Be Yourself!

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Image from http://www.zazzle.co.nz

Being an eejit I decided to read up on the ‘How to Blog’ sections of WordPress after I had already signed up and posted a couple of times. I’ve said it before and I will say it a million more times, I am not the brightest pixie in the forest!

My approach to learning is rather lazy. I’ll find as much reading material as I can about my chosen subject matter, and then proceed to skim the pages until I locate the information I require. If it’s something that matters to me it will stick in my brain, meaning the papers get discarded and I ultimately become bored because I achieved my original goal.

Had I read all the information with regards to blogging before hand, the chances are I would never have started, and even though I already had a few followers, I still felt I was doomed for failure. I was just not ordered and disciplined enough to follow all the guidelines.

Everyone advised me that in order to succeed I had to pick a subject and stick to it ensuring I had a consistent theme running throughout. That was a huge problem for me. You see I am good at little bits and pieces of many things but I am not a master of any. I knew myself that if I chose this path then I would stumble at the first hurdle.

It takes a while initially to find your feet, and it takes even longer to become truly comfortable in your surroundings. Do I feel comfortable yet? The honest answer to that would have to be, probably not. I still worry each time I publish a post. I practically had a mini meltdown the first time I posted on Okay, What If?, just ask Jed.

I had this idea at the start that I was going to be fine and post anything I wanted as I was essentially posting to strangers, but over time I got to know the strangers and they became friends and then like a second family and I realised that I cared what they thought.

I write about anything and everything that comes to mind. Sometimes I don’t write anything at all, especially on the days when the Mothership is experiencing turbulence. On those days anxiety cripples me and I find it hard to function, never mind string together a legible sentence.

I’ve been lucky, everyone who has clicked the follow button either likes my haphazard style of writing, or has been too polite to mention anything. One sure thing is, none of them have ever told me I need to pick a subject and stick to it. I’m still amazed I have any followers at all. 10 months on and I still experience a little rush of delight from every like, comment and follow.

So the point of this post is, never mind what the guidelines advise you to do. Just do what you want to do. I have a very strong belief now, after being lucky enough to find all the people that I have, that those who are meant to be around, and with you will find you, we’re all here for a reason.

I don’t want to be rich or famous, I just want to make people smile :)

Don’t be afraid of the dark!

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Image by Jim Pennucci

Imagine WordPress is a lake, where the waters are calm and still. This morning when I opened the reader, something felt different, almost like a storm was brewing. There were ripples on the normally smooth surface of the water. Sadness, people leaving, people hurting, it kind of knocked me for six a little.

When I started blogging I have to admit I was a little scared. Sure I had experience of WordPress before, but that was on a self hosted blog that no one ever read. The first couple of months contained many days of me stumbling around in the dark trying to find my way, experimenting and generally teaching myself how to publish a post.

For the first while you hang around unseen, watching and hoping one day you are brave enough to comment on that post that you really liked. You quickly find all the ‘cool’ blogs, because those are the ones everyone gravitates to. You don’t feel worthy to be seen, so you observe from a distance, thinking, ‘when I grow up, I want to be a blog just like that one.’

You feel that every post you write deserves to be Freshly Pressed and obsessively check your e-mails in case you delete that precious message by mistake. Then when you have the time you actually check out some of the posts that have been given the award and reality slaps your resoundly about the face when you realise that if that’s the standard that is required then it’s never coming your way. As time goes on you realise it doesn’t matter anyway, there are much more worthwhile reasons to blog.

Still you hanker after the cool blogs, liking and commenting in the hopes of being noticed, because after all that’s what you are advised to do, get yourself out there and make new friends. Your pride is a little dented when after a month you have still gone unnoticed,  but a few strangers stop by to say hello.

The strangers become friends, and bring some of their own along. The craic is good and before you know it you are visiting the cool blogs less and less. You have the approval of the people that matter to you, and that’s more than enough.

One day you realise that all blogs are the same, because they are being run by humans and humans make mistakes. Don’t let anyone make you feel less than worthy, appreciate those who already think you are good enough.

Don’t be afraid of the dark, and don’t be dazzled by bright lights, it’s all the little ones that come when you least expect it that light your way! Don’t give up, they will find you.

Feeling Humbled!

