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March 18, 2020

Blogging From A to Z April Challenge – No Theme

Blogging From A to Z April Challenge
I have never had a theme for the Blogging From A to Z April Challenge because I find it a bit confining and with a theme, there is a limit to what you can do with it. And I'm lazy. I am almost certain I'll be writing short fiction with some random stuff in between like I did last year. If not, you'll know because of what I'll have posted.

This year, I did ask for word suggestions which I already got a few but I don't know if I'll use all of them. If you are incline, leave some word suggestions on this post here.

I think the joy of doing the A to Z challenge is because you are not completely prepared and maybe your brain work better if you have to think almost to the last minute of what to post. Or so I reason whenever I do this challenge. I have seen a lot of people quitting even before they reach the letter F, so yes, this is a challenge and no, I'm not prepared at all. Not even a little and this is how I usually blog anyway.

The A to Z April Challenge, if you don't know, is to post every day in April (except Sundays) using the 26 letters of the alphabet as a sort of guide for each post/letter of the day. To find out more, visit the A to Z blog here.

March 2, 2020

Seven Things: Joy, books, movies

01 | I find it a bit hard to enjoy life these days what's with what's going on in the world. I try not to read the news too often because reading it just makes me more anxious and more worry than usual. So to keep myself from panicking, I read a lot of books and watch a lot of movies and shows and do other little things in between. I think sometimes it's okay to ignore the world a little or else lock myself up and hide from the world which I'm sure it's not good for my mental health.

02 | I've closed my society6 shop. Closed is probably not the right term as I simply hit the delete button and removed the posts much like a blog. I see no reason to have a virtual shop that I don't seem to be promoting nor have I been creating new pieces for it nor have I make much money from it. The amount I have made is twelve dollars and that is the total for these 5-6 years that I have this shop. It was a hobby to me in the beginning but now I find it to be a daunting task, an unwanted time-consuming task that simply frustrates me and makes me feel like a failure so it's gone, well, the link stills works, I have yet to delete my account.

03 | I have written and created draft posts for Words for Wednesday prompts for when I'm going to host this August. It's almost a miracle in a way because I'm never this ahead with anything I do. I have noticed people are less likely to participate if I deviate from the format of ten words but maybe that's not true. But there will be no sound prompts nor anything out of the ordinary. I don't know if I should schedule these posts or not but I'll decide later.

04 | Movies & TV Shows Watched in January & February:

I was a male war bride
I was a male war bride > link
It was funny, charming and predictable. I always see Cary Grant played these grumpy, straight but sort of funny but charming guy and I have always enjoyed it and he definitely played that same character perfectly here but a little grumpier, I suppose. Though I can't help but think the name Henry does not fit him in any way. I wasn't sure even what the plot was. It just seems like two people just fights with each other and then comedy and romance ensures - you know, your typical movie, nothing too exceptional. The first half is wonderful, the second half is a bit of a downer.

Pacific Rim: Uprising
Pacific Rim: Uprising > link
It was not as good as the first movie mainly because the villain is silly and the main characters are cardboards and kind of unlikeable. Jake played by John Boyega is exactly the same character he played in the Star Wars Movie that I saw. I like his character there but Jake in this movie is just not charming or funny. But I'm still impress with the giant robots, although, the way they keep destroying buildings recklessly seems a little excessive but strangely enjoyable. I really like the tiny robot that can turn into a ball. Overall, it was an okay movie.

Picard - Episode 1
Picard - Episode 1 > link
I saw only this first episode because it was free on Youtube (which is gone now) and also, I was a fan of the The Next Generation show but I don't think I'll keep watching this series. I don't like any of the characters aside from Picard and really, it just seems a little too slick for my taste and I'm sure whatever the whole story is, it will be this giant plot that involves many side stories and many confused detours and many characters that I'll probably hate so I'm going to say no to this series.

05 | Books Read in February:

The beginning of the world in the middle of the night by Jen Campbell
The beginning of the world in the middle of the night by Jen Campbell > link
This short story collection is weird, wild, quirky, fun, dark, and haunting.  I don't think there's a theme here but if there is, I would say, human connection, because in all the stories, the characters seems to crave a human connection, even with a stranger as in the story, 'In the dark' where a man comes into someone's kitchen for no reason or in 'Animals', where a man buys a heart and hope to replace his lover's heart in order to keep her with him or people sleeping in coffins trying to talk to their dead love ones in 'Aunt Libby's Coffin Hotel.' Throughout, there are a few fairytales told which I thought was odd at first but then it seems strangely fitting. I enjoyed reading this collection very much.

