Experimenting with the New Editor

COMPUTER WITH TONGUE OUT

Readers, you can totally ignore this post if you like. I am just experimenting with the brand new editor — and as a result of my experiment, I am venting profusely. As usual, over the last 6 years, WordPress will not leave well enough alone. They do not understand the meaning of the advice: “If it isn’t broken, DON’T FIX IT!”

What don’t I like?  Well, to begin with, I asked where in the heck are the tools to make text bold, to underline, to insert special characters? Not only are they not visible, but WP does not even give me a note in this editor to tell me where I can find them.  I will stop here and say that as I wrote this paragraph, I searched in the block search window for a “bold text” button. The editor told me there was none.  But then all of a sudden I got a row of tools with a bold button showing up along the top of my post. Now, where did that come from? I have no clue how I got it, or how I will get it again if I need it?

And I still can’t find an “underline” symbol or a button to click to let me insert special characters. I did finally find a section called “Keyboard shortcuts.”  That will let me use my keyboard to get something underlined or switched to italics. Then, after about half and hour, I finally saw a button that let me add the “classic editor tools,” but they come in on the bottom of the post instead of the top, and you have to tell it to “hide the block settings” before the tools will work in the text. But all of these features are twice the work that the old editor required to accomplish those jobs. Why on earth would any writer want that??? 

And I still can’t find a way to insert special characters — like the copyright symbol — which we all need from time to time. What is it that makes WordPress believe that we will appreciate having to learn how to do almost everything from scratch again? And what’s with the paragraph symbol all over the place?  It pops up right and left when there should be no need for it. Previously, all we had to do was space down an extra line, and we had an automatic new paragraph. Not anymore. Also, I tried to right click and choose “select all” so I could copy the text, but the editor will not select all. It selects only the paragraph that I’m close to when I right click. I finally hunted around for an option that said “copy all content,” but when I did and pasted it into a document, it pasted all the HTML codes into the text as well.

I went to my admin page to see what I had available for help there, and there’s a link that says I can “try a live demo which will highlight some of the key features of the new editor.”  But when I clicked on that link, it took me to a page with 4 black boxes with a label for each feature, but did absolutely nothing to show me what they actually are or how they work. Supposedly, this new editor is great for what they call “media-rich” posts and for people who worry about whether their content looks good on all sizes and kinds of devices. WordPress has claimed for years that they have themes that can be relied on for those features. If there are a some bloggers out there who really need a new kind of editor, then WP needs to develop a couple separate themes that will allow those bloggers the extra technology. But for those of us who are actually writers — who want to use our sites to “say” something in a simple, easy, quickly-posted manner — they need to just leave us alone, for pity’s sake, and let us get on with blogging.

This whole editor looks like a lot of mumbo-jumbo junk to me. I have to laugh when I see that they are naming the new editor ‘Gutenberg.’ Holy cow, the man would roll over in his grave if he had to deal with an editing program like this one!  But then why should WordPress care what I think? I’m just the creator and administrator of 5 blogs/websites on WP (all under different names and e-mail accounts to avoid confusion.) And since I  have only 5 sites, why should my concerns make any difference, right?

Not only does the problem affect me personally, but since I teach blogging classes —  and, by the way, have been responsible for getting several new bloggers to do business with WordPress over the past 4 years — this change drastically affects my students as well. I can tell already that this new concept editor is going to be much more difficult for brand new bloggers to get a handle on, and, frankly, I’m concerned that they will give up and just quit — which would be a shame for them, for me, and for WordPress.

Anyway, they are not going to allow us to stick with the old editor window — which is actually the new editor window from just about 3  years ago — and which caused a lot of confusion for multiple bloggers, particularly those new to the blogging world. Now that everyone is finally pretty comfortable using that editor, Word Press feels they MUST get rid of it and force something else new on us.

