This is a Weekly Coffee Share update.
Our group is hosted by the ever-gracious; Eclectic Ally.
Hello. I’m so glad you were able to stop by. Today, I have better coffee and scones. I will stick with my tea for now, but may transition to heavy stuff after we chat. You must try the scones BTW. My wife makes several things I’ve come to love and her scones with butter and all-fruit jellies are right up there near the top of my favorites list and on the small table to the left of the coffee pot. Hustle over now. They’re still warm…
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Updates first from last week.
My back is about the same and gave me a decent week all things considered. Except for some final work related tasks, I’m amped up and ready for my surgery on Monday. Wish me well.
Second; neither the hated woodpecker or those rotten aphids have returned and and my tree is recovering.
Third, I mentioned that story I was struggling with. I think I found some good tweaks and I released it and – yes! It was very well received with a only single week in the month, it delivered the best one month reader count of any of my previous stories, and it found readers from around the globe and countries that had not yet shown up in my WordPress stats. Wow! What did I do here and how can I do it again?
I did use a technique that I’ve enjoyed in many of the better novels I’ve read. There is likely a name for it, but I don’t know what it is. Perhaps you do. I opened the essay with something of an unresolved cliff hanger (apologies for the pun) to try and give the reader that, “what did I just walk into” feeling and draw them in to learn how the situation resolved after progressing the story.
Here’s my opener:
I dug my fingers and sneaker toe tips into the rock face and hoped that no wind would kick up to threaten my grip on this wet rocky wall. I paused just long enough to wonder what I was thinking when I slipped over the edge and began a free climb down this cliff.
Below me was the path-less climb and the ocean waves crashing against the small level area that I hoped to soon be standing on. I had no climbing gear, mostly because this climb was a spur of the moment idea and I wasn’t remotely prepared.
I glanced up, hoping and confirming that everyone else was okay. Yea… I was not only doing this myself, but I had led a group of new friends into this predicament. Again, what was I thinking?
I liked the tone it set for the rest of the essay. You can read the rest here if interested, but I was pleased with the result after all. It fit nicely into 2000 words and also found it’s way to one of the friends who had been there and so resulted in a very pleasant re-connection.
I’ve read several of your posts and note that several of you are disappointed with some of the changes WordPress is making. I’m still new enough to the community side of things that I would have missed this entirely, but I’d love to hear your experiences with WordPress overall. I’m am using a free site so understand that I not entitled to many of their best features (but hey – I let them advertise on my site, so it’s not like they’re not getting paid something). Late last year, I rebuilt the look and feel of my site to what you can see now, but it still feels like a clunky and inelegant reader experience and I get almost no help from the very limited SEO that I can see. Only my home page and index allow use of categories or tags so they can’t help drive readers straight to a given story. Most of my readers find a new story via Face Book alerts or from someone sharing a story on their own blog.
Back when I started this effort, it was an experiment to see if I could make it work and develop enough of a following to make it fun. If yes, I was going to consider upgrading to a subscription account where I would get better support and features. Well, learning my way around and giving WP support a try was a huge disappointment. So far I’ve not found a reason for upgrading and I’m really glad I didn’t agree to pay for what I’ve already gotten. My site works, but is not at all impressive.
Do you all have Costco stores nearby? If not, they are the huge bulk shopping stores where you get a small discount for buying in bulk. You won’t find a quart of milk there – only whole gallons. Want a candy bar? They have lots of varieties to choose from – but you have to buy a box of 15. Anyway, we did our bulk shopping today so after dragging my 54 rolls of toilet paper to where my wife had wandered with the cart, I grabbed a fresh 3 pound bag of our favorite coffee and added it to the bulging pile and made our way to checkout while I could still afford my mortgage payment. Our system is this, my wife pays the clerk while I grind the coffee. Today, as I positioned my new bag of beans to dump into the hopper, I noticed that the person who last used the machine left about 20% of their coffee beans in the hopper. Well, what to do? I decided to take the risk and poured mine in and started the grinder. I did stir those beans in with my own, just in case they were something wildly different than our favorite.
I have helped many short women who were trying to grind their beans but were unable to see into the raised hopper. Fresh roasted beans are oily enough, that the hopper can get blocked up when the beans stick together and not drain well into the grinder – so being the frequent tall helper is one of my callings. No short damsel in distress need fear when I am near. I guess today, the universe arranged for me get a small benefit for all those other times.
Okay, enough from me. By next weekend, I should have only a heal-able pain in my back and the surgeon is telling me to expect around 3 months of recovery and physical therapy – ugh. I’ve never been off work for something like this for so long, and I’m thankful for the disability insurance my company has. I really hope, this whole event quickly becomes too dull to even mention.
Hey, I’m going to refresh this tea. Can I get you anything while I’m up?