The news has been slow around here. Just regular stuff. Accidents, government stupidity and incompetence, scandals of the famous and wannabes. Politics as usual. Autumn.

It got me wondering about today’s prompt — what we would want of all the possible results — from blogging.

Why do you blog?


A friend asked me why I blog. Which is the same as asking me why I write and take pictures. I felt like asking her why she breathes because writing and shooting is like breathing to me, but instead, I asked her why she plays golf.

She is a fine sportswoman and can’t imagine living a life in which she can’t play or compete. That’s as much who she is as her face.

I write because I have a head full of words. I take pictures because I see them wherever I go. These things are as much part of me as my face or my feet. I can no sooner not write as not breathe.

Go figure.


Serendipity is a personal and photography blog. For the most part.

I write about me and my life, stuff that’s happening, things I did back when. I take pictures, talk about nature, wildlife, trees. Especially trees.

It’s a reflection of not just what I feel, but what I think, what I enjoy, hope for, fear, and love. It is a bit of everything that touches me and the people around me. It isn’t entirely personal because many interesting or worrisome things aren’t about me, though they touch my life and presumably, yours.


Thus, I write about politics, news, movies, books, television. Ecology. I don’t always want to talk about me. Sometimes, I want to talk about you. Them. The world. Nature. And technology because we all use so much of it and it directly impacts our lives in myriad ways.

Sometimes — like right now — things happening around me are sad. Difficult. I’m not ready to talk about it.

I follow as many bloggers as I can. Most bloggers I follow write about life and take pictures too. Some are very funny, some are scary. They all vary their content from serious to funny and back again. I never know what I’m going to find when I visit.


A few blogs are entirely personal and grim. They have their blogging antennae permanently aimed inward The darkness within is complete.

After a while, I begin to tire of it. I get restless. The relentless recounting of one train wreck after another, the uninterrupted procession of bad luck stories, wears me down. I get numb when someone’s life contains no ray of light, no reason for joy, no hope of a better future.

I have to wonder if all that bad luck is merely bad luck. Is it possible for anyone to be so unlucky — without being at least partly responsible for the mess in which they find themselves?

Am I wrong? Am I being insensitive? Unfair?

snow falling front trees

I don’t have an answer. I know after months and sometimes, years, I cannot bear any more. Maybe God really is out to get him or her. Or perhaps it isn’t entirely coincidental that he or she can’t keep a job, roommate, or friend … and why everything in their lives turns to shit.

Can “personal” become “too much information”? How much is enough … and what’s too much?


While I wasn’t looking, WordPress turned off about half the blogs I follow. I had reduced the frequency of notifications from instant to daily, but I guess WordPress was feeling helpful, so they further reduced it to nothing at all.


I thought maybe everyone was on vacation or had given up blogging. At the same time.

So I’m back and so are you. Just so you know.


Back from the mountains, from the north land. Out of 9 days away, 4 were spent entirely in the car. We drove most of the day today and are exhausted. We need to rethink how we take vacations, how much driving we do. How close together we do long drives. 


I am not going back to posting three or four times a day. Garry commented I didn’t seem to be having fun anymore. He’s right. It has become a job. Serendipity has eaten my life.


So I’ve pulled back … and my stats are falling like a rock. Apparently, there’s a direct correlation between how much new material I post and how much traffic I get. So be it. I guess I’ll have to make do with less traffic. Because if I can’t do less, I’m going to quit entirely.


Vacation is a good time to ponder how I spend my time. I realized I spend all my time with the computer in my lap. The only time I’m not hooked up is when I’m physically out of the house, asleep, or cooking. I shouldn’t be surprised my wrists and shoulders hurt.


So … what?

I love comments. I’ll answer comments, but if I don’t answer you every time, it’s not because I don’t care. There aren’t enough hours in my day to keep up this pace. I’ll visit your blogs when I can, but I won’t make myself crazy trying to visit everyone everyday.


I’ll write if I have something to say. Post pictures when I’ve got something worth displaying. It will depend on the season, my mood, and what else is going on. Probably I’ll post more in the winter when I’m stuck in the house anyhow, less in nice weather.

So what do you guys think? Am I being unfair? Unrealistic?

I have stopped visiting bloggers who never visit me. That was easy. I don’t expect daily visits, but never isn’t enough. Never is actually insulting.


I wish I could give everyone a boost. I know you want me to look at your site because you drop links in my comments. Which would be okay if it weren’t obvious you haven’t read me. Or even looked at the pictures.


Blogging — especially over the long haul — is a lot of work. it means keeping at it when you are sick, tired, and you don’t feel remotely creative. It takes determination, patience, and time to write and edit. I’m slower than most people to fully develop an idea. Even slower to edit.

My pictures aren’t just snapshots. I seek pictures and locations … because there are only so many pictures I can take of my backyard before even I don’t want to look at them.

Then I download, review, and finally, process. I don’t do a lot of processing, but I do the basics. Even so, it takes time. Merely reviewing a hundred or so pictures — the output of a typical outing — is a day’s work. I’m often still plugging away at it when everyone else is watching a movie or asleep.

72-oil-yellow-bouqet_05 macro


don’t accept web chain-letter awards. It doesn’t matter what you call the award. Or who is giving it.

