Complete Disclosure – Friday Fictioneers

Fish stink pervaded our walk on the pier. After our ice cream cones, we aired our secrets.

Katie had shared juicy morsels; first kiss, first lay, first fire, even though she told everyone she quit. My news dimmed in comparison, worthy of my mother’s Sunday knit club.

Today her expression was of such anguish, I feared she’d murdered someone.

“Is it true you are the ‘Mandi’s Secrets of the Pier’ blog?” she said.

I froze. I had been discreet, changed names.

“It’s a popular blog,” I cried.

“Remove it!”

My dream of a bestseller dissolved, carried away by sea salts.

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Genre: Fiction/Humor (100 words)

Photo copyright: The Reclining Gentleman

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A special thanks to Rochelle Wisoff-Fields, who has reached a new milestone with Friday Fictioneers, marking her second anniversary as our fearless leader. Thank you, truly. I am so grateful for her time and energy. Thank you to TRG for this week’s photo.

Click here for more stories from the talented Fictioneers.

So Long, Bumble Files

That’s right. I’m ditching The Bumble Files. It’s been sweet, it’s been a fun ride, but alas, it’s time. Don’t worry, I’ll still be here. I may be a little sad when I put The Bumble Files to rest, sniffle, sniffle…shedding a tear…okay, I’m done. Sigh.

Seriously, I will be unveiling a new blog with a new name. I’ve evolved, blogging friends, and I’m simply ready for a change. I hope that I don’t lose you in the transition, and that you will stick with me. After all, this blog is nothing without you guys.

I probably will be a bit afraid to click the button to make the big switch over. It seems too easy to click a button and for everything to simply turn out all right. That could be one reason for my delay, that, and the fact that WordPress continues to introduce new themes. Every time I settle on one, oh look, here’s another one to look at. Did you know that WordPress has more than 300 themes? Friends, I think I’ve looked at every single one, much the same way that I go clothes shopping, feeling the urge to touch each item. No, I’m kidding. Sort of. Each one has its good qualities, but the truth is you can do anything if it’s customizable, which, of course, they all are. Oh, just more decisions! That’s all that is.

I want to personally thank a few friends for their help, for listening and answering my silly questions, and for putting up with my wishy-washiness: Mari, Carrie, AdamVanessa, and Jackie. Really, a big thank you! I’m truly grateful for your time.

And so, I’m electing the turtle to help me with my send off. Did you know that the turtle is not too far behind the puppies and the kitties when it comes to Internet fame and celebrity. According to WordPress News, in the month of January alone, there were 9,195 posts with dogs, 6,111 posts with cats, and listen to this…wait for it, wait for it…192 posts with turtles! They could very well be the new “Internet darling.” He has four stubby legs and a shell on his back. How can you not root for the turtle? Let’s hear it for the turtle.

Critically_Endangered_Hawksbill_Sea_Turtle_600
Critically Endangered Hawksbill Sea Turtle. Photo credit: http://www.seaturtle-world.com.

How does the saying go? Steady wins the race. Plus, many turtles are excellent swimmers.

So, me and the turtle will see you on the other side with a new blog. This is your last chance to call me Bumble. Get it out your system now! Really, I won’t care if you still want to call me Bumble.

Thank you for all the support and the great times. You are the best!

If for some reason I do lose you, I will find you! This week, hopefully, I will have my new blog together! Until then, signing off for the last time as The Bumble Files. Mwah!

Much love,
Amy
xoxo

My Blogging One-Year Anniversary

Look at that, blogging friends. It’s my One-Year Blogging Anniversary!!

The truth is I’m surprised it’s a year already, because I thought my anniversary was next month. Way to go, huh, not knowing when my own anniversary is. This really caught me off guard and I’m afraid I don’t have anything for you to eat or drink, no fanfare, no hoopla or giveaways.

I feel like I should do something monumental…change my theme, my gravatar…something. I know some housekeeping is in order.

I suppose you’d like some stats and numbers, only because it is a benchmark and seems like the thing to do at a time like this. Here’s what I got, plus other things for which I am proud:

This is post #161
761 followers
20,275 views
Freshly Pressed about some big balloons.
Black Box Warnings Contributor. I’m really proud about that.
NaNoWriMo Winner of 50,000 words (I haven’t picked up that novel since!)
Friday Fictioneers – It’s still quite the challenge and is such a giving community of writers.
Hooray to my most frequent commenters: Carrie, David, Frank, Dianne, Denise and Robert. Thank you!

