Monday Meanderings: A Thaw, and News from the Writing Trenches

A few days ago, just after that big snowfall, a thaw set in. The roads are mostly clear – where they aren’t icy from melting snow running across the pavement – and the sunshine is brilliant today. I rambled up into the woods earlier and stood for quite some time next to the wrecked car, looking out over the white expanse of the frozen lake and thinking, to the sound of the twittering of hopeful birds and the drip-drip-drip of the thaw. And then a row of Canada geese flew over the lake, honking. I like Canada geese; they’re so very – I don’t know, Canadian.

img_20170213_130807229_hdrI thought of many things (though shoes and ships and sealing wax were not among them), and some were trivial, some profound. One was that I needed to make a new gmail address with the periods removed from between the words, and when I came home and tried it, it turned out that gmail had already done so for me – apparently a.m.offenwanger is the same to Google as amoffenwanger. Who knew?

Oh, and I was going to give you some News from the Writing Trenches. I’ve been working on my latest piece, off and on, although it’s been very slow going since the end of NaNo. But it does still go. As for Star Bright (Septimus Book 4), it’s in the revision stage. I’d like to finish writing one book before I edit another – but maybe that’s not a feasible idea. There are a few other pieces that need editing; some short stories among them. And I’m hoping and/or planning to write more shorts to submit to contests or magazines.

img_20170213_130750170_hdrSo, all that to say, yes, I am still working on my writing – although sometimes it feels like I do more talking about writing than actual writing. However, writing blog posts is writing, too, isn’t it? And then there’s all those pictures I’m accumulating on my phone – worth a thousand words each, right? Okay, maybe not. So on that note, I’ll sign off now and go do some real writing.

Life, the Universe, and Monday Meanderings. Spring is on its way.

Lost Comments

I recently lost a whole bunch of comments off this blog. For the last month, WordPress wasn’t sending me any notifications about comments, like they were supposed to have done. Oh, they still sent me notifications of “likes” and “follows” – but that’s what really threw me off, because I didn’t notice that it was just the comment notifications that weren’t happening.

Well, needless to say I was miffed. Darn WordPress, making me miss such gems as Linda’s comment on the gingerbread (you should check it out; she’s got a really great story about her family’s English traditions. Dressed-up gingerbread men, who’d have thunk?). I was not impressed with this (the missing comment notifications, I mean); comments are important to me – it means people are actually reading my ramblings, and paying attention to them.

So after I made sure all the right buttons in my Blog Settings were checked, and turning them off and on again just to make sure they really were checked properly and not just pretending to, I went on a Google hunt (that’s hunting with Google, not hunting the wild and elusive Google – sort of like bow hunting as opposed to fox hunting) to try to figure out why WordPress was withholding information from me. And I found all sorts of old threads on help forums by people who had the same problem with vanishing comment notifications. Unfortunately, none of them had any real solutions – apparently sometimes these things just happen in the Land of Pressed Words. Sigh. Now what?

And then, when I was just about ready to give up in disgust and settle myself to a future devoid of comment notification emails (I know, it sounds bleak, doesn’t it?), I tried one more thing: I took a close look at my email program (Thunderbird, in case you’re wondering). I had already looked at the junk folder, which was entirely empty, so I thought that particular solution had already been tested and found wanting. But there was a little folder called “Gmail”, with one of those triangles beside it that denote further content. And I clicked on that, and inside it were all those sub-folders, including one called “Spam”. And it said in bold, fat, black letters that it had twenty-five messages in it.

Steve tantrum
Steve looking disdainful at my silliness

You guessed it: that’s where all my lost comment notifications had gone. Along with new-post notifications for several blogs I follow. There they all were, fat, bold, and unread. D’uh…

So, I had to beg WordPress’ pardon for maligning it so loudly to my friends and family. And feel slightly sheepish for not having looked more closely at those folders. And learned another lesson: in case of doubt, click on the triangle. In fact, keep clicking on triangles wherever you find them; eventually you will get to the solution.

Life, the Universe, and Lost Comment Notifications. Seek, and you shall find. Happy New Year!