Writing Drills and Daily Work Outs

March of a Blogging Soldier


Day One: Introduce Yourself to the World

Call me Ishmael! Nope. Melville did that already.

Start again.  Call me Janssen. Over the years I’ve blogged intermittently and randomly. Because I really like technology and I really like WordPress. In fact, I have three blogs: each fulfilling a different purpose.

Lately, I am more serious about blogging with consistency and organization. I make a concerted effort to post at least once a week in each of them.  This blog exists as a space where I can improve my blogging both in terms of technology and content. I will use this space for lessons, for practicing tips and techniques, and for posting the white elephant stuff that just doesn’t fit in any other room.

Today I am restarting Blogging 101, the course provided by WordPress folks for newbies, and for novices who want to improve both content and technique.

Featured post


via Daily Prompt: Evoke

Evoke the best, evoke the worst, evoke the artist within, evoke a response. The very best of my teachers did not labor to pry open our little heads and pound in the sand of information  What they did was draw out the wonder of discovering what we could do, evoking a joy in learning how the world works.


via Daily Prompt: Carve

One thing that I would ask of a fairy godmother is the ability to carve and carve well.  It would be so wonderful to take a sharp knife and carve beautiful even slices from the Christmas turkey.  It would be such a wonderful boost to my wilting ego to show up at the neighborhood Halloween party and win the pumpkin carving contest with a carving of Mount Rushmore.

The word is Undulate

via Daily Prompt: Undulate

This is a word that I love but rarely use because it’s not a workable word for daily, daylight living.  It makes me think of slinky underwear, the slow hypnotic movement of a garden snake across the long, of master belly dancers, camels walking.  It is a word that speaks of sexuality, seduction, and sensuality.


via Daily Prompt: Forlorn

Quick and dirty definition from a dictionary: “pitifully alone, abandoned and lonely.  Case in point “The Little Match Girl.”

Alone he stood, upon the shore, staring at an endless sea.  Neither friend nor foe had he; none but himself. Doomed to life forlorn.


Funneling into an Existential Question

via Daily Prompt: Funnel

One of the ten most important tools to have in a kitchen drawer is a funnel.  It’s that cone-shaped gadget wide at one end, narrow at the t’other with a hole all the way through.  It allows one to pour things from a large container into a small container without making a mess.

Funnel also makes a useful metaphor for managing all the incoming information available via social media in every shape or form.  While large quantities of information pours in, only a little flows into my day, and there is no mess.

Of course this gives rise to an existential question?  Is information really important at all.  I got very good grades and accolades from my teachers because of all the historical dates that I knew, as well as the names of people among the honored dead.  So what? What do the dates of battles and the names of people contribute to my present experience unless I am a jeopardy contestant?


Daily Prompt: Temporary

via Daily Prompt: Temporary

Forty little grey cells, living two millimeters left of my retina, concluded that temporary is a great-grandchild of “tempus fugit.”  I am not saying there is any basis in fact regarding that conclusion, but it sounds good and I like it.

  • temporary job-a job that flees after a short time
  • temporary lover-a lover that flees after a brief time
  • temporary cash flow problem-long term debt

And so it goes.,

None, but the Lonely Heart

via Daily Prompt: None

Like flipping on a lightbulb, today’s word triggered a memory of a five year old me playing in the living room at dusk, listening to Frank Sinatra on the radio singing “None, but the Lonely Heart.” I looked up the lyrics on the web.  What a despondent lament!

“None” generally tips the word scale on the negative side.  The only time when “none’ carries a drop of cheer is when it is associated with the following words: died, maimed, and injured.

Daily Prompt: Nervous

via Daily Prompt: Nervous

What’s my sign? I was born under the sign of “Nervous Nellie.” Characteristics are over sensitivity to looks from teachers, and strangers on trains.  Dreams about the first day of school where I show up wearing only underwear. Shaky hands that rattle teacups in the company of others. Jumping at loud noises like cats trotting across the room.

Daily Prompt: Vivid

via Daily Prompt: Vivid

This is a wonderful word! Wouldn’t it be wonderful if this were the first word my friends used to describe me! (monochrome is actually the first word they use). Vivid is a summer day in Italy, saris in India, tulip fields in Holland. AND its a word that uses two “v” for scrabble or Words with Friends.

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