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.
Reinvent the Letter Writing 101
Today’s assignment is to reinvent the letter. May I ask what you mean? What is a letter other than a consonant or vowel used to make words? If you are referring to the archaic communication method of using a pen or pencil, paper, envelope and stamps to share my thoughts and feelings with another person in another location, I need to inform you that letter writing is a long-lost art. Today’s emotions, news, achievements, worries, love etc are shared via electronic media. Cell phones, Twitter, Instagram, E-mail, Facebook, WordPress there are so many ways that modern people share their lives. Lives are now on public display. It is old-fashioned thinking to consider a letter. Why would anyone want to share private thoughts, concerns and emotions with just another person? Why would anyone want to hold in his/her hand a piece of paper which shows someone else took time out of his/her busy schedule to put words to paper?
Of course I am being sarcastic but unfortunately, what I wrote is much too true for today’s generation. Communication is quick and efficient but not necessarily heartfelt. There are too many shortcuts, abbreviations and a real lack of time spent thinking about what they are writing. Words and thoughts are shared that will remain in cyberspace forever but most likely will not be remembered by anyone.
A real letter, words put to paper or card, share emotion in so many ways. Is there a hint of scent that reminds you of home? Of a lover? Of a friend? is the penmanship steady or does it show signs of age or worry or impatience? Is it descriptive, full of colorful words or does the writer choose simple words that feel as though the writer is holding back? How many times do you hold the letter? Smell the letter? Reread the letter? Save the letter?
I have a box of letter and cards that my ex-husband and I wrote when we were dating. While my marriage suffered an untimely death when my ex decided he had for 30 years a foot out the door. I have those letters and cards which speak of hopes, dreams and love. They are there for my children and any future generations to read, to hold, to smell and to get to know us 100 years from now.
One Word Challenge
How do you know that one choice can change your life?
Will it be a choice that leads to happiness?
Or will it bring heartache and sorrow?
One choice only to realize you discarded 999 others.
999 other choices which would lead you to a different life.
A better life?
A happier life?
A life without pain and grief?
A life filled with loved ones who love you in return?
Another choice may not give you your precious daughters.
Another choice might not give you loving friends.
Another choice may be full of poverty
Poverty of the mind, heart and soul.
one made each day
always leading us where we go
and 999 other left unexplored
Opening and closing doors.
A list of my favorite female book characters
Listed in no particular order as all of them have touched me in someway equally.
- Anne Shirley created by Lucy Maud Montgomery
- Demelza Carne Poldark created by Winston Graham
- Melanie Hamilton and Scarlett O’Hara created by Margaret Mitchell
- Claire Beauchamp Randall Fraser created by Diana Gabaldon
- Elizabeth Bennet Darcy and Emma Woodhouse Knightley created by Jane Austen
- Jo March created by Louisa May Alcott
- Madeline created by Ludwig Bemelmans
Any of the strong southern women created by Mary Kay Andrews
- Heidi created by Johanna Spyri
- Margaret Simon by Judy Blume
Why do I write?
I write because my head is full of words
I write because my head is full of dreams
I write because my head is full of ideas
I write because I have a voice
a voice unheard
Another Writing Link
As I keep researching for help with writing, I come across sites that have suggestions on ways to help you write. They all offer something a little different and I thought this one was interesting.
How do you know?
For all of you bloggers and readers out there, how did you know you were living where you belonged? If your place of residence was not your choice but the choice of your partner or company, how did you go about making it feel like home? If made the choice to move, how did you decide where to go? I moved quite a few times between the ages of 9 and 14 every time my father received a business promotion. As a child, of course you don’t have a choice, you go where ever your parents take you. Then I married and moved again to my ex-husband’s home state followed by a move to Texas when he was hired at AA. I lived in the Dallas area for 30 years and recently relocated to Austin.
I feel unsettled. I never chose Texas as a home but as long as I was married, it’s where I belonged. Now that I am divorced, I have a choice where to live. I moved to Austin to be closer to a daughter, but she and her husband have their own lives. And I don’t anticipate that they will permanently reside in Temple, TX which means in less than four years, there is a good chance they will be relocating. So where do I go? How do I decide? My finances are limited so an apartment on 5th Avenue in NYC is not an option nor is an oceanfront property in Seattle.
