Friday, October 02, 2009

How I got started at this blogging thing....

Fishy and a few others have been posting recently about how they got started blogging.  Very interesting reading.  Everyone agrees that it has been a very worthwhile experience and the online friends have become very real, even if friends only in cyber-space, not real life.  A few have met face-to-face and opinions didn't change.  Maybe the real ***us*** comes out in blog-world, where we can say for the most part what we really think and feel about issues.

I went and looked at my very first post, which was a very generic introduction of me.  Had I thought it out further, I probably would have gone for a much more anonymous persona.  However, I never expected to stay with blogging.  The name was a screen name I had used in various places over the years, so it was natural to use it when I set up the blog page.  I usually learn how to do something, then move on to something else.

So the blog page was set up just to see what a blog was and how it worked.  At the time, February 2008, I had been rediscovering photography and teaching myself Photoshop, all while I was healing after thyroid removal surgery due to cancer.  I felt good enough to do what I had to do in daily life, but not much else.  Taking photos close to home was easy enough on me and quickly became my favorite hobby.  Sitting at a computer and editing in Photoshop wasn't physically taxing either.  And then I downloaded the Picasa photo editing software from Google. (I highly recommend, btw...)

Anyway, Picasa has many features.  For example, you can quickly select some photos and e-mail them or upload to a web album.  And one of the features was "Blog This".  Blog this?  Blog what?  What this?  I had heard the term blog and had a vague idea from various online newspapers, etc. about blogs.  I had no idea really.  So long story short, I hit the button, "Blog This" in Picasa and created a page.  And didn't publish my first draft of an introduction.  Then a few days later I wrote a quick bio.  A few days after that, I uploaded a photo.  Of SallyCat, when her was a kitten.

Hmmmm.  Interesting.  So then I thought I would see what was out in the cyber world having to do with blogs about or by local people, or Oklahoma in general.  I found the Oklahoma Blog Network and near the top of that list was Britgal Sarah, who was an English girl, now married to an Okie gentleman in NW Oklahoma of all places on God's green earth for her to end up.  So I leave a comment on her page and we get to visiting.  It turns out that she is from the very same neck of the woods in England that my husband is from.  So an immediate connection!

I never did actually join the Oklahoma Blog Network. I was doing this for my own entertainment and not for notoriety of any sort (still am) so didn't go that route.  However, I found a former co-worker's blog, which we never really made a connection before she quit writing on it.  I joined a photo assignment blog, which I thought I would really enjoy, but never had time to go find the snaps that were the weekly project.  And then a co-worker told me about The Pioneer Woman, and how I would love the photography section of her site.  Immediately became hooked there.  My goal is to get invited to a photo seminar at the Ranch!

But back to this blog.  I thought - FUN!  Being an aspiring writer (aren't we all), I could write about what actually goes on where I work!  Wouldn't THAT be interesting!  Then I thought that it might be more important to keep my job and NOT write about what goes on at the office.  So my focus then turned toward the cats since I have no other subjects. 

Except American Idol.  Somewhere along the way, I started doing weekly critiques of the AI contestants, like I knew what I was talking about or something.  Sarah was a big fan of the show too and would leave comments.  Eventually, one of the AI posts turned into my most commented on post of all time!  Who knew!

From February 2008 to Christmas Eve 2008, everyone got to read about the Adventure Cats and my thieving  boyfriend MG, and his sick obsession with SallyCat.  And then, on Christmas Eve, how he got let out of the backyard by the man painting the house and our search for the stupid cat over the next several weeks.  And I found out about being able to let all that pain in my heart come out through my fingertips into words.  It was therapeutic. 

But it is my life I'm writing about ... strange and boring and unique ... and maybe I'd be unable to write in a less public way.  I love the idea of an anonymous identity, but really doubt I could keep it up.  I'm me, and that's what you get here on my page. 

