Blogging U 101 – Assignments 16, 17, 18 & 19 Combined

Blogging U 101 – Assignments 16, 17, 18 & 19 Combined

This week I have been a busy girl, I am so far behind in my assignments. On Monday I did my first delivery of bread from Cobbs Bakery to a local charity then enjoyed the first of two days of Lightwalking for the Calgary Operas’ presentation of The Marriage of Figaro.  Did you know they don’t actual sing Figaro, Figaro, Figaro as shown in the Bugs Bunny Cartoons?    Wednesday flew by with household chores, shopping, teaching, and catching up on emails, Twitter, and Facebook.  Thursday was a day of preparation for dinner & the Opera, one of the perks of Lightwalking.  Friday was set aside to complete the final preparations for drum making. The drums were made and hung to dry on Saturday while watching Space Cowboys.

I am combining all the missed assignments into one big post.  I hope it isn’t too huge or boring.

I completed the 16th Assignment “Plug into Social Media” before it was given. During the widget challenge one of the widgets I added to my sidebar was a connection my Twitter feed to WordPress.

The 17th Assignment directed us to add a new page.  I added 2 new pages, one a contact page, not that I am expecting anyone to actually contact me and the second page is a disclaimer page.  I borrowed the idea from Serins at  https://serinssphere.wordpress.com/disclaimer/.  Wahoo!  I have a 3 page blog.

The assignment I had the most difficulty with was the 18th Assignment – Try another blog event.  The purpose to expand our horizons, increase our opportunities for blogging and interact with another community, thereby gathering more friends or readers.

I looked at all the available options.  The photo challenges, the weekly challenges, the one word challenges, the poetry and the cooking events, none of the offerings resonated with me.  After wandering around the dozens of sites for a couple of day, reading the rules and criteria of each, I finally settled on the PBC.

Photo Blog Challenge            http://hoohaablog.com/?page_id=6568

I chose this challenge because it is a monthly event.   On the first of each month the event theme will be posted to which the participants will post 5 photos on their blog representing their interpretation of the theme.   I expect it won’t put too much pressure on me to produce an event post weekly, so it shouldn’t be overwhelmed.  In addition to encouraging me to take pictures of topics other than the mountain ash tree in my garden, I will enjoy interpreting the theme.  I will see how it progresses and what I create.  Here’s to the Photo Blog Challenge!

19th Assignment – Extend your Brand

Brand!  Wow having a Brand makes me feel like a product.   I guess that is what I am a writing product or a product of writing.  I now have a Blavatar.  It is the same photo that I used for my WordPress profile.  I figure if I am supposed to be consistent across the web I should maintain the profile I began with.  Here is the picture, let me know what you think.

I also created a page called Lightwalkers Blog attached to my regular Facebook page.  I tried to connect the two but haven’t seen any evidence that I completed the task correctly.  I will continue to try, but my mind is shutting down where technical tasks are considered.

20th Assignment – Create a Regular Feature

Before I registered for Blogging U 101, I wrote a post called the Meditation Cushion.  I will use this title as part of a regular feature for posts on thoughts, instruction and comments regarding meditation and how it can improve life and relieve stress.  I hope you will like what I post and try some of the suggestions.

21st Assignment – Last Weekend – Review your posts and Make Contact with your New Event Community.

I have enjoyed learning about blogging and especially enjoyed meeting many other bloggers.  I have even surprised myself with some of my new discoveries about myself.   It isn’t as scary as it appears, it is fun. I will visit my fellow Photo  Bloggers Challenge over the next month.

I recommend Blogging U 101 to anyone who is new to Blogging or who is struggling with or avoiding posting.  I have registered for Blogging U 201 and for the Blogging Writing – 201 Poetry sessions.

See you soon.

In love & light

Cheryle

Assignment #15 – Content Loves Design

The most recent assignment is to open up the “Customizer” and play with the design tools.  Well here goes.   I will once again post a old poem,  a Ghazal from  Feb 11/2006, edited March 10/06 and see what happens.  Please keep in mind this is an experiment.  I wouldn’t normally change the colour of each stanza.  It appears that Big Brother has limited customizer capabilities.

OK!  I tried it, it looked hideous so I removed the colours.  So far I haven’t come across anything that I really want enough to change the theme.  I am happy with the way it looks now and I will leave it this way.  No more fiddling around with the design.  OK…. I bow to the popular comments regarding the colours.  Here they are.

Fives Faces of the Muse

.

River flows swift, flashing cerulean hues

Carving channels deep.  Listen for the muse.

 .

Breeze gently whispers her name as the grass

Crowns nod. The capricious leap of the muse.

