So, kids are mostly raised & I've just gone back to work…

Archive for the ‘blogging’


October 02, 2009 By: almostgotit Category: blog comments, blogging, blogs 5 Comments →


How precious to a blogger are her friends and fellow bloggers who actually take a minute every now and then to read what she wrote.  And then leave comments to let her know they did.

First, a warm shout out to my friend at  I Feel Unusual, who is a lovely and funny writer as well as a kind and generous reader-and-comment leaver. 

Erin, aka Lucky Broadway Girl is an actress and sometime-spelunker who lives and blogs(and wears cool costumes!)  in New York City.

Jennifer at Career Search and More has many wise words to share, and has also promised to let me interview her later on this blog — stay tuned!

Life With Dogs and Flooded Lizard Kingdom are two delightful blogs I’ve only recently started reading and they both go well with a cup of coffee and, um, chocolate if you’ve got it.

Go visit these folks today, and tell them Almostgotit sent ya!

Confessions of a Spring-a-holic

April 21, 2009 By: almostgotit Category: Uncategorized, blogging, budget, freelancing, gardening, gardens, humor, parenting 4 Comments →


So I got my check from Blogher yesterday — $29.28 for three months worth of ads, which makes it all worthwhile when those pop-up ones come up and bug the heck out of you, doesn’t it? 

(I’m so sorry.  I forgot to sign in and go do the thing that nixes those kinds of ads…)

Anyway, with all that money to spend, I felt a trip to the nursery was finally justified, so I went to Stanley’s Greenhouses and spent $149.47.

Welcome to my sick little world.

I bet Heather Armstrong never feels bad when *she* goes and spends $150 at one of her Salt Lake City nurseries.  She reportedly makes $40,000 a month on advertising for   Yeah sure, go ahead and click through…  buy her another sagebrush or whatever she can actually grow in Salt Lake City. 

$40K vs. a chance to grow dahlias?  Oh yeah, I’m sure glad *I* didn’t move to Utah. 

Since it was the middle of a weekday when I went to Stanley’s, there weren’t many other people there except retirees and SAHM’s with kids in tow. 

And mostly-unemployed me.  

Most of the time, I’m glad I no longer have kids in tow everywhere I go, as I now can spend all the time I want agonizing over which color of astilbe I want.  But there was one very cute little girl trailing behind as her mother asked around and  hunted in vain for the part of the store that stocked wysteria vines. 

“Mommy,” the little girl called out, growing impatient.  “MOMMY!  So, WHERE’S THAT POSSTERIA?!?”

Right next to the asters, is my bet.

10 blogging essentials

March 11, 2009 By: almostgotit Category: Uncategorized, blogging, building readership, how to blog 9 Comments →

Please do not blog like Almostgotit, because she isn’t very good at following the rules — and that’s the only reason, of course, that she and her blog aren’t totally famous yet. Here are the main rules for a successful blog (for those of my friends who’ve been asking.)

Image: The Mumpsimus Forum

  1. The best way to build a readership is to regularly comment on other people’s blogs. A good place to find blogs related to yours are Technorati and Google Blog. Search for topics you yourself write about, and leave comments on related blogs. Then look at those blogs’ blogrolls to find OTHER related blogs, and leave comments on those blogs, too.
  2. Pick a niche or focus for your blog, and stick to it as well as you can.  OCD is good for bloggers.
  3. Write lots of posts, one per day if you can, and keep them short.
  4. It’s good to be funny.
  5. Rambling self-analysis is boring unless it is also short and funny.
  6. Honor anyone who comments on YOUR blog by leaving comments on their blogs in return.
  7. Honor anyone who comments more than twice on your blog by adding them to your blogroll, which gives them more link juice.
  8. Thank all of your new commenters by sending them an email or at least by responding to their comments with comments of your own.
  9. Respond to your commentors, and keep it friendly. Commenters are your friends. If a comment is really out of line, you can always delete it. If people see that you regularly respond, they are more likely to come back to your blog to see your responses… and are more likely to comment again in the future.
  10. Participate in blog carnivals, memes, and the exchanging of blog awards with other blogs. Anytime you link to other bloggers, you are likely to receive links from them in return.  Adding Twitter or Facebook links to your blog help draw readers, too.