My blog has evolved. If I just think about my attitude about blogging when I began, it went something like this. Blog? No way…I’m not touching it! It sounds disgusting. I’m NOT doing that. That sounds like a complete waste of time.

What is a blog?  - I don't know, Princess, but is sounds absolutely horrid!
What is a blog?
– I don’t know, Princess, but is sounds absolutely horrid!

Now look at me. Now I’m called “Miss Blogalot” in my household, and am quite fond of the title. I still remember when I published my first post and I awaited in anxious anticipation whether someone would read it. And then I got two likes from Sam and The Background Story, and later my first follower, Jason Alan. You could never know how much that meant to me at the time and I want to say thank you. My first post was about a fall in a ballet performance, meant to be humorous and an opportunity to laugh at myself.

At the time, I thought my blog would be based on my follies, my mistakes, my falls. I certainly could fill up a whole blog about this! As it turns out, I have, indeed, written about my mistakes, but also about my self-discoveries. It is my audience, you, who have given me the courage to share my stories with honesty.

I still await with anticipation and wonder how a post will be perceived, what you will say, or if you will like it. I don’t take you for granted. I appreciate all your comments, the stories you’ve shared, and your presence. Our exchange has been both rich and satisfying for me. Thank you your support, your encouraging words, and your kindness.

The big story is you, blogging friends. I adore my community here at The Bumble Files. Reading your blogs and sharing in your stories is the other side of the equation that completes my blogging experience. I’m always surprised by the blog’s power to suck me in. It’s your blogs that do that for me.

I have laughed, a lot, cried, and been moved in ways that have surprised me. I have read about difficulties, achievements, family, relationships, political and social issues, as well as enjoyed imaginative works of fiction and poetry. I have had the privilege to witness amazing works of art in photography and artistic endeavors. The blog continues to excite me because I never know what may cross my path.

Even though we may have never met face-to-face, I feel a bond, a blogging bond which extends far beyond the sphere. Although it has only been a year, it feels longer somehow. Thank you for sticking around, and a special thank you to those who have been with me from the beginning.

Here’s to another fulfilling blogging year. Cheers!

Message in a Blog

A Message in a Bottle

Some blogs have messages for the masses, which are embraced, shared, and circulated. Campaigns for cancer awareness, mental health, and peace come to mind. Who doesn’t want to be swept up in positive momentum of doing something worthwhile?

Other messages are like cries in the dark, like the suicide note I intercepted. Yes, this did happen to me. Unfortunately, there is not a happy ending to this story. In this case, the virtual realm met reality with tragic results. However, the saga continues. One courageous individual, perhaps, has met his destiny and offers hope and a new life for the two children left behind. This story deserves its own post.

In other cases, we as bloggers may want our messages to stay in our blogs. They may live in the hearts and minds of those who read them, but may not overlap with your functioning, daily life or involve further discussion past the comments section of your blog . You may, incidentally, mention a post to a loved one or a friend, who probably doesn’t have a clue what you’re talking about.

A few of my family members read my blog and occasionally I will have a friend say, “Oh, I read your blog.” Or, he or she might say, “I love your blog.” I love it when I hear that. For the most part, however, I feel that my blog is insulated in the WordPress environment, so while it is public, there’s this feeling of containment, and no intersection with my actual life.

I have come to adore my community of bloggers and, to some extent, may even write knowing you are my audience, hoping you’ll stop by once again. I do not take your visits for granted. I feel assured that if you’re reading my blog it is because it is a choice. You want to be here to listen.

As bloggers, listening is one thing we do well. If we want to share a memory, story, or a song, we can put that in our blog. A problem, a confession, a revelation, why not put that in our blog? Happiness, successes, insecurities, and failures, all of it, you can leave it for your blog. As readers, we’re here, we’re ready, we accept.

If you’ll bear with me, I have a message I want to leave in my blog today. About a month ago, my mom mentioned to me that she was printing hard copies of my blog, nothing I would ever consider doing. Bless her! She had left my printed blog, quite a sizeable stack now, on her countertop before leaving for errands.

My brother happened to be there and asked, “What’s that?”

“It’s Amy’s blog.”

So, when my mom left on errands, he started reading my blog, and when she returned he was still reading my blog. He never knew I had such a thing.

“I can’t put it down,” he told her.

