Archive for the 'writing' Category

Tiny Cat Pants

According to the Blog Stats sidebar widget, Tiny Cat Pants — a very smart, funny, idiosyncratic blog — has tallied more than 23,000 hits since coming to WordPress March 03, 2007. Written semi-anonymously, by someone who calls herself Aunt B., Tiny Cat Pants takes on all comers, doles out sharp criticism for idiot politicians, picks fights with other bloggers, periodically redefines feminism to suit its author’s mood, and in general, has a heck of a good time not taking itself very seriously.

Gosh, it’s funny. If you visit, start with the FAQ page to acclimate yourself to its quirky sense of humor.

It can be moving, too. Here’s an example that impressed us:

“I came home from work today to find [my brother] the Butcher sprawled out on the floor in front of the TV. “How was your day?” he asked and I said, “I hate my life.” He asked, “Why?” And I said, “No good reason. Nothing bad happened. Everything is fine. I’m just miserable.” And he said, “I know just what you mean.”

“And you know, that’s the thing about brothers, when your brother says “I know just what you mean,’ you know it’s the truth. You know he’s looking right at you and really seeing you as a person he has loved his whole life and who he knows as well as he knows himself. And it’s like you can put it down for a while, whatever it is that you’re carrying around with you, you can just leave it right there at the front door, recognized, acknowledged, and of no consequence, at least for a while.”

That’s just a tidbit from a blogger who will only consider running for President if it doesn’t interfere with her real ambition to be Queen of the Planet.

Poetry In Verse

Greg Landeim has been a lot of things.  A surveyor, an engineer, an analyst and an architect just to name a few.  Now, though, Greg is doing what he loves to do and has decided to share that passion with us.

Greg Landeim is a poet and his blog Poetry In Verse serves as a kind of showcase for his work.  The works themselves (as far as my limited literary skill can attest to) are very well composed and, even more importantly, enjoyable to read.  Plus, with a range of subject matter ranging from the sacred to the daily the reader’s attention is not likely to wan quickly.

What really makes me like this blog even more, though, is the author’s encouragement of commentary.  He is laying his art out before the public’s eyes and inviting the public to express themselves back.  It is really the ideals of the blogosphere in action.

So if you are looking for a shot of artistic insparation and community you might want to check out Poetry In Verse.

Natalia Antonova

Natalia Antonova was born in Kiev, went to Duke and writes like an angel. Her blog is unclassifiable, but for once that’s not a criticism. I loved it and wish I had several days to read everything she’s written. I don’t, not if I have any hope of keeping my family fed and myself employed. But in the time I spent there, this made me want to cry. This had me howling. And this photo of a gorgeous footballer from Chelsea made me wish I was British, just so maybe I’d run into him someday in the pouring rain and he’d hand me an umbrella or something.

How did I find this one? I went over to Ms. Hedonistic Pleasure Seeker, featured a few days ago, and looked around her blogroll and there Natalia was.

How do we at Best Blog on WordPress find YOU? Email us and tell us what a great blog you or someone you know has! bestblogonwordpress(at)yahoo(dot)com will work if you want us to take a look for the December Blog a Day.

Mirkwood

 

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Mirkwood’s a lit blog with a bit of a twist. The author is smart and eloquent about books. But Mirkwood can also tell you a little something about how to use CSS and the new Sandbox theme to make your site look really spiffy. How about that?

In case you love to read and you’re wondering about lit blogs: WordPress is home to many great lit blogs. If this interests you, here are a few links, just on WordPress alone: Tales From the Reading Room, Charlotte’s Web, Make Tea Not War, Eoin Purcell’s Blog, Everything in Between, Distraction No. 99, Great War Fiction, QAZSE, Quirk, Ruth’s Reflections, So You Think I Can, Words of My Father.

This just scratches the surface — if you write a lit blog, or follow them, or have some opinion about them, use the comments section for what it’s for: tell us about lit blogs.

Commenting on Comments

Lorelle on WordPress, one of our favorite Best Blog alums, has a great post up about how to write a good comment. 

Lorelle says a comment is like a resume. if you write good comments, people will want to check your blog out.  So, if you want to make people sit up and pay attention then you have to learn to be a good commenter.   

Kudos to Lorelle for showing people the way to Best Blogging. 

Saturday Morning Blogroll: By The Numbers

This Saturday Morning Blogroll is dedicated to all the list-makers and numbers gurus out there in WordPressLand:

  • 18: Total number of blogs looked at during my half hour of blog-hopping via the “next blog” key. Would have been more if I hadn’t been interrupted by a six year old who couldn’t find his shoes or his favorite weapon.
  • 5: Number of blogs that were in a language I don’t speak.
  • 5: Number of blogs that were last updated when people were still listening to cassette tapes and believed Ronald Reagan was the worst of all possible presidents.  (My, how things have changed.)
  • 2: Tech blogs that displayed not an ounce of humor or flair. (Note to tech bloggers: it’s okay to have a personality!)
  • 1: Password protected blogs
  • 3: Blogs that should have been password protected and were not. (Note to personal bloggers: If you’re going to go on about your broken heart, how about something other than your favorite song lyrics about broken hearts?)
  • 2: Truly outstanding blogs. The number might have been larger had people updated more often or if I’d been better educated and, for example, learned to speak Mandarin or even Spanish!

