Category: blogging

New Year Resolution (Late Entrant)

After a spell away from home with limited internet access, I’ve been catching up on other WordPress posts like crazy.

I follow more sites than follow me – a legacy of my early and perhaps cheeky efforts to gain readers by sending people links to my posts – although the gap has narrowed with time. But keeping up with them all means less time spent on my own posts, not to mention my own family! (They’d rather I didn’t, anyway … mention them, I mean!)

Visiting a large number of sites in a short time is like keeping a whole bunch of plates spinning on poles. It’s very easy to lapse into skim-reading, looking for hooks on which to hang witty, wise and pertinent replies … although if I have ever sent you a witty, wise and pertinent reply – or even an impertinent one – you have my solemn word that I read every single one of yours!

This time, with jet-lag threatening my concentration, I decided only to view posts from bloggers who have replied to my posts in the recent past. And I’m very glad I did. They were without exception witty, wise and pertinent to my current concerns. On my wavelength, you might say, tuned into the way I was feeling. My only question is, why the hell haven’t I done this before?

My days of chasing new readers are done. And anyway, too many of my more recent followers are concerned with self-promotion rather than self-examination. Ha, you may say, he can talk after confessing to shameless marketing of himself as a new blogger! But from now on I intend to develop more two-way correspondences with fellow seekers after the truth. In a fun way. Blogging is fun, right?

 

Image result for Too Many Spinning Plates

 

Image: http://iquitagain.com/a-year-on-purpose/283-too-many-spinning-plates

Procrastination

Editor’s Comment        This blogger has failed to submit a new post in time for publication. According to his sick note he has retired to bed with a chronic attack of indecision in the face of too many possibilities. He claims to have begun several drafts but none of them are anywhere near completion. I have allowed him to publish the following poem on the strict understanding that his next post will be all his own work. Thank you.

 

The Old Sailor  by  AA Milne

There was once an old sailor my grandfather knew
Who had so many things which he wanted to do
That, whenever he thought it was time to begin,
He couldn’t because of the state he was in.

He was shipwrecked, and lived on an island for weeks,
And he wanted a hat, and he wanted some breeks;
And he wanted some nets, or a line and some hooks
For the turtles and things which you read of in books.

And, thinking of this, he remembered a thing
Which he wanted (for water) and that was a spring;
And he thought that to talk to he’d look for, and keep
(If he found it) a goat, or some chickens and sheep.

Then, because of the weather, he wanted a hut
With a door (to come in by) which opened and shut
(With a jerk, which was useful if snakes were about),
And a very strong lock to keep savages out.

So he thought of his hut … and he thought of his boat,
And his hat and his breeks, and his chickens and goat,
And the hooks (for his food) and the spring (for his thirst) …
But he never could think which he ought to do first.

And so in the end he did nothing at all,
But basked on the shingle wrapped up in a shawl.
And I think it was dreadful the way he behaved –
He did nothing but basking until he was saved.

 

 

A Question

For some reason I can’t understand, my posts do not appear in the WordPress Reader. They were appearing until two or three days ago but now have stopped. I’ve searched back through my tags as far as I can but have found no old posts at all. I appear to have disappeared!

I have been careful not to use too many tags and my posts are all respectable and as far as I know don’t breach any blogging rules. Has this happened to anyone else? If so, does anyone have any advice as to how I can get my posts back on the Reader?

I would be grateful for any advice. It’s a rather uncomfortable feeling. Thanks.

Like … duh!

A question from an aged technophobe to his followers … where my blog title appears on your ‘Manage Followed Sites’ list, can you turn on/off the ‘Emails for New Posts/Comments’ functions? If not, I’d be very grateful if someone could tell me how to enable this. Cheers!

Senior man with a computer problem

Rolling News … Update … Silly Season Shocker … Problem Solved … Turns Out, There Was No Problem … Silly Old Fool Wipes Egg From Face … For Next Major Scoop, Watch This Empty Space!

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A Pat on the Back

My blog is a few months old and I have just received a nomination for The Blogger Recognition Award. I would like to thank T. Wayne of A Joyful Process for this. Click on the blog title in the previous sentence to view his many thoughtful, varied and readable posts.

The rules for this award are very specific:

1. Select 15 other blogs you want to give the award to

2. You cannot nominate yourself or the person who has nominated you.

3. Write a post to show your award.

4. Give a brief story of how your blog started.

5. Give a piece of advice or two to new bloggers.

6. Thank whoever nominated you and provide a link to their blog.

7. Attach the award badge to the post (right click and save, then upload.)

8. Comment on each blog and let them know you have nominated them.

9. Provide a link  to the original post on Edge of Night 

For #9, click the name above. For the rest, here goes …

I started my blog because I was looking for something a little deeper than Facebook. Don’t get me wrong, I love splashing about in the shallow end but I like to get out of my depth sometimes. How else will I know if I can swim?

I try to be adventurous and not worry too much about my image or ‘niche-appeal’. To be fair, a narrow focus may suit some bloggers but I prefer to be unconstrained – at least until I discover an authentic writing voice.

I view blogging as a global writers’ collective, an inspiring stage in humanity’s lurch towards cultural evolution. I often comment on other posts, partly as a way of building my own readership but also because blogging is a two-way thing – a dialogue between like minds.

