Celebrating 1st Anniversary of TheVillageSmith Blog Monday

I can’t believe it has been almost a year since I started TheVillageSmith. My first post was a book review of “Blood Work” by Michael Connelly on February 18, 2012. It has been fun as well as therapeutic. But readers beware. The BLOG seems to have caught the “tic” in eclectic. My tastes tend to run the gamut from Shakespeare to Stan Lee; African Queen to George of the Jungle, and Phantom of the Opera to American Idol. But in all my writing, whether classic or comic or personal, I want to get my thoughts across to “real” people. Not just academics.

I also love the friends I’ve made along the way, and in the process finding other bloggers worth reading. I have found a “music friend” and blog follower in “MagicDancer” and have thoroughly enjoyed many “strings” of pleasant conversation with her. We look forward to our “Idol talk” together.

I’ve also loved living vicariously through the exciting life of Lesley Carter via Bucket List Publications. She came into TheVillageSmith as an early follower. When I followed her back to her site and found out all the adventures she gets into, I nearly kicked that bucket. I just don’t have the energy. See that picture to the left? That’s as close as I’m going to come to doing what Lesley does. Sure is great reading about it, though. Love her site and sense of adventure. http://lesleycarter.wordpress.com/

The Dad Poet came across my radar a while back when I began posting poetry. Thereafter I became a follower. He recites as well as writes poetry, and posts humorous, thoughtful and interesting views. A part of his working title is David J. Bauman on Fatherhood, Poetry, Nature and Joy. That about sums him up. http://dadpoet.wordpress.com/

I’ve also enjoyed comments from Chandler Swain of Chandler Swain Reviews, a Boston writer and critic (and alarmingly educated). In reading his posts, I’ve learned to look at movies from different angles – different views of reviews, if you will. I’m a follower.

I have become acquainted with history buff and speaker on military history, David Navarre, whose blog WE’RE NOT LOST, SERGEANT, WE’RE IN … FRANCE keeps his readers apprised of military events, stories, and veterans, with special interest in World War II. He calls himself an amateur historian, but he sure has a headful of knowledge and where to find it. It’s a wonderfully colorful layout and design filled with pictures, stories, letters, and events. Yes, I’m a history buff, too, including wars and military, which seem to be about 90 percent of history, anyway. But I’m totally and completely amateur. That’s why there should be a blog called “Ask Dave”.

And speaking of veterans, soon after I began my blog I posted An Old Soldier’s Story and Old Glory, holdovers from my newspaper column days. Somewhere along the way I heard from Tina Shang, founder of 365 Veterans. Tina, along with co-blogger Jennifer Cinnamon, Tennessee natives, write well-developed and well-written posts honoring a veteran a day for each day of the year. They are nationally applauded for their efforts and deservedly so.

From my book review of “Devlin’s Luck”, I received a positive comment from author Patricia Bray, who wrote “The Sword of Change” fantasy trilogy. That was a thrill since I’ve only read that series four times now, my husband about three times, and my sister twice. If you need an escape pod from our Murphy’s Law world, that’s your ticket to ride. And don’t forget what O’Toole said. Murphy was an optimist.     http://pbray.livejournal.com/310468.html

For my post Hell on Wheels – AMC Series Not for the Faint of Heart, AMC gave me a nicely placed link on their Hell On Wheels blog. My link is second on the list right under the Salt Lake Tribune. http://blogs.amctv.com/hell-on-wheels/2012/08/press-roundup-0831.php

My review of the fantasy “Giant Thief” by David Tallerman, garnered me a link by his publishing company, Angry Robot, located in Oxford, England. My “also-ran” link is eight paragraphs down the page under David Tallerman. But, hey, a link is a link. I’m happy. http://angryrobotbooks.com/?p=11563&preview=true

But by far my biggest coup during this past year was when my article from TheVillageSmith, “The Making of A Writer”, was published in Civitan International Magazine. If you’re interested in reading it, hit the link and scroll down to page nine. I was 16 (15?) the year the picture was taken when I won the writing award. http://www.civitan.org/CIMagazine7.12.pdf

Okay. I’m through name-dropping now. So far I haven’t wowed the cyber world with a heady influx of readers, comments, likes, or followers, but I’ve been more than satisfied with the ones I have. I have heard from 94 countries, a few I never knew existed, and a few with comments. I have 8,520 hits and counting and 92 followers. Okay. So it’s not YouTube, but I hope my readership climbs with readers who like to laugh, think, and enjoy.

When I began this blog, it had been a number of years since my days of literary wine and roses. So I had to scour the rust off my writing skills and buff them up a little. Believe me, trying to deliver a package worth reading is no easy job, but I love the challenge, and I love to write. What I hate is navigating the swampy bog of blog mechanics. Just when you think you’ve got it down pat, you lose your bearings and your stuff goes down in a black hole never to be seen again. Shhh. I’ve even heard it gurgling sometimes.

