Creativity requires the courage to let go of certainties

Writing & Blogging: Writer’s Block, Affirmations, & Reader Comments

Disclaimer: this is a place of learning, safety, and hope. Take what you want from the post and forget the rest. Maybe this will help you. Maybe it won’t.

Thanks to everyone who commented on the last post. I appreciate your kind words and suggestions. I read all of them just now and tried to at least “like” all of them even if I didn’t reply. Sometimes I’m not sure what to say…

Funny how sharing fear makes it less scary

After I wrote the last post and shared my fears, some of the block disappeared. Still have not written anything yet, but I did find 5 useful articles on PubMed and some interesting references in an aromatherapy chemistry book. Next step, read the articles and start the note taking.

Thanks all of you for reading my post and sharing your stories in the comments. I feel less alone and more connected to a community who can relate to my fears and struggles. That always helps me cope with the fear the crops up whenever I try something different.

Maybe (I hope) it helps you cope with some of your fears too?

Sharing some Affirmations – 2019 reader comments

Back in 2019, I finished a 365 days of Affirmations challenge but didn’t write about it much here. The challenge was a personal one to help me change my perspective about, well, everything going on between 2018 and 2019 when I felt stuck in negativity and trapped. I think maybe 4 posts were dedicated to this challenge and sharing about the “About Page” too, but many guests commented about wanting more posts.

I promised to write more, but not in 2019. The reason? My family of origin came back into my life, and finding balance with them took up most of my available time. Their stories were not something I could share here without permission, and everything I normally would write about was colored by our interactions together.

To make up for that, I’m going to share 5 affirmations from 2018 here. They are yours to borrow and use if you want. Definitely to share too. And, if you’re interested, you can use them as writing prompts.

Writing prompts? Sure. If you want to challenge your skills and your thoughts a lá Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, you can use the affirmations as inspiration for journal entries, short essays, stories, poems, your own affirmations, etc.

Perseverance: I open myself up to the universal healing energy that surrounds us.

AlterXpressions

Rainy days give life to plants while making beautiful music.  I welcome all of nature’s symphony into my world.

AlterXpressions

I open my heart to universal unconditional love and compassion.

AlterXpressions

Cooking is an expression of self care and joy.  The combined aroma of cooking food grounds me in the present.  I immerse myself in the sensual pleasure of cooking.

AlterXpressions

I do my best to live within my values no matter what kind of stress fills my inner self.  Self compassion and kindness help me over come my mistakes with people.

AlterXpressions

Guest Comments

Many guests this week asked about my web site theme and Internet browser operating errors. They also asked for some tips about writing and blogging. Since I don’t know what platform you use as a web host, here are some general suggestions:

  1. Check your account’s help sections and resource pages for information. They often have useful articles about how to check for errors on your web site or blog and then fix the errors.
  2. Contact customer service. Sometimes the errors have to do with the platform and not your account. That happened to me a few times in the past.
  3. Review and update your themes at least 1x every other year. More often if you are still working on your design. There are many free themes with customization options to help you create something that fits you.
  4. When choosing themes, look for ones that include mobile browsing options. Both of my sites have the capability to convert their user view to fit a desktop, tablet, and other mobile devices. Not every theme (free and paid) offers this flexibility, so you have to include it in your search criteria.
  5. For Optimization and speed, learn the limits of your account and work within them. Adjust your settings and test them out – by visiting the site yourself or asking others to visit and test the pages/posts for you – and make adjustments. Once you find settings that keep your site/blog safe and allow for optimized loading speeds, etc. you can start pushing those limits.

Honestly, I contact WordPress customer support at least 2x a month with questions when I make changes to either site. In between that, I take the free classes and read the articles to try and figure things out myself first. But I know my limits and the chaos that ensues when I try to fix certain things myself. Lesson learned: know when to ask for help and ask before you make things worse.

If you have suggestions or affirmations you want to share, please write them in the comments.

Thanks for reading.

ADMIN: Comment Form messages go to spam

Dear Guests,

My sincerest apologies if you sent me messages to the comment form and did not get a response.

28 messages have gone to the comment form this year. All of them ended up in SPAM.

For comments to blog posts or the static website pages, I often will go into SPAM and search for guest comments. Then spend the time moving them out of the SPAM folder to approve, like and/or reply.

That will not happen if you send messages through the comment form. All messages marked as SPAM get automatically deleted.

I’m experiencing enough computer issues and problems with viruses/worms/malware, etc. coming in via email and text messages that responding to SPAM from the comment form is too stressful.

And if you have commented blog posts lately and not received a response, a like, or an “approve”, it’s because I have not checked comments in about 2-3 weeks. My weekends have been busy coping with personal triggers, a computer that needed repairs, and assorted other household chores that can’t be accomplished any other time.

Thank you for your patience.

