WDYS — A New Start

“Well, from my perspective, we need to focus on getting back those customers who abandoned us over this last year due to the pandemic. We can’t afford to panic or to prevaricate. If we don’t face reality, if we let specious thinking dictate our approach, it will be a total dealbreaker,” Karla said to her husband. “I’ve set up the tables in the alley for outdoor dining, and separated them by six feet so that people can feel safe eating here.

“I’ve cleaned up all of the graffiti that was scrawled on the walls where you’ve set up the tables,” Alec said. “I’ll add a small glass vase to each table with some fragrant flowers in them to improve the ambience.”

“Oh, Alec, maybe we can actually get past this setback over the past year and get our little restaurant to sizzle once again,” Karla said, feeling a little hopeful after more than a year of depression.

“Yes, Karla,” Alec said, walking up to Karla and giving her a warm hug. “Now is the time to elevate our prospects.”

Written for Sadje’s What Do You See prompt. Photo credit: Gabriella Clare Marino@ Unsplash. Also for these daily prompts: The Daily Spur (perspective/reality), Fandango’s One-Word Challenge (focus/fragrant), Word of the Day Challenge (abandoned/past), MMA Storytime (panic/elevation), Ragtag Daily Prompt (prevaricate/sizzle), Your Daily Word Prompt (specious/scrawl), and MLMM Sunday Writing Prompt (dealbreaker).

TMP — Ups and Downs

Every Monday, Paula Light, with her The Monday Peeve prompt, gives us an opportunity to vent or rant about something that pisses us off. Today, Paula bellyached about inconsistency, and discussed her frustration with the inconsistencies within WordPress. My “peeve” today is also about inconsistency and WordPress, but it’s not so much a peeve as it is an observation.Look at this chart. It graphs my number of visitors and number of views over the past month. Talk about inconsistencies. Some days I am favored with a relatively large number of visitors and views. Other days it seems like very few are interested in visiting my blog or viewing my posts. It’s somewhat puzzling to me because it often is unrelated to the number of posts I publish on a particular day. The ups and downs or highs and lows seem almost random.

Do your stats look like this, with these ups and downs from one day to the next? Or is it just me?

Anyway, that’s it. See, not much of a peeve. Just an observation. Have a happy rest of the day, whatever’s left of it in your part of the world.

Share Your World — Human Nature

Share Your WorldIt’s Monday and that means that Melanie is back with her Share Your World prompt. So let’s do this.

What was the last TV show you binge-watched? If you don’t watch TV (congratulations by the way) what’s the last thing you binged ON?

Actually, at Melanie’s recommendation, I started to watch “The Brokenwood Mysteries” last night on Amazon Prime. I watched the first episode of season one of this seven season crime drama that takes place in the small town of Brokenwood in Australia, where troubled DCI Mike Shepherd solves murders while searching for redemption. Episode one was good enough to prompt me to watch episode two. When I tried to do that, though, I learned that I’d have to pay $4.99 to watch each additional episode. NFW!So, I am going to go with the show that I binge-watched just before I attempted to binge watch this one. That show was “Hinterland,” a noir crime drama set in the small town of Aberystwyth, Wales, where troubled DCI Tom Mathias solves murders while searching for redemption. I enjoyed it.

What’s your most prized possession and why?

My iPhone. Were it not for my iPhone, I wouldn’t be in the process of posting my response to Melanie’s SYW prompt.

If you had the time and inclination, what would you volunteer for?

I have the time, but I lack the inclination. Sorry about that.

Do you think that humans will ever be able to live together in harmony?

It’s not in our nature to live together in harmony. We seem more inclined to seek and act out upon our differences and we seem to thrive on conflict.

Blogging Insights — Experience

Blogging insightsIn this week’s edition of Blogging Insights, Dr. Tanya wants to know…

What has your blogging experience taught you?

My first blog started back in 2005 and this blog is my fifth iteration. I’ve learned a lot about blogging over the past sixteen years. So here’s my two-cents worth. Take it or leave it.

