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  • April 11th, 2009 | 9:06 AM
Six on Saturday

1. I got the first wine barrel pot pond planted yesterday. I like it, well I will once the plants grow and stuff starts to hide the black pots that you can still see, but I really, really wish I could do an in-ground one. I know though it would be a recipe for disaster with Cassie who thinks it is her job to remove anything from water.

2. Easter dinner is at our house this year. We're going for simple and non-traditional - raclette.

3. I am still waiting for the results from Cassie's biopsy. They said maybe Monday or Tuesday. 

4. There are still spots open in my online class on Social Media for children's authors and illustrators. May 4-7. Details. 

5. We are getting estimates for a new roof, a "green" roof, a steel roof. I know it is the right thing to do but I'd rather do something fun with that tax refund, like remodel the downstairs bathroom or paint the inside of the house. Sigh. The joys of being responsible.

6. I'm pondering blogs. My blog in particular. And then I am telling myself to quit pondering because it is a recipe for, if not disaster, insecurity. Do many people read any more? What prompts people to post a comment? Am I blogging about the right things to build an audience? Ack! You can see how this kind of pondering can lead to dangerous thinking. :) 

Edited to add: I know many people read and don't comment...I'm just pondering the changes from why people used to comment and now don't. I find it curious.

Happy Saturday to all.

There are so many stories only you can tell.Tell them, please.


( 22 comments — Leave comment )
(Deleted comment)
April 11th, 2009 06:32 pm (UTC)
I have a sitemeter on every page.

I think what I am pondering a lot is what prompts people to comment....what happened to people who used to comment a lot and who comment a lot elsewhere....that sort of self-destructive sort of thought process. (See, I know that's the case which is why I know I won't stay in this pondering mode. :)

I was really excited to do the audio recordings of me reading from Hugging the Rock but only a few people listened to the first two which makes me wonder about taking the time to do any more. That sort of thing. :)

Oh, raclette...so so yummy. Kinda like fondue. We have a raclette grill and you boil some small potatoes, get some meats and some raclette cheese. Each person cooks their own cheese in the grill until it melts and then you scrape it onto your meat and potatoes.

You can grill the veggies and stuff on top.


So good!
April 12th, 2009 02:29 pm (UTC)
I read your blog, Susan.

I have wondered though, with sitemeter, does it count the people who read your post from their Friends Page? If I'm not commenting, I don't go "into" the blog itself.
April 13th, 2009 06:25 am (UTC)
You know, that's a good question. I'm think it might not. I don't know that you can get a clean count on a meter anyway. I'm not obsessive about checking.

I do the same thing as you - read through my friends page but don't click through always to comment. What a balancing act we all need to do now.

Thanks for reading. :)

Edited at 2009-04-13 06:25 am (UTC)
April 11th, 2009 06:21 pm (UTC)
Oh! Please post a few pix of your wine barrel pond. I've always wanted to build one. My pond is lined with a rubbery thing to keep the water from leaking into the limestone-studded Florida dirt.

(I used to have water lilies but the koi gobbled them up.)
April 11th, 2009 06:41 pm (UTC)
I will. Though it doesn't look super exciting yet. I hate waiting for plants to grow. ;)
April 11th, 2009 07:17 pm (UTC)
Regarding your #5, I agree the wondering will put you in a bottomless pit of insecurity. I always come back to the same two things. 1) I'm boring. And 2)I don't have the time to make comments like I should. Then the endless parade of guilty feelings start.

So... I decide to do what works for me. Post what I want, when I want. Read and comment when I can.

I figure that when I'm published my editor will want me to change my title, my characters' names, the climax, the love interest, and the setting. Why not my blog too? LOL.
April 12th, 2009 05:54 am (UTC)
Yes, I'm done with exploring this thought because it will only make me crazy.

Good idea...post what you want, when you want, how you want. Read and comment when you can.
April 11th, 2009 07:53 pm (UTC)
I don't comment on blogs I read that aren't LiveJournal because I read them through Google Reader. So, to comment, I have to click on the post and wait to go all the way through to the actual blog, etc. etc. And I'm just too lazy to think my comment is that important. That doesn't apply directly to your posts, because I get them on my friends list, but it could be a reason for others.
April 12th, 2009 05:56 am (UTC)
That's another good point - the readers. I tend to syndicate everything over here on LJ so I can read it here but I still have to click through on the non-LJ ones.

Thanks for the feedback.
April 11th, 2009 07:55 pm (UTC)
I can tell you from my experience that people will post comments on posts that include personal information (joys or disappointments in particular) more than they do on informational posts based on a feeling of personal connection, but that this has to do with whether you do it all the time - if you post personal stuff all the time, it becomes the same-old same-old and people stop reading.

And people will post comments more if you post comments on their blogs (reciprocity).

And on stuff that counts as "informational", which includes things like poetry posts, writing advice, etc., it's a crap shoot. Comments tend to be down, even if your stats show that reading is up, unless something particularly resonates with people, in which case comments come flying in.

All of the above is my opinion based on my personal experience. Your results may differ.
April 12th, 2009 06:02 am (UTC)
Thanks for weighing in, Kelly. It's an interesting thought for me to ponder every so often....reset myself if need be or shake myself a couple of times to let it go. LOL

I tend to agree with you on everything except the reciprocity part. It used to be that way....not seeing as much of it...which can sometimes be the most frustrating part of it all but oh well. We all have lives and we need to live them.

I think the fact that people read blogs through various readers also factors into it.

