BLOGGING IS LIKE FISHING

via BLOGGING IS LIKE FISHING

This is the second in a series for those interested in blogging. BLOGGING IS LIKE FISHING and of course I return to my childhood days and try to “catch” your attention by fishing around a little. Please join me on the blog with some interesting analogy of how we prepare for our blogging fishing trip. For all of you who would like to dabble your hook and line by guest blogging on my blog, please contact me and let’s go down to the fishin’ hole. #blog #amwriting #life #bloggers #writers #tipsforblogging

BLOGGING IS LIKE FISHING

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BLOGGING IS LIKE FISHING is my second blog post on why I blog, how I blog, and most importantly, how you can blog. For those who read my blog on a regular basis, first let me thank you. Without you the reader, this early morning work would be better spent with some extra zzzz’s. Now for the good stuff all of you writers, the mystique of blogging is similar to going fishing. When I was young, I went fishing with my Dad or a group of family members. For some reason, I never wanted to go alone but enjoyed the sharing of excitement of interacting with others.
As I usually do, I will associate my blogging experience to a good fishing trip that we came home with a bucket full of fish and had a fish fry. Let’s see how we can go down to that ole fishing hole (blogging world) and pull some of those scrumptious fish (readers) in with our bait (blog).
  • 1) First, you have to have the desire or want to go fishing attitude. Blogging takes dedication and some time is required  to get ready to fish or as we are doing, blogging.
  • 2) Set aside some time to write the blog post each day. I find that I am more creative early in the morning, but this might not be the best time for you to “fish”. There is no set time but there has to be regularity to prepare and for fishing (blogging).
  • 3) Decide what you need to make the fishing trip successful. I will break down what I use to wet my blogging hook so you get an idea.

a) Fishing pole or reel is your niche or your market. In other words, what kind of reader do you want to reel in with your blog. Example: Foodies, Sport fans, fashionistas, spiritual or more newsie types. As my Daddy always told me you make sure you have a strong enough pole to catch the big ones. It may not be the best comparison but you want to appeal and draw the right audience to your blog.

b) The right size hook is vital. Too big of a hook may scare off the best fish or reader out there by overkill. Decide if you want to be a sizzle or a fizzle blogger. What do I mean by that expression? A sizzle blogger is usually young and has a lot to say. This is the type hook you may need if you are writing the blog to catch fashionistas, trendsetters, groupies,  They want the bling, bling and the photos and quick reads. It is more dazzle than deep set ideas. On the other hand the set hook will draw the harder to catch but worth the effort reader as they become the loyal followers or readers. They crave the research you put into the blog.

c) The bait….oh yes…..the bait is You. On a blog you put yourself on the line or hook. You get jabbed and prodded but it is a piece of yourself which is the attraction. Add a little personality, develop your own style. Don’t get all politically correct and if you do as I do write your blog from your heart and throw in a little fact and research to enhance the topic. People love to feel they know you, the blogger, and they need to feel you want to know them. Reply to comments, thank your readers, and always represent what you truly are.

d) The bucket to keep your fish or readers in is your platform. There are many platforms and we will cover those choices pro and con in another session but it is important that the platform or bucket is safe and will keep the readers comfortable.

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I thought you might find it ironic but when I googled how to write engaging posts, Google provided me with the following tips and the first one caught my eye with the use of HOOK.
  1. Hook Them With The First Sentence. …
  2. 2. Make Every Word, Phrase & Sentence Count. …
  3. Shorten Your Sentences, If Possible. …
  4. Use Simple, Yet Precise, Words. …
  5. Play With Analogies. …
  6. Throw In A Few Pop Culture References. …
  7. 7. Make Your Post Unique (Even If The Idea Isn’t) …
  8. End With A Punchy Conclusion.

As I take a little time from my usual posts, I want to encourage new writers to try your hand writing, whatever the source or style. Try your hand at a short story, a poem, prose, or just write like I do. Express yourself in ways which are outlets for communication. A blog is summed up as in the excerpt from How to Write a Blog Post (with link to article for reading):

WHAT IS A BLOG?

Today, people and organizations of all walks of life manage blogs to share analyses, instruction, criticisms, and other observations of an industry in which they are a rising expert.

