Award 12: Blogger Interview Tag

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The inordinately kind Oscar Alejandro Plascencia of California (pictured) has nominated me for The Blogger Interview tag. This award is a means of getting to know the person behind the blog.

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Getting this nomination from Oscar is thrilling; it’s like Albert Einstein nominating a four year old for the Nobel Prize for Physics for creating a toppling dominoes arrangement. Thank you, kind lovely Oscar. Oscar’s blog, called In So Many Words, is an exploration in metrical writing of love, hope and faith, frequently with a gay theme. At present Oscar is engaged in a dream campaign for “Performer of the Year”, via the entertainment blog known as The Neighborhood in a one-of-a-kind online show called “A Star is Born”. He would undoubtedly appreciate your weekly vote. Please support him!

The rules of The Blogger Interview:
Mention the person who tagged you.
Answer the questions in full.
Tag up to ten bloggers.

The interview questions:

How did you get into blogging?

My partner has a translation business, translating chemistry safety procedures into over eighty languages. (He doesn’t translate them all himself! He’s only got nine languages! He has chemists all over the world doing the translations.) His website is on WordPress. I said I would manage it. What better way to learn how to do something than to do it! I set up my blog on WordPress. But what to write about? I shall write a story a day… I still managed the translation website, but my personal blog provided an interest.

Not long after starting the blog I slipped and broke my ankle (bending down to pat my cat on a slippery path) and got all sort of spiral fractures. Clots formed on the lungs. My limbs swelled like there was no tomorrow. They couldn’t operate. I had to lie on my back with my leg tied to the ceiling. They put pins in my ankle. My heart began to fibrillate. Basically, I was out of action for twelve months.

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But – OH MIRACLE! – at the beginning of all this my blog was Freshly Pressed on WordPress, for this story: It won’t last. I was getting over a thousand emails a day. I answered every one. What else was there to do? Within weeks I had over two thousand followers! Google the phrase “family picnic” and this story was number one: Family picnic.

And then the landlord, eager to return to his dwelling to live, gave me notice to move. I was encased in plaster! I could hardly move, let alone pack and carry boxes. The blog languished while I put things in cartons one hobble at a time. I lost so many friends on the blog. Christmas came and went. I had a Christmas tree but got no presents!! The landlord stole all our firewood and our two cows. We moved.

What advice would you give to a blogger just starting out?

Get yourself totally organized before starting. Work out your theme, chose a style, carefully select very particular pages and categories BEFORE beginning. Stick to them. I have two pages:

  1. About
  2. Home

And four categories:

  1. A Story a Day
  2. A Music Composition a Week
  3. A Poem a Month
  4. Awards.

There’s no good, for example, getting an award and shoving it under “Music” because you don’t know where to put it. I had to start blogging again from scratch, and lost the readers, because apart from the reasons given above it needed reorganizing.

I also find that regularity of posting is helpful. I watch the most wondrous blogs go down the gurgler because the author posts erratically. Likewise for those who post too often. There are poets who post twenty or thirty times a day. After a day you get sick of them. (They’re not actually poets; they’re just people who don’t know how to shut up.)

What would be your dream campaign?

I’m not sure what a campaign is! Does it mean: what is you methodology for getting more followers, more likes, more readers? I don’t think a campaign is necessary. If someone likes your blog they might tell a friend. Gradually over time you gather people who are interested. I’m back to plodding towards around three hundred followers since I started the blog again. I’d imagine it could reach a thousand by the end of the year.

Just be nice – I try to answer every comment. If you want to gather honey, don’t start by kicking over the beehive.

Having said all that, I would like to be Freshly Pressed again on WordPress. It was such a thrill, even though it meant an inordinate amount of work. It’s not so much the gaining of numbers as the exposure and the excitement of the moment!

Do you have a plan for your blog?

Yes. I want to write 1001 stories in 1001 consecutive days!  Why 1001? Because for 1001 nights Scheherazade in the Arabian Nights told stories to stay alive!

When they’re complete, I wish to join them together with some thread – in the manner of Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales, or The Decameron, or the Arabian Nights. These are collections of stories that have a linking plot joining the telling of each story. Once that is done, there’s no way anyone would publish 1001 stories! The book would be 1001 pages fat! So I guess I’ll simply trash them!

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Story-telling in the Decameron

I’m thinking next year, apart from continuing the daily story and the weekly piece of music, of increasing the poetry output from once a month, to once a week. I find the writing of poetry enormously challenging, and really in fact I need a new challenge. The lovely and down-to-earth and enormously gifted Cynthia Jobin is a constant source of both inspiration and challenge.