-Dear-Followers

I’ve had a few new followers of late, thank you very much and you are more than welcome. My apologies for the fact that I have not been along personally to thank you, but you see I never did that with any of the old hands and I don’t want to hear any cries of discrimination. People seem to just happen along and hang around, adding bits and pieces every now and again and that’s just the way I like it. I hope you’ll enjoy your stay. There’s a great bunch of folks who visit, I’m sure you’ll get to know them soon enough.

The addition of new followers to my blog has also meant the addition of new material to my reader. I love it when people introduce themselves, because the chances are I would never have found them otherwise. For some reason, my ‘You May Like’ section usually throws up the same 4 blogs, even though I have previously indicated they were not my type of thing. If you think about it, there are over a million people on WordPress, but yet it still recommends the same ones. Perhaps I have found the best ones already, most days it certainly feels like I have, because you lot rock!

I always did pretty much live on the Internet, right from the first time my sister let me have a go on her laptop and introduced me to ICQ. I spoke to people all over the world and nothing would do but I had to get a computer of my very own to explore this new world I had previously known nothing about. Over the years I have made some amazing friends, met some complete wankers, learned new skills, honed old ones and many other things that I would never have managed were it not for easy access to the World Wide Web.

Despite how I come across I am actually quite a shy person, most likely due to low self esteem, so hiding behind the screen of a computer suits me just fine. I do love going out with my friends and if I feel comfortable with you I will open up, but I hate that moment of having to meet someone for the first time, or walking into a crowded room. People who know me would tell you that they find this weird. They say I am the life and soul of the party and strangely, they find me funny. I love that, but it bemuses me at the same time.

So you see this little space of mine on the Internet, has given me a lot to be thankful for. I have been fortunate enough to meet amazing people, with more coming along every day. I’ve shared their stories, their journeys, their happiness and heartache. I’ve been in total awe of the strength people show in the most dire of circumstances and how despite everything they continue to write, offering those who follow hope and a lifeline. I’ve giggled at the sexploits of others, yes Sean, this time I do mean you, take a bow! and I’ve even been educated, probably more than I ever was at school.

I don’t get time to comment on every post I read and the ‘Like’ button along with Translink’s free Wifi have been a tad temperamental of late, but I try and read as often as I can to keep up to date with everyone’s goings on. So don’t think that just because I have not liked or commented on a post that I have not read it. Even after all this time I still get stuck for things to say, so I choose not to comment. Sometimes nothing else needs to be said.

There has been so much going on here too, what with working full time, being later home at night and the cooking every day now, that I don’t have the same amount of time I used to. I want to be writing all the time and my mind is a hive of activity with ideas for this site and also for posts on Okay, What if?, where I now guest post, it’s just that when I finally get everything done my brain goes, ‘seriously you want me to remember all those things you were thinking about? How about a big slice of feck away off” and the great ideas I had vanish into the ether.

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Image from simplelifestrategies.com

In fact it’s doing that right now, reminding me it’s bed time and that I’ve not been sleeping the best. Funny things brains, ingenious inventions, you can be as thick as shit, but the old top box still rules the roost!

Anyway all I wanted to say was, thank you for following me, for putting up with me and for sticking around. I am so glad to have met you all!

 

A Lightbulb Moment!

I think WordPress had a little too much alcohol last night, because it doesn’t seem to be firing on all cylinders today. I’ve been catching up on my reading, but on most of the posts I read I was unable to ‘Like’ as the button constantly sat at loading. I’ve also noticed that likes and pictures numbers do not tally, so obviously something internally is a little askew. I am sure it will sort itself out.

followed-blog-200-1xThe first good news of the year happened last night at 3am when I went to bed, steady on you with the dirty mind, I meant I finally got my little 200 Likes badge from WordPress. See, for all those who doubted me it just proves that if you whinge, moan, beg and bride, you can get what you want! Thank you to all those who helped make it happen.

The second piece of news is that in just 105 more views I will have reached 20, 000. That’s quite a milestone and I would love to say that it’s all to do with my scintillating charm wit and personality. Sadly I think it’s more to do with the worlds shameless addiction to the game Candy Crush and the fact that I chose to write about it. None the less, I am still as happy as a big happy thing :)

The New Year and a chance conversation got me thinking about the things I want to achieve in 2014. Parts of the conversation centered around the fact that many of us wished things had been different in 2013 and in some cases that we had a life other than the one we were living. That one I could emphasise with.

