Been a Long Time Gone

Sheesh, it’s been over six months since I last blogged. I’m way more mouthy and active over on the Facebook page and Twitter, but the long-form blogging well is dry. That’s a bit embarrassing.

What’s funny is that I have plenty to write about – I always do – it’s more about making the time to write something. And when I blog, I like to write well-crafted copy with references and links where appropriate. When you write for a living – well, I don’t write long-form content for my day job, but I still call myself a writer – there are certain standards you want to uphold. At least I do.

There were a few years when I did the NaBloPoMo challenge, but apparently that rode off into the sunset of the interwebs. It was taken over by BlogHer, which was acquired by SheKnows. They now have something called the BlogHer Writing Lab for getting writing prompts. They want to offer more flexibility, it seems. I don’t need flexibility with my blog posting. I need structure so I get more content on here on the regular.

Bah. No matter. I will look for some other challenges that maybe I can do in December to get this party back in gear.

Je Suis Fatiguée*

After the events of last night and all the news coverage and Internet posts on Ferguson, I am emotionally drained. I ended up watching Sleepless in Seattle for the umpteenth time just to shut off my brain for a couple hours. Doesn’t change the fact that the system sucks, that there is injustice in the world and I’m still unsure what I can do to help make things better.

Yesterday’s post about T-Wizzle and Junior generated a lot of traffic and positive response, for which I say thank you. I am hesitant to go back to writing my usual wackiness after that, but then this blog is about having the moxie to say what is on my mind and not second guessing myself or feeling self-conscious about it. So there will continue to be pop culture commentary in between more thoughtful, vulnerable missives.

In the meantime, let’s all do our best to be kind and patient with each other, and take time out to rest. Lord knows we all need it right now.

*French for “I am tired” or “I am fatigued.”

Site is fixed!

I finally fixed my site today. I still am not completely sure how I figured it out, but it involved using SSH on PuTTY and WP CLI and a bunch of other acronyms I can’t remember. The end result is that my plugins & themes are updated.
I am so relieved & happy.
Now back to laying about and relaxing.

Fixing All the Things – or Trying to, Anyway

Originally my post for today was going to be about my mad love for Moulin Rouge, as I watched it for the umpteenth time last night. Instead I will write about my day of attempted fixes.

First up, the blog. I had to do a manual update of WordPress, which in and of itself wasn’t too difficult, but when you haven’t done something the not-easy-but-not-all-that-hard way for a long time, it takes a while to figure out how to do it without screwing up a bunch of other stuff. I spent a lot of time searching the help forums, emailing back and forth with a friend who knows WordPress well, and fiddling with PHP files. I still cannot get it to create directories so that I can update my plugins, or even switch to a new theme, but that’s an issue for tomorrow or later in the week.

Second, my car. Agnes Lincoln has served me well for 5 years to the point I’ve gotten spoiled. Working from home means I don’t drive as much, so maintenance costs have been minimal. But tonight that all changed, as she wouldn’t start after I went to get tacos for dinner. A jumpstart didn’t work, so I had the car towed to a service station. The tow truck guy predicted a fuel pump issue, based on what he saw and what I told him. We shall see. I know enough about cars to know that I want someone else to deal with every aspect of their maintenance.

In true child-of-the-70s-and-80s fashion, I always think of Schneider from “One Day at a Time” whenever I have to be in fixit mode. He may have been a bit of a pest, and not the most skilled handyman, but he was funny and had a good heart. Here’s hoping the person who works on my car has excellent skills AND is as nice as Schneider, and has reasonable rates, too.

Schneider was THE fixit guy of the 70s and 80s.

NaBloPoMo 2014: Let’s Do This Despite a Raging Headache

I’m poking around on HootSuite, reading through tweets on my 4 different accounts, and I see something about NaBloPoMo. I’ve done it before, and I like deadlines and discipline when it comes to writing, so I go sign up, choosing to ignore the headache I’ve had since returning home from a writing session at Starbucks. (Soy peppermint mocha induced? A reaction to my cinnamon apple candle that I fired up once I got home? Who the hell knows.)

