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1. Longreads’ Best of WordPress, Vol. 7

Here it is! A new collection of our favorite stories from across all of WordPress.

As always, you can find our past collections here. You can follow Longreads on WordPress.com for more daily reading recommendations, or subscribe to our free weekly email.

Publishers, writers, you can share links to your favorite essays and interviews (over 1,500 words) on Twitter (#longreads) and on WordPress.com by tagging your posts longreads.


1. What Happens When a Veteran High School Teacher Becomes a Student for the Day

Grant Wiggins

“I waited fourteen years to do something that I should have done my first year of teaching: shadow a student for a day.” A high school teacher learns some sobering lessons about how kids experience a typical day — and the amount of sitting required.

2. No Apology

Mehreen Kasana

The truth about being Muslim in America:

In the eyes of those perpetually seeking an apology from Muslims, I am a Bad Muslim. I don’t put hashtag-suffixed apologies online for what someone else of my faith does. When 9/11 happened, I was as shocked and terrified as anyone else was. We scary-looking Muslims experience human emotions, too. … We Muslims react to unexpected loss of life like any non-Muslim would. We cry, we mourn.

3. The Rise and Fall of Public Housing in NYC

Richard Price, Guernica

A “subjective overview” of the history of public housing in New York City from the novelist Richard Price, framed through the lens of his own upbringing in the North Bronx’s Parkside Houses.

4. Ways Men In Tech Are Unintentionally Sexist

Kat Hagan, This Is Not a Pattern

How our behavior and language can have a harmful impact — and how we can fix it. “Small, simple changes will build the foundation for a better tech culture.”

5. Gone Girls: Human Trafficking on the Home Front

Mike Kessler, Los Angeles Magazine

Kessler talks to survivors of child prostitution, as well as law enforcement officers, judges, politicians, and advocates working to prevent the sex trafficking of minors.

6. The Evans Family Is Living in This World

Linda Vaccariello, Cincinnati Magazine

A community comes together to help a family after a tragedy:

“The reality hit me like nothing I’d ever experienced,” McDonald says. “She had no one. I couldn’t imagine what that was like.” McDonald went to Ao, threw her arm around the sobbing woman’s shoulders, and said, “We’ll help you.”

7. The Plunge

Carl Schreck, Grantland

The story of Shavarsh Karapetyan, a Soviet swimming champion who dove into Armenia’s Lake Yerevan and saved dozens of lives from a sinking trolleybus.

8. How Pixar’s Gurus Brought the Magic Back to Disney Animation

Caitlin Roper, Wired

A profile of John Lasseter and Ed Catmull, whose intense focus on storytelling helped revive Disney’s animation studio with hits like Frozen and Wreck-It Ralph.

9. ‘I Am Darren Wilson’: St. Louis and the Geography of Fear

Sarah Kendzior & Umar Lee, Quartz

St. Louis is a city long on the run from itself. White flight has spread from suburbia to exurbia, while decades of black demands — for better jobs, better schools, better treatment—go unheeded. This is a region deprived of resources, forcing residents to scrounge for more fertile terrain.

10. Stephen Powers Puts the Writing on the Wall

Neima Jahromi, Bklynr

From the magazine Bklynr, a profile of the street artist behind some of Brooklyn’s most recognizable murals.

Photo: dystopos, Flickr


Filed under: Community, Reading, WordPress, WordPress.com

0 Comments on Longreads’ Best of WordPress, Vol. 7 as of 10/22/2014 1:17:00 PM
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2. Longreads’ Best of WordPress, Vol. 7

Here it is! A new collection of our favorite stories from across all of WordPress.

As always, you can find our past collections here. You can follow Longreads on WordPress.com for more daily reading recommendations, or subscribe to our free weekly email.

Publishers, writers, you can share links to your favorite essays and interviews (over 1,500 words) on Twitter (#longreads) and on WordPress.com by tagging your posts longreads.


1. What Happens When a Veteran High School Teacher Becomes a Student for the Day

Grant Wiggins

“I waited fourteen years to do something that I should have done my first year of teaching: shadow a student for a day.” A high school teacher learns some sobering lessons about how kids experience a typical day — and the amount of sitting required.