Oh well, they are still a better platform than Blogger — barely —  so I guess I’ll stick with them for a while yet and see how things go. Since I have 5 blogs to deal with, that would be a whole lot of work if I decided to change them to another platform. Staying put sounds like the easier choice, but I’m not sure how long that will be true. Maybe — just maybe — I’ll be able to make friends with this new editor at some point — if I don’t give up first. After an hour of frustration, I finally switched back to the old editor to get my post to look normal before I hit “publish,” but how long will I be able to make that choice???????

 

 


 

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We Have Another New Neighbor

HOUSE AND CAT -- croppedI’m excited to tell you that another writing friend of mine has decided to take up residence at WordPress. His name is Ken Hill, and he writes some pretty neat stories.

He’s also a grandpa, and I think he gets a lot of his inspiration from making up so many stories for his grandchildren, but he writes for all ages and about a lot of different subjects. I’m sure my followers will like Ken and what he has to share.

The name of his site is “Stray Cat Alley.” Now, you’ll have to ask him yourself what that title’s all about. But I hope you’ll stop by his site for a visit and get to know him. Just follow the link in the blog title.

 

 


 

Share Your World 8/27/18

Question # 1: Do you prefer eating foods with nuts or no nuts?

Well, of course, it depends on what I’m eating. Nuts are great in cookies, candy, salads, and even ice cream. But I can’t tolerate the thought of having nuts in my mashed potatoes, green beans, pork roast, lasagna, or chicken soup (yuk).

Question # 2: Do you sleep with your close doors open or closed?

I generally leave them open. Two of those doors belong to a walk-through closet between bedrooms. I leave them open all the time because it just doesn’t make sense to keep closing them only to open them to walk through again. And, frankly, I don’t see any reason to close bedroom closet doors at all. However, when I lived in a house that had closets in the front foyer or the living room, I did close those.

I used to be a little negligent about closing kitchen cabinet doors, until my Dad got onto me about it. He had a “thing” about closing cabinet doors, and I got pretty good about doing it. Now, every time I get something out of my kitchen cabinet, I think about hearing him say, “Close those doors.” I’d give a lot to have him back here with me to tell me that again.

Question # 3: Are you usually late, early, or right on time?

I refuse to answer this question on the grounds that it may incriminate me.

Question # 4: What did you appreciate or what made you smile this past week?

I really appreciate Angela Fehr’s watercolor instruction videos. She’s a watercolor artist from Canada and very down-to-earth and unhurried when she explains techniques. I watched several of her videos this past week. Here’s a sample of one of them in case you’re interested:

 


Visit Cee’s Photography to get the scoop on how to participate in this weekly challenge.

Share Your World 8/20/18

If you’d like to take part in the “Share Your World” weekly get-together, just hop over to Cee’s Photography and get the details.
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GLOBE - PIECE OF THE WORLD w. text.

Question # 1:  Which tastes better: black or green olives?

I love both, so I can’t choose between them. However, since I do try to watch how much extra sodium I take in, I tend to eat more black olives than green.

Question # 2: What’s your favorite room in your house? 

Well, again, I can’t really choose. Depends on what I’m doing. I love my kitchen because I love the blue and white color scheme and the light, friendly atmosphere. But I enjoy my living room for a lot more hours of any given day. I have my computers, most of my books, and my watercolor materials in that room, so whether I’m writing, reading, researching, or painting, I’m enjoying the living room. The only things not in that room that I need periodically are my musical keyboard and my bed, and they both reside in the bedroom just off the living room. The only room I don’t actually enjoy is my second bedroom, which has been converted to a laundry room/storage room, and it’s a reminder of how very unorganized I am.

Question # 3: What fictional family would you be a member of?

Oh, definitely the family of characters I created in my Smoky Mountain Series novels. Of course that ‘family’ is made up of about 4 different families who are tightly intertwined. They are the kind of people I want to be and the kind of people I want for family and friends. Plus — they all live where I want to live: right smack-dab in the middle of the Smoky Mountains.

Questions # 4: What did you appreciate or what made you smile this week?

