Apologetic

Dear Blog,

I’m sorry.  I have been a terrible companion and I am here today asking for your forgiveness.  I have neglected you these past few weeks, and I am hoping I can make it up to you.  Do you want a domain name? I’ll save up, I swear.  Oh, but I know paltry gifts aren’t enough to win back your heart.

See, I was sick, and I became distant, and I am so sorry…I know it’s no excuse.  You know how much I love you, don’t you?

I loved you in 2001 when I sat in the computer lab at D’Youville College and signed up for Livejournal.  Our first platform, where we grew together over fourteen years!  I haven’t forgotten those early days, and I hope you haven’t either.  Now it’s 20 yeas later, and you’re still the one I take all my problems to.

Remember the time we tried to write every day for a year?  How naïve we were, pulling in to day 167 like we were on fire, then fizzling out on day 172.  But still, so many months we lasted, as my fingers danced over the keyboard and put my words into your mouth.

I love you so, my constant companion, my dear friend, my little soapbox.  Please forgive me.  I promise I will do better, try harder; I promise I will always be here for you. 

Well, on Mondays and Thursdays, at least.

Your best friend,

Brig

wOrdpress for lyfe.

This is a delayed post as I spent yesterday in the ER.  I’m ok now…just tired and worn down.  But I shall persevere.  Anyways…

Well, I mean, I guess.  Ok.  I’ll do it.

Once upon a time I started a blog on WordPress.com, and eventually I revamped it but stayed on the platform, and then came the day when I realized I needed a domain name like a grownup.  So, I shopped around, and at the end of the day…yeah.  WordPress.  Whatever.

I will tell you upfront that I know nothing about web hosting.  It’s all foreign to me, and all my attempts to learn something have just resulted in me banging my head against a wall.  So, the end result seemed to be obvious: just buy a plan through the site you’re already using.

But, my blog isn’t my main focus anymore.  Yes, I still update twice a week and will continue to do so as long as it is feasible.  However, I am also trying to sell a book, create another, and I have something waiting in a publishing queue that could happen at any moment.  It was brought to my attention that what I really need now is an author website.

For a few months, imposter syndrome kept me from entertaining such fanciful ideas, such that I was important enough to warrant my own website.  But the logic was sound.  I wanted a place that consolidated my blog, my around-the-web writings, and a place to hype my book.  Then one day, WordPress emailed to tell me of a flash sale, and I saw no reason not to go for it. 

Hence the debut of brigidhannon.com.

Over the weekend, I changed my social medias to reflect the new website.  In the past, they reflected my blog: the breakfast banner, the side-eye photo, the Brigid Hamandeggs moniker.  All of which I love, but are the Brigid of 2018, when I first started my blog, not 2020, where I stand now.  My handle on pretty much everything is hamneggs716 and will remain as such, but otherwise, it is time for actual representation of myself.

More than one person has discussed my “brand” with me this week, which still feels like a silly concept, but is one I have to consider nonetheless.  I am moving from my Ham ‘N Eggs brand into the brand of myself, Brigid Hannon.

This is a big thing.  See, I always kept things like my blog and Twitter and such fairly anonymous.  I did this for two reasons: 1. I was crippled with anxiety about my own abilities, and 2. I wanted to get a job.  Nowadays, I would not take a job that was not okay with the words I put out, and my expression of myself.  However, in the past, I hid my writing, because I was working with children.  You never know when a parent might see you drop an f-bomb and suddenly have a problem with your employer.  Seriously, I have seen it happen.  So, I tried to keep myself as silent as I could and even considered a pen name. 

But see…I love my name.  It’s the reason I never legally took Mark’s.  And I want my name on my work. So, a couple years ago, I took a deep breath and I submitted to a few journals, and now look.  JUST LOOK.  I have a book and a website and I was published in my hometown newspaper, and I have so much more upcoming and my Momma even wants to get me business cards.  I am no longer looking for work because I am creating work, and I feel happier and freer than I ever have.

So please, visit my site and see what I’ve got going on in the world.  And thank you, dear blog reader, especially those who have been here for a long time.  I appreciate you.  Thank you for your continued readership, because even though I am doing other things, my blog is still my baby.

Even if I didn’t buy it a domain name.

Sunshine Blogger Award

I will be frank.  I kind of think awards like this are the chain letters of the blogging world.  I mean, there’s no real award.  However, it is a great opportunity to boost up other bloggers and write about your own blogging career, so I will take the bait.

