On Blogkeeping and Changes

The only change that doesn’t change is change. Duh.

I’ve been up to no good, as always when I’m up to something. In the unlikely scenario that you’re a professional stalker and stalk me proficiently, you would have noticed a few months ago that I went sort of off-the-grid. Not because it’s fashionable and the internet is full of it—see the irony? how can you report your off-grid experience when you’re off-the-grid, huh?—but because I woke up one day with the excellent idea to remove myself off of the face of the earth. (Is there any linguist or language user who would explain to me how to use off of? Or is it of off? Does it even make any sense, language-economy-wise?)

This time, I wasn’t thinking of a literal removal of my person from among the living—though it is indeed my favourite image to dwell upon—but a partial removal of my online persona from among the asocial people who socialise online. I’m kidding, as per usual. Or am I? In any case, in a rare moment of deployment of common sense, it occurred to me that since I’m not using the gazillion social media I senselessly subscribed to, I could just as well delete my accounts. Following this logic, I killed myself on Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, Tumblr, Blogloving, Vine (the latter was a step ahead and had killed itself before I did) and probably elsewhere I don’t even remember now.

My blog in 2014 according to the WayBack Machine,  which is terribly wrong about the design

I only kept this blog—should you wonder whether I kept the blog that you’re currently reading, you know—and my Instagram, both of which I hardly use anyway, but anyway. My point is that if you happened to notice me having disappeared, it’s not you—neither is it me; it is what it is. (I understand that a point should be deep, hence the populist and Buddhist crap respectively.) My killing spree also affected the blog as I took down some images that I in retrospect evaluated as too revealing. Keep your pants on, I don’t mean revealing in the good way, as in nudes, but in the indifferent way, as in showing too much of my real-life person, as opposed to my blogging persona.

Please don’t refute this point by arguing that I don’t have a life, less so a real life. I’m aware of this fallacy. Also, no need to point out that once shit gets on the internet, shit gets real; in other words, once online, always online. I’m aware of that, too. My message here is that you may see some images on the blog that you can’t see. See? As in the classic rectangular outline with no content but a cross in it and a message that the image can’t be displayed. Duh. As to the thought of preserving my blog for posterity—though I don’t intend to multiply, so I won’t produce any posterity of my own—the WayBack Machine does this job. Even if poorly, as you can see in the snapshot of my blog from four years ago.


A New Me, a New Blog Theme

I’m a promiscuous person. At least as far as blog themes are concerned. After some three months with Sela, I exchanged the poor babe for the brand new Nucleare.

With changes in my personal life (for the better) and the change of the season to spring(ish), I deliberately went for a brighter, bolder look for my blog. While I understand that the change from clean and neat to busy and colourful might not appeal to everyone, I’m more or less happy with the outcome.

There is still some fine tuning to do though. And here is where I’d love your input! Please vote in the poll below and/or tell me in a comment what you (dis)like about the current design and functionality and what changes you’d like to see. Your ideas are much appreciated!


Blog Less to Blog More

This month I have embarked on a new blog posting schedule that should allow me to blog more while blogging less. It looks that the more I post, the less time I have left for the actual blogging, which for me means socialising with fellow better bloggers (that is you all).

Most of the regular post categories that were appearing weekly will now run on a biweekly schedule. The only weekly feature that remains is my new blogging challenge, the Poetry 101 Rehab, happening each Monday. If you’re into organising, scheduling and OCD-ing in general, you can look at my new posting calendar here.

You shouldn’t miss me too much because I plan to spend more time around over at your blogs (and because you wouldn’t notice I even went anywhere). Should your desire for my constant presence be too overwhelming, you can connect with me also outside of WordPress, on Twitter, Instagram or Pinterest.

Here’s to more/less blogging and see you around!


My Apologies and Thank Yous

Dear all,

the news of my demise have been wildly exaggerated. Thank you sincerely for your support and loyalty in the last week, and please accept my apologies for my absence. It was caused by extraordinary conditions requiring extraordinary measures: moving house. Now I’m happily settled and ready to respond your comments and catch up with your posts. Thank you again, and my apologies.

