Wednesday, December 17, 2008

This and That

So it occurred to me too late that I missed Tuesday's Stuff and Things yesterday. It seems to be the norm for me of late. I've also gotten off schedule, with sporadic timing, whereas I was publishing my posts at 6 a.m. Fortunately, it seems to have had no bearing on my readers. And I thank you for that!

If you don't mind, I have some rambling thoughts to share today. And here we go...


Yesterday's snow was so gorgeous! And the temperature has dipped so low for the last three days, the entire lake (600 acres!) froze over. It's so early for that to have happened! But talk about beauty. I'll try to get a picture sometime soon...

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Misterwrites brought a surprise home for me yesterday. "The best kind of 'flowers' to get in a December snow storm," he said.


Aren't they beautiful? He never surprises me with that sort of thing, so it was an extra-special treat. And I've never had a poinsettia! Speaking of, my friend Kelly recently posted the story behind poinsettias. If you'd like to read a good Christmas story, see here.

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My throat has been sore for the last few days. It's more than sinus drainage, but not as bad as strep. I've been taking tylenol and gargling salt water. Anything else I should be doing? I'd really like to avoid the doctor...

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And for what I think is last on my mind... I'm curious to know what you think makes a compelling blog post. Is it a relatable voice? A drawing topic? We all know some posts are more inspiring, thought-provoking, or touching than others, but what makes you return to any given blog?

26 comments:

Travis Erwin said...

I would say voice first and foremost and then an ability to spin things in a new thought provoking way whether it be via humor, emotion, or just interesting insight.

blog said...

I hope your throat feels better Janna! As for good blog posts, it has to relate to the reader (common interest) and I think 'hit home' for everyone. I think everyone can relate to your last entry about the snow. Things like that keep people coming back (I think). :-)

Janet said...

Vitamin C. You're forgetting the Vitamin C.

Melissa Marsh said...

One thing that gets me to return is that the person posts on a consistent basis. If someone posts once a week or even once every two weeks, I really don't tend to stick around. And I agree with Travis - voice is a big draw for me.

Hope your throat feels better soon! And how nice of your hubby to get you the poinsettia! They are just gorgeous flowers.

Janna Qualman said...

Travis - That's a big draw for me, too.

"blog" or Aaron - Thanks!

Janet - *smacks head* I never think about Vitamin C. I'll be sure to get some OJ today!

Melissa - Yeah, I think the sceduling can be crucial, too. And thanks!

WendyCinNYC said...

I'll agree about voice. I also prefer brevity to long and rambling posts.

Janna Qualman said...

Wendy - Maybe that was a hint? ;)

Melanie Avila said...

Let's see, I like a captivating voice. I don't visit blogs that bore me, no matter what the topic. I like consistent posting. It doesn't have to be every day, but frequent is good or I forget to go back. I'm not opposed to longer posts, but break it into smaller paragraphs. You do that, as do MOST posters, but some just go on and on and I tend to skip it.

Finally, Vitamin C. Drink some OJ!

Jen said...

I'm afraid I'm no good with home remedies with sore throats. Though I will recommend some honey-laced tea. I don't know if it actually helps, but I always feel soothed by a cup or three of that. :)

As far as blogs go? Well, good topics (and that varies wildly), well written, coherent posts, and yes, an interesting voice. I also dig thought-provoking posts.

Brian and Kelly said...

Never tried this, but the word of wisdom speaker at our women's group said vinegar. Sounds gross, but...

Ditto what many others said blogs being of interest, posted often, etc. I also love when there is humor. Doesn't have to be overwhelming, but little tid bits here and there :).

Janna Qualman said...

Melanie - Do I hafta? I'm so not a juice drinker. Alright, alright. I guess. :)

Jen - Got it! Puttin' honey on my list.

Kelly - Hmm. Gargle vinegar? I could actually handle that, I think.

spyscribbler said...

I think, for me, it's honesty and realness. Just real emotions, real life. Or thought-provoking, or extremely informative, or just a connection with the person.

I hope you feel better, Janna!

spyscribbler said...

(Salt is worth its weight in gold.)

Turkey Lurkey said...

Yucky! Sorry about your throat. Mine has been acting up too. It is usually one of two signs. Either I am getting a cold, or I am reacting to something in the air. Ricola is soothing, but wont cure it.

