NEVER BEEN BIG ON BINGO

So, the Great Minds of WordPress asked: “What’s the longest stretch you’ve ever pulled off of posting daily to your blog? What did you learn about blogging through that achievement, and what made you break the streak?”

Well, now that’s a fine question. I was reading CHRONICLES OF AN ANGLO SWISS and realized while I was answering her, I was writing the whole answer (more or less), so really, she was my morning’s inspiration. That and discovering the new little Shark rechargeable vacuum cleaner I bought really picks up the dog hair. I was dubious about their claims, but by golly, this little machine has balls!

Shark Bagless Navigator

I digress and apologize. It’s hard to keep on point this early in the day. Well, maybe it isn’t all that early. Never mind. I need more caffeine before I can properly focus on being witty.

First of all, blogging is my current profession.

Otherwise, life as a senior citizen is 24/7 tech support to family, friends, and sometimes random strangers. I admit, I get a buzz when the young whippersnappers ask for my help because they don’t know anything about their computers except how to turn them on and off. Oh, they also know how to plug them in. They grasp the finer points of supplying electricity and charging batteries, but that’s as far as they can go.

I don’t know exactly when I started daily posting. More than two years ago. It’s not a statistic WordPress provides. My streak was rudely interrupted by a vacation at a Cape Cod dump where WiFi didn’t work. While I was in the hospital, I had to send in substitute authors while I did a little pas de deux with death. I was very lucky that Garry and Rich were there for me or this blog would probably have died, even if I didn’t.

It turned out, Garry got better stats than me, which is embarrassing. What a guy. He didn’t let popularity go to his head , which might have something to do with other prizes he won over the years. I think he only counts success if it comes with a statuette or plaque.

There I go, digressing again.

In any case, the moment I could write, Garry retired. My husband is a noble man.

And so, with all the flaws in the system, I forge (forage?) on ahead (a head?).

72-MorningCabin-10-6_22

The more interesting question is why? I don’t know why I started posting daily. I know I’m as addicted to writing as I am to the coffee I drink while I do it. It keeps my brain ticking along, keeps my writing skills from fading into something I “used to do”. Writing stimulates all those electrical impulses in the cranium. Because I blog, I have a use for the strange thoughts that pop out.

In retirement, blogging is a healthful activity. The alternative would be sitting around the local senior center waiting for the next bingo game. I’ve never been big on bingo.

What did I learn from daily blogging aside from the satisfaction it gives me? Here it goes:

  1. Write often.
  2. Write well.
  3. Post good photographs.
  4. Be nice to the people you meet online.

That’s it. That’s all of it in a nutshell. And beware of enraged squirrels.

36 thoughts on “NEVER BEEN BIG ON BINGO

  1. Pleasure reading what you write, always. You’re an inspiration, Marilyn. I get so many prompts from here. It’s a different matter that I don’t write often although I believe (I might be the rare one in that – doesn’t matter) I write reasonably well, hardly use any photographs but that doesn’t stop me being from nice to people online (offline, it’s a different story).

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    • I know a lot more people online than off. The few I know offline are such good old friends, we don’t have to be nice … we know each other and there’s not effort involved. Thank you for the kind words. They mean a lot to me!

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  2. I used to go to Bingo religiously…. as a youngster! I’m a numbers person and it always fascinated me… and the people who play…. man, I really need to do a post on my Bingo days sometime! Thanks for the idea!

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    • Thank you. I love that picture, though I have yet to find a way to process it without getting too much grain in the sky. But when I saw that the snow was back, I just had to use it 🙂 I may have to leave it up for a while.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I always used to panic about what will I do when I’m too old for my day job, there is an age limit to software development and no other real hobbies (coding was my hobby), now at least I can try and write, and even if not much writing happening for myself, I can enjoy other posts (beats bingo and knitting), thank you for sharing 🙂

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    • I’ve always been glad there’s no age limit for writing 🙂 Probably not for writing code, either, though like my former profession (technical writing), there’s probably a point where you really don’t want to do that anymore. Even if you can.

