How To Give Your Blog a Facelift

June:  Go on WordPress while bored at work.  Think about how your blog could use a facelift.  Decide to look around at the themes.  Try one out and do some customizing.  Abandon it.  Pick another and play with customizing.  Abandon it.  Think that you really need to pick a new theme but they all seem to require you to actually take a picture and upload it.  Go on Goodreads and look at your recommendations.

July:  Get notification that it’s your third Blogiversary!  Think that you should really get serious about updating your theme.  It’s been two years since you picked the old one.  Look at the themes again and write down three that you like.  Make a mental note to do it on the weekend when you’re bored.

August:  Go on WordPress while bored at work.  Decide to look at the themes again.  Search one that is good for text and doesn’t focus on photos.  Find a good one and start customizing.  Decide you don’t like the suggested header images.  Search for a header image.  Abandon search when you can’t find one in the right dimensions.  Look at Facebook.

September:  Go back to the theme you played with last month.  Change the color scheme.  Decide there is one suggested header image that really is kinda cool.  Change your title font.  Update your tagline because even though you’re not 30 yet it took you this long to get a new theme, so.  Click Activate.

Et voila!  Hope you like it!

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Deep Water

Back in December a friend of mine suggested that the members of our church group ask the Lord to give us words for the coming year.  Mine were growth and friendship.

Now, I knew better than to try to predict what the year was going to look like based on two words.  But I admit I thought it would look something like God calling me to serve somewhere in the church and I would build deeper relationships with my friends at group.  My dog died in March so I thought maybe that was a sign God was going to send me somewhere. Or send me someone.  I wouldn’t have any strings.  I could go anywhere and do anything.

After seven months of 2016, I feel more isolated and alone than I think I ever have.  I feel distant from my group.  I don’t feel any call to serve at the church.  I haven’t been on a date in over a year and I feel really rejected.  All I want to do is read and write and sleep.  I’m moody, snappish, fatigued.

And somehow, I feel like I’m exactly where I should be.  When I read, I feel like me.  When I write, I feel like I’m moving forward.

I can feel myself changing.  It’s almost like gears and cogs moving around inside me, making me into something new.  It’s very hard to describe.  It’s like I’m becoming a hybrid of my hard, surly teen self and the much more loving and compassionate twenty something self.

I know I’ve been chosen for a different path.  I’ve always been different from everybody else.  I’m getting better at appreciating that.  He’s leading me somewhere.  I know it.  I just can’t see it.

This is deep water.  This is where a lot of Christians fear to go.  It’s much easier to go to church and visit God than to bring Him home with you.

But this is where you find out who you are.  When it’s hard and uncomfortable and you can’t see any point in it.  When the water is over your head and you have nothing but Jesus’s hand pulling you up and Him saying “Oh, ye of little faith.”  This is where you let Him pull you out.

This is where you walk on the water.

#52

This is my 52nd post on this blog. I have now posted 52 times. I’m sure that means nothing to you but it means something to me. After I started this blog in July of 2013, it didn’t take long for me to get discouraged. By the fall I was ready to just pack it in. The blog would go down as yet another project that I started and didn’t follow through with. But then I made a deal with myself. I decided that I couldn’t give up on the blog until I had posted 52 times no matter how long that took. Why 52? It corresponds to the number of weeks in a year. Another goal I had was to post each week. I don’t know if that will ever be possible but I made good on my original deal. I posted 52 times.

This is a big accomplishment for me because I’m notorious for having big ideas and ambitions and then just abandoning them and starting something else. This blog is the biggest project I have stuck with and I don’t plan on stopping now. That pact I made almost two years ago got me over the hump and showed me it’s not about how many views you get. It’s about the enjoyment I get out of posting, no matter who sees it. It’s about practicing for other writing projects I want to pursue. It’s about being motivated and disciplined in a creative area. And it’s an outlet I need to pursue. Here’s to another 52!

Writing About Nothing

I think there’s something to be said for writing about the fact that you have nothing to write about. At least you’re writing something, am I right? Even if it’s nothing. Does that make any sense?

For the last few days I have been so lethargic and unproductive and it’s making me moody and whiny. I’m still going to work and doing my job but that’s all I’m doing. I haven’t written anything for this blog and I haven’t cleaned my toilet or changed my sheets even though I probably should have done those things a week ago. The only thing productive I’ve done is successfully watch the second season of Orange is the New Black. (That’s totally important!)

Possible explanations for my condition include but are not limited to:

1. Summer laziness ingrained from the school schedule.

2. Actual permanent laziness.

3. Ovulation. (No, seriously, guys. It’s the middle of my cycle and I always know when it’s coming because I get really pissed off at everything. But I’m too tired to be pissed so maybe it’s not my baby factory.)

