Category Archives: Blogging

This Is My Feeble Attempt To Toot My Own Horn

French_horn_back

My daughter is a junior in college. A marketing major. And she’s chomping at the bit to test her chops. My self-employed husband has listened to her unsolicited advice. Employed some of her suggestions. Even “hired” her for future projects. She’s excited to be applying what she knows. An ambitious, energetic, bright, young woman, she’s been pushing her mother, too.

They say you write best when you about write what you know. I’ve found that here, on this blog. My best posts are the ones when I write about something I’m passionate about. And I know I’ve mentioned it a few times, but I’m really passionate about Walt Disney and visiting Disney World.

I’ve been a little scarce here but that’s because I’ve been cheating on you all. I’m writing somewhere else. I love helping others plan their trips to Disney World and my husband encouraged me to put myself out there, by way of a blog. Scary thought for an introvert like me. You see, this blog was a tester blog to eventually create a Disney blog. And that was 5 years ago. I just got too comfortable here. Afraid to branch out. Afraid to face all the competition out there. But my husband said, “You don’t have to be the best. You just have to do what you love.”

So a few months ago, I finally took the plunge. And while I’m writing about what I love and know, I’m not entirely happy with the writing. It’s different, putting out fact based material. Staying away from the silly and the uninformed opinion and the random inspirations. But it is what I’m passionate about. And it will improve. I just have to keep at it.

“But Mom, you haven’t told anyone about what you’re doing. Sneaking a link on your other blog doesn’t count!”

I know. But it’s not that great yet. It looks and feels like a rookie blog.

“You have to start somewhere. You know more about Disney World than anyone I know. It’ll come. But you have to tell people about it or no one will find you!”

So.

This is me.

Telling people about it.

(My stomach just jumped as I typed that last line. It actually jumped. Is there a support group out there for people like me?)

If you’re so inclined, if you’re even mildly interested in tips, tricks and info about Disney World – please visit. A comment if you’re so moved. A share if you know someone who may need some help planning a visit.

And because I value all of my readers here so very, very much, if you have any suggestions – please send it along. You all have such successful blogs of your own. I truly value your opinions.

So.

This is me. Tooting my horn. Shouting it from the blog-tops.

Thanks for listening.

Mouseter Planner: Walt Disney World – When to go. What to eat. Where to stay. What to do.

www.mouseterplanner.com

7 Comments

Filed under Blogging

More Writing Tips From Jane

I’m not quite sure to whom to attribute this little gem – Frank L. Visco, Grammerly.com, various bloggers across the net-waves. But, this list has been making the Facebook/Twitter/Blog rounds and I’ve only just discovered it.

It made me laugh out-loud.

On the off chance you haven’t seen it yet, or you need to be reminded of this funny list poking fun at our funny ways…

You’re welcome.

____________________________________________

How To Write Good

  1. Avoid Alliteration. Always.
  2. Prepositions are not words to end sentences with.
  3. Don’t be redundant; don’t use more words than is necessary; it’s highly superfluous.
  4. It is wrong to ever split an infinitive.
  5. Avoid clichés like the plague. (They’re old hat.)
  6. Comparisons are as bad as cliches.
  7. Be more or less specific.
  8. One word sentences? Eliminate.
  9. Eschew ampersands & abbreviations, etc.
  10. Parenthetical remarks (however relevant) are unnecessary.
  11. The passive voice is to be avoided.
  12. Profanity sucks.
  13. It behooves you to avoid archaic expressions.
  14. Avoid archaeic spellings, too.
  15. Exaggeration is a billion times worse than understatement.
  16. One should never generalize.
  17. No sentence fragments.
  18. Eliminate quotations. As Emerson once said, “I hate quotations. Tell me what you know.”
  19. Who needs rhetorical questions?
  20. And always be sure to finish what

8 Comments

Filed under Because It Amuses, Blogging

From Point A to Point C to Point X, Y, Z and Finally To Point B. Or Not.

I have 17 drafts in my draft folder.

Seventeen posts that I started and never finished, dating back to October, 2009.