So, without further ado, here they are:

Only 2 Rs: For history buffs (in this case, the First World War) and writers, and anyone else who enjoys a well written, literate blog that’s frequently updated. Only 2 Rs is a writer, and a person who’s got great ideas about books. This is one I’ll return to often.

Angry IT Manager: Proof that you can talk about tech subjects in an enlightening and entertaining way.

Have a great weekend all!

Happy Father’s Day From Saturday Morning Blogroll

It’s unusual to find a blog that’s a tribute to a parent. Rarer still, a tribute to a parent who was a very good poet. Here’s that exceedingly rare blog: Words of My Father. Words of My Father is very simple: every few days, the son posts one of his father’s poems, poems he discovered after his father died.

I wish the son would say more about the father, who seems to have been the kind of man who wore a suit and was a business traveler like lots of other men — the kind of man who probably didn’t say very much about what he noticed and felt. Except it turns out he wrote poems.

They’re good poems. I especially like the one about the statute of Christopher Columbus. And Raisins. Some of them are funny, and some of them are a little sad. As the father says, “knowledge/is/sadness.”

If you have a chance today, stop by and tell Jonathan (the author of this blog) he’s a fine man and a good son, and then enjoy his father’s poems.

And Happy Father’s Day (yes, I know, it’s a day early!) to all you fathers out there. 

Writing Strategies For Your Blog – Part One

kungfustickman

What kind of writer are you? Do you write in long form or do you tend to make your posts short and sweet? And then of course, what are you going to write about? We can't tell you that [what to write] but what I'm hoping to do with this series is educate bloggers on a couple of good writing strategies they can use to improve their blogs.

In journalism there's this thing called a lead that writers use to hook people into the story or in our case the post. The lead or hook will usually give the reader facts right off the bat. Don't lose your readers.

Long doesn't always mean good and short doesn't always mean interesting. When you write for an average audience, you're going to want to be as concise as possible. Have enough information to make the piece worthwhile but at the same time don't make the piece so long that your readers fall asleep at the table.

So there you have it. We'll do a couple more of these in the future. And don't you dare use these words like "concise" or "lead / hook" out of context or in a way that defeats the purpose of the word. Part two of our series will cover writing cliches and originality. I'm looking forward to it.

-Peace out!

Introducing Saturday Morning Blogroll

The ground rules for Saturday Morning Blogroll are pretty simple: I’ll spend half an hour every Saturday morning on a “next blog” browse, and see what I find. Some Saturdays, I’ll spend that half an hour looking through tags to see what people are thinking about, say, Life, or Buttons, or School. (I know, there’s no tag for the Button-obsessive blogger, not yet anyway.) On Saturday, then, the search tool for locating best blogs will be, basically, serendipity. The rest of the week, the fine editors at Best Blog will continue to adhere to the highest of standards and the most finely honed of methods. Which is to say, I have no idea how they go about this.

As for my own standards, like all of us, I’m a sucker for good writing, for pictures of food and far away places, and for distinct voices, so that’s the kind of thing you’re likely to find here any given Saturday. There’s so much talent in this community that it would be a sad Saturday if I couldn’t find at least two Best Blogs in half an hour.

Without further ado, this is what I found when I woke up and began to click on the “next blog” button:

distraction no. 99. For every writer out there who’s working on getting something published and hasn’t yet broken through, this woman articulates what that feels like — mostly, it seems to involve finding creative ways to handle rejection. (For now anyway. I’m guessing she’ll find an agent one of these days, as long as she doesn’t move to L.A.) There’s lovely writing here, particularly about New York City. It was just her birthday. Check out her site and wish her a happy day.

Deskbound. Deskbound’s post, Everything’s Lovely in all its Lovely Gloriousness (May 22, 2006) is a masterpiece, something I will commit to memory and repeat every Monday morning on my way in to work. The voice of this blog is so wonderfully pissed off and the captions of some of the photos are so funny, that he deserves a really wide audience, people who read him because he’s good, rather than because they are searching for blogs that feature the words “poo” and “incest.” I can think of a number of people who would be offended by this blog, so up front I warn you that he makes fun of, in no particular order: the pope, incest, defecation, Charlie Sheen, and members of the Bush administration, including the head guy himself. There is a very funny post about members of the Bush administration who wear moustaches. Deskbound also makes fun of his colleagues, his workplace, and the world. I’m sorry he’s deskbound, but we’re lucky this is how he’s chosen to exact his revenge.

See you next Saturday.

Lorelle on WordPress

If my memory is serves me right, Lorelle on WordPress was one of the top blogs on wordpress.com when the site first launched back in September. But then it dropped off the front page.

Anyway, Lorelle on WordPress talks about wordpress and blogging in general. Let the work speak for itself and check it out.


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Best Blog on Wordpress searches for and reviews the best blogs on wordpress.com We also write articles to guide new and old bloggers!