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Crazy, Or Crazy Like A Fox?

28 Aug
New Orleans: Detail of graffiti on neighborhoo...

New Orleans: Detail of graffiti on neighborhood grocery shop in the back of town 7th Ward, still derilict over 3 years after the Hurricane Katrina levee failure disaster. Post disaster search & rescue “X” mark has been overlaid with graffiti reading “FEMA KILLS”. (Photo credit: Wikipedia) (People from N.O. found out first hand how well they could depend on Uncle Sam to help them out)

We’ve all seen (or at least heard of) the show on T.V. called ‘Doomsday Preppers‘.  In fact, you’ve probably rolled your eyes, laughed or called them crazy, or know someone who has (I have!); but if you take a clear, honest look at the state of our world today, are they really that far off the mark?

How many people in New York were left in shock, with no plan, on 9/11?  When hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans, how many people would have benefited from having a stockpile of food and water to last them at least a week?  It’s not just ‘Doomsday’ that these people are prepping for, it’s any disaster that can strike.  Look at Japan.  These people lived right next door to a nuclear plant, and yet had NO plan for what they should do in case there was a problem.  And there was.  Do you know how close you are to a possible nuclear fallout?  Do you even know how far the fallout from the closest nuclear facility to you would extend?  Do you live near a strategic nuclear target, like D.C. or a major military base and DON’T have a plan?  Maybe you need to redefine ‘crazy’.

If a natural (or man-made) disaster strikes near you, do you really trust FEMA, or any part of the government for that matter, to take care of you (especially looking back on the New Orleans fiasco)?  Do you want to rely on them arriving to help you in a timely fashion, with all of the things your family specifically needs?  If you’re diabetic, and disaster strikes, do you have enough insulin to last you until FEMA finally gets their act together?  Food? Water? Continue reading

10 Things I Do To Get (And Keep) Readers

21 Aug

The other day, I was answering a question posed in this post, over at SFoxWriting’s Blog and in replying, I came up with the idea for this post.  I hope you enjoy, or at the very least, find something helpful.

  1. I always use tags for every post, without them, my posts don’t show up when people search using keywords.
  2. I try to always link to related posts at the end of my own (using Zemanta), not only is it helping other bloggers to become exposed to new readers, I almost always get a view or two from people coming to check out who left them the pingback.
  3. I try to take a moment to acknowledge comments left on my page.  I truly appreciate it when people take the time to not only read my posts, but to make a comment, and the least I can do is say thanks.
  4. I visit, like and comment on other blogs, but I don’t leave comments just to get people to come back and visit me, I only comment when I have something valid to say or add.
  5. I follow the people who follow me, because if they like what I have to say enough to follow me, chances are, I’ll like what they have to say, as well.
  6. I try to post about things that people have shown they like to read.  If I notice a sharp increase in views with a certain subject, I try to incorporate that subject into my blog.
  7. I always try to be nice to everyone.  Like the old saying goes, “You catch more flies with honey than with vinegar.”
  8. Whenever I get an idea for a blog post, I always try to make a draft of at minimum, the title for the post, so that I have starting points when I’m low on ideas.
  9. I try to schedule posts ahead of time (like this one!) for days I know I might not be around the computer.
  10. Write!  The more you post, the more you’re out there for people to see.
  11. BONUS TIP:  Always try to give a little more than expected.  People appreciate it.

I’ve gotten a higher than usual influx of readers and followers lately because I’ve been writing about kindness the past week or so.  People want to read about kindness, acts of kindness, and more ways to be kind, so they come.  I also seem to have a lot to say on the subject, so I have made several posts a day, which also brings in more readers, naturally.

Posts about myself are always (usually) short, and posts about social issues are usually longer.  I also take the time to promote other bloggers, because some of my favorite blogs have been found through someone else mentioning them, so I try to offer the discovery of something new to my readers, as well.

Eventually, I would definitely like to monetize my blog.  I’m a homemaker, and I would like some pocket change to buy gifts for my fiancee for Christmas and his birthday, because I always feel guilty using money that he has worked for to pay for them, and I do promote my art on my blog on occasion, but for the most part, I try to write the sort of things I enjoy reading on other people’s blogs, so I know that in time, I will have plenty of readers just by doing what I’m doing.

