Explicit posts


It seems an appropriate time to write this post as I’ve just received an email from Blogger about their new content guidelines.  (I post on both sites, Blogger and WordPress.  As far as I know, WP policies aren’t changing.)

Blogger:

In the coming weeks, we’ll no longer allow blogs that contain sexually explicit or graphic nude images or video. We’ll still allow nudity presented in artistic, educational, documentary, or scientific contexts, or where there are other substantial benefits to the public from not taking action on the content.

The new policy will go into effect on the 23rd of March 2015. After this policy goes into effect, Google will restrict access to any blog identified as being in violation of our revised policy. No content will be deleted, but only blog authors and those with whom they have expressly shared the blog will be able to see the content we’ve made private.

Our records indicate that your account may be affected by this policy change. Please refrain from creating new content that would violate this policy. Also, we ask that you make any necessary changes to your existing blog to comply as soon as possible, so that you won’t experience any interruptions in service. Continue reading

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What is blogging?


“Blog” is short for “Web-log”, an online log book.  For most of us it’s a kind of journal, a place to share recent events in our lives or what we’re thinking about.

So that’s what a blog is, maybe the more interesting question is why do we do it?  I mean, it’s one thing to have a journal or a friend to talk to, but why publish all of this?  Why put our inner most thoughts, feelings and experiences out there for the whole world to see?

Each of us probably have our own reasons.

For me, my blog is like a best friend, a journal, a collection of short stories and essays, and a therapist all rolled up into one.  Some stuff I just write for fun, other stories I write to record a memory, but the real stories are the most important.

I’ve often said that I don’t care how many people read my blog, I write only for myself.  I don’t care about approval or stats.  For me, it’s the publishing, not the reading, that’s important.  I’ll explain.

If I was writing a journal I’d probably be recording events and how they made me feel.  I wouldn’t have to get in depth or explain why I felt that way.  But if I’m publishing the story I have to sort through the scene, explain the characters and motivations, figure out how to explain the actions and reactions in a way that makes sense to someone who wasn’t actually there.

In other words, writing a post that’s going to be published forces me to be more introspective in my writing.  When I get introspective I understand it better myself, I process it more thoroughly.

For the really difficult stories mentally and emotionally, the more processing I have to do, the better.  I figure it out, write it down and let go of it.  It’s like a weight that gets lifted off my mind.  I break it all down, sort it out, figure out what’s important and what isn’t, write it down and let it go.

So, it doesn’t matter how many people read it, just that people can read it.

That’s why I web-log.  It is also why it doesn’t bother me to switch back to blogger where there are far fewer readers, commentators, and the bloggers are fewer and farther between.  Sure, the support and feedback is nice but that’s not why I blog.

Romance and media


I had a long talk with my mom the other night. My parents had just returned from an extended weekend trip to a very small town on the coast.  We talked about a lot of things and came around to the difficulty my mom had finding a paperback to read on the long road trip back home.

There were plenty of books for my mom to choose from but apparently small town life leads to lonely hearts and most of the books were romance novels.  My mom is more of a crime thriller woman. She was amazed at how many romance novels there were and that they were so popular.

Her opinion, why would she read about romance when she already has love in her life? Continue reading

What’s acceptable online?


What’s kind of ironic is that this post was started days ago and recent events have just added further incentive to finish it.

When I wonder what’s appropriate online, my first thought is whether or not it’s something that I would say to someone’s face.   Or, how would I feel if the roles were reversed?  This post I’m writing, who could be offended?  Is this something I would tell them in person?  This comment on a post I’m writing, is that something I would say to someone’s face?

If I said this to someone in person, would I get punched in the face?  Or vice versa.

I see a lot of stuff online that wouldn’t pass any of those tests (or shouldn’t, at least).  I see it and wonder what the hell is wrong with people.  Sexist, racist, disrespectful, hateful comments that people would never (should never) say to each other in real life. Continue reading

Critical Thinking


There were a couple things that I learned in High School that really stuck with me.  Actually, there were surprisingly few things.  One of the things that has made a big difference was learning the ability to think critically.

There were two teachers that played a large role in learning critical thinking.