I recommend this article link very highly if you are serious about starting your blog or even for those of us who always are looking for better ways to keep the blog going. So grab that fishing pole and go fishing (or blogging).

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LIVE LIFE, LOVE LIFE, AND LIVE LIFE TO THE FULLEST whether it be writing, drawing, crafting, woodworking, speaking, cooking, or whatever floats your boat.

 

 

(C) Copyright 2012-2019 Arline Miller of Sipping Cups of Inspiration with all rights and privileges reserved. Third party material including photos are sourced to original location if known for credit reference.

 

LIFE’S STRAND OF PEARLS

 

Once in a while I will reach into my vault of my blog posts and pull out one of my favs. This one has a sentimental pull since I love pearls. Recently, several events have tried to deny me my pearl but I keep hanging in there with the belief, Life is a strand of pearls and some of the ones to be added to my strand are struggling to mature to the maximum beauty. I should be patient as we have no control on the timing. Good things come to those who wait. Here is the post I love and I hope it has meaning for you too. This was prior to me moving the blog to WordPress and we are still building our audience. 

TODAY THE WORDS are LIFE’S STRAND OF PEARLS.  In anticipation of reaching an important goal for the blog of 150,000 page views, I went back to my log of posts and found this one. I thought we might enjoy some pearly whites this morning.


For most of you who know me, you already know how I love pearls. I have worn pearls and they have always given me such a warm feeling when I have them on. I will notice in photos of anyone that has a pearl necklace, earrings or brooch (for any youngsters that is a pin). What I would like to share is the thought behind pearls. A dear friend of mine has told me many times, “there’s your pearl” when something good happened. He would also say when he was giving me great advice, “here is a little pearl”. One day, when I was about to put one of my strands, I took a long look at it, realizing the importance of message it was portraying.
Let me share this with you. Pearls are grown in a hard shell (and really few of us look at an oyster shell as pretty like we look at other shells). It may take up to 20 or more years to bring a pearl to full size so a lot of time goes into the process. Pearls in their natural state aren’t the finished pearl we see in the strands as they are polished and by this process, it brings out their true luster. If you take the time and look closely, pearls are still unique and usually no two are exactly the same. As beautiful as pearls are, they can be beautiful with others or beautiful on their own. Pearls are usually a gift given by someone who loves them dearly.
Now for the deeper thought……have you thought about the clasp? As beautiful as the strand of pearls are, without the clasp to hold it all together, the pearls would fall to the ground It is the most important part of the necklace and here is how I see pearls. Pearls are our different stages of our life. When we are young, we are the pearls being nurtured in our shell surrounded by a hard protective cover (our parents). After a while, we are plucked into our adult lives. We can be successful on our own or part of a collection (company). We have strength and luster; but are fragile if not connected by a strong clasp (God). We can add other pearls (spouses, children, friends, and grandchildren) to our strand and people like to enjoy our pearls. God will hold our lives together and the clasp needs to be checked to make sure it closed securely (our faith). Next time you see a strand of pearls, take a deep look at it. God gives us the freedom to build a beautiful strand of pearls of life with all of its beauty and luster but He wants us to keep our pearls safe, protected and loved.
Blogger’s note: I had a thought this morning to add to this post. As times have changed and styles too, not as many people wear pearls. I wondered that even though change is sometimes good, have we taken a route of easy to acquire beads and metals as well as fast food, and disposable clothes (wear a few times and they become worn). My question is have we thrown away our quality of life with those clothes or when we carelessly throw the jewelry into a casual place that can be lost. Maybe we need to return to the days of pearls and vintage clothes that last forever, treasuring each inheritance instead of wanting the instant gratification of I want it now and I don’t care if it lasts. Just thinking out loud.


FEATURED BIBLE VERSE:

Matthew 13:45 – Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto a merchant man, seeking goodly pearls

(c) copyright 2012-2019 Arline Lott Miller. The material here copyrighted, use only by permission. Third party material including photos is sourced to the original location, if known, for credit reference.

