Category Archives: Blogging

I Did It! Maybe…

Well, I did indeed move the blog last week, as I said I would. The supposedly simple and easy and straightforward and ‘oh you’ll have no problem’ process of migrating Writing from the Edge to its new home was, I’m afraid, anything but simple, easy, etc. More like confusing, disjointed, frustrating, alarming, exhausting, demented, discouraging,…  You get the idea.

I’m not sure it would be so for everyone. Because some of the things that happened were just weird. For example, I followed the instructions on WordPress for exporting and importing, and got first a notice that there’d been an “Internal Server Error” wherein the server was “unable to complete” my request. So I tried again and got a different error message entirely, something about unable to convert KarenHancock to Karen. I had no idea what that meant. Exhausted and dismayed, I quit for the day, and took Quigley for a walk.

penguin photographer_edited

The next day I did a bunch of research on what the error messages meant and what to do about them, then tried a third import. The result of that was a file opening with a list of all my blog posts telling me they “already existed.”  What?

So I went to the new blog, and there they all were. Posts and photos all together!  Apparently everything had already been migrated the day before, I just never thought to look when the error messages told me it hadn’t worked.

Well, no matter. At least it had migrated. After celebrating this first milestone, I went back to check the links, which, as some instruction had warned about, were indeed, still pointing back to the old blog. So I had to fix that.

[Insert long confusing story on my foray into the database, downloading a zip file, doing a search and replace of the relevant terms, then off to find a zip program to zip it back up, which pulled me into trying to sign up for some sort of service I wasn’t interested in just so I could get a free WinZip, until I found out I didn’t really have to sign up after all (I did not), only to have WinZip apparently not work, and in the end not be needed anyway… because all the files are now pointing in the right direction.]

chipmunck reading

Then I wanted to do this fancy new website along with the blog, but… it didn’t take me long to figure out that wasn’t going to happen any time soon.

So I gave up on that and decided it was time to tackle transferring the feeds over at Feedblitz, the service that handles about half of my blog subscribers. (I didn’t know that WordPress would send the blog email to subscribers some ten years ago when I signed up for Feedblitz… maybe because I wasn’t using WordPress when I signed up for Feedblitz…)

Anyway, that’s a very brief summary of the events of last week, leading up to this post. Hopefully, my Feedblitz readers out there will actually receive it in their inboxes tomorrow. Well, at this point, I suppose I should say “Hopefully my WordPress readers will receive it in their inboxes as well,” seeing as nothing in this process has gone as advertised, yet…

Making the Move

Well, I think I’ll be moving the blog soon. I spent the last week poring through the WordPress.org forum support articles, the GoDaddy support articles, clicking on all the links, following the instructions as far as I could without actually changing anything and just trying to get the process clear in my mind, not only what I would have to do, but what was actually happening.

I was getting an increasingly clearer view of things, but was held back by the question of whether I should migrate this blog to the new one before or after I designed the new site. Partly that’s because I’m not really sure what is going to happen — so I probably need to do additional reading. Will the entire blog go to the new place with the theme and templates and all that? What would happen if I had set up a new theme and template and then uploaded the old blog?

I asked a GoDaddy tech person and she suggested I do the designing first and the migrating second, but I didn’t know as much about it when I asked her as I do now — i.e., I think that the theme will be moved, and would conflict in some way if there was a different theme on the new site. Plus, I want to make the home page different from the blog.

But, I still don’t know, despite having made it through all the articles provided by GoDaddy Support, and there are two sets of those — one on the new site itself, and another in the General Support documentation. And they’re not exactly the same. And then there are the WordPress.com instructions and the WordPress.org instructions… Most people are probably not as OCD about it all as I am.

I have, at least, managed to figure out how to access my new database, which is needed to upload this blog into the new site. That took me several days. Okay, not several whole days, because we’ve got lots of other “real life” things going on as well.

