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Posts Tagged ‘blogging’

Reading Habits

            “Reading furnishes the mind only with materials of knowledge; it is thinking that makes what we read ours.” – John Locke

I'm currently reading, "We Wanted to be Writers: Life, Love, and Literature at the Iowa Writers' Workshop," -- and loving it. I was fascinated by how many writers also wanted to be artists but chose writing -- which sort of fits me, too. This quick watercolor was part of a sky exercise I did a few years ago.

I’m currently reading, “We Wanted to be Writers: Life, Love, and Literature at the Iowa Writers’ Workshop,” — and loving it. I was fascinated by how many writers also wanted to be artists but chose writing — which sort of fits me, too. This quick watercolor was part of a sky exercise I did a few years ago.

Do Blogs Fit In the Picture?

            When I was young, books were my escape into another world, one far more interesting than the one in which I lived. Since it wasn’t until I was well into my 20s that I knew I wanted to be a writer, I didn’t see books much beyond the fantasy lives they offered me.

I especially loved reading travel books, and it was from them that I started my first bucket list.

Another of my watercolor sky exercises. -- Art by Pat Bean

Another of my watercolor sky exercises. — Art by Pat Bean

Then, as a journalist, books became learning tools that helped take me from a wet-behind-the-ears reporter to star reporter at a small newspaper in just four years. I had dropped out of school at 16, but didn’t let my prospective managing editor know that when he hired me as a darkroom flunky when I was 27.

I then worked doubly hard and wormed my way up to being a reporter (the job I wanted but wasn’t hired for) in just five months. I credit all the reading I did after I dropped out of school as being the magic that propelled me forward in my chosen career, including finally getting me into college without a high school diploma.

But it wasn’t until I retired, and my life was less filled with distractions, that I started looking at books from a writer’s point of view – even though I was a writer. .

I began admiring great metaphors, and was inspired to write better ones. I wondered how one author kept me turning pages, while yet another had me stopped reading before I had read a dozen pages. It added a deeper dimension to my reading, especially when I started reading with a notebook and pen by my side.

The latest additions to my reading habits are blogs. I’ve always loved reading people’s journals – and this is exactly what many personal blogs are, and the ones I’m most likely to read. I’ve made friends with some bloggers, ones who make me feel as if I’m not alone in how I think, and others that make me think about things differently. I feel lucky to have such a cache of reading at my computer fingertips. Life is good!

Blog pick of the day. Check it out.

Blog pick of the day. Check it out.

Bean Pat: I can’t do this until I do that http://tinyurl.com/kfmfnqt This blog was one that reminded me I was not alone.

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Soul Searching

“I hope that in this year to come, you make mistakes. Because if you are making mistakes, then you are making new things, trying new things, learning, living, pushing yourself, changing yourself, changing your world.” – Neil Gaiman

A scene from my past: This pier is located on Chincoteague Island in Virginia, and I sat on it in 2006 and watched birds.  --  Photo by Pat Bean

A scene from my past: This pier is located on Chincoteague Island in Virginia, and I sat on it in 2006 and watched birds. — Photo by Pat Bean

I’ve Become a Non-Wandering Wanderer

I started this blog when I was traveling full-time with my canine companion, Maggie, in a small RV I called Gypsy Lee. I blogged mostly about the places I visited.

Today I live in a small, third-floor walk-up apartment in Tucson that sits in the shadow of the Catalina Mountains. I have a new canine companion, Pepper, a joyful Scottie mix who helped ease my grief when Maggie went to doggie heaven.

The Present: The view looking out over Tucson from my third-floor apartment. -- Photo by Pat Bean

The Present: The view looking out over Tucson from my third-floor apartment. — Photo by Pat Bean

My feet are still itchy for the road, but I’m finding new ways to scratch them by sight-seeing closer to home, traveling via books and photographs, and reflecting more deeply about the places I’ve been and the people I’ve met. The latter is a luxury of time gifted to me for having survived in this world for three-quarters of a century. I love being an old broad.

The things that I still have great passion for include writing, Mother Nature, birds, family, learning new things daily, books, art, travel and helping make this planet a more loving and peaceful world.  And these are the things I will be writing about in my blog in 2015.

I’m looking forward to the journey, and am thankful for readers who will be traveling with me. Life is good.

Bean Pat: Soul Writings http://tinyurl.com/q88ltoz The world would be a better place if everyone lived by these 10 rules.

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            “I love playing. The keyboard is my journal” – Pharrell Williams

            “I think the word ‘blog’ is an ugly word. I just don’t know why people can’t use the word ‘journal.’” — Moby

Should I write about the butterflies I saw at the Desert Botanical Gardens in Phoenix for my blog or my journal? Does it matter. Does anyone care? -- Photo by Pat Bean

Should I write about the butterflies I saw at the Desert Botanical Gardens in Phoenix for my blog or my journal? Does it matter. Does anyone care? — Photo by Pat Bean

What Do You Think?