DAD’S POCKET KNIFE IS PRIZED TREASURE

via DAD’S POCKET KNIFE IS PRIZED TREASURE

DAD’S POCKET KNIFE IS A PRIZED TREASURE is the topic on the blog. In today’s world we do not see as many pocket knives, but with some help of my friends’ posts and memories, we take a walk down memory lane on how this simple tool meant and still means a lot to many outdoorsmen and farmers. Please join me on the blog, and whether you have one or not, you might enjoy this message. #blog #amwriting #lifelessons #pocketknife #childhoodmemories

BETTER START SWIMMING…OR SINK

via BETTER START SWIMMING…OR SINK

Today, on the blog, we go back to a story told to me in my childhood concerning Better Start Swimming….Or Sink and I think you will enjoy a little of gourd history as well as how they played a part in a great life lesson. #blog #amwriting #life #gourds #lifelesson

BETTER START SWIMMING…OR SINK

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BETTER START SWIMMING….OR SINK. This morning I saw a commercial about a teacher experiencing some identity discomforts and the song Times are a’ changing played.

The Times They Are A-Changin’ (Witmark Demo – 1963)
Come gather ’round people
Wherever you roam
And admit that the waters
Around you have grown
And accept it that soon
You’ll be drenched to the bone.
If your time to you
Is worth savin’
Then you better start swimmin’
Or you’ll sink like a stone
For the times they are a-changin’.
Come writers and critics
Who prophesize with your pen
And keep your eyes wide
The chance won’t come again
And don’t speak too soon
For the wheel’s still in spin
And there’s no tellin’ who
That it’s namin’.
For the loser now
Will be later to win
For the times they are a-changin’.
Come senators, congressmen
Please heed the call
Don’t stand in the doorway
Don’t block up the hall
For he that gets hurt
Will be he who has stalled
There’s a battle outside
And it is ragin’.
It’ll soon
(These lyrics are for reference only and not for any commercial use)
                                                                                                                                                                    Times are changing and I thought of a story my Mother told me about how they used gourds as swimming aids similarly to floaties used today.
Here is an excerpt from an article identifying the use of the bottle gourd as a swimming aid dating back in Roman history:

The bottle gourd’s most obvious use is for carrying water, but they were also used as pontoons for rafts in ancient Egypt, as children’s swimming aids by the Romans, as birdhouses by native north Americans, as gunpowder dispensers in revolutionary France, by pipe smokers in Victorian England and more recently as motorcycle helmets in Nigeria.  Gourd is also possibly mankind’s oldest musical instrument resonator.

Gunpowder gourd from revolutionary France
Gunpowder gourd from revolutionary France

It is the only known plant whose use by humans spanned prehistoric cultures across the entire globe, but one thing that has puzzled scientists was how – given its African origins – it came to be so widely used in the Americas thousands of years before the arrival of Columbus.

 

 

 

 

Now, back to Mom’s story and I think you will see the lesson behind the swimming gourds. The practice was to find two gourds and tie a rope between them with enough length to place one gourd under each arm pit so they would float out from each side. Mom had her gourds and used them faithfully when she would jump in the pond and had no fear about swimming. She knew the gourds would hold her up and off she went. She would swim and then get out and jump in over and over having so much fun. She did it so long that she had confidence in the gourds’ ability to hold her up. As she was swimming across the pond and had swam a long distance, she didn’t see her gourds and turning around looking toward the dam, there were the gourds at the edge of the water. Mom realized she had lost them when she jumped in. She had swam on her own.

The lesson behind this was it was the belief that she didn’t have to fear.

We live in a changing world and every day, we find the familiar changed and we have to adapt to new ways and even learn to swim without the gourds. Sometimes, we just have to jump in, learn new things and take risks to achieve new skills.

Live Life; Love Life; and Live Life to the fullest by discovering how times are a’ changin and how we have to change with them.

(C) Copyright 2012-2019 Arline Miller of Sipping Cups of Inspiration with all rights and privileges reserved. Third party material is sourced to original location if known for credit reference.

