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The Dawn of a New Tomorrow

The Dawn of a New Tomorrow

The bell signals the end of learning for another day. Students make a rush for the door, and the temptation to join them is overwhelming. You sit down at your desk and dream of the dawn of a new tomorrow. A tomorrow with no bells; no lesson plans; no marking; and no report-writing.

When you are a teacher, the lines between day and night are blurred. Three o’clock signals the end of learning for students, and the start of paperwork for teachers.

It’s going to be another long night. Before you start tomorrow’s planning, today’s marking screams at you. Thoughts are sloshing around your head – and they need to find their way into the books to be marked, before they settle into a pool of useless, random words. Leaving the marking until later never ends well. So you open the first book, pick up your pen – and start.

Image from Pixabay.com

And Lunch?

Image from Pixabay.com

Your stomach reminds you that playground duty kept you from the staffroom, for yet another lunch break.  Along with the empty feeling in your stomach, you crave coffee. Another one of life’s simple pleasures that eludes you in your teaching day. Hot coffee and students don’t mix – Workplace Health & Safety posters adorn the staffroom walls.  No chance of forgetting. You make a mental note to stop by the coffee shop on your way home.

When is Enough, Enough?

The teaching weeks roll into teaching months. Before you know it, you’re beyond retirement age, but you are still on the treadmill. Love for your job, and dedication to it, are no consolation for the tiredness you feel. That weariness that chases you down at the end of each long day. Your non-teaching friends are in bed at a reasonable hour – you are up late, planning and writing reports. It takes its toll. Your health starts to flash warning signs – Enough is Enough!

And one day it all comes to a grinding halt. The plans you made to keep working until your seventies, not that you are too far from that magic number, disappear. You wake up one morning and think “I can’t do this anymore”. And that’s the day the resignation papers fall out of your pocket – onto the Principal’s desk.

The dawn of a new tomorrow

When I closed the classroom door for the last time, I didn’t have time to think about it too much. As soon as I made the decision to fill in the retirement-forms – I booked a cruise. I needed something to separate my working-life from my new retirement-life. And I needed something to console me in the raw days following my departure from the world that had absorbed me for more than half my life.

I poured myself into planning for the cruise from Sydney to Singapore. That trip was to close the door on my working life – sealed shut – never to be reopened; and it worked! I came home refreshed, renewed and excited about settling down into a normal life. 

Or, So I Thought!

The years of getting by on less than eight hours sleep had become stuck somewhere in my Body-Clock, and it wouldn’t budge. I found myself unable to put my head on the pillow before midnight – but I was still waking up at five or six in the morning. The problem was, there was no planning or report-writing to fill the evenings. I subscribed to paid television – but that didn’t work; there never seemed to be anything worth watching. 

I started writing. I had always loved writing and promised myself that one day I would write a book. Perhaps that ‘one day’ had arrived.

The website I dabbled in, while still teaching, suddenly had meaning. It had been sitting there, half-baked, for years. Now it was time to get it into the oven. 

And the idea of a Blog started to gel. I’d been hearing about, and reading blogs, for a long time. 

Writing; Website; Blogging

The three started to overlap, then merge, until it was only natural that they would become one. And from the ashes, my Phoenix arose.

MaureenDurney.com emerged.

My humble musings from the early days are often painful to revisit. But put into perspective, they are a yardstick by which to measure the distance I have travelled. I can see the improvement in my writing, in my website management, and therefore in my blogging.

What has had the most impact?

The Ultimate Blog Challenge!

Writing within a time-frame and to a specific topic has reined in my verbosity. The challenge dictates a blog-a-day for thirty-one days. You can’t allow yourself the luxury of extra words when the clock is ticking away beside you. Well theoretically, anyway. I still need to work on the length of my blogs. And that is a work-in-progress.

MaureenDurney.com is keeping me focused. It is absorbing me – drawing out the passion that I used to pour into my teaching. It is my new life. Learning new skills is exercising my brain, just as Professional Development did in my teaching days. 