And then yesterday, toward the end of the day I discovered “Duplicator,” which is a plugin mentioned at the end of a GoDaddy article on how to move your blog. It’s a free plugin, that will do the whole thing for you. Zips the original blog, then exports it, automatically replaces the old URLs with the new all throughout the database, and then imports it to the new site. It’s what the GoDaddy support people use when they move a blog for clients. There were 392 five-star reviews of it, 15 four-star reviews and nothing lower.

Still, it sounds too good to be true. They do they say it’s for the more tech-savvy of their customers, but if it’s really as easy as it seems, why would they not advise everyone to get it? Because what I’m having to do now seems like it involves a lot of tech savvy-ness itself. Maybe even more.

Of course, there is the problem of my never having done anything with a plugin… but that doesn’t seem all that difficult either so…

Anyway, I hope to be making the move soon, maybe tomorrow or Monday (okay, possibly even today). It’s my hope that all my subscribers and followers will hardly notice, if they notice at all. I will have to return to Feedblitz to point it in a new direction for picking up the new blog, which probably will not be as easy as it sounds…

In any case, my current plan is to publish this post today, let Feedblitz do its thing tonight, then do the move tomorrow or Monday, and make all the attendant adjustments and fixes before sending out a post from the new site when I think it’s working okay.

UPDATE:  Just talked to GoDaddy support again. The tech I spoke with confirmed the advisability of moving the blog first, then doing the designing. Plus, he told me a bit more about what was supposed to happen in the move, and advised that I do an export right now, and save that on my local computer.  In fact, in the instructions for migrating to the new site, I’m specifically told to leave this current blog working, so the images will transfer properly.  Which means I can probably do a transfer any time after publishing this post and work out the rest of the details later.

Adventures in Feedblitzland

Every day’s a new adventure!

After turning off my tendency to worry about how I’m going to accomplish all the things I have to accomplish in the project of setting up a new website and blog, I resolved to give it over to the Lord, to stop trying to figure it out and let Him lead me.

I did not expect that He would lead me to deal with Feedblitz today. Feedblitz is the service that converts my blog posts to emails and sends them out to those of you who have subscribed so that you receive them in your Inboxes. (You can subscribe — I think — using the “Click here to subscribe” link in the sidebar.)

I’m trying to decide if I should move the blog over to the GoDaddy WordPress incipient website first and then design the two together, or design the website first, then move the blog. Or, not move the blog at all, simply link to it. That would be easier, but the whole would not end up as pleasing.

So I decided to head over to Feedblitz just to see how difficult it would be to change things there if I moved my blog to a new URL. Well, not hard at all, supposedly. At least as they described it. But then, changing out your email wasn’t supposed to be hard either.

Somehow I ended up doing that… changing out my admin email. And in the process I lost my entire subscriber list! You don’t just change the email address, you have to “merge” your existing list/”site” named by the old email address with a new, non-existent list/site named by your new one. Then they send an email to the old address to approve and the new address with instructions on logging in and approving… and then suddenly you are dealing with a template, and all kinds of social media feeds (or whatever they are) and well, they were asking me the weirdest questions as I set up my “publisher profile,” questions I didn’t think they should be asking someone who was doing what I was doing that I was becoming uneasy and frustrated. Especially when I had no idea how to answer.

And then I noticed that the tab leading to my “sites” had vanished.

I panicked, went looking everywhere throughout my account panel, couldn’t find them anywhere. I went searching through the documentation. Nothing on losing one’s entire subscriber list. Then one thing led to another, as I tried this and that (including emailing Feedblitz’s support and posting a public question) I even went back to previously opened browser windows and suddenly there were my sites again. (I say sites because even though I only have one Writing from the Edge blog, for some reason I had 2 “sites” for it.) But when I tried to get to that page through a normal login, they had vanished again.

Long story short,  I had to finish updating the publisher profile. Once I did that, they reappeared for good. But they were no longer under the “My Sites” tab which had been done away with, but under the Account Dashboard link.