2. No Apology

Mehreen Kasana

The truth about being Muslim in America:

In the eyes of those perpetually seeking an apology from Muslims, I am a Bad Muslim. I don’t put hashtag-suffixed apologies online for what someone else of my faith does. When 9/11 happened, I was as shocked and terrified as anyone else was. We scary-looking Muslims experience human emotions, too. … We Muslims react to unexpected loss of life like any non-Muslim would. We cry, we mourn.

3. The Rise and Fall of Public Housing in NYC

Richard Price, Guernica

A “subjective overview” of the history of public housing in New York City from the novelist Richard Price, framed through the lens of his own upbringing in the North Bronx’s Parkside Houses.

4. Ways Men In Tech Are Unintentionally Sexist

Kat Hagan, This Is Not a Pattern

How our behavior and language can have a harmful impact — and how we can fix it. “Small, simple changes will build the foundation for a better tech culture.”

5. Gone Girls: Human Trafficking on the Home Front

Mike Kessler, Los Angeles Magazine

Kessler talks to survivors of child prostitution, as well as law enforcement officers, judges, politicians, and advocates working to prevent the sex trafficking of minors.

6. The Evans Family Is Living in This World

Linda Vaccariello, Cincinnati Magazine

A community comes together to help a family after a tragedy:

“The reality hit me like nothing I’d ever experienced,” McDonald says. “She had no one. I couldn’t imagine what that was like.” McDonald went to Ao, threw her arm around the sobbing woman’s shoulders, and said, “We’ll help you.”

7. The Plunge

Carl Schreck, Grantland

The story of Shavarsh Karapetyan, a Soviet swimming champion who dove into Armenia’s Lake Yerevan and saved dozens of lives from a sinking trolleybus.

8. How Pixar’s Gurus Brought the Magic Back to Disney Animation

Caitlin Roper, Wired

A profile of John Lasseter and Ed Catmull, whose intense focus on storytelling helped revive Disney’s animation studio with hits like Frozen and Wreck-It Ralph.

9. ‘I Am Darren Wilson’: St. Louis and the Geography of Fear

Sarah Kendzior & Umar Lee, Quartz

St. Louis is a city long on the run from itself. White flight has spread from suburbia to exurbia, while decades of black demands — for better jobs, better schools, better treatment—go unheeded. This is a region deprived of resources, forcing residents to scrounge for more fertile terrain.

10. Stephen Powers Puts the Writing on the Wall

Neima Jahromi, Bklynr

From the magazine Bklynr, a profile of the street artist behind some of Brooklyn’s most recognizable murals.

Photo: dystopos, Flickr


Filed under: Community, Reading, WordPress, WordPress.com

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3. Content Marketing – 7 Powerful Benefits of the WordPress Content Management System

Before the benefits are listed, you may want to know what a content management system (CMS) is. The CMS is what allows you to manage the content on your website. According to Small Business.Yahoo, “It stores all of your documents, images, videos, and any other type of online content in an organized way.” Another feature of the CMS is it allows you to have more than one administrator or editor.

0 Comments on Content Marketing – 7 Powerful Benefits of the WordPress Content Management System as of 10/6/2014 6:39:00 AM
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4. Planet Automattic: April 2014

One WordPress.com staffer challenged the others to a month-long blogging challenge... and you'll never guess what happened next! (Spoiler: we blogged a lot.)

10 Comments on Planet Automattic: April 2014, last added: 4/30/2014
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5. Author Website Content: Blog Posts 6-10



This month-long series of blog posts will explain author websites and offer tips and writing strategies for an effective author website. It alternates between a day of technical information and a day of writing content. By the end of the month, you should have a basic author website up and functioning. The Table of Contents lists the topics, but individual posts will not go live until the date listed. The Author Website Resource Page offers links to tools, services, software and more.

Write 5 More Blog Posts

WWW under construction building website

Before your website goes live, I recommend that you have at least 10-15 posts written. So, on this writing day, I’ll suggest that you write five more posts and schedule them. Believe me, getting posts scheduled ahead will make the process easier. Blog posts can be 240-2000 words, however long it needs to be.

For the first 5 posts we concentrated on giving readers what they want from the Codex group. Here are other ideas.