And The Book?

The book is another work-in-progress. And the Ultimate Blog Challenge is pre-requisite learning before launching full-on into it. With my long teaching days behind me, and with the dawn of my new tomorrow, I can now devote my life to Blogging. 

MaureenDurney.com is alive and well!

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Posted by Maureen in Blogging, Writing, 4 comments
October Ultimate Blog Challenge – Day One

October Ultimate Blog Challenge – Day One

I’ll call it ‘Third Time Lucky’, for want of a better philosophy, but the Ultimate Blog Challenge is back. I made a weak attempt in January, then slightly better in July, and have signed up again for October. I’ve dusted off my iPad and sharpened up my keyboard, so let’s go! 

Why Am I Doing This?

I learned so much from the first two challenges that I couldn’t resist coming back for Round Three. I saw the difference the challenges made to my writing, and I know I can learn a lot more. 

And one of the great things about the Ultimate Blog Challenge is the people you meet on the journey. Accepting the challenge is a lot more than simply posting a blog each day – it’s about reading other people’s blogs. When someone makes a comment on one of my blogs, I immediately feel connected to the reader.   Leaving a comment for another blogger makes a connection with them. And it makes a difference. We don’t sit and write each day to have nobody read our writing, no matter how humble it might be. Seeing a comment at the bottom of a blog, validates the time and effort of writing it. It makes it all worthwhile. 

So, what is the Ultimate Blog Challenge?

The challenge lies in being able to address a set topic, within a specific time-frame. Since there are only twenty-four hours in a day, that’s all you get, from the time you get the topic of the day, until the next one arrives in your inbox. 

For someone like me, the ticking clock is my biggest motivator. Without the time-frame I’d spend way too long writing each blog. Writing within the confines of a day ensures I get a hurry-on. And that in turn makes sure I use less words instead of more. 

One of the things I’ve noticed about my writing is that I’m getting much more contained in my ‘wordiness’. 

“So avoid using the word ‘very’ because it’s lazy. A man is not very tired, he is exhausted. Don’t use very sad, use morose. Language was invented for one reason, boys – to woo women – and, in that endeavor, laziness will not do. It also won’t do in your essays.”

N.H. Kleinbaum, Dead Poets Society

When recycling isn’t a good thing!

Recycling waste is great for the environment. Recycling blogs isn’t good for the challenge. Each blog has to be new content. Perhaps a new spin on an old theme would work, but re-posting something that has already been posted doesn’t fit within the Blog Challenge guidelines.

Here’s to writing one blog a day for the month of October!

May we all succeed and arrive at the end of the October Ultimate Blog Challenge with thirty-one blogs, done and dusted.

This is my first blog for the month.

Enjoy!

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Posted by Maureen in Blogging, Writing, 8 comments
Life Happens!

Life Happens!

The July Ultimate Blog Challenge has been and gone, and August has arrived. My plan to post thirty-one new blog posts in July ended with just twenty-four – I fell short by seven. Some could argue that I failed, but I don’t see it that way. Why did I not achieve my goal? Because life happens!

Since July has come and gone, days are warmer, nights are shorter, and life is slipping back to a normal pace – not that I really know what normal is.

Should I Lurk in the Shadows?

In the words of John Lennon – “Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans”. Meetings; friends; coffee catch-ups; lunch catch-ups; paperwork; and sleep – although the sleep department was seriously short-changed throughout July. They all happened – and I participated – to the best of my ability.

When life happens, I need to be up close and personal and engage with it. Only then can I describe what it feels like. To blog – I need content, and to have content – I need to take life by the horns and wrestle it to the ground. Standing safely in the shadows, watching as life happens around me, just won’t cut it.

It’s About the People

While grappling with life in July, I met people who have a lot to say about – life; history; politics; philosophy; adventures; and everything else. Each story has helped me understand a little more about people, human nature, and the world I live in.