  1. The blogging platform you choose is critical. I started out on Blogger (aka Blogspot), and was never able to establish much of a blogging community. Then, at the recommendation of a co-worker, I went to TypePad. Same experience. Not much of a community. Finally, I migrated my blog to WordPress and, bingo, I discovered an active and supportive blogging community. So, for better or for worse, WordPress seems to be the best blog hosting platform if you wish to be part of a broad blogging community.
  2. Size matters. Now bear in mind that this “insight” might be due to the blog hosting sites I’ve been on before WordPress, but when I first started blogging, my posts were long. Well, long by my standards. They often exceeded 1,000 words and one post would cover multiple topics. Very few people read or commented on these long, meandering posts. But since coming to WordPress, my average post length is less than 250 words and my readership has soared. Of course, this may be due to the fact that I had few readers on Blogger and TypePad, where my longer posts used to be housed. But I find that a lot of people (myself included), don’t have time to read a lot of really long posts, so if I can be concise and say what I want to and need to say in relatively few words, people seem to be more inclined to read (and not just skim) my posts.
  3. Images help attract attention. Blogging is all about words, but I always add an image (mostly one, but sometimes more than one) to each post. In some cases the image is used to illustrate my words. In other cases, it’s the image that prompts my words. Either way, having one or more images imbedded in a post adds interest and improves its appearance. In my opinion, anyway.
  4. Participating in prompts is fun. Sometimes you need a little inspiration to come up with something to write. And that is where writing prompts can be lifesavers…well, blog-savers. There are daily prompts, weekly prompts, word prompts, photo prompts, music prompts, question prompts, silly prompts, and provocative prompts. For those of us who enjoy posting at least daily, these prompts offer us a way to express ourselves in so many different ways and to ensure that we’re never at a lost for words.
  5. Hosting prompts is fun. I never intended to host a prompt when I started blogging, but when WordPress abruptly ended its daily post prompt in 2017, I was pissed, so I decided to start FOWC with Fandango, a daily one-word prompt. A number of other bloggers did the same thing. Now I host one daily prompt, and four weekly prompts and I am thankful that many of you have embraced them.
  6. Interaction is what makes blogging special. I used to say, back when nobody read my posts, that I blogged for myself and it didn’t matter to me that no one read or commented on my posts. That’s bullshit. I was thrilled when someone actually read a post I had written and left me a comment. So to all of you who say that you blog for yourself and that you don’t care about your stats, about your views, about your likes, or about your comments, I say get your heads out of your asses. If you want to write for yourself alone, keep a diary or a journal. But if you are a blogger, it’s all about interaction with other other bloggers and readers.
  7. Do you. What I’ve learned through my experience as a blogger is that I am who I am and my blog reflects that. I can’t be…and don’t try to be…someone other than who I am. Write about whatever makes you happy, whether it’s about your activities of daily living, flash fiction, poetry, current events, your photography, your hobbies, the world around you. But be genuine. If you try to be someone you’re not, it will eventually catch up with you.
  8. Have fun. If blogging ever becomes a chore, take a break. Blogging should be a fun and rewarding experience, not a burden.

Okay, there you have it. As I said at the outset, these are my opinions and I’m not an expert at blogging. So feel free to ignore everything I’ve written in this now 777 word post.

P is for “Perfect Strangers”

“Perfect Strangers” was an American sitcom that ran for eight seasons, from March 25, 1986, to August 6, 1993, on ABC television. Created by Dale McRaven, who helped create “Mork & Mindy,” the series chronicled the rocky coexistence of midwestern American Larry Appleton (Mark Linn-Baker) and his distant cousin from eastern Mediterranean Europe, Balki Bartokomous (Bronson Pinchot).Larry, a Wisconsin native from a large family, had just moved into his first apartment in Chicago, and was savoring his first taste of privacy when Balki, a previously unknown cousin from Mediterranean island of Mypos, showed up wanting to move in.

After initially gently rebuffing his cousin’s request to stay at his apartment, aspiring photographer Larry decided to take Balki under his wing and teach him about American life, which was vastly different than what Balki was used to in his homeland.

However, the neurotic Larry frequently proved to be as inept as Balki, if not more so, and often got the pair into situations that only Balki could set right. The two grew close as time went on, going on many wacky adventures. Over time, both had relationships that eventually ended in marriage.

Major influences on the show included “buddy sitcoms” such as “Laverne & Shirley” and “Mork & Mindy,” both of which were produced by the “Perfect Strangers” team.

Previous BATZAP 2021 posts: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O