From 2013 To The Now

I thought I would use this post this morning to pause and simply say “thank you.”

For starters, I say “thanks” because I’ve gone from of course virtually no one reading this blog in its infancy in December 2013, to a LOT more of you now, many of you on a regular basis. Over the years quite a few of you have been buying my books also – a fact which, when I think about it, truly humbles me. That you do always drives me on to make the next novel better than the last one.

Hertfordshire, England countryside. [Photo by me, 2016.]
Hertfordshire, England countryside. [Photo by me, 2016.]

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John Lewis!

If you read WordPress blogs you usually see ads at the bottom of a post. We, the bloggers, have no control over those ads (that I’m aware of). They are bought by advertisers to appear on WordPress generally.

Frankly, many I’ve seen are just awful. They look at times like cheapo nonsense at best. They are often not the sort of stuff you would want to be associated with you or your content.

However, yesterday I happened not to be logged in and opened one of my recent posts for reference to something else I was writing. When I scrolled to the bottom, I almost fell off my chair. I couldn’t believe the ad!:

Screenshot of an ad below one of my posts.
Screenshot of an ad below one of my posts.

John Lewis!

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Sophie Deserves A Mention, Too

I’ve got so much going on right now. My head’s spinning. To better explain what I mean, first here’s that excerpt again in case you missed it the other day:

Sneak Peek into  "Conventions." Click to expand.
Sneak Peek into “Conventions.” Click to expand.

I’ve got that French ship captain, who I’m finding is quite an interesting man as a write more of him. And of course there’s the “heroine” in that scene as well (but I don’t want to tell you yet who she is or what she’s doing where she is). That’s just for starters.

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Freedom Of Speech, Until…

You never know who is reading you. Something I wrote about the Catskills a couple of years back attracted a response from a Turkish woman. She wrote to me that she knew the area well: she had attended (of all places) the State University of New York at Binghamton!

We had a laugh. She had also left the US recently and was living once again in Istanbul, but remained interested in south-central New York state, where Binghamton is located, in particular. Occasionally, she’d ask me about the snow and frigid temperatures – she didn’t miss either in Istanbul! she always said – and inquired harmlessly about other aspects of life thereabouts. She also knew I-84 pretty well, and we’d joked about that “endless” and “dull” highway.

Free Stock Photo: Flag of Turkey.
Free Stock Photo: Flag of Turkey.

We ended up following each other on Twitter. She tweeted mostly in Turkish, which left me mostly at a loss. But she did offer an occasional observation in English and/or a link to something in English; usually it was innocuous and apolitical. Often what she shared was humorous.

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Welcoming All Readers

I’m discovering that joining Instagram was one of the better social media moves I’ve made. It’s quick and visual, and we all do like that. I should’ve signed up to it ages ago.

Screen capture of Instagram.
Screen capture of Instagram.

Thus how we learn. Using Instagram has also reinforced something else to me. Instagram is mostly photos, whereas a blog like this is naturally mostly words.

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I Almost Relocated Yesterday….

…and in saying that I don’t mean moved here to Tenerife permanently. I’m referring to having almost stopped posting to this web site. In preparation to do so, I had already created a new blog home over at Tumblr:

Screen capture of my new Tumblr site.
Screen capture of my new Tumblr site.

Why? Because I’d had certain “technical difficulties” since Tuesday. They were related to my rjnello-dot-com domain. In the three and a half years since I had purchased it through WordPress, I had NEVER had even a SINGLE problem with it…. prior to Tuesday.

WordPress investigated it for me. The Help person was actually helpful, as well as friendly; but she came back to me saying there was nothing WordPress could do. It seems another company called, uh, it starts with the letter “G,” is at the center of it.

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Broadband-less In Tenerife

I have not vanished. The broadband in our friends’ apartment complex – the entire building (a couple hundred flats) broke down on early Wednesday morning. We’re told it’s being repaired.

So we have to wait. I can’t really use any of my expensive mobile net here to post – photos especially. It uses too much data.

As soon as the broadband is back, I’ll be back here as well. One good thing to come of it has been I’ve been getting not only some reading done, but some (new novel) writing done (finally) too!

Have a good weekend.🙂

The Unpredictable Visitors

That “Fun With New Zealand’s Flag” post – from the (northern hemisphere) summer of 2015 – has in the last few days brought in tons of Kiwi visitors. It continues to do so. Until it suddenly “reappeared” within my “top visits” post list, frankly I’d almost forgotten about it.

I am no “expert” on New Zealand. (I have been there once, 15 years ago, to Wellington and Rotorua, and did like the country a lot and would go back, but that’s about it.) I read now that the flag change referendum is due to start March 3. (Those in favor of keeping the current design are polling well out in front – for now at least.) I’m guessing amidst the approaching vote there, my modest post must have ended up sorta “highly-ranked” in Google or something:

Screen capture of my Top 5 visitor countries on Sunday.
Screen capture of my Top 5 visitor countries on Sunday.

That “top country” visitor breakdown is perfectly “normal” – except for New Zealand.

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Geography Questions (With No Incorrect Answers)

Good morning! A group participation post. Don’t you just hate those?

Don’t groan, I won’t be going around “the room” looking to each of you individually, putting you on the spot. No need to avert your eyes or slide down in your chair; there are no wrong answers to these two simple questions. You may share your replies in the comments if you wish – which would seem obvious, I suppose, given naturally I can’t compel you to answer, of course.😉

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Don’t Think You Aren’t Missed

Ahem. While I’ve got your attention, I’d like to say this. I think it needs saying.

I admit it, I can become “attached.” If I don’t see posts for too long from those I check regularly, I find I feel a bit down. I wonder, where did you go? Is something wrong?

If you are going on hiatus, perhaps to take a cruise….

Cruise ship. Key West, Florida. [Photo by me, 2014.]
Cruise ship. Key West, Florida. [Photo by me, 2014.]

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