How can things that are so basically simple get so weird and complicated?

Anyway, if you are a regular subscriber and have received this blog in your inbox via email and you feel inclined to reply, I’d appreciate knowing if at least some of you have received it. And if it looks different from what you’re used to.  You can either reply directly to me or in the comments. Thanks.

Three Small Things

The problems with the email continued on from my last post, as I vainly sought to get the default mail program of Windows 8 to actually handle my mail. Remember in my last post on these matters, I had called the GoDaddy helpline about the failure of my new website url to take me to a login page. The guy on the phone saw at once that something was pointed in the wrong direction and quickly pointed it in the right one. Solving the problem.

If only I’d hung up then.

Instead, he suddenly asked me why I had the email account that I did. It was way too much for what I needed, way too complicated. “Why did they give you this one?” he asked. Well, at the time I was consumed with why was the webpage login not working and my email was far from my thoughts. When I told him I didn’t know (actually it was that I couldn’t remember) he quickly moved to reorganize everything so that I could save $30 and not have these extraneous unlimited business emails complicating things.

Several days later, after trying repeatedly and unsuccessfully to get Win8 Outlook to receive and send karenhancock.com emails, the memory of  WHY I had gotten the other package drifted up from the shadowy, convoluted corridors of my brain: because the other package came with IMAP and was compatible with Windows 8 while  the new one was not and would have to be used only as a web-based email program.  I’d forgotten all about that when I called to find out about the webpage url, and thus allowed the sales rep to “help me” by setting me up with an email client that doesn’t do IMAP and isn’t compatible with Win 8 Outlook. This despite the fact that every one of my three email clients are called Outlook. Talk about confusing!

Anyway, a tiny element, forgotten, caused the entire ship to turn in a direction I’d originally wanted to avoid.

It wasn’t the only one. Last Thursday, my hubby had left on his hunting trip and right before going, made sure there was air in all the tires on my car and everything was good.  Two hours later I came out with Quigley to drive to the park for our evening walk, and discovered one of the tires was flat. Flat as a pancake flat. Rim to the ground flat. I stood there staring at it in disbelief.

But from the start Quigley had been in a panic to get going, and now his insistence overwhelmed me and we started up the street. Or rather, we ran. As we did, I acknowledged that the earlier, very soft dropping he’d left in the back yard (which he never does) had indeed been a harbinger of worse to come.  We ran up the street until I found an acceptable spot for him and he let go. The entire rest of the walk was all about that.

So in addition to no car I had a sick dog. Well, Fast Balance GI to the rescue. At least for the dog. It’s a dark, thick paste of good bacteria and other stuff that you have to squirt into the dog’s mouth while he tries to escape. As big as he is, Quigley has to get three doses of it throughout the day. After the first dose, I had to close the door to his kennel or he’d run in there to hide as soon as he saw me with the tube. In the end, it did the trick, though, thank you, Lord!

Next day, after a neighbor helped me change the tire, I took it down to Discount Tire. They could find nothing wrong with it.  However, when they had filled it back up and put on the valve stem cap, they could hear hissing. So they took the cap off, handed it to me and told me what had happened, but that all was well. The tire was Fixed!

Well, it didn’t seem very well to me. Why would the cap being on cause it to leak? Was there something wrong with the valve stem? Did they give the cap back because they only fix flat tires, not valve stems?  I didn’t know but thankfully my husband returned early — Sunday night in fact.

Turns out a tiny o-ring that was supposed to be inside the cap, up at the top had fallen out, allowing an inward/downward pointing extrusion in the cap’s top to press on the valve and let out the air.

How weird is that? Another very tiny thing, that completely changed the direction of not just one day, but several.

