Weekly Photo Challenge: Abandoned

The road to positivity is strewn with the abandoned vehicles of the faint-hearted. Peter McWilliams Weekly Photo Challenge: Abandoned Spaces and Things Even though, I take pictures of all sorts of things, I often don’t take pictures of abandoned buildings because there is usually a sadness about them. But the truth is that at different points in our lives, we move on, abandoning what no longer serves our lives … It is part of our growth process. We must learn to embrace ...

Haiku: A House Is Not A Home

“A house is not a home unless it contains food and fire for the mind as well as the body.” Benjamin Franklin Haiku: A House Is Not A Home … when love seeps away A house is not home… Measured blows and silent screams Repeated daily A house is not home Love lost, betrayals exposed At the door … divorce A house is not home Children leave, no lingering Memories of hurt What are the earliest memories of the place you lived in as a child?  I grew in a family ...

Musings: Breathing Fire…

“Labor to keep alive in your breast that little spark of celestial fire, called conscience.” George Washington Musings: Breathing Fire… In The Heart Of the Fire… We took refuge from the cold The flames lifted gently Then spread like wicked weeds We reached for faith, hope, and courage Our conscience said add more We added prayer and peace… Then, breathing through the fire We headed out the door… More below! “The most powerful weapon on earth is the human soul on fire.” Ferdinand Foch Musings: Breathing Fire… In The Heart Of the Fire… We found ...

Reflections: An Anonymous Gift…

“Every gift which is given, even though it be small, is in reality great, if it is given with affection.” Pindar Reflections: An Anonymous Gift... Gift House At different points in our lives, we have been the recipients of sudden, surprise or anonymous gifts. When it happens, it brings all sorts of emotions to the fore. Sometimes joy or delight, and at other times, curiosity and perhaps frustration from not knowing. I received a beautiful bouquet of flowers from an anonymous admirer ...

Flower Trends for 2014

Flower trends are constantly evolving from arrangement styles to flower varieties and colours. Here are the top floral design colour palettes for 2014. Confetti Bright and Bold is the general trend here! Tangerine, fuchsia, poppy red, bright green, hot pink, turquoise, sunshine yellow and dandelion yellow make up the rainbow of hues that is Confetti. As the graphic states, playful and fun is the theme behind the colours! Some flower suggestions within this theme: Gerbera Daisy, Green Trick Dianthus, Sun Flower, Zinnia, Gloriosa Lily and ...

Arachnis Orchids

This warmth loving orchid hails from Malaysia, Indonesia & New Guinea so they do well in warm, humid climates. This climbing beauty must be planted in full sun and is surprisingly easy to grow. The vine is quite thick and can grow to 15 ft high or more. You definitely need to stake this baby; it will grow at least as tall as your stake, fence or whatever you are growing it on. The leaves are thick, waxy and flat, similar ...

Brown Bear

When I graduated from college, my art degree made me about as hirable as a shepherd. I was a newlywed living in San Francisco and my bride’s cooking had caused me to pack on the pounds I’d fought off in college. To make matters worse, because of the additional weight I didn’t have any clothes that fit to wear to job interviews. I was reduced to wearing a black leather jacket I tried to dress up with a tie. I ...

Trend Alert! Public Flower Proposals!

Trend Alert! Public Flower Proposals!

Flowers are romantic. Women love it when their man surprises them with flowers. And these days, it seems like it’s even more romantic when strangers give you flowers in public, especially when there’s a marriage proposal involved. The magic formula that is guaranteed to win hearts goes something like this: get a bunch of strangers, one at a time, to give flowers  to your love of your life until you are ready to propose. Any flower will do. Here are a couple ...

If You’ve Ever Been Afraid to Try…

Last evening I was trolling around the web when I came across this incredible compilation video that I’ve embedded below. It is an amalgamation of snippets of people doing some incredible tricks, stunts and skills. As goofy as it sounds, this montage inspired me to take action on a couple of projects that I had been avoiding – because of fear. I hope you find this “fearless” collection of clips as inspiring and entertaining as I did. The little girl slide-parking her bike with ...

A Question of Inspiration....

The average person cannot survive for more than a few minutes if they're not able to get a new breathe of air into their lungs. Interestingly, the root word for inspiration is the same as "...to breath..." which suggests a metaphorical death can also occur if inspiration or a visionary breathe is lacking in your larger life. The focus of this short post is to ask the question, "What individual has positively inspired you the most in your life?" Such artificially forced ...

Waiting 35 years for this movie to be made…

The first time I read J.R.R Tolkien’s book The Hobbit, I was eight years old. The book changed my life. I remember being called to dinner after reading the section where the eagles rescued Bilbo and dwarfs from the tops of firey trees encircled by Wargs (massive, evil wolves) at the bases. My heart was pounding, it was all I could talk about during that meal. The words changed me. The words excited me. The words held my imagination captive. That point in my life, as ...

Finding Friends in a Hostile World

Over my lifetime I’ve had a series of friendships. As a young girl my two sisters were my best friends. We lived much like a happy litter of kittens, playing, eating, and sleeping together. We were exclusive and faithful to one another, keeping secrets, exploring the boundaries of obedience, and defending each other against neighborhood bullies. As time progressed, so did our worlds, causing us to step outside of our intimate family circle in search of new friends with similar interests. ...

Name Your New Year Resolution

As a blogger, I’m almost obligated by the fictional Blogger Code of Conduct to write a post about New Year resolutions. It comes with the territory. So to keep my non-existent blogging certification and license in place, here’s my requisite resolution post. In 2012 I hereby resolve to complete the following: 1. Train and complete two full marathons, one in the first half and the other the second half of the year 2. Earn at least my purple belt in Karate 3. Strive to write at ...

Ignoring the Muse

So, last week I started writing in my head. Well, actually it was longer ago than that, but last week my mental writing became so distracting that I was having a difficult time concentrating on anything else. It was like having a little movie screen in my head. At first it was easy to shut it off, but as the story deepened the more distracted I became, until finally I couldn’t concentrate on much of anything else. My brain was ...

The Most Unfortunate Typo Ever

"Public" signs have new meaning... For the past 13 years I've worked in corporate Public Relations, which is sometimes called Public Affairs. I spend a lot of time writing and editing a variety of speeches, news releases, talking points and presentations. From time-to-time I'll attend workshops or conferences to sharpen my skills. It was at one such conference that I saw the most unfortunate typo ever. A professional was set to deliver a PowerPoint slide presentation to the audience of which I ...

Out of Control

The eagle had landed; her rolling talons gripped the Florida tarmac, screeching while grabbing hold of the spinning earth. I held my breath for a brief moment; tucked snuggly between my two gentlemen seatmates. I got to chat to both of them although they never acknowledged each other. I was the female partition between two alpha males, which made me wonder if they didn’t speak because there was some sort of macho competition going on (although that’s hard to imagine ...

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Elizabeth - Mirth and Motivation
December 30, 2011, 11:59 pm

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...

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