Thanks for Tuesday, and Have a Link!

Thanks to everyone who joined in the self-promotion thread on Tuesday.

I’d intended to do a roundup with a few of the links from the thread today, but we received so many links, and I’ve had such a crazy week, I’ve not had time to really do them justice. There’s tons of good stuff on that thread, so if you’re looking for blogs to read, it’s a great place to start.

Rest assured, I’ll take the time to visit them all and at some point, I’ll do a roundup of some sort. In the meantime, Give Thoughts by Mello-Ello a look. It’s a fabulous blog!

Happy Thursday!

Weekend Coffee Share: In Which My Motivation Fails

If we were having coffee, it would be Sunday afternoon coffee and I would not be as put-together as I usually am. I’d have three days’ worth of stubble on my neck and untrimmed eyebrows. I’d tell you that I had a pretty good week last week, but spent most of my time working the paying job. We also had a good week on the blog, thanks to help from Hannah, Melissa, and Natacha, and to a couple of Reddit shares last weekend from my friend Serins.

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I’d tell you I’d hoped to continue the conversation about Reddit and StumbleUpon we started last Sunday, share some stats, and build on a couple of things I said last week, but that’s just not happening. I spent most of Saturday flat on my back for no particular reason. I’m not sick and my week was taxing, but I don’t feel exhausted. I simply did not get up off the couch until after 3 pm.

I sat down to write a Weekend Coffee Share/Social Media Sunday post yesterday afternoon, and just couldn’t get it to work the way I wanted it to. I ended up cooking dinner for the family instead, and when I was done with that I just puttered about on Facebook and Twitter for awhile and then went to bed.

I woke up today at 8 or 9, but stayed in bed until 12:30. Again, no particular reason. I just didn’t feel like getting up. So I’m sitting here writing a post that should have published at 7 am, and it’s not the one I wanted to publish today.

I’d tell you I’ve known for years that my depression runs in cycles. It’s not entirely unheard-of for me to have a bout of it in the spring and summer. But mostly it hits me in the fall and winter — it’s almost guaranteed. These last couple of years, it hasn’t been so bad, because the summers have been good, I’ve been learning a new job (you do know it takes two years to master a new job, right?), and I’ve had the blogs to keep me occupied.

This year, I had an absolutely horrific summer, so I’ve not had a lot of recharge time. The job is mostly routine now aside from occasional surprises. And I have a feel for the rhythm of the blog now, too, so there’s less to learn and less to gain from obsessively minding the stats and such. So, I am afraid the depression is going to be bad this year, and the fact that I’ve spent so much time lying around this weekend is not the best sign. I’m hoping it just means I’ve been more tired than I care to admit, and needed some downtime.

And I’d tell you, if we were having coffee, that aside from a Wedensday comics post from Diana (YAY, right?), I don’t know what we’re doing on the blog this week. I’m just sitting here thinking about that now. Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays will be easy — all they require are a discussion prompt, a post promoting another blog, and a music video. Monday, I’m not sure about. Possibly the social media thing I’d intended to do today.

I post the social media stuff on Sundays because they do just as well on Sundays as they do during the week, and they get me a post for #SundayBlogShare. They don’t do poorly during the week — it just doesn’t get us anything extra to use a weekday slot for them. So Maybe I’ll just do that and get the blog scheduled through Friday. It’s a rare week that this blog isn’t scheduled five days in advance by 3 or 4 pm on Sunday afternoon.weekendcoffeeshare_2015

If we were having coffee, I’d tell you school starts next week. The week after, my office reopens to the public for nine hours a day, and I’m back to overseeing 15 people who provide tutoring services for 35 to 50 clients a day. I’m into the part of the year where I have to do the pubic speaking and iron out the wrinkles and put out the occasional fire.

It’s a rewarding job and I love it — I never have to wonder if what I’m doing for a living matters because it absolutely does. But it’s hectic and requires me to be on my game at all times. Aside from Labor Day, I don’t get anything like a real breather until things settle down around the first week of October, and I still haven’t really adjusted to the commute.

And I’d say that’s about all I’ve got for today. How’s your weekend going?

You still have time to get into the linkup at Part Time Monster, and don’t forget to share your coffee post with #WeekendCoffeeShare on Twitter.

Weekend Coffee Share: In Which I Transfer My Flag (Again)

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If we were having coffee, I’d tell you it’s odd to be publishing a #WeekendCoffeeShare post here after working so hard to keep the personal-ish stuff off my pop culture blog for most of a year. I think I’ve only posted one truly personal post here since January, and I am not sure how these are going to play.

I’d tell you the Sci-Fi/Star Wars Saturdays aren’t going away — that’s a feature I’m interested in doing consistently, but we aren’t quite there yet. Most weeks, my coffee posts will run on Sundays here, but given that I’m making such big changes with my blogging, I thought it wise to publish this one today and get it into the linkup early.

And I’d tell you it’s good to be back to Sourcerer. You may have noticed that I’ve upped the frequency of my personally-written content here. That’s partly because we have fewer contributors during this part of the year than we do in the spring and early summer. It’s partly because this blog works better when I’m posting and chattering on the threads here, even though most of our contributors draw more readers than I do. You’ll see what i mean by that when I share my stats from the last few months here tomorrow.weekendcoffeeshare_2015

I think of Sourcerer as “the little blog that could.” It should not have worked as well as it has. It started out as a blog where I mostly shared music videos and published incomprehensible posts about my plans and my struggle to understand social media. I’ve come within a hair of pulling the plug and moving on several times. But every time I’ve reached that point, people have stepped up and given me the support I needed to continue.

