My 2015 blogging review and 2016 New Year wishes

January 1, 2016 at 1:00 am | Posted in Australia, blogging, Gratitude, Special Occasions | 4 Comments
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The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2015 annual report for this blog.

It has been gratifying to see the rise in the number of visitors and also of followers to my blog. Thank you to all who come to my page and especially to those who comment on the posts.

Here’s an excerpt:

The concert hall at the Sydney Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 10,000 times in 2015. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 4 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

I’d like to wish every one of you a Happy New Year for 2016. I hope it is a year filled with positives in every part of your lives; challenges that help you grow; joys that make you happy; friends with whom you can share; and a world that becomes less troubled by hate, intolerance and violence.

May peace and love be the mainstays of your life and spread from you to all with whom you come in contact.

 

Happy-New-Year-2016

A to Z Challenge 2015 – Reflection

May 5, 2015 at 3:00 am | Posted in A-Z Blogging Challenge 2015, blogging, Discipline, Reflections | 17 Comments
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A-to-Z Reflection [2015]

I have completed my second A to Z Blogging Challenge!

cheerleader

I have posted 26 entries through April with one of my poems for each A to Z entry, and I have enjoyed the experience a great deal.

I cannot think of a negative regarding the Challenge itself, but I have a lot of positives to report on my own participation:

  • The day before the Challenge began, I had intended to pull out. I thought it was too much for me to handle, and that the stress would be too much. Then I had a great idea – I would use my poetry for the entries.
  • I finally learned how to schedule my posts so that I could get them up on my blog a few days ahead of time and thus have some days in reserve in case I couldn’t make it on the day the post was due.
  • I strengthened ties with some blogs I follow and who already follow mine. Some did not do the A to Z Challenge, but they faithfully followed my posts. Among them are:
    • QueasyPeasy – QP and Eye, who writes on several different themes, and in this year’s A to Z, wrote posts mostly on her travels;
    • Frederick Anderson – Author, who writes a great blog and tells wonderful stories;
    • Our Rumbling Ocean, where I am finding out a great deal about South African bird and animal life and flora;
    • Baz – the Landy, who is a mountaineer who also loves travelling inland Australia and posts some great photos of the country.
  • I made some wonderful new blogging friends along the way, and have found great new blogs to read and to share. Among these are:
  • Even though many of my regular followers didn’t join the Challenge, they were quite engaged with my A to Z posts, and commented onthem regularly.
  • The number of my blog followers increased, and so did the number of visitors each post received. Views on my blog numbered 1,509 in April, where the usual monthly views are around 700-800 – so, a nice increase. The best week saw 485 views. These stats are small compared with many other A to Z-ers, but for me they are very satisfying.
  • My poetry had more exposure than it ever has before.
  • I completed the Challenge!

One problem I have had is nothing to do with the Challenge, but with my Gravatar. Somehow, about the start of the Challenge, the link from it changed from my wangiwriter wordpress blog to an old website I used to have years ago. I have still not been able to correct this.

I’d like to say thanks to those on the A to Z Challenge Team who dropped in on my blog and commented. It was lovely to see you and know that I was seen as one of the Challengers.

Thanks also to the organisers, who must be delighted with the steady increase in participant numbers each year.

I will certainly be taking the Challenge again in 2016, but I will start getting ready for it earlier than I did this year.

Here are all my posts for the 2015 Challenge:

A is for Answer

B is for Black Dog

C is for Crossing the River

D is for Dirty Fingerprints

E is for Embrace the Good

F is for First Touch

G is for Going Grand

H is for Haiku

I is for Imagination

J is for Justice

K is for Kangaroo

L is for Lost

M is for Mowing the Lawn

N is for Never-ending

O is for On the Rocks

P is for Petrol

Q is for Quinzaine

R is for Rivers of Life

S is for Snow Angels

T is for Time

U is for Unconditional Love

V is for Valentine

W is for Writers’ Block

X is for … X

Y is for You’re In There, I Know It!

Z is for Zephyr

Linda Visman – wangiwriter

Getting into a Blogging Routine

January 11, 2015 at 10:39 pm | Posted in blogging, Discipline, Writing | 5 Comments
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My friend, also named  Linda, blogs at Queasy Peasy, and she is much more disciplined than I am. Her latest post, 2015 Blog Plan, has at last stirred me to action, and I intend to have a blogging plan of my own.