Then I start digging in to the WordPress issue I’ve been having since dealing with login attack issues a few weeks ago: it won’t let me update anything AT ALL. Not WordPress itself, not my plugins, nothing. Of course, as many bloggers know, a raging headache is the perfect time to troubleshoot your blog and go through the codex trying to figure out how  this got all shades of f***ed up.

I’ve downloaded WordPress and the plugin that will keep people from trying to access my site, I’ve poked around on the FTP site changing a few settings, and I’ve come to the conclusion that I need help figuring this shit out. Tomorrow I’ll reach out to my WordPress savvy friends. For now I’m gonna go lay down.

10, ten, 10th anniversary, 10 button

Now We Are Ten

(I totally mixed up my dates and thought the 10th anniversary was June 24, but it was June 14. So I’m cheating and dating this post for June 14, even though I wrote it on June 24. That’s because it’s my blog and I can do what I want. – Moxie)

10, ten, 10th anniversary, 10 button

Photo Credit: chrisinplymouth via Compfight cc

I remember when I turned ten years old. My friend Christy’s* mom said to me, “you’re a decade old now,” and that made a big impression on me. “A decade” sounds way more intense and impressive than “ten years.”

If you would have told me 10 years ago, after writing the post that launched a thousand ships that started it all, that I would still be blogging, I would have shrugged it off. And to be fair, there were long dry spells on the blog. (I doubt that will change anytime soon.) But it’s been a big part of my life in ways I couldn’t have predicted.

It all started because I didn’t have enough to keep me busy at my office job, and blogs looked fun and a way for me to flex my creative muscles. I could write blog posts, read others, and look as if I was working intently on an assignment. Once I was fired, the blog continued to be a creative outlet and gave me skills I could use in future jobs. And I’m inclined to think that blogging gave me the courage to transition into freelancing and leave the cubicle world behind.

Over the last 10 years, I’ve moved to self-hosted WordPress, added a Facebook Page and Twitter account, and spent lord knows how many hours fixing issues, drafting content, looking for images or videos, writing tweets, writing FB Page posts. I’ve learned practical skills, such as how to upload WordPress via FTP, and life lessons, such as never posting content I’m not willing to share publicly. I’ve semi-revealed my true identity, and I have several family members who follow GWM on social media, but I still keep the blog on the DL from clients and others.

GWM has netted me friends far and wide. I would have never connected with Barbara of Bad Tempered Zombie – she’s still blogging, by the way, and writing amazing articles on music & culture – and I hope we won’t go another 10 years without meeting in person. I still remember when Beth of Cup of Coffey came to meet me at ATL when I was making a connecting flight. She introduced me to so much amazing music via her blog and is a big reason why I went to VoodooFest in 2008 to see R.E.M. perform. And Becky (Damn, all these B names, what is that about?) of The PopEye had some of the craziest, funniest commentary on reality TV back in the day. More recently I met Amy of Limit Reached – now Chronicles of Nothing – and found a friend and like-minded blogger who gets it like Billy Idol gets it.

In that original blog post, I wrote about getting published. I’ve since had many bylines and while that’s been very cool, it was getting my fiction and poetry published that has been a big milestone for me. And y’all have been super supportive of my novel writing efforts, as evidenced by my successful crowd-funding campaign in 2012 to help me with research. (If you donated, I’ll be sending out an update on that soon.) I’m still squeezing in time to write fiction, poetry and essays in between paying gigs, though some weeks it’s harder than others to make the time to write for pleasure.

I have no idea what the next 10 years has in store for me. By that time we may all be pod people wearing Google Glass and eating Soylent Green. (Holy crap, I just googled “soylent green” and found this. I’m a little freaked out now.) Until then, I’ll keep blogging when I can, sharing pithy comments and witticisms on Facebook and Twitter, and doing my best to keep y’all entertained.