  1. Interview. A classic post is to interview another author about a forthcoming book, an award, a surprising thing in their career, or a forthcoming book. An easy way to do this is to send 5 questions for the person to answer. Did you get that? You only have to write 5 questions! Your friend writes the post for you. In return, they get to borrow your audience for a day. Make sure the post will be something that your audience will be interested in.
  2. Review. Likewise, a review of a friend’s book si ALWAYS welcome. Support your friends and their carrers by doing an honest review. Update your audience on your literary tastes by talking about what you’re reading now.
  3. Event report. Are you traveling, attending a conference, speaking at a school, or teaching a class? Give a report, complete with photos of the event. Your readers would like to know what was the most fascinating thing to YOU. Filter everything through your point of view. Doing a booksigning? Add photos to your blog post.
  4. Post a video. Is there a uTube video that speaks to something you are talking about on your blog? It’s easy to embed a YouTuve video in a post or page.

Today, write five more blog posts and schedule them. Try to make one of them a pillar post.

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6. Author Website Tech: Posts


Goodreads Book Giveaway

Abayomi, the Brazilian Puma by Darcy Pattison

Abayomi, the Brazilian Puma

by Darcy Pattison

Giveaway ends March 21, 2014.

See the giveaway details at Goodreads.

Enter to win

How to Add a Post to WordPress

It’s time to start on your blog by using WordPress Posts. Here’s the information from the WordPress Codex, the first place you should look for info.

If you’ve written a page, it’s essentially the same. You use the same editing screen.

Here are a couple other tips:

Kitchen Sink. In the editing screen, you should see a full set of formatting options for your text. If you don’t see two rows, click on the last item in the top row. When you hover over it, it says, “Show the Kitchen Sink.” Click this and you’ll see more formatting options.

Click on the last item in the top row to reveal the Kitchen Sink.

Click on the last item in the top row to reveal the Kitchen Sink.

Schedule the Publication of a Post. You can write posts ahead and schedule when you want them to appear with the Publishing options. You can Preview the Draft, Save the Draft or Schedule it. I often write a couple days ahead and schedule the post to go live at a certain time on a certain day. One caution. Just because you’ve set up a time for it publish–as in the image–does not mean you have published it! You have to click on the SCHEDULE button to actually publish and post.

Import. If you need to import posts from another blog, click on Tools/Import for options and instructions.

Categories. As you add posts in the next few days, you’ll also want to think about the Categories of posts. Categories The editing page displays a list of categories you’ve used before. When you first set this up, though, you’ll want to go to Posts/Categories. On that page, you can set up the categories as you wish. Be especially careful with the category slugs, or the way a category is listed in a URL. For example, this post in under the category of Book Marketing, but the slug for the category is “marketing.” I want to keep the slugs as short as possible so they aren’t a pain for my readers to type in. See more about Categories on the WordPress Codex.

Menus. It’s also time to revisit your Menu and make sure it shows the Categories you want visitors to see first. Go to Appearance/Menu and set it up as you wish. Here’s WordPress’s Guide to Menus.

It may seem tedious to worry about categories and menus when you are ready to write that blog. But believe me, if you get the skeleton down, the blog will stand up straighter and look smarter.

Tomorrow? You’ll write blog posts and write blog posts and write blog posts. Make sure your blog is ready.

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7. Author Website Tech: Themes


Goodreads Book Giveaway

Abayomi, the Brazilian Puma by Darcy Pattison

Abayomi, the Brazilian Puma

by Darcy Pattison

Giveaway ends March 21, 2014.

See the giveaway details at Goodreads.

Enter to win

This month-long series of blog posts will explain author websites and offer tips and writing strategies for an effective author website. It alternates between a day of technical information and a day of writing content. By the end of the month, you should have a basic author website up and functioning. The Table of Contents lists the topics, but individual posts will not go live until the date listed. The Author Website Resource Page offers links to tools, services, software and more.

What Does Your Site Look Like?

WWW under construction building website

It’s time to think about how your site looks. Finally, you say. I know. We SEE websites all the time and don’t think about the back end. But the time you’ve spent on the back end will make the site functional.

Websites are a work in progress, and as such, the theme you choose today, you will change in a year or two. Don’t stress out about whether you choose a free or premium theme at first I believe the most important thing is to dive in and then do continual incremental changes to your site. Some will argue that you should purchase a Premium theme or hire a high-priced web designer. I argue that you should get content up on your site and then prettify it as you can. Tinkering is good.

