Reactive Blogging?

I celebrated my 7-year “Blog-o-versary” in October of this year. I don’t think that I’m a novice to this blogging thing. There was virtually no traffic here for the first couple of years; I wasn’t able to post very often due to job responsibilities, and the only comments I received were spam. I only followed a handful of blogs at that time – less than 10, I think – and while I would ‘Like’ posts, I wouldn’t comment and I didn’t follow anyone. I simply didn’t have the time.

After I left my last full-time job and began scheduling my own work on my own time, I had more time to read other blogs in depth. I began following more, commenting once in a while, and re-blogging others – possibly in excess, but I meant no harm. I thought that displaying a genuine interest in others and engaging in conversations would make it easier to meet and connect with others. I hoped to have conversations with others who might share my interests in recreational activities such as music, travel, cooking, reading, writing, gaming, anime and cosplay, or attending fun events involving same. I was doing my due diligence and actively ‘connecting with others’ in this supposedly supportive blogging community.

According to the self-described blogging experts out there, all of the time and energy that I’ve invested in other people’s blogs just isn’t enough to generate traffic. Meanwhile, there are brand-new, poorly-written blogs out there which are springing up like weeds and mysteriously have hundreds of followers. Keep in mind that I had slowly grown my following to a little over 300 followers, and only recently dumped the blogs which are inactive or have been deleted by the author or by WordPress. Most others who used to follow me made themselves absent after certain political events worldwide occurred – there’s nothing I can do about that!

I decided to pose a question to a blogger who has tens of thousands of followers, on a post of theirs titled “Reactive networking / Blogging.” In their post, they state this:

Blogging lesson for the day is on reactive networking.

You’ll often hear bloggers state what they dislike with blogging. They’ll complain about the driveby reader or someone who just presses “like” on their posts. These bloggers are so busy complaining about blogging that they miss the opportunity it is giving them…The problem is that most people want interaction without ever giving it first. That is very hard to obtain. I network reactively most days and don’t browse the new pool of bloggers as much…Someone that just likes your posts doesn’t mean they are a spammer or they are trying to trick you…why not visit a few people today that just leave likes. Interact back and a bit further than them and see where it takes you. Networking is a push of many fronts, not just one.

My thought is this: “reactive” blogging is all well and good, and it obviously works for a lot of people. I opt for the proactive and interactive method, myself. Those who don’t want to interact with me aren’t going to, and all the helpful advice in the world isn’t going to change that. A reflex is a reaction, after all. It doesn’t take much time to do, and requires absolutely no thought.

Observing the blogging and commenting patterns of other bloggers, and making the casual comment about same, isn’t complaining. It shows that I’m actually reading and paying attention.

Isn’t that the important thing?

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Five On Friday: My Blogging Rules For Myself (Re-blogged)

This “5 on Friday” post from October deserves a re-blog. Happy Friday, everyone!

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Random Ramblings; Myriad Musings

Have you ever noticed this specific blogging phenomenon known as the “my blog is better than your blog” attitude? I see it often, and it always reminds me of high school interactions or shitty co-workers. These bloggers know everything about everything, and feel the need to troll or spam other bloggers with their arrogant, know-it-all personal attacks.

Some petty little asshat recently got all butthurt over me asking it to respect the boundaries of my blog. Sorry sunshine, you have your own blog. You do your shit your way, and I’ll keep on keeping on doing my shit my way. Because, you know, this is MY blog. I’ve never told you what to write, have I? That answer would be no. So, don’t tell me what to write, m’kay? It’s pretty fucking simple, but even simplicity is far above the heads of some.

With that, here are the five rules…

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Change Is Good

I’m pleased to say that some of the seeds planted over the past couple of years have finally begun to flourish and blossom! Looking forward to 2018 with a renewed sense of accomplishment. It will be time to travel again, and I can’t wait to set wheels back on the road.

Repetition and stagnation work for some. It has never worked for me. The proof is undeniable now.

