“Stomach Flu” (Poem) I & II

Two poems I wrote in January 2016 about having the stomach flu.

These poems were written on January 11 and 12, 2016. I am not currently sick.

Part I

I’m feeling better,
but not great.
I’m still feverish
and have a headache.
But my stomach
isn’t killing me,
and I won’t puke,
Which is an improvement.
Now I’m able
to sit up comfortably
though I’m hoping soon
to take more medicine.

Part II

I thought I was better,
but it seems I was wrong.
My stomach is sharp-edged,
and my headache’s a throb.
I may not have a fever,
which is something, at least,
But I didn’t eat lunch
and I can’t afford sleep.

Exploring SEO

I’m just learning about SEO and will be updating my website and sharing what I’m learning very soon.

Yesterday and today I started introducing myself to SEO. It seems more and less complicated than I anticipated.

The concepts are simple, keywords, quality up-to-date content, backlinks, website loading speed, the amount of time people spend on your site.

Harnessing them, though, is more complicated.
To that end, I watched a couple videos about tools, both free and paid, that allow you to analyze your website’s performance. From that analysis, you can improve and get more traffic to your website, rank higher in Google, and see what content should be updated or deleted.

I will be curating a playlist of the internet marking and SEO videos I’m learning from on my Youtube channel. If you want to learn along with me, be sure to check that out here.

Over the next few weeks I will be exploring SEO and implementing it here. This won’t just help me, it will improve your experience on my site. I’ll be creating more of the content that you and others want to see by using SEO strategies.

Recap: Forward Tilt Ep 40

This is part of a series of posts called Recap. In it I will share my notes on the content I consumed followed by my response. The content could vary from a podcast to an article to a Youtube video to a book I read. When applicable, I will link to the content.
I’ve also responded to Episodes 9, 29, and 36.
Episode 40 is called the Rough Draft Mindset. I’ve listened to this episode twice, first early on in Praxis and again now that I’m entering Placement.

Notes

Having raw material to work with is easier than starting from scratch. Early in the program, Praxis participants build some beginning things. First instinct is to ask open-ended questions for ideas. Once there is a rough thing, it’s easier for people to give feedback for improvement. It’s so much easier to edit when you’ve got something started. Before you seek input and advice, have a rough draft. Difference between surveying people, which is abstract, versus creating a prototype and offering something tangible. Isaac Morehouse’s son wanted to start sandwich business. The first attempt got one order, so he brought free samples and got 30 email addresses of people who liked his sandwiches and wanted to order next time.
When you want info and/or feedback, come with a rough draft. Don’t schedule a call about your idea. Have the first draft, have something tangible created and ask for feedback on it. If you get a bunch of generic feedback, you’ll be less likely to act on and talk yourself out of it. If you do a bit, you get a taste, you’re more likely to be able to adapt, respond, and not get analysis paralysis before you’ve even started.
When you have real tangible problems you can get real tangible feedback. Don’t just present an idea, ask for feedback on a rough draft.

Response

It was easier for me to build my pitch deck from a template than from scratch. When I got stuck, I looked at some of the other participants’ decks to see how they approached the deliverable. Before I shared my deck for feedback, I talked with Hannah Frankman, the pre-program advisor about an aspect I was struggling with. After I had feedback from other participants, I edited and refined my deck. Having a template and examples of what I was building (a rough draft of sorts) made it easier for me to build my pitch deck.
I’ve started from scratch on a lot of projects and had to build the base for them myself. In creating N’Zembe, I first had to decide how many planets there were, what they were called, and which of them supported life. Then I was able to expand to the size of each, the length of their rotations and revolutions. From this base I can create the geography and figure out where people live in order to create the history. To go with the history, I am creating the first language, the origin story of the language and the writing systems, etc. I keep building on and with what I’ve already created in order to create more.


“[For the Time Being] Melancholy Memories” (Poem)

When something bad happens,
You have to move on,
You have to let the pain fade.
You can’t stand still,
Soaking
Saturated
in the melancholy.
But how easy is this,
How easy is it to let the
Pain
Sink into the back of your mind?
To deaden the issue?
To dilute the event til
it could have been a dream?
This depends…
You have to realize
It’ll still be there
tomorrow,
next month,
next year,
next decade,
next century.
You can’t erase it,
But you can gradually move it
Closer to the back of your mind.
Not forgetting,
Just taking it out of the present
For the time being.


This was originally written November 2013. I made a few changes to that draft.

If you like my poetry, be sure to check out my poetry collection! You can read some of it for free here, buy the collection, or join the January/February giveaway for a chance to win the ebook.