What do you think about rankings?

Bloomin’ heck! I don’t know what rankings are! I’m starting to feel a bit of an ignorant fool. Many years ago, I wrote a play called A Treatment of Thomas Chatterton’s Manic-Depressive Psychosis to the Accompaniment of Vivaldi. I was a teacher at the time. We performed the play at a High Schools Theatre Festival. At the end of the Festival it was announced that the competition had been won by A Treatment of Thomas Chatterton’s Manic-Depressive Psychosis to the Accompaniment of Vivaldi. We WON! We WON! The trouble was I didn’t even know it was a competition! We took home cups and trophies and shields like you wouldn’t believe.

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Scene from the Chatterton play

So I’m like this with ranking. I don’t actually know what it is!

Nominations:

I’m not nominating everybody I follow. Just a few. It is with great pleasure that I nominate these talented people:

Yvonne of Hello World

Lisa of arlingwords

Susanne of Wuthering Bites

Yinglan of A Simple Life

Poetry by Amit Rahman

Thanks again to Oscar Alejandro Plascencia of In So Many Words for the kindly encouragement.

 

34 thoughts on “Award 12: Blogger Interview Tag

  1. wolfberryknits

    Really interesting bedtime reading Bruce! Congrats, and great to know more about you. 🙂 I love how you manage to balance privacy with candour, and find the humour in darker places. I look forward to your stories every day, and to seeing more of your poetry too! 🙂 ps I totally thought you were joking about the Finnish translation thing! 😀

    Liked by 3 people

    Reply
    1. Bruce Goodman Post author

      Thanks, Bianca. Thanks for reading and following things so astutely! Yes – re the translation thing – I do most of the formatting of the documents before they go for translation. Try rearranging a chemistry paper AFTER it’s been written in Thai script! It’s a home-based business.

      Liked by 1 person

      Reply
  2. Oscar Alejandro Plascencia

    Oh my word! Legged up for twelve months? Well, you’re a regular … Frida! I somehow envisioned you as Daniel Day-Lewis in “My Left Foot” as you answer a thousand emails a day. (Except you’ve got a laptop at the foot of your bed as you type with your left toes.)

    DID YOU SKIN YOUR CAT AS PUNISHMENT???

    Liked by 4 people

    Reply
  3. Cynthia Jobin

    You are so awardable! (And kind and generous with your compliments to others, as well. Thank you.) I like the big toe peeking out of the cast, the carcass on the counter, and the striking scene from the Chatterton play. I especially like your high spirits and enthusiasm….you are a man for all seasons, I think. Oh, and nice legs.

    Liked by 3 people

    Reply
    1. Bruce Goodman Post author

      Thanks, Cynthia. Legs, I find, don’t improve with age! The things I enjoy about Awards is the invitation to be an egotist. 😀 I don’t greatly love them – especially the “nominate others bit” – but I do enjoy the chatter! The Chatterton play was voted by the Christchurch critics as “the production of the year!” – along with another of my plays!! The carcass is of a hare that was eating my vegie garden – it was the size of a small pig!

      Liked by 2 people

      Reply
  4. Yinglan

    Oh my, that looks bad. I’m glad you recovered and back to blogging though. I really enjoyed learning more about the background of your blog and I agree with your answer to the second question. I made the mistake of not doing that before I began and now, if I have reorganize my blog, I have to do it for the 900-some posts I’ve published.
    Thank you for the nomination. I will answer these fun questions as soon as I can. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    Reply
  5. Yvonne

    I stand (well, I’m sitting at this point, but let’s not let details get in the way) in awe of your intelligence, gracious good manners, humour, creativity and sheer gutsiness. And, I agree with Cynthia who is obviously a connoisseur of good legs.

    The little glimpse you have given us of your life has certainly put flesh on this wordsmith who enters our lives each day. Keep up the good work, mate.

    Thank you for mentioning my blog. You’re a hard act to follow!

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
  6. thecontentedcrafter

    It is always so lovely to read a bit more about a blogger who has wormed their way into your heart 🙂 Also most interesting to see I am doing it all wrong – no plan, intermittent posting, anything can turn up and often does, a penchant for giving advice when it hasn’t been asked for – th list just goes on and on 🙂 There are just some bloggers who can’t be helped 🙂 I’m off to do a little bit of Christmas shopping [hopefully] at some quirky stores out of town. Catcha!!

    PS Congratulations – well done and happy days xoxo

    Liked by 4 people

    Reply

Gentle thoughts and expressions of astoundedness are both gratefully accepted.

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