Reblogging, is it really a good idea?

 

 

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We have been with WordPress for years now and always been happy with the facilities, once I had mastered them, of course!

Early last year, I had to upgrade our account in order to gain more media space. At the time, this seemed reasonable.

Imagine my surprise when it happened again yesterday. For a few minutes, I couldn’t believe we had run out of space again. Something had to be wrong.

I duly checked, only to discover it was true. If we wanted to use any more images, we would have to pay up.

When we first started blogging, I understood that this particular WordPress was free, but it wasn’t long before the costs crept in. First, it was the domain, then the first upgrade. We were still happy at that stage, for £30 a year isn’t much for a decent website.

This latest upgrade has shunted us up to nearly £70 a year, although to be fair it looks as though we are getting more for our money this time. I did wonder what it would lead to and why we seemed to have so many stored images, many of which were ones I hadn’t used?

It took me a while to understand why all these images were among our own, and that we were, in fact, paying for the privilege of having them on our site, by way of reblogging.

Now, we do a lot of reblogging. Sharing is something we have always done, right from the start. If I read something interesting or informative, I love to share it and spread the word. This is how the good stuff finds more people and can actually make the world a better place.

So, is it a good idea to reblog so much?

Will it be good enough to simply like and use the share buttons?

I have recently been reading about how you can reduce your image footprint by altering the size of your images, thereby not using so much of your valuable storage space. But what about other people’s images? We can hardly alter any of those.

If we do have to cut down on the reblogging, we will not stop sharing. But we would be interested to hear any feedback on this…

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My Mantra for 2018

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What would I change about me?

(This post has been inspired by something I read on whenwomeninspire.com)

I don’t think I have ever really liked myself.

Abandoned by my mother, bullied at school, a wallflower at every gathering, I was always in trouble of one kind or another.

At least that’s how it seemed to me.

Of course, all of those things just reinforced my idea that I had to be the most unwanted person on the planet, and this served to make me a loner in every sense of the word and funnily enough, I came to like it that way.

People either ignored me or nagged me to death, so I couldn’t wait to be old enough to live my own life, my way. Little did I know then that I was already earmarked to make more mistakes than the average bear. This led me to wish I could be different so many times.

I must have said the same thing repeatedly. If I were only shorter/thinner/prettier/smarter/braver, my life would miraculously change overnight.

Even now, at 74, there are more things I would change if I could. Admittedly, some I could manage if I were more determined, but everything else I must put up with, as old age is not being kind.

I have always been remarkably healthy, despite being prone to catching everything that was doing the rounds. (and a few that weren’t!)

So why have I never been happy with myself?

I have long wondered about this, for it didn’t seem that difficult to achieve, judging by the people around me. It doesn’t depress me too much but seems to reflect on everything I do. Anything I create is never quite how I imagined it would be, and this can depress me.

I try so hard to get things right and just when I think I have succeeded, doubts begin to gather and creep in, knocking my confidence.

DRUM ROLL!

All of this is going to change in 2018.

Depression, doubt and dissatisfaction have been given notice to leave the building.  I am not being morbid when I say this could be the last chance to get my act together, for I can feel the grim reaper creeping up behind me. I can’t tell how fast he is creeping, but I suspect I can keep ahead of him for a while longer!

At the moment, parts of me are in fierce competition to see which bit breaks down first, or simply stops working. So the pressure is on and the challenge has been accepted.

This year I will be more efficient with my time.

I will not waste my time or my patience on the unnecessary or futile.

I will seek out and find the fun in everything, and enjoy life a bit more…

My mantra for 2018  “If it aint fun, don’t do it!”

All Set for the Lazy Days Book Tour!

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This is definitely going to be something to look forward to in the New Year!

This is only the second time we have run a book tour, and this time we will be including a quiz/competition every day, with prizes. Still thinking through all the details, but it will be fun and different…

There are still spaces if anyone wants to join, just shout and we’ll get back to you!

 

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This novella is the true story of our family’s first proper holiday back in the Seventies. Looking back, I wonder what made us think it was a good idea, but despite all the things that could have gone wrong, we had a fantastic time. I was the Skipper most of the time, and for some reason decided to record our adventures in a small notebook. We were young and without husbands, Anita was a widow, and I was glad to be rid of mine. (and that is another story) Money was precious and scarce back then, but all the saving and sacrifice turned out to be worth every single memory we all cherish.

This notebook has been treasured and kept safe, despite numerous house moves and family disasters, as a symbol of our courage and determination. Renting a boat on the Norfolk Broads could so easily have been one of the stupidest things we had ever done, but even after 40 years, we have such good memories of that time.

Over the years, we often thought of making it into a proper book, but along with everything else in our often-complicated family life, it was something we never got around to. Until just recently, when I was looking for some old photographs, found the now fragile notebook and knew it was time.

It wasn’t as easy as I imagined it would be either, for our logbook writing skills left a lot to be desired, but there was just enough information entered on those pages to get us started.

Excerpt from Lazy Days

Saturday

We had waited a long time for this day to arrive, and now the time had arrived, we could have flown to the Norfolk Broads powered by our excitement. The tension coming from all of us made the air crackle with electricity as we prepared to leave. Going anywhere with the kids is never easy, but we had planned this holiday with far more skill than our usual days out, and researched everything of interest and planned our route to ensure plenty of happy days. For the first time in our lives, we would be miles from home on a boat for two weeks. There would be six of us on this holiday, two women, four kids and two small dogs. There was the possibility of enough trouble there to last us a lifetime!

