The Comeback Old Lady

Wire waste basket with Freshly Pressed WordPress logos in it. Out with the old.

Hello kids. After being absent for a long time, I rambled through some familiar blogs and realized how difficult it is to find blogs since WordPress stopped doing much in the way of connecting bloggers (adios Freshly Pressed, Discover). The message being: Bloggers, make your own damned friends. Times change and so must I. Despite the thousands of subscribers to this blog, I’m guessing only about 50 are still alive, occasionally blogging, and/or just reading blogs on the can. We have a lot to grab our attention and time and maybe it’s just the olds hanging around. However, I’m determined to liven things up around here. Got any ideas?

If you’re about and still blogging, please drop your site link in the comments. I’ve noticed a lot of the people I used to follow are no longer on my list. I’ll try to start highlighting blogs on the regular, so let’s reconnect.

For people who have not yet been exposed to my scintillating wit and foul mouth, I thought I’d revisit what this blog is generally blathering about. I’ve been writing here since January 2012 when I took that knot in the pit of my stomach and spit it out on a public page. Because of that, I will never be a politician. I’ve babbled mostly about writing, depression, holidays I hate, a little bit of politics, and a whole lot about turning into an old lady. I wrote through my daughter’s medical crisis, the loss of pets, grandparents, in-laws, and most of my marbles. I’ve held writing contests and spun off a fantastic writing group from people I met here – a virtual group that has met for the last year.

Cartoon of fall forest with fox, pumpkin, rabbit.

The blog itself has suffered some neglect since I started working on my MFA in Creative Writing. I’ll soon be done with that and starting more teaching/coaching for writers. In the middle of this pandemic, I managed to create and facilitate writing groups. I am working as a mentor for young writers and in January, I’ll be starting a short story writing group, focused only on short form fiction (any genre). I will continue to blog about writing, but also all the usual random rigmarole that pops into my head.

The world is going to hell in a hand basket, but for now, I’m intent on being a good literary citizen and working to support and create communities that remind us that no matter what anyone says to divide us, we are connected. This is a roundabout way of saying I miss you fellow bloggers and readers.

Let’s begin again.

59 thoughts on “The Comeback Old Lady

    1. Hi Luanne. Your site was fortunately still in my reader. Not sure what happened to everyone else! Still, I’ll put some time and try to get things active again. You’re on my list for a monthly poetry post. Lots of planning and writing to do!

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    1. Hi Shep. Welcome to blogland! It admittedly requires a little more focus than other forms of social media, but I think that’s a good thing. In all the years that I’ve done this, it’s been a fairly pleasant and welcoming community which we could all use a little more of!

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  1. Thanks for this Michelle. I began blogging here around the same time and yours was one of the first blogs I discovered and followed. It always fascinated me how, in how such a huge global universe of bloggers, we like-minded souls found each other and really formed connections. Because so many in my community also hung out here. As a writer WordPress been a great and safe space for me, where I have felt very comfortable experimenting — trying out different voices, techniques, topics, opinions, styles, ideas, thoughts — even potential outlets I could pursue — in my professional writing career — as an alternative to advertising, which is where and how I’ve earned my living all these many years. And bizarrely it feels like in my blogosphere we all got into it pretty much at the same time and moved on or got bored or disenchanted or distracted or sick or felled by something around the same time too. In the last few years I’ve some great opportunities to research and write some really in-depth articles on fascinating, complex, meaningful, consequential subjects and I’m not sure I could have tackled them without my WordPress years. Or at least that I would have believed I could, that I was capable of more than persuading consumers to fall in love with my clients’ gizmos, gadgets, trinkets, trash, dust collectors, remedies, and everything and anything else they never imagined they couldn’t live without. I’m glad you’re back. I’m curious to see where this “new season” goes — for you, for me, and for whoever and whatever comes next. All I have to figure out now is what I want to say, about what, and when. The Universe will tell me.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I found your comment in the Spam file, along with forklift contractors and very particular fetish porn. You were not keeping good company! I laughed when I read the phrase “new season”. After so much binge-watching, I’m going to try really hard not to leave the blog on a cliffhanger because of the next season’s cancellation. Be sure to let me know where your work is at – I plan on doing a weekly share of other people’s writing/links.