A big thanks to Recreational Hobbyist for the nomination.  She writes about all sorts of hobbies, including book and movie reviews.  Go check her out!

Now, the rules.

  1. Thank the person who nominated you and provide a link back to their blogging site.
  2. List the Sunshine Blogger Award rules and display the logo on your site.
  3. Answer the Sunshine Blogger Award questions.
  4. Nominate 11 other bloggers and ask them 11 new questions.
  5. Notify the nominees about their nominations.

My question and answer session:

  1. What is your favorite time of the year?  Autumn, by far.  Of course, here in Buffalo that lasts about a week and a half.  I cherish it while it’s here, though.
  2. If you could travel to any country, where would you go?  I suppose I would go to Ireland first, as it is the country of my people.  My parents have always wanted to go and hopefully one day I will win the lottery or publish a best seller and be able to fulfill that dream for them.
  3. What is your favorite TV show you are watching right now?  I literally have Parks and Rec going in the background right now.
  4. How often do you write other than for blog posts?  Well, my blog posts are twice a week, on Monday and Thursday.  I also just finished writing at least 1667 words a day for NaNoWriMo.  Add to that my poetry and a short story I’m toying with.
  5. Coffee or Tea? Coffee is my favorite, but tea is an acceptable substitute. 
  6. What is your all-time favorite book?  It by Stephen King, followed by Bronte’s Jane Eyre.  Very different styles, but both tales that touched my soul.
  7. What is your favorite blog post? Hmmmmmmm…I don’t have one.  I love all my babies equally.  But you should check out Poetry Month.
  8. What is the one thing you love about blogging?  It lets me share my opinions, and keep track of my thoughts. 
  9. What is one thing you can’t live without?  My computer.
  10. What is your favorite food?  Ice cream in all its forms and flavors.
  11. What is your biggest blogging accomplishment?  I haven’t got one, really.  I just want people to read my stuff and find some sort of meaning in my words.  If you read a post and think “gee, me too!” I’ve done my job.

My Nominations:

After reading some new work lately, I nominate the following bloggers & their blogs:

  1. Rusted Honey
  2. Mommin in the real World  
  3. Caffeinated Crafting Cripple
  4. Teagues Creative Mind
  5. Phantasmagorium
  6. Sarah Day
  7. Kelly Louise Allen
  8. TammysTravelTales
  9. Mental Fitness
  10. Yeah OCD Blog
  11. Pucker Up Buttercup

I think I’m supposed to contact these people, and I know I follow a couple on Twitter, but I’m not sure of their handles so let’s just hope the pingbacks take care of notifications.

My questions for you:

  1. When did you get the writing bug?
  2. How long have you been blogging, and what is your main purpose for your blog?
  3. What are you other top three interests?
  4. What is a book you could read over and over again?
  5. What’s the best blog you’ve written?
  6. What is your favorite topic to write about?
  7. What music are you currently listening to?
  8. Who is your biggest support?
  9. If you could have dinner with one writer, dead or alive, who would it be?
  10. What’s your favorite sport team?
  11. What’s your day job?

That’s it.  Seriously, check out some of these blogs, especially if you’re another blogger.  We all need to support each other, which is why I did this in the first place. 

Also, I’m low on topics.  Whoops.

Year in Review

At the start of the year, I made some resolutions. I can say once again that I have made it through another year without eating a phone book. I did get in slightly better shape, having quit smoking (for the most part; the holidays were hard) and I lost a few pounds, but that was mostly due to my inability to eat at times and had far less to do with me actually getting to the gym. I did reach my writing resolution, however. I have certainly written more, and I have gotten some of that writing out into the world. This year was mostly hard, given my health and things like losing our automobile, but I have perservered through my writing. I have kept this blog for nearly a year. I have had my poems and a short story published. I have finished the outline for my novel. I have started assembling a small book of poetry. It has been, for my words, a good year.

Yet, I don’t have much to say tonight. I am grateful to not be spending the new year in the hospital, as I have in the past. I am happy to sit on my sofa with my husband and do tequila shots and watch Netflix and laugh about how this year has kicked our butts, and next year probably will, too. Or maybe not. Maybe we can keep on reaching for the hope a new year brings us.

At least, I’ll keep trying.

blur bokeh bright burnt
Photo by john paul tyrone fernandez on Pexels.com

So…

…I’m not in the hospital, and I’m not shirking my deadline. I’m temporarily without internet on my computer so this update is happening via phone, which is not conductive to verbosity. I do have a blog ready, I just can’t post it. Instead I sit on my couch and watch my husband play Red Dead Redemption 2 while thumb-typing this update, that is really nothing more than me holding myself accountable.