Through my blog, I hope to tell the story of the amazing people I know: some have journeyed with me for a long time; others, not so long; and some are strangers who take the time to connect – even if just for a short while. My life has been enriched because of them, and because of their story.

Everyone has a story, because life happens!

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Posted by Maureen in Blogging, Writing, 0 comments
Day 31 – UBC – Did I Learn Anything?

Day 31 – UBC – Did I Learn Anything?

The last day of the July Challenge – and despite all efforts, I only managed to post twenty-three new articles on my Blog in July. Did I fail? Did I learn anything? Was it worth it?

Did I Learn Anything?

Whether I consider it a failure or not, I managed a lot more this time than the last time I accepted the Challenge. I might have only made it to Day 23, but I definitely learned a lot, so it was worth every word I typed; every late night I had; and every nightmare about the 31st July, looming menacingly above me, as I slept.

I can now write a shorter blog, find the image I need faster – especially with Pixabay.com, and get the green SEO lights from the Yoast Plugin, without too much effort. But I still need to work faster. If nothing else, at least I know where my shortfalls are, and hopefully how to fix them.

Write On!

When the next Ultimate Blog Challenge comes around, I hope I am more prepared than this time. Yes, I had a few drafts ready, but they weren’t easily tweaked to fit the day’s agenda.

For the next challenge I plan to have some short blogs drafted – based on general topics – not too specific. Oh, and I will have a long list of photos ready to cover any special day that might arise that month – how did I not see the Fourth of July coming!

If you made it to the finish line with all thirty-one blogs posted, you are amazing! If, like me, you were dragging the chain a bit – I know we’ll get there next time. Now, I’ll catch up on cleaning a neglected house, and wash the car.

As I bid my fellow-bloggers goodbye, I hope that we will meet again. I will continue to enjoy reading your blogs, and look forward to meeting you on a page somewhere, sometime soon.

RyanMcGuire / Pixabay

Thank you for reading my blog posts, and for taking the time to comment.

So until the next Ultimate Blog Challenge – that’s it for me.

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Posted by Maureen in Travel, 2 comments
Day 23 – UBC – Can You Ever Have Too Many Photos?

Day 23 – UBC – Can You Ever Have Too Many Photos?

Is twenty-thousand photos, too many? No matter how many photos I have on my i-devices (I have over 20,000 photos), I often struggle to find the one photo I need for a Blog. But miraculously, today I found a solution. There is a website called Pixabay that has thousands of photos that can be used at no cost, and without the need to attribute the photographer who uploaded the photo. Don’t get me wrong, I’m happy to acknowledge the photographer, if I could figure out how to do it properly. It isn’t always easy. But now, with Pixabay at my fingertips, I should be able to find a photo or image to match any topic I’m writing about.

More Photos Than You Will Ever Need!

While looking for something on the Weekend Notes website, I stumbled across a comment a writer had made about using images in reviews. The writer had posted a few favourite websites featuring Copyright free photos, and asked other writers to suggest their favourites. Pixabay was one of the recommendations, and somehow the name stuck in my head, like a non-musical earworm. When I checked out the website, I couldn’t believe my luck. There are thousands of photos that can be freely used, even for commercial purposes!

A little bit of searching on the Pixabay site led me to a Pixabay Plugin for WordPress websites. I couldn’t install and activate the plugin fast enough. And I’m about to test it by uploading a photo to this section of my blog.

Ant

ROverhate / Pixabay

Wow! That couldn’t have been easier. Where was Pixabay when I wrote a blog about ants recently? This is exactly the image I was looking for.

What I love about using Pixabay images, is that the appropriate acknowledgement is built into the photo.

And with the plugin, there’s a neat button next to the ‘Add Media’ button on my WordPress website that takes me straight to the photos. I don’t have to download the photo into my Photo App, and then upload it to my website. Pixabay takes care of it with just one click.

Now, that’s smart!