Although I may not have the most exciting life, which in turn means I don’t have many exciting and wondrous tales to blog about, one thing I have been blessed with is a fairly active imagination. This last year, through various challenges I was drawn into the world of fiction, and I discovered I liked it. There is a certain freedom about being able to write exactly what you want under the guise of fiction and imagination. So I’ve had an idea, in fact I did so much thinking today my brain hurts.

My intention is to introduce another character to my blog, through whom I can vicariously live a life less ordinary. It will hopefully be humorous and entertaining. I did briefly toy with the idea of creating a second blog to undertake this adventure but I love you guys and know that you will all help and critique me if required. It’s only an idea at present, whether I can actually make it work is one thing, and how I integrate it with my blog is another.

So what do you think, good idea or bad? and have you any ideas of a name for my character, I am open to suggestions, in fact I would welcome them after my idea of Fanny Fictitious got shot down in flames.

Over to you…………

It’s 363 Days till Christmas!

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Santa Sprouts!

It’s kind of hard to believe that it’s all over for another year. The build up seems to take forever. We begin planning from the start of December, or for some even before and then it arrives and if you blink you miss it.

My Sister and I managed just fine with the cooking, well no one died, so thats got to be a result right? I had my brussel sprouts (thank you for asking Audrey Dawn lol) The effects were not too catastrophic, well until later in the evening that is, when I donned the penguin onesie given to me by Udders. After a brief spell of high winds I pretty much looked like this:

Fart in a Wetsuit
Never fart in a Onsie!

I did get lots of  lovely goodies though, including some other penguin things. I was delighted with everything. Hey as long as there are sweets and stationary I am a happy camper. Add in a Geek fleece blanket and some new sketch pads and it’s a match made in heaven!

I’m not however loving the weather we are having just now. Tonight has been high winds and heavy rain. I keep thinking at any moment the roof is going to blow off leaving me seeing stars, quite literally! I suppose it’s to be expected. Think about the sheer volume of sprouts consumed over the festive period, all that extra gas has to go somewhere. Thing is though, we’ve had these high winds for a while now, so could you all try and point your arses in a different direction to see if it makes any difference.

Oooo that reminds me, there was more good news as well…..wait for it…..I reached 200 followers!! I would show you the little badge only WordPress hasn’t given me one yet, perhaps I have to get 201 for that to happen. I know it’s a little confusing because my side bar says 280, but that’s the figure including Facebook and Twitter.

Thank you to those who pushed me into the path of their followers (yeah that means you Strawberry Quick Sand), reblogged me, bigged me up, and in a nut shell got me the additional followers I needed to reach my goal! It’s possibly the first time I have ever reached a personal target in my life, well apart from trying to make myself float in a penguin onesie that is.

I hope you all had an enjoyable and Happy Christmas. There are only a few days left until the start of 2014, and I very much look forward to seeing you all on the other side!

It might be random but..

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Ok so earlier I did a post and said I wanted five more follows so I could reach my dream of 200. I did get three more, thank you very much new followers, but more random than that, I got a new little notification of an award:

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It’s kind of a random number right? Although I am not complaining about the likes, thank you everyone! After Googling this little conundrum I was glad to note that others were as confused as I upon receiving this award.

Leet (or “1337“), also known as eleet or leetspeak, is an alternative alphabetfor the English languagethat is used primarily on the Internet. It uses various combinations of ASCIIcharacters to replace Latinateletters. For example, leet spellings of the word leet include 1337 andl33teleet may be spelled 31337 or 3l33t.

The term leet is derived from the word elite

So there you have it, in simple terms, WordPress have a damn fine sense of humour!

In Other News!

Hot off the press, the latest edition of the Okay, What If Challenge has been released and this week there is a definite Christmas feel.

Writing challenge. What if you could rewrite your favorite Christmas song?

I mean who hasn’t wanted to do that at some stage, in fact I am sure some of us already have while under the guise of the demon drink. If you would like to participate in the challenge, then click the link for more information.