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  2. Oh well, that’s a pisser. I responded and posted, or attempted to, got a notification that a duplicate message had been posted (not true) and my comment is MIA. Which is what I’ve been for the last couple of years. Lucky I’m not paranoid or I might think it was a not-to-subtle attempt to suggest I stay lost LOL. It will take more than that to get rid of me LOL It’s filled with old news now, but for what it’s worth, https://www.weinstein365.wordpress.com

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    1. Hi Fransi, being MIA these last couple of years seems to be a lot of people’s status. I found I was too overwhelmed by multiple communication venues and bad news to put energy here. In the face of this country’s rapid declination and a lot of powerlessness, I decided that stripping away the garbage and valuing what remains was the only way forward.
      So much work done over the last few years has been an attempt to destroy any sense of community or connection (especially in regards to the pandemic and people’s reactions to it) that my equal and opposite reaction is to work harder at building communities.
      I went to your website, but I think the certificate needs to be updated as it was cited as a security risk.
      Anyway, delighted to hear from you. Let me know if you have any work (on any site) that you’d like to share.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. It was definitely partly an energy thing for me too and just so overwhelmed by everything going on in my world and the world at large I just couldn’t find the words. I felt like they’d all been said already and none of them adequately represented what I was feeling. I did, however, manage to research and write some in-depth articles on very interesting, meaningful and I think consequential subjects and I am really grateful for those opportunities. I will try to figure out how best to get them to you. Thanks for the heads up on certification. I will look into that. Glad you’re back Michelle.

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  3. Good to see you back again, looking forward to reading your blogs. Can’t get my blog address up at the right time copy and paste it to you. I am not keeping up with the digital world that well. But I am at lifecameos if you can figure it out.

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      1. Thank you I am glad you like my writing. Thank you also for persevering with my website. I got confused trying to set up it up seven years ago and am wary of trying to correct it.

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  4. Michelle, I’ve been enjoying thegreenstudy for several years now, no expectations as to how frequently they land in my Inbox. I’m just a reader so I’m low-upkeep. Please keep sending them, I appreciate you, especially in these times. 🙂

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  5. I have a blog, which on some occasions I’ve kept up actively (365 projects), but lately it tends to just be book reports. Nevertheless, it’s a place I can go to see what I’m thinking (or, when I dig into the archives, what I was thinking at one time). I really appreciate your posts, Michelle: they are a beautiful slice of life and thought, and they resonate. Please keep them coming. (I’m at roostmusings.blogspot.com.)

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    1. Hi Anne. I followed and just read your most recent post about your travels. Our last cat died a couple of years ago and because we are thinking about traveling, so we’re unlikely get any new pets for a long, long time. I miss them, but everything feels like it’s in transition right now, so I’m glad not to have to worry about them. Thanks for your kind words about the blog and I agree with you – a blog is a great place to solidify what one is thinking. Thank you!

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  6. Hi, Michelle. It is good to see your byline in my inbox. I missed your comments and didn’t realize you were doing the MFA. Congratulations! It sounds like you are creating your writing life in a way that suits you precisely.
    I’m not blogging any more because my writing life has become different, too…I write long form fiction now, genre fiction, women’s stories about family, relationships, etc, and very much focused on getting through life with joy. I am glad to hear you’re doing young writers’ groups. If I had a mentor like you when I was young, I might not have waiting until retirement to start this next phase.
    So thanks for your update and yes, I’m still here, but not at all productive in this realm. Pen name fiction, occasional bits on Medium, but nothing since early pandemic on my blog. Take good care.

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    1. Hi Leslie! Over the last few years, I did become intentional about creating a writing life. It took me a long time to get here, but I’ve always known I was the tortoise, not the hare and have no time for regrets. It sounds like you are doing some wonderful work of your own. Even if you’re not blogging, feel free to drop me a note to share links. I’m setting up my blogging schedule now, but I think Fridays will be a day when I share links to other people’s work. Anything to support creative spirits!

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  7. Coincidentally, I’m preparing a reboot myself over at https://rossmurray1.wordpress.com/. I took a 3 month sabbatical from my newspaper column 19 months ago and I’m back bi-weekly in a weekend edition. We’ll see how long either of those last. In the interim, I completed a novel and a play. My blog is essentially a repository for my writing, but I miss the community of 10 years ago. There are few left, and I actively read even fewer. But I did establish a couple of real-life friendships that have lasted, so there’s that. Maybe we should all come back; it’s a safer refuge than Twitter. Nice to have you hanging in there, Michelle.

