Does anyone have any suggestions on how to build your blog readership? I am wanting to change directions with my blog and try to expand my followers. For all experienced bloggers, I’d appreciate any suggestions.
I am a collector of books. Typically I read every book I buy but sometimes I buy a book that requires interaction. This summer I purchased the above Experience Passport from Chronicle Books. It gives 45 ways to broaden your horizon without going anywhere. Since my life circumstances have changed, it is unlikely I will be doing any extensive traveling again. I thought this looked like a way to have fun and push myself out of the cocoon I have created for myself.
Some of the suggestions are easier to accomplish than others but all will open up my life to new possibilities. You don’t have to do them in any particular order. I’ve done #2, #7 and #26. I will share some of the things I learn while using my experience passport. Care to travel with me?
#26 Favorite quotes from an award winning piece of fiction. I will share one quote from Still Life by Louise Penny.
“Life is change. If you aren’t growing and evolving, you’re standing still and the rest of the world is surging ahead.”
When I look into the mirror who do I see?
Who is that woman looking at me?
Is it the girl who had big daydreams,
Of love, adventure and French sunbeams?
Is it the teenager who doubted every decision she made?
The insecure girl who found herself betrayed?
Is it the young woman in love and ready to embark on life?
Or the woman whose husband sliced her heart with a knife?
Is it the mother blessed with two compassionate girls
Who has the love from two of God’s precious pearls?
Is it the woman who is past her prime?
Watching the clock and hearing the tick tock of time?
Or is it the woman who has fought and struggled to reclaim her life?
Learning new lessons, knowledge and how to deal with strife?
One image placed upon another to reflect not just one woman’s soul
But a blending of each reflection so she can learn she’s not broken but whole.
Wrap up challenge
I learned that while writing can be expressive if unchecked it can turn depressive. I learned the world of bloggers has many kind and caring people. I was reminded how much I love words and writing. And I challenge myself to write a novel by 12-31-16. Thanks everyone
“We read to know we’re not alone.” -William Nicholson, Shadowlands
I read everyday. It’s not unusual for me to read one book in two days. I read because I am alone. I am always alone. Except for the group I meet with three times a week, I see no one and I talk to no one.
Isolation is not a good thing but it is an addictive thing. It creeps up on you unexpectedly. One day turns to two and two turns into three and before you know it a week, a month goes by.
I never intended to be in this place of loneliness. This deep, dark well of drowning sadness. Someone born without a soul stole mine. And I won’t steal someone’s soul because I no longer have one. That is cruel and evil.
Everyday gets more difficult. Everyday is longer than the last. Everyday I think it will be my last.
50 word challenge
I went slightly over but I can never remember if one and two letter words count towards the total.
56 years of living a lie
Believing without questioning
You’re not enough
You won’t win
You prove how smart you are
You will do something and I will leave
No longer seeing your reflection
The spark, the joy smothered by words
Someone takes your hand at 56 years
They wipe away the hurt, the emptiness
They plant the seed of belief
Belief that you are enough
Belief you will win
Belief you are worthy of love
Belief you will never be abandoned
Belief in tomorrow
Poldark by Winston Graham
Have you ever read a book that is timeless? I believe Poldark is just that.A book written in the 1940s about life in the late 18th and early 19th centuries in Cornwall, England. The struggles faced then are as relevant as the ones we face today. Ross Poldark is a soldier just returning home from a war which was lost. He learns not only has the love of his life, Elizabeth agreed to marry his wealthy cousin Francis but his father is dead and his small estate in ruin.
Heartbroken Ross pours himself into his farm and reopening the mine on his land. Unlike his cousin Francis and his wife Elizabeth, Ross was never separated apart from the people on his father’s land. He grew up with the sons of the miners. They were his friends despite the huge difference in their social status. Ross’s experience in the war has given him a clearer perspective on life and the injustices he sees everyday in Cornwall and England.
Miners are forced to poach game to keep their families from starving while the gentry live a life of luxury which is paid for on the backs of the workers, the miners. Justice is only justice if it serves the gentry well because while they say all are equal before the law, that is not how it is actually carried out.
Ross finds himself torn between what he knows in his heart is right and what the people of his class tell him is right. It is the unexpected love and faith he finds in a young girl, a miner’s daughter, that helps Ross find his way.
