Blog Posts I (Sort of) Wish I Hadn’t Written

It’s easy to forget how far-reaching the internet is. I tend to think I am holding court here in my own corner of the blogosphere, but the truth is, anyone who happens to search for the right term (or wrong term) can land on this blog.

Mostly people get here by using various search terms having to do with writing or grief, but occasionally I post an article that gets hits of a sort I never intended. For example, three years ago, I posted a transcript of a conversation I had with my sister “Was It Bizarre Reading a S** Scene Written By Your Sister?” A couple months later, when I realized that the article was attracting a huge number of hits from people who wanted to have s** with their sisters — 1,954 hits as of right now — I posted the list of the search terms people had used to get to here: S** With Sister Tips. Um…Yeah. That list has garnered 16,790 hits in the past three years. Two days later, I wrote S** With Sister Tips — Writing Tips, That Is. It was my idea of humor — if they wanted tips for having incestuous s**, I’d give them writing tips, sort of as a gentle chastisement. The article itself wasn’t humorous. It was a very pragmatic look at the pitfalls of writing about sibling s**. That article has garnered 9,272 hits.

The whole situation ceased to amuse me years ago, and now makes me rather uneasy. (Which is why the asterisks — I’m trying to keep the search engines from finding yet another s** with sister article.

The other post that makes me a bit uneasy because of all the attention is How Many Books Are Going to be Published in 2012? (Prepare for a Shock). I’d only written the article as a way of trying to make sense of the current book climate and to show the meteoric increase in the number of books available, not to establish myself as any authority on the subject.

Although the article was posted only five months ago, it has had 1,536 hits as of right now. I don’t mind that, of course, but I do mind being touted either as an authority or as an idiot. Several sites that offer book publicity services use that article as a reason for authors to sign up for expensive promotions, and others write scathing articles calling me an idiot who shouldn’t be allowed around statistics since I misuse them.

The truth is, there is no way to extrapolate from the information I gave as to how many books will be published in 2012. Bowker estimates they will issue 15,000,000 ISBNs this year, as compared to 407,000 in 2007, but the truth is, many people use several ISBNs for the same book since some retailers want separate ISBNs for ebooks and print books. And many self-publishers don’t use ISBNs at all, especially if they are only going to sell on Amazon and B&N since both companies will issue their own product numbers. So there could be 5,000,000 books published, or 15,000,000, or even 150,000,000.

This was supposed to be a cautionary tale about being careful what you post since it could haunt you for many years, but it in the end, telling your truth of the moment, no matter what the fallout, is the important thing. It does sadden me, though, that some of my best writing — inspirational and thoughtful posts — sink into oblivion, while these posts get many views.

Tripping Over Words, Rocks, and Other Things

Today when I was out walking, I took a rockier route than I normally do. I wanted to photograph some shaggy beasts that live down the road. I was paying more attention to the creatures instead of where I put my feet, and I went sprawling. The whole thing was a bit ridiculous. I’d taken the same walk yesterday for exactly the same reason, though yesterday when I tried to take the photos, I discovered the camera batteries were dead. On my way home, I tripped on a branch embedded in the ground and fell. So today, I very carefully stepped over the branch and tripped on a rock. Sheesh.

I did get some photos, though the beasts were too far away for me to get a good image. I think they might be yaks, but it’s hard to tell.

The point of this article is that if you trip over a rock or a branch, you have to pick yourself up and continue on your way. Assuming you’re not hurt, of course. (This is hilarious! MsWord has just told me “you’re” should be “you is.” As in “Assuming you is not hurt.” Yikes!) If you trip over words while writing . . . ah! What joy. You can go back and untrip. Nothing is permanent. Everything is subject to deletion, insertion, revision. (You really didn’t expect me to let a chance to moralize about writing slip by, did you?)

So what does this have to do with my Daughter Am I blog tour? Not a thing. However, since you asked —

Today I am being interviewed at the D.C. Examiner: Pat Bertram discusses her obsessions, reading, and latest projects.

I am also discussing my writing space at Savvy Verse and Wit: Pat Bertram Shares Her Writing Space.

You can also download 30% of Daughter Am I free at: Smashwords.

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Whew! Now I Feel Safe?

I’ve been reading a very old book on blogging. For normal purposes, a 2006 copyright isn’t that old, but apparently when it comes to the blogosphere, it’s so old as to be . . . well, not worthless, but outdated. The only mention of WordPress in the book was the .org version. The .com version (the one most of us have come to rely on) wasn’t even mentioned. Is that new? I don’t know — I’ve only been blogging for two years, so anything before September 2007 is prehistoric to me.

Anyway, the author of the book suggests backing up your blog to make sure that your don’t lose your content in case the host’s computer crashes or the host goes out of business, as did someone who hosted 3,000 blogs many, many blogyears ago. (Apparently a blogyear is akin to a dogyear.) So I hied myself to the WordPress forum to find out the best way to back up my 351 posts, 4 pages, 33 categories, 1,350 tags, and 1,865 valuable (and much appreciated) comments. According to WordPress, however, the blogs are already backed up. I found this on a FAQ page:

If your blog is hosted here at, we handle all necessary backups. If a very large meteor were to hit all of the servers and destroy them beyond repair, all of your data would still be safe and we could have your blog online within a couple of days (after the meteor situation dies down, of course).

I also found this in a discussion forum: 

Right now there are 3 copies of your blog in 3 different parts of the USA.

If California drops into the Pacific, your blog is still safe.
If California drops into the Pacific AND Texas gets hit by a meteor storm which destroys it you can still blog all about it.
If all 3 go down then there is something very serious going on …

There isn’t really a need to backup.

Unless, of course, you want to, in which case you go to your dashboard, scroll down to tools, click on export, and send your blog files to . . . wherever.

I feel safe now, don’t you? I won’t think about California dropping into the Pacific, Texas getting hit by a meteor storm, that unspecified meteor situation, or that even more unspecified “something very serious going on”. Not much, anyway.

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What Kind of Blogger Are You?

All bloggers are created equal. We start out with a blank template, an idea, a hope of words to come, but we do not stay equal. In my journeys around the blogosphere, I have noticed many different kinds of bloggers. What kind are you?

Blogger – one who blogs on a regular basis.
Clogger – one who clogs cyberspace with unused or abandoned blogs.
Plogger – one who plugs away at their blog, managing one or two posts a week.
Slogger – one who blogs occasionally. Halfway between a clogger and a plogger.
Logger – one who logs in frequently to check stats and comments.
Flogger – one who blogs to sell a product or an idea.
Glogger – one who guzzles while blogging.
Catalogger – one who blogs while holding a cat in their lap.
Kittylogger – one who blogs while a kitten sits on the keyboard.
Epilogger – one who blogs about the end of the world as we know it.
Monologger – one who blogs on and on about a single topic.
Dialogger – one who carries on digital conversations with commenters.
Decalogger – one who blogs about the Ten Commandments or other religious topics.
Decilogger – one who has ten or more blogs.
Analogger – one who doesn’t blog, doesn’t know what a blog is, or doesn’t own a computer.