Very nice flowers! It was very sweet of Mr. Writes to bring them home!

I am not a big blog reader, especially lately. I do like that yours is about more than just writing. I'm not in a 'writing kind of place' right now. :)

Ang said...

I enjoy a blog with wit but great useful information.

My mom always gave me hot tea with honey and lemon in it for a sore throat. Always worked for me.

The flower is beautiful. We can't have them in the house because of our Shih-tzu puppy...very poisonous to animals and he chews on EVERYTHING.

Hope you feel better soon. Merry Christmas.

Joanne said...

With certain blogs, I think there is almost a friendship that develops, and returning is like visiting with a friend. (Yes, yours is one of them!) After that, yes, it's voice and thought provoking topics, whether writing or life related. And I'm with Wendy, brevity helps, too!

celestialwolf said...

I'd have to agree with Joanne, it's like a friendship. If the blog is humorous, warm, inviting, and mentally stimulating then people will continue to come back time and again.

thedomesticfringe said...

Hmmmm...interesting question on what makes a good post. I don't know off the top of my head. Some blogs I've read are just plain boring, but I love the ones that I visit each day. I think good blogs show the genuine personality and character of the blogger. They draw us into their lives, their stories, and their ultimately cause us to add them to our blogroll.

Nice gift from MisterWrites - very sweet.
-FringeGirl

WendyCinNYC said...

Ha! No, not a hint to you, but I can think of another blog that goes on and on. I don't have to keeeeep scrollllling dowwwwwn with your blog.

Nobody here--I promise.

Angie Ledbetter said...

Have you tried Airborne when you first feel the creeping cruds coming on? And the poinsetta is beautiful. As for blog posts of interest, I'd say being true to your own voice and view, and always giving away a little bit of yourself. (Oh, and on posting, I find if I do it the night before and set it to post the next morning or 3 days from now, sometimes that helps take away the stress.)

Janna Qualman said...

Spy - Thank you! I ran by the store to get some vitamins and such, and I hope to be on the mend.

Turkey - I haven't been either, at least, not like I wanted to this month. You'll get back to it! The holidays seem to flub everybody up.

Ang - Darnit, I meant to get honey.

Joanne - I think brevity helps, in most cases, move the point along.

Cel - Well said!

Fringegirl - Absolutely!

Wendy - *snicker* and whew!

Angie - Someone else mentioned Airborne, but they didn't have it at my small-town store. :( I will definitely keep it in mind for the future, though. And I have been pre-writing and having posts set to publish, I've just had a lot going on and have fallen behind. I'll get back to it soon!

Joy and Phil said...

Janna,
Honesty is what I look for in a blog and is what will bring me back. I want to read what the writer has to say about their every day life, their family, their job and especially their passions.

I love reading about their hobbies, trying the recipes they share, hearing of the special efforts toward homemaking (particularly in RVs as that is where I live) and of course, empathizing over heartaches that happen to the best of us.

Joy

ChristaCarol said...

As my little darling calls it "Warm Lemonade". Hot water in a mug, add lemon juice and honey, stir, measure ingredients for preferred taste. It's a blessing and it tastes yummy!

As for the blogging, I agree with those who mentioned friendship. To be honest, I got into blogging to develop a network but it's turned into quite a friendship with those I read, etc.

As for brevity, yeah, I tend to ramble sometimes too. It happens. As long as the voice or the subject is interesting, I'll usually stick around. And frequency is also important.

Cheryl said...

A frozen lake, gorgeous snow. Color me jealous! A little Airborne may get enough vita's in you to ward off that sore throat thing...

Cher

colbymarshall said...

I don't think there's any one thing...I read a lot of difference types of blogs, and it's just all whether I enjoy the blogger's style or not.

And I wish we had snow! Once every three years or something like that!

Janna Qualman said...

Joy, welcome! I appreciate your addition to the conversation. :) And you live in an RV? How cool!

ChristaCarol - I'm with you; I never expected the bonding one gets out of blogging.

Cher - Hi! I've seen you around - thanks for stopping by! I'm determined to get me some Airborne, so many people have recommended it. And drat! I meant to get lake pictures as I drove in this morning.

Colby - I've found the same for me; that many styles of blogging have caught my interest.