Monday, June 10, 2024

Months Later...

 Yes, I did fall off the edge of this flat planet. And you thought it was round, really... surprise. 

On a serious note, I could not continue with the theme I had selected for the A-Z Challenge - my bad, what was I thinking, oh, that's right, I wasn't. Too busy with "flat planet" stuff.

Okay, enough trying to make light of it all, but fact was, I could not continue, and fact is, it broke me.

Sorry... that's all I got.

I hope you're all well, and thanks to those that reached out - I didn't answer with personal replies, and for that I deeply apologize. I thought the least I could do was come out here and let you all know I'm struggling with trying to hold the pieces of me together. I keep coming undone.

Well, that's it. 

Friday, March 22, 2024

HTML CODE in comment area STILL WORKS

After much sleuthing, and getting nowhere, I called an expert in HTML coding...

the one

the  only

the one and only... Courtney (aka my daughter, Vancouver Mermaid)

Now, let me set the scene...

I'm no slouch at coding. In fact, me and precious (the one and only) took HTML coding together, eons ago. And, dare I say, I cottoned on pretty darned fast.

So then...

As I was checking out other like-minded A-Z Theme Revealers I decided I wanted to leave a Link Back (to my Blog) in my comments. So I looked back into my post archives and found the post I did on this very topic, years ago, for another A-Z Challenge when I was a co-host.

Here's where it gets interesting, so pay attention...

I opened a word document and proceeded to type the following code. 

Here it is... (zoom in if you want a really close look)

<a href=“”>PEARSON REPORT</a>

Can you spot THE PROBLEM?

It's not the coding - that part is correct - it's some of the characters.

Here it is again... with the CORRECTED characters... (zoom in)

<a href="">PEARSON REPORT</a>

Can you see the CHARACTER ISSUE... it's the quotation marks.

For some reason in my word document the quotation marks have little heads and tails, whereas the second HTML code has little marks that are the same at both ends of the URL tag with no curve to them, no little round ends. 

Courtney sent me this second HTML code and asked me to try it - it worked. When I used the first code (with the curvy quotations) a message would pop up saying, "Comment contains tags or attributes that are not allowed."

So weird. I mean really…

Yup, really weird. 

If you wish to leave a Link Back Tag to your blog in a comment you have to be mindful of the HTML code, AND THE CHARACTERS.

Below is the HTML code, copy it and paste it into a document - it will keep the correct characters. Then, add your information into the red and blue areas.

<a href="url">link text</a>

url is the address to your blog, located in your browser's address bar

link text is the wording that everyone will see and be able to click on

Remember, it has to be particular quotation marks. 

Use these  " "  not these  “ ”

Got it. Right? Right!

Okay, that's it. Now you know how to code a Link Back Tag. 

Question is...

Will you use it when leaving a comment so others can access your blog quickly?

Wednesday, March 20, 2024

Back to Blogging - Things Have Changed Out Here


Yes, a few things have change

First, I see many a blogger has moved on - living life and dealing with all that entails.

Second, this platform (Blogger specifically) has gone through some changes too.

A couple I noticed, and was able to deal with pretty quickly, were basic housecleaning stuff:

Reading List

I updated my Reading List (over on the right, part way down the side) making sure the blogs there still exist. Sadly, some don't.

As I was inactive for a few years I did not want to delete pretty amazing blogs that haven't posted these last few trying years. You all know what I mean, I'm sure. I'll revisit this regularly.

HTTPS Security

Then there's the issue of security - though almost every blog I visit is HTTPS secure, some aren't. I can't fix that for them, but I can suggest they look into it. It's a simple fix - in Settings scroll down to the HTTPS section and click the little button which will be blue when it's done. (Simple, right.)


Blogger is pretty straight forward with leaving comments. Overall, not much seems to have changed. More folks use the Captcha option now, to make sure I'm human. Others moderated comments before publishing.

Here I have moderation on for all comments left after 7 days of the posting. This is helpful with visitors to older post which I don't check on often. 

Overall, commenting on Blogger blogs is still the easiest. It can get a little frustrating with sites that require a lot of extra information about me. Sometimes I'm good with it, other times not so much.

Link Back Tags

Here is where I've had my biggest frustration. This was a feature I liked and posted about years ago. It's a handy thing, particularly during blogging challenges when leaving comments and attaching a Link Back Tag makes visiting my blog easier.

However, the HTML coding, though still viable, is not useable through Blogger. Or, am I doing something wrong? It seems Link Backs can be used as one commenter is doing just that. How?

This is what I've used in the past.

Now, when I try to add a Link Back Tag to a comment, it says, "Comment contains tags or attributes that are not allowed." 