Like I said, good to think about every so often and then let it go.

April 11th, 2009 08:04 pm (UTC)
Since being laid off last summer, I find I spend *less* time on blogs, which equates to me forgetting to read my friends list for weeks or months at a time. For me personally, it's because I've been spending a lot more time off the computer in some cases (making myself get away so that I can get work done, because now more than ever my ability to pay the bills depends on it), and in other cases I've been spending more time while online avoiding work and work-related stuff, to give myself more separation--i.e., more time on personal stuff rather than professional, when I do spend time online.

Twitter has been a great substitute for reading blogs, too--it doesn't take as much time. When I read my friends list, just one day's worth of entries might take 2 hours to read, while catching up on Twitter takes a few minutes to scan.

So I feel major guilt for not reading professional friends' blogs as much. I sometimes also feel like I don't have as much to say as an editor when I'm not associated with a house. And then related to that is trying to build my business site and not spending as much time on LJ as before.

All of it adds up to less time reading blogs, which adds up to less time commenting. And then I spend some days, like today, trying to catch up. :)
April 12th, 2009 06:09 am (UTC)
Thanks for weighing in here. You're in the same boat I'm in with this trying to learn how to balance time and make a living.

I hadn't thought about Twitter in quite that way, replacing the blogs....good point. Are you using a Twitter tool to make it easier to sort/track/etc? I am trying Tweetdeck but I'm not sure it's working for me or not.

I feel guilty too for not reading more. And I know that if I don't read and comment I can't expect them to read and comment. It's a circle that keeps going around and around.

But then I also feel that as an author having connections out here are important too.

Have you discovered any great time management tips since you've been working for yourself?
April 12th, 2009 06:55 am (UTC)
I use TwitterFox for Firefox, which I believe has an IE equivalent if you're using that. It doesn't help me organize more, but it does take less time in general. I use it both to get quick updates on people I follow and to get quick access to links about publishing.

Time management: still working on that. I really need to do better. I'm actually still working on the basics, like making myself keep a regular daily schedule. It's so hard to do when I don't have an external workplace or coworkers, etc. I actually prefer to work for a company, but this is my life right now, given that there simply aren't enough openings in NYC.

One thing I've done to give myself incentive to manage my time better is to cap my fee for manuscript critiques. When I give an estimate, I cap the cost at the high end, even if I end up spending more time on the manuscript. This is an incentive to make sure I manage my time wisely and don't spend more than the estimated hours. But that's only one thing.

Being organized in my office and having a separate space for work makes a huge difference too, though I don't work in the office nearly as much as I should despite knowing it helps me to concentrate better. And sometimes when my own company gets to be too much (I live alone, and work from home--that can be too much almost daily!) I go to Starbucks, the library, or the bookstore and work there to have people around. Sometimes the noise of people actually makes me work more than the silence of home, because I'm tempted to turn on the TV for noise, you know?

But it all takes so much more time than working at a company ever did, and I'm puzzled by that. Probably because I wander into the kitchen (because it's there) and because my cats sit and stare at me until I give them attention (distracting and derailing me), you know, the regular home stuff! I might start closing the office door, but I'm afraid if I do the cats will just sit at the door and cry, and I'm not sure which is worse!
April 11th, 2009 08:49 pm (UTC)
I've read about raclette but never had it--always sounds delicious!

Fingers crossed re the biopsy!
April 12th, 2009 06:11 am (UTC)
Well this is our first time doing raclette, we only had it at someone else's house and then bought our own grill. If it works out we'll have to have you guys over.

Thanks for the finger crossing.
April 11th, 2009 09:59 pm (UTC)
I've been wanting to do a pond...and now that the kids are old enough we have a puppy. *sigh* maybe next year.

I read my blogs on JacketFlap and sometimes I don't comment because I don't want to leave the feed, or mean to later and don't.

April 12th, 2009 06:13 am (UTC)
It all depends on the dog...if yours likes the water, it might be tough. Or if you have enough space you can make a pebble beach for the dog and roll with it! If I had a decent sized yard, that's what I do.

That's a good point about reading the blogs elsewhere...I have the same problem when I read the syndicated feeds here on LJ.
(Deleted comment)
April 12th, 2009 06:15 am (UTC)
True about the number of the comments not saying anything about the quality of a blog. I was just in one of those pondering moods today. Okay, and a bit of an insecure one too. LOL.

Thanks on the yard/flower posts.
(Deleted comment)
April 12th, 2009 06:18 am (UTC)
Yes, I have that trouble too, when a post clicks with me but I'm late getting there so a lot of other folks have already said what I was thinking.

And of course you're right, the time factor is huge and there's no way we can all read all the blogs and comment on all the blogs and still have time left to write, to live our lives.

You have a good attitude about it all. It's like our books, we may never know what one person they reach.

Thanks for the input.
( 22 comments — Leave comment )

Who am I?I was born on the Cancer/Leo cusp and share a birthday with Ernest Hemingway and Robin Williams. The similarities don't stop there as I can go from depressed to ecstatic without ever passing go. I feel scared most of the time though my friends call me brave and I find it easier to believe in my friends than to believe in my own abilities to make what I want out of my life.

Who am I? A wife, a mother, a daughter, and even, gulp, a grandmother.

Who am I? A writer who never gets tired of playing with words, even when the words are hard to find. A writer of books for children and articles for grown-ups and many things in-between.

Who am I? A motivational speaker, writing instructor, workshop leader and full-time follower of dreams.

Who am I? Read and find out.

Susan Taylor Brown

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