This touched me immeasurably. When I heard this, I was positively glowing inside, and felt acceptance, and maybe a possibility to reconnect. Our family gatherings with so many people are often too chaotic for deep conversation. I’m sure in some family situations where you see your family once or twice a year, you may have a that period of familiarizing yourself with their lives.

Lately, with my brother, we all know it’s not going well. We don’t need to ask, “How are things really?” I have always wanted to take a walk around the block with him to ask, “How we can we make it better? How can we fix things?”

So, I hope he reads this, and that soon we take that walk. I’m here to listen.

P.S. I’m available to write your book. Count me in.

photo credit: Tom Gill. via photopin cc

New Year, New Look, New Decisions

Welcome back, and Happy Valentine’s Day! It’s just that the pinks and reds have already infiltrated the stores. Would it kill them to give us one day? Here it was New Year’s Day and I was still putting away my Christmas decorations. My garland is disintegrating. I think it’s time I invested in some decorations, and this, of course, would be the time to buy them. But do you think I’ll do that. Probably not.

However, I have invested in my blog by finally purchasing a customized theme. See that? I am fully committed to my blogging effort. And just like that, I have a new text editor, too. I’m referring to the place where we draft our posts. Or, maybe I simply failed to press a button these past six months? Or, does everyone’s text editor look different? Is it a little New Year’s gift from WordPress? Or, does the theme you choose determine how your text looks in your editor? Does anyone care?

For me, it’s been an epiphany; I see the light. What were once scrunched, smashed words in my editor are now tall, spacious, and pleasant to the eye. That’s truly worth the thirty bucks right there. Had I known this would happen, I would have done it ages ago. I can see now.

Truth be told, I had wanted to change my blog look about a month in. This means that for about the last five months, every now and then I would explore a new theme. A few times I had even actually changed it on accident. I would panic and immediately want the old back. Really, I could just never decide. Sure, there were a lot of options, but too many choices is not necessarily a good thing for me.

You know those restaurants that have those huge menus with a sampling from twenty different cuisines. I struggle with those places. Once I’m eating what I had ordered, I’m sure something else would have been better. It’s exhausting. This is what it’s like to be a Libra. I’d prefer fewer choices, less decisions to make, fewer possibilities of error.

So, it was with my theme choices. Until, until…I settled on customizing. It meant that I could make a few things happen that before I had only envisioned. I won’t bore you with the ridiculous details.

Now, of course, I have more other choices, more colors, palettes, fonts. I’ll probably tweak things here and there. Feel free to give me your opinion. If the pink, for example, is distracting, I want to hear from you. I can always choose something else with all my gazillion options available to me. If I had it my way, I’d ask someone to do it for me, make it perfect, not because I’m not capable, mind you; it’s that decision-making problem I have. So, I welcome your opinion, and I can take the heat if you don’t approve.

I also plan to have a blogroll of sorts because it’s about time. I was compiling a list, and I realized I love so many blogs. This list, undoubtedly, will be an active list as my blog is a living entity and is constantly evolving. My blog is alive. It’s alive!

My other hope is to return to writing more fiction as this was one of my initial goals that I have steered away from. We shall see. It’s all a process, all a journey, and I thank you, dear readers, for joining me here.

And, the photo in my header…I am in it. Can you spot me?

Blog Reflection #4

My Diary

Every now and then, I have the urge to write about my blogging experience. The spirit moves me, and I can’t even finished getting dressed, and write while half-naked. Does this ever happen to you?

I’m thinking about a comment I made earlier this week. The comment out of context will not make any sense to you. I’ll paraphrase the emotion behind it instead. I thought simply that the blogosphere is not real life. It can’t pay my bills and do practical things like get me a job. I’ll just keep talking like that because maybe I’ll just land one that way. A new approach.

Yet for it being virtual and for not really knowing every aspect of your lives, dear readers, blogging friends, what you say matters to me. Hopefully, what I say matters to you. And, it is, indeed, personal. We share parts of ourselves, deep emotions, experiences, hopes, dreams, failings…all out in the open for all to read and access. But, I’ve become aware that I share a sliver of myself with you, maybe only the part that I want you to see. It’s easy to do. We all can make ourselves into whatever we’d like here.