All my research is not yielding me any explanation as to what I am doing wrong, or if there is some setting I have on that is preventing this feature. 

Your HELP on this topic is appreciated. Let me know in the comments down below if you have an answer for this mystery. 


Anything else

No, that's it, for now anyway.

Are you managing your blog or website without too much frustration?

Sunday, March 17, 2024

My Thoughts on Writing - Answers to Good Questions

The following questions were posted over on Coming Down The Mountain, by Karen Jones Gowen. I thought I would answer them here.


Are you excited about the idea of people reading your work, or would you rather keep it private? 

I share my flash fiction, but not my WIP book. My flash fiction stories are very short (about 500-700 words) they make for a quick read, so sharing them is easy.

Do you have an audience in mind when you write?

Yes, for my WIP book. No, for my flash fiction pieces.

Have you always wanted to write a book? 

No. I have always been a storyteller though, so it may be a natural progression.

If you have written your book, do you feel satisfied with it or discouraged and disappointed?

My current WIP book elicits many feelings. As to my flash fiction stories I feel satisfied with them.

How many forms of writing do you like to do? For example, journaling, poetry, blogging, fiction, personal stories, or memoir? 

I like all of those, but don’t do any daily or with serious intent – other than stewing over my current WIP.

Is your voice the same regardless of the format?

No, my WIP book voice is not what I use for writing flash fiction. On rare occasion my flash writing can take on a different voice too.

If you have published a book, what do you think determines how well it sells?

As a reader of published books I think it’s the “capture” that sells a book. How quickly I am pulled into a story, and held captive, is what I think makes a book sell.

How do you feel about critical reviews? Do you shrug and move on, or do you feel devastated by them?

I think reader reviews in general can be biased by personal viewpoints.

However, having a critical first reader for my WIP book has been very helpful. I appreciated the frank honesty of my first reader and knowing she was not afraid to tell me why she was losing interest (and when and where in the story this was happening).

Stephen King, in his memoir On Writing, wrote about his wife, Tabatha, not liking something he had written and told him to get rid of it – he said it was akin to “throwing the baby out with the bathwater” but that it needed to be done no matter how much he liked what he had written.

Critical readers (those in the trenches with the writer) are hard to come by. 

Do you feel that book publishing only counts if it's done in a certain way, such as through an agent or a particular publishing company?

No, I think self-publishing nowadays is a viable option – so long as the writer is a good editor or has one.

However, having a publishing team (with copy editing, illustrators, marketing, and more) can only make the process easier on the writer, and the book more successful.

The true success, however, is in the actual writing – have I captured my reader, captivated them until the end? If not, no amount of help from a great team will rescue my baby. Again… may I stress editing; it can kill the baby if left unattended.


In ending this post I would like to say…

I have never written a word with the soul purpose of fame or money. I write purely for me and if my writing touches a reader along the way – more the joy and happiness for me, and hopefully for them too.

My mother was my greatest first reader, sadly she is no longer with me. Fortunately she got me through the rough patches of my current WIP book – seaming it together has been easier because of her critical eye. And, let me say this, she did not spare my “feelings” as many a baby was tossed in the process. I dedicate my writing to her.


Until the next post…

I leave you with 2 questions:

If you write, why do you write?

If you read, what holds you to the end?

Friday, March 15, 2024

A-Z Challenge 2024 Theme Reveal - Into The Hole

 Many miles and a lifetime ago I used to write.

I would write daily - photo prompt flash fiction. Enjoyed it. Sure, it was stressful - what with giving myself 15 minutes to write to a photo prompt I could not see until I opened it, but still I enjoyed it. In fact, I wrote 151 stories back to back - then life got crazy. 

So, this brings me to the question of giving it a go, again... you know, that A-Z thingy... I have missed it.

Yes, you read that right, I have missed the stress, the pressure, the deadlines. Okay, I lie. I don't miss any of that. 

Then what brings me to why I want to do the A-Z Challenge, again, you ask. 

Well, my life is a little different now. Loads of pressures are gone, I'm semi-retired, I'm in the right headspace, and most importantly I have always enjoyed the camaraderie of this writing/blogging community. Friendly, supportive, and good for lifting one's spirit. 

With that said (no stress, hahaha) you all have your work cut out for you if you drop by to read what I write. The lifting of my spirit might require lifting of actual spirits (a little imbibing joke) to make it through my ramblings. If you do, thanks, and consider yourself hugged. If not, no worries - as Chuck used to say, "There's no bad part." And, there really isn't. So take a hug either way.

Now comes the big reveal.