Considering that’s only 4 posts a year, on average, that I start and don’t finish? I’m feeling pretty good about myself. But that statistic doesn’t include all the other posts, the amazing, captivating, change your life posts that never make it to my computer screen. The ones that dance in my head for 2, maybe 5 minutes before another distraction sends them spiraling into the lost post abyss.

My life is a series of crooked lines. I’m sure many of you can relate. We sit down to begin a blog post. That brilliant idea that we had just moments ago, just itching to get down on the screen. We struggle with a title. Or not. A couple of my drafts are just brilliant titles that actually stayed in my head until the computer booted up.

And then, it happens.

The dryer buzzes and we get up to hang up those few things that dance the rotten-apple-wrinkle in two minutes flat. We dump the rest of the laundry on our bed, promising to get back to it and then throw another load in the washer. The dog is standing by the door, so we let him out. Someone left syrup on the breakfast bar so we wipe it down. We remember we forgot to take our herbs so we pour a glass of water and wash them down. We sit down at the computer only to have our son come downstairs, wanting a snack. We point him in the direction of the pantry but we realize he really just wants to connect with us, so we stand in the kitchen while he eats and talks about summer vacation plans and playing minecraft and how he misses his friends from his old school.

Then, we finally sit back down at the computer to write and that stellar title means nothing now or the brilliant blog post idea has lost its fire.

And by “we” and “our,” I mean “I” and “my”. Because all of that just happened, moments ago when I sat down to write a dazzling post about my ever growing draft folder.

poin

Ahhh, to go from point A to point B without any detours. Some nights, I just want to go to bed and not put the shoes and backpacks by the door and load the dishwasher and jot down the errand I will most surely forget by morning. I want to sit up and say, “I’m tired. I’m going to bed.” And do just that.

Or write a blog post without interruption. (No, it’s almost lunch time. You may not have another snack.) Or take a shower and get dressed with answering 20 questions from my husband. Or clean a room from top to bottom without starting another more pressing project in between, leaving both chores unfinished.

Or…

Wait.

What’s that?

Sigh.

The dog is barking to be let in.

I’ll be right back.

Or not.

8 Comments

Filed under Blogging, Observations

Liar, Liar, Pants On Fire

Desperate for blog material, I did what any other self-respecting blogger would do.

I procrastinated.

I flitted about in Yahoo, learning about home invaders busted on Facebook, what Lady Gaga looked like at age 9 (Don’t click. Really. A waste of time.), and a gutsy woman who chases a bear from her home.

I did a little online banking. The good news? Beginning tomorrow another credit card balance will be at zero! The bad news? Bank account balances are fast approaching zero.

I goofed around on my favorite Disney message board site and learned about crowd levels between Christmas and New Years (Horrendous), next must try snack at EPCOT (Norway’s School Bread), and yet another awesome cast member story (Click here for original post.)

And I checked my email.

I found this interesting note in my inbox.

“I work with blahblahblah and we recently published an article you might be interested in.”

The title of said “article” was interesting and feeling a little lazy today, I actually entertained re-posting it.

“After following your blog for awhile now, I felt this article would be something that would interest your readers. Here’s the link…”

Hmmm. Following my blog for awhile? I’m flattered.

“Either way, your blog has been a sincere pleasure to read. Thanks for your time!”

A sincere pleasure to read. Always good to hear.

So, I scan my followers list. Nope. No Miss C. Maybe she has me bookmarked another way.

So, I click the link to the article. Yes. It’s a bona fide  article. And interesting, too.

But it is plastered on a website that is an advertisement for something completely irrelevant to my readers. In fact, every link, sidebar and highlighted clicky thingy is unrelated to the article that drew me there in the first place.

I have half a mind to republish the article, without a link back to their site, and capitalize on the free material.

But that’s against my principles.

And besides.

Look at that.

Without even realizing it, I just got a free post.

Ha!

6 Comments

Filed under Blogging

Monday Blog Haiku

Blogs call narcissists

to write what they know and love

Comments encourage

Who is the blogger?