AlterXpressions

ADMIN: Response to Internet Explorer and Other Browser issues

Hi guests,

Thank you all so much for bringing this to my attention. I have not been ignoring you and appreciate the time you take to write comments here. WordPress customer support is great, but the LiveChat option only works during the weekday. On weekends, I depend on email support and browsing through their help topics.

It took me a little while to figure out what options to try, but I finally decided to use the help topics. That way I can share the answers and links here with you. Then you can try the suggestions and follow up on your own.

Internet Explorer & Browsers

The main issue coming up lately is compatibility issues with Internet Explorer.

WordPress support says that only Internet Explorer 11 and later is supported now. Internet Explorer 10 and earlier version have known compatibility issues with WordPress. Here is the link to the WordPress Support article.

WordPress also offers this link to a list of supported Internet browsers with download links to the latest versions of each browser. Microsoft Edge, Safari, Mozilla, Opera, and Internet Explorer 11 are some of the browsers on that list.

My Learning Curve with Gutenberg Editor

Other issues, especially for posts with images, are part of my learning curve with the new WordPress Gutenberg Editor. I’m still learning how to add and embed photos into my posts without causing HTML errors. Yes, using a visual editor can cause problems like this.

With my post from earlier today, I had to publish a couple updates because I missed a couple minor spelling errors. In the process of updating the site, WordPress kindly let me know that two sections of my content had multiple HTML code errors.

In fact, WordPress gave me the option of viewing the HTML code that created the visual image and highlighted the errors in RED.

Solution? change the types of block I used for the text and images.

Thanks again for commenting and informing me about content errors. That helps me learn from my mistakes and create a checklist of what to look for before I publish a post in the future.

Thanks for reading

ADMIN: RSS Feed Issues, Opera, more FAQs

DISCLAIMER: I am not a tech expert, so any information quoted here comes from A) the guest who wrote a comment; or B) WordPress support. To maintain privacy, I did not include any names or handles.

Item 1: RSS Feed Issues

WordPress Customer Support says that my site and blog are available to add to RSS Feeds since both are listed as public. The free article offered this information:

rss feed link update 2019-01-23 at 5.26.09 pm
Option 3 under “Categories” RSS Posts Button – click to add Untangled Connections to your RSS Feed
  • Google Chrome does NOT support RSS feeds like some other search engines (Yahoo, Mozilla, Safari, etc.) so you can encounter errors trying to add any blog or site to a feed from there

WordPress suggested that I also add an RSS Feed links button to my side bar. This button is now the third item on the list, under “Categories”. Click on the button to add this blog or site (or specific post) to your feed.

Item 2: Viewing issues with Opera

A guest mentioned viewing issues in the comments section. This partial quote covers it:

“Howdy just wanted to give you a quick heads up. The text in your content seem to be running off the screen in Opera.”

WordPress support offered this information:

Opera is another internet browser like Google Chrome, Firefox or Internet Explorer. I don’t use Opera on my computer (I did install the most recent version of it to test but couldn’t replicate the issue), but it’s likely that this is a compatibility issue in Opera itself; I’ve used it previously and regularly experienced that sites can look slightly different from one browser to another. That was more of a problem in previous years though but not so much anymore!
If your reader notices this consistently, it would be really helpful to us to find out what version of Opera your reader is using, so that we can better identify where the problem is.

If any guests are experiencing similar issues and want to help Support improve compatibility with Opera, please send me a message.

Item 3: Two More FAQs

Yes, they’ve been added to the sticky post too.

Q5: Do you have any tips for aspiring writers/bloggers? Apprenticeships, etc.?
A5a: I never thought I would be in a position where people asked these kinds of questions, so at this time, no I don’t have any published posts, articles, etc. about blogging or writing. 
A5b: However, I have responded to guest comments with quick tips and information about this topic on the About This Site and Home pages.

Q6: I want to donate to your site. Is that possible? Is there a donation button?
A6: Thank you for your interest in supporting this website and blog. At this time, I am not accepting donations. To accept donations, I have to turn this site into a non-profit organization. That requires legal and business steps I am not ready to take at this time. Maybe in the future…

Thanks for reading.

Life Quirks: Technology Troglodyte

*This is for the guests who comment on my Home and About This Site Pages. *

The Trigger:

Technology scares all of the alters in our system.  For us, technology is a means to an end that allows us to avoid depending on paper for organization.

Some technology is also a trigger.  But other technology is useful enough that it’s become an integral part of my life (skip to the end for more on this).

Comment Question Addressed – you can stop here if you want…

Point is: this website, blog, etc. came about because I had to face my fear of technology for work and decided to apply the lessons here to create this website and blog too. Technology and electronics are a big weakness in my knowledge, experience, and lifestyle choices.

I learn what is needed to do my job and make life easier. The rest passes me by faster than cars pass each other on the highway’s fast lane.

Why? Learning is fun and appeases my curiosity. Technology, not so much. So I balance my need to understand technology with the fun of learning to improve this site.

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