I actually devised a routine at the start of 2014, but I never even started it, let alone stayed with it. My plan was for three posts a week: Memoir Monday; Wildlife Wednesday; and Freestyle Friday.

I did manage to complete the whole of the April 2014 A to Z Blogging Challenge, and intend to join that again for this year. I have also joined Cee’s Share Your World challenge, and have managed to post every week since I began it in August 2014.

So I have proved that I can rake up the discipline if I want to. After all, if my friend can do it working four days a week, then surely I can when I am retired! I just need now to make a marathon commitment, not just a sprint. And I need to be organised enough to include these blog posts into my already fairly busy schedule.

I intend to join Queasy Peasy in what she is calling her Monday for Memoir. I will continue to post weekly to Cee’s Share Your World. And I will do my best to post an entry each week on Australian flora and fauna (especially from my area) under Wednesday Wildlife.

Now I just need to work out how to make a banner for the memoir and wildlife posts. My friend did tell me how to do it a couple of months ago but I forget now. All right, where is that notebook I wrote the name of the program in?

Linda Visman

Share Your World – Week 46

November 19, 2014 at 9:44 pm | Posted in Family, Gratitude, Leisure activities, Mental Health, Nature | 7 Comments
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Share Your World blog badge

 

 

Here is another interesting set of questions from Cee for Week 46 of Share Your World.

 

On a vacation what you would require in any place that you sleep? 

Our camper van

Our camper van

A comfortable bed is essential. I think that if you have somewhere comfy to sleep, you can handle anything else a holiday has to throw at you. But there is one more thing I need – a comfy chair in which to relax, to read, to enjoy a wine at the end of the day.

In our little Toyota HiAce camper, we have a lovely comfortable bed, based on the seat cushions and topped with two layers of foam. That bed stays made up for the duration, and we either do without a table or use the one that attaches outside.

However, our van doesn’t have a comfortable chair, at least not inside. The front seats are separated from the back of the van by the engine housing, and when we stop, any extra bits and pieces are stored on those seats until we set off again. The floor space is small, with no room for a chair. Hubby loves to read or otherwise relax lying down, so he’s fine, but to relax I need to sit. So the only times I can do so in comfort is when the weather is good enough – and the mosquitoes non-existent – to sit in the folding camper chair outside.

Music or silence while working?

I lived out in the back blocks of Central Australia for many years. When you just needed a tape recorder and a few of your favourite tapes, my partner and I used to play music all the time. When we moved back to civilisation, she played music more than I did, but I always had it playing in the background as I did my woodwork in the garage.

Once I began writing my family’s history however, music distracted my thoughts, so I got out of the habit of playing it. Now, years later, in a different state, with a husband who also loves music, we have lots of CDs to play. But we don’t play them! We don’t really know why.

However I think it is time we did something about it. Perhaps I should find out if music will stimulate my creative writing rather than distract me from it.

If you were to move and your home came fully furnished with everything you ever wanted, list at least three things from your old house you wish to retain?

Dad in his woodworking shed

Dad in his woodworking shed

My photo and scrapbook albums, my folders of family history records, my journals, and my computer external drive with all my writing and photographs would have to go with me. I would also want to take the few family keepsakes I have – Mum’s sewing things, her old teapot, her small paintings and shells, and the small tables, wooden bowls and knick-knacks that Dad made. I don’t have Mum and Dad any more, but I want to keep something of them by me.

What’s your least favorite mode of transportation?

I can’t say I have a least favourite. I love to travel, so any way I can do that is good. My most favourite mode is driving myself, always has been. I used to drive 1,700-2,500 km each way to visit my family in NSW twice a year when I lived in the Northern Territory. It was also a 320km drive to the nearest town (Alice Springs) over mostly dirt roads just to do business and buy groceries. I loved it.

Bonus question:  What are you grateful for from last week, and what are you looking forward to in the week coming up?

I am grateful for the four days we were able to relax and enjoy the Aussie bush, sleeping and eating in our camper. I was also really happy that we could have dinner with my younger sister and her husband and catch up on each other’s families and busy lives. As we get older, we become even closer to each other, even though we are different in many ways.

I am looking forward to going to the local art gallery with my neighbour friend to the launch of a book about our town’s most famous person, the late Sir William Dobell, a major Australian artist of the mid twentieth century.