OUR GUEST BLOGGER: Donna Childre

via OUR GUEST BLOGGER: Donna Childre

Our guest blogger is a dear friend, Donna Childre. You may remember her since I have mentioned her and her husband Greg on the blog before. I have been so enlightened and inspired by Donna’s writings which are touching, personal messages with a highlight of honesty and integrity, not to mention a strong faith and servitude attitude. I like to say Donna is exactly what she portrays, absolute transparency. It is with pleasure and a sincere blessing that I present Donna’s bio and her post. We hope to see her again and please encourage her to find her writing platform. Please join me presenting EVERY DAY IS A GIFT. It is a gift within itself. #blog #amwriting #nature #faith #inspiration #positivity

OUR GUEST BLOGGER: Donna Childre

48337140_10215231592362208_9039569164825526272_n Our guest blogger is a dear friend, Donna Childre. You may remember her since I have mentioned her and her husband Greg on the blog before. I have been so enlightened and inspired by Donna’s writings which are touching, personal messages with a highlight of honesty and integrity, not to mention a strong faith and servitude attitude. I like to say Donna is exactly what she portrays, absolute transparency. It is with pleasure and a sincere blessing that I present Donna’s bio and her post. We hope to see her again and please encourage her to find her writing platform.

A Little Bio of Donna Childre:

Psalm 40:1-3 “I waited patiently for the Lord. He set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand. He put a new song in my heart.”

A few days ago I was speaking with a couple of the wiser women of West Green about how I came to be a part of this little community. Until then I had always believed that I grew up in the best little spot in Coffee/Atkinson Counties. Some of the best people I know come from Fales and my childhood was pretty special. But, NO, they wouldn’t have it and assured me that West Green is the Honey Hole of the state.

I’m starting to believe them because you see, when we moved into our little Haven here on Huffer Road, we had an outdoor shed that was pretty much one gigantic hive and even had one in our house. Occasionally, we still have honey dripping down the walls.

I believe this little place we now call home had been being used as a community dump site. It was secluded, rustic, quaint, and had a variety of other people’s trash on the property. I jokingly told Greg that we could buy some goats and call it the Land of Milk and Honey. I saw hope and beauty. There’s not a doubt in my mind that God helped us to find this place and I’m thankful that He used a great friend who is also a realtor to help Him.

Several weeks ago, we were asked if our Huffer Haven could be used as the location for photo shoots for family Christmas pictures. What a difference four years has made in the transformation from Trash to Treasure. It hasn’t even seemed like much work because we’ve considered it such a gift. We are still unwrapping it and occasionally add some “lipstick and rouge” but are quite sheltered here in the Arms of God and the Honey Hole of the state.

EACH DAY IS A GIFT…..By Donna Childre, guest blogger and Devotional Writer

“Peace, I leave with you, my peace I give to you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” John 14:27

Each day is a gift, a present just waiting to be unwrapped. Every place we go and everything we do is part of the unwrapping. We get to choose whether we tear into the gift just looking for whatever is in it for us or whether we unwrap carefully, savoring each moment of the unveiling of the day.

God asks us for a lifetime commitment and desires a diligent work ethic from each of us. Just imagine the harvest that could be realized if we went about the business of sharing the peace of God with others. We sow into the lives of others in everything we do. Yes, even our Facebook posts but also the people we meet when we eat in restaurants, shop in stores, visit in hospitals, and a variety of other day to day activities. God uses us, ordinary people, to do His extraordinary work.

All of us who have experienced the peace that passes all understanding have a responsibility to share that gift with others who are far from peace. We have the message and we have the power. It may be a simple word of kindness or even a smile.

I believe in celebrating each and every moment of regular old days. It’s often the little things that mean the most and I look for the joy in the smallest of details. Many of you recognize the significance of some of the most trivial ideas or pictures I post while others shake their heads and wonder. I understand and it’s okay. I am what I am.

“Whatever you do, do it heartily as to the Lord.” Colossians 3:23

“Whatever you do” is everything you do. Your life is a gift. Unwrap it carefully and show the world the peace that you have. In whatever situation you are in, always do your best as if working for the Lord.

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Note from Arline Miller, blogger and author: As a blogger and author myself, it is normal to encourage writers that exhibit a knack for writing. It takes talent but as much as talent, it requires dedication to regularly blog or even write. May we seek out others and give them a taste of the reward of reading your message that has been published and seen by over 75 countries and translated into their individual language of choice. If I can encourage one writer to step out of their comfort zone and share with the world a message that would not be heard otherwise. Thank you Donna Childre. I wish you the very best written words from your heart to shower the world with love and faith.