Changes will be coming to my little blog in the new year. Nothing drastic, but it is well past time to do a bit of updating, fine-tuning, and re-branding. I hope that you will join me on the new adventures which are sure to follow!

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Notable Quotes: Vincent van Gogh

Writers, artists, and other creative, deep thinkers tend to say meaningful things which touch us in some way. Author, singer, actress, and poet Maya Angelou, as well as the poet Rumi, were two individuals who left behind some fantastic quotes that resonate with me. Noted artist Vincent van Gogh was another, and I was inspired to post these three van Gogh quotes after seeing a re-airing of one of my favourite Doctor Who episodes.

These quotes, along with many others, can be found on the GoodReads.com site in case you were interested in having a look.

“The fishermen know that the sea is dangerous and the storm terrible, but they have never found these dangers sufficient reason for remaining ashore.”
― Vincent van Gogh

“I try more and more to be myself, caring relatively little whether people approve or disapprove.”
― Vincent van Gogh

“Be clearly aware of the stars and infinity on high. Then life seems almost enchanted after all.”
― Vincent van Gogh

Working On a Post…

I’ll have it up in an hour or so! The inspiration for it hit me as I was crawling into bed last night, so I jotted it down for my brain to mull and muse on it while I slept.

Those of us who have our own, personal “brain-training” down pat, aren’t in need of the pseudo-science being sold by old, addle-pated scatterbrains!

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Excerpt: Seclusion (Re-blogged)

I’m putting the finishing touches on a few posts that will be published on a schedule over the weekend, since gaming will be of primary importance. Enjoy this re-blog of an excerpt from my 2016 NaNoWriMo fan fiction!

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Random Ramblings; Myriad Musings

She jolts awake. The nightmare, again. It haunts her, as it has every night for…how long has it been? Time has gotten away from her.

She rolls over on her back, staring at the root-canopy that forms this sizeable, yet well-concealed, den. It had been inhabited by a troll until recently; she had seen to its unceremonious eviction. Its pelt makes up the rough bed in which she was sleeping, while its decaying head rests on a boulder about five feet from the front entryway to the den. The presence and stench of it keeps away all intruders, including the nearby band of giants. They are only eight in number, so tending to their small herd of mammoths is of more importance than a dead troll. It is one less troll that will attempt to prey on the calves, and the smoke from their massive communal fire eliminates the stink…

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Five On Friday: My Blogging Rules For Myself

Have you ever noticed this specific blogging phenomenon known as the “my blog is better than your blog” attitude? I see it often, and it always reminds me of high school interactions or shitty co-workers. These bloggers know everything about everything, and feel the need to troll or spam other bloggers with their arrogant, know-it-all personal attacks.

Some petty little asshat recently got all butthurt over me asking it to respect the boundaries of my blog. Sorry sunshine, you have your own blog. You do your shit your way, and I’ll keep on keeping on doing my shit my way. Because, you know, this is MY blog. I’ve never told you what to write, have I? That answer would be no. So, don’t tell me what to write, m’kay? It’s pretty fucking simple, but even simplicity is far above the heads of some.

With that, here are the five rules that I have for myself when blogging, and have stuck to them from day one…for the most part!

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1. Don’t react to other people’s inane bullshit. What they say isn’t about you – and if it is, it is most likely baseless bullshit. If they don’t know you personally, then what they say is moot.

2. Respect the rules of another’s blog. If you aren’t sure what those rules are, then ask – don’t assume.

3. Don’t jump in the middle of a conversation in the comment sections of other people’s blogs, especially if you really don’t care about the topic being discussed. Saying something just to get attention is weak, and egging others on is pathetic. Let them duke it out verbally. Just grab the popcorn and watch the fun!

4. If you comment, be sure that the comment is about the topic. It makes no sense to mention murder victims on, say, a post about photography or planning a wedding – and yes, I have seen those very comments. It is also a good thing to keep in mind if responding to a person’s comment on a blog which isn’t yours or theirs. Derailing conversations is pathetic.