(c) Linda Visman

Share Your World –Week 41

October 18, 2014 at 10:31 pm | Posted in Australia, Experiences, Family, Society | 13 Comments
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Share Your World blog badge

Here is week 41 of Cee Neuner’s Share Your World, where we answer Cee’s questions to share a little of ourselves and our world with others around the planet.

Would you rather take pictures or be in pictures?

Both hubby and I love to take photos, to record our lives as we live them. When we visit family, we are both busy taking photos of our kids and grandkids. We only occasionally get a look-in ourselves. We will often come home to find there are no photos of us among the hundred or two we have taken!

Although many people hate having their photo taken, I don’t mind it. I would like my family in the future to know what I looked like and how life changed me through the years. I look back on my childhood and mostly can only imagine what my family looked like, how we grew, what we did, where we lived and where we went.

There are very few photographs to see, because in those days – the 1940s to 1960s, the cost of a camera, film and developing was too great for struggling family. Nowadays, we can take as many photos as we like at little cost. We need to remember to print them though. If anything happens to digital photos or they are not accessible due to changing technology, then people in the future will be the same as we were in the past, with little or no record of their lives.

What did you most enjoy doing this past week?

Last weekend, I was part of a Community Fair. My writing group had a stall to publicise what we do and how we can assist budding or novice writers to improve their craft. It was a beautiful day, with lots of people about browsing a myriad of stalls in the main street which had been blocked to traffic.

I was pleasantly surprised at the number of people who came over to look at the books and magazines our members have produced. Many of them stayed to chat about writing, and quite a few were interested in coming along to our meeting to see how we operate. The best was that two of those interested are young teenage girls.

What is your greatest extravagance?

Books. It is so hard to resist them!!

Which letter of the alphabet describes you best?

It is difficult for me to choose one. Instead of looking at the shape of the letter as many will do, I am listening to the sound of it. When I do that, there are several that could apply to me at some level.

B          I want to be myself and not other people’s versions of me;

I           I – me. There is a selfish gene on one side of my family history that I always have to fight. I am getting better at it, though I still often like to get in my opinion on something;

U         I am becoming more empathetic to others as I get older, and enjoy helping you where I can;

X         Some twenty-five years after being divorced from my first husband, he finally found someone else and allowed me to be his ex-wife;

Y         I often ask why. Why is there so much hatred in the world? Why do we have to destroy our environment for the sake of short-term financial gain? Why this or why that? Maybe I should rather be asking, ‘How?’: ‘How can we fix things?’

Here are a few bits of fun too: ‘A, what did you say?’ – ‘C, I told you so!’ – ‘E, that scared me!’ – ‘G, that’s amazing!’ – ‘L, not again!’ – O dear, that’s terrible!’ – ‘RUOK?’ – T and biscuits anyone?’

Bonus question: What are you grateful for from last week, and what are you looking forward to in the week coming up?

Skype is a great way to keep contact with my children and grandchildren, who all live far away. It was great to talk with one of my sons and his family.

I have a fairly light week coming up, with few scheduled commitments. I am looking forward to doing some of the things I have been putting off.

(c) Linda Visman

I Resolve to Make No Resolutions!

January 6, 2014 at 8:53 pm | Posted in Experiences, Mental Health, Psychology, Writing, Writing and Life | 7 Comments
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Many people begin a new year by pondering changes they will make. They review the year just gone and look at how they could have done things better. Then they make resolutions for the year ahead. 2013-2014 sign

They vow they will drink less, quit smoking, join a gym. They decide on ways they can become happier, slimmer, more active, more productive, more engaged with others, etc. They make resolutions. I will do this, or that, or the other.

newYearsResolutionsList

However, within very little time, most of those who have made resolutions break them. And break them again, and again. And then give up on them.

Why do they break them? Because they are not completely and utterly committed to keeping those resolutions. There is something between the them and the decision to do or not to do something – and that makes their decision, their resolve, worthless; lost before they even begin.

And then come the feelings of guilt. Oh, don’t I know all about those feelings of guilt! After all, I was brought up as a Catholic, and nobody knows guilt like Catholics.

 guilt_carry-man

I’m not good enough! I’ve failed – again! I’m useless!