And well do I know how frequently that can be the case with computer issues. In fact, as I’ve been writing this, I was trying to back up my database on my hosting service server, so I could do an upgrade, but of course there was an error and so…

Since I haven’t really done anything with the website yet, choosing to do some research first, it may not hurt to skip the back up part and just do the update. Or maybe I’ll just do more research…

I probably don’t need to mention that during all this I’ve done NO work on the book… 🙁

All Things Have Become New

My new profile picture.

(For the time being anyway — Windows 8 helpfully swapped out the one that I had on the WordPress site for the default that came with the Windows 8 program when I changed my WP administrator email address)

🙄

Yes, I am once again in the throes of learning a new operating system, getting a new email address and client, trying to figure out where I need to go to replace the old ones… and soon I will be setting up a new website.

The web hosting service of my old site, addr.com, has gone MIA. No chat, no phone, and so far no response to my email about why I can no longer log in and why I am not getting any emails through the old kmhancock email address. That account, as I mentioned in the last post, was set up over ten years ago as part of my website which had been hosted by addr.com. I never had one problem with them in all that time, but lately I’ve not been very active when it comes to my website. Thus it never occurred to me the credit card they had on file had gone out of date. At least that’s what I’m thinking the problem is. Or at least part of the problem.

Since it never occurred to me the card they had, had expired, it never occurred to me to contact them about it. You’d think they would contact me, but they did not.

Day before yesterday I spent a good deal of time researching web hosting sites and reading reviews. I mentioned previously reading lots of scary posts on addr.com, but they were all on one site that seemed to be promoting another hosting service so I went looking for reviews that might be a bit more impartial and recent.

Well, those were not good, either, though this time a number of them were written by folks like me who had been with the service for ten years or more and had mostly been very happy with it. But within the last five years, everything seemed to go downhill. Problems with disappearing emails were mentioned, also the chat ALWAYS being down, and the phones ALWAYS being too busy to answer so send an email, and the email almost never being answered. On the rare occasions someone did manage to get through on the phones they were routed to a person in India who barely spoke English and didn’t even know the system.

I wonder if they might be out of business. Wouldn’t my website have gone down entirely, though, if that were the case?  As of now it’s still up, though you can’t use the email any more… (even before I changed it)

Anyway, I’ve signed up with a new service and will soon be working on a new website (the old one was getting stale anyway) that will be integrated with this blog — something I’ve wanted to do for some time.

At the moment though, learning my way around Windows 8 is quite enough for this old and shrinking brain of mine to handle. 🙂

I’ve Started a Second Blog

Am I nuts? Probably. It’s called A Thing for Paper.

I originally intended to keep the two blogs separate, because they have nothing to do with one another. This one is for writing and musing, the new one is purely a place for me to publish the cards I make so I can participate in the challenges over at Operation Write Home (they collect handmade cards from folks like me to send to our troops overseas so they can have something to write home on). Today, having commented on one of the cards I liked in the current challenge I’m trying to participate in, Blogger wanted me to choose a profile to comment under. WordPress was one of the options so I chose it, but then discovered, after publishing of course, that it would be directing anyone who clicked on my name to Writing from the Edge and they would be wondering how in the world they got there.

I have yet to figure out the ins and outs of all this stuff, (and now in the process of trying to find the link to the other blog, I figured out that I shouldn’t have put my name in the box, but “athingforpaper”.  Well… live and learn…)

Anyway, I am hoping to be back to blogging here regularly soon. Maybe even tomorrow. Stay tuned…

Guest Blogging at Seriously Write

first big roses - web size

First roses of 2013 — they’re huge!

Yes, I’m still here. I do plan to get back to blogging, but first I have to get some kind of traction going with Sky… I’ve been doing pretty good this week…

Anyway, I was contacted by Dawn Kinzer over at Seriously Write Blog around six months ago about doing a post on my journey to publication or maybe offering words of encouragement, and I said yes since the due date was six months off. Surely it wouldn’t be that hard to get something written in six months.

Ahem.

Better not go there.

