Coffee Share 210116: The Bridge Ahead

This is a Weekly Coffee Share Essay.
I’m part of a small group of bloggers who stay in touch and chat about blogging, writing, or just about anything else that might be of interest. This is my essay for this weekend.
Thanks to Natalie The Explorer for hosting us.
Link to This week’s full list
Link to my Story Blog:  Table of Contents.

Good day all,

I’m pleased to have another Saturday morning to spend a few minutes with friends.  I’m already deep into my second mug of tea and today I went with the Formosa Oolong black tea.  I always find this to be among the smoothest in my little collection and I often find myself thinking I could drink this all day.

One of the things I like about stories is how they can be a tool to help us look at the world, each other and even ourselves in a different light and from that, draw insights that help us take useful steps toward some place we want to be, towards someone we prefer to be.

Thus, today I want to use the image of a bridge which becomes the path that can take us someplace better.  This image works best if we view ourselves not only as travelers using the bridge but we can be the builders of our bridge.  This way, our work,  our path can actually help others along their way.  That said, here’s some of the framework for the bridge I want to finish up and travel this year.

foot bridge .jpeg
Photo by Chait Goli on Pexels.com

I think I’m fairly well settled into the new year.  I’ve done something of an audit of last year and have a few things on should-have-done list around the house that are now promoted to priorities for early this year.

I needed the first couple of weeks of January to do it, but I finished reading the Bible again.  There is always new stuff that I managed to miss on my previous readings. I’m not positive, but I think this last pass through was my sixth time through.  It is a long read with some tough areas but for the most part, it’s fascinating how relevant and timely these messages still are. Much of it feels like it was written by someone who talked different than I do, but was describing things from just last week.

For 2021, I’ve adjusted my reading plan.  I had one subscription that had a strong political bent because I wanted to learn more about that perspective but after the US elections and how they reported on it, I decided they really don’t deserve my subscription money anymore.  They were not at all fair or even close to balanced in how they reported things.  I’m not a news junky but even I could see through what they did and did not report.  It was sad and I did find that it was well written each week, good vocabulary that often sent me to the dictionary, clever ways of saying things that both informed and entertained a bit. Anyway, they’re out now and I’m slowly looking for a replacement.  However, after the whole election embarrassment, I’m good to all but ignore the news for a while. I’ll let someone else take my seat in the audience to be lied to and manipulated for a while.

Work has spun back up and my big quarterly project is queued up for next week.  Our data drop in scheduled for Tuesday and our delivery is targeted for Thursday afternoon.  So, the scramble begins again.  It almost always goes smoothly, but I get 1 or 2 long days each quarter.

I’ve made a near complete, if not very elegant transition to a new blog plan (no ads) and a new theme.  I’ve decided to stop bad-mouthing the WP Block editor and just cope with it.  I found a few paths that allow me to create essays that almost look like I want them to and now know how to deal with most of the surprises that Gutenberg throws at me.  One blogger has given me the name of a person skilled in setting up WP blogs and I’m most likely going to reach out to her to clean up some clunky areas and explain some things to me, so I think my gaps may be short lived at this point.

I spent a good chunk of my holiday break doing the transition and finishing my expanded version of the Ayem story.  I like it, but it still feels very beta-like.  It still needs some polish. I’ve had a couple of folks read it and provide excellent feedback — and for them I an very thankful. Longer stories are harder to produce and I’m not getting as many causal readers as my other stories get.  I’m even more confirmed now that I’m in that area as a writer that I’ll get decent readership for a 10 minute read but as a story gets longer, readers fall away pretty quickly without even trying it out.

So, I’ll keep polishing Ayem Notthymn: The Second Door, but it will be a while before I take on such a long project again.

My Dime of Time story collection is all but done.  I may yet squeeze another few stories out of that model but I think the muse for creating these is about done.  My fiction collection is more interesting and I’m finding these harder to produce.  The voice and feel and even the point is so different that I’m a tad disoriented by the task.  There are a few pieces from the existing collection that I want to fix, so am looking forward to that too.

foot bridge by michael-krahn

How about you?  Is your bridge to 2021 in place or under construction?

Blessings all!  I’ll be around to visit your venue shortly.

