Bloggerhood Etc. 6/8/15

Oh no, baby GODZILLA!

Photo: Jeff Wysaski.

Best Photoblog.Prankster Replaces Pet Names With New Labels In Local Pet Store” by Jeff Wysaski at Sad and Useless (via Obvious Plant Care).

Best Diagram.The Shape of Story” by Christina Wodtke at Elegant Hack.

Best Comic.Beer” at xkcd.

Best List.5 Steps Toward Making Friends Out of Enemies” by Benjamin J. Corey at Formerly Fundie.

Most Mind Bending. “The Moon Terminator Illusion” by VSauce (via YouTube).

Best Dad Post.Duck, Duck, Sloane” by Gary Mathews at Skipah’s Realm.

Best Special Needs PostHer Fight, Our Fight” by Laura Smith at SLP Mommy of Apraxia.

Best Request.Dear Donald Miller: Thank You, and Please Stop” by Emily A. Dause at Slivers of Hope.

 Most Tragic.Two Lanes to Accockeek” by Michael Graff at SB Nation.

Best Cover of a Cover.Mad World” by Peter Hollens via YouTube.

To catch up on all the great posts I’m reading online and to get a sneak preview of future candidates, check out my Around the Blogosphere board on Pinterest.

Consider the Birds

Perched bird.

Photo: Julia Ozab

I’m in a bit of a conundrum when it comes to my blog. First off, I’m a writer–if I wasn’t I wouldn’t use the word “conundrum.” And as a writer I need to find an audience. In the 21st Century, that means the Internet. As an up-and-coming writer, I need a net presence (blog and/or social media) or I’m invisible. So I need to put myself out there, but then I see my hits and follows and like stagnating while others’ seem to skyrocket and I wonder what I’m doing wrong.

I get so frustrated that I don’t want to blog or tweet or post or pin (or whatever) anymore. That’s the other reason why I’ve been so quiet. Yes, I was fighting a bad chest cold for most of May, but the slowdown began before that. Because the burnout began before that.

So what does this have to do with birds?

Two weekends ago, I took a day off, got away from my laptop, and drove to the Finley Wildlife Refuge with my wife and daughter. Birds were everywhere. We could see them flitting from tree to tree, but even when we couldn’t see them we could hear them.

At the first stop, while Julia and Anna had their cameras out waiting to spot a bird on a perch or in flight, I stood still, closed my eyes, and listened.

I heard music, a counterpoint of bird songs in surround sound. And through that wondrous polyphony, God spoke to me.

Listen to “the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?” –Matthew 6:26

And I realized that all the worry wouldn’t add one more view, one more click, or one more meaningless web stat. That’s not why I write anyway. I write to capture just a snippet of the profound beauty we all experience in life.

And I was more inspired in that moment than I could be by a year’s worth of tweets or posts. Because in that moment, I got in touch with the Source of everything.

So consider the birds singing, or the leaves whispering their secrets to each other in a nearby tree, or a child praising her Creator in her infectious laugh. Consider the ongoing symphony, sonata, and song multiplied by a million that God conducts for his and our pleasure every day.

And leave tomorrow for tomorrow. That’s how I plan to write, blog, and live from now on.

With God’s help, I pray, at those times that I will inevitably stumble.

Amen.

Bloggerhood Etc. 6/1/15

Second Battle of the Virginia Capes by V. Zveg (1962).

Second Battle of the Virginia Capes by V. Zveg (1962).

After a few weeks off (thanks to a stubborn chest cold), here is the best of the last twenty one days (give or take).

Best Dad Post.Why I Want My Daughter to Curse” by Lorne Jaffe at Mighty.

Best List.4 Signs Your Baby is Ready for Solid Foods” by Alice Callahan at Science of Mom.

Best Confession. “We Quit Our Jobs” by Liz von Ehrenkrook at So I Married a Youth Pastor.

Best Transition Post. “Commencing” by Cara Strickland at Little Did She Know. 