I know a lot of people suggest following and commenting on other blogs to gain followers, and while this does work after a fashion, you really need to be careful with this, because if people feel like you’re doing this for the sole purpose of getting more readers/views/followers for yourself, you’ll get a not-so-stellar reputation.  I make sure that when I comment on a post on a blog that I’ve just run across, my comments are thoughtful, and add something to the blog.  Sure, ‘Great post’ is nice now and then, if you mean it, but if you want more meaningful follows and comments, you have to make sure you’re doing the same.

It might be a slower process, but in the end, if the people follow me because they like what I have to say, then they will be more loyal.  At least, that’s the plan 😉

How about you?  Any tips to add for getting and keeping readers?

Bruised But Not Broken – A Survivor’s Tale

18 Aug
child abuse

child abuse (Photo credit: Southworth Sailor)

I am a survivor.

Bruised and scarred, but not broken, even though there are moments in which I feel I am.  I have survived abuse, in one form or another, since I was seven years old.  One abuser is dead (and burning in Hell, if there is a just god), another is still alive, in my life, and loved very much, because I am old enough now to understand.  I don’t have to approve of a thing to understand the motivation behind it.  I have forgiven, and life has moved on to happier, healthier times, because they have found it in themselves to change.  Another abuser is still alive (I assume) but completely out of my life, and although I haven’t been able to completely forgive, I’ve shed most of my anger and feel mostly pity and sorrow.  I count that as a win, too.

I am here to tell anyone who will listen or who needs to hear, that there IS life after abuse.  No, the memories will never go away.  The nasty little voice in your head will never be completely silenced, but there is life, and it can be a very, very good life. Continue reading

Point Me In The Right Direction?

17 Aug

Hi, guys.  I’m sorry to put this out here on you, but I really don’t know where else to turn.

As you see, I just posted about my art and my decision to donate 25% of my proceeds to charity/acts of kindness.  What I need your help with (in the form of suggestions, tips, pointers, etc.) is how to get people interested enough in my artwork to want to purchase it?

I figured already that I would need to have matted (at the minimum) copies of several pieces to show prospective buyers, but what else can/should I be doing to help generate more sales?  My town doesn’t really have a lot of festivals and things where starving, unknown artists can set up a table and peddle their wares (or if they do, they’ve kept the secret really well!)  I already plan to create a website, also, as soon as I (again!) make enough sales to cover the cost of a domain name and the services of a website designer.

So how about it?  Anyone have any ideas on how to help me generate sales?

Breaking Through Blogger’s Block

16 Aug
? Block

? Block (Photo credit: Cut To Pieces)

Every now and then, I find myself with Blogger’s Block, a.k.a. Writer’s Block In the Blogging World.  I’ll sit here staring at a blank screen, feeling frantic as I watch the minutes creep past, worried that an idea just won’t come.  I’ve sat for hours trying to think of a topic to post about sometimes (not literally, I get up to do other things, but that page is still there, accusingly naked, in my mind), and as the time ticks by, I get that sinking feeling that I may not be able to come up with anything to write about at all.

Recently, I’ve come up with a few tried and true ways to smash through Blogger’s Block, for me at least, and I thought that perhaps some of you might appreciate the suggestions, so here they are: Continue reading

Three More Reasons Why My Readers Are The Best!

15 Aug

Congratulations on getting 200 total likes on Free, Fun or Interesting.

Most Likes in One Day

On Thursday August 15, 2013 you surpassed your previous record of most likes in one day ( 17 ) for your posts on Free, Fun or Interesting. That’s pretty awesome, well done!

AND…

On Monday, August 12, 2013, my blog surpassed its previous record of most views in a day.  Previously the record was at 59, and it is now up to 63!

 

Thank you all so much for visiting, commenting and supporting my blog!  Your support truly keeps me going, and I thank you!