Ahhh!  There’s no need to even think about this one: I paid off the mortgage on my house this week!!!!!!!!!   Yes!!!!!!!!  And I am smiling reeeeeeeaaaaallllly big.  Thank you, God!

 

 


 

Weekend Coffee Share 8/5/18

COFFEE METAL POT POURING - Coyot - PX

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If we were having coffee together today, I’d tell you that I had the funniest thing happen concerning my writing this week. One of the students in my creative writing class stopped to talk with me after our recent class and told me that he had just finished reading one of my novels. He said he had enjoyed it, but he had discovered a discrepancy that he thought I’d want to know about.

He referred me to the scenes in question and explained that in an early scene I had mentioned a bathroom not having a window at all (something important to the plot), and then in a much later scene I had referred to the size of the “bathroom window.” My mouth fell open as I listened to him, and my response was what you might expect: “You’re kidding!!!”  And then, of course, I thanked him for telling me and told him I’d check it out immediately.

Well, sure enough, folks. He was right. Not only did I say there was no bathroom window in one scene, but later, in two different scenes, I mentioned there being a bathroom window. So … unless I want to bring in a construction company and allow them to remodel the house as part of the plot, I need to rewrite my description of that bathroom.

Now, the funny part is this: I had written the first four chapters of that book a few years ago and had gotten bogged down with it and just put it on a shelf. Last year I decided I really wanted to finish it, so I promised my website readers that I would post the story one chapter a day on my site in order to force myself to finish the story in a timely fashion. So people from all over the world read that story, one chapter at a time, and commented on it. A few got very involved with it. And of course, the book had two different editing sessions before it went into publication as a complete work. Yet not one person noticed that a bathroom window had suddenly appeared in a bathroom that had no window.

I told my student that he is the only living human being who caught that mistake. I also suggested that maybe he should get a job as a proofreader.  🙂  But I’m so glad he didn’t hold back, afraid to tell me about the mistake — particularly since I was his writing teacher. There are some people who probably would have been hesitant to say anything. And I’m glad that I no longer publish that book with the original publisher, but I currently have it published through a self-publishing platform with Amazon. So that means I can get into the system, correct my mistake, and make sure only the corrected text gets published from now on.

The whole episode was a tad embarrassing, but it was also a great teaching tool, in that it serves to re-emphasize the truth that editing and re-writing are, without question, the most important part of writing any book.

Hope you’ve enjoyed our coffee time. Would anyone like a refill? I think I could use another cup. I have some rewriting to do …


Thanks to Eclectic Ali for hosting our coffee share.

 

 

 


 

Coffee Makes the World Go Round … Well, At Least It Makes This Blog Go Round

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It just came to my attention today that I have done 43 separate posts on the subject of coffee — not counting a story or two set in a coffee shop , posts about my favorite foods, or my “weekend coffee share” posts. Wow.  I guess I appreciate coffee. But then, that makes sense. Coffee is soothing, satisfying, comforting, energizing, and beneficial to health (according to some medical research I’ve read about.)

So, have a cup on me today — and make it a great day!


P. S.  If you’re interested in reading the coffee posts, you’ll find them by clicking on the two ‘coffee’ categories in the navigation bar right below the header photo.

 

 

 


 

Friday Funnies 7/9/18

I shared this one previously several years ago, but I still think it’s one of the funniest things I’ve ever heard — all thanks to Groucho Marx.

WEIMARANER PUPPY -- Romek -- PX

Outside of a dog, books are man’s best friend.
Inside of a dog, it’s too dark to read.

 

🙂   🙂   🙂

If you’d like to share  your own “Friday Funnies,” just post the link to it in the ‘Comments’ section below.

 


 

Share Your World -7/9/18

To participate in Cee’s ‘Share Your World’ visit her site.

 

GIRL IN LOVE W. WORDS BOOKS

 

Question # 1: What would you name the autobiography of your life?

A GIRL IN LOVE WITH WORDS

 

Question # 2:  Which do you prefer: sweet, salty, or buttery?