I’ve come to enjoy the honest posts that reveal something personal about a blogger, maybe a recent discovery or a remembrance of a past experience, things that make me delve deeper into my own personal narrative. What do I reveal, I ask myself? After reading a such a post, I wonder if I could be so bold, or do I need to create another blog? I could anonymous….hey, I may have already created it. I could spout things that might make my readers uncomfortable, write things that are controversial. I could really piss you off, and you wouldn’t even know who it was that was pissing you off. Would the writing lose some of its value then?

Typically, I write on a whim. Possibly, I may have a couple of posts planned that I’d like to write, but then an idea will come in between them and I will write that one instead. That said, I don’t give a lot of consideration for necessarily how I’m presenting myself, of how I’m branding myself. I guess that could be construed by what I’m writing then…but what then, if I’m not paying attention to that. You will decide for yourself if I don’t tell what you what I am. Do I care? Should I care if all I’m doing is wanting to create and share pieces of writing with you?

An anonymous blog full of secrets would be like stumbling on a diary of sorts. What then is the difference? The writer is the only who sees the diary, supposedly. Of course, there’s always fiction. You can write whatever you like then, because even if it is true you can disguise it as fiction. But is it blogging that is the the new fiction, where the stories people tell truthful, but the writer, sometimes anonymous, therefore, possibly fictional? I mean, of course, they’re real people. I’m not losing my mind here.

Do my random thoughts make any sense? Have I at least given you something to ponder this holiday season? This is post #95. It would have made more sense to do some grand reflection for post #100.

I used to keep a diary for as long as I remember. In my first diary, I had very little space to write. I would write things like: Dear Diary, School today. Went swimming. Ate pizza. At the very least, I think this is better than that!

Peace out,

The Bumble Files

P.S. This is not at all the post I was supposed to do today.

photo credit: Insomnia PHT via photopin cc

My Three Genie Wishes for Today

These are my Three Genie Wishes for today. That means they could be different for tomorrow. I’m rubbing my lamp now.

1. I wish that when I hit the pillow, I would fall asleep instantly!

Sleep has been a difficult issue most of my life, not made any easier by having two children. But when I was a kid, I was the devil’s child. You see, I didn’t sleep a wink. I was a parents’ worst nightmare. Now I understand completely.

Look at her sleeping so soundly. Bitch.

My parents, frustrated, tired, and at the end of their rope, consulted with doctors. They doctors wanted to observe me for an entire week at the hospital, so my parents brought me in. My mother tells me it lasted only a couple of days, because she felt horrible leaving me there at the hospital all by myself. I was only two years old, for crying out loud! I believe the house was a lot quieter without me there.

When I returned home, it was back to my dad walking circles around our block, around and around to quiet me down. He was an English professor at a community college and told his students stories about me. In fact, everyday the class started with a story about me. A student would ask, “So what did Amy do this time?” Once he told a story of how, late at night, I busted into all of my siblings’ pre-made for school lunches (that would be 4 of them), and took one bite out of everything! Every sandwich, every Twinkie, etc. My brothers and sisters were not pleased. Yay! That was good work, huh?

Later, one of my dad’s college students turned out to be, lo and behold, my sophomore high school English teacher. When she took roll the first day of class, she paused and said, “Amy, I know all about you.”

Uh oh, I thought, and smiled at her. I recall that class was unusually difficult.

Seeing as sleep is a long-standing issue, I believe I will put item #1 on my permanent Genie Wish List.

Sub-wish 1a)

I’m going to add a sub-category here (You can do this; Genie doesn’t really notice). My wish 1a is to go back to the hospital and see what they did to me. I want answers…maybe that could explain things. You know, lots of things…

2) I wish to clone myself 20 times, no 300 times, so I can read everyone’s blog.

I’m feeling overwhelmed, pleasantly overwhelmed, but kind of crazy overwhelmed. Does anyone else feel this way, or is it just me?

Of course, if I don’t get #1 item accomplished, I can do more of item 2, reading more of my friends’ blogs. But then I feel overwhelmed, and…

3) I wish to finish NaNoWriMo.

Blogging friends, I have only 3,942 words remaining. That’s it!! I am so close.

Only 3,942 more. Let’s do it.

In fact, I could write those words right now, but I’m so distracted….Oh, but I’m tired.

Maybe I should try to get some sleep…

What about you? Do you have Three Genie Wishes for today? I bet you do. What are they?

photo credit: Kevin H. via photopin cc
photo credit: Flооd via photopin cc
photo credit: Maria Reyes-McDavis via photopin cc