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Blogaversary: Annual Review of Who Showed Up and Why

It is blogaversary time. Yes, Wordtabulous is growing older just like the rest of us. As I reflect on the past year I don’t know if I have learned anything that will help me, but I do, as always, have several observations to share.

Experts say that a blog needs a focus to build a following. I think they might be right. I knew starting out that my direction was a little unclear, but I thought my focus would evolve. I think we can all agree that this hasn’t happened. This is my official apology to people who have found their way here, thinking they were coming to a blog focused on: religion, cycling, fitness, product reviews,  cats, photography, food, wine, books, writing, or humor. If you came here for a  little unpredictability, welcome, you have come to the right place. Judging from the shiny statistics page, some came looking for Wordtabulous on purpose, but A LOT more–hundreds–came to get info or pictures of the musical group Walk Off The Earth, or info on the Beard Guy T shirt.  Just as many came for a word about Leah McLean, KSTP  news anchor. Between the searches on Leah and all the other local news celebrities, I can see there is an opportunity for a thriving site featuring personal information and gossip about them. So, there you go, people who want to do that, free idea with documented appeal. Here are a few other searches that brought people to Wordtabulous:

“what did Laura Ingalls fear the most, pa, animals, the winter, strangers in the long winter.” I LOVE that people seeking Laura knowledge have come here, but I am dismayed that someone seems to be trying to cheat on a multiple choice test. Read the book, cheater! The Long Winter was awesome!

you’ll trust you hate, you believe you tabulous this reality” This person is either drunk/stoned, or just free flowing with the searches. Maybe this is a misspelled song lyric? It seems very poetic. I am sure tabulous is a whoopsie in this context, but I’ll take it. Thank you.

dag yolu” According to a Google search of my own, this is a windy mountain road, or a place near a windy mountain road in Turkey. I once wrote about climbing a mountain road, but this seems very specific. Weird.

small particles in abyss” I am sure this searcher found this site and was all, “Gah! This isn’t what I was looking for!” but now I know I get to claim a portion of the abyss searches on the web so I am happy. Sometimes I think we are all just small particles in the abyss, how about that? Think of the odds of us finding each other!

“shadowtale how to make it night so that lady dances” At first I was all, oooh, dark and vivid, I like! and then I found out that shadowtale is a free online role playing game and so evidently someone just wants to find out how to work the game to get a free show. I am not a gamer in any sense of the word; I literally DO NOT HAVE GAME. I don’t even click on these things because they seem…unhygienic to me. So it is majorly confusing how this search connected here.  Although I do like to talk about nighttime, especially when the insomnia wants to play, so maybe? Seems thin.

naughty nurses with huge racks” hahahahahaha! I don’t know, I truly don’t, how this sad person found Wordtabulous, but I hope they were so entranced with what they found that they gave up their search for titillating eye candy and moved on to higher things, like cat blogs and charity bicycle rides.

I secretly dreamed that blogging would open doors of writing opportunity. I hoped that people would read what I had to say and ask for more. And a few did! Which was awesome. I have met some really interesting people here (check out the blogroll on the right,) and while I don’t want to assume anything, I think some of them would consider themselves friends of mine, as I do them. When I follow a blog, I take it seriously. I don’t “like” blindly. I try to read regularly and comment thoughtfully. But this makes it time consuming, and when I don’t have time to keep up I get way way behind. I am horrible about going out and finding new blogs to check out. It almost makes me wish I could emulate those folk who do the “like” hit-and run. There is a cynical efficiency to zipping around, clicking “like” and hoping that you hit on some people who will “like” you back and stick around long enough to draw their friends. And there are the freaks. There was one blogger, who shall remain nameless but who claims to be a marriage therapist, who “like”d a post I wrote and WordPress was all “Hey, Lynnette, check out some of this blogger’s posts; maybe you’ll like them!”  And all the posts’ titles had to do with the successful performance of a particular sexual act involving swallowing. No thanks, and I will NOT be clicking. Still, good for a (derisively snorting) laugh.

It takes talent and dedication to continuously draw followers and keep them. I admire those who are successful and wish them well. I suspect I will continue off to the side, musing and observing and throwing the occasional post out to see what you think. Thanks for visiting and being part of Year One of Wordtabulousness. Come back again, and comment any time you have something to say!

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List of My Best New Things from 2011, and a Look Ahead to 2012

All in all, 2011 was an amazing year. I have here a short (by no means complete) list of things that made this year special to me.

Honda CR-V: Yes, I still love my car and am SO happy I am no longer driving the truck. However, I think the better gas mileage I get is being offset by the fact that I no longer try to avoid driving, which is not very environmentally conscious of me. In 2012, I will try to respect my environment by riding my bike more for quick little trips. I will shoot for at least one trip by bike per week,  beginning when the temps hit 55+ degrees again.

Manuscript Submission: As my dad was overly fond of saying about anything unpleasant (hard work, unimaginable filth to be waded through, mind-numbing tedium,) “It’s good for you! It builds character!” Submitting manuscripts has been really good for me. It turns out that rejection didn’t destroy me after all. Finding agents to submit to, and sending queries out was so stressful I literally shook. All the craziest voices in my head rose in a chorus to tell me what a disaster the whole enterprise would turn out to be. I was on the verge of a collapse, and then, guess what? I got some form letters that said “not for us” and it was no big deal. I propose that in 2012, I will shoot for three times as many rejections for Hollywood University, and maybe a bunch for Sleepers as well.

Novel Revision: Speaking of Sleepers, I am really happy that I still want to work on that manuscript. I didn’t do a lot with it in 2011, but I know now that it is standing the test of time, at least with me. I am in LOVE with most of what I do, when I am doing it, but after I’ve worked on a small piece even 12 hours of  downtime between the writing and the re-reading is illuminating. Once the heat and energy dies down, I find a lot of what I’ve written to be boring and/or embarrassing. Some of it is salvageable, some is not. I still love Sleepers, although there are some kinks to work out and 2012 is the year, baby!

She Said Writer’s Retreats: So much fun! Friendship and photography and technology and old haunts and haunted houses and therapeutic conversation and giggles and shopping. And wine and food. Oh, and writing–I said that, right? More in 2012, please!

Coffee: It isn’t like I had never had coffee before, but my interest in it certainly grew this year. In 2011, coffee was demonstrated to diminish the occurrence of depression in women and prostate cancer in men. I also got a good coffeemaker. Coffee makes me feel smart and lively (and do stupid things faster with more energy!)  I still love tea and will continue to drink that occasionally, but I think 2012 will see me embracing the bean buzz with both arms.

Blogging:  Wordtabulous has been a superfun adventure. I’ve met people, shared some info, registered some opinions, figured out some things, had some meltdowns, and hopefully given cause for a chuckle or a “Yeah, sister!” once in awhile. I have also had a riot finding and following other blogs which have expanded my world quite a bit. Thank you wordpress, and bloggers and followers (and especially you commenters and “likers”–there is a special place in my heart for you!) I hope 2012 sees continued blogging, perhaps with more focus and punch (or not, as the shotgun approach seems to be my natural inclination.) I hope to see more of you, dear reader! Thanks for dropping in, and all the best to you and yours in the New Year!