But for those of you who are visual first, you can certainly explore a web designer, a Premium theme, or hiring someone from Odesk.com or Elance.com.

FREE

From the web: Go to http://wordpress.org/themes/ to study the various free themes possible. Or log into your WordPress as described next to see a preview of how the theme would look on your site.

To load a free theme, log into your WordPress dashboard. Click on Appearance/Themes. You’ll see a list of themes already downloaded and ready for use on your site. At the top are two tabs, Manage Themes and Install Themes.

Click on Install Themes to find a search engine. You can choose the colors and features that you prefer, and you can add a keyword. If your work revolves around nature and science, for example, you might want to search for Animals or Forests.

Unless there’s a perfect keyword for your work, though, you should search for “Responsive.” A responsive site is one that adapts easily to the different size screens on smart phones, tablets and desktop computers. Finding a theme that bills itself as responsive isn’t a magic bullet, because there are different ways to approach the responsive issue. Still, mobile devices proliferate and it’s wise to plan for them.

The search results will show thumbnails of the home pages of different themes. Below each thumbnail are three links:
Click Install Now, if you want to try this theme on your site.

Click Preview to see what the theme looks like. In order to keep everything consistent and easy to compare, website designers are required to use the same filler material for these previews. Also, any image you see can be changed and customized. You’re really looking for the general layout: how big and where are sidebars positioned? How big is the site name and how much white space is around it? EVERYTHING can be customized from photos to background colors to the fonts used. What you see on the preview is just a suggestion from the designer. Still, you’ll probably go with these designer choices at first, so pay attention to the decisions the designer made, while understanding that it is ultimately in your control.

Also, most themes allow for drastic color changes, from white to black backgrounds, to any color you can imagine. Try to overlook all of these “pretty” issues to the bones and structure of the site. Imagine your information slotted into the structure—does it look like you want?

Click Details to find out more, including the name of the designer and a link to their website, screen shots and compatibility issues.

Have fun playing around and looking at possible themes. When you find one you like, Install Now. Install a dozen themes, if you like. You can delete them later when you decide on the perfect one.

TRY OUT THEMES ON YOUR SITE


When you have several options on your site, go back to the Manage Themes tab. Try the Live Previews for each theme. This time, instead of the canned content, it will show you the site with your own content. When you find the theme you like, Click Activate. Most WordPress themes allow you to Customize in some way, so click on the theme’s options and try it out.

I often go back and forth between several themes before I decide on one I like. There are no rights or wrongs, only preferences. You’ll be writing content for a couple weeks before the site goes live, so play around and change the themes every day if you like, till you find one that sticks.

PREMIUM

For a Premium Theme option, you will go to websites such as Themeforest.net that offer Premium themes and look around till you find the perfect theme and purchase it. On your website’s dashboard, click on Appearance/Themes/Install/Upload. Follow the instructions to upload and then go back to Manage Themes to activate the theme. Customize as allowed.

Tweak

Most themes today come with a variety of options for customization. Usually, you can change fonts, colors, location of sidebars and much more. Take advantage of these options and play around. Try out a couple different photos. If you can’t customize it enough yourself, hire someone from Odesk.com or Elance.com. Starting with a pre-designed theme will cut down the amount of work needed and save money.

Hire a Designer

If you can’t find a theme you like, or you want a custom theme, then look for a good website designer. This is the right time to do this because you’ve already written much of the material for your site and have a much better idea of what you want from an Author Website.

And when you get it just right–post the URL below. I’d love to see your FamousAuthorWebsite!

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8. 2012 in review

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 5,000 views in 2012. If every person who reached the top of Mt. Everest viewed this blog, it would have taken 8 years to get that many views.

Click here to see the complete report.

 


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9. Water Clean Services Ltd Website

water clean services ltd

New illustrative website design and build for a water chlorination company in Shropshire: Water Clean Services Ltd.

Completely customised and original design. A content management website based on open source content management system Wo

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10. Boost your self-hosted WordPress with Jetpack

WordPress.com has grown into one of the most amazing cloud architectures in the world. This has enabled blogs hosted here to have features unavailable on self-hosted WordPress installs. This makes us sad, since here at WordPress.com we want every WordPress install everywhere to be amazing.

In this spirit, we have great news. We are now making the power of WordPress.com available to almost all WordPress blogs, regardless of where they are hosted.