Love, Mara


Dear Dean, Thank You, I Love You

I shared the other day that the future of my academic life or death depended on whether or not the Dean would grant me an extension to complete my doctorate. And *drum roll* a letter by the dear Dean arrived today to this effect! I’ve been allowed another year to finish (or die in the attempt). So, thank you, Dean, and thank you, all, for your support. I love you. I mean, you warm my cold black heart, here and here.


On Holiday from 13/08 to 23/08

This is a heads up that I’ll be on holiday and largely off internet from 13th to 23th August. My blog posts will be scheduled, but I probably won’t be able to respond to your comments immediately and keep up with your blogs. Sorry about that.

If you’re a robber planning to do our house, don’t, there will be still people in: grandma with a broken arm, granddad with a broken leg — not kidding — and the rest of the family caring for them, plus two bad cats. If you’re a fellow blogger, stay patient, I’ll be back (unless the Russians shoot our flight down) and catch up with you!

If you like, follow me on Instagram for holiday photos from Greece, and in any case, have a happy summer!


My First Blogiversary

Blogiversary Badge
Blogiversary Badge

Today it’s been exactly a year since my first post on this blog. I started blogging to document each day in my Photo Project 365. Little did I know that my humble photoblog would outlive its original purpose and turn into a multimedia platform for pretty much everything I enjoy. Much to my surprise, you seem to be moderately enjoying it too!

For your loyalty, support and encouragement, I owe a huge thanks to the WordPress community. Most of all I’m indebted to my much-valued blogging friends (in no particular order) Justine, Kay, Kainzow, Pavanneh, Ronovan and Laura. Also to those whom I stupidly forgot and those who stalk me regularly without admitting so in a comment. Also, I’d like to thank my cats.

500 Posts Badge
500 Posts Badge

With my Project 365 over, I’m starting a new publishing schedule today. Yay! Instead of daily photos, there will be weekly photo galleries. The galleries will showcase what are hopefully my best photos. They will be published on Wednesdays under the category label “Wednesday Visuals”, replacing the now discontinued “Wednesday Wit” category. It’s not like I gave it a thought.

I’ll be experimenting with one more new category. It’s called “Friday Favourites”, will be published on Fridays (surprise!) and will feature whatever interesting I happen to find on the internet. I’d like to share here content that I love or that intrigues me, be it pictures, videos, music, links or whatnot. The first post in this category is scheduled for later today, so let me know what you think!

1337 Likes Badge
1337 Likes Badge — seriously?

Owing to much coaching on the part of you, my readers (yes, I’m looking at you!), and thanks to your overwhelmingly positive reception of my modest writing, I’d like to commit myself to writing regularly. I started the habit of writing two hours each other day or so, and I think I should have enough material to post a story a week. They’ll be ready on Sundays under the category “Sunday Stories”.

All the other post categories that I’ve been using so far remain unchanged. So, there will still be a little poem of mine on Mondays, a cat picture on Saturdays and my response to WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge on Fridays or thereabouts. I know, I’m so boringly organised. Now, I wonder how many readers I just lost due their untimely demise by boredom on reading this?


Because It’s Ultimately All about Me

The last Writing 101 prompt is all about describing my most-prized possession. In other words, it’s all about me! I am my own most valuable possession, very obviously, because unlike anything else, there’s no way I could get another me. For myself, I am irreplaceable.

I’ve been struggling most of my life to come to terms with myself. This is an essential task, apparently, because it looks like I’ll have to bear with myself until either I or myself die. Oneself is the easiest person to get along with – and the hardest. The trouble is you can’t play any psychological tricks on yourself because the moment you think of it, you see straight through yourself. If that makes any sense.

