My List (Write Anything Wednesday)

For this Write Anything Wednesday, I don’t have much to say. I will just use this time to quickly address something. This is not an easy subject to address and it might be uncomfortable for those who read this, but I need to get this off my chest.

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Hey Followers! (41 and Counting)

Another 10+ followers requires me to make another post to recognize them. I had a plan to make these with each 5-10 new followers, but I got two extra in short order.

With each passing day, I have enjoyed going to WordPress. I want to read new posts, make them, and respond to anyone who takes the time to read one of my posts and leave a nice comment. And I am overjoyed to see new people find this blog and follow it.

Here are my new followers since my last such post:

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How I Came Up with My Username (WAW)

What does this image have to do with anything? I used it on YouTube once. And I would rather this be the top image.

For my second entry for Write Anything Wednesday, I have decided to share a story. This was inspired by vinneve, who asked me the question days ago.

About 7 years ago, I was thinking of a name to use for a DeviantArt account — when it was still written as deviantART — and possibly for YouTube. I wanted the name to be something unique and something that I wouldn’t mind using year after year.

Just how did I come up with Shmaltz and Menudo, though? I combined two terms that were “out there” in terms of daily usage — in my life and mainstream America. I first heard of the term “schmaltzy” when a film critic was basically panning the movie “Pay It Forward.” I had to look that up. The term “Menudo” was only familiar to me because of the now-defunct Puerto-Rican “boy band” that allowed Ricky Martin to jump into show business. I looked up both terms (for schmaltz and Menudo) before finally settling on this name.

Well, as you can see, I never used that name for DeviantArt and it took me awhile to use it for YouTube. Why is that? Snap decisions in regard to the former site and technicalities on the latter.

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I Formally Accept the Versatile Blogger Award

Recently, I was nominated for the Versatile Blogger Award!


Three people actually nominated me. Thanks go to joanne2016, owldragonash, and Amina. Thanks, ladies!

It has taken me awhile to get to this. For one thing, I took so long because I was debating whether or not to accept this award (and the Liebster Award), but…I ultimately realized that the main point would be for me to recognize other bloggers. That, too, has taken awhile because I have only begun to dip my feet in that pool and I wanted to find a group of other bloggers that might not have garnered that much attention.

Finally, I am pretty slow when it comes to blogging for myself. I need some time to properly get my thoughts out, do some research if needed, and edit my text. (Even then, it may take me longer to see my own spelling and grammatical mistakes :cry:.) Particularly for this post (and the next), I had to do some research about the award origins, find some people to nominate beyond the ones I have met recently, and to make sure that some of them hadn’t already been nominated for this award before.

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What’s My Feature? I’m Thinking, Boo…I’m Thinking…

So…the last big assignment for Blogging 101 involves me deciding on establishing a feature for this blog. A feature would be a type of blog post I would be regularly —like once a week, usually on the same day of the week. This is different than a blogging event, which calls for the participation of others from the blogging community.

This would also be different than a series of posts I’m currently working on. So far, I’ve started around two series of posts I would like to finish:

  • Arguments That Give Me Pause: The series was started on another site, but I fully intend to finish it here. I have already published a few posts and need to do quite a bit of research. Stay tuned.
  • Things I Don’t Like about Television: This was also started on the same site, but I have since revised some topics and created new ones. This list is still being evaluated and I am currently pouring more attention to these posts at the moment.

I might also transfer some older posts here that are also part of a series. Some readers gave my excellent feedback for a number of those posts and one poster said they learned quite a lot from reading them. Perhaps I could share them with a larger audience.

Continue reading “What’s My Feature? I’m Thinking, Boo…I’m Thinking…”

Building My Brand (on WordPress)

For Assignment 14 in Blogging 101, we each had to work on building our brand. In order to do this, we were given three choices:

  1. Create a custom icon for our sites. This shows up on the browser tab.
  2. Create a fan page on Facebook to promote our posts.
  3. Create image widgets for a sidebar.

I went with the first option.

As I was working on working on this assignment, my first thought was to create the icon by hand. Either I would draw something traditionally or do it digitally. In any case, an idea would have to be sketched out.

The two ideas I came up with were: drawing part of my face; or using the letters in my screen name artistically. During the sketching phase, I liked how the letters looked. The self-portrait can still be used for another project.

The icon I’m currently using was made in Adobe Illustrator. Here’s a sneak peek:

building my brand

This is still a work in progress and things might be changed later.

Addressing an Error and Choosing Blogging Event

As I type this, I’m getting ready to go to bed. I’m pretty tired. I had a big day today. Anyway, let’s get back on topic.

My Error

Oops! I just realized that I posted Episode 15 of my Things I Don’t Like about Television series a day early. I’ve been quite busy this week, scheduling meetings, and trying to meet deadlines. The days just seem to run together sometimes. This will just give me more time to get other things in order…like my Blogging 101 assignments.

A Blogging Event

From The Daily Post, events page, a few caught my fancy. There probably are a few I should try, like the Sketch-a-Day Project, Sketchbook Saturday, and Creative Questions. For now, I want to stick to just one.