Writer, lover, comic, cook

All crave to be heard

Comments feed the blog

Readers who comment treasured

Friends not seen but loved

8 Comments

Filed under Blogging

Jane Wants To Know. How Do YOU Filter Your Comments?

Before I explain, if you’re going to give me a free speech lecture or simply say “everyone is entitled to their opinion” I’d like to politely ask you to leave. Just click that little mouse of yours and find some other blogger to badger. I’ve heard all those speeches before. In my own head.

Click. Click. Click.

Is that everyone?

Click. 

Okay. Good.

I shall begin.

I have a comment that has been sitting in my pending folder for over a month now. It’s been sitting there because I have no idea what to do with it.

It isn’t obscene.

It isn’t spam.

It isn’t self-promoting.

It is littered with grammatical and spelling errors.

It is mildly illiterate.

It is about an inflammatory subject that I wrote about a while ago.

And it is mildly controversial and something I might be tempted to waste my breath, I mean fingers, and type a response. To deaf ears (blind eyes?), presumably.

I haven’t “approved” it because I don’t want to invite ridicule. I then pat myself on the back for being so sensitive. But I know it’s really because I disagree with the comment and can’t believe there are such idiotic people out there. (How’s that for sensitivity?)

Which leads me to my question for all my favorite readers/bloggers out there.

How do YOU filter comments on your blog? Do you let any and everything sneak through? Do you only delete profanity/spam/self-promotion? Or do you kill anything that doesn’t agree with your point of view? Do you correct the misspellings and grammatical errors?

Really.

This inquiring mind wants to know.

13 Comments

Filed under Blogging

Jane Tells All. Or How Stealing Ideas From Other Blogs Makes For Excellent Material.

I’m totally stealing a blog post from a friend. It’s okay, since I’m being so upfront about it. Well, that and the fact that he encouraged people to steal it – but admitting this sort of takes all the danger out of it.

Yeah. I’m a bad-ass.

This is actually associated with an award. LLCoolJoe won the award first and passed it along to anyone who wanted it. Yep. He’s all generous like that. I’m sorry. I can’t even remember the name of the award. Mostly, because I’ve become ambivalent to awards that are handed out like gumdrops. I don’t even like gumdrops. And I hate to hurt anyone’s feelings that might not receive the award.

But, I enjoy learning about other bloggers.

So, I hope you enjoy learning a little bit about me.

1. Do you tend to hold grudges against people who have done you wrong? 
When you look up “doormat” in the dictionary you will find a picture of moi. Seriously. Go ahead. Look it up. We’ll wait. No? Well, okay. I exaggerate. But, I do have a condition called Argument Amnesia. My husband and I will argue about something and an hour later I’m all hugs and kisses and completely forgotten why he’s being so cool towards me. It drives him crazy. It’s my coping mechanism. It’s not always healthy but it keeps me in my glass-half-full state of mind and I like it that way.
 
2. If your blog had a theme song, what would it be? Why?
This question was so tough for me I actually answered it last after much contemplation. I can’t think of just one.  So, I’ll just share with you the top three played songs on my ipod.
1. Say Hey (I Love You) by Michael Franti & Spearhead
2. Be OK by Ingrid Michaelson
3. Psycho by Puddle of Mudd
Yep. That about sums it up.
 
3. What is the most daring thing you’ve done recently?
Eat a Dorito that fell on the floor after the 3 second rule. Don’t worry. I blew off all the germs.
 
4. Do you like your life right now?
Yes. I do. I’m finding the older I get the more content I become. I still have regret. I still want to accomplish more than is humanly possible. But I am very content with my life. Right. Now. Because now is all that matters.
 
5. What was the last lie you told?
I acted as if I was already in the parking lot of my destination even though I was still a few blocks away. Why I did this? I have no idea. I was speaking to my husband on the phone and I wasn’t even meeting him. I was meeting a friend. I just didn’t want him to know I was running late. (He has this hang-up about punctuality. Geez.) And, by the way. My friend was running a couple minutes late, too. God, I love her!
 