So what is the one thing I can’t do without right now?

My new-found Photo friend, Pixabay.

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Posted by Maureen in Blogging, 4 comments

Day 17 – UBC – Follow That Blog!

I don’t care that today is the twenty-third day of the Ultimate Blog Challenge (July) and I’m officially six days behind – I’m persevering, right to the end. The challenge for Day 17 is to make a list of blogs that I follow. So, rather than giving you a list of my favourites, I’m going to explain why you should follow that blog you’ve been reading.

We all have favourite authors – I know I have – but are we as loyal to bloggers? My favourite author is Bryce Courtenay, and before he sadly passed from his earthly existence a few years ago, he was publishing a book every year. I read almost every one of them. He was my favourite author because I had come to expect a certain style in his writing and I trusted that every book would hold my attention.

An E-Book Gathers No Dust

Before technology took such a formidable hold on our lives, bookshelves bulged at the seams with our favourite books. Most of us collected the works of a few authors, but we probably had a smattering of non-descript interest books as well. I know my shelves had their fair share of DIY projects;  recipe books; self-help books; and anything else that held my interest long enough to read about it.


Gradually, my bookshelves gave way to a Kindle e-Reader. Technology had opened up a world of reading. I could search the Internet for e-books (electronic books) and download them to my Kindle with just one click. But the best thing was, e-books cost a whole lot less than hard-copy books and I didn’t need a lot of shelves to hold them. E-books gather no dust!

There’s An App For That!

The Kindle eventually gave way to a Kindle App on my iPad and iPhone. My i-devices are just as portable as the Kindle, but much more versatile. I can choose any book from my e-book library, wherever I am; I always have at least one of my i-devices with me. Another advantage is, whichever device I am using, the reader automatically opens the book at the page I was up to on the other device. Alas, I now have a box full of redundant bookmarks that I have collected over the years. But, that’s a small price to pay for convenience.

Technology is marching on, and we now have Bloggers – and God Bless every one of them. We no longer have to search for and buy books on every subject from Arthropod to Zephyr. All we need to do is find a blogger whose expertise matches our interest, and Voila!, we have an endless supply of reading material.

Not only can we read about our favourite subject, we can interact with it. Bloggers usually provide a section somewhere on the page that allows you to ask questions and/or make comments.

And the best news is…

Bloggers usually have a wealth of information up their sleeve. Their blogs might provide an overview, or a sample of a much longer discourse on the subject. And they often write e-books. By reading their blogs, you can get a feel for their knowledge and expertise, and make an informed decision about buying their e-book. It’s kind of a try-before-you-buy offer.

So, rather than just read a blog that you like, FOLLOW the blog. That way, you’ll keep up with current information; get to know the writer’s style and level of expertise; and, buy their e-book with confidence, if they have written one. Perhaps the Comment Section on their blog site would be a good place to suggest an e-book, if they don’t already have one. An e-book would be everything you wanted to know about the subject, in one handy format, rather than wait for the daily/weekly/monthly instalment in blog form.

Follow That Blog!

All you have to do is search for blogs on your favourite subject, read a few, decide which one meets your needs, then Follow That Blog!

Simple!!!

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Posted by Maureen in Blogging, Writing, 4 comments

Day 14 – Putting the Social – in Social Media

Social Media – you either love it or you hate it. I’m not sure if there is a middle road, but if there is, I am travelling right along the centre line.

My first encounter with Facebook was in 2006, in San Francisco. Back then, Facebook was relatively new, having only been launched by Mark Zuckerberg and his Harvard friends in 2004. In fact, 2oo6 was when the group opened up their project to the world.

Are You Friend or Follower?

Since signing up for Facebook, all those years ago, my list of Friends has steadily grown. That is probably why it is called Social Media, right? I’ve even attracted some Followers, although I’m not sure what the difference is.

