This is a Weekly Coffee Share hosted by: Eclectic Alli.
Alli manages a weekly list of posts from any who want to just stay in touch, chat about blogging, writing, travel, photography, children, pets, work, life hacks or just about anything else that might be of interest.
Greetings. So glad you’re finally here. This place is always warmer, friendlier, more thoughtful and encouraging every time you stop by. You have to admit, sometimes we, the members of Alli’s coffee share club, can blur the line between fun and therapy.
Here, sit. Sit and enjoy a dose of down-time while I get something for you to drink. Did you get a close look at my header photo? Did you note that someone actually created and deployed a Christmas sweater coffee cup cozy . . . ? I have friends who would do such things. At the risk of being rightly accused of wrongfully appropriating their verbiage, I tell you, they can be soooo cute.
And, it’s December. The year end is in sight. This always causes me, and likely you too, to reflect on how exactly this last year carried me to this point. So let’s see.
I entered the year still struggling to make my story blog usable by potential readers. I had not invested enough time yet to either learn the ropes of laying out a blog site and I did not have sufficient content to make the site worth visiting anyway. By early December of 2017, I had 20 stories captured. I took some time and learned a few things that allowed me to clean up my site and had two inspirations for new stories and decided to pitch them to a couple of groups via Facebook. Both were, by my standard, smash hits and shattered my monthly read count ceiling of single digits as far as the eye could see.
The Kid Bomb Incident is a fun memory of how I weaponized my girl friend’s child before a family reunion.
The Better Grade Incident is the account of how I turned a class grade of “D” to a “B” – and astounded my best friend after we both had treated a teacher very badly.
They were the proof I needed that I could do this blog-thing. I just needed some additional site clean-up and structure and more and better content. But by January 2018, I was hooked on blogging as a framework for sharing my stories. This was serious fun! I gave myself permission to really treat the collection as mine in that, when I found a typo or better way to say something, I had no publisher to tell me that it was too late to change things. I made each story better as I found ways to do so. Learning how to better use photos proved to be huge and very entertaining even to this author.
I did have a growing problem at the beginning of the year. My back clearly was not healthy. I was in daily pain and had begun using a walking stick to assure safer mobility. By June, we had the problem isolated and I was checking into the local hospital for a real, my first serious, surgery. This, very successful, operation grounded me from work for both June and July, but after everyone, including my surgeon, told me that I’d be down for 3 months, I felt ready to go back after just 2 – but I had spent those 2 months obeying (mostly) my doctor, physical therapists and wife by sitting still, healing and writing. These 2 months alone produce 7 new stories and 1 remains my most popular story.
Water Adventures, did not feel to me like a block buster, but my readers disagreed and even now, firmly holds the total readers count record by a healthy margin that I doubt will be breached any time soon. I suspect that, because it started at a very famous place for folks who grew up in my hometown of Petaluma, Calif. that I caught a wave of nostalgia. Sorry – the pun was unavoidable.
I did find that coming back to work was harder than I expected. My job can be stressful and it changed in the 2 months I was out from occasionally stressful to virtually every day while I was finding out that my tolerance of stress has been negatively impacted by (I think) the surgery. A friend who is very familiar with back surgeries explained to me that many people don’t get that it can take a year for the anesthesia used to knock us out to fully cycle out of our bodies. I don’t know, clinically, how true this is, but it certainly aligns with my experience.
So, some peers and I have been joking about changing jobs. The most used has been the donut shop as a low stress kind of job. Think about it. If a customer is unhappy for almost any reason, you give them a donut and everyone leaves happy.
I did offer one idea of opening a barber shop for women only where we would shave legs. It sounded low stress to me, but oddly – no takers. . .
All around, it’s been a great year for getting to know peer bloggers and developing this fun way of sharing my art. I hope you will always find me thankful.
Many of you have both read and commented constructively on my work. Please accept my humble thanks for helping make a very memorable and fun year of growth and productivity for this new blogger.
Okay, coffee time is over. Thanks for stopping by but let’s get back to writing.