What do you mean ‘WHICH??????’  I prefer all three — and sometimes all at the same time.  And don’t forget coffee to go along with all of it.

 

Question # 3:  What’s the finest education?

Knowing God:  “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.”  Proverbs 9:10.

 

Question # 4:  What did you appreciate or what made you smile this week?

I appreciated the great food my cousin brought me. She loves to grill, and I never grill, but I do love grilled food. So she brought me pork steak, polish sausages, and hot dogs — plus dessert. That’s a lot to smile about — and be grateful for.  🙂

 

 


 

Weekend Coffee Share – 7/7/18

COFFEE MAN WITH FLOWERS - resized

If we were having coffee today, I’d most likely tell you about my creative writing class that got underway last week at the local college. It definitely got off to a robust beginning and then continued to make records for the most unusual writing class I’ve ever taught.

The first class met June 28, and about half-way through the class, the students’ phones began going off with a weather warning signal. The report said a tornado was headed our way and we needed to “take cover now!”  Since it was the first class of that term, and my classes last year had not been in that particular building, I did not remember exactly where the “safe” rooms were, so I had to hunt for the building map. I found it in the tray of the whiteboard, and immediately located the closest “safe” room for students to move to. My students weren’t actually frightened or panicked, but since one whole wall of our classroom is glass, they did want to get out of that room.

Well, when I tried to open the door to the “safe” room, it was locked. So I told the students I’d check the alternate rooms listed on the map, but then, suddenly — as if out of nowhere — one of the main custodians appeared with a key. However, as he opened the room, he also told me that a different room on the other end of the hall was actually safer, so I directed my students there instead. One woman’s husband was sitting in a lounge area reading while he waited for her.  So the custodian went to get him and have him join us in the “safe” room.  I was praying, of course, but I did feel responsible for making sure my students were as safe as possible.

Before we got to the safe room, some of the students stopped to look out one of the windows. It was pretty black outside — even though it’s normally still quite light at that time — and as they were looking, suddenly the wind took down a tree. We learned that another tree on the campus was also uprooted as well, but we didn’t see that one.

With class interrupted, we just sort of sat and conversed about other topics for a while, and two students kept tabs on the weather updates. One of them read a report that a local Kroger store had taken all their customers into their meat locker for safety. One of the students commented that if her daughter had been in that position, it would have been like a nightmare because the daughter is a vegetarian.

Everyone was pretty upbeat during the waiting time, and after a while, they decided they’d like to go ahead and continue the lesson. So I went back down to our original room and got all my teaching material so we could have the lesson while we waited. There was no whiteboard, but I was able to give them some of the material without it. When the warning time had expired,  with our building still in one piece, we packed up our stuff and moved back down to our regular room and continued our class, no worse for the wear.

One of the students had ridden a motorcycle to the class. So he had about a 20-mile ride home in the rain after we let out. But the winds had died down, and the warnings had expired at least. He had come prepared, though. He had brought along a rain suit, so I guess he’s been caught in that kind of situation before. He made it home okay and was in good shape to come back this week.

Now, to this week’s chapter: When I got to the classroom Thursday, two of my students were standing outside the building — in 100-degree heat. As I stepped from my car, I yelled to them and asked if the door was locked. They said it was. So I got back into my car and drove over to the security and maintenance building. I couldn’t get anyone to answer my pounding on the door at the security office. I couldn’t get into the maintenance office, and I even stopped at a shop area where they were welding to ask for assistance. They just sent me back to the security office, but that second time, an officer FINALLY came to the door.

Evidently, because our class was meeting the day after the 4th of July, we were one of only a few classes that were meeting that day. I guess several of the others had dismissed for the rest of the week, and the officer said his list of buildings that were supposed to be open for classes did not include the one we were trying to get into. However, he drove over and opened the building for us. It was a little strange to be the only class meeting in that great big building, but at least all was quiet weather-wise, and we had no interruptions.

