Share Your World May 15th

This entry is part 5 of the series Share Your World

My Favorite Way to Start the Day!

Here are my answers to the questions posed for the Share Your World blogging challenge:

How many languages do you speak?

I speak two languages: English, my primary tongue and Afrikaans.

What are you reading, watching, listening to, eating?

  • I am currently reading The Last Plea Bargain by Randy Singer.
  • My husband and I are watching a series of DVDs called “The Mentalist”.
  • I’m listening to podcasts by Joanna Penn on different aspects of writing on my mp3 player.
  • I’ve just finished eating breakfast—muesli with added oat bran, nuts and raisins, Bulgarian yoghurt and low fat milk.

What was the last photo you took with your phone?

“Spring Flowers” (see below).  We have a spectacular display of spring flowers—wherever there is a patch of vacant land. The only problem with this photo is it’s May and we’re just heading into winter!

What is your favorite time of day? 

Sitting up in bed when I first awake, cradling my coffee mug brought by my wonderful husband, and thinking of all the wonderful things I’m going to achieve during the next 12 to 14 hours. (Not that I ever achieve them all, but it’s nice to imagine!)

Optional Bonus question:

What are you grateful for from last week, and what are you looking forward to in the week coming up? 

I was extremely grateful for two very different things last week.

  • I was so thrilled to see outbreaks of Spring Flowers bursting into bloom on deserted patches of vacant land. Especially as we’re moving from summer into winter! The little flowers are as confused with the weather as we are, but it’s as if they’re saying, “Don’t worry! We’re here now and we’ll be back on Spring Day (1st September)!” (I hope they remember!)

 

  • I’m cheating and including Sunday as last week. I had a wonderful Mother’s Day (here in S.Africa) scrolling through a wealth of unbranded dies on eBay that come from China! No shipping costs!I ordered 10 dies or die-sets for the price I anticipated paying for one here! And before you write to warn me, I know a number of people who have already got some from this source and I’m assured they are top quality and cut well. So here goes . . .  It’s difficult to choose my favorite, but here are my two top choices:
Spanish Galleon, ideal for boy’s or men’s cards.

 

Card-sized die with center separate.
Such potential.

 

And I’m looking forward to . . .

On Saturday 20th we have a “Cardies” get-together. About 15-20 of us get together once a month and one of the leaders demonstrates a new card technique. This week we’re learning how to make these cards:

 

Bargello Card

Waterfall card

 

That’s all for this week. What piece of information have I shared about “My World” that you didn’t know about before? I’d love you to let me know in a comment below. I love reading about other writers or bloggers and their lives.

Share Your World

This is a blogging challenge headed up by Cee Neuner.

Cee posts a few questions each week, and all participants need do is answer them. It’s a cool way to get to know one another. The idea is to answer the questions without overthinking them and just have fun. If you are interested in joining this blogging challenge—just copy/paste the above questions into a new post and answer them. Then put the link for your post here: Cee’s Challenge.

Also read: Share Your World – May 8th

 

 

The Shepherd with an Impossible Dream

https://www.flickr.com/photos/riot/54970673 by RogiroAn impossible dream . . .

Tembo was a shepherd boy who lived in a makeshift hut in the mountains of Lesotho.

Often he watched airplanes streak overhead en route for distant cities. One day he cried out, “If only I could fly one of those.”

Some years later, a missionary met Tembo and he got to know him. Impressed with the boy’s dream he gave him a job cleaning hangers.

The years passed, and Tembo’s hard work was noticed. He was promoted to better positions. Kind-hearted pilots gave him lessons in his off-duty hours.

One memorable day, the shepherd boy from Lesotho received his pilot’s licence. God had known all along where that young boy was, and He had a plan for his life.

(True story—Name changed.)

My dream: 

I had an impossible dream—to attend a writers’ conference in the United States of America. I called it out to God, and I’ve been to two, not one. You can read about them here:

Sandy Cove Writers’ Conference, and Florida Writers’ Conference.

How about you?

Do you have an impossible dream? Do you have the courage to give it to God? Speak to Him about it, and He may surprise you. He just might bring it to pass!

Matthew 19:26 But Jesus beheld them, and said unto them, With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible.

With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible. Matthew 19:26 Click To Tweet

PRAYER: Lord, help me to dream big dreams and trust you with the results.

Fill in your name and email to receive a short weekly
devotional message by Shirley Corder direct to your inbox.

N.B. You can unsubscribe at any time.
* Email
* First Name
* Last Name
* = Required Field

Email Marketing You Can Trust

Share Your World – May 8th

This entry is part 4 of the series Share Your World

A change of habits.

I am changing my blogging habits for a while.

There’s nothing as good as a change of routine, right?

I’ve signed up to participate in a blogging challenge with a difference. I came across it on Deb’s World, and it sounds fun. It’s called Share Your World and is headed up by Cee Neuner. She posts a few questions each week, and all participants need do is answer them. It’s a cool way to get to know one another. The idea is to answer the questions without overthinking them and just have fun.  I’m looking forward to it. Feel free to join in by copying the questions and then write your answers in a new post linking back to Cee’s original post.

I presume we then visit some of our fellow participants in the blogging challenge. That way we will get to know one another.

So here we go.

read more

Ten Ways to Make Your Blog Unique

This entry is part 9 of the series International English

Do you want your site to stand out in the noise of the Internet?

Do you want a unique blog or website?

So what is your goal?

Are you hoping to make it the best in your niche? Then I need to disillusion you.

Sorry.

