Thanks for Visiting…Celebrating Six Months from the pink shed!

Dear Reader:

Six months ago I launched my blog. I felt confident that I’d never run out of things to say, but I was less sure about entering the world of the internet. If I’m going to write, it must be honest. So, would I feel that I was compromising my quiet, simple, private way of life? Would I regret taking this creative leap?

From the door of the pink shed
Come on in!

Short answer:  NO! Long answer: so many lovely people have visited my pink shed and they’ve made my venture fun and rewarding!

I’m talking about YOU:

Kristin at 17 Mile Creative-I couldn’t have done it without you!

Courtney-Thanks for helping me get it together!

Beth at Bordelon Artworks-You generously volunteered your talents…taking photos, blogging, reading and commenting.

Laurie-You are the kindest, wisest reader any writer could hope for and you submitted an incredibly entertaining guest post.

Catherine, Marietta and Kimberlee-Your support means so much to me.

Mrs. Delwiche (Jean)-You were the “best principal ever” at Almaden Country Day School. My daughter raved about how much you cared about each and every student, as well as what a great witch you made every year at Halloween! You found my blog through Facebook and I feel like a star student when you compliment my writing style!

 

AND NOW…here’s to the people I “met” in the blogosphere:

Tamara at My Botanical Garden-You were one of my earliest readers and I was flattered. Now we are “pen pals.” Thank you.

Sal at Sal’s Blog and David at Fiction all Day-I’d tell my friends: “I’ve even got men visiting my shed…a handsome guy in sunglasses and a young one with dizzying energy!”

Kathryn at Busy K-You are a young, cool, New York career woman. What are you doing on my site?

Alys at Gardening Nirvana-It’s been so nice to catch up with you.

Marie at Marie McLean-We share a love of reading and writing. Thanks for your comments.

Franziska at My Tree and Me-Thanks for your support…and, of course, the always useful health, travel and beauty tips.

 

Thank you also to the young woman expecting her first child who wrote to tell me that my post No Regrets may have “changed her choice and thus (her) life.” And to the many readers who have shared their experiences of loss after reading posts about the death of my brother, Matt. Finally, thanks to my girl for being my #1 fan.

Cheers…here’s to blogging!

Michele

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Period. space, space.

Dear Reader:

This is, at once, an explanation for my errors and a defense of my sanity.  Since I launched fromthepinkshed.com, I’ve received comments, criticisms and suggestions from those nearest and dearest to me. There is nothing I like more than constructive criticism, unless, of course, unbridled enthusiasm is the alternative. How is it possible to make it better if I don’t know where it went wrong?

Here is a partial list of the mistakes I’ve made as illuminated via lengthy text messages from friends and family:

  • You haven’t been alive for a “century”…insert “half.”
  • There is an extra space between the first sentence and the second sentence.
  • The “Bachelor’s” name was Nick, not Chris.
  • There is an extra space between every sentence in paragraph 2.
  • Um, your link doesn’t link.
  • There’s an extra space after, LITERALLY, every sentence in your post, Mother!

 

What’s with all the extra spaces? Period.  space space.  Period.  space space.  Typing, I think, is kinda like riding a bike…you are not supposed to forget how to do it. I learned how to touch type back in 1976 when I was in high school; I topped out at a swift 80 wpm! Fast…I was fast. I’m still pretty fast! When readers began pointing out my “spaciness,” I began to type more slowly and edit. But, really, I was bothered. Are the extra spaces the first indication that I’m at the top of the hill and will start rolling down very soon.

NO, definitely not. The answer came from my daughter, as so many other good things do!  She called one day to say that after a class in typography as part of her Graphic Communication major, she had the answer to the riddle.

Here’s the explanation.  Typewriters, it turns out, are very democratic machines. Every character is given the exact same amount of space on the page. That means that the letter ” i” is given the same amount of space as the letter “w,” even though it clearly doesn’t need it. This is called monospaced typesetting and we need that extra space between sentences to make it easier to see the beginning of new sentences. Word processors and computers and everything that is not an old typewriter use proportionally spaced fonts, which adjust spacing to the size of the letter. This is why a proportional font can fit 12 letters into the same space where a monospace font can only fit nine.