You can break any and all of these rules and be a blogging maverick if you like, but you’ll be the most effective in your maverickness if you understand these rules, first.

Helpful Links:
How to choose a niche topic for your blog
5 Tips to choosing a blog topic
What is a Blogroll? (includes an excellent primer on blogroll etiquette, too)
Memes in blogging (the best definition I’ve found)
10 Best Twitter Tools for Wordpress blogs 
Add a Twitter widget to a Blogger blog
Create your own blog awards (award generator)

Related Posts:
How to add photos to your blog (Part 1)
Using photos on your blog (Part 2)
Copyright and Blogging: a tricky subject
Quick Lesson: Build a feed reader (essential to keeping up with your fellow bloggers)
How to get fabulously rich as a blogger

Blog as I say, not as I do

March 10, 2009 By: almostgotit Category: Uncategorized, blogging 12 Comments →

Good-mannered bloggers should add bloggers who leave comments to their own blogrolls. I am *very behind* in updating my blogroll.

Today, then, I would like to introduce you, in no particular order,  to several blogging friends whom I have just added to my blogroll.

  • Lavenderbay at Voice of the Turtle.  A beautiful Canadian writer, poet, photographer, and all-around creative and thoughtful person, Lavenderbay has become one of my favorite fellow-bloggers.
  • Randy at Wordnut. Randy Parker is an independent advertising copywriter, creative consultant and freelance writer working in Memphis. You can see samples of his professional work at
  • Bill at Sweet William Now. Knoxville’s Bill writes on the process of recovery and renewal.
  • James at  James Viscosi’s Scribblings.  James Viscosi is a California writer in the speculative fiction field, which includes the horror, fantasy, science fiction, crime, and mystery genres. James has another blog already on my blogroll, Dennis’s Diary of Destruction.
  • Mrs. Dirty Boots at A Self Sufficient Life.  British ex-pats Mrs. and Mr. Dirty Boots live on a piece of Spanish mountainside harvesting olives and almonds and trying to provide for themselves for as little as possible. They’re also off-grid with no services which means they rely on solar and wind power, collect rainwater, recycle grey-water, etc., and are a pair of remarkable human beings in general.
  • Goodbear at Cody Bear’s Friends. Goodbear writes about dogs and insects and other interesting stuff, and takes amazing photographs to go with what she writes.
  • Jana at Fiber Art Studio. Jana is a visual artist who works conceptually through fiber, paint and language. She also uses video, photography and the internet to make sketches, document performances and construct personal narratives.
  • Mel at Mental Indigestion. Mel is a blogging bud from Singapore, whom I met at the Iowa summer writer’s conference last year.
  • Erin at Lucky BWay Girl. Erin is an actress in New York who dreams of being in a Broadway show. In the meantime she has had a number of interesting acting gigs, writes wonderful blog posts, and refuses to wear shorts.
  • Cara at Repurposeful. Cara likes to find new uses for everyday things that are a little bit green, a little bit frugal, and 100% useful.
  • Cyn at BAMWriters. Cyn is a best-selling novelist and teaches other people the essentials they need to be published, too. BAMWriters is her latest online resource for writers– check it out! Cyn is also passionate about dog rescue, and will be featured right here in a guest post soon about vocation.
  • Laurie at Punk Rock HR. When she isn’t setting the world on fire with her cynical approach to Corporate America, Laurie Ruettimann is a punk rock Human Resources Professional with over a decade of experience in several large, Fortune 500 organizations.
  • Leah at Five Blondes. Leah is one of five sisters from Ontario (that’s in CANADA, yo!) who have been blogging together for over a decade. Impressive, or what?
  • Kieran at Zen and the Art of Redundancy. Kieren is one of many who have recently lost jobs in the current recession — but it hasn’t stopped him.


November 25, 2008 By: almostgotit Category: Uncategorized, blogging, memes, writing 8 Comments →

Many thanks to James Viscosi , who has just presented Almostgotit with the coveted Superior Scribbler Award.  

This meme comes with Some Meme Rules, however, and here dey is:

1. Each Superior Scribbler must in turn pass The Award on to 5 most-deserving Bloggy Friends. [[feel free to let them know on THEIR blogs, too!]]