The Facebook that I connected with back in the early days has evolved into something very different. In the beginning, it was a ‘digital diary’, where people posted everything, from what they had for breakfast, to how complicated their relationship was. While we still see some diary entires on Facebook pages, there is now a more sophisticated approach. Social Media, including Facebook, is now widely used to highlight goods and services, and link to websites promoting someone’s blog (like mine…)

And this is where the Ultimate Blog Challenge (UBC) enters the picture. Through the UBC, I am able to have my humble blog posts read by a wider audience than my smattering of Facebook Friends and Followers.

Here is the Deal…

This is a test to see how many new friends I can gain from this humble blog post.

Oh, before we start, maybe I should clarify the ‘Friends’ label. I said the word ‘friend’ once in the hearing of my Bestie (Best Friend), who turned and said “Who died and left you a friend?”. Oh, and just for the record, she is still my Bestie.

It isn’t for the purpose of proving my Bestie wrong!

But it would help.

So, I thank my new-FB-Friends in advance, for joining my growing list of Facebook Friends. Or, you could become a Follower, and you would be joining a really elite group (all twelve of them!).

Just do whatever it is you do to be-Friend someone on Facebook. I’m guessing you need to start with the link below, but if that doesn’t work, I’ve added the name and photo you will see if you land on the right Facebook page.

https://m.facebook.com/Maureendurney/

I’m not sure if the link will work, so just in case it doesn’t, this is the photo you will be looking for when you search my name on Facebook:

I look forward to a long and lasting friendship, and I am excited about how many places across the world my new friends will come from. Perhaps we will share travel stories? I could post more stories about my homeland, and would love reading about yours.

See you on Facebook!

 

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Posted by Maureen in Blogging, 2 comments
July UBC – Day Seven – It’s Just As Well I Love Writing!

July UBC – Day Seven – It’s Just As Well I Love Writing!

Day Seven – and all is well. I’ve almost managed to stay on track, although sleeping hours have been reduced to around five hours a night. My pre-sleep hours are devoted to writing, editing, adding photos, making sure all my SEO ducks are in a row, and publishing my daily-post. But I’m loving it, because I love writing.

One of the biggest challenges for me is avoiding diahorea, of the writing variety. I just get carried away and can’t stop myself. I’m sure I could talk underwater with a mouthful of marbles, and my writing is no different. Just give me an iPad and keyboard and walk away. I’ll still be there, typing away, when you get back. The word ‘challenge’ means that something is going to be difficult, right? My challenge is sticking to the KISS Principle (Keep It Short, Stupid). I get as carried away with writing, as I do with talking. It just happens! And that is why the July Ultimate Blog Challengs is so worthwhile.

I Wouldn’t Do It, If I Didn’t Love Writing

In the morning hours, I read other people’s posts and add comments. There is no sense spending hours writing a blog, if nobody reads it. And the only way anyone can be sure that we have read their post, is to leave a comment. A few words of encouragement can go a long way towards staying on track.

At night, I write. And any spare moments of the day, I write. I love writing! Being able to craft words into a sentence that sounds okay, is what keeps me writing. Re-living events of my life, describing places I have travelled to, and honouring the people I have met on the way, keeps me writing. I still have thousands of memories stored away, so I’ll be writing for a long time yet.

Writing is a solitary confinement.

I like being alone with my thoughts; the only noise being the tapping sound coming from the keyboard, as words transfer to the screen in front of me. Life might go on around me, but I am oblivious to it, whilever I am engrossed in writing. And that could be the only problem with writing – I need ‘alone-ness’.

Sometimes I take my iPad and keyboard to a cafe, drink lots of coffee, and write. Apart from greeting the Barista and ordering my coffee, I can sit in perfect solitude. People come and go, and the screen in front of me is the barrier that protects me from conversation, when I need the quiet.

What About Writer’s Block?

