Can you take just a few minutes to answer some quick questions? I have lots of ideas for things to write about, but I am trying this adult thing where I focus and narrow down instead of going everywhere at once. Your opinions will help me do that.
I will almost certainly be sharing content, photos, etc. that won’t make their way to this blog; I’m going to try and do more polished posts here, with thoughtful writing that I’ve actually (!) edited. Facebook will be more of the blurbs, one-off photos, and shared articles. Obviously, I’ll link all posts from here, too.
(To give credit where credit is due, in large part I was inspired to set this up by Lauren’s excellent series of posts about horse blogging, in particular this one on traffic.)
I will have some horse stuff to talk about later, but I’d like to take a moment to boost the signal on a project that is near and dear to my heart.
Louisa May Alcott and her family moved to a house in Concord, MA in 1858. Her father, Bronson, named it “Orchard House” after the apple orchards that surrounded it. It was in that house that Louisa wrote the book that would make her famous: Little Women. She blazed through the draft in one month, sitting at a little desk overlooking the front yard.
Orchard House is a truly special place. If any house can be said to have a soul, Orchard House has one. I worked at Orchard House in college, mostly as a tour guide. When I was promoted to opening and closing, I would often get to the house 15 minutes early and sit on the floor in one of the rooms, soaking up the atmosphere. I love that house like I love few other places in the world.
It’s a special place with a really special history, on both the emotional and the intellectual levels.
Right now, Orchard House is running a Kickstarter campaign to fund a documentary telling the story of the house itself, which dates back to the Revolutionary War and contains fascinating American history above and beyond the Alcott family, whose story is much more far-reaching than just Louisa’s literary career. The house has been a museum for over a century, and has a remarkable portion of original family furnishings and artifacts.
First: I’m changing the blog title. I’ve never been wild with “An Eventful Life.” It was a bit generic, a bit boring-punny instead of clever-punny, and let’s face it: my life is just not all that exciting, and I prefer it that way.
New title: Bel Joeor
Bel Joeor comes from Tristan’s show name, which is “Tristan’s Bel Joeor.” It means beautiful player. In one early French telling of the legend of Tristan, his horse’s name is Bel Joeor. (More about Tristan’s renaming here.)
I’m also putting a label on a gradual shift that I’ve been doing away from eventing. It’s a little bit sadness at the way the sport is going, a little bit unsuitable horse, a little bit lack of funding, a little bit current location and circumstances. I’ve always been interested in all the varieties of horse + human, not just one sport, so it was time this blog officially represented that.
I was bored with the standard Blogspot template, so I tinkered around a little bit. I stuck with one of their layouts + color schemes, because my artistic eye is wholly nonexistent, but I did put together a header. I’d talked about doing this before, but finally got around to it.
So if you visit the blog’s main page, you’ll now see some summery pictures of us out and about. I plan to rotate them with the seasons.
Exactly as the title says: how do you read your horse, cooking, professional, and other blogs?
Do you keep a series of bookmarks and check on them?
Do you use the Google follower/listing service?
Do you use an RSS feeder?
Do you use some combination of the above?
I ask, because at the time of Google Reader’s sad, tragic, unforgivable demise, I had been using it religiously for many, many years. I exported all my RSS feeds to The Old Reader, as it promised the most similar service. I really just want to read: I don’t need bells and whistles.
Well, The Old Reader is now moving to a subscription-based model. Anyone with over 100 feeds will have to pay a small fee. I have 219 feeds and growing – in fact, I have about a dozen on a waiting list right now, since I can’t add any more until I pay up. (And even my existing feeds will be inaccessible soon.)
The small fee is worth it to me, but, it’s just enough to make me think about exploring other options. So I’d like to do that, however briefly.
Anyone have any ideas, suggestions, or words of sympathy about my grieving process for Google Reader, which I still miss nearly every day?
I’ve been toying for a little while with redesigning the blog. Right now, I like the physical layout for its functionality, but the “look” of it is an out-of-the-box Blogger template.
I’ve messed around with Photoshop a bit, but it’s been years since I’ve really had the chops to do much in that department – and to be honest, I never had the eye.
I’ve also got a name change in mind to make it reflect more clearly what I’m trying to do, and I’d like to do a bit of graphic design with a not-quite logo that – well, it will become more clear as I implement all this.
Has anyone done a blog redesign? Do you have any advice? I have a very little bit of money (around $50) from my tax return that I can spend for a bit of custom design but I realize that doesn’t get me very far…any advice on that end?