I've been fond of winging it. I'm older now and value the concept of staying well out in front of the running bulls - these days, however, I opt for sitting on a balcony looking down at those running bulls, trampling whatever stumbles before them. Egads, there's a visual. 

So, I will err on making this whole participating in the A-Z business less of a challenge and more of a "look Ma, I can still do it" sort of thing. Ma's gone, I don't have my cheering section, hence the spirit thing. Big long inhale. Slow long exhale. Life still goes on. Until it doesn't.

My theme will be...


I could tell you all about it here... but then I'd be done. What's the fun in that. So, until April I bid you all a safe remainder of March, and remember, "There's no bad part." So I've been told.

Joy and Happiness to you all,

PS I have posted an UPDATE to this REVEAL giving a little more context and insight to this theme.

Saturday, July 15, 2023

YAWN... good grief, is it 2023 already.

 Hello out there,

I'm still here. Well, out of sight, but still here. You get my drift.

I thought it would be neat, cool, nifty, you know, random, to post and see what happens.

Life happens, yup, it does. 

Is it happening to you? Or, are you still sleeping off the last 3 years. 

Curious minds want to know. Okay, maybe it's only me that wants to know. Either way...

 Till the next time I wake up.

Wednesday, August 21, 2019

RED WHEELBARROW - WEP August 2019 Challenge


When she bought me I wondered if it was purely because the price tag was greatly reduced.

I had been left out in the rain, in the yard of the co-op, for what seemed like weeks. It had only been a few days, over a holiday weekend, but the damage was done.

Howie, the boss’s son was at fault, but hey, he was just a kid, that’s what his mom always said coming to his defence; and the boss always shrugged as he shook his head in disappointment. 

I wasn’t the only one being forgotten, but on this day, I was the only one being scrutinized. The woman grabbed my handles and moved me back and forth. She kicked my tire, and sighed. 

“John,” she said to the man standing off to one side trying to avoid me as I was jostled from side to side, “the tire looks flat already. Do you think it has a hole?”

“Nah, it just needs air.”

Well, I was relieved to know that all that was standing between me and a new home was some air. If I could breathe I think I would have taken in a long breath and slowly exhaled. But all I could do was stand there now that she had let go of me and watch as she slowly made her way around me eyeing the visible rust. 

“The rust won’t be a problem, it’ll get rustier with what we’re doing,” she said to the fellow that still seemed weary of getting in my way. If I had feelings I think I might not have liked him very much, he seemed rather indifferent – not sure if it was toward me, or toward her. And, feelings or not, I liked her.

Once in the back of their truck I bounced about as we made our way somewhere; somewhere other than where Howie would be and that could only be good.

Their yard needed work, and I could see right away what my job would be after my tire got air – I would be hauling loads of old bricks from what was once a chimney to what looked like a garden.

The bricks chipped away at my beautiful red finish leaving even more bare metal exposed to the elements. Yes, I was left outside; now that I belonged to someone I knew that would be my fate.

Finally, the last brick was placed around the newly planted flowerbed and I was given my first long cold rinse. Ah, how I loved feeling clean. But what did I look like, I wondered, how badly had I been damaged? I had felt the dents, the scratches, and even the harsh bangs as I was put through my paces. That was my job, so who was I to complain. But I did wonder, why paint me and make me look so good only to take it all away?

The sun beat down on me and I dried up to a point where the remaining paint started to flake. Next came a rough brushing followed by suction. Not sure what was going on, but I loved all the attention. I was being cared for and I liked that feeling. 

Days passed while I was left in the blazing sun. 

Alas, a day came when I was wheeled into a shed, it was dark, and if I dare say, a little dank and musty. I really wanted to be outside – oh the irony; you see, I had gotten used to the weather and its company. 

Something tickled me, all over, it was cool, slightly sticky. I felt fresh, new, as if I was young again, right out of the factory. Wonderful feeling indeed.

A few more days passed before I was wheeled outside and placed right in the centre of the flowerbed. I was covered in a cloth, heavy rocks were added, next came dirt. I wondered what was going on – where would I be taking this load?

The cloth was trimmed, flowers were added and positioned. How strange that such care was taken with this load. I was confused.

Suddenly, I heard her exclaim, “John, it looks amazing, that wheelbarrow worked hard helping us make this garden look so beautiful. It’s the perfect centrepiece.” 

Word Count 710

I decided to participate in this writing challenge - I got the idea from DG Hudson, a blogger I follow - she posted for the last one and I really enjoyed reading her piece The Jewel Box of Mystery.

 WRITE...EDIT...PUBLISH is the website hosting these challenges.

Thank you for stopping by, I hope you enjoyed The Centrepiece.


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