      Liked by 1 person

      • the problem with writing code is most people leave to take on manager positions, leaving the coders to the younger generations, not a good look to be a decade or two or three older than your peers which is where I am starting to find myself at the age of 40 🙂 (and I don’t want to be a manager or *someone important* )

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  4. You forgot to add to your list ‘Digress well.’ Not sure if that should be number three or not but it certainly pairs nicely with ‘write well’. I always love your digressions!

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  5. Yes, yes…. you had me at, “Because I blog, I have a use for the strange thoughts that pop out.” I have to laugh, because this is SO true for me. Most everything in my day is potential post material… crazy stuff, indeed! Though not retired yet, I’d sure find the time to be well spent blogging/writing. Right now, I’m a 4:30 AM blogger and writer (before school) … then 3:30 – 5:30 PM repeat (after school). Life gets in the way. Sigh……

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    • Your determination to blog despite your busy schedule is impressive. I’m not sure I would have done it were I still working. Of course, blogging wasn’t so available when I was still working and it was around awhile before I decided to give it a try. But I’m always impressed at people who manage to post regularly while raising kids, going to school, and/or working. I don’t think I could have done it.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Thanks. Marilyn. I often choose blogging & writing over lesson plans & grading. After year 20, I began demanding balance to keep my sanity in check. 🙂

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  6. Hi Marilyn, at last I have inspired someone. I told Mr. Swiss full of pride and, yes, he laughed, at least a reaction. I asked him if he would take over my blog when I go to London next year and he said no, so no problem there that he will steal my fame. You see, I just do not inspire him. I think our reasons for blogging are similar. Without a blog I would be lost. I need to write something, it keeps me out of mischief and after all my computer is not just an ornament. I love fiddling with things. After your remark about Unix, I had to google it to see what it was all about, but a bit over my head. Mr. Swiss explained the idea. Oh, he is very useful. I played bingo once when my dad was calling in his senior citizen group and I won every time, it was most embarrassing. Otherwise I was quite a wiz at Farmville and Cafe World, but decided it was stealing my vacuum cleaner time. Blogging is safer if the grid works. Anyhow without my daily prompt we would never have met would we? Two golden oldie bloggers in a cyber world.

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    • There are a lot retired people and a lot of disabled people blogging. Like us, a computer is their primary link to a wider world. I fit both categories and am eternally, endlessly grateful for the Internet. Whatever problems it causes, it give people like me and you a way to be part of the world. Otherwise, it would be a lonely, boring life.

      I’m poking around hoping to find some sources of inspiration other than WordPress. They aren’t very inspiring and in case you haven’t noticed, since their last failure to address the issues, the participation has dropped by about 50%. There are some die-hards like us, but a lot of people have left. I suspect they won’t be back. Got to hand it to WordPress. They really shot themselves in the foot on this. And proud of it, far as I can see.

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  7. I had to look up the phrase “pas de deux” I knew it was french and I knew what each individual word meant, but not what they meant together. 🙂 Learn something new every day. Watch out for them squirrels.

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  8. Appropos of nothing here, I still haven’t watched my Hall of Fame Video, that follow up TV show that caused controversy with some folks and my most recent video piece. I used to be more excited about this stuff. I will write again. I think I’m stuck in baseball off season mode.

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    • I used to think there was some magic formula. Apparently, there isn’t. If you write well and you keep at it, the rest will follow. All of the advice columns? They are for people whose writing skills are lacking, which yours are not.

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      • I don’t think there is a magic formula and I don’t think to be a best-selling author a person even has to write well. Look at Mrs. Lincoln’s Dressmaker — I have seldom picked up a more poorly written book — besides that, it’s largely plagiarized. “Good writing” is, in a practical sense, writing people will read that offers what they expect.