5. Last, but certainly not least: just have fun! Write, write, and write some more – there are no limits for the truly creative! Some people need prompts or other tips to get ideas, and that’s fine – not everyone is dependent on grade-school level topics. I find that adults tend to appreciate adult things, and ‘Adult’ doesn’t always mean sex-heavy or gratuitous pornography. For me, it means that I will use adult language from time to time!

Those are my personal blogging rules for myself, which spill over into gaming and any other online interaction I might engage in. They’re straightforward, and they work for me. With that, enjoy these three songs to get the weekend started early!

Happy Belated Blog-o-versary To Me!

Today is a perfect day to belatedly mark my own, personal blogging milestone: seven years and counting! I marked the event on the official day by re-blogging my sixth blog-o-versary post, which you can find here if you didn’t see it the first two times, LOL

I’m currently tweaking and adjusting my YouTube settings, as I have decided to begin doing the vlogging thing! Some of my gaming buddies have offered to help me with my live-streaming so guild events will become a more regular feature; possibly on a bi-monthly basis. Also, one of the larger in-game guilds that I belong to decided to have a Facebook-hosted guild page which is private and for guild members only, so I now have a Facebook page for socializing with my guild-mates outside of the game! It will be nice to be able to communicate with them on a more regular basis.

I firmly believe in “never say never” – it just took something worthwhile and of value for me to finally join the evil cult of Facebook, ROFLMAO! If you want to find me there don’t bother trying, as you won’t find me…BWWWAAHAHHAHAAAHAHAHAHAAAHHHHHH!

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I have enjoyed blogging for these past seven years, and don’t plan on quitting anytime soon! I might find things to dislike about blogging and the community in general, but that’s simply the way things are. Anything which involves interacting with other people is always going to bring the good, the bad, and the ugly things each person brings to the table at any given time. Me, I will keep on keeping on: this means having fun and being myself by writing and gaming; singing and dancing, and speaking out about things which might get overlooked and under-reported. I am also getting closer to my two main, short-term goals: getting my autobiography published, and finding the perfect tattoo artist!

When it comes to blogs which I read and / or follow, I still look for those related to outdoor activities, space exploration, wildlife, cooking, fashion, photography, travel, writing, gaming, music, or graphic novels and anime – or, any combination of the above! When one has many interests, it should be easy to meet others with similar interests anywhere, at any time…unless, like me, you prefer meeting people face-to-face!

Excerpt: Welcome Respite

*** Author’s Note: This is the first of some new excerpts of my fan-fiction, which was written during the NaNoWriMo challenge for 2016. I’m still debating on whether or not to participate in this year’s challenge, but I’ll be certain to let you know if I do!

© GDH 2016

Thunder rumbles overhead. This third storm in a fortnight heralds the changing of the seasons here in the tropical southwest of the continent. Steady rain falls and patters on the canvas tops of the merchant wagons at the trading post, the roofs of the various businesses and residences surrounding the merchant’s circle, and the carved stone top of the local transitus shrine.

Water runs down the curved stone pathway near the gated wall separating this province from the adjoining one; the extra security has been a necessity since the onset of the war. This pathway leads up the hill to a cozy cottage, which is nestled behind a stout wall comprised of well-laid stone and intricate steel latticework. Inside this cottage, coals burn low in the fireplace. A crystal glows with a soft, blue light in the corner closest to the door. This light is muted for the person slumbering in the canopied bed in the far corner, as it has been placed just behind a grand vase bristling with a large, healthy aloe-type plant.

A black cat stirs itself from under the bed, yawning and stretching as he emerges from the shadows. He looks up at the sleeping figure, then prowls to the door and exits through an opening which has been fashioned solely for his entry and egress. The figure in the bed shifts slightly, turning from her side onto her back, left arm behind her head and right arm resting across her chest.

A louder peal of thunder sounds. Sepultur’a’s eyes open to mere slits; she blinks a couple of times, smacks her lips, and stretches. The fine-woven cotton sheets are smooth on her freshly-scrubbed skin, both a courtesy of the laundry and spa in the distant city of the Orcs, far to the north. Her hair is bound in a silken snood, a small luxury item she allowed herself after weeks of wearing roughly-sewn jute under her heavy helm.

