Passively Active

I was busy doing yardwork before I went to work today, and I will be busy again when I get home, but this close to the 1000th day of daily blogging, I’m not about to fall on my sword and break my streak. (I am less than two months away from meeting my goal.) I was wondering how to accomplish my blogging task for the day, when I remembered I could send in my blog by email.

It has been years since I blogged by email. I think the last time I did so was on my cross-country road trip in 2016, so I hope I am doing it correctly. If not, well, I’ll figure out another way of posting something today.

By the way I talk (or rather, by the way I write) you’d think I lead an active life, when the truth is, most of what I do is passive. Reading is passive. Blogging is passive. Watering is basically passive. I stand with a hose in my hand and let the water pressure do the work, or I set the hose in the front yard, then set the hose in the back, then amble to the front again and move that hose, then back to the back yard. Lots ambling back and forth! Visiting with neighbors is also passive. I stand there watering, and they stop to chat. (A lovely break from listening to my own thoughts, especially when the conversation is accompanied by compliments. One neighbor loves my tulips, another says my grass is looking good, a third said I looked good and wondered if I’d been going to a spa, though I don’t know of any spa around here.) My job is mostly passive, too, except when it’s not.

One of these days, perhaps when the wind dies down (if it ever does), I’ll stop being so passively active and become actively active. Weeds and crabgrass are sprouting up and growing like … well, like weeds. But for now, I’m just glad I am able to keep my grass and other plants alive. A few spindly lilacs didn’t make it through the winter, but most are doing well. Some of the lilacs I transplanted from a neighbor’s yard (with his permission, of course) look as if they might have flowers this year. My newly planted plum trees seem to be leafing out, the larkspur is taking over some garden spots, and a few more bulbs have made an appearance. (If all goes well when I send this post by mail, a photo of my hyacinth should be attached.)

All that growth adds to the illusion of my being active, when in fact I passively wait for the plants to do whatever it is that they do.


Pat Bertram is the author of intriguing fiction and insightful works of grief.

The Magic of Blogging by Email

I’ve been practicing posting by email to make it easier to blog when my only access to the internet will be my phone. It wasn’t as difficult to post by email as I thought it would be.

The first thing I needed to do was to get a special email address. To do this, go to your dashboard and click on “my blogs.” The easiest way to find “my blogs” is to go to your blog, hover your cursor over “my site” on the left navigation strip, then click on “WP Admin.” You should see “My blogs” on the left sidebar close to the top.

Click “enable email” for the blog you wish to post to via email. That will give you a special email address. I input the email address in my phone so I don’t have to ever think about it again, and now it’s ready whenever I need it.

To post by email, go to your email on your phone and open a new message. The recipient, of course, is that secret email address WordPress assigned to you. The subject line is the title of the blog. The body of the email is the blog itself. An attached photo will show up on the bottom of the email. Apparently, as of now, there isn’t a way to align the image via email. If you want to realign it — to add it to the top of the blog or to wrap text around it — you have to edit the post on your computer.

There are some really cool aspects of email blogging, for example, the shortcodes. [category a,b,c] will post categories. The categories must already be ones you use on your blog. The brackets are part of the shortcode, and there can be no space before the word “category” or after the last category you use. (In this case, the letter c.) You don’t even have to use the whole word, just the first few letters, but I haven’t yet tried out that tip.

For tags, use the shortcode [tags a,b,c]. Again, no space before the word “tags” and after the last tag. Be sure to separate tags with commas. New tags will be automatically generated; they don’t already need to be in use on your blog.

If you attach more than one photo, they will show up as a gallery. If you want each one posted individually, use the shortcode [nogallery].

These three shortcodes can be placed anywhere in the email and it won’t affect the text of your post.



Pat Bertram is the author of the suspense novels Light BringerMore Deaths Than OneA Spark of Heavenly Fireand Daughter Am IBertram is also the author of Grief: The Great Yearning, “an exquisite book, wrenching to read, and at the same time full of profound truths.” Connect with Pat on Google+. Like Pat on Facebook.