6. Is there anything hanging from your rear view mirror?
Yes. My adorable daughter made me a necklace of a single crystal. I loved it and put it on the rear view  mirror with the intent of slipping it on the next day on our way to school. But it got twisted and stuck. And I didn’t want to cut the string so it is still there, to this day. Twelve years later. (Yes. I’m still driving my Volvo station wagon. Best. Car. Ever.) My mother-in-law asks me if it’s “Wiccan.” (She doesn’t approve of the fact that we’re not twice a week church goers.) And I tell her, no. But she’s asked so many times, I now say yes and offer to teach her a few spells when we get home. That usually shuts her up.
 
7. Do you consider yourself successful?

Yes. Very. But not in the things most people do. I gave up my singing and acting aspirations. I still haven’t written the great American novel. My high school class is chock full of over-achievers. 90% of us have graduated from college and over 50% have advanced degrees. I “only” have some post-graduate work. But that’s okay. Because I am an awesome mom. I made a conscious decision to be the best mom I could be, thus joining the ranks of the “Best Moms Ever.”And I am. Just ask my kids.

 
8. What was the first music album that you bought?
Deep Purple – Machine Head. Yep. I’m a head-banger.
 
9. Do you feel you express your “true self” on your blog?
I try. I try with every word. That is always my intent. It’s why I’ve gained a steady readership. It’s also why I’ve lost so many readers.
 
10. Would you ever give a hitch-hiker a ride somewhere? 
I want to. I do. But I watch way too much crime TV.
 
11. Have you ever acted like you understood something when you didn’t have a clue?
Every. Single. Day.
…………….

And now, it’s your turn. There are 11 questions posted below for you to answer on your blog. Trust me. If you’re experiencing writer’s block or you just you to keep the publish button warm this is an easy-peasy blog post.

Come on.

I know you want to.

  1. What do you do when you cannot fall asleep?
  2. Have you ever hidden a purchase for yourself from your partner? If so, what was it?
  3. What was the last thing you ate?
  4. Who has been the kindest to you in your life?
  5. If you didn’t need the money, what would you do for work?
  6. If your life had a motto, what would it be?
  7. Would you sulk or would you confront?
  8. If you could have any super power, what would it be?
  9. What movie or television show have you seen so many times you can quote scenes line by line?
  10. Who is someone from your past that you are sorry you lost track of?
  11. If you had a million dollars to give away, how would you do it?

If you choose to take on the 11 Question Challenge, please link up in the comment section so we can visit your blog and learn more about you!

6 Comments

Filed under Blogging, Completely Random

There Are Times When You Need To Keep The Snark To Yourself

“Well, you know what they say: if you don’t have anything nice to say about anybody, come sit by me!”

One of my favorite lines from one of my favorite movies. And it’s my favorite for a reason.

Because it’s true for most of us, although, we’d never admit it.

I enjoy a good tidbit of gossip. I try not to spread any but I admit, my ears perk up when it’s being shared. Some people have a higher tolerance for it than others. I’d like to think that I know when to stop, know when to keep my thoughts to myself.

But I’m no saint. And there are not many on this Earth that can prove that they are. Saints, that is.

When friends, family or acquaintances are going through especially tough times, I zip it. Major and embarrassing faux pas? Ignored. I’ve been there. I’ve done that. I wouldn’t want my financial or relationship woes savored for entertainment.

But the “What? Not again?” annoyances that pop up? I’ve been known to share with my closest and dearest friends. I’m not proud of it. But apparently, I’m not too ashamed to stop. I call it “unloading” in order to assuage my guilt.

I reign it in when things get ugly or mean.

“There’s never an excuse to be mean” – wise words from my brother-in-law.

Words I try to live by.

Especially in the comment section of a blog post.

A mildly controversial topic that I blogged about months ago, suddenly became popular in the blogosphere. And one individual, who shall remain nameless, had much to say about my take and those of my readers. The comments to my other commenters were just plain mean. Not worth repeating. Not constructive. And frankly, not even argumentative. (Which I may have allowed, if only to encourage discussion.)

And then, after copying and pasting an admittedly, ill-constructed paragraph of mine, little Ms. Snark said:

“Oooooo. Well said. Kudos to you, Oh Great Writer.”