She remains in bed for a few moments, listening to the sound of the thunder, enjoying the soft noise of rain tapping on the peaked roof. The privacy and quiet is welcomed, and she smiles as she thinks again at what a wonderful gift this house is. She has heard that Canthiorn’s business is booming and thinks that paying him a visit is in order, as a hall for her own growing guild will be needed soon.

She pulls back the covers and sits up, stretching again. Standing, she moves to the fireplace and squats to adjust the flue, adding fresh kindling to the smoldering coals. As the fire takes hold, she prepares a kettle for tea and then tends to the meats which have been hanging and slow-cooking overnight. She bastes the hunks with the drippings captured, then turns them in a clockwise direction so that they will spin gently and roast to juicy perfection. Slicing off a strip of flesh, she nibbles it as she kneels near the cedar trunk at the foot of the bed. The cat slinks back inside, shaking water from his paws in an almost prissy manner, then saunters over to his mistress with a purr and curls around her ankles, clutching them with soft paws. “Good morning to you,” Sepultur’a says, rubbing one of his ears and sharing some of the meat.

After wiping the grease from her fingers, she opens the trunk and pulls out a tunic and a pair of soft, loose-fitting trousers. Her underclothes are draped over the back of the chair at her desk; she pulls them on, dons her outer garments, and pours a cup of tea. She moves to the door, opens it, and steps out onto the covered front porch, leaving the door ajar so the fresh air can circulate throughout the cottage.

A bright flash of lightning lights up the courtyard, the reflection caught in the windows of the guard-towers above. Sepultur’a begins to count, barely getting to the number five before a deafening clap of thunder sounds. The storm is nearly overhead. She sits on the steps, just out of reach of the rain, holding her mug of tea in both hands. The mug is warm as she inhales the delicate scent of the tea. She blows over the top of it and sips at it lightly, enjoying the minty taste.

The courtyard has flourished with life since she took ownership of the house, with unique blooms cropping up in various corners. The dark plant with glowing fronds of deep purple still has its place just inside of the courtyard gate. The glow is now captured and refracted by bits of crystal which have mysteriously appeared, seemingly of their own accord. Another odd plant has begun to grow near the well. She has seen many like it in the lands of the Dark Elves; tentacle-frond plants which seem to possess a rudimentary sentience. This one waves its tentacles at Sepultur’a whenever she draws water from the well, as if saying “hello” to her. On one occasion she had extended a hand towards it to see if it would respond, and the tentacles had clasped her fingers with a gentle caress.

A winged toad creeps out from a crevice in the wall of the cliff, regards Sepultur’a for a moment and then hops to the well. With a clumsy flapping of its stubby wings, it perches on the edge and sits, blinking in a slow, sleepy manner. It puffs out a bit of flame to toast a large dragonfly which buzzed within its range, then flicks out its tongue to catch the smoldering husk as it falls.

Sepultur’a leans her head back against the wooden railing of the porch, holding her mug of tea and closing her eyes, listening to the thunder and the soft sound of the falling rain. It is good to be home.

5 On Friday: My Excerpts! (Re-blogged)

Bonus re-blog: five of my fan-fiction excerpts! New ones will be posted in October.

Random Ramblings; Myriad Musings

Happy Friday, everyone! I’ve selected five excerpts from my fan-fiction-related short story for today’s installment of my “Five on Friday” posts, in preparation for a more regular schedule of my writings. I also added a few new screen-shots for the viewing enjoyment of all!

I hope that your respective weekends are off to a great start. Mine certainly is!

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Festivities: This excerpt details some of the goings-on during a celebratory dinner.

Comeuppance: Revenge is a dish best served cold, as detailed in this brief tale.

Seclusion: Self-driven solitude is a necessity, at times – for the protection of others, as well as oneself.

The Wild Hunt: A cure for an illness comes in an unexpected ritual.

The Entertainer: Confidence can be earned, and learned, from the most obscure sources.

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