Blogging

As I continue to blog, I am also continuing to learn about blogging.

When I took on the NaBlomo 30 day challenge, I decided that I would pick an experience, a thought, a book, a person each day and have a chat.

Westendgal sent me this article by Rebecca Blood.”Weblogs: A History and Perspective”, Rebecca’s Pocket. to read and it talks exactly about how I approach blogging.

“Lacking a focus on the outside world, the blogger is compelled to share his world with whomever is reading. He may engage other bloggers in conversation about the interests they share. He may reflect on a book he is reading, or the behaviour of someone on the bus. He might describe a flower that he saw growing between the cracks of a sidewalk on his way to work……………….”

Yes this is exactly what I do. I have been studying the Ready, Steady, blog course via Secret bloggers business. The first thing that is taught is know your audience.  I REALLY struggled with this. I just wanted people to enjoy my writing, to want to read about my experiences or opinions. I have continued to write about my daily experiences, thoughts etc.  I have seen a small amount of growth on the blog, Facebook and Instagram.  I am sure if I would have chosen a very small niche I may have seen a higher growth. Seriously I look at some fashion and lifestyle blogs who have thousands and thousands of followers and wonder how. At the moment I am happy to grow organically.

In the unit that I studied at the end of last year, it concentrated heavily on participatory culture. Rebecca also mentions this in her article. “Media is a corporate possession…You cannot participate in the media. Bringing that into the foreground is the first step. The second step is to define the difference between public and audience. An audience is passive; a public is participatory. We need a definition of media that is public in its orientation.” She talks about how editors of blogs can find links, articles and content in little-known corners of the internet and bring them to light. This blog content is usually accompanied by the editors own content and opinion. This is fabulous. This is one reason that I enjoying blogging and reading blogs. Little known unexpected news stories, differing opinions, independent articles and alternative views are reaching audiences. These probably would have been passed over by main stream news groups, now see the light of day and reaching an audience is exciting. Bloggers and audiences seeking out independent stories is how the public contributes to the media in a participatory way. Because blogs are free and the blog creator or editor can speak freely on their own site, they can argue, raise controversial questions, dive deeper into main stream stories. This not only benefits the reader but also the blogger. One quote from Rebecca that I want to share:

Each kind of weblog empowers individuals on many levels.

Rebecca reflects on her production of posts “First, I discovered my own interests. I thought I knew what I was interested in………… More importantly, I began to value more highly my own point of view.”

This rang true for me. As I said when I started this blog I was just writing my experiences from each day. I am now finding the more I write the more I want to write about. I am also discovering and starting to value my own point of view. (Weird hey for a 36 year old chick.)

One last thought from Rebecca Blood

“We are being pummeled by a deluge of data and unless we create time and spaces in which to reflect, we will be left with only our reactions.”

The tattoo no one knew about.

30th November my last day of 30 days of blogging.

I really didn’t have faith in myself on 1st November that I would actually make the 30 days. I am so glad that I did though, it has been a fun but confronting and scary challenge for me. I have found it incredibly nerve wracking to post my writing on a public page and let others read it. I have had hundreds of likes on my page and I have gained 44 followers in one month of writing. I have had fun learning about blogging, I have read some really fabulous posts from other bloggers in the challenge, and I have revealed little bits about me On my last day of daily blogging, (maybe, I haven’t really decided if I will continue to blog daily, weekly, monthly or ever again) I thought I would tell a little, very personal story about me.

My poor heart is pounding out of my chest and my fingers are shaking and I keep missing the keys while I am writing this. There is maybe a handful of people that know about this and really only one other person that knows most of the story and I wasn’t going to tell anyone else until it was finished, but this seems like a good time and place.

Just over 1 year ago, I made contact with a lady and asked her to help me with something that she specialises in, we talked and communicated with each other for a few weeks mostly on Facebook. She set up everything that was needed and I went and spent 4 hours with her one afternoon. I hadn’t even told my husband about this appointment. He called me just to say hi and have a chat on the morning of my appointment and he knew straight away that something was going on with me. He was flying in the next day and me in my stupidity thought I would talk to him then. That didn’t happen and in my nervous chatter told him what was happening that day, he was shocked speechless and told me about one thousand times to text him or call him to let him know what was happening.

For me it was a surreal experience, I walked into where I had to meet the lady, I wasn’t nervous, or scared, and I had this weird calmness about me.

She got me all set up and I was lying face up on a massage table, staring at the ceiling that needed painting and a fan that needed cleaning. Just as I was starting to get a bit nervous, my phone beeped with a text, it was a girlfriend that I had called and asked her to meet me here in my freak out as I drove to the appointment. She was texting to say that she couldn’t make it – I was actually glad and was relieved to be doing this on my own. I felt incredibly rude texting while lying on the table and apologised to the lady, she laughed told me to do what I want, listen to music, text, call people whatever.