You will never be the best. According to the stats at the time, in 2013  there were an estimated 152,000,000 blogs on the Internet. Yep, 152 million! And that was years ago. There are doubtless many many more today. And guess what. Many of them will be in your niche!

I’m sure you’re good, but that good?

read more

Even Elephants Communicate

elephants communicate with one another

Anxiety weighs down the heart, but a kind word cheers it up.
(Proverbs 12:25 NIV).

Animals communicate with one another.

From the gigantic elephant to the tiny ant, they “speak” to one another.

Humans too communicate with one another. Our words can lift up and encourage. When spoken at the right time they have great value.

When the wrong words are spoken, or even the right words at the wrong time or attitude, it would be better if they weren’t spoken at all.

Let us ask God to make our hearts and words available to Him, and that we may be sensitive to speak at the right time.

Sometimes it is said, “Christians are the only army that stab each other in the back.”

This ought never to be true. Let us concentrate this week on building one another up and encouraging those with whom we have contact.

Receive a weekly devotional message in your inbox.

Fill in your name and email to receive a short weekly
devotional message by Shirley Corder direct to your inbox.

N.B. You can unsubscribe at any time.
* Email
* First Name
* Last Name
* = Required Field

Email Marketing You Can Trust

Six Tips to Safeguard Your Comments from Spam

safeguard your comments from spamRecently, I received a note on a Facebook Group: “I can’t leave comments on this post.”

I checked, and sure enough, my settings were clearly marked to close comments after 21 days.  The post was a couple of years old, but it was a good one, and I wanted to bring it out of hibernation.

So why did I have comments closed?

That setting is to try and prevent spam. Spammers usually leave their damage on old posts where you’re not likely to notice them.

I wrote to fellow members of a blogging group I belong to on FaceBook and asked them what they did. Their responses showed that almost all of them left their comments permanently open, but took steps to protect them from spam.

I realized that in the two years both of my websites including two blogs have been operational, I have never had one piece of spam. So in the words of Julie Andrews in The Sound of Music, “Somewhere in my youth or childhood, I must have done something good!” But the time had come to test my theory. I removed the 21 day limit for the month—and intend leaving the restriction off.

I read somewhere the comment, “A blog without comments is a telephone with no earpiece.” You may not get many comments, but those you do will immediately add to the value and uniqueness of your site.

So what is the answer? How can you safeguard your comments from spam?

Here are six suggestions: read more

Zing and Zeal for Your Blog

This entry is part 28 of the series Build a Better Blog

Z is for zing and zealWe’ve come to the end of the Build a Better Blog alphabet, and today  we’re looking for that final touch. We have two words today.

Zing and Zeal!

First some definitions.

My dictionary describes zing as the activeness of an energetic personality.

It also suggests a brief high-pitched buzzing or humming like “the zing of the passing bullet”.

For those of us participating in the A to Z Challenge it would be appropriate to mention the zing of April as it sped past! But that’s not the sense we’re using in this closing post, but rather the activeness of an energetic personality.

Zeal according to my dictionary means  a feeling of strong eagerness, excessive fervor to do something or accomplish some end, and finally prompt willingness..

Face your blog with  a combination of zing and zeal and I guarantee it will take off!

read more

Yes to YouTube

This entry is part 27 of the series Build a Better Blog

A quick history

On Valentine’s Day, February 14 2010, the video-sharing website, YouTube, was founded. The first video showed co-founder Jawed Karim at the San Diego Zoo, and was uploaded in April 2005. It can still be viewed on the site (all 18 seconds of it!)

Today, over ten years later, YouTube has over a billion users, almost one-third of all users of the Internet. Every day, people generate billions of views and spend millions of hours watching videos. read more

EXciting X Factor of Your Blog

This entry is part 26 of the series Build a Better Blog

Disclosure: This post contains some affiliate links for your convenience. Click here to read my full disclosure policy.

We’re nearing the end of the alphabet and the A to Z Challenge. We’re into the tricky letters now, but today I thought we’d look at 

X is for X Factor

How good were you at maths (or math) at school? Let’s start with a maths challenge. 

9 – X = 6

sumI’m sure you didn’t need a calculator to work out the answer.

This X stands for 3. Change the X into 3 and you have 9-3=6.

And that is correct. If you got it correct, I’m proud of you. But if you were wrong, write out X = 3 100 times before bed tonight. 🙂 

So what on earth does this have to do with blogging?

read more

Watch your Word-Count as you Build a Better Blog

This entry is part 25 of the series Build a Better Blog

Disclosure: This post contains some affiliate links for your convenience. Click here to read my full disclosure policy.

One question that is asked over and over again in blogging circles is, “What is the ideal word-count for a blog post?”

Now that we’ve reached W in the A to Z challenge, it seems a good time to look further at this question. So

W is for Watch your Word-count.

Some will tell you readers have limited time to read, so short is best. They will tell you that you’re more likely to reach more people and gain more comments, if you stick to short punchy posts.

Others say readers don’t spend time reading longer posts, they will only skim the text, but if they spot interesting information, they will stop to read. Therefore the longer posts are better. Certainly the Search Engines are more likely to spot keywords in longer posts and, it is often argued, the longer the better from the SEO point of view.

When I first started blogging it was an accepted fact that the ideal word-count was around 500 words. Why? Because readers could see the post on their screen without needing to scroll down. That of course is no longer the situation, what with the smaller laptop screens and even smaller tablets.

Add to this the estimated 51% of readers who do most of their internet reading on their mobile phones. read more