A Little Perspective

Walking the hallway at my school on a summer day with no students about, I stopped to snap a pic of the perfect perspective in this hall. Such a satisfying, mathematically correct image! I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

Posted in response to the WordPress photo challenge: Satisfaction

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Trapped Tulips

The flower shop of one of my local grocery stores sets out arrangements to encourage people to buy, and this one stopped me in my tracks a couple of years ago. I guess this is what you can do with the blossoms your toddler picks for you that have no stems; just pile them in a goldfish bowl with a handful of leaves. Since then I’ve seen enough similar arrangements, with blossoms or succulents enclosed for no good reason inside glass and wire, I figure this is now a thing. I have a whole collection of photos I call “Captive Plants.”

Posted in response to the WordPress photo challenge: Unusual

WordWacker’s 3rd Birthday

Yes, today is this little blog’s third birthday! I like to have an image each time representing the event, and today I pulled together the number 3 with one of my other interests, showcasing one set of polyhedral dice, suitable for Dungeons and Dragons or other tabletop role-playing games, all showing the number 3. Cool, huh?

My main topic today, though, is to look back at another year here at WordWacker. Here are some highlights:

Some Statistics: Things are growing as well as I might hope. Yes, I’ll never make any Top Blog lists, but what’s happening here is generally making me happy. I’m up to 281 posts and 191 followers (up from 131 followers at this time last year). Hi, followers! I love you all! I’ve lost two followers on the WordWacker Facebook page (from 8 down to 6), but that’s never been anything other than a mirror of the blog itself, so it doesn’t surprise me. On Twitter, where I post occasionally, I’ve gone from 18 followers to 75.

Blog Posts: Here’s a breakdown of what I posted on this year. It adds up to more than 60 because some posts fall into more than one category.

  • Photo Challenge: 37 (some just posting a photo with little comment, like this one on Earth Day pointing out There Is No Planet B, some with associated essays, like my post on the science of water in Water’s Edge)
  • A-Z Blogging Challenge: 28 (the 26 letter posts, the Theme Reveal, and the Refection looking back at the experience)
  • Writing: 23 (including longer posts relating to writing in general, like this one on Cultivating Creativity, and shorter ones like this one encouraging people to Visit the Shark: Do You Know Janet Reid?)
  • Wedding: 4 (I managed to restrain myself from focusing on this ALL THE TIME, but did have an early post showing the dress as we were Counting Down to the Big Day, and a look back at the event when it was over, sharing my wish that the couple will Live Long and Prosper.
  • Miscellaneous: 8 posts that really didn’t fit any of these categories, like this Poem I dropped on a day when I was feeling too sick to do anything else.

Writing and the Book: The initial goal of this blog was to chronicle my writing journey. As you can see from the blog post statistics I’ve shifted away from this to a certain extent, but I don’t want to lose that focus. Here are some changes I’ve made, and what I plan for the future in this arena.

  • I continued to participate in Janet Reid’s flash fiction contests through 2016, but then I stopped getting involved. This was partly to redirect my energies in other directions, and partly because the people who participate in these contests are so amazingly, astonishingly good that I wasn’t in the right league. I’m still a faithful reader of Janet’s blog, though, and if you’re interested in writing or the business of getting published, you should be too!
  • I’m participating in Camp NaNoWriMo right now, pushing to revise my novel by the end of July. (Yes, I should be working on that RIGHT NOW!). The last time I did this, in 2015, I was posting compulsively about it. This time I just posted once when I signed up and will post again when I finish. Win or lose.
  • 10 Minutes a Day: I pledged in January 2017 to write at least 10 minutes a day, and post my progress on the blog. Mea maxima culpa – I failed to follow through. This spring semester was the most demanding one I’ve had in a long time, with routine 50-hour weeks at work, and I just couldn’t keep it up. Yes, I know lots of other people work more hours than that and still manage to crank out wonderful books. I am not one of those amazing people. Good to know, I guess.
  • Wednesday Words: In October 2016 I started a regular feature on writing that I called Wednesday Words. I wrote or reblogged on this topic regularly until WordPress changed its photo challenge day from Friday to Wednesday. At that point I switched to Weekend Words, but posted under this tag only once, on February 13. After that I just ran out of time. I miss this regular focus on words and writing. So I plan to come back to it in some form or other, even if it’s just once a month, after I finish the revision I’m working on now.

So, bottom line: The blog is healthy and growing. My interest in doing it is still strong. I plan to make some changes, bringing writing and books more into focus, but mostly I plan to do more of the same.

Here’s to a long healthy blog life in the future! I hope you join me.

Drowned Picnic

Have you heard about the historically high water levels in Lake Ontario, the last and smallest of the Great Lakes? Record-setting rainfall in the spring overwhelmed the ability of the lake to handle everything that’s coming down from the other Great Lakes, given the restricted flow out through the St. Lawrence River. It’s battered shoreline properties on both sides of the lake, in the US and Canada. This picture I took just a month ago sums it up for me. Under the tree out there is a lamp post, a bench for looking out over the harbor, and a picnic table, but it’s all out of reach due to high water. Is this related to climate change? No one can say for certain, but something has surely changed.

Posted in response to the WordPress Photo Challenge: Delta

Camping Again

Two years ago I participated in Camp NaNoWriMo, and it worked for me – I hit the 50,000 word goal by the end of July and pushed on to complete the first draft of my novel in August. Since then? I’ve been working with a critique group to revise the draft, making it better all the time. I’ve almost gotten all the way through the draft with them, and expect them to be reading the last chapter for the first time in a couple of weeks.

So now I’m going to try camping again. This time it doesn’t make sense to set a word-count goal. Instead I’m setting a time-on-task goal: 30 hours (almost, but not quite, an hour a day in July). I’m also thinking of it as a chapter a day, since I think my book will have 25-30 chapters when I’m done putting it all back together.

If it all works out as I hope, I’ll have a completely revised version to share with my critique buddies in August. Wouldn’t that be something?

Wish me luck.