All in all, I’d say this term’s writing class has been less that boring. And if nothing else, maybe it will give students something to write about. However, I do hope next week is TOTALLY ordinary.

Have a great week, everyone!


Thanks to Eclectic Ali for hosting our weekend coffee share.

 

 

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Share Your World 7/2/18

I haven’t taken time in the last couple months to “share my world.” So this week I thought I’d make an attempt to do so. (You can share yours too if you visit Cee’s blog where she gives the details of taking part.) Here are her questions for this week.

Question # 1: Tell us about your first bicycle or car. 

Well, I never owned a bicycle. I did learn to ride one — using my cousins’ or neighbors’ bikes, but bicycling was never one of my favorite activities. I do drive a car, although that activity is not one of my favorites either. I’m not one of those people who enjoys “going for a drive.” I simply get into the car to get from one place to another more easily and comfortably than I can get there by walking. Of course, with my air conditioner on the blitz in my current car, that isn’t too comfortable.

But I’m digressing. I’m supposed to tell you about my very first car. It was a Honda — pale yellow with gray interior. I loved it. It was used, and cost me a whole $700.00, but that was way back in time — more than 40 years ago. I vividly remember my test drive. My dad went along to give me his opinion of its virtues and problems. The car was in good shape and I drove it about three years before trading it in for a newer and slightly bigger car. I’ve owned 9 different cars since then, but I’ll always remember that little Honda with love and affection.

REDBIRD CHRISTMASQuestion # 2: What fictional world or place would you like to visit?

I’d like the opportunity to visit — or maybe live in —  a place called Lost River, Alabama. Now, in general, I don’t like Alabama. And, in general, I’m not a fan of Fannie Flagg’s novels. However, Ms.Flagg did write one novel that is an absolute delight to read — in fact I read it about once a year — and it is set in the peaceful, friendly, life-affirming community settled on the banks of a clear, quiet river known as Lost River, Alabama.

Even the mail is delivered by river in this little community. Everyone living there knows everyone else — and cares about everyone else. The weather is not too cold or too hot. The flowers, birds, and other natural wildlife are pleasant company. And the whole attitude and atmosphere is one of optimism.

I keep intending to write a review of this book for my blog, but, somehow, time just keeps getting away from me. But in case I’ve whetted your appetite for a visit to Lost River, I’ll tell you that the title of the book is A Redbird Christmas. And if you enjoy reading about second chances and happy endings, you’ll love it.

Question # 3: If you could have someone follow you around all the time — like a personal assistant — what would you have them do?

I’d have them stop following me around.

 

Question # 4: What did you appreciate, or what made you smile this past week.

Three things made me smile this past week. One was my hairdresser, Scott Brown. Scott is one of the most pleasant, courteous people I know personally. He really cares about people. He chooses exactly what is right for my hair every time a decision has to be made about it, and he genuinely enjoys making people feel good about themselves. When I’m in the mood to change my style and I’m being super picky — which I almost always am — you know — I want this cut, but I want the back a little different — and I want the top a little different — and I want more of this and less of that — he takes it all in stride, gives me what will actually work, and tells me honestly when something is out of the question. I really like this guy.

The second thing that made me smile was some videos of the old Mary Tyler Moore Show from the 1970’s. That was a time of several important decisions and events in my life, and that whole decade has a very strong place in my memory — in mostly happy ways. One of my favorite memories is watching that show every week. This week, as a way of relaxing, I watched several hours of those old re-runs, and I was amazed at how much I laughed out loud at some of them. It was a fun experience.

The third thing that made me smile was getting back into the book I wrote for my great-nieces and nephews about 4 years go. I wrote the original story just for them, using all four of them as the main characters of the book: Taming The Dragon of Calvert Kingdom. I’m getting ready to let the book go into the marketplace now, and as I re-read it and remembered how thrilled they were to have a whole book written about them, it made me happy. I hope it make them as happy when the book is published for the rest of the world to read.