There is no way in the world that I could have talked, texted or listened to music, while this lady scratched away at my skin with her tattoo gun. YES. That is right I have a big ol’ tattoo across my left side. A big one. I thought long and hard and there was A LOT of Pinterest pictures involved in how I wanted it to look. It is the birth flowers of my husband, my two sons, my mum and my dad, I have 3 butterflies that represent me and my two sisters, I have a hidden tea cup (representing my friends), a stack of books (I love books, learning and a good story), and lady doing a tree pose in yoga (I love yoga) (kinda where’s wally style, you have to stare at the tattoo to find them).

 

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Let me tell you about the place I went to and the experience of getting a tatt.

The lady that did it was a kind, gentle and truly lovely lady, with great skill. She was COVERED head to toe in tatts (she really was, she had them on her face and she told me the first one she ever got was when she was 15 and it is on her bum). When I walked into this place, I nearly laughed out loud at the absurdity of me being in a place that was quiet obviously a biker tatt shop, seriously, the dude on the front counter had about 3 phones that he was using and only one of them looked legit, I am positive the rest were throw a ways. He was polite enough offered me a drink, seat, a smoke. (I mean it was hilarious, me the straighty one eighty school mum, that has never tried a cigarette, only drinks occasionally, has had the same guy since I was 18, and gets stressed if we don’t eat dinner by 6pm).

There was me in the shop, the same time I was getting prepped to get my HUGE tattoo, there was a football player on the table next to me getting a deer head tattooed on his foot. (This guy must have been a front rower because he was HUGE, and he yelled and cried out for the tattoo dude to stop every 5 minutes. He was there nearly as long as I was. At one point the tattoo dude, stopped what he was doing pointed at me with his tattoo gun, in my trance like state, staring at the ceiling and said “look at this petite, little, tiny, chick she hasn’t fuckin moved or stopped once, and you, you big brute are being a baby, man the fuck up.) There also seemed to be a constant stream of walk-ins, at one stage there was two eighteen year old girls came into to get best friend tattoos (that seems like bad karma to me).

I found it a bizarre experience, I was on my back most of the time and a one stage I was on my belly for a little while. I apologised profusely to the lady that I hadn’t been chatting to her. I was in the kind of daze where I literally just stared at the ceiling, my feet or glared at the baby footballers head, willing him to shut up. I was there for four hours straight, the scraping and scratching of the gun I found quiet soothing ( I was definitely in one of my darker places, and when I am feeling this way I seem to go a bit numb. This has increased since we have done fifo, I think I go a bit numb with emotions when my husband is away so much, because it is a bit of coping mechanism.) So to actually have no choice but to feel, felt like a release. The buzzing and vibrating over the bottom section of my ribs made me want to vomit and towards the end when she was shading and going over and over the same spot, I felt like I had really bad sunburn and someone was scratching the needles directly onto the burn. Just before she finished, the baby footballer limped passed me, gave me a high five and told me I was one tough chick. When she did finish, I felt high and quiet alert and my nerves seemed to be heightened, I could see how people get addicted to the feeling.

After I got the tat, I expected to have a feeling of wanting to show it off to everyone. But in fact I have almost guarded it and protected it and kept it very private. There is only a few people know that I have got it and that includes my husband and children. It is not finished yet, I still have to get the colour done, and I expect that it will be even more special to me when that is done.

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Merry Christmas

20151128_200641.jpgSaturday 28th November.

Merry Christmas, yes today my side of the family celebrated Christmas. We won’t all be together for the 25th December 2015, and this weekend was the only weekend that we were all going to be in the same vicinity, (except my sister who had to drive 6hrs to be with us).

Everyone knows of the pressure around Christmas with families and everyone coming together for one day that is supposed to be this perfect day of family time filled with family, food, and presents. There is usually the family member that can’t make it or is late ( which annoys everyone cause then lunch is late) or the family that has that one drunk auntie or uncle that decides that Jesus birthday is the perfect day to drink too much alcohol and tell the rest of the family what they think of them, or the family that has the bratty kids and the kids don’t eat duck or trifle or are far too interested in their new screen of some sort so they stay with their head buried in the device for the day. Today for our family there was no expectation, none of the usual Christmas hype and pressure of a magical day, full of perfect family moments that then fall short of what you aspired to for the day.

But I feel that is what we had, a magical time full of perfect family moments. Can I say that everyone should celebrate Jesus birthday whenever the hell they want. We had a dinner full of laughter, cuddles with babies, kids laughing and playing, cricket on the tv, amazing conversation and catching up with everyone, learning family stories and who we have come from including my Grandma telling the story of how her and my Papa meet, scrumptious Christmas food, champagne, lots of family, decorating the tree. This was the very best version of Christmas.