Anyway, I wrote the post last week and found it to be a particular challenge in that she wanted something that was between 200 and 500 words, and of course I rarely confine myself to something that short. I’m sure at least one of my own posts here falls into that word count, but the vast majority are much longer.

The piece, which I called He Will Bring it to Pass, is 916 words long — slightly over the limit… I did get permission before I left it that long because I think it works best that way… it’s a boiled down story of my 26 year journey to publication. Many of you are probably familiar with the story, but I added a little more than I have in the past…  Anyway it goes up Friday, May 9 (tomorrow, as I write this). So if you want to pop on over and give it a read, maybe check out the site while you’re at it click HERE.

As for that traction on Sky… I’ve actually started making some headway this last week and am hoping to be back blogging  about that very soon…  It all depends on if this new routine/infusion of motivation holds…`

Reprise: Why I Turned off the Comments

In view of my references yesterday to this decision — made in June of 2007 — I am reposting it here today.

Why I Turned off the Comments

Thursday, June 14, 2007

In a phrase, because God told me to. In rather stern and shocking terms. I know that sounds wacky, but… guess I’ll just have to sound wacky.

It has little to do with the quality/nature of the comments themselves and everything to do with my motivations and the fact that I am too easily led into the wrong ones. When I started this blog it was something I was doing as unto the Lord, something I believed He was moving me to do for His purposes and not my own. But then came the comments and my own predilection toward fretting about them. Writing something, posting it, then wondering if anyone said anything. Worrying about what people might think of certain topics, and then sometimes hesitating to write what I was feeling led to write. And then, regardless of what I wrote, checking a bunch of times to see if anyone had left something — when I was supposed to be writing. If no one commented, then I might feel dismayed, and that in turn disrupted my mood and confidence for writing, and pretty much annihilated whatever concentration I had before I broke down and checked.

In short, it became a distraction. To make matters worse, the absence of comments would often lead me to start surfing, reading blogs, even checking Amazon, heaven forbid. And if none of that yielded anything, then I would fall into unending repetitions of the entire process. The upshot was… I wasted a lot of time with it all, last year and now. The Lord pulled me through it last year — got the book done in spite of me — but now that I see it happening again, I am convicted of the need to make a change. And I have to say that so far I’m pleased with the peace and the ability to focus that has been restored to me because of this.

I’ll admit that at first I was afraid of offending people because, after all, the accepted, generally publicized reason for a blog is to get out there and start conversations, generate all this cross linkage, interact with readers, draw a lot of attention. Turning off the comments would stop all that and possibly chase readers off. Ultimately though I had to bow to what the Lord was telling me to do and not worry about that. If that’s what happened/happens, so be it. It’s not my intent to offend, and if you wish to comment on a blog post you can always email me through the address in the profile in the side bar. You might even generate a new blog post with your emailed comment!

With WordPress, I’ve not turned off the comments, because I haven’t had the same problems with them that I described in this article. The other stuff though — the likes, the idea that I must go and read other blogs, the supposed requirement of all the cross posting, and etc., so far that’s been the stuff of distraction for me. So, while I’ve not turned off the comments, I have turned off the function that sends an email to me every time someone “likes” a post (an email which then encourages me to go to their blog out of gratitude and leave a comment or like in return).

It’s not that I’m ungrateful, just that I don’t have time or as, Sherlock Holmes recently put it in the new show Elementary, not enough “attic space.”

LOL.

I’m Back

Quigley wearing free dog antlers from PetCo

Quigley wearing free dog antlers from PetCo

Hi everyone!  And a happy 2013 to you all!

Yes, I’m back. Not necessarily back from physical travels, though we did get over to Southern California to visit the kids and grand-daughter, as well as my 92-year-old stepmother. I am back from that, and also, apparently, from my recent and unexpected blogging silence.

I have no explanation, other than that I had neither  motivation nor words with which to generate a blog post for almost a month now. I haven’t even kept up on my emails. In fact, I’ve done very little on the computer since last I posted, except for Bible Class.