 

 


 

Weekend Coffee Share 6/24/18

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Hi, Everyone.
If we were having coffee together today, I’d probably tell you that it’s been a  pretty busy and a very stressful week. I did manage to get several things done that needed doing, so I feel good about that. Today was a super busy day with church work. I preached at this morning’s service, and after the evening meeting, a few of us counseled with a young man who has had very serious problems with addictions and all of the attending horrors that go along with that lifestyle. But he gave his heart to the Lord tonight, and I expect he’ll see a great difference in his life from this point on.

This week has been my last week to prepare for my two creative writing classes coming up this term at John A Logan College. I’ll be teaching a writing fiction class and a writing non-fiction class. We always have more people sign up for the writing fiction classes, but I enjoy teaching both equally well. I think a lot of people just don’t have any idea how much fun and creativity is involved in writing non-fiction — or how wide and vast the arenas are for that kind of writing. I wish more people could get excited about it.

I also received a surprise gift of See’s Chocolates this week. Wow. That’s some of my favorite candy, and boy did I need it — with the stress and all.  After all, chocolate is the best antidote in the world for stress. And, of course, when you add a great cup of coffee with the chocolate, I am immediately transported to my “happy place.”

I did, however, do one other thing to relieve some of the stress. I often pick up a good book — one that doesn’t require me to get too involved emotionally — to destress, but this week I was in the mood for some old classic science fiction movies. You know the ones I mean — those that came out in the 1950’s and 60’s. They’re the ones that look so artificial now — after all of our real-life space travel and the high-level technology in movie making these days. But there’s something about the artificiality of those old films that re-captures my imagination. Most of them are fairly predictable, of course, but for me that’s part of their charm. I did get onto the edge of my seat once or twice while watching a few of them, but for the most part, they just did a good job of getting my mind off everything else and taking me away from troublesome ‘real life.’

That’s about it for my week. Hope you all enjoyed the coffee and that you have a great week coming up.

 


Thanks to Eclectic Ali for hosting the Weekend Coffee Share.

 

 

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Weekend Coffee Share — 6/16/18

Thanks to Eclectic Ali for hosting the weekend coffee shares.

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I’m so glad I have some time to share coffee with you guys this week — because I am really excited to share with you about my newest venture. I have recently created a brand new poetic form. At least, I think I have. With all the searching I’ve done, I’m fairly certain no other poets have this form out there. I’m excited, not only because I loved the challenge of creating a unique form, but also because there is only one poetic form that is generally recognized as being ‘American’ by the poetry world. So this new form that I’ve created — being American myself — will be the second.

And to make it even more truly American, I borrowed from my own Cherokee culture to give the form a name. I’ve called it Tso’i. That word is pronounced “cho-ee,” and it is the Cherokee word for the number ‘three,’ and I chose it because the syllable count for the 5 lines of the poem are in multiples of three. I’ve posted about the form — along with examples of poems that follow it — in more than one post on my author’s site and my poetry site. So I don’t want to be too repetitious here. But I know there are a few people who read the “Coffee Share” posts who don’t read my others.

That being the case, I want to tell you the details of my new form so that any of you out there who enjoy writing poetry can try it if you’d like. So here’s the scoop:

A Tso’i poem must meet the following guidelines:

It must have 5 lines
Lines 1, 3, and 5 must have end rhyme.

Syllables:
Line 1 has 3 syllables.
Line 2 has 6 syllables.
Line 3 has 12 syllables.
Line 4 has 6 syllables.
Line 5 has 3 syllables.

Lines 1 and 5 follow a dactyl meter.
Lines 2, 3, and 4 follow an iambic meter.

Subject matter and theme are open to the poet’s imagination and preference.

Here’s one example from my own work:

PARAMOUNT KNOWLEDGE

Knowing God:
Oh, what a wondrous thing
To comprehend such pure love; I’m completely awed,
Learning I am priceless
To my God.


If any of you poets out there would like to try this form yourself, please do and leave a copy of it — or a link to it — in the “Comments” section below.  And have a great weekend!

 

 

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