So I am asking you to send me either places to consider or questions I should ask myself before I move. In my life I have lived where it get extremely hot and extremely cold, so any type of weather is fine. I just can’t go somewhere that has mostly cloudy as the general forecast. I have some time to decide and plan, so let me hear from you.
Who Shall it be?
I have one assignment from Blogging 101 that I have left unfinished. We were to decide whom our audience will be. I know having a specific audience increases your opportunity to have more followers. I have a book review blog which clearly is aimed at readers. Daphne’s Book List and I have a blog called Living Like Demelza where I write about the qualities of Demelza Poldark. She is a character by Winston Graham in the Poldark series. I am striving to be more like Demelza.
So who is the audience for this blog, Life Rewritten. I think I will focus on people who want to expand their life experience. It is so easy to stick to your routine and never try anything new, even if it’s close by. This is my own personal challenge right now. I used to be very adventurous but since my divorce, I have become a hermit and this has to stop. This is no way to live and I can’t continue like this.
So my audience will be those of you who are looking to expand your life experiences through all sorts of means. I won’t focus one thing, say travel. I am going to add New Experience Recap Wednesday. Every Wednesday post a link in the comment section to what you new experience you tried that week. Was it a new recipe? A new restaurant? Make a new friend? Go to a new place? Just write about your experience and tag it NewExperienceRecapWednesday.
One Day a Decision
The air was still heavy with humidity. 10:30 pm and the temperature was still hovering around 98 degrees. I had decided to walk the short distance because I was confident it would be much cooler by now. Seriously it was October 1st and it felt like the middle of summer. My heels were killing me. I wanted to take them off, but without street lights my fear of stepping on something disgusting kept them on.
I didn’t need an alarm clock, not once I had children. Prior to that time, an alarm clock was a necessity. Now that the girls were in school, my own body clock woke me everyday without fail around 6:30 am. The sun wasn’t quite up yet. We still had another month before we moved the clocks an hour backwards. The darker sky always made rising a little more difficult. My husband snored soundly next to me. Getting up with the girls wasn’t something he ever did and I had given up trying. I made my way upstairs, carefully kissed each of my sweet daughters, rubbing their backs and instructing them to get up for school. They never complained, not yet any way.
I took my time walking. The cooler temperatures indoors should have made me pick up my pace, but I couldn’t face home yet. Having just spent several hours in the company of eleven other women made me question my judgement. This happened every month, every first Wednesday. It had happened for the past ten years, ever since we started meeting. The sighing came naturally and without much thought. I was just happy to be alone so no one could question my mood. Somehow I always managed to stay lighthearted on these nights. Even after all of these years, no one had ever looked beyond the surface to see the unhappiness behind the eyes.
Breakfast was always a quiet time at our home. I read the paper, the girls ate and it wasn’t until they were finished any of us were awake enough to talk. Quickly upstairs to finish getting ready for school, I cleaned up the kitchen while they finished. I had already been up an hour and my husband, their dad was still in bed. I had stopped resenting his lack of help in the morning and had begun to cherish my time alone with the girls. There was something almost sacred about those morning hours. There hadn’t been a chance to muddy the day with worries or responsibilities that at times felt overwhelming as I faced them alone. We lived close to the school, but it was my joy to walk them through the park, over the creek bridge and through the small grove of trees that separated us from the school. A quick kiss and hug, and they headed off for the last of the walk alone.
However, I had hoped someone would remember, but no. The evening transpired like always. We chatted, got ourselves a beverage and took our places at one of the three tables. The night was punctuated with yells of delight as someone had rolled three sixes, a bunco. When had first gathered to play this silly game of bunco, we focused on the game and seemed to complete many rounds. If we won, we moved to the next table, losers stayed. But as the years passed, we played fewer games and spent the majority of the evening talking. My feet wouldn’t make it much further in these heels. I needed to pick up my pace if possible. I was surprised to find myself filled with disappointment. I was almost 40 years old, much too mature to be disappointed over something so childish. However, I had hoped someone would remember, but no.