With Jetpack, a new plugin from Automattic, people not on WordPress.com can now access features that depend on WordPress.com. Jetpack also provides convenience features that don’t use the cloud, but are now easier to install, or were unavailable as plugins before.

To start, go to http://jetpack.me and read the backstory from Matt on why Jetpack is so important for WordPress.

(Mozilla Jetpack is a wonderful, but entirely unrelated, open source project run by Mozilla Labs. We checked with them first and we’re mutually cool on the use of the name.)


16 Comments on Boost your self-hosted WordPress with Jetpack, last added: 3/9/2011
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11. WordPress for artists?

Children’s book illustrators,  like all artists, can reach their markets and audiences more easily than ever before, thanks to the Internet!

And I believe that WordPress, the open source content management system is one of the best ways to establish a presence on the web.

Erik Kuntz, designer, web consultant, instructor and web comic artist feels the same way I do about WordPress. Except he knows tons more about it than I do.  He consults with small businesses and big companies on this stuff.  (He’s also the intrepid webmaster of our Austin, Texas SCBWI chapter.)

Erik Kuntz with Austin illustrators

Erik (standing, right) is joined by Austin illustrators and writers Don Tate, Christy Stallop, Amy Farrier, Torran Anderson, Louise Shelby, Ross Carnes and Martin Thomas.

A couple of weeks ago he conducted a special online workshop session for my Make Your Marks; Make Your Splashes class.

He did a brilliant presentation, showing us different ways to put up our illustration galleries on our WordPress blogs.  By galleries  I mean the tiny thumbnail pictures you click on to see much larger higher res versions of them.  After showing us a trick for doing it on WordPress.com blogs, he showed us how to do it on our WordPress.org blogs using the free plug-in, NextGen Gallery.

Alas, things do not always work out perfectly.  The recording did not take.

We were all so counting on the replay.  Erik shared so much with us that it was hard to get it all down in our notes!  I did what I had to:  Asked him if he’d be willing to walk us through the workshop again.

He agreed to — characteristically, because he’s a helpful soul.

So we’re doing the same w

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12. Data munging

Recently I’ve been importing the ancient Librarian Avengers archives to live within WordPress. Because the site goes back to…hrm… 1997, there’s some data munging to do.

Right now I’m concerning myself with the period after Graduate School, when I moved to Ithaca, NY for an ostensibly-cool digital library fellowship. I couldn’t talk about how much I hated it at the time so the entries are mostly tangential to the work I was doing, but there’s still some fun stuff.

Importing ancient blog posts involves a bunch of tagging, titling, category-setting, and general modernization. I’ve been progressively making my way through the old posts, adding images, fixing spelling mistakes, and generally adding a bit of polish.

Part of the reason I’m taking on data scrubbing as my One Designated Personal Thing to Do this evening, is that today has been a study in helplessness. My daughter has a (small) fever. It’s the first time she’s been sick, and I’m trying to direct my need to control something (anything!) in a positive direction.

Also, cleaning data is pretty therapeutic after some of the body fluids I’ve encountered recently.

Related posts:

  1. Shh. “The Library” is the subject of the Freebase Data Mob I’m a librarian by ethnicity, if not profession these days,...
  2. Another Data Mob at Freebase – Ethnicity Wanna enrich some data? Got OCD? Tired of trying to...
  3. Freebase Hack Day II: The Return of Hack Day Librarian? Data junkie? Obsessive compulsive? Come to the Freebase hack...

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13. Ypulse Essentials: Rebecca Black To Release New Hits, Comic-Con Schedule Revealed, ‘Transformers’ Still At The Top

If you thought Rebecca Black was just a one-hit wonder (then think again! Sure she stumbled upon fame, but after getting more YouTube hits than Justin Bieber and Lady Gaga — impressive right? — it’s no surprise that Rebecca is continuing... Read the rest of this post

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14. Visit my WordPress Blog!!

I've been having issues with Blogger and have started up a new blog at WordPress.  If all goes well with WordPress, I will start transferring my posts.  In the meantime, click the link below to check out my latest post!

http://www.kcoliver.wordpress.com/

Thx so much and enjoy!  =D

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15. Ypulse Essentials: DC Comics’ Sales Soar, Tiger Beat’s Teen Digital Series, DirecTV Checks In With Get Glue

Ever since DC Comics launched the ‘New 52′ — a renumbering of its first issues along with same day digital downloads (its sales have transformed! “Justice League” has already sold 200,000 copies compared to 46,000 in the old... Read the rest of this post

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16. Answers from the latest event – WorldCamp Gold Coast 2011.