So stop reading this. Go do something with your day. I’ll get back to you soon, I promise.

Social Media Anxiety

If you’re a regular reader of my blog, you know that I have been using it as a way to fight my anxiety.  You may also know that I have been working on expanding and promoting it.  This, my friend, is where the anxiety part really comes into play.

I have read a bunch of articles regarding promotion, monetization, and creating one’s “brand” and all I have to say is that I hate it.  It takes so much away from the writing, which is why I have this blog in the first place, and it puts a microscope on myself.  Example: there is not yet anywhere on my blog that features my full name.  This is for one reason and one reason only: I still need to work.  If a client puts my name in a search engine, I do not want them to judge my childcare abilities by my writings.  I might drop some f-bombs in my blog but I won’t be swearing around your kid, you know what I mean?  I might have a political or religious view that bears no weight on how well I change a diaper but may affect whether someone wants to hire me.  Now, I’ve got some poems that are coming out soon, or are out already (see Potatoes, up at the top,) so I know that my search engine results will soon change, and I will indeed be judged by my words.  One of these poems is about smoking pot.  I’m not exactly thrilled that a possible employer may stumble upon it and not hire me, but also, I’m not thrilled by the idea of censoring my true passion of writing for my day job, either.  I try to tell myself that this is just my anxiety, but I know it’s also a rational concern, so I find myself stuck between a rock and a hard place.

It is this microscope on the writer that causes anxiety for me.  I am not good at bragging about myself, for one.  I’m a fairly humble individual.  Back when filling out profiles on dating sites, I was always unsure how to describe myself.  I was never good at listing my qualities.  When asked in interviews what assets I can bring to a job, I freeze up.  I need someone to tell me I’m good at something to make it real, and even then, I don’t always believe them.  This is juxtaposed by a crazy high self-esteem wherein I believe I can do anything.  It’s a dilemma.

Let’s take Facebook and Twitter, for example.  On Twitter, I never shy from anything.  I always write exactly what I think.  On Facebook, however, I am more reserved.  Why?  Well, I have significantly less Twitter followers than Facebook friends, and I think that has something to do with it. Maybe it’s the fact my grandmother is on Facebook?  And my parents?  Maybe it’s because there’s strangers who follow me on Twitter, and I know all my FB friends?  I have more questions than answers, but I know I behave differently on different sites.  For instance, I always post my blog on Twitter, but rarely on FB.  For some reason (and yes, I am aware this is the crazy anxiety-ridden side of my brain) I think that people don’t care.  Mind you, these are people I know, personally, and who seem to enjoy me as an individual, enough so as to send me a friend request.  These people are the most likely to care, and I can’t convince myself of that.

That’s what it really comes down to.  I look at all the followers I have acquired on my blog in the past year.  Like 150 people, complete strangers to me, who decided to follow my blog because they saw something they liked.  Yet, I think that if I share my blog with friends and family, those people will not see anything they enjoy.  I know I’m wrong.  I know I have people who read it, who follow me on social media, who could easily unfollow my ass if I got too boring, but no one does.  Still, my anxious brain senses that I am simply wasting peoples time.  Rational brain knows that’s a lie, because I like your posts and pictures as much as you like mine.  Still, it holds me back from expressing myself, which is what I truly hate.

Right now, I am debating whether or not to share this post on Facebook.  I am thinking of what kind of tweet I can write about my it.  I am considering starting an Instagram challenge to promote my blog.  I am streamlining my accounts to fit my “brand,” a word I still can’t say without the implied quotation marks.  I am doubting all of it, and I wonder if I always will.  Still, I take those little times when someone did say “Hey, I liked that thing you wrote,” and I keep them very close to my heart.  I remember them in my darker moments.  These little instances are what keep me writing, and make me feel like I have something worthwhile to say.  Everything else is just roadblocks.

I’ve made a terrible mistake.

When I decided to get a “real” blog, meaning something that was not a LiveJournal, I did a little research and heard great things about WordPress.  So naturally, I went to wordpress.com and signed up.  This was my last blog, mind you.  Then when I went for a revamp I moved over here, still content in my ignorance.  Recently I decided enough is enough, I need to make some money here, so I looked into purchasing a plan to sell ad space and get a domain name and Google analytics and all that jazz.  It’s about 100 bucks a year to do.  Fairly reasonable, less than my gym membership.  Then I looked into things a little deeper and discovered that…

I’M ON THE WRONG WORDPRESS.