One was a really hard core English teacher that pushed us hard.  And when I say hard, I mean she was prepping us for college by teaching us like we were already there.  She expected college level work from us and didn’t cut any slack, ever.  That might sound kind of harsh, but if the bar is set low you don’t have to push yourself to match expectations.  When the expectations are really, really high than you have to really work to meet them.  And she was vicious when we were editing, vicious.  She really made us break down the piece, figure out what was working, what needed to be improved, and what should be cut.  I learned more from her than any other English teacher (including my actual college-level instructors). Continue reading

From there to here, some questions


Sharn recently tagged me on a post that asked some writerly questions.  I figured I wasn’t doing anything else at the moment (just sipping some tequila), so I might as well scrape up some answers.

What am I working on at the moment?

That’s kind of a funny question… I’m working on a questionnaire.  This questionnaire.  At this moment, I am typing this answer to this question.  The question kind of answers itself in a way.  Am I in the Twilight Zone?

How does my work differ from others in this genre? 

Again, I feel like this is a trick question.  It’s a questionnaire, what kind of genre is this?  Non-fiction?  I suppose my answers are more… literal… than others in this genre.  And I’m not sure “work” is the right term to use here.  Is this really work?  I mean, if you can do anything while drinking heavily it’s not really work, is it?  *takes a sip of tequila*  Next question, please. Continue reading

Pen names


Fair warning, there’s some shit in here that might come off as sexist.  That’s not necessarily my intent, but I am writing generalizations about many female authors I’ve read.  If that shit pisses you off, keep reading and then leave me a nasty comment.  Nasty comments make me hard.

I just finished a fairly light-hearted book about zombies.  I love zombie books and this one had a promotion or something going where it was free, so I picked it up.

The book was pretty decent.  It did follow a fairly generic story line without any big twists or surprises, but it was entertaining enough that I finished it and considered buying the sequel ($2.99, nope).  What surprised me though, was that I was totally convinced the author was a woman, but when I hit the author page at the back there was a male name.  That threw me for a loop, there was no way this book was written by a dude.

First, I thought maybe this guy had just read WAY too many books written by women, their techniques just rubbed off on him… but then I thought about it some more and realized it was far more likely that the book was actually written by a woman but one who chose a male pen-name.  It would also explain why there was no photo on the author page, even though everything else about the book was fairly high quality. Continue reading

Search Terms pt 1


I don’t normally pay much attention to the search terms that led someone to my blog.  Honestly, they usually aren’t worth checking, I rarely get any really fun ones.  However, this blog has been up long enough that when I checked the “summary” of all my search terms a few came up that were interesting.  There were enough that I’m breaking this into two posts.  Some are funny, some are creepy, and some are just confusing.

Here are some of my favorites in a segment I’m calling “Search Terms: what kind of creep are you?”

search terms s Continue reading

Poetry Feedback – #3


I’ve had another brave writer step up to the plate and submit a poem for review.  This is going to be short and sweet… because the poem is short and sweet.  It’s a haiku, one of the most well known forms of poetry (second only to grade-school limericks, in my opinion).  It’s also one of the most difficult forms of poetry.

One of my English teachers had an interesting perspective that sticks with me to this day.  She said that the fewer the words a piece of writing has, the more important those words become.

If you’re writing a novel you have thousands and thousands of words to make the reader feel something and tell a story.  A few sloppy words or phrases here and there don’t matter too much to the piece overall.

A short story does the same as a novel but with far fewer words.  It has slightly less slack than a novel because there’s less to work with.

A poem makes a reader feel something, or paints a picture, or tells a story, but has very few words.

And a haiku… Well, I think you get where I’m going with this.  Every word has monumental importance because they make up a far larger portion of the piece.  Rather than 1 in 100,000 words (like a novel), or 1 in 10,000 (like a short story), or even 1 in a 100 (like a poem), a haiku is… What, 1 in 10?

That’s a lot of weight to put on so few words.

Now that I’ve totally psyched out the writer, on to the haiku review!  (That rhymes, I laughed.) Continue reading

My past fucks me up


Last night I realized how fucked up I am because of past relationships.

Now, before I continue, I want to be clear that I’m not accusing Ann of anything, just using this text as an example to show a little bit about exactly how fucked up I am.

Ann-“Sorry about not being in touch last night. My phone died before midnight and my portable charger didn’t work. Friend 1’s doesn’t work here and Friend 2 had left “early”.  We were out dancing until 3am.”

Now, most people probably read the actual words, but this is how my brain reads it:

“Was out with the girls last night, met some guys and danced until 1 am.  Then had sex for two hours.  He just left and I’m writing now so you don’t get suspicious.” Continue reading