GW bio card 4

18 thoughts on “Coffee Share 210116: The Bridge Ahead

  1. Hi Gary!
    Glad all is well in your world. Sounds like you have a solid start to 2021. Good for you. I always find myself winging it 😊
    Best wishes for your quarterly project!!
    Happy weekend 😊

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Dinah. Left on my own, I’d wing everything but I know that, for me, I’m just being lazy. I do better if I plan enough to have good reading material at hand and some things I want and can accomplish a few steps at a time. Writing is a whole different story (no pun intended) as that is a discipline I’m still figuring out. Thanks for stopping by, I’m still benefitting from your comments and thoughts about Ayem 2nd Door.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I really like your description of the bridge that takes us to a better place! This year started very shaky for me but I’m slowly getting back on track, which basically means to keep myself busy with good things while I wait for things to improve out there.
    I’d like to start reading the Bible again, I’ve sort of lost all those habits. I agree that you can find many passages there that are like someone from another time describes the happenings of our time.

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    1. Hi Susanne. I know many folks don’t have much use for it anymore, but I do find that reading the Bible keeps me sane and in a better frame of mind than I could muster on my own. Add the whole idea of Salvation, and I think it just unwise to let the Bible just sit on our shelf. Now that I think about it, it works pretty good as a bridge also. We know that God is there but we frequently allow a gap to exist between us and him. The Bible reminds me, daily that he’s there and carrying out his plan. If you ever want to bounce around ideas, your pings would always be welcome here. Otherwise, you could use the old trick of reading one proverb each day, using the number of the date as the chapter number so you finish the book in one month.
      And if you need a lighthearted and finny glance at Christian life, I have a few stories that should leave you smiling. I wasn’t always a Christian and my path to being saved had a few odd bumps along the way.
      Blessings.

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      1. Very clever to see the Bible as a bridge to God – it’s totally like that! I think I’ll reopen the Olive tree app on my phone, I always reading something before going to sleep and the Bible certainly will be better than the Chernobyl book I just started on.

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      2. Hi Susanne. I too use that app, but for reading, I have a nice study bible that I can hold in my hands. I like having the real thing for Bible reading, but then my time is early am each day when I have a mug of fresh hot tea and am sitting in a favorite chair. If I tried to read at night. I all too easily fall asleep. But Chernobyl or the Bible, wow, could you have setup a more striking contrast? Made me laugh. Both are worth our attention, but Chernobyl before sleeping. You have more guts than I do.

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      3. Haha, I know! But Chernobyl interests me a lot. I was very young when it happened and in recent years I’ve done a lot of research about it to understand what really happened.
        Your Bible reading with tea sounds fantastic. I also love “real” reading, but I have no good habit of reading any real books right now, so to get any reading done at all, the app will be the best way to start.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. I think the new blog switch looks great!

    Love the bridge pictures and the idea of the bridge to a great year. Yes, ours is underway. I don’t do New Years resolutions but I do assign a theme to the year; this year is Health and Happiness. So, far so good for 2021!

    Thanks for the virtual cup of coffee. Have a great rest of your weekend!

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    1. Thanks Natalie. Hey, you’re doing a stellar job at running the coffee share for us BTW. In particular you’ve exposed us to many new friends and this has always been one of the best things about the project — meeting other folks, collecting their perspectives and talents and wisdom — all great stuff. I know it takes time, but I want to be on record as appreciating all the time and thought you’re investing.

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  4. Hi Gary,
    I love your blog and can see the upgrade! It looks wonderful! I hope you enjoy it and I am glad you are able to use the block editor and for us readers it all reads just fine. I just use each block as a paragraph. Anyways, it’s good to have coffee with you this weekend! Stay safe and don’t work too hard! Have a good week ahead! 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Diana.

      Thanks for the kind feedback on my amateur attempt to refresh this poor old blog site. It does look better I think and, more important, I think the navigation is more reader-friendly, but what a battle it was to get it here. I was very frustrated by trying to get things to work that should have and the amount of time it took to get what I was willing to live with and what you now see.

      Tuning this site was not a pretty process and there were times when I was so angry I had to just walk away and simmer down before continuing. I’m really glad you (apparently) did not visit during the remodel. I doubt even you could have found such kind words.

      Thanks for always looking for ways to encourage. Your efforts and readership are always appreciated.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Can our bridge be a little bit of both? Both under construction and in place? Hmm…I think my bridge is always under some kind of construction, but has a very good foundation. Mom and I spent a lot of time looking at beautiful bridges when I was a kid. Bridges are interesting, both as metaphors and they often have interesting architecture. Thanks for a great post!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I think I’d worry about the person who thought their metaphorical bridge was complete and was no longer in need of improvement or maintenance. Great thought Maria. Thanks.

      Like

  6. Hi Gary
    I like your description on not only being travelers of our bridges but also builders of them. This to me takes on true ownership of the direction of our lives. I also love the photo you chose of your bridge covered in autumn leaves.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hello Antoinette, and thanks for stopping by. It feels like a good direction, an improvement from Dec and such but time will tell. I hope all are well in your family.

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