 .

Graciously Sun shares his benevolent light

where sleepy shadows creep.  Unveil the muse.

Earth embraces life – her arms grown from granite

A safe protective keep. Nourish the muse.

 .

Euterpe steals into my somnolent mind

seeking inspiration as I sleep.  Ah – the Muse.

 .

Cheryle Baker

The Sisterhood of the World Bloggers Award

I want to thank Hannah of Simply Hanes for nominating me for The Sisterhood of World Bloggers Award.  I am so very honoured and grateful for her consideration.   Please pop over to her blog she is a versatile writer with many categories to delight you.    The Sisterhood of World Bloggers Award is given to writers who express the unique female experience.

The Rules for Accepting and Nominating are as follows:

  • Thank the blogger who nominated you and link back to their site.
  • Put the award logo on your blog.
  • Answer the ten questions sent to you.
  • Nominate seven blogs.
  • Make a list of ten questions for your nominees.

My Answers to the Questions:

  1. What is your biggest fear and why?

Being successful, I would then have to accept that I can do anything I set my mind to.

  1. What are you motivated by?

To help.  If I believe I can be of help to someone I am all in 100%

  1. What was the last dream you remember?

It was an apocalypse dream where the captured were forced to tattoo their own hands with hunting knives.  Then the captors cut them off and left the victims to die by being skewered on a fence and hit by fast moving vehicles.  (Sorry… I ate something before bed, I shouldn’t have )

  1. What is your favorite book and why?

The Rhyming Dictionary – it is an invaluable resource

  1. If you could sit down and have a conversation with anyone, dead or alive, who would it be?

Buddhas’ Mother – he ordained her.  It would put to rest the squabble between Monks and Nuns regarding the suitability of Nuns ordaining Nuns.

  1. When you were younger, what did you want to be when you grew up? Do you still have that childhood dream?

At one time I wanted to be a Nun, an Actress, a Writer and a Conservationist (That’s what they were called back then).  Yes I still have those dreams.  Did the actress thing, practice ecological behaviour, I am now blogging and I teach Samatha Meditation based on the Buddhist Thai Forest tradition.

  1. Do you have a bucket list? If so what are the top three items?

a)  I would like to travel in my RV.  b)  Travel on meditation retreat with my Venerable Teacher.  c) Create a multi discipline creative healing retreat.  A large lodge with smaller cottages sequestered in the woods to accommodate, writers, musicians, healers, meditators and artists.  The property is located  in an area of wooded rolling hills and has a river running through it, for swimming and rafting.

  1. If you could boost one of your five senses, which would it be and why?

Improve my ability to listen to my intuition.  Not only hear it but listen to it.

  1. Would you rather die young, or live forever?

Die young, if it meant not coming back.

  1. What is your favorite thing about yourself?

My ability to enjoy being alone.

I nominate the following, in no particular order. 

Allychat’s Blog

Anecdotes from Along Life’s Road

Daily Cup of Wisdom

Iridescent Spirits

Shannon McFadden – Global Grandma

Kate M Colby

Serins Sphere

The 10 Questions.  I chose to ask the same insightful questions that were asked of me.

  1. What is your biggest fear and why?
  2. What are you motivated by?
  3. What was the last dream you remember?
  4. What is your favorite book and why?
  5. If you could sit down and have a conversation with anyone, dead or alive, who would it be?
  6. When you were younger, what did you want to be when you grew up? Do you still have that childhood dream?
  7. Do you have a bucket list? If so what are the top three items?
  8. If you could boost one of your five senses, which would it be and why?
  9. Would you rather die young, or live forever?
  10. What is your favorite thing about yourself?

Keep on Blogging and Enjoy the experience of writing.

The Liebster Award – Discover a New Blog

LIEBSTER AWARD

liebster-award-main

Wow!.  A. aka Mymischiefmanaged of My Lost Lexicon Blog https://mylostlexicon.wordpress.com/  nominated me for the Liebster Award.  Thank you.    Please pop in at take a look at her posts.  She has a welcoming voice and a flair for unique imagery.

The Liebster Award is awarded to new bloggers, those with less than 200 followers.  It is a way to encourage them to keep writing and posting to their blog.  It certainly worked for me.  I am so pumped to keep going, to improve my writing, to conquer the blogging world.  I cannot express how thankful I am to Mymischiefmanaged enough for the nomination.

I feel so encouraged.   I am glad I started Blogging University 101.  Everyone I have met has been very supportive and I am grateful for their comments and kindness.

