ...

Community: Some PostADay Lessons…

“A healthy social life is found only, when in the mirror of each soul the whole community finds its reflection, and when in the whole community the virtue of each one is living” Rudolf Steiner Community: Great ones flow like precious water... The PostADay Challenge has been a very rewarding effort even with the time it demands of us. I’ve met many terrific bloggers and formed some special new alliances. What I have learned so far: Connecting with my new blogging friends and ...

Plant-based Sugar-free, Gluten-free, Dairy-free All American Apple Pie

Most of the time the way I eat makes me very happy. I like feeling healthy and light. I never feel deprived or like I am sacrificing until the Holidays come. It gets dark early, it’s cold and temptations abound! It is only human to want a little comfort! It doesn’t take long for me to start telling myself that I have been so good for so long that just “a little sugar/gluten/dairy/etc won’t hurt”. That is kinda true (or ...

The weather outside is frightful…

‘but the fire is so delightful…’ Thank you all for following and taking the time to comment, your interest in my blog is very much appreciated. Wishing you all a very HAPPY & HEALTHY 2014

Authentic Curry Virgin!

Can you believe I was an authentic curry virgin? Sizzling Curry My friends, the curry addicts, could not understand how I’d managed to reach the ripe old age of xx and had never eaten at an authentic Indian restaurant. In fact, they thought I was joking when I informed them the number of curries I’d eaten in my entire life, cooked at home, parties or otherwise, could be counted on one hand! Anyone else not tried an authentic Indian curry? To be honest, I’d ...

Birds of Paradise: part three

Read Part 1 - Read Part 2 As part of our orientation to ranch operations, Don Glen trained us in how he handled the cash and kept the books. While he may have been a bit dim and tipsy most of the time, Don Glen maintained a sharp eye on expenses as he envisioned the dollars flowing in to ensure a comfortable, if not extravagant, lifestyle at some point down the road. We appreciated his business like approach, but never have ...

5 Delicious Ways to Use Squash Blossoms

Squash blossoms are the edible flowers that come from zucchinis and other summer squashes. They are typically available from May to September. They have a mild and delicate squash flavour. Squash blossoms are highly perishable. And for this reason, they aren’t usually found in the grocery stores. Your best best is to visit your local farmer’s market or grow them yourself. Choose blossoms that look fresh and have their buds closed. It is recommended you use them the same day you ...

Flowers to Celebrate Grandparents Day

Today is Grandparents Day! It is a holiday that is celebrated in most countries around the world on the second Sunday in September. Like Mother’s and Father’s Day, it is a day to celebrate our loved ones—this time, our grandparents. Grandparents, well senior citizens in general, are often neglected and forgotten in today’s busy world. They usually live away from their families, often in long term care facilities, which can lead to sadness and depression. So it is important to show ...

2012 Fall Wedding Flower Ideas and Trends

Summer may be the most popular time of the year for weddings, but there are brides that love the idea of a fall wedding. It’s a a gorgeous time of the year, with the changing of the the leaves and the nice, breezy fall temperatures. Warm, inviting tones like reds, oranges, and golden yellows are popular fall wedding colours. Consider using a combination of these flowers in your floral arrangements: marigolds, black-eyed susans, daisies, dahlias, roses, asters, calla lilies and chrysanthemums. Photo: ...

The Best Shade Loving Plants for Your Garden

Some like it hot. Some like it cool. Not all plants are created equal. Some plants do best in full-sun and others do thrive in the shade. Shade loving plants do best in cool conditions, avoiding direct sunlight. They are often planted under trees, shrubs and overhangs. Though these flowers are not as bright and vibrant in colour as their sun-loving counterparts, shade-loving plants can still make an impact in the garden! There are many beautiful plants to choose from, ...

An Artist’s Journey

“An Artist’s Journey.”  Welcome! I invite you to share in an artist’s journey of unfolding creativity – in this case my own.  I am beginning a new series of posts on a Thursday that follow my creative process and this artist’s journey. My art life has been a chequered career to say the least and it was only really this year that I have finally committed to the fact that yes I am an artist and it’s about time I started ...

mushroom maniac...

"maniacal frenzy" that's what i'm suffering from these days. (well, not really suffering...i'm a merry maniac) with the everyday rain we've been having lately (which is highly unusual this time of year)... every time i step outside...i see MORE mushrooms... NEW mushrooms... growing to enormous size in just ONE night! and so...i can be seen...crazily running around...camera in hand... trying to battle the mosquitoes and dodge the gnats... snapping pictures, sometimes from an ant's point of view. if you're anything like me... you'll enjoy all the different shapes, sizes, textures and colors! (i ...

Fun Flower Facts: Poinsettias

It’s that time of the year again! Christmas is coming! You know how I know? Poinsettias are everywhere! These colourful plants are in homes and businesses, adding colour and holiday cheer everywhere! Poinsettias come in a variety of colours, including red, yellow, purple, white and pink. Some are even bi-coloured! They are easy to care for and last a long time! Here are some fun facts about the poinsettia: there are over 100 varieties of poinsettia available poinsettias are native to Mexico and ...

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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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