He stumbles. He fails. He succeeds. He’s torn between love for two women. He carries on doing his best.
Aren’t these the same challenges we face today? The divide between the rich and poor growing. The idea that some are born to succeed and others to fail. Aren’t we struggling to find true justice in our court systems? Not justice for some but justice for all? Aren’t we fighting for education, jobs and the disenfranchised? Aren’t we working to save the men and women who return from war some broken and scarred changed forever? For soldiers who can’t find employment and face poverty? Aren’t we seeking our voice and our right to be heard even if we are poor or a minority or just the plain forgotten?
When Winston Graham published Poldark, World War II had just ended. His country was facing the very same challenges Ross faced when he returned from fighting the American War of Independence. The only difference is Britain won WWII and lost the AmericanRevolution but the returning soldiers faced the same fights as Ross did 150 years earlier. And now in the 21st century we are facing our biggest battle, the fight of ideology. Will we win this world war of terrorism imposed by the few on the many?
This is absolutely my favorite book series and I hope you find the time to read not just Poldark but all twelve books.
Catching up with a friend
I never thought we would be apart for so many years. It seems like only yesterday we were young mothers raising our children. Struggling to make ends meet. Somehow we always managed to find the fun and humor in every day. But where have the years gone? When I look at you I see the same, sparkling young woman I met almost 30 years ago. You have the same spirit, creativity and joy for life. Now you are securely planted with a family of one husband, five children, four in-laws, nine grandchildren, a variety of pets and two spectacular homes. There is no one I’ve ever met that deserves happiness more than you do.
Me you ask? My life took an entirely different path than your own. I do have two lovely children and one son-in-law but I’ve lost everything else. My husband left me. I lost my home. I lost my friends. I lost my community. I lost all security. I even lost my faith for awhile. I lost my desire to see another day.
Why didn’t you know? Because you never asked. I don’t blame you. When a life is as full and rich as your’s is, time goes by quickly, like a flash of lightening. When life is broken and empty as mine is, time feels like a loud ticking clock. With each movement of the hand, it reminds you life is passing by and you don’t get a second chance. I don’t know if I don’t reach in for life enough or if when I do life spits me out. Honestly it feels like the second one.
I hope dear friend that we don’t go years without talking or seeing each other. I love you and always will.
A hand gripped her heart, squeezing, refusing to let go. Her only choice was to grab the bottle of Xanax. It would be the only way she would be able to get through this evening. An evening surround by her old life, her old friends with the reminder this would never be hers again.
The bride a woman who was taking a step down that unknown path of marriage. All this woman could see is the red headed baby girl she helped welcome into the world. Escorted down the aisle by her parents, the parents who were friends but had abandon this lonely guest when the divorce happened.
The reception. The unexpected on slaught of faces which she doesn’t remember. Wondering how after all this time they could remember her, her name but their faces, their names held no place in her memory. Having to explain that no she was no longer married and seeing faces full of pity and shock when she said her ex was an alcoholic and sexual predator, which left her with no option but divorce. Explaining homelessness was just months away.
Left alone at the table as happy couples dance, a stabbing reminder she is on the outside. An untouchable now, no longer part of any plans for the future. No happiness or joy in her future.
The wine, followed by more wine mingling with the Xanax to create a sense of who gives a damn, certainly not this unloved woman. Faces across the room she longed to see, to speak to but knew the importance of remaining in her seat. They had the need to shield themselves from the truth of her pain and their failure to be there when she needed them.
The casual promises to stay in touch, knowing they were empty words. Feeling the emptiness in a room full of people, full of love and full of life. How can someone be so alone when surrounded by so many? A mirage, nothing but the timeless illusion couples go through only to find life isn’t a happily ever after tale. It’s a path full of road blocks, potholes, turns and yes sometimes unexpected joy or unexpected heart break.
The wedding. The people. The love. The emptiness. The mirage. Life.
Writing 101 what do I do when I’m not writing?
I have too much free time in my life right now and should spend more time writing but I spend a lot of time reading for pleasure and also to review on my book blog Daphne’s Booklist. So you can find me at Half Price books at least once a week.
I meet three times a week with a support group.
And after discovering The Great British Sewing Bee, my love of sewing has been renewed which means taking some classes to get my skills back up to snuff.
Since the major life shift three years ago, I’ve not done much. It’s only been in the last few months I’ve began to engage in life again.