Part of that was the shingles and the fact that it was hard to even look at the screen for a while. Plus I had a regimen of eye drops and pills to take there at first, and kept going back to the doctor for them to gauge my progress. This, added to Christmas preps, demolished my normal routine, which had been suffering anyway. I was also consciously trying to avoid the computer, not only to rest my eyes but in hopes of getting a handle on my addiction to reading blogs and news articles.

Pastor John spoke about this awhile back, how reading the things on the web — things invariably from the world — mess up your mental attitude and make it harder to go back to your work — in his case, studying the Word and preparing his lessons, in mine, working on the book. I had already noticed that effect on my own, but didn’t really give it the attention it deserved. I thought it was just me having no discipline as opposed to information and enticements from the world registering with my sin nature, which in turn agitated for “No More Struggling With that Lame Book! Who’s going to like it anyway? It’s not going to be any good, and you have no discipline…” or…. “You’re just not into it today. Tomorrow will be better. Why not take a break now and go do something else?”  To which I answered “Okay” far too often.

Or… “But I really want to find out what happened/why he did it/more on this subject! I’ll work on the book later…”

On another day, in another lesson, he talked about how sometimes God will shut us down in the operation of our spiritual gift in order for us to realize that it’s His power that’s doing it, not ours. That really resonated as well, but I haven’t really been able to get my arms around it all enough to write about it in any way that makes sense.

A third concept that keeps floating through my awareness is the fact that all this with the blog… specifically the call to do a post 5 days a week, was really more than I could handle and actually write a book, too. Add to that the notion that since this was supposed to build my readership I should be trying to do posts that people would like, and keep track of the numbers and all that… and it only piled on more pressure. And, I see in retrospect, drained energy away from whatever it is in me that comes up with my stories.

Long ago I had determined that God was not calling me to be a marketer — He would do the marketing, and the promoting and publicizing, and my job was to concentrate on writing the book (which He would also do, but that was where I was to focus my attention, not the other stuff).  He told me that in a very vivid and compelling way, and I immediately obeyed and stopped thinking about the marketing.

But the world is relentless in promoting its positions, and after ten years, I became infected with it again. Maybe I had grown enough, I thought arrogantly, that I could handle it now. Maybe it wouldn’t be so bad to at least try it out, see if it was what I was to do. After all, everyone else is doing it.

No. Not what I’m to do. All the things they suggest one do to build a readership distracts me from my calling. It takes away my time, changes my mental attitude and focus, really seems to mess me up when it comes to my primary calling, which is to write my novels. I learned that once, but as with so many things, forgot the lesson and went back to try it again.

If I’m honest, I have to admit I like the idea of me doing stuff to get folks to read my blog and books. Well, no, actually I don’t like it at all, at least not the actual doing of it. I just like the idea of having some control over it and that’s probably the main issue right there. That I’m going to control things, when God’s the one in control.

Anyway, I’m not going to be doing five posts a week, but 4, and that may not be all the time. I’m not going to be trolling about various strangers’ blogs to see if I might “like” them. I might like them, but I don’t have time to read them. I’m not going to be going out to comment on other folks’ blogs, like they tell me to, in hopes they’ll visit my blog and like it. I’m not going to be trolling about on the internet looking for good ideas for content that will bring in a lot of readers.

I’m going to go back to what this all started out as: me writing my book, posting thoughts that spring primarily out of that and my life and lessons and research. The book comes first. The blog second.

And if the world thinks that’s dumb, I’m okay with that. If I only have six readers, I’m okay with that, too. As our recent lessons on spiritual gifts have taught me, God is the one in charge of the results of my gift, not me.