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Secondly, it’s Monday! Sorry to be the bearer of bad news to anyone who had not realised. Monday’s suck, of that there is no doubt, but it’s not all doom and gloom because it’s also the day that Steve from Steve says issues the weeks Monday (funnily enough) Music Challenge. If you are not sure you’re on the right path, or which direction you should take, let the mystic music guide you, so far its been freakishly accurate, well for me anyways. For more information click here.

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Last, but not least we have Rob, from Robs Surf Report, and his Haiku Challenge, which this month has the theme of Epic Fantasy. It certainly makes you think. I found my first foray challenging but entertaining. For more information, click here.

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And on that note I shall leave you with a Christmas advertisement for the present I want from Kris Kringle, none other than Santa Claus himself, a Buffalo Tom Peabody Plunger, something no home should be without. Head here to order!

Till next time!

 

Ahoy there!

My apologies for being a little lacking in the posting department this last week or so. It’s been a combination of having naff all to say and trying to get everything that needs done, done! Finding the time to sit down and write proved a little difficult.

You might however have seen a couple of random posts mid week. Rob certainly did! They were from my Netbook as I tried to get it set up for blogging. It’s hard finding an offline text program that is going to work hand in hand with WordPress. After a little research I figure I am going to give Windows Live Writer a try, it seems to get pretty good reviews. If you look at my posts and they are complete and utter tripe (excluding the content, which is usually tripe anyways) then you can rest assured that I am going to blame WLW, even though it may not be the culprit! It was in fact the sausage fingers, in the living room with the Laptop. Case solved, we can all go home.

I’ve also figured out how to cure the having nothing to write about problem. I’m going to write about anything and everything that pops into the empty space between my lug holes. Ok perhaps not everything, because lets face it, there is limited capacity up there.

Until I get into the full swing of things there will be a week long series of posts about fresh air!

Lastly a huge thank you to all my new followers. Welcome aboard, there are a good bunch of eejits who hang around the good ship Indecisive and you are all more than welcome! Keep spreading the word :)

Information Overload!

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Image by: Keoni Cabral

When you blog, every little notification is a blessing. It’s a sign that somebody somewhere took the time to read and then either like or comment on one of your posts.

The other day I got one of the little trophies that informed me that I have received 1000 likes on my blog. It might not be many to some, but it’s a huge amount to me, and I am thankful to every eejit out there who took the time to show their appreciation for one of my posts. It means an awful lot.

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Bloomin Eck!

In a perfect world where money was no object I would invest in one of those new fangled 3D printers and produce a replica of that very same trophy, which I would then set on my desk as a reminder that I have achieved something.  Failing that I might just stuff a tennis ball inside an orange skin and buy a marker! Result and much cheaper too!

Thank you, thank you and again I say thank you!

Today has been one  of those days where at various times as it progressed I thought my brain was going to explode from the sheer volume of information being thrown at it. The great thing about being busy is that you have no time to process said information, so you push it to the back of your mind to make room for the next exciting installment.

Then you leave work and all hell breaks loose.

Instead of shutting down and putting a lid on the days proceedings, my brain has decided to rewind and regurgitate every piece of information it stored. Eh, hello there brain, I’m going home, can we not restart this tomorrow.  The answer, well that’s a big fat resounding nope, no can do!

Remember to ring such and such, tell the boss about the door, crap I forgot to send an e-mail, they want that report by when…….just shut up already!

You know it’s bad when the train conductor asks to see your ticket and you tell him you can’t remember if you put it on the spreadsheet or not. Made outstandingly worse by the fact that you look at him like he’s stupid as he looks at you like you’re deranged. Then the penny drops and you say, ohhhhh train ticket and smile a smile that you hope will erase the last 5 minutes from the memory of everyone in the vincinity!

Ah well, it’s almost tomorrow! Lets hope sleep resets the old grey matter!

They prompt nothing but frustration!

I am in awe of the people who look at the daily prompts everyday and can manage to string together legible pieces of writing.

I swore a couple of months back that I was going to try and participate more often, I even took heed of the words on a strangers blog, when they said, look at the prompt and then just write about the first thing that comes to mind.

I look at the Daily Prompt every day and the first thing that comes to mind is “Ah for f*ck sake” as the subject matter goes whizzing high above my head.

I am not an unintelligent person, that said, I am not the brightest pixie in the forest either. Sure my grammar and punctuation need work and I’d be scuppered without spell check, but sometimes I can manage to string a sentence together and if I am really lucky, it’s relatively sensible.

