January was a busy month. I have several irons in the fire and never seem to stay still long enough to gather dust. Besides adding two new job titles — paraprofessional and literacy tutor — to my responsibilities at the school, I’ve been busy with projects at home. Watermarking my digital photos as an attempt to protect them has become one priority. I don’t know that my photos are actually worth stealing, but they are mine, I put work into them, they are special to me. Anyone thinking of snagging them consider this: they are kinda shitty compared to professional photographs. Bitch please, I’m an amateur photographer. If you’re going to commit intellectual property theft, you are on the wrong site.
I did a round of NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writer’s Month). The first time I encountered this on WordPress I thought another blogger was writing about Japanese anime characters so I disregarded. In late December I received an e-mail from a blog I subscribe to, challenging me to participate in NaNoWriMo for January and write 500 words every day. There were no strings attached except that participants make a valiant effort to write. My progress was nothing to brag about, but I did make an effort. Part of my problem was that I ended up ill for ten days, and during this time I didn’t have the energy to approach my computer, let alone type 500 words a day. I managed to put extra effort into what I did type, and January writing projects were quite enjoyable. So, I am happy to report that while I didn’t write a novel (and don’t intend to at this point) I have developed the habit of wanting to type about 500 words each day. That is a good habit to develop!
I began a new project and a bit of a crash course. I have had this fantastic book, Will Write for Food, by Dianne Jacob, for two years now, and just cracked the cover this month. I am nearly halfway through and am learning invaluable information about…drum roll please…food writing! Before I even considered starting a blog, my husband was encouraging me to write a cookbook featuring old family recipes and “secret” ingredients. Unsure how prepared I was for such an endeavor, I ordered Jacob’s guide and it sat in a corner for two years. Now that I (finally) opened it I can say that Will Write for Food is THE quintessential resource for food writers. I am gaining nothing by making positive statements about this book, I just really think it is wonderfully comprehensive!
After I finish reading the book, work on the suggested exercises and research areas of interest, I will (hopefully) be a more experienced writer. In the meantime I am launching an ambitious little blog called Okra Blossom, focused on anything food related. I took a nap a few days ago, and when I woke up I HAD to start another blog immediately, and I HAD to call it Okra Blossom, because that is my favorite flower. As impulsive as I can be, this is not without some deep and careful (apparently subconscious) thought (while I was napping?) but I am enthusiastic about the positive repercussions of having a semi-professional food blog. I will still have my any topic/any time eclectic chaos occurring at Blogging Pioneer. But Okra Blossom will be more laser focused and (again hopefully) will help me develop a specific skill set as a writer. If you are interested in reading my food writing, come visit me soon at: