The Longevity of Words

Today marks my one month blogging anniversary!  I originally wanted to celebrate by taking a break and only posting a favorite poem of mine, but I found myself thinking about the words to the poem too much to simply end my blog there.

LXXXIX

A WORD is dead
When it is said,
Some say.
I say it just
Begins to live
That day.

— Emily Dickinson

What does speaking a word result in, its death or its birth?  I find myself agreeing with Emily Dickinson in that I believe the moment a word is communicated (be it spoken or written down) it is newly ‘born’, not newly “dead”.  Think about it this way: what I choose to write about in my blog – the words I use – “begin to live” through my writing them down.  The contents of my posts are original, their ‘newness’ constituting a birth of sorts into a ‘new’ medium of expression (from my mind to yours).  Once I publish my blog my words no longer belong solely to me, and can be found growing and evolving (and spreading) with every person that reads them.  My words are alive now, and will continue to live on long after I no longer do.

Does Your Blog Have Enough Flair?

I wanted to make a point of showing off the shiny new badge my blog is sporting (look to the right side of the screen on your computer or mobile device (remember to click the view full screen option on the bottom of the page on your phone’s browser if you are viewing in mobile mode)).  The 2012 Posting Badges are now available!  I made a promise to myself to post every day this year: partly to see if I could do it, and partly because I had missed out on that challenge last year and wanted to make up for it.  Are you committed to posting every day or once a week this year?  If so, make sure to let your readers know by placing a badge on your blog page as well.  If you are unsure of how to do this, just follow these few steps:

1. Click on this link and pick out which badge you like the most (be it for daily or weekly posting).  Right-click that image and save it to your computer.  Then access your Dashboard (upper-left hand corner of your screen under your blog’s name), place your cursor above the Media option also located on the left side of your screen, and click Add New.  Click the Select Files button, find the badge image you saved, and click Open.  After the image has uploaded itself, you can then add a title, caption, or description, should you choose to do so.  BEFORE you click Save All Changes, highlight and copy the File URL located underneath the image description.  Then click Save All Changes.

2. Place your cursor over the Appearance option on the left side of the screen and click Widgets.  Within your Available Widgets menu you will see the Image widget.  Drag this widget over to the Sidebar menu on the right hand side of the screen and drop it into an open space.  On the Image widget you will see an upside-down arrow on the far right end – click on it.  Paste the File URL you copied into the spot called Image URL.  There are a few customization options available to you (title, caption, size, etc.) that you can fill in; if you just want the end result to look exactly like the image you saved, leave these spaces black.  Make sure you paste the URL for the Daily Post Blog Site (http://dailypost.wordpress.com) into the Link URL box.  This allows visitors to your blog the opportunity to read up on the 2012 posting challenge from the source and “spread the word” about it.  Click Save to finish.

3. Open your blog’s main page and check out your new badge!

4. Do not forget to tag your posts!  Add the tag postaday to each of your posts to indicate that they were written for this challenge, and add other tags as well to make it easier for viewers to search for and find your blog.

5. Good luck, and happy blogging!

Eleanor Roosevelt Was Here

This is my personal mantra, and can be found continuously repeating itself inside my head whenever I am dealing with those less eager to listen than be heard – and saying whatever comes to mind to make that possible, no matter how thoughtless the content.

No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.

— Eleanor Roosevelt

Where We Find Hope

Birthday Cupcake

Hope – it is the title of this week’s photo challenge, the meaning inherent in its featured image.  For Sara Rosso (the challenge photographer), hope is seeing that spark of life clawing its way out of the gutters, ruled by the determination to both survive and face any obstacle that might prevent its happening.  For me, hope is watching my youngest nephew celebrate his first birthday – remembering him as a crying newborn, watching him now as a happy toddler, and picturing him as he will be when he becomes a young man, capable of wielding the power to change the world around him for the better.  Hope is the new life each year brings us: the assurance that the future is brighter than it appears, and that even out of the darkest places in life something wonderful can occur.  May you never lose sight of yourself, and never lose hope.

Words To Live By

Just a quote today, from one of my most favorite sources:

Great minds discuss ideas; Average minds discuss events; Small minds discuss people.

–Eleanor Roosevelt

An Ode To the App, Run Pee

I am a huge fan of author Janet Evanovich’s Stephanie Plum Number series.  For those who have perhaps never heard of this fantastic author or her books, this particular series is about a young woman who – after losing her job, car, and very nearly her apartment – goes to work for her cousin as a bond enforcement agent to make ends meet.  As an inexperienced bounty hunter, her bumbling efforts may read like a comedy of errors, but her determination sees to it  that in the end she always “gets her man/woman”.  The first book in the series, titled One For the Money, is being released on film in theaters tomorrow, and I am most excited to go see it!  (I can only hope that the producers for this movie have not taken too many liberties with the storyline as others have for other films…yes, M. Night Shyamalan, I’m looking at you.)

Whenever I go to the theater, there are three things I make sure to have with me: a travel mug of sweet tea (I am not paying a small fortune for soda at the concession stand, especially as I am not overly fond of soda), my Run Pee app on my phone, and a bag to keep it all in.  What is Run Pee, you may be wondering?  Made by polyGeek, this application’s purpose is to let moviegoers know the best times during the film to take a bathroom break (usually during scenes that are not as important to the plot and can therefore be missed), and how much time they have to conduct said break so as to not miss the best parts of the film.  As for myself, I use the app to determine whether or not I need to stay after the credits.  It is really nice to know ahead of time whether or not I need to stick around to catch those last few seconds of the movie.  (I hate waiting, only to find that there was nothing worth waiting for.)  To download this application, either click on this link to the android marketplace, or search “run pee” within your phone’s app store.  This app is available for both Android and Apple phones.

I am hoping to go see One For the Money this Saturday.  Until then, I need to dust off my bag, find my travel mug, and make sure my Run Pee app is up to date.  Then it’s on with the show!

The Evils of Spell Check

The ability to write well is a craft that all are encouraged to learn, and few are truly able to master.  As a burgeoning writer, I consider myself to be a mixture of the two: I am able to shape, but not yet capable of reinvention.  I am a word artist, a student of the English language – a wordsmith.  Much like a blacksmith strives to keep their finished products free of blemishes or grain in the metal, I work hard at keeping my published work as error free as possible.  This process of editing that I subject all of my written work to (even my text messages) has strengthened my observation skills, improved my relationship with prose, and, most importantly, fostered a strong hatred of the dreaded spell check.

How many others have allowed spell check to run amok with their work, only to dismay over all of the errors that it did not catch, or the ones it created in its attempt to “fix” your spelling and grammatical errors?  “There” is not “their” is not “they’re” – and “its” can be “it’s”, but only when “it is”.  I have gotten into the habit of turning off the spell check feature on my word processing programs, so irritating do I find its “help”.  Unfortunately, I often find examples of authors depending on spell check to be their wingman – their editor.  For some, this correcting feature is the only thing that separates their raw work from the finished product.  Spell check should not be used only as a formatting crutch, but as a small part of the overall editing process.  When it comes to my own editing, I like to employ the tried and true method of rereading my own work aloud.  It is only when I am satisfied with my finished product that I allow spell check free rein and monitor the suggested changes.  How do you edit your work?  Is spell check your bane or boon?

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