        There’s a market for certain kinds of books more than for others. That is reality. I know a person can write good stories objectively well, but if there is no market for them, no agent or publisher will take them on. Plenty of agents have been very upfront with me about that. “The market for literary historical fiction is very small.” “You write well with a beautiful literary style. I’m afraid it’s not for our market,” I’ve heard stuff like this over and over again. That doesn’t mean I’m stopping or anything, but my focus has shifted from what it once was. Now I serve the story and the art more than anything else. It’s kind of funny since I think art for art’s sake is bogus but that’s what I do, and even I think it’s kind of precious.

        Maybe if (as?) the economy in general improves, more agents and publishers will want to take on books that aren’t going to make lots of money but will still sell.

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        • I never even got rejected by a real editor. No one was willing to even LOOK at the manuscript. It wasn’t the kind of book in which they were interested. I understand. Completely. There are many fewer publishers and they only publish specific genres and frankly, I am baffled by a lot of their choices. There are some awful books getting published. Who did they have to sleep with or was bribery involved?

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          • It’s all about formula. Follow the formula and they’ll publish the book, no matter how poorly written. That’s my theory anyway, because the publishers can’t possibly sleep with that many people. They’d keel over and die from exhaustion.

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            • Yes, I suppose, but is bribery out of the question? Getting paid off can’t be THAT exhausting. Some of the books I’ve been asked to review are appalling. And boring. In some cases, I’m hard put to find a single redeeming feature. I don’t actually review these books because someone put his/heart into that piece of garbage and no doubt thinks it’s wonderful.

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              • Yeah, I completely understand that last part. I remember one creative writing group I joined somewhere along the lines. There was a person in it that wrote short stories of all genres and in every story there were teddy bears… with guns… Every. Story. But this person thought they were gold. No one had the heart to tell that person otherwise.

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          • My theory is that we live in a world in which much has been drastically oversimplified. I don’t think Philip K. Dick could get published today and maybe not even Ray Bradbury and certainly (in the US) NOT Aldous Huxley. Between 1999 (when the initial version of Martin of Gfenn found an agent but NOT a publisher for reasons I couldn’t even dispute) and 2010 when it was ready to go again, the entire world had changed. Where there had been five or six agents eager to jump on the book in the first pass (it was a 90 page novella) there were NONE 11 years later. It’s complex, historically rich, asks some serious questions about Christianity and has an ending that’s a triumph for the protagonist but he still has leprosy… It’s in a world very far away from this one, too. It doesn’t fall into the post 9/11 black and white simplified dogma and the list of subjects about which people are supposed to care about and it isn’t “Amurican”. It does not belong in this world at all. Most of the copies have sold in France, England and, of course, Switzerland. This is a world in which this phenomenon called “black friday” is regarded as an “institution” and “tradition” and people drive cars through the locked doors of shopping malls and stores in order to get at the stuff sooner. My book has no place in that world at all. Mrs. Lincoln’s Dressmaker, however, just flattens experience as much as possible; eschews the complexity of the times and sells millions of copies — as do all of this woman’s novels.

            Not that there are no good writers now. I think there are many. I’m thinking of trying my hand at a romance novel and see what happens. I think I’ll use the nom de plume, Augusta Lamont. 🙂

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            • You make so many good points, it’s too much to respond to all of them. So I’ll skip all the literary stuff with which I completely agree, and point out that retail sales (at brick and mortar shops) has been steadily dropping for years as more and more people avoid malls entirely in favor of online shopping. I think that’s exactly WHY retailers are making bigger, longer sales trying to lure shoppers back to the mall and away from their computers. I only shop in “real” stores if I can’t get it online, or I really have to try it on. I am exactly the kind of shopper who is ruining retail.

              Liked by 1 person

              • Me too. I’m going to change that since the economy of this valley depends on people shopping here, but I have always hated shopping and when an alternative appeared, I was on it right away.

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