So what is this strange aversion (disinclination) I seem to have for the prompts? I’ve been giving it a lot of thought, and I’ve discovered what the problem is. It’s me!

After 6 – 7 months of blogging, I still don’t trust myself to write the things I want to and I still find it hard to open up. With regards to the prompts, I am scared to write the first thing that comes into my head, because lets face it, what I am making for tomorrow nights tea is not going to be to everyones taste and is probably going to be unrelated to the chosen subject matter as well.

So what’s the solution. Well firstly I need to serve myself a huge slice of ‘Get the feck over yourself’ and conquer my fears with regards to commenting and subject matter. I need to spend less time worrying about what others will think and just write. I did consider deactivating my Facebook page, and that may yet happen, because it’s easier to write when you don’t think people who actually know you are reading. In fact I am going to stop telling people in my real life that I even write, because I think to be honest my friends just humour me.

Secondly I am going to serve myself an equally proportioned slice of ‘you have to at least try’. I mean what’s the worst that can happen, it’s not like I am going to be burnt at the stake for crimes against the blogging community if I write a post that reminds me of the Prompt subject, but means bugger all to anyone else. Chances are they will read it and say “Ooo that’s a strange one” and to be fair to them I resemble that remark so I can hardly grumble about it.

Most challenges run Monday – Friday or days in between and few run at the weekend when I have more time. I may have to ask Mr Okay, What If? for a sneak peek on a Friday, because I like his challenges.

Tomorrow I have Steve’s Monday Music Quiz to look forward to, it’s nice and simple for an eejit like me :)

So here is a disclaimer, if you read a post from me on a Daily Prompt and you think it’s in no way related to the question they asked, just keep it to yourself! I already know I’m an eejit and I am appreciative of the fact you read it at all! :)

WordPress Family Award!

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I’m not a lover of awards, I’m kinda boring, so I run out of random facts about myself way to easily!

However today, Life Confusions was given her very first award (well done you!) and saw fit to share it with me as well. Had she not, she would have been one of my chosen nominee’s. Drop on over to her blog and say Hi!

I don’t have to answer questions and I don’t have to give random facts either, and better than that, it’s about something very close to my heart, it’s about recognizing people who you feel are a part of your very own WordPress family.

See this is where I am really lucky, because I have the best WordPress family ever!! Sadly I can only nominate ten. There are a couple of people who I have nominated for awards before and despite the fact they might be missed this time, they are still very important to both myself and my blog. Especially Lee and Paul, two of my best friends, they would hate me if I mentioned them on something that would give them work to do.

Here are the rules: 

1. Display the award logo on your blog.
2. Link back to the person who nominated you.
3. Nominate 10 others you see as having an impact on your wordpress experience and family
4. Let your 10 Family members know you have awarded them
5. That is it. Just please pick 10 people that have taken you as a friend, and spread the love.

I’ll do all of them except number 4, if you’ve been with me from the start you will know that when I get awards and pass them on by letting other people know, I usually get relegated to the trash area of the comment section by Akismet! Another fine example of why I don’t do awards. It took me weeks to climb back out and even longer to get the stale smell of food out of my hair!

I am pretty sure everyone I nominate will read this anyway, (see I told you they were awesome!) so it’ll be a nice surprise.

To each of the people nominated and the others I had to miss this time around, thank you so much for being here with me on my journey, for your words of encouragement and your faith in me that never waivers no matter how stupid or ridiculous I am. You are all the reason I keep updating and interacting. You’ve given me something to look forward to when the dishes are done and I sit down to enjoy what little time I get to myself before bed. On nights when things have been tough at home, someone has always been there to make me smile.

It means an awful lot, and I am extremely glad to have met each and every one of you!

I am proud to call you all members of my WordPress family!

In alphabetical oder (to avoid any fights, I know what you lot are like!!):

I also cheated, I chose eleven and not ten, but when you’re sharing the love I’m not sure anyone will mind too much!

Special mention also goes to Caramel Expresso, Janey Macken Street and The Office Inbetweener, Sean Smithson I gotta hide your posts sometimes when I read them on the train, but they don’t half make me laugh!

Now lets have a party!! I love this tune, it always makes me feel upbeat, so I dedicate it to you lot, because You are My (WordPress) World!