Tag Archives: Freshly Pressed

What a Difference a Year Makes!

One year ago today, I sat down at my computer and began an odyssey into a strange and wondrous place that I knew virtually nothing about: the blogosphere.  Armed with a desire to get back to writing regularly after a three-year hiatus, I sent my thoughts hurtling into cyberspace.  What a positive and enlightening journey it’s been!

The Readers

If people didn’t read my blog, it wouldn’t have a reason to exist…I am so thankful that each of you takes the time from your busy day to come for tea in Hammond River!  I would like to make special mention of my first blogging buddy, Jane at PlaneJaner’s Journey.  Jane’s been with me since the very first day, encouraging me and telling others about me!  I will always be grateful that we found each other, Jane, and am proud to call you my friend!  When I first started, hits on my blog averaged about 35 or 40 hits a day…now I’m getting 125 to 150 a day!  I’m closing in on 25,600 hits, and 4100 comments for the year!  If you’re a “lurker”, don’t be shy…please leave me a comment…I promise to answer it!

The Community

I really had no idea that there were so many crazy talented writers out there when I started this project…smart, thoughtful, funny people who have taught me so much about good writing!  I have blogging buddies on five continents!  I’m sending all you guys a virtual brownie (I hope nobody’s allergic to cyber-sweetness!)…thanks for “getting me”!  In honour of my “blogiversary”, I have added several new people to my blogroll today (see “He Said”, “She Said”, and “They Said”).  Please take the time to check out their blogs: there’s nothing that makes me happier than hooking people up with great writers!  Many of these folks have been Freshly Pressed, and most are the recipients of multiple awards…Mama don’t allow no junk on her blogroll!

Take two...they're small...I made them just for you!

The Posts

If someone were being really nice, they would probably classify my blog as a “cornucopia” of topics.  Truthfully, I write what I feel like writing…several of my readers have commented that they never know what I’m going to write about next!  I like not being “predictable”…that equals “boring” for me!  Some days, I’m a “mommy blogger”, others I’m a “foodie”.  I write about gardening sometimes, and tell stories about the wild animals that share our land.  Other times, I’m an amateur historian, or relate stories of my own childhood.  I rant…a lot!  I talk about music, and books, and our bookstore.  I’ve dabbled in fiction.  I even took an action figure on a tour of our city!  Changing things up is how I like to roll!

Recognition

Herding Cats in Hammond River has been Freshly Pressed twice by the powers that be at WordPress.  Thanks to the folks there for maintaining a quality blog site…there were a few technical issues last night, but they seem to have been resolved!  My fellow bloggers have been very generous about awards: They think my blog is “Bloody Brilliant”, “Versatile”, “Stylish” and “Memetastic”!  Thanks for the love, you guys!

The Family

I couldn’t do my blog without the love and support of my family…thanks for waiting patiently for dinner while I finish a post (or photograph what I cooked), and letting me make fun of you in public!  With you guys around, I’m sure I’ll never run out of things to write about!

Here’s to another year of Herding Cats in Hammond River!  Thank you, everybody!

Hugs,

Wendy

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Filed under blogging, friends, self-discovery

The “There Should Be An Award for That” Awards…Winter Edition…

This past summer, I did a post called The “There Should Be An Award for That” Awards.  Having spent the greater part of the day trolling unsuccessfully for something else to write about, I bring you a Winter Edition of the Awards:

1. The “Most Freshly Pressed” Award.  Winner: My friend, Todd Pack at Todd Pack’s Messy Desk.  On Tuesday, Todd was Freshly Pressed for the 4th time in the mere 8 months he’s been blogging!  He’s an excellent writer, great dad, and an all-around nice guy.  Check out his blog!

Four Times "Freshly Pressed" Man...

2. The “Giggling at Inappropriate Moments” Award.  Winner: Hope.  During my dad’s Christmas concert on Tuesday night, the audience was invited to sing along to three Christmas carols.  Hope found the word “ass” in the lyrics of What Child is This? highly amusing.

3. The “Last Minute” Award.  Winner: Anna.  We leave at 7 a.m. for town every morning.  This morning, she decided at 6:56 a.m. that it would be a good time to look for her bodysuit for cheerleading (they have two basketball games this evening).  We didn’t find it…we did, however, find her French language dictionary that’s been AWOL since school started in September.  Her friend, Celia, will be very happy not to have to share hers any more!

4. The “Worst Stocking Stuffer Ever” Award.  Winner: Vicks VapoRub.  Today, my new blogging acquaintance, Vickie at Jumping in Mud Puddles, talked about things she got in her stocking as a child.  Sure…we all got socks, but how many kids were lucky enough to be the recipients of Vicks and tweezers?  Vickie was also recently Freshly Pressed.

Worst Stocking Stuffer Ever...

    

5. The “Angry Street Musician” Award.  Winner: The kid I saw sitting on the sidewalk in front of the City Market today playing a xylophone as if he were doing a drum solo.  Newsflash:  You are not Phil Collins, and xylophones should not be struck hard enough to bend the keys.  Producing harsh tones is not conducive to filling up your hat with change (unless people pay you to STOP). 

6. The “Clever Pun” Award.  Winner: A customer at my favourite Chinese food place.  Once a week, I buy my lunch…it’s my treat to myself.  I usually go to House of Chan in Brunswick Square and get one of their combo plates.  When I arrived there today, the Lo Mein noodle warmer was empty…there were three more people in front of me who were also waiting for noodles!  I got a kick out of the guy who went around the lineup, ordered fried rice with his chicken balls and dry garlic meatballs, and then proceeded to call his noodle-loving buddy in front of me a “Ricist.”  Eventually, fresh noodles were ready…I enjoyed them with my cashew guy ding and sweet and sour chicken.

