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. Thank you Alli! We appreciate you doing this for us.
Warm greetings. I’m always happy to have visitors to this virtual coffee room we all sort of share and here we are at the first meeting in 2019.
I still feel like the new guy here, but I’m going to need to peal off this label in a few months because, as I look at the past collection of coffee share essays, my first one was posted May 12 of 2018 and by year end I missed only a couple of weeks. Along the way, I’ve heard only encouraging responses back from many of you and, after reading most of your weekly posts, feel like I know something about most of you – which was a pleasant and hoped for result.
My knowledge of how to make WordPress work as desired took some serious time and effort because I knew so little of this world and, like many technologies, getting help proved frustrating until I learned enough to ask the right questions with the correct vocabulary.
I actually had the blog framework stood up for almost 3 years prior to last year, but I spent most of that time writing my early stories and deciding on the final limitations I would set for each. I started last Jan. 2018 with 22 stories that were still pretty raw and I was reluctant to tell anyone that I had a blog site – because both the existing stories and the site itself felt like a literary form of broken doll made with popsicle sticks and duct tape. This poor thing had a barely usable WordPress theme and the stories had weak look and feel. Most of the stories themselves were okay but the visitor experience simply had to be improved. Also, in my mind, 22 stories barely qualified as a collection.
So I did the time, experimented a lot, realized how thankful I was that my day job had given me a bit of exposure to HTML so when I really hated what WordPress did to my formatting, I could bend it more towards what I wanted.
One day, I couldn’t stand that old theme any longer and found a new one, one I’m still using, but am beginning to see where I’m going to outgrow it.
By the end of last January, my collection of 22 stories had grown to 27 and my readership, compared to the past spiked and favorable feedback followed. By the end of December, I finally posted the 50th, which was one of my goals.
If you have not visited my site since the beginning of 2018, ugh – my apologies, but please give it another chance. The organization and navigation works much better and I’ve spent much of 2018 adding new and better content, cleaning up most of those older stories, adding photos that I think progress each story and add to the “entertainment” factor. Here’s the link to my full collection index.
The overall story parameters remain: short 2000 words or less, autobiographical, told in first person – like we were siting around a table, sharing a meal, while talking and laughing like friends. I try to tell each with vivid imagery, humor and a touch of adventurous rowdiness.
I hope my stories both make my readers laugh but also realize that adventures are pretty much before us each day. Approaching each day expecting something big and fun and story-worthy is actually not a bad way to live a life.
So, as I give up the new guy label, you will find my thankful for all the encouragement so many of you offered – but I’m the constant student, so expect more improvements.
My “blogging” goals for 2019 are still taking shape. I think there may be as many as 20 more stories that fit my model. I have a ton of additional memories that would be fun to write, but they would be about past romances or jobs where the risk of embarrassing someone remains too high, so those will not be recorded for public consumption – but if we end up across a real table with a real pizza or sushi and a beer or milkshake – well, that might be a whole different matter because I have a bunch of stories you might get a kick out of.
I’ll close this essay with a simple thanks for the welcome I’ve had from this group and a growing group of followers/readers. I’m looking forward spending part of 2019 with you.