Wednesday, 24 January 2018

Back to School

In Australia, the school year begins in February (or late-late January). I'm not worried about my daughters as they're old hands at this. It feels like they've been going to school their whole lives.

Instead, I'm reminiscing on my eldest daughter's first day at high school.

She got into a excellent specialist school about an hour's train ride away. I think I was more nervous than she was! I went to school in a foreign country where I walked to school every day. And here I was tossing my firstborn onto the public transport system to send her off in the wide, wily world.

She was gonna be doing this every day. Without her momma.

Okay, that first day I went with her. Being the organised creature I was, I immediately spotted any other student with the same uniform she had.... granted, this wasn't until the half-way transfer. Our train was woefully short of her fellow schoolies, but there were plenty of other students going to other schools. (Perth is very much a commuter town, with lots of students going to specialist or private schools well outside their suburb. This pleases my meritocratic soul.)

Yes, my baby had to make a transfer from one train to the other. By herself. Every day.

Except for today, as I was going with her. Fortunately, the train we hopped to was the school special. It serviced four schools along its route, dropping off the Apples, the Mellies and so on, as they came to their schools.

This bus was crammed with plenty of students for my daughter's school, along with their parents doing the same thing as me.

Best thing to do: network with these other students, as chances are they'd be commuting every day together. Not that I'd have to worry. I learn from a few people that during the commute, the students all watched each other's backs. Also, the trains had extra guards to protect the students as they travelled.

When we got to school, I dropped of my diminutive daughter and asked her if she wanted me to pick her up after school and ride the trains home with her.

"No, I've got this."

And later that day, when I picked her up from the train station, I discovered that she did.

Her Grace is gonna enjoy the First Day of School sendoff, as there's not many of them left.

Wednesday, 10 January 2018

The Annual Guilt Post

Currently I'm in my publisher's chat room where they're discussing blogging. Regularity is one of the desirable qualities of a blog.

Guilt monkey lizard.

I'm so guilty of dropping the ball on that one. I used to be a 3x/week kind of gal, with semi-topics (like Tuesday's Tale and Interview Friday), then I wasn't (and I know why; see below).

When I post regularly (like, for A to Z Challenge or something), I get lots of readers. When I slack off, or ramble about myself, the readership drops.

Second desirable quality: be interesting. I aim for this, but sometimes I'm dull, especially when talking about myself. Rambling on about a topic, like Astronomy, tends to be more interesting to readers. I love doing a limited series on a topic. (I should do more of those. I'm open to topic suggestions.)

Now, while this blog is mostly about a Romance author (me), there is more to me than just Romance books. Besides, others are doing a very good job of single-topic blogging better than I do. I don't know if I could maintain a single topic (like, Romance, or Astronomy), and keep up a frequency without becoming bored, or having it infringe on my production time.

Frequency.  I read blogs that vary from several times a day, to once a week, to a little less often. I have an RSS aggregate that I've subscribed to so I can catch the sporadic posts.  Me, I'd love to be predictably frequent, but my life patterns don't run like that.

I used to be a regular poster, staying somewhat on-topic, then I decided to do a Blog Challenge that required I blog every day.

That burned me out. Sorry, I simply can't do that. Even when I was bingeing and scheduling, every day was too frequent. I had better things to do like write novels and study stars and make a quilt.

(That said, I've started collecting post ideas for my next A to Z Challenge. If I take my time putting something together, I can auto-load it all and avoid burnout.)

What is the purpose of your blog?  When I trawl through the A to Z Challenge roll call, I find lots of really dull blogs. Why are they dull? Sometimes it's the subject, other times it's that the blogger can't make it interesting. The dullest ones are those where people are talking about themselves in a self-focused kind of way. The me-ME-me-ness would turn off even their mother.

The best blogs are those that post about something that interests them, especially in a way where they lose themselves in the moment of why the topic fascinates them so. (Yes, I'm posting more Astronomy. Yes, I'm going hard-core, but in a friendly sort of way.)

Meanwhile, does this whole post mean I'm going to be blogging more regularly?

Honestly?  I don't know. I can't say for sure until February, when the Australian Holiday Month of January is over, and we all get back to our regular lives.

Things I'm doing that I could blog about:
  • Astronomy (especially during the semester when I'm studying)
  • Writing (but only in a way that's interesting to you)
    • Upcoming projects
    • Writer's life
    • Tuesday's Tales
  • Cat Fostering
  • Gardening/Recipes/etc
  • Audiobooks (from the production side of things)
  • TASE Day (this is always my favourite)

Her Grace is busiest in RL when she's quiet online.