This week, my blog post made it to the WordPress front pages and I was freshly pressed or featured. And thanks to everyone who came by to read my post and congratulate me. I’d been bumping along on my posts, getting modest readership and it was really interesting to see how the readership soared.
I’ve read the page on being Freshly Pressed and the five things to do: original content, no profanity, a picture that’s not stolen or credited correctly (I’ve started using Creative Commons images if not my own), using tags and categories, proofreading, etc. So I posted about “The Only Good Thing About Snow” on Tuesday and popped it up quickly. I’m a writer, an editor so I tend to always proofread but I was on my way for dental surgery and had to run. So I didn’t proofread (until later and there were only a couple of typos/grammar issues), I forgot to post any tags, and I only had the default category of culture listed. And I was freshly pressed.
I went and read the page again and really wondered because this beasty didn’t fit some of those categories, so I emailed WordPress. They told me that it helps to a degree but too many tags or categories can make it so that the pages don’t show at all. Interesting. I asked how many and they said five to ten is good but don’t sweat it. Okay, I’m not sweating it. I’m not making money on my blog, just posting to air my opinion, to inform, to let people know I exist, but if I was depending on it for income, I’d sweat it big time. And that is how I was freshly pressed, by not following some of the rules. A true mystery I guess, or a seasonally appropriate blog with a picture of the right width to fit into the Freshly Pressed
Still it was fun but I wonder what I would have done with a format that went viral. I was hard pressed (pun intended) to keep up with and approve all the comments. There were about 50 and I have it set for pre-approval on a person’s first comment. I was at work so my mailbox filled quickly.
I’m curious to see how my blog will progress now. Will it go back to the normal number of readers or increase. I noticed that some people have subscribed and I thank you for that. Continue to give me feedback.
If nothing else, this gives me a place to write regularly when I have a writing block in the fiction world. That’s not the case right now. I’m about 30 pages from the end of my novel rewrite, with a bit of backtracking to fix a few areas. But I will hit the goal of having it done before the end of the year. Then I can get to two stories percolating fully in my brain. The steampunk one has a fully laid out plot and I just have to write it and clear up a few things about engines and flight. Another one is getting there, very dark and about a quest for power. And of course I still have manuscript submissions to read. It’ll slow down over the holidays.
I’ve also been reading through the anthology Horror Library Vol. 4 in which my story “Exegesis of the Insecta Apocrypha” is featured. There are about 30 stories and while I don’t normally do a review on an anthology in which I have a story I do have to say that overall these very dark stories and well written, thought provoking and disturbing. (Okay, I don’t really like the cover–sorry, guys–there have just been too many scary skulls.) Catherine MacLeod’s story “Stone” stands out as being very disturbing. The best stories often touch on social mores, morals and taboos. Catherine’s does all this and makes one really think of what is acceptable and whether it should be. People often poo-poo speculative fiction (encompassing horror, SF, fantasy, etc.) as not being really but it is a place to look at morality and social commentary in a very strong image. Don’t discount supposed genre fiction because you think it’s like a trite movie. It’s often much deeper than you think.