The Serpent's Shadow (The Elemental Masters Book 1) by Mercedes Lackey
The Serpent's Shadow (The Elemental Masters Book 1) by Mercedes Lackey  > link
I enjoyed this retelling of Snow White very much though I was never a fan of Snow White. I did expect a kiss at the end and it was a kiss with a reason and a happy ending. I like the seven pets of Maya's a lot. I thought the ending could be a little more expanded, maybe it could have used a little more something but overall, a good short read.

Kilmeny of the Orchard by L.M. Montgomery > link
I don't think Kilmeny of the Orchard is as good as Montgomery's other novels. I don't really like the main character Eric - he seems rather arrogant. He fell in love with Kilmeny because of her beauty and not much else. Sure, he admires her other qualities like being able to play the violin but mostly, it was her beauty. Also, he assumes that any man who sees Kilmeny would immediately love her or accept her simply because of her beauty. The whole thing is told in Eric's perspective which I don't really like but if the story had been told in Kilmeny's perspective, I might like this book a lot more. I just can't believe in this love story or in this couple but it was still a good read.

Run Me to Earth by Paul Yoon
Run Me to Earth by Paul Yoon  > link
I don't know why I keep reading Paul Yoon's books when I know it will be a sorrowful tale and maybe there will be some details that might seems rather dark. But I really like the author's writing style. Run Me to Earth is told more like vignettes that connect together, less like a novel which I think fits the story. I would recommend this book and all of Yoon's books if you don't mind a little sorrow. I enjoyed this book but if one enjoys sad tales, I suppose it must say something about me but I don't know what.

06 | Did you notice a new link on the menu items below the header titled 'Design Request'? I just decided to start doing some design work for my book buying addiction (more ebooks than paper books these days). This is a sort of test to see if I will like doing it.

07 | I'm still looking for word suggestions (ie, apple, pear, spinach - nothing of order, just words) for stories I'm going to write for the Blogging from A to Z Challenge in April. Thank you to those who have already contributed. I like to say I have written something already with these word suggestions but sadly, I have written nothing. Anyway, leave your suggestions over on this post or in the comments.

How was your February?

February 23, 2020

Some things about blogging...

Perhaps tomorrow or a week from now, I'll regret saying any of these things but at the moment, I'm certain I meant every word I have written here. And I think this posts probably needs some more editing but I don't have the patience to do that right now. So if you read this to the end, I thank you and hope you'll drop by again.

01 | Now and then I had wanted to announce that I'm taking a blog break but that would be silly considering I've been taking blog breaks every other Monday. If you have visited here often, you would know I have not been posting as much as I used. I don't have a schedule but sometimes the prompts and memes that I do (ie, Top Ten Tuesday, Words for Wednesday) sort of keeps me on a schedule though I'm almost always late but mostly, I just post when I have something written or half written. Often I don't have any excuses not to blog but I don't have any excuses to blog either. I write a lot of post drafts but most of them never got posted because after reading/editing them a hundred times, something always makes me not post them.

I guess I've grown into the habit of blogging at a snail's pace which I don't think it's bad but at the same time, I do sort of feel bad about it but apparently not enough to post more. Most of the time, half of me tries desperately for something to post and the other half of me just don't care. I think I'm leaning toward the latter more often now but somehow I don't mind.

02 | I thought about creating a whole new blog and starting over again but then I realized, there's no difference between the blog I have now and a new blog that I might create. The only difference might just be the blog name. Then I thought of creating a new blog and moving everything there but then I got lazy so nothing happened. I seem to want to change blogs every other month but I don't or else I would regret it and come back here. Though I don't know why I keep coming back to this blog. I did sort of started blogging here and there were several blogs before this but I've always stayed on this blog the longest. Currently, this is my third time here. So I guess you can say I have trouble finding a blog name that I like but 'the memory of rain' always appeal to me even if I sometimes think it's not right for me. Maybe some day, I would find a blog name that I would suit me better.

03 | My purpose for blogging has not changed not much: to share stuff. That's enough, right? I mostly just like sharing something like an art piece or a piece of fiction or something that delighted me or touched me. I can't quite say art is my passion, so much so that I want to promote myself as an artist so I don't have an art blog or website. Though I've always thought I would finish writing a novel so I can promote it but honestly, that's not going to happen any time soon. But I still like to blog even if I seem to blogging less and less each year.

04 | I would like it if Google allows readers the option to use the name/url comment option without forcing people to take a difficult eye test. I tried several times to leave comments using this option but I can't get pass the image test. Select all images with palm trees. Yes, I can do that. No, I can't. Some of the images are small and a bit blurry, how am I suppose to tell? You can refresh and get a new test but mostly, they are exactly about choosing certain images with a certain object or feature which I am against because my eyesight isn't great and I can't always pick out objects from images and I certainly don't have the patience to decipher them.