I wasn’t expecting much trouble from the teenage girls, Anita Jr and Heidi; but the two younger boys, Stephen, ten and Darren, eight would be a challenge, for they have the knack of finding trouble anywhere.  Added to the mix were our two small dogs.  Lady, a cross between a Pekinese and a Yorkie, blessed with sharp teeth and a ferocious dislike of strangers, and Katy, an adorable chocolate coloured toy poodle pup.

Getting them all in our car proved a bit tricky. A big Ford Granada, normally a comfortable fit for all of us, but this time we had Heidi, our younger step-sister to fit in too. She had been staying with us while her mother was in the hospital.

I sensed an air of resentment as the kids tried hard to fit themselves into the back seat. Various elbows were used to show disapproval, prompting a chorus of complaints. For a moment, it looked as if we wouldn’t be going anywhere. The situation looked hopeless. Anita finished packing our luggage into the boot of the car and appeared at my side.

‘Is there a problem here? Do we want to go on this holiday or not?’

No one spoke, but as I watched, a subtle relaxing of tightly packed bodies occurred as they all thought about it. They knew their mother well. She would cancel everything if they didn’t accept their fate and settle down, and if the holiday was cancelled because of them, they would never hear the end of it.

I am always amazed by the way Anita handles her brood. It must come with practice, although I doubted I would ever learn how to do it! You probably need to be a parent first.

Looking at them, resignation on all their faces, I prayed the boat would be bigger than it looked in the brochure. I also prayed I would get us all the way to Norfolk without incident. I hadn’t been driving long, and my nerves were already stretched to breaking point…

 

 

Has anyone seen my enthusiasm?

 

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Worth remembering?

 

I started the week full of good intentions. It was a new week – new mood – new energy.
There was none of that – ‘It’s a beautiful day, watch someone ruin it.’

But someone did.

BT did. Someone had tried to hack into my e-mail account over the weekend and I had promptly been frozen out!  To make matters worse, I had temporarily forgotten the answer to my security question, so couldn’t change the blessed password either.

Thoroughly frustrated, I finally managed to speak to someone in an Indian call centre who said she would e-mail me a new password.  Words cannot sufficiently explain what happened to my temper after trying several times to get her to see why this would not work, and I was passed on to someone else. This young woman was so helpful and immediately understood my problem, that my temper had no choice but to high-tail it out of the back door!

So, not a good start, you might say. But this was only Monday, surely the week could only get better?

I should be thinking about what I want to do next. Anita has a book almost ready for proofing, and I have begun a new crime mystery, but something doesn’t feel right. I ought to be re-editing some of our earlier work, as some of the covers need replacing and the descriptions are just not good enough. The trouble is, I’m a bit short of enthusiasm at the moment, my ‘get up and go’ has done a runner!

What I cannot understand is why some days are good and optimistic, and then you get that other kind. The ‘what the hell do you think you are doing’ days. Closely followed by (give it up, you know you are too old to bother with it) ones.

I am basing my understanding of this writing business on what I have observed with Anita. She has so many good books to her credit and just seems to get on with it (and enjoys the process!) She does have bad days of course, but they never seem to be writing related.
I know we are all different, and that is how it should be, it’s just not very helpful.

I think it is my age that seems to be the problem. I forget far more than I remember and find myself wondering where all the time has gone and know that I have wasted most of it. Why didn’t I want to do this when my brain was younger?
Don’t get me wrong, on a good day I quite like my brain and how it works. It’s just that my good days are getting pretty thin on the ground these days. Today, for example, I’m not even sure I have a brain!

I have never once thought that blogging could be detrimental to your health, but just lately I have come to realise that it can be.

Surely not, I hear you say, and I will admit it doesn’t seem likely, not on the surface, anyway.

I was nervous when I first started blogging. Could I get to grips with the technology involved? Would I be any good at it? Would anyone ever talk to me?

I had a million questions, which is all very natural when you embark on a new adventure. And although at times it has been a frustrating and difficult journey, overall I have enjoyed every single minute of it.

So what on earth am I on about?

Just lately, a strange feeling has been creeping in, insidiously, like wisps of smoke. The blogosphere is like a mirror, reflecting everything you and other bloggers do.  And as a good proportion of bloggers are writers, you get to see what their lives and careers are like.

It can be very reassuring if they are struggling just like you, facing the same problems and difficulties, but the successful ones are an inspiration, showing you what you can accomplish if you work hard.

We have been blogging for nearly four years now, and have met some amazing people. Helpful, considerate people, generous with their advice and friendship. You become part of their world, a world where anything is possible and you can afford the luxury of dreaming.

I can hear some of you tapping your fingernails, wondering where all of this is going, so I will try to explain.

Everyone says that with patience and hard work you can achieve your goals. But I have been patient and worked as hard as I can, but no nearer anything even remotely like my goals.

Something has to be wrong for my enthusiasm is dying. Optimism and faith seem to have left the building.

I have been thinking about 2018, and it is clear that I must come up with some resolutions that work before the men in white coats come to take me away!

 

 

Help Needed setting up the Book Tour for Lazy Days…

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There we were, a family of six on the Norfolk Broads for the first time. Was this a good sign?

 

 

I might have chosen the wrong time to try and arrange a book tour, what with Christmas and the New Year almost upon us, but… I have started, so I’ll finish… to quote that famous quiz show host.

Having spent most of 2017 creating Lazy Days, I wanted to launch it properly and as the last tour we ran was a lot of fun, the idea took hold and we ran with it.

I had been gathering all the material needed (we supply everything you will need!) when an idea dropped into my head.

How about giving away e-books each day of the tour! And not just Lazy Days, any of our books!

I thought we could run a daily competition, and the winner gets to choose a book. More about this later…

There are still some spaces on the tour for anyone who would love to join us on 8th January 2018…

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