When the words are trapped in my head, the silence is deafening. Sometimes coffee, or something stronger (like, chocolate), can be the elixir to dissolve the mental block, but not always. I am lucky enough not to suffer from writer’s block very often, but when it does happen, it can be terrifying. The sound of the clock, ticking away the minutes that will bring the deadline crashing down on you, doesn’t help. Not a word is found as you search the nooks and crannies of your mind. Nothing!

The harder you try, the more elusive the words are. And if you are lucky enough to have a phrase or sentence pop into your blank mind, you shudder, “Really?, that’s the best you can do?”.  There are times when no words are better than the half-baked suggestions that the other part of your brain offers. You know, that part of the brain that stores all the desperate words, for emergencies, when you can’t think of anything else to say?

There must be times when my readers pray that I would have writer’s block, at least once in a while. Until that happens on a consistent basis, I will apologise for the over-wordiness of my blogs. No matter how hard  I try, I just can’t seem to make them shorter. Every time I think I’ve finished a blog, ‘Poof!’, another thought pops into my head. And off I go again – another very long blog.

Since we are all bloggers in this Challenge:

  • what is your remedy for freeing up the creative flow, when everything else fails?
  • how do you meet the deadlines of the Blog Challenge?
  • am I in a minority, or majority of people who love writing?

I would love to hear your thoughts.

Until then, I’ll just keep writing, because I love writing!

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Posted by Maureen in Blogging, 0 comments
July Ultimate Blog Challenge – Day One

July Ultimate Blog Challenge – Day One

This might not be a good start to the July Ultimate Blog Challenge! Am I doomed before I even start? I spent ages writing a blog post to prepare the few faithful followers of my blogs for what was about to happen. I announced that I was embarking on the challenge, explained how it had come about, and launched into a lengthy dialogue about the website for my blog. And just for good measure, I posted the blog on my website yesterday, which was the 30th June, in my neck of the universal woods. The topic for Day One is out now, and I’m doomed.

Let me go back a step. One of the major rules of the Blog Challenge is that you have to post a new blog ‘on the day’, not submit a link to something you posted earlier.

Why is this such a major catastrophe? I have been waiting anxiously all day, the first day of July here in Australia, for the Blog Challenge to begin. Because of the time difference between Northern and Southern Hemispheres, the Challenge only officially started a few hours ago.

Can you guess what the challenge for today is?

Tell your readers about the July Ultimate Blog Challenge and why you are doing it!

I’ve already done that! I posted it yesterday! That means I can’t post it again as the first blog of the challenge.

Disaster! Chaos! Heck!!!

Wait a minute. This is a challenge, right? And a challenge isn’t meant to be easy. Hmmm; that puts it into perspective.


I can do this. I have already told everyone about the Challenge, so now all I have to do is post these humble thoughts about how challenging the challenge is. Simple!

Okay, I’ve got this. This is my post for Day One of the July Ultimate Blog Challenge.

Oh, and another rule is that I can’t do the automatic post to my Facebook page, like I usually do, so you’ll need to check back on my page each day to find the post. Or, you could subscribe to my posts on the form below, then you will get an email to tell you when I’ve posted a new challenge. Either way will work.

Enjoy!

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Posted by Maureen in Blogging, 10 comments
The July Ultimate Blog Challenge

The July Ultimate Blog Challenge

I can’t resist a challenge! – well, as long as the challenge fits within the reasonable limits of my comfort zone.  A recent email had the word ‘Challenge’ in it, so naturally it got my attention. The email was a call to action to sign up for the July Ultimate Blog Challenge. It sounded simple enough – write a blog each day for thirty-one days – so I signed up. But it’s the ‘each day’ bit where I usually come unravelled. I’ve been known to set all sorts of agendas to keep me on track, but my creative-train is easily derailed. It doesn’t take much: an invitation here, a slack day there, and before I know it – I’m panicking about a deadline.

I can usually get the writing part done reasonably fast, but it’s the other bits that make the difference between meeting deadlines – and hearing them whoosh by.