Guilt it paralysing. So, this year, I have avoided making resolutions altogether (except for the decision not to make any). Instead, I have set goals that I would like to achieve this year.

 goals

All the goals are associated with my writing, since that is the area of my life that I need most to sort out. I have tried to make my goals realistic and achievable. I do not want those guilt feelings to overwhelm me again this year!

2014 goals

And that is why I am writing this blog entry. One of my goals was to write a blog entry at least every week. I wrote one on the last day of 2013 – that’s just under a week ago. This is the first one for 2014. This goal I have achieved – for this week anyway. Phew!

(c) Linda Visman, January 2014

 

2012 in review

December 31, 2012 at 11:44 am | Posted in Experiences, Family, Health, History, Mental Health, Society, Special Occasions, Tourism, War and Conflict, Writing and Life | 2 Comments
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The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

600 people reached the top of Mt. Everest in 2012. This blog got about 4,100 views in 2012. If every person who reached the top of Mt. Everest viewed this blog, it would have taken 7 years to get that many views.

Click here to see the complete report.

Hello readers. I haven’t blogged nearly as much as I’d intended this year. However, when I look back, I realise I haven’t done too badly. As with you all, I have had health and other issues to face, but I think I have come through the year pretty well.

I would like to thank all those who have been kind enough to follow this little blog, and especially those who have commented on my posts. It is always great to receive feedback.

The most viewed and commented on post was The Long Goodbye, which really struck a chord for many people.DSCN5516 (1024x768)

My dad is still there, living at home on his own. However his short-term memory is gone and the longer-term memory is all mixed up. Fortunately, he knows his children still. He has lots of visiting care workers, as well as my sister who goes over to see to specific needs a couple of times a day. I make the trip (4-5 hours each way) every couple of weeks and spend a few days with him to give my sister a break. Dad is still so accepting and positive, and we can still have conversations about general things. He is a wonderful man.

I have posted several times about reading and writing, and those posts have also attracted lots of views and some comments. Perhaps the most popular was When do you know when you’ve found a good author?

Travel or tourist posts have been popular, including Mystery Bay, The Entrance and Kiama Blowhole.

A couple of philosophical posts attracted a few comments. I think we all tend to look back and wonder what effect the past has had on out present selves. Bringing Back the Past and Whose Tradition? were popular, but What would you go back and change? topped them.

And finally, Making Lists brought out those who like to make sure they don’t forget to do those important things that may be lost to memory if not written down.

2012 has been a rather tumultuous year, with political, social, religious and economic instability in evidence around the world. It has been a difficult one personally for many of you, with illness, loss of loved ones and other issues taking their toll on confidence and optimism.

I hope that 2013 brings a much more positive and creative approach to solving both the problems in the world and your own personal challenges. Wishing you all peace, health and happiness for the year ahead. And I hope to see you here again through 2013, the Chinese Year of the Snake.

Regards to all, Linda  

Happy NewYear 2013

Should a Writer Journal or Blog?

August 23, 2011 at 10:47 am | Posted in Writing | 4 Comments
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I think that keeping a journal or blog is a very useful, indeed a valuable practice
for writers.

A writer will have times when their work is not going well. The short story
doesn’t pull together; the novel has lost its focus; the poem ends up as a
mushy, trite recitation of platitudes; everyday life with its pressures takes
precedence over writing; the writer loses focus; frustration over characters or
a story’s direction bogs down the work in progress.

It is at those times that writing about writing, or about one’s feelings about
their writing can be a very valuable exercise.

A writing journal or a blog, which can be the same thing, can help a writer to
regain focus. Going round in circles does not help, but putting one’s thoughts
on paper, or through the keyboard, can bring problems into focus, identify
roadblocks, and even provide an alternate route to take.

I must admit, that I do not do this as much as I should. Instead, I avoid writing
and, in so doing, I create even bigger blocks to my creativity. I think it is
because I fear writing sometimes. It is too personal. It forces me to look at
realities instead of wishes and hopes; at avenues for action instead of the
inaction of lassitude. It makes me face my fears, instead of running away from
them, and that is a fearful thing in itself.

But, if I want to write, especially if I want to write something of value, I must
face those fears. I must continue with the work I have set myself, bring it to
fruition and then, show it to the world.

I have done it once; I need to do it again.

 

Linda Visman (L.M. Visman) is the author of Ben’s Challenge, a Middle grade / YA novel, available from createspace or amazon.

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