America- Lowering IQ, One Glass Of Water At A Time

10 Aug
Česky: Pitná voda - kohoutek Español: Agua potable

Česky: Pitná voda – kohoutek Español: Agua potable (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I’d like to ask those of you reading this to suspend your disbelief and skepticism for the few minutes it will take to get through.  I encourage you all to watch the video I’ve referenced, to share your thoughts on what’s entailed here, and to research the content on your own.  I don’t claim to be a scientist, nor an expert, but when I saw this, I was utterly flabbergasted that it could even be possible.  It’s a scary thought, if it’s true, that we are voluntarily poisoning ourselves and our children.

Those of you who have followed my blog know that I am exploring an interest in the metaphysical; things like psychic ability, reincarnation, etc.  In this topic, much mention is made about the ‘third eye’, it’s function, and the belief that the pineal gland in the human brain is actually its location.  I started looking into this because I read something that mentioned fluoride actually calcifies the pineal gland, which alarmed me because of its significance to psychic abilities, and calcifying/stopping up/killing this gland, if indeed it is the source of these abilities, is definitely NOT a good thing.  What I found was way worse than that.

Today, as I was perusing some of the sites I was considering using for my ‘Related Posts’ section of a post, I ran across a post (can’t remember how I got there) entitled ‘Do Electromagnetic Fields Affect The Pineal Gland, Limiting Human Consciousness?‘.  This naturally piqued my curiosity, because of the possible relation of the pineal gland to certain metaphysical functions in humanity including enlightenment and ESP, so I read it, and clicked on a link it contained about fluoride because I’ve heard many people mention in passing that it was bad for us, and more recently, someone whose opinion I respect very much has mentioned more than once that fluoride is poisoning us.  This link brought me to a page that had many links regarding fluoride, and I was overwhelmed by the sheer number of articles, so I just scanned through and clicked one randomly.  I was very happy with my choice, because it ended up containing documentaries/public addresses on several subjects, some of which I may post about at a later date, but today, I’ll just focus on fluoride.   Continue reading

Drugs, Dentists and Sleep Deprivation

9 Aug

As I sit here, going on 39 hours without sleep, doped up on Hydrocodone and an extra hole in my head, I realize that this may not be the most opportune time to be posting on my blog, but I’ve really missed you guys, and I’ve really missed sharing with y’all.

For the past five days or so, I’ve had a great blog post topic in my head to write about, and I can’t wait until tonight when I will post it for everyone.  It might be a little out there, but I hope that you will enjoy it or at the very least that it will make you think.

Just wanted to let you all know that I’m still here and that I will be posting later this evening.  It would have been last night, but an unexpected dental emergency left me unable to string my thoughts together enough to make sense.

Until later, my friends!

~A

Technology, Relationships and Night Shift

4 Aug

So, I haven’t posted anything these last couple of days.  My Love is on his long stretch of days off, which means that I’m spending less (read: almost no) time on the computer, and more time interacting with him or cuddled beside him reading a book while he catches up on his man-soaps (read: Wrestling).  I approach these long stretches of time with mixed emotion. Continue reading

Inspiration – Get it? Got it? Good.

31 Jul
English: A palette of watercolours and a brush...

English: A palette of watercolours and a brush. Deutsch: Wasserfarben und Pinsel. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

This morning, I was causally going through my reader, when I came across a blog post I had seen yesterday, glanced at the excerpt, and somehow gotten distracted and not actually read.  Having the time now, I clicked on it.  Oh, happy day!  What a joy to read! 

The other day, I had pulled out my old acrylics and decided I’d try to paint a picture.  I decided I’d stick to abstract, since it requires less drawing skills (of which I sorely lack, outside of the occasional stroke of luck), and it turned out terrible.  I put the paper down, washed out my brushes and said to myself, “Well, that was just as bad as I thought it was going to be. ” and left the room.  I haven’t touched my paints since, because in my mind, I’d just reiterated to myself the fact that I can’t paint worth a damn.

While I was reading this post, my mind flashed to those paints, and that horrible painting, and I actually wanted to try again.  I actually wanted to paint a bad picture.  It had done what I have been unable to do for myself my entire life… Continue reading

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