My own nominations seem to share these ideals and values. I search for satire, reflection, laughter, passion, insight, sharing – here are a few of the blogs where I find them .  I’m following 128 sites and many of them are no less rewarding than these, so please accept my apology if yours isn’t here:

garfieldhug.wordpress.com

problemswithinfinity.com

opherworld.wordpress.com

thetroublesometraveller.com

storytimewithjohn.com

publikworks.wordpress.com

nebusresearch.wordpress.com

eddiestarblog.wordpress.com

stevehigginslive.com

thenicessist.com

bensbitterblog.com

sillyoldsod.com

stephellaneous.wordpress.com

echoesfromthepath.com

entertishworld.com

blogger-recognition-award

Please let me know if I’ve got anything wrong. A post like this stretches the cyberskills of an old codger like me!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Night on a Bare Mountain

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There comes a point in every life online

When laughter dies. We sense the biting storm

That others feel beyond our virtual home.

The dispossessed cry O for such a voice

But we fall silent, waiting for their word.

The question, my friend, is trembling on their lips –

Our answer still blowing in the wind.

 

(with apologies to Bob Dylan and the multitudes even he failed)

Dave Kingsbury

 

Arts Wars

When I began A Nomad In Cyberspace six months ago, my declared aim was to avoid going over old ground. Then I proceeded to write about my childhood memories, musical nostalgias and firmly-entrenched opinions. Ha, so much for mission statements! Memoirs Of An Old Codger, you might think, though you’re much too polite to say it to my face.

Well, go ahead. I’m a grown-up. I can take it.

More than that, I need it. Any writer worth his salt must have something to offer the present. The young Arthur Rimbaud, who seemed to pack a lifetime’s experience into his brief career as a poet, put this as well as anyone.

It’s necessary to be absolutely modern.

No hymns: hold the yard gained. Harsh night! The dried blood smokes on my face, and I’ve nothing at my back but that horrible stunted tree.

I take ‘modern’ to mean ‘future-proof’ as well as ‘of the moment’ because Rimbaud’s writing never seems dated. His words above wouldn’t have been out of place in Sam Beckett’s existentialist play Waiting For Godot, almost eighty years later.

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Trying to develop as a writer in your sixties, it’s easy to feel daunted by young writers like Rimbaud and John Keats who were done and dusted before they were a third your age. But the precocious perception of the 24 year-old Keats can give an old-timer hope.

The common cognomen of this world among the misguided and superstitious is ‘a vale of tears’ from which we are to be redeemed by a certain arbitrary interposition of God and taken to Heaven – What a little circumscribed straightened notion! Call the world if you Please “The vale of Soul-making” … Soul as distinguished from an Intelligence – There may be intelligences or sparks of the divinity in millions – but they are not Souls till they acquire identities, till each one is personally itself.

As a humanist, I can find little to argue with here – his philosophy seems closer to Buddhism than to conventional Christianity. As a teacher, I welcome his rejection of passive fatalism in favour of an active existentialism and feel that this wise young man still holds out a generous hand to other young people struggling to find a foothold – nil desperandum, he seems to say, just hang on in there because things can only get better. And as one who has somehow made it through, I can only confirm the beautiful truth – and truthful beauty – of his prescient insight. Everyone deserves to discover that ripeness is all.

But the young teach the old as much as they learn from them. When your own future is ‘circumscribed’, to echo Keats, hope comes from the future of others. And as a would-be writer I want to communicate with everyone, not just the old and nostalgic. I must live in the present, in the harsh light of day rather than the rosy glow of evening.

To stretch the metaphor – only in the here and now, together, can we bear to face the black night to come. Your energy becomes mine. I was young, as you will be old. Je est un autre, said Rimbaud, I is another. Perhaps we are become a single being in cyberspace? Could this be the starship Paul Kantner said we should hijack? Mankind gone from the cage, he sang when the internet was still just a hippie dream, all the years gone from your age. Only connect …

Alas, the fragile web of language comes apart so easily. These days, I need to hear the snap and crack of a scourge. And spurred on by guilt at the mighty mess my generation has left yours to clear up – our old freedom cry of Do your own thing long since hijacked to justify the selfish individualism that rampages across the planet like a bull in a china shop – yes, spurred on by morality and creaky metaphor, I might yet do something. Think Lucky driven ever onward by the whip of a greedy Pozzo

Waiting-for-Godot-Play-Pa-001

Lucky I might be – luckier than Lucky, for sure – but the mess isn’t all my fault. I never voted for those bastards …

In downbeat moments, I do wonder whether my moment has passed. A one-act play competition at the local theatre galvanised me into finishing one of my dribbling dialogues as I drolly dub them. The winner was a brilliant young poet called Toby Campion.

If this floats your boat, you can view another of his performance monologues by hitting the Sob Story link on my menu cloud.

Yeah yeah, Sob Story. The title is two months old. My sobs are subsided. Now I can take it. I’m grown up. And it doesn’t hurt – would I lie to you? – when a feller loses to a younger, more vigorous competitor …

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The beautiful truth, of course, is that all competitors share in the genuine victory of the better man. Here is a young talent with striking maturity, a unique voice that combines celebration with a call to arms and the bravery to speak up for a town and even a whole region. My private victory was in finishing a play for the first time.

Unless you count the script for a horror film I wrote as a kid. Bored on holiday and fed up with the feeble fright-factory that was Hammer Horror, I resolved to come up with something really scary. With my brother and sister and a couple of other kids in the cast, we performed it to an audience of parents. The details have gone – perhaps blotted out to spare my own psyche – but the upshot was that they confiscated my pens for the whole fortnight.

This time round, my only regret is not making the shortlist which would have earned me some official feedback. With that in mind, I’m publishing my one-act play online. If you have an hour or so to spare, you are welcome to take a look. Click on Beyond The Gilded Cage and a Word document should load after a few moments. I really would appreciate any opinions, the more candid the better. It is necessary to be absolutely modern. And as Keats almost said, No pain, no gain …