The Liebster Award Rules for Nominees

  • Thank and link the person who nominated you.
  • Answer the questions given by the nominator.
  • Nominate 11 other bloggers, who have less than 200 followers and link them.
  • Create 11 new questions for the nominees to answer.
  • Notify all nominees via social media/blogs.

Here are my response to Mymischiefmanaged’s Questions

  • Are you a morning person or a night Owl?

I am a night Owl, always have been always will be. I nap in the afternoon in order to get enough sleep.

  • What is the one thing you are incredibly bad at?

I cannot count.  I can administer a million dollar budget, but don’t expect me to go out onto a warehouse floor, count the number of pallets of pop produced that day and give you the correct number.  Even if I count the product four or five times, I will give you a different number every time.  I know it, I accept it and I no longer worry about it.

  • What is your favorite movie soundtrack?

The soundtrack to “The Keep” by Tangerine Dream.  I watch the movie almost yearly, just to listen to the music.

  • Describe yourself in three words.

Spiritual, Round, Creative

  • On a scale of 1-10, how adventurous are you?

Depends on the circumstances.  1-3 when it involves my work, 6-8 if I am out camping or rafting.

  • Where do you live? Do you like it?

I live in Calgary, Alberta – Canada.  I love it.  I’ve lived in many cities in Canada, one in Germany.  I  selected Calgary as my permanent home.

  • What is a piece of advice you would give to your future self?

Learn to listen to your inner voice earlier.  Don’t listen to others when they say you can’t or shouldn’t do something. You can and you should.

  • Are you more of a cat person or a dog person?

I am both.  Each touches my heart and soul in different ways.  The dogs in my life have shared their enthusiasm for everything with me.  The cats have taught me to love gentle solitude and independence.

  • What is your guilty pleasure?

A hot bubble bath in the middle of the afternoon and a good book.

  • What is your favorite color?

Green, the verdant green of the newly opened leaves of the spring.

  • Do you have any advice for me and/or other bloggers who are just starting?

Find a way to write everyday.  Connect with other writers who will encourage and support you.    For me this has meant registering for the Blogging 101 challenge.  I need the discipline and accountability offered by completing the daily assignments.    When all is said and done, I am hoping it will become a habit, one where I will write on my own daily, without the formalized schedule.

I NOMINATE THE FOLLOWING BLOGS

https://hirundine608.wordpress.com/        Needle at Sea Bottom

https://popnowlin.wordpress.com/            The Creek

https://simplyhaynes.wordpress.com/        Simply Haynes

https://eatliveescape.wordpress.com/         ELE

http://beanandbantam.com/                       Bean & Bantam

https://mrsmrobinson2014.wordpress.com/        MyMiaCreations

https://wisdomsquill.wordpress.com/                  Wisdom’s Quill

https://littleredstrings.wordpress.com/               [L]ittle Red Strings

https://blackgirlinsyracuse.wordpress.com/        Hello World

https://everythingpeculiarmaria.wordpress.com/          LiveLaughLove

http://wanderwomanblog.com/                            Wander Woman

MY 11 QUESTIONS

What always makes you laugh?

If you were a colour, what colour would you be?

Where is your favourite place?

How long have you been writing, blogging?

Who do you look up to?

What is your favourite and least favourite personality trait?

What is your most difficult experience?

What is your favourite word and why?

Who would you be if you were a person in history?

What do you look for in a post or a blog?

What has been the best piece of advice you have been given?

Enjoy writing and life with Love and Light

Cheryle

Assignment # 14 – Try Posting a New Style

 DEDICATION OF MERIT BEFORE MEDITATION

Pali Chant – Author Unknown

“May all living beings always live happily

Free from animosity

May all of us share in the blessings

That spring from the good I have done”

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

“Subbe,  satta, sada, hontu

Avera, sukkah jivino

Katung, punyung palung maihung

Sabbe bhaki bhavuntute”

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

Pali Chant  translated to English & Thai   Courtesy of Willpower Institute Canada Meditation Centres

I set my format style to Quotes, but I don’t think it worked.  My preview looks exactly the same as my standard  normal style.

Anyway…   I thought I would share with you the chant I use before I meditate.  The purpose is to help set your mind to generosity and compassion.  It also helps to prepare the mind for meditation.  I believe it is a lovely sentiment encouraging peace and love for everyone.

13th Assignment – Blogging U 101 – Increase Your Commenting Confidence

Sometimes I don’t pay attention.  I think I am but when it comes down to actually doing what I am tasked with I don’t always have all the details retained in my brain.   One of the Blogging U 101 assignments asked that we personalize a prompt.  Seemed easy enough, except I didn’t remember to link my comments to the prompt I chose.  I can’t locate it now that I need it to complete today’s assignment.