I’m also on Patreon. Be sure to join me there for cool rewards!

“Deal With It” (Poem)

Everything is building up,
It’s getting to be too much.
You want to get it over with,
To say ev’rything is finished.
But no, you can’t.
You have to finish what you’ve started.
You can’t quit.
You want to, but
That’s not an option.
Your brain is sick.
Sick of the stress and strain.
You’re sick of it too.
You get to suck it up
And deal with it.
The stress makes it harder to sleep,
Harder to concentrate.
But still you must deal with it.


This was originally written in October 2013.

If you like my poetry, be sure to check out my poetry collection! You can read some of it for free here, buy the collection, or join the January/February giveaway for a chance to win the ebook.

I’m also on Patreon. Be sure to join me there for cool rewards!

Vegan “Not Chicken” Noodle Soup

I’m currently coming down with a cold. I didn’t want to buy the (amazing) chicken noodle soup from Panera Bread, because I committed to not eating meat. So, I created my own recipe for “Not Chicken” Noodle Soup for the same purpose that chicken noodle soup would serve. It’s vegan, but I didn’t set out to make the recipe so.

Feel free to adjust the spice quantities to your preferences. The garlic, ginger, cayenne, turmeric, and lemon/lime were selected for their antioxidant qualities that will help soothe sore throats and recover from a cold.

Ingredients:
1 tbsp coconut oil
3 tbsp crushed ginger (I used a squeeze bottle)
3 tbsp minced garlic
1 tsp turmeric
2 tsp basil
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tbsp lime juice OR lemon juice
1 small onion, diced
1 stalk celery, sliced in 1/8″ pieces
1/2 orange bell pepper, diced (or other color bell pepper)
3/4 c shredded carrot or equivalent diced carrot
1 can peas, drained
3-5 mushrooms, sliced, or small can of mushrooms, drained
1 serving saifun bean threads, broken or chopped into small pieces
3 c vegetable broth
1 c water

Prep is ~15 minutes, cook time is ~30 minutes.
Instructions:
1. Melt coconut oil in a large 4-6 qt pot. Stir in spices, onion, celery, and bell pepper. Simmer until the onion is translucent.
2. Add lime/lemon juice, carrot, and broth. Bring heat to a boil. Cook until celery, bell pepper, and carrots are soft to your liking. If you’re using fresh mushrooms, add them now too.
3. Reduce heat to medium, add canned mushrooms, peas, and bean threads. Stir to combine.
4. Continue cooking until bean threads are translucent and peas are heated through.
5. Serve and enjoy!

This isn’t usually a food blog, but I hope you enjoy this recipe!
I find it delicious, which is good cause I’ll be eating it a lot the next few days.

Social Media and Attention

We all know that social media can be a time suck. That we should spend less time on it. That it can ruin our attention spans.
I’m finding that to definitely be the case.

I stopped using Discord because I was wasting a lot of time whenever I logged in. I had been spending hours talking to people, reading messages, etc. Then I stopped. Not even intentionally, but I got so busy with Praxis and everything I was doing I never thought to log in.
I went on yesterday and remembered why I quit.

I stopped using DeviantART sort of accidentally, similar to my unexpected unplanned leave from Discord. I got busier, so I didn’t have time to go on. I wasn’t posting, so I wasn’t wondering if people were commenting or favoriting my posts.
I was on briefly the other day and was surprised by how many comments I had as well as how many people were still interacting with some of my posts.

I’ve been spending more time on social media. Not on purpose. I go on and scroll. I read the posts, look at the pictures, sometimes hit the like button or leave a comment. On Twitter sometimes I’ll read a thread on a controversial post, or something I find fascinating. On Facebook sometimes I’ll look at the comments and it’s either a huge fighting mess or people say some fun things.
Either way it’s wasting my time. And I can tell that it’s making me more prone to distraction.

I’m trying to read through Breaking Smart Season 1 (for Praxis, but I also want to read it). I keep getting distracted. When I got to that piece of content, I wished it was a video series instead of articles. Reading articles felt like it would take so much more time.
That could be because I’ve gotten into the habit of using watch time to also do something else, like knit, color, or draw. I love that I can consume content while doing something else I want to do. In fact, I don’t knit or color unless I’m consuming some kind of content, be it for entertainment or information.

I can see the correlation to social media, because when I’m getting distracted, it’s with a desire to open Facebook or Twitter or Instagram.

I’m not going to quit all social media, in part because I use it to promote this blog and connect with people. I am going to cut back. By paying attention to the time I’m spending on social media and being tactful about when I allow myself to go on, I can limit the amount of distraction it gives me.