Posts Tagged ‘blogging’

Mercury and PsycheA quick note to greet the new readers who’ve signed up in recent weeks. Naturally, some new subscribers are from WordPress, but there are also a few each from Facebook, Twitter, and now from tumblr as well. Welcome.

I don’t know if it’s related or coincidental, but with new subscribers I often seen a handful of sales of my books, which is always nice. Book Five of the Fallen Cloud Saga is the most popular. The Kindle versions are chugging along, and some of you are even dropping the coin for hardcopy editions (well done, old-schoolers!) We even got a few takers on my medical memoir. All novels are available in both e-book and hardcopy editions.

There’s bound to be something for everyone in the coming days. Writing updates, book and movie reviews, and possibly a bread-and-butter pickle recipe (if my cucumber plant still has enough oomph to put out a few more cukes.)

As always, comments are welcome, and feel free to use the new Contact page if there’s something you want to ask offline.

Welcome all.


PS. I hope you’re all not here for my David Chang Chicken Noodle Soup recipe. That recipe is giving my new posts some very stiff competition. (It is a great recipe, though.)

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Just an FYI for regular readers…

I’ve added a “Contact” page and form to the blog; you should be able to see it up there on the menu (far right). Feel free to use it to submit questions, feedback, general comments, requests for topics and/or recipes, and other such.



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Stack of BooksThis week I came across two articles for writers that I thought I’d pass along.

The first article comes from my friends over at The Noble Dead website. Barb and J.C. Hendee are bestselling authors with nearly a score of books to their collective credit. J.C. is also their webmaster, and trust me, he knows his stuff. (more…)

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Y’know, I get really depressed when my recipe for Chicken Noodle Soup a la David Chang continually gets more hits than my current posts on writing, culture, and current events…

…but then a vee of Canadian geese fly in from the south, happy, crossing overhead, cheering each other onward, their chatter echoing across the cul-de-sac until it fades away to the north…

…and I feel better. Chicken noodle soup for everyone. Enjoy.



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Mahonia after rainToday begins the second year of this blog. It’s been an education.

Here’s the obligatory breakdown of my first year:

  • This will be the 299th post
  • The blog has garnered almost 7000 hits
  • The blog has been viewed by 137 countries

What fascinates me the most is the variety of search criteria that has sent folks this way.

Factoring out the “miscellaneous” search phrases (like “walking stick heavy end up or down”…hunh?), some things become clear.

  • People are very curious about the relative properties of dishware
    (“porcelain vs. stoneware” — 30% of search hits)
  • People are as interested in my writing as they are in some of the recipes I put up
    (both at 14% of total search hits)
  • People are nearly as interested in what a “peeper’s dry plate” is, as they are in my writing
    (“peeper’s dry plate” — 9% of search hits)
  • Movies, Seattle, and general writing topics each took in 5-7% of the total

It’s all just nerdy gee-whiz sort of figures, but it shows that I’m meeting my two major goals:

  1. I’m writing something on a regular basis
  2. I’m providing a way for my readers and potential readers to learn about my writing

So, my thanks to all of you, both subscribers and passers-by, for your interest, your comments, and your encouragement.


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Kurt R.A. GiambastianiIt’s been a difficult week for us all, and continues to be so–nowhere more so this morning than in Boston. In reaction I’ve tried to “Keep calm and carry on” by doing normal things and moving forward with projects. I’ve been able to push the line forward a little in some areas: with this blog, with my gardens, and with the new novel. (more…)

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Composing a post for your blog? Writing an email to a colleague? Here are a couple of tips:

The letter “r” is not a verb.

The letter “u” is not a pronoun.

It doesn’t surprise me when blog posts or emails have this sort of embedded “text-speak.” Nor does it surprise me to find them riddled with bad syntax, incoherent thoughts, and errors both typographic and grammatical. It saddens me that those intent on communicating via the written word don’t have the sense (or self-respect) to proofread what they’ve written before they hit “send,” but it doesn’t surprise me.

What does surprise me is when I come across the same in posts on writers’ discussion boards. What does surprise me is when a writer doesn’t catch his own mistake when he writes “Art thou saint or satin?” And it goes beyond surprise when, as I saw the other day, a presenter of a TED talk repeatedly used the letter “r” as a verb in his Powerpoint presentation.


If you want your words to be taken seriously, stick close to the standards of writing. In speech or in the written word, if you consistently flout the accepted standards of spelling, grammar, and composition, your words, your thoughts, sometimes even you as a person, will be discounted, diminished, or totally ignored by the world at large.

I shouldn’t have to use a secret decoder ring to translate a writer’s words into comprehensible English.

In fact, I won’t.  And I’m not alone.

I’m not being a grammar Nazi or a writerly snob. I’m not asking for high-falutin’ rhetoric or exquisite imagery. I’m asking for comprehensible grammar and correct spelling. Allowances for hurriedly written texts and non-native English speakers aside, a writer must strive for quality in the written word. You can only blame your iPhone’s predictive spelling function for so much.

In the end, if you don’t mind looking like an idiot because you don’t know the difference between “satin” and “Satan,” fine.

Just don’t expect me to take you seriously at the same time.

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