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    1. Ross! You’re one of the people I missed. Your humor and gentle commentary on life at hand would be a boon these days. That preceding sentence was the worst construction ever, but I’ve been editing work all morning and am fried. If you want to send me links to your columns or any other work – I intend on sharing links to other people’s work in a post at least once a week. I’ve gotten off Twitter and have decided to focus on the blog and getting work published. I’ve made some lovely friends here – some of whom I have in a workshop I’m teaching later today. This blog gave me a lot – from the courage to write publicly to the lovely people I’d have not met otherwise. So, we’ll see where this goes and if we can’t revive our community a bit. So glad to hear you’ll be doing a reboot!

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  8. A lot of my blogging friends no longer blog anymore. Times change, priorities change, whatever. I just love reading posts that make me think…and every now and then I make a new blog friend…

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    1. Every few years, someone declares the death of blogging, but it seems to be limping along. I’ve exhausted myself with all other media options – not enjoying them or able to truly engage well on them. So I return here – a quieter place that allows a little more long form thinking and writing. I have made friends here that extended beyond the blog and I owe this little space a debt of gratitude.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Still here and reading. Your blog is one of my favorites and it’s a treat whenever you post.

    I write on and off in my online journal, depending on what’s going on with me.

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    1. I’ve been starting to read blogs more and I’ve enjoyed getting to know you a little through your entries. You have courage to share some vulnerable thoughts, which make your entries engaging. Thanks for the kind words about the blog – my posts, like anything else, are hit or miss for readers!

      Liked by 1 person

  10. I’m not a blogger, but I enjoy reading your blogs. You have a real knack for expressing your ideas and feelings. Makes a lot of difference.

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  11. So glad to see you’re back in the ‘sphere, Michelle. I’ve missed reading your posts—both for their content and your delightful facility with words. I’m half-in, half-out of blogging, and totally fine with that. I hope you will reconsider referring to yourself as an old lady. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with being one—I’m heading there and I’m a good bit older than you. But I’m saving the honorific “old woman” for when I hit eighty or so. In the meantime, I’m happy to be a vibrantly ripening woman with old knees.

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    1. I’m embracing old lady as a state of mind. And increasingly a state of body! “Vibrantly ripening” – ha! I say it tongue-in-cheek, but after hitting menopause, my body became a train wreck. I’m trying to recoup and recover, but feeling aged all the same. Anyway, decided to get back to blogging as I’m up to my ears in the novel and need an outlet for all things nonfiction. Glad to see you again!

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      1. WP no longer lets me “like” a response to my comments (and it makes me log in to my account every time I want to make a comment, so consider your comment liked. I hope–when the time is right–we’ll learn more about your novel. Congratulations on that enormous accomplishment!

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  12. Hi, Michelle! Like you I lament WordPress’ decision to stop encouraging interaction or any real sense of community spirit among its users, leaving us to fumble around for attention in our own digital cul-de-sacs. As an introvert who sucks at socializing, I appreciated how the Daily Post and the “Freshly Pressed” program opened a lot of doors that are now covered in cobwebs. I can only assume someone in charge figured all the mingling among their existing customers wasn’t creating new profit opportunities for them, so they scuttled it all and turned their focus elsewhere…such as, say, toward their higher-paying business clients.

    But I’m still around! Ten years in, I’ve lost interest in self-promotion, I haven’t been in a thinkpiece mood for months, I only post a couple times a week, and I take cold consolation in the same tiny cadre of unsolicited bots that line up and leave their hollow Likes on my virtual porch like feral cats rewarding a homeowner with dead mice…but there’re still things I feel the need to write down and about before I forget them, in case any passersby trip through a search portal and scavenge something of use from my memories and weird aging geek opinions, even if a WordPress concierge is no longer shepherding any guests in my direction.

    (Reminds me of an old punchline: me, quit blogging? What, and give up show business?)

    Cheers!
    https://midlifecrisiscrossover.com/

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    1. Hi Randall! It’s starting to feel like old home week as I start to see familiar faces and blogs again. It really is unfortunate that the community features are gone. I suspect the “editors” were either cut or repurposed for, as you say, more profitable focus. The bots are still the same – two seconds after you post, those likes pop up, as if they’ve all attended an Evelyn Wood speed reading course!
      The inability to self-promote made me utterly useless on other platforms. Glad to be back here with the intent to cultivate and connect with people again. Glad you’re still out in the blog wilds!