I didn’t like the first prompt I came across on the Daily prompt of the day which suggested I take two protagonists from different stories and have them meet.  Characters are not something I have a clue about, I don’t know how to create them, relate to them or even how to make them relate to each other.  So..I skipped this prompt in favour of one I preferred.  Turn, Turn, Turn, explore your favourite and least favourite season.  That was easy.  I’ve already written a poem on my favourite season, spring.  I wrote a post about the season, posted it then proceeded to also post my poem.  Spring has come to my Garden.

Today’s assignments wants me to go back, read posts on the same topic written by other writers and leave a couple of comments.  Since I cannot locate the proper link I  went in search of a post upon which I could leave relevant comment that satisfies  the goal of the assignment:        https://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_assignment/blogging-101-commenting-confidence/

  • Reading others’ takes on a topic you’ve tackled challenges your own thinking (and blogging).
  • It’s easier to enter a conversation when everyone has a shared experience, like responding to the same prompt.

I found a wonderful post by the Golflady reviewing the movie “Unbroken”.  I was lucky to be gifted a free pass to it’s preview in Calgary.  I thoroughly enjoyed the movie and thought it has so much to teach us about how important our attitude toward life is to how we survive and even if we survive. This link will take you to her review.   What We Can Learn from “Unbroken”  by the Golflady  https://jking20.wordpress.com/2015/01/20/what-we-can-learn-from-unbroken/.

With all the technical assignments, reading blogs and writing I am learning to manoeuver around WordPress.  An accomplishment for me.

Assignment 12 – Blogging U 101 – Create a better Blogroll

Assignment 12 – Blogging U 101 – Create a better Blog Roll

This assignment suggests that I share a few links that I love.  I believe I am a little ahead of the assignment as I already added the Blogs I Follow widget to my sidebar.  I was so confident that I had aced this assignment I almost forgot to write the post commenting on it. 

The blogs I follow belong to an interesting, visually stimulating group of wonderfully nice people who offer me insight into things I want to learn, cultivate and who generously share bits of their lives.  The widget places their pictures on the right side of my blog.   I hope visitors to my blog will drop in on their sites, find something appealing and follow them, thereby building up traffic and followers for the blogs I follow.

Assignment #10 – Spruce up Your Sidebar

Well, I completed the 10th assignment.  I read all the posts on widgets then added a few to my sidebar to spruce it up.  It needed sprucing as my blog isn’t very visually stimulating. The changes I made should add some colour and interest to the sidebar.

I changed the shape of the photos in the gallery in hopes that they will appear larger. I also added the Blogs I Follow widget which display photos of the blogs I follow.  I like seeing these friendly faces here.  I imagine anyone who pops in will too.   The text widget welcomes anyone who stops by giving them a quick run down on what I plan to write about. Basically, my interests and my goals.  I hope the changes are an improvement.

Assignments 8 & 9 – Blogging U 101 – Be a Good Neighbour and Be Inspired by your Neighbours

8th Assignment – Blogging U 101 – Be a Good Neighbour               January 13, 2015

9th Assignment – Be Inspired by the Neighbors                     January 14, 2015

I decided to combine the two most recent assignments into one.  By the time I had read the 8th assignment, “be a good neighbour”, I had already completed some of the assignment.  Unfortunately, I did not keep track, so started over and added in my inspiration as I proceeded.

Each of the blogs I commented on intrigued me for very different reasons which I will discuss below.  I look forward to checking in with them on a regular basis to discover more.

1        Under new tag – Metaphysical:    Check out this Link    Expansiveness of Light

https://expansivenssoflight.wordpress.com/2015/01/14/living-in-two-different-worlds

Living in Two Different Worlds

My Comment:  I am glad you have followed your instincts and have started blogging.  I agree, as an empath, it is difficult to separate whose feelings, I am feeling, my own or someone else’s.  I appreciate your honest and open voice and look forward to more posts from the expansiveness of light.  In Love and Light

Discussion:  It eases my mind to know that I am not the only one who has difficulty walking in two different worlds.  One of my goals is to fully renounce the material world of sharks living in suits and walk among the peaceful in the world of love and kindness.  Each time I experience the stillness in meditation I move little closer.  I too am fearful of not having what we need to live in todays’ world, money.  It has been a struggle.  I have never had to struggle for anything.  This is my time for learning how.