The Support I Need

My websites are built on the WordPress platform, simply because the support from WordPress is phenomenal. WordPress Meetups and WordPress WordCamps are for learning new things, as well as getting answers to questions and solutions to problems. Meetups are held monthly in Brisbane and the Gold Coast, so I get two opportunities a month to learn something new.

WordCamp Brisbane 2017

WordCamps are less frequent, usually once a year in any city, and provide a weekend of learning. You have the opportunity to attend as many talks as you can comfortably fit in over two days. Everything from novice topics, to the highest level for developers, is covered at WordCamp. While costs might vary slighltly in some cities, I only paid $50 for the WordCamps I attended, and that covered admission, food, after-party, t.shirt and lots of swag (that’s tech talk for freebies – thank you WordPress!). Generous sponsors contribute to the cost of the event so that we can attend without breaking the bank – and they bring lots of swag too – (thank you sponsors!).

Smart-casual wear is fine for the After Party (WordCamp Brisbane 2017)

Getting your ducks in a row before you hit the ‘Publish’ button.

Okay, these are Canada Geese, but you get the picture, right?

The real value of Meetups and WordCamps is the networking. It’s the people you meet before and after each session that really makes the difference. The true value of networking, according to networking guru Sally Eberhardt, is the sharing of ideas and information. And I couldn’t agree more.

At WordCamp Sunshine Coast 2016, I met some other bloggers during one of the coffee breaks. One of them shared some valuable information about a Plugin that monitors the readability and the ‘find-ability’ of your website – (thanks Di Hill). I downloaded and have been using Yoast ever since. When I get the readability right, I get a green light, and another green light when I have all the right elements to make my site more ‘findable’. With WordPress websites, adding a Plugin or two is easy, but since I plugged-in Yoast, the days of writing a quick blog have ended. If I choose to ignore the suggestions, I can still write and publish a fast blog. When I follow the suggestions, it slows things down, but it is SO worth it. When you get all your ducks in a row, you get a green light. I love that green light!

I’ve been limbering up for long enough..

… now it’s time to get out on the track, and start sprinting.

My random blog posts have probably been a bit too random lately and need reining in a bit (okay – a lot!). While I was holidaying overseas earlier this year, I signed up for the Ultimate Blog Challenge for January. It seemed like a great idea at the time. Piece of cake, I thought; I have plenty to write about; I can do this. Then disaster struck. I broke my wrist and ended up in a full cast. The cast started at my shoulder and ended just above my fingers, with a quirky bend at the elbow. I couldn’t tie my hair back with one hand – it just can’t be done, but I managed to type – very s-l-o-w-l-y. So I wrote blogs for the challenge. I didn’t manage every day; in fact I didn’t even get half-way, but I gave it a good shot.

At the time, I was also negotiating with the Travel Insurance company to get me home for possible surgery. I’ve used the same company for years and now I know why. They organised amazing flights and took care of everything I would need for a very comfortable trip home. I managed to dodge the surgery, but that’s another story. It would have been great to have seen more of Seattle, but I will remember with fondness the people I met while I was there. It’s the people you meet that make the difference between a good trip, and a great trip.

So let the Ultimate Blog Challenge begin!

Hopefully I will make it through to the end of July with thirty-one new posts, all my ducks in a row, and have successfully completed the July Ultimate Blog Challenge. My floors might not get up-close-and-personal with the vacuum cleaner for the entire month, and I might be living on cheese and crackers, but (hopefully) I will have thirty-one new blog posts completed by the time July bids us farewell. And with the first day of the new month just one sleep away, well at least here in the Southern Hemisphere, I’m starting to panic already.

I can do this! I can do this! I (think) I can do this. And the only way to do it is roll my sleeves up, and start; so let the Ultimate Blog Challenge begin!

These are ducks! – but they’re not exactly in a row – yet.

Journey through the July Ultimate Blog Challenge with me: by subscribing to my Blog.

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Posted by Maureen in Blogging, 0 comments