I enjoy a lively discussion. I am not of the ilk who feels if I don’t agree with you, I shouldn’t comment. I like differing opinions. Sharing a point of view that is different from my own is welcomed here. It’s one of the many ways that I grow as a human being.

But gratuitous snark and sarcasm?

That is not welcome here.

Or, anywhere for that matter.

(Yes. The Blogosphere police chief has spoken. Now, run along and comment somewhere else. Constructively. Kindly. And with no malice. You’ll feel much better about yourself afterwards. Trust me.)

13 Comments

Filed under Blogging, Soapbox

School’s Out For Summer, Alice, And I’ve Done Nothing But Blog

This is how I want to feel……

But this is how I really feel…..

Today is my last day of freedom. My last day that I have complete and total control over what I do. And then? Let the summer games begin. School is out in a mere 6 days. Six.

Count ‘em.

One – Have to work at my  husband’s office.

Two and Three – Long weekend out of town so the boys can sleep on an aircraft carrier for Cub Scouts.

Four – Daughter home from college (yay!) filled with errands and appointments for her.

Five - Chaperone end-of-year activity for #2son’s class.

Six – School play and party for #1son’s class. And the last day of school.

Where did the time go?

I feel like such a failure.

Closets cleaned out? Zero.

Pictures put in chronological order in fancy scrapbooks? Still sitting in a herd of shoe boxes.

Recipe cards organized and alphabetized and sorted? The same jumbled mess that jumps out and bites me every time I open the cabinet door.

Boxes cleared out that have been sitting in the basement since we moved here 5 years ago? Eight. (Thank God, I’ve stumbled onto some progress. I just won’t tell you how many more I have to go through. Thirty-two. Hey! Who said that?)

Lunches with friends while the kids are in school? Two. Two in ten months. Really people. We need to adjust our priorities!

Garages cleaned out? Zero.

Drawers lined with pretty scented paper? Zero.

Books read? Eight. (My goal was 20.)

Blog posts posted? 131.

Oops.

Looks like I just figured out where I’ve been spending all my time.

Eh. That’s OK.

You people are more fun than clean closets and tidy garages.

Way more fun!

14 Comments

Filed under Blogging

Theycallmejane. It’s Mine. Now Back Off!

OK. So I’m too cheap (and lazy) to purchase my domain name. Go ahead. Start rattling off the comments telling me how wrong I am. I’m listening. Sort of.  (Because remember, I’m cheap and lazy.)

But while researching another post idea (Yes, I research. Don’t act all surprised.) I stumbled across something weird in my stats. Upon further investigation, I discovered that someone else (whose name is also NOT Jane) is calling her blog…..

…wait for it…..

…wait for it…..

Theycallmejane.

Yep.

Written just like that. All one word.

On another free blog site. But still.

I’m trying to remind myself that imitation is a form of flattery. Or trying to give her the benefit of the doubt that maybe she’s never been here.

But when you started your blog, didn’t you Google the name you wanted, just to make sure no one else had it? I know I did. And just to make sure I’m not buried 17 pages deep when you Google me, I Googled me. There I am. Front and center. Very first thing that pops up.

Is she that lazy?

Now, I know the name of my blog isn’t all that creative. And, in a way, I stole it, too. From the lyrics of a Ting-Tings song.

“They call me Stacy. They call me Jane. That’s not my name. That’s not my name.”

I thought it was funny. You know. Because Jane isn’t my name.

But I like Jane. Jane represents a common voice. A connection to all the other women I was hoping to meet. Jane could be anyone’s thoughts, opinions, feelings. I was just the one who said them. For all of us Janes out there.

I still like Jane. Make that, I love Jane. And I love what she has evolved into. A blog about nothing and everything. And I don’t want to give her up or change her in any way.

And besides. I was here first. Back in August of 2009. Closing in on my third year in Blog World. And this impostor has had her blog, what? All of two months?

Crap.

I’m going to have to bite the bullet and purchase the domain name, aren’t I?

If it isn’t too late.

16 Comments

Filed under Blogging