Anything that requires I annoy fellow bloggers, most of whom also won’t accept so-called awards, is spam. If you feel compelled to distribute them, send them to someone who has not up front stated he or she does not accept awards. Please: take “no” for an answer. If I say thank you, but no … nagging is just going to piss me off.


So there you have it. It will be interesting to see who keeps visiting. I’ll do the best I can for all of you, but it’s time for a change and I am determined to make it stick.


Yes, I’m going to keep doing it. Because it’s fun. And blogging is supposed to be fun. Expect a new one this Wednesday, September 23rd.


About this Daily Prompt thing — I guess I’m finished.

I will check to see if there’s an idea worth writing. If and when there is — or when the prompt overlaps what I wanted to write about anyhow — I’ll do it. Otherwise, I’ve given up.

It wasn’t a sudden decision or a conscious choice. I didn’t decide to quit. I got tired, busy, and annoyed with the prompts. Rather than whine about how bad the prompts are, I just didn’t do them.

Life has been a bit overwhelming. I haven’t had patience to deal with prompts that focus on the trivial or morbid. It has been a long time since housework (as an example) was a subject I felt required further discussion.


I don’t know why WordPress chose to kill off both daily and weekly writing challenges. I miss them. The point of following them wasn’t to enlarge my audience, which is as large as I can handle, but to see how many different ways we could all write about the same topic.

It was creative writing. The challenge was in seeing if I could find an interesting approach to the topic. I did pretty well for a couple of years, but the repeats are not challenging. Not for me, anyhow.

These days, it feels like dumb and dumber — or annoying and even more aggravating — so I stopped. I’ll drop around to see if something grabs me and it would be great if WordPress put an editor on it and made it live again.

To all the friends I’ve made, I follow you. Hopefully, you follow me. We don’t need the daily downer to keep in touch. If you are interested, you’ll keep in touch. See you around!


Sometime during the night between yesterday and today, my total views passed 300,000.

three hundred thousand

That is an incomprehensibly big number. I never imagined having this many people look at my site when I started blogging.

I began Serendipity without thought and no plan. Or objective. For all the hours I’ve spent working on it, I’ve yet to set a goal or decide on a direction. I began because I could. I continued because I like it and I’ve met such wonderful people.


I need to do say something more than “gee, that’s a really big number,” so I thought I’d share what I’ve learned with you. For what it’s worth and I admit, it’s not much.

1. The best (most active) days of the week are Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday. Usually, but not always. You can have a terrible — or great day — any time for no apparent reason.

2. Summer is slower than winter. Holidays are always slow.

3. Real drama — by which I mean true life crises — bring out the best in people. They relate to you. All that heart surgery I had back in March 2014 doubled my traffic. (There must be an easier way.)

4. Sentiment sells. I don’t do “sentimental” well. It makes me uncomfortable. Garry does sentimental extremely well. His personal posts always “outsell” mine by a margin of better than two-to-one.

5. Celebrity sells. Garry’s stories about hanging out with the stars always get lots of hits. I love his stories as much as anyone and never get tired of them. Note to self: Encourage Garry to write more.

6. Quality counts as does a steady output.

7. Length (usually) counts against you. Long pieces — 900 words or more — are off-putting to a lot of people. Note: If you write long pieces and everyone reads you anyway? It means you very good. Better than me, for sure.

8. Short and pithy, especially with pictures, is a good formula.

9. The popularity of a post will be inversely proportional to the amount of work you put into writing it. It’s a Murphy’s Law.

10. Make’em laugh, make’em cry. But laughter wears better, long-term.


If you were looking for something deep and analytical, I’m sorry to disappoint you. Mostly, what I’ve learned is I love blogging.

Writing, having a place to share photographs. If blogging had never been invented, I would have had to invent it myself. I love sharing the up side of my life with you. I try to keep the down side to a minimum.

I look forward to your comments and our conversations. They are the high point of my weeks. You inspire me, entertain me, touch my heart. You are my friends.


The other day, I had one of the increasingly rare moments alone with my granddaughter. She has been going through a prolonged siege of the teenage girl crazies, a ghastly combination of hormones, young men, job hunting, and high drama.

Clearly, she was in need of my best advice.

“If you are going to be crazy, be crazy,” I said. “I was a basket case at your age. It’s a girl thing. But trust me. You really can trust me on this. Everything gets better. Not very long from now, you’ll look back on this time and wonder why you were so upset.”

Then I gave her that best advice: “Be crazy. Just don’t publish it online. Your great-grandchildren will be finding your Facebook posts and laughing their asses off. Worse, your future employers will be finding them too, not to mention your potential life-partners, business associates, friends and co-workers. College professors. Have fun. Be wild and crazy, but don’t publish it.”

Life can be a bowl of cherries ... if you are discreet!

Life can be a bowl of cherries … if you are discreet!

Nothing vanishes once it’s “out there” in cyberspace. Everything is going to show up on someone’s Google search. I can find posts I wrote — supposedly private — from more than twenty years ago.

If you post it on any form of social media? It’s a land mine on which you will eventually step. Anything you do is just a rumor — if it remains unpublished. You retain plausible deniability. Hang onto that.