2. Each Superior Scribbler must link to the author & the name of the blog from whom he/she has received The Award. [[It's nice to leave a comment on the linking blog, too!!]]

3. Each Superior Scribbler must display The Award on his/her blog, and link to This Post, which explains The Award.

4. Each Blogger who wins The Superior Scribbler Award must visit This Post and add his/her name to the Mr. Linky List. That way, we’ll be able to keep up-to-date on everyone who receives This Prestigious Honor!

5. Each Superior Scribbler must post these rules on his/her blog.

I could link to MANY wonderful blog scribblers, but must limit myself to just these few:

  • Lavenderbay at Voice of the Turtle, whom I’ve only recently discovered and enjoy very much.
  • Quin and Rufus over at Korrektiv, plus their mythical- fellow- bloggers- whom- I- doubt- the- existence- of- very much, because they are funny and good guys plus also they leave comments here sometimes and I like that.
  • Jana over at her TOP SECRET ART BLOG, Fiber Art Studio,  because she totally needs to be outed and keeps almost-outing herself but needs me to help her.
  • Bill at Sweet William Now because he’s a very nice fellow nut-job with a familiar tendency to go on long rants…
  • New blogger Jason at Lambetpath who has some great job-seeking ideas.  Jason is dear to my heart as well because he’s Almostgotit when it comes to blogging, including an “About” page that still makes me giggle (fix it please, Jason!)

What your life is trying to tell you

November 11, 2008 By: almostgotit Category: Uncategorized, blogging, friendship, inspiration, vocation 9 Comments →

I have stolen today’s post title from a blogging friend of mine, Paul Maurice Martin, who has recently published a book.

Paul doesn’t talk much about the tremendous physical barriers he has overcome in pursuing his own vocation.  I don’t mean to dishonor him, either, by bringing it up, but after losing three of my own family members to a rare progressive illness, I know a little about the psychological and spiritual havoc a degenerative disease can wreak upon even the strongest of young men.

While I’m not in the position to comment on the content of Paul’s book, nor even upon the private nature of Paul’s daily struggles, I can certainly comment on the content of his vocational character. 

It is extraordinary, and I want what Paul has.


I spent a lot of this weekend admiring the work and courage of my online friends, actually. 

Emily at The Rocky Road of Love and other Great Recipes is back after a long hiatus, with a mouth-watering recipe for Rosemary Pecans.  I suspect some good holiday recipes are soon to follow, so recommend adding her to your feed reader!

The intrepid James Viscosi has published yet another of his rejection letters, which he always does with admirable good humor.  Finally we learn of his one-time aspiration to write comic books.  No wonder his whacky and wonderful dog blog, Dennis’ Diary of Destruction  has become a breakaway success!

Korrektiv is about to celebrate its 5th year Blogaversary, which is like 105 in regular human years, especially when dealing with all the obnoxious comments Almostgotit tends to lob into the mix there.  Congratulations to Quin and Rufus et al!

Reading Life on a Southern Farm always makes me sigh happily and start sucking my thumb.  The farm’s amazing chicken house is almost done, and we celebrated the unexpected arrival of a calf last Sunday.  His father is Jack the donkey, we’re pretty sure…

I’d never heard of Andrew Baisley before last week.  But last week he sent a message to our entire neighborhood mailing list that read:

Please remove me from your list. I have no idea who any of you people are, what neighborhood you are from or why you keep emailing me. 

Poor Andrew.  Turns out he is Andrew from BROOKLYN, and while he really does hope our neighbor finds her missing dog, he has better things to do than read about it.  Andrew turns out to be a pretty nice guy.  In fact, he’ll be coming to Nashville for business this week, so all of us are giving him a big SHOUT OUT from over here in Knoxville!  

Plus Also?  We’ve found Ranger, too!    


How to (almost) get fabulously rich as a writer

October 13, 2008 By: almostgotit Category: blogging, how to earn money by bloggin, royalty, writing 6 Comments →

We both got paid for writing projects last week!

My husband’s book royalty check: $88.04 (for 12 years of work)

My first BlogHer check: $32.23 (for 3 months of work)

Hmm.  Well, looks like Mr. Almostgotit is *mighty lucky* to have me to support him, what with my writing making so much more per hour than his does. 