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  13. Welcome back to the blog world Michelle! We all have been a bit overwhelmed in the last few years, no worries, there are a few of us out here still plugging alone, resisting advertising on our sites, blogging what makes us (and a few others) happy in our own space without the annoying pop ups! Exchanging ideas and comments without trolling imps highjacking our sites. (Knocking on wood as I am typing this!).
    If you need a smile try my Hummm…files on my page.
    thecedarjournal.com

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  14. Still here and reading. I love your scintillating wit and foul mouth 😁
    I hope your daughter’s better now.
    I think of myself as much more a traveller and photographer than writer; they’re easy. Writing’s a challenge, and blogging for 11 years has at least helped me improve (I hope).
    https://alisonanddon.com/
    Alison

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    1. Hi Alison. My daughter is doing fantastically well – thanks for asking. Off to college and working now as an EMT. It’s a miracle I keep being grateful for!
      I’ll have to catch up on your blog to see what adventures you’ve been having – your pictures and description have always been marvelous!

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  15. Oh good! I just read through all the comments intending to ask the question you just answered above! In that weird way one gets attached to certain people and stories in this space, I feel that with you – especially through the terrors of your daughter’s illness. So — phew!
    Will always be glad to read your gutsy, wonderful writing!

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    1. I absolutely understand wanting to know what is happening with someone’s “story”! I probably should have mentioned it. Treatment ended earlier this year and so now it’s just checkups, but she’s doing great. It’s weird, too, now that she’s technically an adult, to write about her, so that will probably be limited in the future. Writing about it really helped me deal with the stress when we were in it, though. I appreciate the concern and interest. Hopefully there will be less drama moving forward, but I’m a gloomy sort, so no angst will go unremarked upon!

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  16. I’m new to WordPress but this blog has caught my attention. I love the way you write and I hope that we can connect. I’m a writer, although my blogs need a bit of work. Lol.

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  17. hi Michelle, good to see you’re still here!
    I was, then I wasn’t!
    After I finished my MFA in 2017, I hit a real tough, low spot. All the support and momentum was gone, and it became increasingly clear that my writing wasn’t going to keep the lights on. Sadly, work and lack of support propelled a quick halt to any and all blogging, and writing in general! So sad, I know, but maybe joining your virtual group would help re-energize!
    How do I join?
    Cheers!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Lisa. I didn’t realize (or I forgot) that you had gotten your MFA. I’ve met a lot of down-and-out MFAs for the same reasons you mentioned. I have a plan following my graduation, but I’m also older and not working for pay at the moment (lots of family caregiving), so I have more flexibility. I’ll send out a bat signal for the virtual short story writing group in early January once I figure out the parameters and guidelines. The two groups I facilitate now (one is a workshop, the other just a feedback group) have been useful in that people are writing more, but they also have developed as a community, which is so critical lately.

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  18. AAAAHHH Michelle!! So good to see you again! I confess I have missed some of your most recent pieces, but I had to reconnect after seeing this one!! I can confidently call you a friendly acquaintance, and I hope we can continue to ‘know’ each other in this forum!! 😀 And ooooo, MFA, congratulations on finishing, and *fist bump* for all you’ve been doing other than blogging!!! Happy Happy Monday and I look forward to seeing you here again!!! 😀 –Cathy

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  19. Hi Cathy – it’s feeling a little bit like a homecoming here – so many familiar faces! I haven’t been reading blogs in the last couple of years – more about time constraints and the pandemic necessitating communication via so many digital venues. I have a lot to catch up on as well! But I’m clearing the decks and returning here to give a place for some nonfiction writing and to reconnect – it’s the drumbeat that I am feeling keenly these days -community, community, community. Thanks for stopping by!

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  20. And this is why we love you and this is why I’m here; honest, human, kind, funny. What might anyone want in a friend but this? Oh, keep it up young lady so I can have a reason to get up in the morning and consider the concept of hope. (Too much? Well, get over yourself then!)

    Liked by 1 person

  21. Well, Michelle, you may be my new idol/hero/role model, given that it appears it would like to and maybe even can follow in your footsteps!

    Don’t put in too much of your valuable time in checking out my two almost current websites, though I think you might appreciate and in some ways identify with this one.
    https://hbsuefred.com/

    The other one is the one I started many, many moons ago, before the life described in the one above really started kicking me. I do hope to add more to it at some point since its title is still how I feel and what I hope to pursue from/through other people’s comments! Here’s that link
    https://hbsuefred.wordpress.com/

    Like

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