“For consider your calling, brethren, that there were not many wise according to the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, but God has chosen the foolish things of the world to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to shame the things which are strong, and the base things of the world and the despised (or unknown), God has chosen, the things that are not (ie, humble) that He might nullify the things that are (ie, proud), that no man should boast before God.”   ~ 1 Co 1:26 – 29

How To Drive Yourself Crazy

You start out having a contracted book that you are supposed to be writing and having so many different difficulties, intrusions, interruptions, distractions and delusions that you are proceeding at a snail’s pace, seemingly no matter what you do.

Combine with a previous book repackaged and on the market again, and generating  feelings of responsibility in the author for doing something to let the world know.

Add an invitation to join a website that will provide much information and help on how to market your books in a world that is rapidly becoming a continuous, never-ending, deluge of advertising.

Accept the invitation because… um… well, it sounds good, and maybe I’ll learn something.

Attend the first seminar. Take ten pages of notes and end up with TONS of things to do to have a profitable web presence.

[Yes, yes, I know — I’ve said in the past that I’m relying on God to promote my books and what in the world am I doing falling for this? Well… what can I say? I’m weak. Frail. Easily led astray. Rethinking that stand. Maybe it was good for then, but this is now and perhaps I could do some of that now. Not a lot. But some… Maybe this would be a form of stepping out in new ways of using my gift of encouragement.]

Here are some of those things you can do to build your “platform”:

Integrate your website with your blog. Redo both blog and website so that it’s more professional looking, maybe hire someone to do that, which means shop around for various web designers. Or figure out how to do it all yourself.

Write more blog posts. Write better blog posts. Answer every comment.

Go to other blogs and read them. Comment there. Answer any responses to the comment you left. Maybe quote from someone else’s blog and then write about how you disagree. Maybe they’ll link to you and rebut. Then you can rebut the rebuttal and get into an argument. That’s great for getting links to your blog and the attention of the world, which likes controversy and argument.

Learn what Google Analytics is.  Get on Google+.

Learn to write better titles/headlines. Study other headlines. Keep a headline file. Spend as much time writing your headline/title as you do writing your post.

Take a bunch of photographs to use on the blog, because They say that you must have images on your blog. Guest blog as much as possible. Get in as many discussions as possible.

Learn how to start a Facebook Author page and then do that. Find out what a Landing Page is. Maybe set one up.

Interact daily with those who come to your Facebook Author Page.

Make an author page for Amazon.

Learn how to optimize your website/blog and do that .

Get on Twitter. Learn how to write good tweets…  And don’t forget to come up with your own daily blog posts…

Oh yeah. And get that contracted book written. The sooner the better. (That would be The Other Side of the Sky…)

And thus we get to crazy. Too much to do even aside from all that. And with that I am over the top. Which of all those things should I do? For how long? When? How can I balance that with working on the book and the work I have to do around the house?  Where’s the peace in all this? Not there. Maybe I’m just weak… Well, yes. I am weak. But His power is manifest in my weakness, so that’s a good thing.

He’ll do what needs doing. I just have to turn it over to Him and let Him.

And so I’ve taken a little trip without even leaving home these last few weeks. I’ve learned a few things.

Like “A Tomato, A Coin and A Die” is a really bad title. (I should have called it “Two Techniques That Helped Me Get Past Writer’s Block”. Actually I might go back and retitle it just to see what will happen.)

I’ve learned that there are a lot of blogs out there that are highly “successful” (in that they have hundreds of thousands of visitors) in telling other people how they can be successful on their own blogs. Which seems mildly ironic, even a bit disingenuous.

I’ve been praying for direction in all this from the start. And I am pretty sure that I have come full circle on this crazy ride yet again, and am getting off at the platform now, ready to go back home and just focus on writing Sky.

Because the thing it’s all shown me — once again —  is that, yes, indeed,  all that other stuff takes up not only time but mental space.  At least for me. I tend to want to focus deeply on things when they engage me, and when I try to do all that stuff, well, the focus gets fragmented and I get farther away from the world of Sky than ever.

I won’t say I won’t do any of that, but for now I do know that the focus has to be on my WIP.