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Thursday, July 20, 2017

A Journey of 3000 Blog Posts

Yup, this is my 3000th blog post (on this blog). I'd previously been posting on Xanga, a sort of pre-blog platform, with some friends for several years, and then did a short-lived blog called "Niblets from the Shark" that was more personal. Then I had the brainstorm to take the "Quality Day" exercise and make it into a blog that other people might enjoy (If you don't know what this is about read What is My Quality Day?). This was in October of 2008. Nearly 10 years ago. Blogging was in it's heyday at that point, and I signed up with Entrecard, CMF, and later Adgetize. I started more blogs than I could possibly keep alive. I tried to make money. OK, I made a little. More on that later. I have met a lot of good friends from around the world through this blog. A significant number of us are still friends on Facebook, and a few have made the transition to real life friends.

Are you ready for too many pictures and a bit of philosophy?

Joan H. Young

An awful lot has happened in 10 years. We had a dog, Maggie, and a cat,V-8, then. Now I have no pets. I never thought I'd live without a dog, but I want to travel, and society has little tolerance for people leaving dogs in vehicles any more. Even if the conditions are fine.

Maggie the Vizsla
When I began this blog adventure, I was completely self-employed. I had several accounts designing and maintaining web sites. All but one of those is now gone. People figured out you could make web sites on blog platforms for next to nothing and slowly, my customers faded away. I did a long stint of content writing. I wrote on a LOT of different sites. Mostly, I didn't enjoy it. The one exception to that was a site called Shared Reviews, where I was making the most money. I put too many eggs in that basket, and when it went belly-up, that hurt. But I still have a lot of Facebook friends from that adventure too.

I started writing cozy mysteries. Now I am working on the fifth one! People seem to like my writing, and spending more time doing that is one of my future goals. I want to keep writing mysteries, finish the sequel to North Country Cache, write a technothriller, and some non-fiction.

Dead Mule Swamp mysteries

Somewhere in there, I realized the content writing was making me nuts and not bringing in enough money. When the blog advertising networks folded- and that pitiful income went away, I couldn't make myself write enough pieces about things I didn't care about, and with so much dictated spin that it seemed dishonest. Yeah, I got a job in December 2010. That was the one where I took pictures for insurance companies. I really loved that job for about 5 years. I got to drive all over and see back roads and interesting places. Like this...

trees with red fruit

and this (Hawkins Road)...

Hawkins road view

But then, things changed, and the flexibility really went away. I quit that job in July 2016. Overlapping with that is the job in the mailroom at the Ludington Daily News. I started that in December of 2012, and I'm still there. It will never pay much, but I like the people I work with and it's quite physical, which I find satisfying. (This picture is NOT what the machine is supposed to do!)

mail room machine jam

My hope is that within a year I can quit and concentrate on writing. Fixing up the little trailer as a portable office is part of that dream. (picture from the week I brought the trailer home- December 2013)

mail room machine jam

You've followed me as I completed a major goal, to hike all the miles of the North Country National Scenic Trail (the first woman to do so).

North Country Trail E2E patch

I'm still in love with hiking and the North Country Trail. Lots of foot travel in my future for as long as I can walk.

My health is good. You've heard about almost all the issues- a new partial plate (not nearly as good as the one it replaced, I'm sorry to tell you.) was made in 2009.

funny teeth fitting

I did get lymphangitis from a cat bite, and have also spent 3 years recuperating from a bacterial gut infection they never did identify, but I'm pretty much over the after-effects of the hefty antibiotics they gave me. Probably the only thing I haven't shared is that my left shoulder started coming out of joint after I fell on it in 2013. So now, both shoulders are shot. That has pretty much put the kibosh on my dream to do a long swim unless I get them repaired, which isn't likely.

Other than that, I'm good to go!

We've weathered a crisis I haven't put on the blog at all, but I'm still here. (You didn't think that just because I choose to focus on quality items that my life is all roses and sunshine, did you?) Om and I will have spent 49 years together in another month. (I know... it's kind of a miracle!)

funny wedding picture

I still can't decide what to be when I grow up. But I'll try some adulting as an author for the next round.

I have no idea how many miles I've hiked since 2008, but it's in the thousands. And I've learned hundreds of new plants. Thank goodness the number of uncompleted craft projects isn't quite that high.

I've been through 5 cameras; 3 computers; 3 phones; 2 cars; gallons of yogurt, iced tea and soup; and one God. One. Yup, I'm one of those people. Praise the Lord, All Glory to Jesus. God is Good.

Hope a bunch of you will come along with me to see what happens next!

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vanilla said...

Well played, Joan of Shark! Keep the posts coming. I started blogging the same month you started MQD but I am 400 posts behind--next one will be 2599. But. I am light-years behind you in overall writing.

Also, more importantly, I am "one of those" too. Praise God from whom all blessings flow!

Sharkbytes said...

Vanilla- I'm so glad I've gotten to know you, both through your writing and in real life. PTL!

The Furry Gnome said...

Very nicely put! Looking forward to the next 3000 and whatever changes in your life come with it.

Sharkbytes said...

Stew- Glad to have made your acquaintance. You've gotten me hooked on the Bruce Trail so we may meet for real yet!

Gayle Parks said...

I don't comment much but I read often. I love reading about your adventures!

John Sealander said...

Congratulations. You were one of the first bloggers I started reading and we're both still here. Hope we can both make it to 5000 posts...

Sharkbytes said...

Gayle- Thanks! No problem to read and not comment. I can tell by the numbers there are many in that category. I appreciate your support.

John- Wow! Thanks for the comment. You haven't missed a day blogging (and I have for various reasons). 5000? That would be something. Our digital legacy? Har har.

Secondary Roads said...

I started blogging three months after you started MQD. I've enjoyed reading everyone of your 3k posts. I like that first pic, because it seems to capture the Sharkey that Sylvia and I have come to know and appreciate. My favorite thought is Hawkins Road (and you can easily guess why that is).

Congrats on this milestone and, please, keep the posts coming.

Ratty said...

Congratulations. Good blog post on your history. I think I've been around for most of the 3000. I'm looking forward to the next 3000.

Unknown said...

Let the journey continue.

Sharkbytes said...

Chuck- You and Sylvia have become very special to me, as I think you know!

Ratty- you were my first blog friend ever, and we have much in common. I'm glad you're still around.

Matronista- thanks for the well wishes.

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