Among all the choices, I was able to find a blogging event I really liked, Write Anything Wednesday. All those who take part in the event have to do is what it says on the tin. We can publish regular blog posts, or a piece of fiction. We can link back to the site, and even post on any deal we feel like. I like this idea because there is no pressure, there are no mandatory prompts, there is just a challenge to be creative and to keep those blogging senses sharp.

Hmm… I can use tomorrow to write an extra post and finish my Blogging 101 assignments. But tomorrow is a big day, as well. Maybe I’ll write about it!

Hello, Followers (February 21, 2016)!

In building on my last post for Blogging 101, I’d thought I’d take the time to say hello to all my followers. This is also something I should do, anyway. I see that some good users of social media love to keep their followers involved by giving them shout outs.

Now, when I started the Blogging 101 course, I only had 7 followers since I started on WordPress (in late August 2015). In two weeks, I’ve nearly tripled my following (and I’m one short of twenty). It’s exciting to get new followers and know that what I write may speak to others.

My followers are:

  • Kosmogonic: On this site, you will find a collection of socially-conscious poetry.
  • Marc-André: He is part owner to Katzenworld, a whimsical site about cats. The offerings on this site include musings, news, and product reviews. If one is so inclined, they may even sign up for a newsletter.
  • Ana Spoke: Originally started as a way to finish a novel, serves as medium for the self-published author to write about the publishing process. She’s also made some humorous videos to promote one of her books.
  • Stuart M. Perkins: He runs Storyshucker, where he shares daily observations and insights from his life. Many of his posts read like pages of a novel.
  • robintournadre: He runs Robin T. Photo, where he shows off some breathtaking images he shoots from his travels. He also offers tips for photographers and full-on tutorials.
  • I was rather surprised to get this follow. Project Journal is an online publication aimed at professionals in the United Kingdom.
  • shandraeats: Written by one of my “classmates” in Blogging 101, Shandra Eats has quick food reviews and shares links to recipes.
  • Claudia Sava: She’s a teenager who takes an introspective look with each of her posts. I was never that thoughtful or articulate when I was her age.
  • Jason Bucky Roberts: He’s the main contributor to Nerdy Life of Mine and he has his own podcast.
  • Timm: Hailing from Thailand, Timm runs, where he talks about his interests and adventures from his life. Here’s another Blogging 101 classmate!
  • willjwrightblog: I also came across Write Words via Blogging 101. Will Wright writes (see what I did there?) about current events and pop culture, and personal stories. He has a gentle way of addressing things.
  • Selka: This blogger co-runs a blog entitled PermacultureGrin, dedicated to talking about experiences on building a home and garden in Nova Scotia.
  • usfman: This fellow classmate runs Snippets of a Traveling Mind, a blog dedicated to finding internal serenity and celebrating the spirit of travel.
  • ryanbonnduadua: Ryan Bonn hails from the Philippines. He runs Real Estate Property Investments, which is a blog use to advertise real estate property and show his expertise in the industry.
  • che: This is a private blog, but I’m grateful for the follow!
  • Audrey: This wife/mother/stepmother/sister/daughter/friend’s blog features her aggressive, organic writing style. Give her a minute, and she’ll pull you in.

Once again, thanks to all for following me and I would of course welcome more!

Blogroll Assignment

Assignment 10 for my Blogging 101 course was really simple. All I had to do was one of three things:

  • Add a “Blogs I Follow” widget.
  • Add a “Links” Widget.
  • Use the Text widget to list and describe links to any blog or site I wanted.

I chose the first option and placed it on my sidebar. One thing to note is that the blogs being mentioned could be shown as part of a list or via images (the avatars the authors use). I tried both, and felt that the use of images was make for a more dynamic viewing.

Currently, I am following 14 blogs. (Yes, I need to branch out more and find more blogs.) However, the widget could be set to show only a certain number of those blogs. For now, four blogs will only be shown on my sidebar. Not all the authors of blogs I follow use custom avatars, but the four at the top do. As I find more and more blogs I want to follow, there will be more featured via the widget.

More Personalizing

For the seventh assignment in the Blogging 101 course, I had to do at least 1 of 3 things:

  • Add a header image.
  • Add a background.
  • Try a widget if I was happy with my header/background.

It should be known that I have changed the theme for my blog since assignment 5. While customizing some more, I quickly came to love the Lovecraft theme. It is set up a certain way and there’s a right-aligned sidebar, but the design is somehow sleeker than the Baskerville theme. I love the default header, too, but plan to change it.

Now, for this assignment I decided to play with the header image and colors. The header image I have is really a sample image that came with my system. I ultimately want to go with a landscape anyway. The background color is a dark gray for the time being. Here’s a screenshot in case I change it:

lovecraft theme

I might just go back to the default until I’m ready to do even more with the theme. The idea I have for the header is to incorporate a rough sketch. This will give me a chance to use my art and it will pertain to one of my interests. The background color will of course be adjusted, too.