So, I’m not crazy; I’m old.   Fine.  I can live with that.

Michele

 

How to be Hot…Not!

Dear Reader:

I’m in my final phase of blog instruction…yippeee!

My technology specialist, Kristin, says I’ve “mastered” the basics (I’m proud!), and it’s time to implement Search Engine Optimization (SEO). This is just a fancy way of saying that I’m looking for readers who might enjoy my content.  Basically, I’m learning how to leave a trail of breadcrumbs, in the form of keywords, that will lead new visitors to my site.

I had my first lesson yesterday. It began when I innocently searched the phrase “women over 50.” I would love to have readers of all ages and both sexes, but primarily I’m speaking to women in the baby boomer generation, so I wanted to see what results this search would yield.

There was good news and bad news.

The top ten articles involved advice on the perfect hairstyles for the mature woman and lists of the sexiest women over 50.  A couple of articles combined both topics to give advice on how to look “hot” after 50. This was very good news for me, as this is not my niche. If I wanted to dispense beauty advice from my pink shed, I’d have a lot of competition.

But, really?! I love a good tutorial on how to make the dark circles under my eyes disappear or a pictorial of beautiful pink dresses. (See my post entitled The Pink Dress). I love perusing Vogue magazine, “playing” in my closet and trying the latest shade of lip color. This is one small piece of the whole that makes me who I am. This is the antidote to real life worries: fun. But if age brings wisdom, then we understand that holding onto our lost youth will not bring happiness or fulfillment. Sometimes, I feel pleased when I look in the mirror and sometimes I don’t. But I’m always happy when I’m reading or writing, dining with friends, hosting a party, volunteering my time or talent and thinking about my lovely daughter.

So, if you’d like advice on how to be hot, there’s plenty of it out there! You will not find it here! However, I do believe that I have the key to achieving the perfect hairstyle at any age:  find a great hairdresser! Now you don’t have to read those articles!

Have a wonderful day,

Michele

 

 

Hello

Dear Reader:

Throughout the process of unpacking, downsizing and remodeling, my husband and friends often asked me, “So what’s next, Michele? What are you going to do with yourself?” My answer was always the same: I didn’t know, but I wasn’t worried. I felt strangely and strongly confident!

It is not completely unexpected that I’d make my way back to the page, as I’ve been a writer and reader for as long as I can remember. In 1976, when “All The President’s Men” was released, I was 16. Just in case you don’t remember the movie, it was the story of the Washington Post reporters who uncovered the Watergate scandal that led to the resignation of Richard Nixon. Mind you, I made it a rule to see any movie that starred Robert Redford, but this one had a lasting impact on me. I was young and idealistic and I wanted to believe that anyone (even me) had the potential to change the world. So, I studied journalism in college and later worked in television news and public relations.

It was not until I had my daughter, at the age of 36, that I realized my reverence for writers and words came long before Woodward and Bernstein. I remember the day I read aloud a favorite poem from my childhood: Edward Lear’s “The Owl and the Pussy-cat went to sea in a beautiful pea green boat…” My darling baby smiled. We shared so many more books in the years that followed. And, after that, I created a reading list for parents to share with their children and lectured through community centers and education and recreation departments about the importance of reading to young children.

What is surprising is that I am here...in the cloud. I do remember my typewriter, fondly. I have a great deal more life experience than computer experience, and so this endeavor scares me a bit. My technology consultant, Kristin Guidi, has helped me establish this home. I formally thank her and ask you for your patience as I become more proficient in my new medium.

The doors to my pink shed are open and I welcome you whenever you’d like to stop by. I’d like you to feel as if you could sit in my guest chair, with a blanket and/or dog on your lap, sipping coffee, cocoa, tea or bubbly. I’ll start the conversation and tell you a few things about me:

  • I have, 3, yes three, long-haired miniature dachshunds
  • I collect cookbooks, but I don’t really like to cook
  • For 40 years I’ve recorded favorite quotes in random notebooks
  • Oh, my goodness, I’m a kid about Christmas
  • I married my high-school sweetheart
  • All of the writing doesn’t happen in my shed, a lot of good ideas come to me at 3 a.m. when I regularly wake with night sweats

 

Hope you visit again soon,

Michele