I wish I could spend more quality time with myself. I’d prefer to learn about myself before learning about other people. How could one be expected to deal with others until one can deal with oneself? I wonder how other people manage. How do you do it? Are you so at ease with yourself that you’re ready to face others? Or are you multitasking: struggling with yourself and everyone else at the same time?

I’m neither at ease with me, nor am I a multitasker. I’m starting to think that this is a strange thing because people keep on approaching me like nothing was the matter. I thought there was a shared consensus that those who aren’t done with themselves yet should be left alone until they’re done. Instead, there appears to be a Murphy’s Law that whoever needs something comes to me. Considering that I can’t help myself, what are the chances that I’ll be useful to another self?

I wish people could stop scaring me to death by asking me things. Do I even look like I know something? I can’t give you directions – even if I know the place, I don’t know how to explain the way. I’m really sorry. I can’t tell you how I am either – “how are you” is a complex metaphysical inquiry and I can’t settle for a half-answer. I’m clearly not ready to enter the society of other people yet. Please deal with it while I deal with myself.


A Free-Writing Rant against Free-Writing Rants

Writing 101 staff is running out of ideas. For the last but one day of the challenge, we are left to our own resources and asked to free-write. Again. More than an exercise in writing, this is a useful exercise in the art of patience: for the third time in the last four weeks, I say a resounding no to free writing. I admit that my patience is being heavily tried and that I must brace myself with all my force not to start a free-writing rant of hating on free-writing.

It’s not like there isn’t enough free-writing on the internet, is it? What’s the original idea of blogging if not to find an outlet for one’s formless grammarless free-writing rants? What am I doing now if not blogging and ranting in free-writing? What it encourages me to do is to stop thinking – which is bad enough – and to disregard the form of the text in favour of the content – which will cost you your job if you’re a proofreader/editor. Oh, wait, I am a proofreader/editor!

I understand that free-writers are supposed to edit their rants once they’re done ranting. I suspect that most free-writers don’t even suspect that they are supposed to edit anything. Thinking of errors only after you’re done writing is very much like taking a morning-after pill – that is, thinking of babies only after you’re done making them. It is indeed an option, but it doesn’t strike me as the best choice. I choose thinking while writing and getting it right on the first try.


News about Mrs Nobright from Nowhere

As Writing 101 draws to its close, the staff is getting sentimental. They want us to describe the melodrama of a landlord evicting an old widow as seen by a twelve-year-old boy. Thanks, I’ll pass on this tear jerker. I’ll re-do this sad story into a grotesque story in the vein of Flannery O’Connor (whom I hate, but she has a point). This is a newspaper cutting from Nowhere News, an obscure regional paper.

NOWHERE – Yesterday a retired woman jumped out of the window to interrupt the work of debt collectors.

Ida Nobright (68) owes three months’ rent for her five-bedroom council flat. When authorised debt collectors required to be let in her flat, Mrs Nobright invited them in and “was ready to negotiate”. The debt collectors say Mrs Nobright suffered from “a hysterical seizure” when they informed her she must clear the flat immediately. The debt collectors claim they could not prevent Mrs Nobright from jumping out of the window of her flat because her action came unexpected and with “surprising agility”.

Mrs Nobright fell down from the third floor on the house’s common vegetable garden. She was transported to the nearest hospital in Somewhere with a broken leg, concussion and multiple scratches and bruises. The hospital representative says her life is “not in danger”.

There was a twelve-year-old eyewitness to Mrs Nobright’s fall, who testifies he heard a woman’s screams. When he looked in direction of the noise, he saw Mrs Nobright plunging herself “like Mary Poppins” out of a window. Police searches for further witnesses. No charges are pressed at the moment.

Mrs Nobright apparently lived in her flat alone since the death of her husband three months earlier. She has an extended family, including her six sons, who live in Faraway. Her son Jon Nobright (42) says he is “shocked” and he had “no idea mom was in trouble”. Mr Nobright has already contacted the town council of Nowhere and offered to settle his mother’s debts.