Champagne, anyone?

Monday musings, plus also Paul Newman

October 06, 2008 By: almostgotit Category: Joanne Woodward, Newman and Woodward, Paul Newman, Uncategorized, blogging, criticism, handling criticism, humor, korrektiv, writers 5 Comments →

Almostgotit takes a deep breath and plunges into Monday…

How sad I was at the news of Paul Newman’s recent death. Newman’s greatest Hollywood accomplishment, of course, was his 50-year marriage to fellow actor Joanne Woodward. Playboy magazine once asked Newman if he’d ever been tempted to stray. Newman’s swoony response: I have steak at home; why go out for hamburger?

Karen of Working Girl recently posted about a talk she’d given on the two “secrets” to getting published. I found her words about handling criticism particularly brilliant:

Helpful criticisms are ones that, when you hear them, seem familiar to you. You will feel a flash of recognition. Maybe a little voice in the back of your head says, “That’s what I’ve been trying to tell you all along!” Helpful criticisms feel “right.” Helpful criticisms spur you to do more of whatever it is you do, and to do it better.

The political, literary and social commentary on Korrektiv has been particularly fun lately. commentors Quin and Rufus are both part of the Korrektiv team. Bad Catholics, indeed!

Congratulations to blogging buddy James Viscosi who has been very successful with his new blog, the wonderfully funny Dennis’ Diary of Destruction. Nor am I just saying so because James and his dog Dennis (who has been leaving his own comments of late on recently presented me and MY dog, Jerry, with a Gold Paw Award. As I so rarely receive awards of any kind, I’ve since posted the Coveted Gold Paw right here in my own sidebar.

Badly. James is also an IT person who seems to have invented his very own kind of HTML…

DISQUS & CommentLuv

August 20, 2008 By: almostgotit Category: CommentLuv, DISQUS, Uncategorized, blog comments, blogging, blogs, comments, copyright, humor, linking, readership, review, reviews 11 Comments →

Q. What do bloggers want more than anything else?

(1) MONEY!!

(2) FAME!!

(3) SEX!!

 A. NO, no, and no: none of the above, silly people. 

  1. Aint gonna happen — that’s why we need a REAL job, folks;
  2. Dream On
  3. Online sex?? That is (almost) as pitiful as the people who are still Googling my blog to find out “how to sell cocaine.”

If you will all join me back here in the real world, please:

Bloggers want more readers (and more comments,) of course.

One of the best ways to increase reader participation (=comments) is to give readers something juicy in return. 

DISQUS (pronounced “discuss”) is a blog plug-in that encourages readers to leave comments by awarding them with much more exposure of their own.  Readers who comment on DISQUS-enabled blogs can track and archive their own comments all in one place, where they can also edit or even republish them.  Moreover, a reader’s DISQUS profile “follows” him or her from blog to blog, allowing other readers to click through to see his or her other DISQUS blog comments, as well as to his or her own blog or blogs.

CommentLuv is another comment plug-in that has attracted a lot of bloggy attention.  This utility automatically visits each commentor’s feed and embeds a link to the commentor’s latest blog post whenever s/he comments.  This, in turn, attracts readers to a commentor’s own blog while also building upon the latter’s own Technorati blog “authority” and Google-ability.

I’ve not yet had time to adopt either of these plug-ins, but would love to hear from any readers who have.  Have they made a difference on your blog?

Possibly-helpful links:

Multiple Personality Disorder: Very Bad for Blogging

August 15, 2008 By: almostgotit Category: How to sell cocaine, Uncategorized, blogging, cocaine, humor, parenting 4 Comments →

My blog stats are suddenly way down again, and it’s all my son’s fault.  Instead of going to college, he should have moved quietly into our basement and taken a job at Burger King.

Really, if my life would just stand still long enough for me to become properly obsessive-compulsive about something, I would be a great blogger.  But critiquing celebrity hairdos? Blogging entirely about blogging?  Kute Catz?  Forget about it.

What I really should blog about is “how to sell cocaine.”  That’s one of my top Google links these days.   Yep, beats the hell all out of me, too.