Answers from Elena Ornig Reflecting back on a significant event such as WorldCamp Gold Coast 2011 is a sheer pleasure for me. The amount of valuable information about running your own business on line, using SEO effectively, designing websites, understanding the value of a website’s security and digging into comprehension of Aspirational Marketing techniques was awesome; and just a part of the diverse topics spread for me.   Bond University’s facility for the event hosted 140 attendees, 21 speaker and 8 sponsors at one Workshop for two days. Organisation was impeccable and the whole atmosphere of curious ‘learners’ and prominent ‘gurus’ was relaxed and friendly. The unity was obvious – the topic WordPress with many related aspects.   By reflecting back I will do the obvious; I will tell you about my own general conclusions of what I understood. I will present the guru-users and developers of WordPress, as well as a few interesting individuals ... Read the rest of this post

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17. NaBloPoMo

Yes, folks, your eyes aren’t deceiving you. There is yet another challenge for the writers who just can’t stand going without one.

I found this particular one when I joined the BlogHer Network a couple of days ago. The challenge is to write a themed blog post each day for the given month, in this case, February.

BTW, this should in no way intimidate or discourage any writer from picking up the gauntlet of that have beaten back many a writer. After all, there are many writers and other bloggers who already post each day. I know, because I used to be one of them.

According to the BlogHer challenge, February’s theme is “Relative,” meaning that each post must have something to do with family in one form or another.

Now, having redefined what constitutes “family” many times across the span of my life, I don’t seriously feel challenged as to topic. I have entire state’s worth of pseudo-family to draw from.

What might concern me, if I allow myself to think about it for more than a nanosecond, is the fact that I have three blogs—not counting an inactive one in the UK—which might, technically, fall under the auspices of this challenge.

Should I be held accountable for only one of my blogs each day, or, do I have to include all of them in the challenge?

That’s a big question and one I have only a few days to answer before beginning the keyboard shuffle.

I’m counting on all of you to help me with this decision. Am I supposed to do all three—that includes Trailing Inspirations on WordPress—or can I muddle through doing only one of them? And if only one, which one—Claudsy’s Calliope on Blogspot, or Claudsy’s Blog on WordPress?

Comments are encouraged, indeed, required on this one, peeps. HELP ME DECIDE!

Claudsy


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18. Having Trouble Posting a Comment?

Are you experiencing issues when you post a comment on our blog?  If so, you’re not alone.  A couple of slicers emailed us last night to tell us they couldn’t post a comment on yesterday’s call for slices.  Therefore, I’ve checked the WordPress Forums to see what’s happening and the good news is that it’s [...]

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19. Solution: Commenting Issues

Here’s the response from the WordPress Staffer about the commenting issues several Slicers contacted us about: chrisrudzki Staff Mar 15, 2012, 10:29 AM Howdy, We’ve recently updated our commenting system. Now if someone tries to comment with an email address attached to a WordPress.com account, they’ll need to sign into WordPress.com before they can comment. [...]

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20. Having Trouble Posting a Comment?

Are you experiencing issues when you post a comment on our blog?  If so, you’re not alone.  A couple of slicers emailed us last night to tell us they couldn’t post a comment on yesterday’s call for slices.  Therefore, I’ve checked the WordPress Forums to see what’s happening and the good news is that it’s [...]

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21. Poetry’s Microscope: PAD Challenge 22

Price Gun

Price Gun (Photo credit: Magic Robot)

Participants were handed an interesting writing challenge this morning. We were asked to write an “under the microscope” poem; either literal or metaphorical.

I doubt many of us can leap into our labs, scan a few slides and take up the scientific poetic slant, but you never know. I may try one later today; I do have a couple of ideas that travel that path.

My first attempt to satisfy this challenge is below. I’m not sure why Muse took me on this tangent, but it was the first thought to jump up and demand my attention.

I hope you enjoy the resulting fare.

 

What Price Celebrity

 

What price paid for fame

That we seek this scrutiny?

What price extracted in a game

Of hide and seek and infamy?

