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What will the New Year bring?

The numerous posts on social media at the beginning of 2019 setting out people’s goals left me feeling unfocused. This was partly because my health and fitness were low. After an outing in beautiful countryside on a sunny day, I feel more like getting to grips with the New Year. I took far too many photographs and have the material for a number of posts on Sue’s Words and Pictures. I had been considering abandoning that blog, but for the time being it will continue to have a new post each Saturday. I am posting a taster picture here.

Derwentwater

Sue’s Trifles has new material on Thursdays.

The category cloud for this blog indicates the main topics, which I have blogged about. The ones I return to are blogging, books, craft, faith, seasons and travel – and blogging from A to Z in April. Many of the others are projects, which have been completed (such as #psalmtweets) or prompts, which are no longer available or which I have tried and found to be too demanding. (I do have things to do away from my computer!)

In the last year books have been the main focus of Sue’s Trifles. There have been some craft posts and very little about faith. As there is a link to this blog on Bible Gateway’s Blogger Grid, perhaps I should bear that in mind when writing my posts. The hashtag for the blogger grid is #bgbg2. That will appear as a tag rather than a category.

One project I have in mind for this year is to do a deeper study than the Ladies’ Bible study group is doing. This will require discipline. I do not intend to publish it online. The books we have been using recently featured in another post.

It was Epiphany on Sunday. I still had the aches and pains I had been struggling with for a few weeks. I moaned to a few friends after the morning service. I hope I didn’t make them feel miserable. There is a time for being honest about one’s struggles. I don’t want to make a habit of being miserable and moaning, but saying, “I’m OK”, when it isn’t true prevents others from knowing how to give prayer support. Galations 6:2 

To conclude, in 2019 I am going to try to

  • be more focused on my writing
  • communicate better with the people around me
  • listen more
  • be less irritable
  • improve my fitness by spending less time sitting down
  • use my skills to help other people
  • remember to trust God and not to rely on myself
  • rejoice in the Lord always Philippians 4:4
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What I read in November (Part 2)

The Boy Who Could See Death by Salley Vickers

When I borrowed this book from the library I hadn’t realised it is a book of short stories, which takes its name from perhaps the most haunting one. I may have mentioned previously that I prefer novels to short stories. Starting to read a short story is as much work as starting to read a novel. Then a few pages later it comes to an end. I don’t always manage to work out what the whole story has been about! There was at least one story in this collection, which left me guessing. (I like all the ends tied in and no room for doubt in a story!)

However, Salley Vickers writes extremely well and remains on my list of authors to look out for in the library. A review of another of her books appears in a previous post.

Meadowland: the private life of an English field by John Lewis-Stempel

I am cheating by including this library book here as I had not finished it by the end of November. It is a book I have been savouring. Each month of a particular year has a chapter to itself. The author describes life on his farm in Herefordshire near to the Welsh border. The history of the area, traditions, literature and patient observation of creatures and plants go to make this book rather special. While the author is very knowledgeable, he manages to communicate his knowledge in a way that is interesting to those with different levels of knowledge of the natural world.

It is the kind of subject, where the more you know, the more you learn. I found the prose particularly enjoyable, with a very gentle sense of humour being apparent. As in many of my favourite books, a map is included at the beginning. This one is of the farm. There are also lists of species observed, a list of nature books in the author’s possession and a list of music.

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Blogging round-up

I was surprised, when I learned that blogs have a natural lifetime. Having blogged for over six years I now understand why this is often the case. It’s a long time since I posted any statistics about my blogging. This post is as much a reminder to me of what I have achieved as an attempt to write about blogging.

This post is a brief history of my blogging life. It is not complete. I hope it is of interest to my readers. I follow too many blogs to read more than a small fraction of the posts, which appear in my WordPress Reader. It is clear from the discrepancy between the number of followers and the number of views, that other people also fail to read blogs they thought they were interested in. (Unless people only follow in the hope of gaining reciprocal followers.)

Sue’s considered trifles began on 23 July 2012. It currently consists of 325 posts and 54 pages, some of which are reviews of books I have read. After about 20 months I slowed down my project to collect together sayings which were familiar to me as a child. This part of my blog is a resource for people setting their books in the middle of the 20th century. No new material for this project has appeared since the end of August 2015. I also posted some of my creative writing to this blog on pages and as posts, when I followed the WordPress BloggingU introduction to poetry course.

I keep the What’s new page up to date.

When I became a bit bored of writing to a formula for Sue’s considered trifles, I started my second blog, Sue’s Trifles on 25 March 2013. I soon discovered blogging challenges and became an enthusiastic blogger. (Previously I was a rather tentative one.) Sue’s Trifles is still my main blog. I have linked up with various challenges, notably Blogging from A to Z in April and WordPress’ Daily prompt from the Daily Post. My aim was to improve my writing skills and to do something enjoyable. I have shared craft projects, real life experiences and book reviews. I hope my blog is not becoming so predictable that the strap-line “Tasty writing surprises (non-fattening)” has ceased to be accurate. If nothing else, readers may be surprised by some of the books I have read! This is the 722nd post.

There are also 16 pages, some of which are out of date. Your favourites and My favourites both need revision.

Two years after starting Sue’s Trifles, I went on an outing with hubby and my new smart phone. In the car on the way home I decided it was time to start another blog. This was Sue’s Words and Pictures, which now has 281 posts and 6 pages. It began on 26 March 2015. Recently my posts to this blog have been less frequent. One or two have not been quite up to my usual standard, perhaps as I have been struggling with seasonal bugs. With a blog of this nature (posting photographs of places visited) there is a limit to how much new material is available. WordPress used to issue a photo challenge each week, providing me with inspiration for short posts between the main posts for which I set the blog up. Once WordPress discontinued their challenges at the end of May 2018, I tried challenges set by other bloggers, but did not have the same enthusiasm for those. It is likely that Sue’s Words and Pictures will slow down at least over the winter.

My excuse for stopping posting new material on Sue’s considered trifles was to concentrate on writing for possible publication. I have to admit that I have made little progress. I have catalogued my poetry and added some new material. I have rediscovered at least one story I wrote years ago, which is possible children’s picture book material. My memoir has had some new input, but I found that writing it made me become rather self-absorbed. I didn’t think that was healthy and took a break. So far I have not returned to it. By entering writing competitions I have gained practice at presenting my work in a format set out in the rules. I have had an article and a poem published in Christian Writer, the magazine of the Association of Christian Writers. I also am privileged to post on the blog More than Writers on the 31st of seven months.

Once again I need to try to consolidate what I have already written, do some research about possible publication routes and try to make good submissions to likely publishers. Otherwise I could take the self-publishing route. However in this instance I regard myself as a team-player rather than someone, who can see a project through from start to finish with little help from others.

If you are a blogger what is your experience of the lifetime of a blog? Have you used blogging as a springboard into publication?