(C) COPYRIGHT 2012-2018 Arline Miller of Sipping Cups of Inspiration with all rights and privileges reserved. Third party material is sourced to original location for credit reference.

DANCE OF THE GOLDEN LEAF II

via DANCE OF THE GOLDEN LEAF II

DANCE OF THE GOLDEN LEAF II has been posted to remind us of the beauty at this time of the year and even in the midst of so much rhetoric from all political sides, we should stop all the chatter, walk outside and look around this beautiful world we have been blessed to live in. This post is meant to calm and soothe all of the ruffled feathers and instead focus on the rustling leaves. I am fortunate to have wonderful friends and am please to include a slide show from their mountain vacation this year so it proves God doesn’t take a vacation and is creating new joys for us to enjoy. A warm thank you to Sandra Minix Holton​ and Kirby Holton​ for their fantastic photos shown below. #blog #nature #photography #mountainbeauty #life #friends

DANCE OF THE GOLDEN LEAF II

DANCE OF THE GOLDEN LEAF II has been posted to remind us of the beauty at this time of the year and even in the midst of so much rhetoric from all political sides, we should stop all the chatter, walk outside and look around this beautiful world we have been blessed to live in. This post is meant to calm and soothe all of the ruffled feathers and instead focus on the rustling leaves. I am fortunate to have wonderful friends and am please to include a slide show from their mountain vacation this year so it proves God doesn’t take a vacation and is creating new joys for us to enjoy. A warm thank you to Sandy and Kirby Holton for their fantastic photos shown below.
DANCE OF THE GOLDEN LEAF
The blue sky as its brilliant backdrop
The patchwork of fall colors as its floor
One ballerina maple leaf costumed in gold
Began its beautiful dance of descent.
Mesmerizing twists of lifts without stops
Leaps and swirls with imaginary arms
Reaching to the heavenly skies
Pointing to earth once more
Quite torn between its choice
Freedom from holding onto the branch
Should she soar through the skies
Or cling to the earth’s solid ground
This choice the ballerina will make
but for a little longer
The leaf will continue to dance.
Written by Arline L Miller, Author
 
 
My husband and I were blessed to spend 5 days in the NC mountains with family and friends at Gordon and Martha’s cabin. Since we are all workaholics, this seemed to halt the train of business thoughts and put in the most relaxed moods. I was inspired by nature’s compelling entrancement and realized there are times to shut the hectic, busy life down and chill.
Sitting out on the 2nd level porch with the mountains in view and having some great conversations with Martha and Sandra, I began to watch a gold maple leaf dancing in the fall sky. I watched as it performed a melodic dance and it inspired the poem I wrote upon waking up. I shared it with the ladies later in that day and was reminded of the gift God has blessed me with. I imagine you think I meant the gift of writing. I thank God daily for that. What I was reminded is how blessed we are to share thoughts, writing, beliefs, creativity, recipes, singing (listening to good singing for me as I can’t hit any note correctly). Writing is my gift but God has surrounded me with great people who have been so richly blessed and they like to share their gifts and talents with me. How great a gift that is!
Gordon drove us through those mountains like a pro guide with such ease and composure while I was reminded of my fear of open heights. Those narrow roads with traffic both ways would have been a challenge I wouldn’t have attempted. Greg would have taken it in stride too. I was reminded how blessed we are to have them in our lives for those times we feel uncomfortable because they took us to the height of God’s beauty for us to enjoy without fear.
Now for the deeper thought……When we appreciate the gifts we have been given, both direct gifts and gifts inherited from others, life is at its fullest. I am humbled when I learn from those who can accomplish something I am not comfortable or don’t know how to do. To each of us, God decided what one can do and if they are humbled by God’s blessing on them to teach others, we can be further blessed by sharing these gifts. I thank God he has surrounded me with talented and learned people who are willing to share. Please God, allow me to do the same for someone every day you bless me to live.
This is Leaves of 2017 Photos by Greg Miller  Beauty created by God
As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace: whoever speaks, as one who speaks oracles of God; whoever serves, as one who serves by the strength that God supplies—in order that in everything God may be glorified through Jesus Christ. To him belong glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.
 
(C) Copyright 2012-2018 Arline Miller with all rights and privileges reserved. Third party material sourced to original location for credit.