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Filed under blogging, family, food, friends, satire

Stale and Wrinkled…

HAMMOND RIVER, NB (CP)  Unidentified sources report that writerwoman61, author of the once award-winning blog, Herding Cats in Hammond River, is not adjusting well to her slide into obscurity.  She spends her days staring aimlessly at the computer screen, tabbing between Facebook, Bejewelled Blitz, and her Hotmail account, hoping in vain for a comment (any comment) on her blog.  She eats honey-roasted peanuts straight from the jar, without using a napkin!  She hasn’t cooked anything more exciting than meatloaf all week, and her garden is sadly neglected.  Her dog isn’t even happy to see her when she comes downstairs in the morning!  Things weren’t always like this.

Only a week ago, writerwoman61 left the bookstore for a much-needed appointment with her hairdresser…her locks were getting long, stringy and gray, and her eyebrows were harbouring small rodents.  Nearly three hours later, she was beautiful presentable again, and arrived home to find that her blog had been featured on the WordPress home page…she had been Freshly Pressed for the second time in four months (despite that unfortunate misunderstanding with WordPress editor, Joy, when writerwoman61 wrongly accused her of spelling a word incorrectly)!  An embarrassing ecstatic happy dance ensued, one which sent all four teenagers shrieking in horror from the room.

By the end of the day, there had been 947 hits on writerwoman61’s blog (a 1200% increase over her usual traffic!).  The next day, there were 631 visits.  Writerwoman61 busied herself responding to the hundreds dozens of comments on her featured blog post, and marvelled at the response to an entry she considered fluffy at best…certainly not her finest work!  She hoped that the visitors took the time to check out some of her other posts while they were there!  She also found some new bloggers whose coattails she could ride blogs she added to her Blogroll.

When she looked at her Dashboard on the 3rd day FP (Freshly Pressed), writerwoman61 became despondent.  It was early July all over again…déjà vu!  She hadn’t put up a new post, and only 42 people had dropped by!  That night, she sat down at the keyboard and churned out a new post…who could resist a post about pets?  The next day, the blog was back at its “normal” traffic level of about 80 hits.  Writerwoman61’s spirits perked up a bit.

When Monday morning dawned, writerwoman61 had a bad case of writer’s block…her stats dropped again.  She spent the day getting groceries and doing laundry.  October 19th was her friend J.T.’s birthday…a post about a guy who’d lived through three bouts with cancer and a heart attack would definitely attract some readers…she was right!  There were 84 hits that day, and 83 the next.

As of 3:15 p.m. AST today, there have only been 40 hits on Herding Cats in Hammond River…writerwoman61 is about as popular as ants at a picnic…can a blog called Hoarding Cats in Hammond River be close behind?

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Filed under blogging, satire

My Fifteen Minutes of Fame Lasted Only Fourteen-and-a-Half…

In the future, everyone will be world-famous for 15 minutes.   Andy Warhol, 1968

Hey…it’s ME…writerwoman61!   Is this thing on?

Last Monday, I was just another one of the 273,000 bloggers whose “words of wisdom” appear on WordPress.com whenever I feel like sharing them…after three months of blogging, I had a small but steady following, garnering about 30 or 40 hits a day.  Some of the readers even commented (favourably) on my pieces…

Everything changed on Tuesday…I suddenly noticed comments coming in from people I wasn’t related to, or who weren’t Facebook friends!  And my stats on my Dashboard were climbing faster than I could keep track of them!

Stats chart from last week, leading up to Tuesday...

Something was up…I suspected that my blog might have been featured on the WordPress.com homepage…I navigated my way there…sure enough, there I was: “Freshly Pressed”!  Imagine my excitement! 

A few hours after discovering my newfound popularity, I got this message in my e-mail:

“Congrats! Your post ( https://writerwoman61.wordpress.com/2010/06/29/music-to-my-ears/ ) has been promoted to Freshly Pressed on WordPress.com. Keep up the good work!
^-^-^-^-^-^

Joy
Editorial Czar

WordPress.com | Automattic
editor@wordpress.com

(no offense, Joy, but you’re an EDITOR!  Shouldn’t you know how to spell “automatic”?).

I was still in shock, but realized that in the blogosphere, being “Freshly Pressed” is something like winning the lottery!  I was honoured to have been “chosen,” (I seriously wondered if my being picked was completely random – perhaps it was) but if I had it to do over again, I would have made sure they featured a more interesting post: truth be told, that one was the result of a “story prompt” that said to write about sounds that I liked.  Not one of my better efforts (I hope people read some other posts while they were here besides that one, but I suspect not!).  Had I known I was going to be showcased, I also probably wouldn’t have chosen a blurry scanned photo for my blog thumbnail!

I spent the rest of the day (and part of the next one) clicking back to my Dashboard every few minutes, marvelling at my ever-increasing number of hits (“They like me…they really like me!”), and answering comments.  I got almost as many comments for that one post as I had on the whole blog for the three months beforehand!  For the most part, people were very kind (although one fellow felt the need to point out that my dog really wasn’t happy to see me when I got home – he was just excited because his meal ticket was back!).  I checked out the commenters’ blogs, and found a few kindred spirits to add to my growing circle of female blogging buddies (I’ve added their links at the right – they’re all talented writers – please wait until you’ve finished reading mine though before clicking!).  I even got a couple of new subscribers out of it.

By Thursday, my popularity was waning, and my slide to oblivion began in earnest…my page on “Freshly Pressed” had been pushed into the background, replaced by new “celebrities.”

The sad aftermath of sudden fame...

At least I still have my looks…

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Filed under blogging, memories