Blogging Mistakes to Live & Learn By

This week I read a few bloggers’ responses to Salted Caramel’s #Blogging Insights prompt “Which mistakes did you make in your first few months of blogging?”   I didn’t participate in the prompt, but I toyed with the question for a few days until I decided:  The biggest mistake I made was biting off more than I could chew.

I started my first blog almost five years ago. I wanted to write on a specific topic but I’m not an expert on anything. Finally, an idea I could get behind came to me and my blog, “52 Weeks”, was born. The idea was to feature one special woman in my life each week. I had an abundance of spectacular female friends, family members, colleagues and acquaintances I could write about.  There was beautiful, courageous Renée, a mother of two boys, who lost her husband to cancer when he was just 40 years old. There was my tribe of close “sisters” – friends I have known forever and who are each strong and beautiful in their own way. There was my step-daughter, a free spirit who often swims against the current to be true to herself. 

So, armed with my niche topic, I outlined the process I would follow, compiled a list of names, and set out to launch my blog. The first person I asked to participate was Ida, someone I have known since grade school. When she accepted, I sent her a list of questions to answer. They included fun facts like: 1) What cause is close to your heart? What’s your biggest fear?  Name a guilty pleasure.  I also asked her to send me photos I could use with the post.

Once I had all the material, I began the post with the story of how we were connected, followed by her answers to my questions. So far, so good, right? Then came editing and that’s where I hit a roadblock. I wanted the post to really show Ida’s qualities and what makes her special.  And I was afraid I just wasn’t doing her justice. So I spent my evenings reviewing, editing, then reviewing and editing again. By the time I published the post, I was behind on the research and work for the following week. And so it went until after nine weeks, I ran out of steam.  I still think it was a good idea and I may get back to it someday! 







Chronicling the Days – Linda Thompson — QWF Writes

I am thrilled and honoured to have this post published by the Quebec Writers Federation as part of their “Chronicling the Days” writing project. Pop over to the site to read the experience of other writers during the pandemic.

Welcome to QWF series ‘Chronicling the Days’, specifically for this strange uneasy time of coronavirus and pandemic, of social distancing and self isolation, of lockdown and quarantine. In April 2020, we invited writers in Quebec to submit a story – of a single day at this time, because while we’re all living through this time, […]

via Chronicling the Days – Linda Thompson — QWF Writes

Discovery Prompt Day 24: My Elixir

I recently acquired, without any conscious effort on my part, the previously-elusive skill of being hyper aware of my surroundings. Not always of course, but definitely when I leave the house to go for a walk.  I call it my elixir and it’s all because of quarantine.

In the days “BQ” (before quarantine), going for a walk was a fitness goal to check off my “to-do” list . My mind jumped from errands I had to run to tasks to be completed at work to did I forget to iron my white blouse?  Now I notice things, I mean, really notice them. Like the rhythm of my footsteps on the asphalt or the pull of brisk air into my lungs when I inhale. Did it always feel this good?

Take today for example. On my outing, I hear the ring of a young girl’s laugh. I spot her on her front lawn.  She has slim, coltish legs and her hair is up in a long pony tail. She’s holding her cell phone in front of her, obviously facetiming with a friend. “That was really good!” she says.  “Now I’m going to do a one-hand cartwheel.”  And she does, executing it beautifully while still holding her cell phone so her friend is along for the ride. It’s pure joy to watch.

A few houses down, three people are sitting on camping chairs at the top of a drive.  In Quebec, a gathering of more than two people who don’t live under the same roof is deemed to be against physical distancing measures. I wonder if they all live in the same house. I doubt it because the chairs are too carefully positioned at what seems to be at least six feet apart. But who am I to deny them the small pleasure of having a chat in the middle of a Friday afternoon in April? And why shouldn’t they get some use from those chairs? They won’t be needed at the sidelines of kids’ soccer games or at outdoor concerts this year.

I round the corner and I can’t see them, but I hear a flock of birds chirping loudly from the top of a tall fir tree. By the sounds of it, there are a lot of them. Don’t they know about the physical distancing? Of course they don’t. And even if they did, it doesn’t matter because this virus isn’t attacking them. It’s only hunting man, the supposedly most evolved of all creatures. Let them sing and make their music for us.

I see and hear so many things that would have escaped my notice before: A tiny, pale pink tricycle with training wheels temporarily abandoned by its owner. A dog barking at a house around the block from mine. Did they get a new dog or has it been there all along? I’m not sure. What I do know is I come home refreshed and  looking forward to tomorrow’s discoveries.