I believe if someone wants to leave spam, a silly image test is not going to stop them. These image test will only annoy and frustrate readers so they would leave rather than leave a comment. I think I rather prefer to type out those Captcha words instead. At least, I can read the letters/numbers. I'm complaining because I occasionally like to leave comments but I don't always want to sign into Google. Plus I think some people would like to comment sometimes but they don't want to sign up which I can understand. I certainly would not force people to sign up for anything to read my blog or to leave a comment.

05 | I notice that I don't get many Wordpress readers anymore which is kind of sad. I'm thinking is because Google had removed a lot of comment options so Wordpress users and other type of users can't comment as easily. Most likely, Google is trying to get people to sign up for Google/Blogger and trying to divide Wordpress and Blogger users as well. I see some Wordpress users signed up for a Blogger account just to leave comments on Blogger blogs which is quite smart of them but those are very few.

06 | Am I the only one happy whenever I see someone has a blog makeover? I love seeing new blog designs and I like that some of these designs improve the blog, make it more pleasing to the eye and most of all, the change reflects the blogger way better than the previous design. So I'm happy to see the change but when the change does the opposite, I have to wonder. Recently, a group blog that I sometimes visit, changed their template to a plain one with magazine style post listing, a strange box style for each post image and using only two colors. I was rather disappointed but mostly I just don't understand the change. Not only is it boring, it looks like an unfinished blog or perhaps a blog that is trying to lose their personality to make it more generic looking? I don't know, I just know the look is very unappealing. At least, the old design has its appeal. I had visited now and then hoping they would change to something more pleasing but I lost hope.

07 | Do you write properly when leaving comments? Like capitalizing when it's needed, lines breaks for paragraphs and complete sentences? I find myself making caps and correcting phrasing and I also run a spellcheck on every comment that I write. (I usually write in a separate app and then copy and paste the text.) Before, I wrote in all lowercases and I didn't care my writing was rubbish but now I'm more careful with my words. I also write fictions so it helps me to practice, not that anyone is correcting me but it's still nice to write as best as I could even just leaving a few words on someone's blog. And I perform spellcheck for every comment because I suck at spelling. I still cannot spell procrastinate without being corrected by spellcheck.

08 | I seem to comment less these days. I read a lot of blogs (check out my reading list here) and about eighty percent of the time, I don't know what to say aside from a few nice compliments. I don't want to be obligated to leave a generic, nice comment that really doesn't sound like much even if I do mean it. I'm not going to force myself to write when I have nothing so there's my excuse for not commenting. I know I probably could do more commenting if I try harder but that's still like forcing myself so I won't make any commitments about commenting but I will say, if I leave some generic comment on your blog, it means I have enjoyed reading your blog.

09 | I still do not get email notifications when certain bloggers/readers leave comments on my blog. I think there are about 5 or 6 of them. I do check for comments but only for my more recent posts because that is where most readers leave comments but for older posts, I seldom check them. I would have to go to the comments in my blogger dashboard to see them. It's been, I think, about seven or nine years. I don't know what the problem is and I don't think it will ever get solved. So if you leave a comment on some of my older posts, please note that it would take me awhile to notice them.

10 |  I do reply to comments on each posts but I do it a lot later, like a few weeks later because I'm that lazy. But I never really know if people come back to check if there is a reply with me being so slow. It is easier if I just don't reply. Sometimes I don't think a reply is necessarily but I like to reply with something if only to acknowledge someone had visited my blog. I also occasionally return to blogs that I have commented just to read their reply.

Some bloggers reply through their blog and through email as well. I only reply through my blog because I think the thread of conversation is easier to understand. Email is great but email messages are harder to read because they go in reverse order so that your most recent message is at the top and not at the bottom. I'm a more linear kind of person so I like things to flow accordingly so I like recent message to be at the end instead of at the top. Of course I am not against responding to emails but some readers don't have email even in this modern age or that if they're on Blogger, they have their email turned off so people cannot reply to their comments through email.

11 | I'm pretty sure I'll blog into old age even if I just post one post a month. Even though I have thought about quitting blogging a lot, I don't think I ever will. It's still sad to me that so many of my favorite bloggers are not blogging. They are all on social media. I'm not against social media but I just wish people would not flock to social media and leave their blog without a blogger. I guess I just miss the old days because I may have brought this up a few times. But it really is damm disappointing to see all those blogs now gathering dust.

12 | Things that I posted seems random at times and it truly is random because I don't write anything ahead of time and I don't always post what I set out to. And I also lack motivation for reasons I can't understand. In fact, most things that I posted here came out of some stray thoughts from being awake at 3:30 in the morning or perhaps I thought of it just this morning. I started this post with various thoughts that have nothing to do with blogging. My mind seems to work at random and yet I love order and organization and so it is why this post is in list form. I think it's actually the best way to blog — just make a list and go with it.