My husband was waiting for me when I came back from dropping the girls off at school. He was waiting for me to make him breakfast. He wasn’t much of a talker and while he read the paper religiously, he never really expressed any opinion about the world, national or even local politics. He announced he had made plans to meet friends that day. They were going to have lunch and go look at the newest boats. As a pilot he was often off during the week and this enabled him to meet his fellow pilot friends. He never asked me what my plans were for the day. He never did. I swear I could feel the crack in my heart grow. My day was spent at home with the typical responsibilities you’d expect a full-time mother and wife to have.
Turning the corner I could see my house. My shirt was now dampened all down my back and clung between my breasts. I made the last of the walk without my shoes. The pain finally over ruled my fear of stepping into something I’d regret. I couldn’t bring myself to go inside, not yet. I sat on the bench in our yard and looked at the sky. It was cloudy so the stars weren’t visible and it made for a darker night. Was that a message? The darkness of the night? I couldn’t see a point of light anywhere. I could feel the tears begin and I fought with all I had to hold them in, but to no avail. I sat on that bench as it neared 11 pm that Wednesday night. Crying for what I had didn’t have and crying for the blessing I did have.
After school was filled with homework, snacks and dinner. The girls talked animatedly about their day. I never failed to ask the same two questions. What was the most interesting or unusual thing you learned today. And what was the silliest thing you learned or did today. Those questions always managed to bring forth a fount of information. I had learned early on the simple how was school, never elicited more than a blank yes or no. The three of us had a lively conversation and after dinner I waited, but nothing. My husband left the table, grabbed a beer and headed upstairs to his home theater. The girls were old enough I didn’t need to leave written instructions for my husband but I did it anyway.
Now sitting on the bench, I realized I had to make a decision. Would I continue to live a life that on the surface looked wonderful but underneath was empty and lacking in love? My gut said it was time to go, to leave. My heart said I was being silly to be upset over something so childish. My head argued back that this was not a one time oversight. This happened year after year and it was a sign of something deeper. Just like the darkened, starless night was speaking to me and telling me there would be no light in my life as long as I stayed. My heart spoke back reminding me of my beautiful children, comfortable life and the promise I had made all those years ago. My heart said I was being superficial. My head said it was just another strong message of how little I was valued. All I knew, was at that moment I couldn’t make any decision. All I could do was pick up my shoes, unlock the door and head upstairs for a quick shower. I would consider everything tomorrow in the light of the day. I would reexamine my life but not today, not on my birthday.
Writing 101 Vignettes
I blew on the window and saw old Jack Frost. Taking my finger, I drew a heart but as quickly as it was drawn, it was gone. Is that what love was like? Was it there one minute and gone the next? Did it come in on the wind and leave with the rain? This is a question I couldn’t answer. And no matter how many time my breath gave me canvas to draw on the window pane, t never gave me the answer I was seeking. The love I was seeking was never there.
She sits at the table and stares out the window. It’s a cold day, the wind is blowing and frost forms on the glass panes. Even from across the room, I can feel her longing. She doesn’t move. I am not even sure she blinks. I do see her reach for the glass. She never draws anything but a heart. And the heart, the love never lasts. It always fades away before she has a chance to capture it.
The house looks so warm. The snow is slowly growing deeper. The flakes are large and heavy, sticking to my hat, coat and gloves as I make my way towards my car. I see her everyday looking out the window. She never smiles. I wave to her but she never waves back. Even from here, I can sense something is right. Sometimes there is a heart on the window, but before I can tell if she has written something else, it has faded.
Why doesn’t she look my way? Why doesn’t she feel my love? I reach out to her. Doesn’t she see that? Maybe My love doesn’t come in the manner which she expects. I am not a knight in shining armor. I won’t marry her. I won’t forcibly move her from the chair and the window, but I will wait. I will wait patiently. She used to know me. We used to spend time together, quietly talking and listening. But she turned her eyes away and lost sight of what matters. Now she sits and draws hearts on the frosted window pane, when all the love she will ever need is here with Me, her Lord.