Got My Mind on My Blog, Got My Blog on My Mind*

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

*paraphrasing Snoop Dogg (NSFW)

This May it will be 10 years since I started this blog. I haven’t lived in one place that long since I was a kid, so to have done something – even if sporadically – for 10 years is a stunning achievement.

With this anniversary in mind, I’m working on ways to make this blog more entertaining and enterprising. I’ve signed up with Bloglovin to generate more traffic and I’m using Influenster as well. Amy over at Chronicles of Nothing clued me in to the fabulous and helpful SITS Girls site and Facebook group, so I’ll be incorporating some of their suggestions. I have more ads on the site, and will begin recruiting some guest posts.

But what about writing actual content? I admit that it’s way easier to shoot my mouth off via Twitter and Facebook than it is to write a long post. I hate to write anything that’s poorly researched or half-assed, which editors appreciate, but it makes for minimal posting on the actual blog. So to compensate for this, I may do some promotional posts and giveaways, since people like getting free stuff.

For those of you who have been reading since the early years, when I was a bored magazine editor with way too much time on her hands, thank you for sticking it out this long. For those of you who may be new to GWM, thanks for stopping by to read my sometimes witty, often wacky, missives on anything and everything. I’ll do my best to keep this site going for as long as the Internet will let me.

Moxie, girl with moxie

This cookie is for you. Well, not really, because I already ate it. But I would have shared it with you. Honest.

 

 

Yes, Virginia, There Are Still Blogs

A couple of weeks ago on Facebook, I got a message from Beckeye of The PopEye inviting me to be part of a private group. Seeing as I do love to brag about knowing a secret handshake, I joined the group. And it turned out to be quite the walk down memory lane, because all these bloggers I found in my early years of blogging were there. Skyler’s Dad, Dale, Coffey, Splotchy, Grant Miller, Flannery Alden, Gifted Typist, Mathdude…and so many others. Finding the link to one blog would lead me to other blogs I’d long forgotten – some still active, some mildly active, others covered in thick, bloggy dust. It was as if I’d returned to Wonderland after a long absence. (That sounds like a great plot for a TV show, doesn’t it?)

Before Facebook was big, before Twitter was a gleam in Silicon Valley’s eye, and long before phones were smart, we had blogs. A magical place where people could write about whatever they wanted, whenever they wanted, and find other people who were doing the same thing. Little communities would form, private jokes would be shared, cross-blog projects would be conceived – like the fabulous Green Monkey Music Project of iSplotchy’s doing. (For the record, I’m still mildly annoyed that I never got my chance to guest host GMMP and it was about to be my turn.) It was a supportive, fun community, and though there are many bloggers I’ve never met in person, there are still a few I maintain online relationships with (shout out to Becky and Barbara), and now thanks to the Facebook group, there are several more bloggers I can reconnect with. Because guess what, kids? Blogs aren’t dead. People may move on and do other things, adopt new technology, or simply go with self-hosted WordPress (ahem), but blogs are far from dead. And I am personally very glad that they aren’t.

Last night I realized that this spring it will be 10 years since I started blogging as The Girl with Moxie. Thinking back on that time, I remember what motivated me to start a blog: I wanted to flex my writing muscle without feeling beholden to any editor. I wanted something I could do in my cubicle that looked like work, just so I could make it through 8 hours without losing my shit. When I lost that job, I suppose I could have stopped blogging. But GWM had become a place where I could share stories about my technology challenges and dating woes, or reflect on big topics like vulnerability, happiness, and validation. My blog still is all of those things, and as far as I can see, it will continue to be those things until I get so famous I no longer have time for you people until I feel to stop.

So the next time you hear someone scoff about blogs, or they claim blogging is dead, just point them over this way. Because there are most definitely still blogs. They exist as certainly as love and generosity and the Kardashians exist, and blogs abound and give to life much humor and joy. And there is definitely a Santa Claus, too.

Blogging Streak Has Ended

The last three days were either busy or I was too emotionally spent to blog. More of the latter than the former, if we’re being honest. Yesterday was Momcat’s birthday and the days leading up to it are very challenging for me. But I’m feeling better now, and ready to get back into the game.