2        Under new tag – Poetry   Check out this Link   [L]ittle Red Strings

https://littleredstrings.wordpress.com/2015/01/03/d-epression/

 [ d ] epression

My Comment:  What an accurate depiction of depression.  Quiet, Ferocious and Unrelenting.   It does devour and suck the life out of person.  A lovely poem about a very difficult subject to express.  In Love and Light Cheryle

Discussion:  I enjoyed many of the posts on this blog.  I selected [d]epression as the one on which to make a comment as my way to spread the word, so to speak.    Depression is an elusive illness. The poem touches many of the aspects that are so difficult to convey to someone who has never experienced the darkness it brings.  I found the language to beautifully portray the ugliness of depression and its’ insidious persistence. The more people can learn about this dis-ease the easier it will be for people to let go of the shame that shrouds those sadly suffering silently

3.       Under the Tag:  Life  Check out this Link   Daily Cup of Wisdom  light in the head, glow in the heart and a spark in the soul

http://dailycupofwisdom.com/about/

ABOUT

My Comment:  Hi Mabel:  Excellent Blog.  I like your About page.  You come across as a happy down to earth person, someone who everyone wants as their friend.  Your photos are beautiful as well as serene and your posts are inspirational.  Thank you for blogging.  In Love and Light Cheryle

Discussion:  I found the photography and the sayings to be both beautiful and inspirational, something we all need in our lives.

4        Under Tag – Daily Post   Check out this Link    Needle at Sea Bottom.. a whimsical look back at our world

https://hirundine608.wordpress.com/2015/01/13/blogging-101-keep-personalizing

Blogging 101 – Keep personalizing ….

My Comments:  I enjoy your phrasing, your voice flows very nicely. I also appreciate the images you selected. Thank you for inserting the link to Tom Veiga. I will certainly visit the site. I like reading your blog. Good Job Kind Regards Cheryle

Discussion:     What caught my eye on the “Needle at the Sea Bottom” blog was the visual stimulation hirundine608 offers the readers.  The balance of text and empty space drew me in to read more. It begins with the definition of personalize, laid out exactly as if I was reading a dictionary.  Interesting hook.  In addition to the unusual beginning I found the art work delicious.  I appreciated the link to the artist.

Not only did the beginning of this blog appeal to my desire to learn, the dictionary, it fed my eyes with the colourful images of Tom Viera’s artwork, it continued to stimulate my knowledge button, but providing me with a link to learn about the artist and see more of his work.  What a feast.

A lovely surprise for me, was the comment hirundine608 left on my blog.   A beautiful message that included the words to “Starwalker” a song by Buffy St. Marie with a link to the music video.  Overall this response touched my heart by the personal nature of the words written and sung by Buffy.

My Comments:   Wow!  What an awesome song. It touches me in so many ways, it resonates with who I am, who I want to be and Who I may one day aspire to be. You are so sweet. Thank you for offering it. In Light & Love Cheryle

In conclusion, this exercise certainly demonstrates the importance of connecting with your neighbours.  The resulting conversation can enhance your own writing experience in unexpected ways.

It is also an effective method of overcoming any resistance you may have in making comments or meeting new people.  A small comment left on someone’s blog can encourage them to visit your blog and continue the discussion.  You may also have experience or information that would help other writers improve their writing or help them make a decision they have been wrangling with.

In addition to increasing your community, you can learn new bits and pieces.  This exercise taught me to more effectively use the tool bar on the New post page and to use the side bar on the Reader.  This is where I discovered I can check on which blogs I have commented on and which blogs I have like.  Another tap to my knowledge button.

Assignment #7 – Keep Personalizing

Assignment #7 has been encouraging.  I am becoming more comfortable with the technicalities of blogging.  Even though I was reticent at first to play around with the appearance of my blog, I feel I am slowly progressing and am happy with the end result.  This assignment was to add a header and work with the widgets.

The header was fairly easy.  I uploaded a picture my husband took of me a few years back, when we stopped at an amazing abandoned farmhouse while on our way to Writing On Stone Provincial Park. The roof had caved in, the paint had been worn off by the wind and the trees had grown wild around what had been the farmyard. The memories we made that day linger in my mind reminding me that beauty can be found anywhere, even in the death of a once loved vibrant home.

Widgets are the bits of information added to the sidebar of the page which help readers access what I have to offer. Once I figured out what Widgets are, what they do and where I could find them, I removed a couple of the sections, added a photo gallery, a contact sections and a following button.  Cool!  I filled the gallery with a sampling of photos I’ve taken over the years, of places I’ve been, things I’ve seen and a few of my creative endeavours.

Ultimately I believe I have perked up my blog, giving my readers an opportunity to see me a little more clearly.

I hope you enjoy your visit.  Let me know what you like and what you don’t.