I also hate typos and grammatical errors more than Van Helsing hates vampires. And I search them out just as diligently and drive a cursor right through their evil little hearts. I also believe in the old adage that you have to know the rules of writing before you can break them. And, yes, Dave Navarre, I truly believe in the one space between sentences rather than two.

But for Pete’s sake, you guys. If you like something, hit that button. If you don’t like it, say why not. If you have an opinion – comment. Yes, I’ve lived to the age where I’m supposed to know a lot, but haven’t yet managed to read minds. So give me a piece of yours, why don’t you? I hate to be talking to myself out here. Sheesh.

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6 thoughts on “Celebrating 1st Anniversary of TheVillageSmith Blog Monday

  1. Heh, blogging is addictive, isn’t it? I’ve had my Live Journal for seven years and the time has truly flown.

    Thanks so much for the shout out. I love discussing all things music with you. In fact, you are the reason I have a Word Press account. I was thinking only a few days ago that I don’t recall how I found you. I think it was when you wrote about Il Volo and it was picked up in a Google alert. I receive a Google alert for them every day that gives links to articles and news about them.

    “….I truly believe in the one space between sentences rather than two.”

    Interesting. And I believe in putting question marks outside of quote marks, unless the punctuation is a part of the quote. I think it’s weird to write, have you read “Jane Eyre?” I would write it …..”Jane Eyre”? As you said, you have to know the rules before you can break them. For the most part, I adhere to “The Elements of Style” by Strunk and White.

    Don’t get me started on the increasing misuse of subective and objective pronouns. That is my pet peeve.

    • Yes, we started with Il Volo and you shared so much good information about them and steered me onto lots of other good stuff. I’m so glad to find another finicky English major wannabe – well, me at least. You may be an English major along with music for all I know. For me it’s been a lifelong addiction, and when I got into the newspaper business it became an obsession. I also agree with your stickler for quotes inside of punctuation if it is something like a title, or a quote inside another sentence, such as, . . Zoanette sang silly, prompting Nicki to whine “I love girls who can’t sing and sing silly”. Putting quotation marks OUTSIDE the punctuation makes it look like the whole sentence is included in the quote.

      Of course, less and less people pay any attention whatsoever to the Elements of Style anyway. I know I’m not always correct, but it’s not for lack of trying. My biggest oversight is verbs agreeing with subjects, especially when the juices are flowing. Sometimes a compound subject tricks me. They are tricksy little devils.

      One of my pet peeves is seeing the misuse of “their, there, and they’re”. I know it is an easy mistake if you’re not paying attention. But I’m even finding it in books now. One was written by a famous author who also taught English at a major university, and his oops happened more than once. I can forgive the author, but editors should edit, followed by real live proofreading, not an automated spell checker. Spell checkers hide a multitude of sins they were not designed to catch. Mike helps me check over not only my spelling, but awkward sentence structure. Everyone who is serious about writing should have someone to check behind him/her. Of course, I know the financial constraints of today’s literary output, but 99 percent of what I’m seeing is just sloppy, written by those who could care less if even the content is correct, much less the grammar and spelling.

      Thanks again for your great and fun support throughout this first struggling year. Now tell me more about Live Journal. I’ve looked at stuff you’ve sent, but the cyber origin has gone right over my little head. Apparently, I can’t concentrate on more than half a thought at a time. LOL
      Yours truly,
      English fanatic

      • ” Now tell me more about Live Journal. I’ve looked at stuff you’ve sent, but the cyber origin has gone right over my little head.”

        What exactly do you want to know about Live Journal? And what do you mean by “the cyber origin” going over your head?

  2. How completely delightful to meet you! I am honored that you have been following me. I heard someone back there, but every time I turned around the night street was eerily quiet. 😉 Thanks for leaving the trail of crumbs for me to follow you back here. I’m just starting to delve into your blog and I am enjoying myself. Thank you for the kind review of The Dad Poet. I look forward to getting better acquainted.

  3. Thank you, David. A short while after I started including poetry in my blog you hit me with a “like” and that’s how I found you. I think it may have been when I posted some of my limericks. Thereafter, I really got into that string of limericks on your site. I even asked if you could recite “When the Frost is on the Pumpkin”. I forgot that the Pumpkin/Punkin poem needs a colloquial accent. I have the accent, but try as I might, I do not have that special something that good poetic elocutionists have. Not many people do, though, wincingly I have heard some who thought they did. Boring. Reading a poem badly is like singing a song out of tune. Thank goodness you have the ear and the voice for it. That’s why I follow.

  4. In reply to your question about my question about Live Journal — I’m not familiar with Journal except you have mentioned it several times. It went right over my head that you were talking about a blog site. I suppose you’ve given me links to it, and I’ve read all your links, but give it to me again so I can check it out since I’m senile and afflicted with CRS.

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