And when my sister became ill with life-threatening issues, let me tell you, folks here were a rock for me.  A rock, I tell you.  This forum gave me a place to get all that emotion out and I thank everyone for their support at that time.  Sister Carole is doing well, by the way, and is back to work but facing a future surgery.

Meanwhile, somewhere along the way, I found the "next blog" feature and believe that is how I ended up on Troll's page one day.  He was discussing politics in a way I found appealing and mostly agreed with, so I kept reading.  And while I had participated in a few photo assignments on another blog, I never had time to really go get the pics needed for an assignment.  However, Mute Monday was easy!  A topic was given and extremely clever people interpreted it how they wished and posted photos found on the internet.  I loved Mute Monday immediately!  I dearly love clever people and so have stuck with Mute Monday almost weekly!

Now I have some friends and co-workers who check in regularly, although they rarely leave comments.  The Mute Monday crowd keeps coming around and American Idol critiques have morphed into Project Runway critiques as well.  And now I have the Rascal Cats instead of the Adventure Cats.  My boyfriend, MG, never did come home.  But we ended up with Lewis & Sterling, and a bundle of boy cat energy that doesn't give me time to miss old runaway kitties.

You may have run into my Babygirl by now too.  She's discovered the therapy known as blogging.  She is a grown-up young woman with a life all her own, and opinions all her own (believe me about this!)  And by the way, go give her some congrats this weekend because she and the new hubby are celebrating their one year anniversary. 

I decided some time ago that I would leave my page on Blogspot and not go with my own website.  Because, you know, one day I might not be here, but the blog page will be.  Domain names expire.  People expire.  People in my family have been known to fall over dead unexpectedly.  I don't plan for it to be me for a long time to come, but those that come after me, my hopeful grandchildren perhaps, will know a bit about me and my personality and loves/hates/family/wishes/travels from a silly blog that I like to spend my time with!

Thanks for sticking with what turned into a very long post.


K9 said...

that was so interesting. i didnt know about your thyroid or even your sister. i wish i couldve been here for you but i know you had good people. i think i met you through troll and MM but the most fun i had was ripping on adam glambert from AI with you. boy your english buddy didnt like that! grrrrrrrherhahahaha

i love your photos. i have sterling hanging up in my studio and i am not a cat person.

im glad you stuck with blogging. and i am thrilled you took word veri off.

Milk River Madman said...

Pam, I would like to make a post about how I came to blogging with this inspiration if you don't mind me copying your idea. This is a great and wonderful post and we in the blogosphere needs inspriration like this. I'm a little Crowny tonight (afterall it is a Friday)to begin to tell everyone why but I think its a great meme for everyone who reads this to do.

I for one hung on every post about your sister and hope the best by the way.

Kudos for a great blog that I read faithfully.

Pam said...

K9, oh yes, I remember the Adam bashing and enjoyed it greatly! That was the post with the most comments.

Milky, I stole the idea from Fishy and partially from Buzzkill, so feel free to copy as much as you like!

carmar76 said...

That was fun! Thank you for sharing! : ) We follow a lot of the same blogs, which I think is cool. And LOL at the job comment - I bet you have some GREAT stories that would unfortunately be wrong to share. ; )

Milk River Madman said...

Pam, here's a great video of "El Paso" for you

fishy said...

How absolutely wonderful you found blogging while recuperating from surgery. Could the timing have been more perfect? And yes indeed blogging is a great response board to photographs speaking those thousand words. Glad you found MM because I am not an AI follower so I would have missed you altogether, and Kym and Sterling and all the tales of the Sooners ... see you Monday.

TROLL Y2K said...

Great post. I didn't know most of that. When I started I didn't know there were blogger-groups and listing services and such.

Brit Gal Sarah said...

Very interesting post Pam and what a lucky day it was when you found me through the network.

K9 - grrrrrhahaha back at'cha and I think I had the last laugh judging by how Adam's star is still rising against Kris who?!