4. Lack of sleep.

5. Lack of a life.

Gotta say my money is on #5. The last thing I did was go see the Jersey Boys movie with my parents. I had to pee halfway through but in a room full of retirees I was not going to be the one to get up and go to the bathroom. I’m glad that I’m not super busy at work during the summer because we go through hell all winter but it just highlights that I don’t have a lot going on. And of course this is the time the church takes a break from everything so there aren’t any small groups going on. I really enjoyed the last one. Probably because it made me feel a little more like a member of society and a little less like a hermit.

And then I swing the other way and say that I should just enjoy this quiet time when I don’t have to satisfy the needs of a boyfriend or change diapers or decide if Junior can squeeze in one more activity. I’ve got time. And it’s all on God’s time anyway, am I right?

Dear Bookcaps

I want that hour of my life back.  That’s right, the hour I spent reading The Fantastic Mr. Anderson.  I bought this little biography of one of my favorite directors, Wes Anderson,  hoping it would give me some insight into his career and influences.  I was sorely disappointed.  I believe the review I posted on Amazon pretty much sums up my feelings on the subject.

“This book is truly awful. If you want a well-researched, well-written biography this is not the one to get.  It’s filled with typos, misspellings, and terrible sentence structure. It looked like a first draft.  Seriously, how did this get published? The bibliography consists of IMDB, Wikipedia, and Youtube.  If you’ve seen the films, this book doesn’t tell you anything you didn’t already know.  And if you haven’t, I wouldn’t trust this book as it lists Olivia Wilde as having played Ms. Cross in Rushmore.  It was actually Olivia Williams.  And Bill Murray did not play Henry in The Royal Tenenbaums. He played Margot’s husband, Raleigh St. Clair.  My advice, steer clear of this one.”

And that’s being kind.  You claim to be writing these books to help people learn about little-known subjects.  I fail to see how this helps anyone.  I imagine the Wikipedia pages are better written than this book.  It astounds me that it was even published in that condition.  A simple proofread would have made a world of difference.  Not to mention actual editing.  Obviously, that never crossed your mind.  I’m also shocked that you had the nerve to charge money for it.  Now that I think about it, I want my three dollars back too.

 Sincerely,

Kim

Seriously, what is going on with publishing these days?  Obviously, the internet has made it possible for anyone to publish whatever they write, whether it’s good or not.  That’s not a bad thing.  But when you are being paid to write, I expect something more.  And that goes for news organizations and entertainment magazines as well.  I have read articles about one of my favorite bands where the info is just plain wrong.  Things like ages and when and where things took place.  A quick trip to the Wiki would have cleared that right up.  But this professional writer (professional, y’all) just couldn’t be bothered.  If the facts about my favorite band were wrong, how can I trust the things printed about someone I’m unfamiliar with?

And don’t even get me started on proofreading.  It is sad the state of news articles online.  They are riddled with typos, bad diction, and awkward sentence structure.  Do these people have Journalism degrees?  If so, did any of their classes actually require them to learn to write?  I really think it comes back to laziness.  It’s five minutes out of your life to read over what you just wrote and clean up the typos but that’s just too much to ask.  It must not matter to your boss either since it got published that way.

Okay, rant over.  But come on, man.  If you’re going to write, please have some respect for the art and do it justice.

Daily Prompt: Origin Story (or The Meaning of Blog Life)

I’ve only posted a few times on this blog and really I haven’t even had it a week but since today’s Daily Prompt is the origin of your blog I figured now is as good a time as any to give a little back story.

I’ve been having a few rough years.  Work has been difficult, I haven’t had much luck in the dating world, and I’ve been feeling like a failure.  Right out of college I attempted grad school to get the Masters in Accounting.  That didn’t work out.  I did get a good job though.  I spent the first two years of my working life trying to make a relationship happen.  I spent time on different dating sites and on bad first dates.  A blog or two is forthcoming on that.  I was convinced that if I just had a boyfriend everything would be so much better.  I would be on my way to becoming a true adult and I could be like all my Facebook friends.  Another seems to get married or have a baby every week.  I thought I could apply the mantra of “hard work pays off” to finding a mate.

Over the last two years, I’ve just given up on dating.  The stress of work and being down on myself for not attaining what I thought I was supposed to have by my mid-twenties was becoming overwhelming.  A few weeks ago I discovered some blogs on WordPress.  People were talking about themselves in a public forum and some were even expressing the same thoughts and feelings I’d been having.  I’ve never considered myself a writer but I thought I could give it a shot.  No one may ever read this but just knowing that I put my thoughts down on paper and committed it to the internet is enough for me.  It’s made me finally accept that my life is what it is right now and no amount of striving is going to change that.  Sometimes it’s better to just let life happen.  And in the meantime, writing about everything seems to give me some purpose outside of eating, sleeping, and working.

So in short, this blog is kinda like therapy for me.  It’s been cathartic getting this crap out of my head and sharing it with the world, whether anyone reads it or not.  I don’t know how long I’ll keep up the blog.  If it stops being fun, I’ll quit.  I may not always be funny or even interesting but I will be me and that’s the most important thing.