Most Surprising.For One Irish Couple, Backing Gay Marriage Is a Matter of Family Values” by Hanna Ingber at The New York Times.

Best Commentary.When Mean, Scared, Scary People Have Stolen My Jesus” by John Pavlovitz.

Best Special Needs Post.A Writer in the Family” by Robert Rummel-Hudson at Support for Special Needs.

Geekiest Post.On the Taxonomy of Spaceships” by Hageshii01 at Critical Sh*t.

Best Question.What’s in a Name?” by Andee Zomerman.

Best Insight.It’s a Good Life” by Alise Chaffins at Knitting Soul.

Best Parody. “The Kevin Smith Blog” by Glove and Boots (via YouTube).

To catch up on the great posts I’m reading online and to get a sneak preview of future candidates, check out my Around the Blogosphere board on Pinterest.

Bloggerhood Etc. 4/20/15

Sleeping Angel Cemetery Marker

Image via John Pavlovitz

Must Read.I was a Lampedusa refugee. Here’s my story of fleeing Libya – and surviving” by Hakim Bello at The Guardian.

Best Reminder.Because People Will Die Today” by John Pavlovitz.

Best Dad Post.To My Wife: Thank You” by Carl Wilke at Big Cheese Dad.

Best Mom Post.The Tyranny of Mrs. Pepper” by Evelyn Shoop at Momsicle.

Best Satire.All Hail Hillvetica, the Hillary Clinton Typeface” by John Browlee (font design by Rick Wolff) at Fast Company.

Best Gremlin Post (tie).Punching My Gremlins in the Face” by Leanne Sype at Writings and Ruminations and “How I Got Rid of the Gremlins” by Andee Zomerman  at Nature of a Servant.

Best Special Needs Post.The Invitation Game” by Robert Rummel-Hudson at Support for Special Needs.

Best Story.How This ‘Mad Scientist’ Helped Shape the Music of Jack White, Trent Reznor, and ZZ Top” by Leigh Buchanan at Inc.

Best List.A Graphic Reminder to Be Kind to My Child” by Brent Almond at Designer Daddy.

Best Video. (That’s Also a List). “Top Ten Futuristic Products” by Glove and Boots (via YouTube).

To catch up on the great posts I’m reading online and to get a sneak preview of next week’s candidates, check out my new Around the Blogosphere board on Pinterest.

Bloggerhood Etc. 11/17/14

Expensive and complicated watch

Photo: Sotheby’s

Geekiest.The Story of the Most Complicated Watch in the World” by Luke Jones at BBC Magazine.

Most Fascinating New Book.Fierce Convictions by Karen Swallow Prior,” reviewed by Elizabeth Esther and Cara Strickland (with giveaways!)

Best Special Needs Post.Astronaut” by Robert Rummel-Hudson at Support for Special Needs.

Best Dad Post.My 2-Year-Old Daughter Was Pressured About Body Image and Marriage” by Lorne Jaffe at Huff Post Parents.

Best List.5 Steps for Choosing Where to Spend Your Donation Dollars” by Andee Zomerman at Nature of a Servant.

Best Dumb Idea.Breaking Madden: Beast Mode, 3,000 players, and one controller” by Jon Bois at SB Nation.

A bee! AAAA!!!

Image: Jon Bois

Best Question.Do Democrats want pro-choice purity or to win elections?” by Kristen Day and Robert Christian at The Hill.

Best Blog Hop.#8TerribleTitles” by Kiersi Burkhart and other MG and YA writers that are part of The Sweet Sixteens.

Best Award.Vatican Astronomer and Jesuit Brother Guy Consolmagno Wins the Carl Sagan Medal” by Sarah Christian in Millennial.

Best Guest Post.The Listening Program” by Kelly Pinkham at Jake’s Journey.

Best New Font.Dyslexie Typeface (for people with dyslexia)” by Christian Boer, featured in De Zeen.

Best Instructional Video.How to Be a Good Guest or Host” by Glove and Boots (via YouTube).