When I first started blogging on WordPress I was intrigued by the whole scene. With my first halting posts (as opposed to recent halting posts), I ventured into this brave new world with trepidation and anticipation.
What if I gave a party (or wrote a post) and nobody came? Then I realized it didn’t really matter, as long as somebody somewhere reads this stuff I write once in awhile. That’s enough to give me a sense of audience, and that sense is enough to motivate me to occasionally tease out the thread of my thoughts, for better or for worse, just for my own record. And the people who come by and share their own thoughts and ideas are an unexpected pleasure, a bonus…
I also hunted around, much more than I do now, for other blogs to admire and to be inspired by, and to comment on. I’m not sure why I don’t do that so much any more… jaded, or insular, or self-involved, take your pick.
Trying to correct my jaded ways
So I’ve determined to hunt around WordPress and find, among the one million plus blogs, a few to make one take a second glance. These will be beyond those worthies in my blogroll to the right (not all WordPress, by the way), whom I obviously already think fall into that second look category.
I’m searching for blogs that show some unusual acumen, or viewpoint, or writerly skill, or humour, or… who knows what! Let’s take a look…
First up in my crystal internet ball, through my Secret Method of Locating WordPress Blogs That Don’t Mention Britney Spears, is Writing Companion. It has some genuinely useful ideas for writing prompts, whether blogging, fiction or non-fiction by a female writer from Australia.
For instance, her post about mining old journals or notebooks for writing ideas I found quite stimulating.
Become your own light saber
Next is one of those compendium sites with a well-chosen potpourri of tidbits from everywhere called A Repository of Cyber Treasure.
I quite enjoyed this short post there on a Light Saber Farm. Holding a surveying rod once under high power electric towers and experiencing the trembling verge of electricity that I was dangerously close to makes me appreciate this item even more. I was almost lit up like one of those fluorescent tubes…
Unfortunately, because I do appreciate knowing a little about the writers of interesting blogs, the blogger here chooses not to say anything about him or herself.
The Web easily caters to the information scroungers who range far and wide for items that amuse, bother, or titillate them, but it also provides a home for the obsessive such as Penguin Geek. Every post is about penguins in all their glory…
My favorite thing on the site are the listed penguin webcams on one page. Among them is a site in Antarctica where you can see what’s going on.
Friends after 60 years
At Margaret and Helen: Best Friends For 60 Years And Counting, we learn about two old friends with decided opinions on current events. Helen, who is often writing to Margaret in her posts, has a frank, cut the shit attitude about politics that only being alive for many decades gives you. The site is managed by Helen’s grandson.
In her eighties, Helen has resumed posting after being “a bit under the weather.” In one note, grandson Matthew gives tribute to his “cool” grandmother and her lifelong friend.
I like very much the photo at the masthead of the blog which shows the two of them spirited and mobile on their electric carts, roaming about what looks like a battleship or aircraft carrier.
At the site Popular Symbolism, there is quite a serious and intriguing look at the cultural phenomenon of interest in zombies. This is one of those popular trends that both masks and makes apparent certain kinds of social anxieties. I don’t know if I always agree with the author’s dissection, but it is thought provoking.
The author does not reveal him or herself in any detail, although the About page contains preemptive responses to criticism.
I think I’ll end with Art Blart, an art and photography site by a fellow named Marcus Bunyan who is an Australian artist and painter.
This site contains quite detailed reviews and descriptions of many exhibitions and showings mostly about photography. Two in particular caught my eye and interest.
The first is his recent post on Exhibition: ‘Charting the Canyon: Photographs by Klett and Wolfe’ at Phoenix Art Museum, which is one of those conceptual art conceits with landscape scenery photographs of the same scenes included in large landscape photographs. I like the combination of history and modernity.
The other is Exhibition: ‘Into the Sunset: Photography’s Image of the American West’ at The Museum of Modern Art (MOMA), New York which includes evocative photos from the beginning of photography in the West at such iconic spots as Yosemite and moves on to more modern photography such as a shot of a pocket natural disaster at a 1979 flash flood in California.
I find myself taking in something of an education in photography on this site, which makes it a valuable one for me.