I just got a message that I have been nominated for another award, the “Shine On” award. The Southern Cross is pretty appropriate in this case because the blog that gave out the award, The Garden Cat, is from South Africa. I managed to take a peek at the blog a bit this morning and it looks to be an interesting look at the day-to-day life of a calico cat named Gwendowlen.
Thanks very much for the award!
The rules of the award are that I should answer five specific questions. Francois’ questions are:
Which historical period would want to live in? Would you stick to the early twenty-first century or would you like to live in some bygone era?
I would stick to the present. Sure, I am interested in several periods of history, but I am acquainted with the actual conditions of times in the past to be glad I live here and now. For example, even just a 150 years ago in the Civil War era just from memory -
- William T. Sherman had a son die of disease during the war.
- Lincoln and Jefferson Davis had a son die during the war, one from disease, one from a fall.
- General James Longstreet had three children die in a few days.
- Jefferson Davis had his first wife catch a fever and die during his honeymoon trip. He suffered his whole life long from aftereffects of the same fever himself.
And these weren’t exactly poor folk.
If you could be re-incarnated as animal? What animal would you choose and why?
What makes a great blog? Or, in other words, what are looking for in other bloggers’ writing/posts and do you try to emulate that on your own blog?
I don’t know that I adapt my style by what I see on blogs I like. But over the years of looking at blogs that cover a variety of subjects there are some common factors that stand out for me.
Blogs require a different ‘voice’ than an essay or polemic. Since you are in this for a long haul, you need to have a subject that you are interested in enough to write about over and over, without becoming so overwrought about it that you drive folks away. It is light, dinner table conversation rather than a polemic or a pulpit. You are dealing with the readers one at a time rather than as a crowd or mob.
It is pretty common to that a new blog that is meant to plumb the depths of the author’s soul or solve all the world’s problems tends to shut down after about 10 posts, while the ones about virtually nothing important (like this one) can go on forever. Even the author gets tired of saving the world or plumbing the soul, much less the readers.
I suppose the last thing a blog needs is a predictable frequency. While you don’t have to post every day, if you get too erratic it gets hard to keep up interest. There are all kinds of tricks blogs use to make a quick post (Wordless Wednesday, etc). A lame post is better than no post at all. If you only want to do 5, or 3 posts a week, do them on the same days.
What is the most memorable place you’ve visited and why?
I’d have to say the more unspoiled Civil War battlefield parks – Chickamauga, Antietam, Vicksburg, and parts of Gettysburg. It’s something to stand in a field where your ancestors and countrymen were fighting.
What was your favourite film of last year?
Well, I think I only saw 2 movies the whole year. The Hobbit was a good job, and truer to the book’s spirit than I expected they could pull off. And I saw a movie on YouTube “Augustus, the first Emperor” that was very good at not falling into the standard historical tropes.