The WordPress everyone was telling me about?  WordPress.ORG.  They have domain hosting and plug-ins and everything I’m looking for and some reports say you can get a blog started for only 50 bucks a year and now I have to re-do my entire blog from scratch over there because I am NOT paying twice as much for half as much!

So, new blog to come in January.  I will be keeping up this sham of a site until then but will definitely be moving on to greener pastures at wordpress.org come winter.

Update, later that day:

No, I probably won’t, and here’s why.  I have no idea what open source database means.  I do not know what Apache is, or a text editor, or an FTP client.  I need to take a small course in web design first, or find someone who has some knowledge of these things to help me out.  Anyone out there understand any of these words?  I will pay you in poems and cookies.

When all of your ideas are terrible…

…you start searching online for topics and suggestions for lifestyle blogs.  After a few sites I decided that was silly.  I’m not going to share my favorite recipes.  I’m not going to do a post about the brands I love the most.  I have had trouble finding a reason to blog lately, which led me on this quest to begin with, but these are not topics that interest me.  No, I do not have any travel tips for you (except maybe bring sunblock.)

I will not share with you my morning or evening routine.  Why would you care? I’m not going to do a listicle of my top ten favorite movies because again, why would you care?  I mean, I’m open to discussions but a whole blog about such things seems unnecessary.

One topic was “What inspires you?”  If I had any idea what inspired me we wouldn’t be sitting here right now, would we?  I would be off doing that and getting inspired and writing something worthwhile instead of using a search engine to find a topic.  I have no idea where my ideas come from, they just come.  And sometimes they run and hide, like today.

One suggestion was to write about a family gathering.  Yesterday was our family reunion, but I was honestly feeling out of sorts and don’t have much to say about it, other than the food was good and the kiddos had fun.  Another just said “blog about humanity.”  I’m sorry, but isn’t that kind of a broad subject?  One could argue we are always blogging about humanity.

In closing I have nothing new and original to say, except that my poem came out in the August issue of Ghost City Press Review, so you should pop over and check it out if you’re so inclined.  Other than that, I promise I will try harder next week.  Or I really will tell you the three secrets to glowing skin.  Who knows?

Dead-Lines

Sometimes you don’t post a blog on time because you can’t think of a topic.  Sometimes you’re trapped in a hospital bed for nine days and come up with plenty of topics, none of which you can organize once you get out because you probably still have a pound of medication in your system.

I am alive, and I am out of the hospital bubble, and I will write about that when I’ve got my shit back together.

 

Deadlines

Today I struggle.  My goal, as previously stated, is to write at least one blog post a week, and today is the deadline.  I never worked well with deadlines.  I remember being in high school and frantically writing papers at the last minute in the computer room during lunch.  I remember checking books out from the library the night before the report was due.  Creative writing was always the easiest, because I could always just make something up on the spot.  I’m a fast learner, and I think that’s why I always waited until the last minute.  Also, I did not enjoy school.  I wanted to learn at a different pace than the one I was being taught.  Some topics I was already well versed in and felt bored with.  Others I struggled with and needed more time to work on.  The structure of my schooling did not really allow for this, as you were expected to learn at the same rate and in the same way as your peers.  Part of the reason I left college was because I had hoped it would be different somehow but found that it really wasn’t.  I’m just not a traditional learner, and once I figured that out, life became a lot easier.

So here I ramble, because I have given myself a deadline and I am desperate to keep it, if only for myself.   And of course, I find myself writing about writing, which is one of my three favorite topics along with religion and theater.   I asked my husband what I should blog about and he replied that I should write about not knowing what to write.  Oh, Mark, you sweet, innocent little peach.  I write about that on a daily basis.

And now, it is Saturday.  I started this post on Friday of course, trying to meet my deadline and ultimately failing.  I had little time yesterday as I had a test run for a job and went to my friend’s sex toy party, which would probably make a good blog entry, but frankly, I’m just not that kind of girl.  So last night at precisely 12:06am I looked at my clock and sighed.  The time had come and gone.  As expected, I missed my deadline.

However, I got the job.  So that was nice.

PS  If there are any members of the WordPress family reading this, do you ever get a bunch of spam followers?  Lately I’ve gotten several email followers that all have a string of letters at an outlook.com address.  Thoughts?