Comments, Embarrassment, and Free Books

ImageI’ve been blogging for seven months now, and on most days, it no longer freaks me out. I’m more comfortable with people coming to my blog, and I’m more comfortable visiting blogs.

When I was Freshly Pressed in October, I only mentioned it as an afterthought about a week Imagelater. It was a fun post (Stairway to Heaven), but I tried to fly under the radar with it. I love how my friends have celebrated and enjoyed their Freshly Pressed fame, but my heart sank when I received the notification email. I wasn’t ready for that many people to see my blog.

The notice and the link on the Freshly Pressed site came on the same day – the day my new post was titled Blogging Freaks Me Out (Part Three). Being Freshly Pressed was overwhelming and time consuming, but it ended up being a good experience, and I made some pretty great new friends because of it – but I still hyperventilated through the entire thing.

Now that blogging in itself is more comfortable, I have certainly been getting around and leaving comments and unintentional typos all over the place.

Some of my comments are pithy; a couple have been mini-blog posts of their own. I’ve somewhat regretted a few comments I’ve left.

When I find myself being early to a new post, and I have something to say, I don’t want to be the first person to leave a comment for fear of looking too eager, yet when I put a new post up, I hold my breath and worry that it’s a dud until someone pushes the like button and leaves a comment.

When someone replies to my comment on their blog, and then they finish with “thanks for stopping by” or “have a good day,” is that a dismissal? Were they done with me, and I shouldn’t say anything more? It feels like it, but I do this on my own blog all the time! I thank a lot of people for stopping by, but I don’t mean for them to leave. They can stay and chat if they want.

I’ve read a few articles giving advice on commenting. One said you should visit only three blogs per day for commenting. Read more blogs, but only leave comments on three. It has something to do with saturating the blogosphere with your voice. A couple of things come to mind:Image– Hello! Susan Hunter and Maddie Cochere. I’m definitely trying to saturate the blogosphere with a couple of names.
– I’m following 183 blogs at the present time, and if they all post something interesting on the same day, I want to comment on all of them. I hate it when I fall behind like I have lately (because of taxes!).

I’ve been telling myself that I don’t have to comment on everything. I’ve typed out comments, and just before hitting the post button, I tell myself that this person isn’t really interested in what I have to say, and I delete.  

I forget to Imageleave a like at times. I want to push the like button to help with stats, so I try not to forget. But then, it becomes a habit, and when someone posts about an illness in their family, I sometimes accidentally push the like button. Arrgh!

I’ve read where some people delete “simple” comments. One man deletes all one-liners. If all you are going to say is, “I really like your thoughts on this, Johnny,” he’s going to delete your comment. That’s ok; it’s his blog and his rules. Sometimes, I just want to tell someone that even though I have nothing to add, I really like what they wrote. I know that’s what the like button is for, but sometimes I want to say it.

Have you ever followed and commented on someone’s brand new blog only to have them never post again, and you feel like you scared them away?

Have you ever had someone respond to every comment on their post but yours?

Have you ever been lead down the wrong path when someone invited you to a “really fun” pity Imageparty, so you go there and leave a stupid humorous comment about your childhood only to find out it was a serious party, and you are an idiot?

Have you ever read blogs in the middle of the night, when you’re kind of punchy, and some of your comments are just too silly, but you can’t make yourself stop?

Have you ever proofread your comment, deemed it just fine, and then saw the typo wave at you the second you pushed the post reply button? I’ve even quickly closed a browser to stop it, but once that button is pushed, the typo refuses to die.

I like it when there are a lot of comments on a post. My comment will likely be at the bottom of the page, so if I say something goofy, it’s buried down there. Then I hit the post reply button and it sails to the top of the comments.

Your turn! Leave a comment! Tell me some of your fun (or not so fun) experiences when leaving comments.

I feel like giving away more books. I’ll choose five people from the comments section to receive a Susan Hunter book – winner’s choice, and the winners will be chosen next week.

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Stairway to Heaven

I’m a fiction writer. Poetry is not my thing. I tried to write a poem for this post, and my husband said, Image“You didn’t rhyme the last two lines.” Of course I did. I’m not an idiot. I went back and read them. Hmmm … I guess “come” doesn’t rhyme with “done.” Crap!

But, in an effort to post outside of my comfort zone, I am forging ahead with poetry. I even have a picture to use for inspiration. Also outside of my comfort zone is to ask for participation. I can barely squeak out a question at the end of my posts, so this is definitely outside of my comfort zone. (I just used the words “comfort zone” three times in one paragraph. Now four.) So, here we go …

Sing with me. Led Zepplin. Stairway to Heaven. Do you have it in your head? Good.

Thanks to my husband, whenever I go out into our backyard, the song rolls around in my head. There isn’t a stairway to heaven out there, there’s a stairway to nowhere. Now sing the song using the words “buying a stairway to nowhere.”

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Click for a closer view.

This summer, the house next door to ours was gutted and completely renovated. The stairway in question used to go to the door to the kitchen. As you can see, they made a new entrance with new stairs. They didn’t remove the old stairs; they simply painted them brown. What were they thinking? For me personally, the stairs to nowhere would be a deal breaker.

Rather than try to understand the logic, let us pay homage to the stairs to nowhere today. Leave a poem, limerick, haiku, or simply your comment about the stairs to nowhere – or anything else for that matter. I’ll walk over, sit on the stairs, and read your work or comment aloud. Maybe. I might pay a neighbor kid to do it.

We’ll start. Here’s hubby’s limerick because he is a fountain when it comes to limericks:

There once were some steps, a total of four,
That led from the ground up to the door.
The door went away,
An improvement some say.
Now they lead to a door that’s no more.

Good, but BORING. His bacon/schmeckel limerick was so much better. If he hadn’t mowed the grass this past weekend and used up all of his energy, I’m sure he would have given us better.

Here’s my poem:

Oh stairs once gray,
I feel your dismay.
Slathered in brown,
The bane of the town.

You went to the kitchen,
You used to be bitchin’.
Now useless to all,
There is only a wall.

That is why I don’t do poetry.

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Let me try a haiku:

Gray happy stairway
Leaves fall on distressing brown
Renovation sucks

I’m supposed to take a moment to reflect on the experience of this new type of blog post for me. It only took a nanosecond to have my thought: Poetry is hard. I’m stickin’ with fiction.

Your turn.
Just go with it.

Imagehttp://dailypost.wordpress.com/2012/10/08/weekly-writing-challenge-and-now-for-something-completely-different/