I’m just about ready to move this blog over to a new site. That means I will no longer post here at Love, Laundry, Faith & Family. It should happen early next week (if everything goes according to plan…which it rarely does).
If you are a fellow WordPress user and you’ve clicked “follow” you’re the one I’m most concerned about losing as I transition to the new site. Would you consider subscribing via email?
Here’s a little video farewell, and I look forward to seeing you over yonder at the new site.
This will be brief.
Mostly it will be brief because I don’t know how to talk about what is going on in my family.
That may cause some confusion, because I actually mean “family of origin” but I ain’t that fancy and family’s family. My family by marriage is my family. My siblings and their spouses and my parents are my family. My husband and my children are my family. When something impacts one of them, it impacts us all.
My dad is sick. He was in the hospital for a week. We just brought him back to his house (with my mom) last night.
He has cancer. It is lung cancer. No, he is not a smoker, but if you think it matters or somehow a person who did smoke who develops cancer somehow deserved it, then you’ve never seen someone get sick. You don’t wish this on anyone, unless you’re a real dink.
There are many complicating medical factors that I won’t go into here.
I’ve stepped away from blogging, mostly because I’ve been busy trying to stay out of bed. Everything takes a monumental amount of effort, and I’m not the one who’s sick. I’m just on the sidelines and I find it challenging to keep moving.
As of today I’ve bought one Christmas present.
To blog about this, about this journey or the unfolding (or collapsing) of this could be a good thing.
It could also be getting personal gain from a difficult situation. I’m not talking “make lemonade from lemons” here. I’m talking about ambulance chasing, zero-ing in on that elusive “niche” that writers are supposed to find:
“How’d you become such a popular blogger?”
“I cashed in on the fact that my dad developed lung cancer at 67. It worked out pretty sweet for me. Sucks to be him.”
No thank you.
The thing for me is that writing has always been a way of processing things going on, whether that’s in my head or things around me. There’s that so-called “curse of self-awareness” that even as something is happening we’re aware of it, observing it. So as my dad positions on his shoulders a prayer shawl knitted by some kind people at a church in Colorado, I observe the way it clings to him, stretches and shapes to his body, how the yarn is bumpy and multifaceted with color, how I hope it covers him in prayers and envelops him with God’s peace. And as a person who writes and has been training myself to look for these stamp-sized images, I feel guilty for noticing.
It’s as if by observing, I remove myself from experiencing the situation in real time. And the one thing I can do for my dad is to walk through this with him, in real time, no self-preservation of distance or clinical observation. It is awful. But it is also infused with holy moments when all artifice is stripped away, all distance between presentation and reality is removed and we all are ourselves at our most raw, terrified, vulnerable and helpless. But we are together. And there is beauty in that.
Because of all this, and even though it snuck up on me and I’m not ready for it, it is also Christmas, and because I need to analyze why I would be writing about my life right now, I’m going to step away from blogging for a while. I may check in every so often with a quick hello, but I think it best to put it on hold for now.
Thank you for reading. Thank you for commenting. Thanks for being a really fun part of my days. I like y’all a lot. I hope to be back before too long. Have a wonderful Christmas, New Years, and any other holidays in December and January. Blessings. ~TC Larson
For some time now I’ve been thinking about upgrading this blog. I’ve been reading about the ever important “platform” conversation and “social media presence” necessary for writers. Am I a writer? Well, I write stuff, therefore I am a writer. There are varying degrees of seriousness. I may be on the early side of writer-hood but I’m on that path even if I’m doing at a turtle’s pace. Upon review I realized I’ve been blogging for a good four years now, an eternity in many ways. I definitely didn’t know what I was doing in the beginning, and my concern over privacy and protecting my family has kept me fairly private. In talking with a dear friend today, I was able to process some of the pros and cons of getting a domain name and what one to choose. I’m going to let you eavesdrop on that conversation and others I’ve had about blogging.
1. Picking a name is important.
This seems obvious, but there are a lot of different aspects to choosing a name. Writers are often told their name is their brand. In that sense it is practical to use your own name as a blog address. However, there are times when a blog name conveys what that blog is about. Some people choose to use that same name on other forms of social media, being “that-dog-lady” across various forms. As I think about picking a name…
I’m taking into account the fact that I have small kids and want their identities, and that of my husband, to remain private.
I’m taking into account that I don’t want my expressed opinions to reflect negatively on my family of origin.
I’m thinking about the longevity of the written word and the Internet, in addition to having an online presence and reputation of integrity.
I’m considering the fact that I have used a pen name Nita Holiday in the past. My Twitter account is associated with it, along with TC Larson.
2. Your site should cooperate.
When people try to get to your site, they should be able to do so with minimal trouble. If you use a service that has trouble (we’ve all seen those pages where the link is broken or unavailable) people get easily frustrated. They are also easily distracted. You don’t have much time to engage people on your site. If they have to work at it, you’ll lose them. There are books written by knowledgeable techies about the various hosts, so I won’t bore you with that here, but as I look into switching from a “wordpress.com” name to a simple “.com” I want to use something that will be dependable and offer help to a tech limited person like me.
3. SEO Nonsense and blogging to current trends.
There are strategists who recommend watching what is trending on social media and writing about those topics. That is one approach to blogging. I don’t happen to agree with it. I happen to be a big fan of authenticity. I get it that you can authentically want people to read your blog. I want people to read mine. But I’m not willing to write about things that are unimportant to me or an area in which I have no expertise. Ask me about parenting a toddler, I’ve got opinions and experience to back it up. If it was the Tour de France that was the trending topic, I’d be out of my element, unless we were talking about how to find a really inexpensive hybrid bike (which I’m trying to do right now).
You should write about the things that interest you. That’s what will keep you going. That’s where you’ll find other people who resonate with what you have to say. We all have our little niches. I just saw a picture of a bunny hopping around underneath a high chair, eating what the child had dropped. If you let your bunny hop around loose inside your house, there are other people who do too. You could write about it, and attract a huge following of other bunny-freedom-lovers.
Up to this point, using a wordpress.com template has worked great for me. I’ve been glad to use this service and I’ve come a long way from my first days of blogging. That said, I know I have a lot to learn. There’s a lot to think about before I actually go for the upgrade. And I’d welcome your wisdom in this process. Here are some questions for you:
Do you blog and how did you decide when to buy a more premium package?
How did you come up with your blog’s name?
What are your favorite blogs and why?
And if you’d be so kind, I’d love to get your feedback on the following poll:
I’ve been feeling like I need to post a video blog for quite some time. Here are a couple links you can click to read what I’ve been reading (if you’re interested):
With all that in mind, here’s my very first attempt at a video blog. Go easy on me!http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2013/02/26/quick-tip-add-video/
- Videos Scare Me: My First Vlog (sharadarden.com)