 

What price do innocents pay

For camera shots at school,

Where others are brought to bay

And thrill-makers stand to drool?

 

What price for bodies abused

For weight, highs, lows, or sleep?

What price to be so pursued,

In the name of love, admiration deep?

 

What price paid for a moment’s peace

Within the fish bowl of personal making?

 

Related websites:

Related articles


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22. E.C.’s and Finite Walls

Microsoft Excel spreadsheet

Microsoft Excel spreadsheet (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I recently learned that a controversy brewed about the real use of the editorial calendar. I’m new to this tool of the writing business, but I never realized that such a tool could have so many sides. Who knew that which deadline date one uses was controversial?

Here you have spreadsheet with columns and rows of items. Columns, for me, relate to the days of the week. The rows house the activities required for those days. Some people use the opposite approach. Call me traditional with calendars. Days belong across the top of the sheet.

Those activities plugged into the spreadsheet range from book chapters that must go to a critique partner/group to poem revisions necessary before submitting a packet to a magazine. Everything goes on the calendar; at least in my work world. I also need to allot for time spent on said activity. I know. I’m a bit anal due to having so many projects on the board.

The one thing that I don’t understand about this calendar debate is why it exists. Yes, some writers use a submission deadline date supplied by the magazine, publisher, agent, etc. Others like me, like lots of cushion to account for unforeseen circumstances, and plug a project into a day prior to the actual deadline date.

Isn’t it a matter of needs?

Everyone has a specific way of thinking about work and deadlines. I see deadlines as finite walls. There are no doors in those walls. If I can’t make a deadline, it’s my fault. I knew it was there. I knew what I needed to do. If I don’t make it, it’s because I didn’t prepare adequately to get the job done. It’s really that simple.

In order to make the deadline, I place a date a few days prior to that of the finite wall. In the back of my mind, I know that cushion is built in. In the day-to-day work, though, that realization tends to disappear. My calendar tells me that I need to have something done on a specific day. And that’s what I do.

Others may not need that cushion. They work better under pressure to make deadline. That’s how their creativity erupts; but a sense of immediate need.

I work on a monthly calendar and a weekly one. One gives a longer overview, especially because of coursework I need to keep in mind. The short week calendar gives me detail on upcoming work and deadlines. They operate in tandem to give me all I need to keep my activity level constant.

I haven’t been doing a calendar prior to May. I don’t enjoy the time spent creating them. For me, it’s tedious, but the hour or two I spend on those spreadsheets saves me tons in frus

2 Comments on E.C.’s and Finite Walls, last added: 6/6/2012
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23. public service announcement: update your plugins and your About/FAQ pages

Charles Ainsworth playing cards inside cabin at 60 Above on Sulphur Creek, Yukon Territory

I am tidying up here because it is just starting to feel like Autumn and I was looking at a friend’s website and realizing that not only was their About page out of date, it had them living in the wrong country. Now, for a lot of people a personal website is basically just that, personal. For me since I sometimes solicit or receive work through librarian.net I figured I’d maybe do a little tidying, look professional, that sort of thing. So I updated my about page, am reading through the FAQ, made sure WordPress was up to date and updated my plugins. I also disabled the theme switcher which was a fun thing when I wanted to have four different looking versions of this site, but I’m not feeling that way any more. Apologies to people who enjoyed the other themes. Next on the to do list is getting my Talks page a little more streamlined. I don’t think it has to be an eight year list of talks I’ve given and it’s not really sending the message I want.

So, just a little inward-facing user experience stuff and a reminder that to many people our web presence is an awful lot of what they know about us. May want to make sure it’s looking okay. Otherwise I’m trying to relax in the spirit of the Virgo Month of Leisure and get ready for my teaching and drop-in time to start which is happening next week. The cooler winds are starting to blow in and I am ready to start hunkering down.

1 Comments on public service announcement: update your plugins and your About/FAQ pages, last added: 9/11/2012
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24. 2012 in review

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 5,000 views in 2012. If every person who reached the top of Mt. Everest viewed this blog, it would have taken 8 years to get that many views.

Click here to see the complete report.

 


0 Comments on 2012 in review as of 12/30/2012 7:19:00 PM
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25. Creative Portfolio Theme Updated

Some minor changes to the header.php and a new template for a portfolio index added.

Download the updated theme in the resources section.

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