In January of last year, several offline friends, and people I met through offline friends, helped me put together a short run of everyday blogging and that allowed us to reach the point where I, along with Diana, Jeremy, Will, and a few others, were able to get through the spring and summer while Diana and I did the A to Z Challenge at two other blogs.

David came in at some point to blog music — I don’t remember when. But when we reached the point that Jeremy was almost done with Batman and I was desperate for quality comics posts, David stepped up and jumped right into Marvel. Once that Batman run hit the six-month mark, it became clear that this blog can’t survive long without mid-week comics.

Luther came in for The Walking Dead at just the right moment. At the point he did, I was beginning to feel like maintaining this blog along with everything else I was doing was requiring me to ask too much of David and Diana. Luther’s participation — though we never talked about this — convinced me we were far enough along to go out for contributors. So I did.

SourcererCollageNow, on any given week, you might see posts from any of the bloggers I’ve mentioned already. You also might see Melissa, Hannah, Rose, or Natacha publishing here. We’ve established easy channels of communication so I don’t have to put planning stuff into public posts and ask everyone to read them just to see who’s interested. Nor contact a dozen people privately when I need to talk about the blog. We’ve developed a way of doing collaborative posts that read like three-minute podcasts and we’ve set up an interview feature that has real potential, based on its popularity so far.

This isn’t the whole crew — it’s just the ones I can easily cram into a 30-minute coffee post off the top of my head. Despite the modesty of our success here, this blog is the most promising thing I’ve ever done on the Internet. It’s more important than my personal blog.

I honestly don’t know why most of these other bloggers are so willing to publish here. It’s a genuine puzzle to me. But the level of support and trust I’ve received from other content producers over the last two years is not something I’ve seen many small-time bloggers start out from nothing and achieve. It’s not something I take lightly, and I’m grateful for it every single day.

So I’m analyzing the stats from the summer and putting most of my own content here until I’m able to return completely to form. I’m finishing my Tolkien series at Part Time Monster as soon as I can manage that. I’m carving out some social media time to spend liking and commenting on blogs every single week from here on out. When October rolls around, I’m looking to add two to four new bloggers to the crew for 2016 and do what we’ve done here all over again next year.

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You’ll see these coffee posts here on either Saturdays or Sundays from here on out. Pop culture content always takes priority on Saturday when we have it, so often, this will be a Sunday thing. Sometimes they will be straight-up personal coffee posts; sometimes they’ll read like “From the Instigator-in-Chief” posts; sometimes I’ll roll the Social Media Sundays into them. It depends on how I’m feeling and what I have to talk about on any given week.

Don’t forget to add your coffee share post to the linkup at Part Time Monster, and to share it with #WeekendCoffeeShare on Twitter.

Done.

From the Instigator-In-Chief

I am moving. Have been in the same place for ten years. You know how things accumulate.

I spent Monday and Tuesday packing. Yesterday I loaded a borrowed truck. Then I attempted to drive the truck out of this town. It broke down in a way that can only be solved by a wrecker followed swiftly by a mechanic.

I hit a deep pothole while heavily-loaded. (Trust me. You don’t want to go yanking the steering wheels of heavily-loaded trucks around very much. They might turn over.)

The part that connects the wheel to the axle gave way, is what happened. (It’s called a ball joint). We thought we had a blowout. There was smoke and stuff.

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The truck just stopped. In the middle of what passes for a busy street in this town.

I called a tow truck (and you know that means cash only right?) I had the truck towed to a repair shop I trust (and you know that means you don’t get the vehicle back until you pay in some way, but thank goodness mechanics take post-dated checks from upstanding citizens, right?)

My son-in-law and me directed traffic for an hour-and-a-half while the one person we know who has the towing equipment to handle a fully-loaded one-ton moving truck finished the run he was doing when we called and came to tow our property to a safe place. Police never showed up and we took photos so we can file a pothole claim and get some of the damages reimbursed.

If you are wondering why we didn’t just call the police and file a report, here is why. For a lot of reasons, we do not call the police for something like this. Where I live, we pretty much only call the police if there’s real violence going down and we feel so unsafe we have no other alternative. We know how to direct traffic, and we know how to file claims without police reports.

My property is locked up in the back of a moving truck, sitting in a repair shop right now. I have no bed, no pots and pans, and very little clothing. But I know where the people and things I care about are.

  • The rest of the family is staying with relatives.
  • The MOST TREASURED POSSESSIONS are still in this apartment, watched over by me, and locked up when I am gone to work. I am writing this from a room that is so empty it has an echo. Using an end table as a desk.
  • Elsewise, there’s me, some goldfish, a single firearm which is like an ancestral weapon because it was manufactured in 1939 and gifted to me by my maternal grandfather on the day I was old enough to handle it properly. There’s a late Cold War Era globe. There’s a 24-inch Darth Vader figurine that belongs to a little person.

Never load your possessions into a borrowed truck. But if you do, make sure you don’t put the things you care about in the truck with your possessions. Drive the truck yourself, and don’t more than one of the people you care about along for the ride. A son-in-law that helped you load it and understands the risks is acceptable. Give the rest of them jobs to do, like getting the rest of the vehicles to the new place and vacuuming the floors and hanging clothes in closets.

Because the borrowed truck might break down at an odd moment. You might stand on a busy street and direct traffic with your son-in-law for an hour-and-a-half. And then you might have a conversation on the way home, when that finally happens, about how glad you are it happened on a street instead of a highway.

That truck would have rolled right over if this had happened on a highway, and I am not being dramatic.

Meme by David of Comparative Geeks. And let me just toss in a couple of hashtags, since it’s Thursday and all. #SummerOfSandman #GeekPastiche.

The already-published Tolkien that you only didn’t read because you didn’t see it last year will be back on Thursday next week.  I needed this moment today and I needed it here on Sourcerer.