Friday, May 16, 2014

Outstanding Blogging [Doesn't Look Like This]. And Snails.

Two days ago I clicked on a link to an article (from twitter) that discussed ten ways to be an outstanding blogger. I carefully read over the suggestions, and concluded two things:
  1. I am not an outstanding blogger
  2. I will never be an outstanding blogger
To write outstanding blogs, you have to do things like include a hook for each know, a compelling question, or an interesting fact, etc. This entry, for example, should start off with "Did you know I suck at blogging?" or "Statistics show that 100% of bloggers over at are lousy bloggers." That would have been much more captivating than "Two days ago blah blah."

Another component of outstanding blogging is keeping your posts centralized around one topic. Members of our technology-driven society tend to have short attention spans; they don't want to read long rambling narratives that veer from topic to topic. Curious how often I fail at the whole focusing-on-one-topic thing, I scanned over some of my past blog post titles. Here were some titles I came across:
Resolutions, Black Fish, & British Relatives
Mines, Breweries, & Burning Pianos
Mother's Day & Chopping Tables
Rodent Escapees and Staple-ectomies
Student Teacher & Deadly Doors
Universal Studios Monsoon & Other Unrelated Stuff
The Rambling Times
Okay, this goes on and ON. And if words don't speak for themselves, just scroll down a bit and you will see a picture of a snail. What on earth does a snail have to do with this post? Who knows. I swear, it seems to be my trademark to start a post with the idea that "I'm going to squish every possible unrelated thing into this blog entry, and then make sure to squeeze all of it into my title too!"

Seriously, even my so-called trademark is rambly.

At this point, an outstanding blogger would tidy up this post by declaring some call to action, or conclude with some other statement that would leave the reader with an idea of the overall message of the post. But I, sticking true to my nature, am going to veer on over to my next topic.

Which is...I'm switching my URL back to Ocean in a Cup! The votes were nearly unanimous for that name. I have some construction I need to do with that site, and then I'll make the switch. I decided I will not be going through Wordpress as I had originally hoped. My reason for this is pretty shallow: Unless I go through Wordpress's self-hosting (which requires a monthly fee), it looks like a huge pain in the ass to customize the blog the way I want.

Next topic: I finally got through my April rut and am officially working on DoT again. It's slow going, but still. YES.

Wednesday (yes, changing subjects again) we break ground on our pool! Speaking of pools, for Mother's Day, we drove down to Camarillo to visit my grandma. Shannon and Jeremy came too, along with my parents. On Saturday we all visited, went swimming, and had a fun dinner at an Italian restaurant (which transitioned to a silly dinner after two bottles of wine). I also got to talk shop with my Grandpa again. No editing this time. We just daydreamed about book covers, and talked about the parts of our novels that had come from real life experiences. Wow was THAT an eye-opener. I found out that my Grandpa had a BB pellet stuck in his butt cheek for thirty-some years after he tried to steal a watermelon. And one time, he broke into a church to spend the night and got caught by two choir girls the next morning. Anyway, on Sunday morning my dad made everyone an awesome breakfast. Later we went swimming, followed by a picnic lunch. On our way home, we stopped at Charlie Brown's for chocolate banana shakes. I'm still full just thinking about how much eating I did that day.

My grandma has snails in her yard. I guess this isn't a spectacular thing, but we don't generally see snails in the desert. The kids love them--they like having snail races, or building snail-castles. Okay, admittedly that last one probably isn't so nice. Anyway, Cassidi kept bringing snails into my grandma's house, and my goodness they are the cutest things! Have you ever seen a snail up close? I get that it's this pile of sticky muck in a shell, but it's adorable...this little sluggish yet motivated worm serving as its own motorhome.

I could just hug this little guy (don't worry, I won't).

Congratulations, you now see how snails relate to this post. Which, they don't.

Today sucked. I was tired for no reason (I slept awesome last night) and had no sense of humor. You can't teach seventh graders without a sense of's like flipping eggs without a spatula.

Outstanding Blogging Tip #11: Use similes that make sense.

Okay, I have to go add snails to my title now.