            I’m reading Dinty Moore’s book, “Crafting the Personal Essay.” It’s good. Really good! I’ve been reading a chapter every morning with my coffee – and taking lots of notes.

Mother Nature's wonders, I believe, are meant to be shared with the world. So I guess that means they belong in a blog and not a private journal. -- Photo by Pat Bean

Mother Nature’s wonders, I believe, are meant to be shared with the world. So I guess that means they belong in a blog and not a private journal. — Photo by Pat Bean

This morning’s session, however, cost me.

Dinty thinks it is important to write things readers might care about and be interested in reading; and I realized that what I had written didn’t sound interesting – even to me. Well, except for the quotes, which I do find thought-provoking.

My first draft of this blog, however, was taking too many words to say simply that. Thankfully, I have learned that the delete key is often the best editor.

As for the difference between blogging and journaling, I’ve come to the conclusion that it’s the audience.  My journal is for my eyes only, and my blog is for the entire world to read. And I hope they do.           

Blog pick of the day.

Blog pick of the day.

Bean Pat Are Blogs the New Journal? http://tinyurl.com/mu6lelo This was my inspiration for today’s blog, but the subject matter is one I have pondered now for over a year.

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Always bear in mind that your own resolution to succeed is more important than any other.” — Abraham Lincoln.

Happy New Year Everyone

I just want to say a big “Thank You” to my readers.  I’ve taken a break from blogging since Christmas as I have been making a big lifestyle change, one that will  be reflected, I’m sure, in the blogs I will post in 2013.

Pepper and I wish everyone a Happy New Year. This is Pepper the day I rescued her. She's a bit bigger today.

Pepper and I wish everyone a Happy New Year. This is Pepper the day I rescued her. She’s a bit bigger today.

Meanwhile, since this is New Year’s Eve, here are my resolutions for this blog in the coming year.Post five times a week. This is part of another resolution to not touch a computer one day a week. The other missing day is to get out in Mother Nature’s realm so I can continue telling you about her wonders.

Tell readers at least once a week about a book I’m enjoying reading.

Finish writing “Travels with Maggie,” so I can go on to a new writing project that I can share with you.

Keep you updated on Pepper, the lively Scottie-mix canine that I’ve lived with for the past eight months who has stolen my heart.

Continue providing a link to another daily blog that I’ve enjoyed,

I also commit to responding to everyone who makes a comment on my blog, and hope that in the coming year I will get to know many of you better.

Thanks to all of you for making this a great blogging year for me. Now here’s what WordPress had to say about Pat Bean’s Blog.

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

4,329 films were submitted to the 2012 Cannes Film Festival. This blog had 48,000 views in 2012. If each view were a film, this blog would power 11 Film Festivals

Click here to see the complete report.

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Hello World – Again

“Stuff your eyes with wonder, live as if you’d drop dead in ten seconds. See the world. It’s more fantastic than any dream made or paid for in factories.” – Ray Bradbury.

Discovering My Voice as a Wondering/Wandering Old Broad 

This is an illustration that Laura Hulka helped me come up with for my Bean’s Pat, my way of paying back all the reader awards my blog has received. What do you think? Is it a go?

This is my 645th blog since I started my WordPress blogging journey with a blog called “Hello World” in November of 2009. I was taking that Gotham travel writing class I mentioned in my last two blogs, and the instructor said I needed to have a blog.

That first year, I blogged about 10 times a month, mostly about the places I had visited as a full-time RV-er.  Then in 2011, WordPress began its post-a-day challenge and I accepted. I’m so glad I did. .

Writing daily has given me the voice that the first draft of my travel book needed, improved both my writing and thinking skills, and garnered me worldwide friends.

At first I tried to disguise that I was an old broad when writing my blog, which was the same thing I did in the first draft of my book, “Travels with Maggie.” Maggie, as many of my readers know, was my canine traveling companion for eight years. She died earlier this year, and now I travel with an energetic, fun-loving Scottie mix named Pepper.

Don’t forget to smell all the flowers and be amazed at all the butterflies you come across. — Photo by Pat Bean

Recently, as I continued blogging and struggling with the rewrite of my travel book, I realized that being an old broad was one of the best things I had going for me. It set me apart from all those young travel writers out there in search of love. It’s not that I have anything against such a search. I certainly did my share of that. But that’s not me today. The person I am today, and which is my voice, is that of a wondering/wandering old broad.  It’s exactly what I do and who I am.

I wonder a lot about things but seldom have answers to the questions. The only advice you’ll ever get from me is to live in the moment and take time to smell as many of life’s flowers as you can.

I wonder if I would have ever recognized my true self without my daily blogging?

Book Report: Good rewriting morning. Travels with Maggie is now up to 35,726 words

Bean’s Pat:  Baroness Trumpington http://tinyurl.com/br6r7p2 Not a blog but a newspaper story about a great old broad I admire. I think society underrates us old pussies, as Agatha Christie called Miss Marple and others of such an age.

 

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