All posts tagged blogging

Need a chart widget…

Published November 19, 2019 by Iphis of Scyros

…something that will show a progress graph so I don’t have to make an actual post every day just for my word count.

Next time I’m not being this lazy (i.e. I am on my phone again) I will have to look and see if there is such a widget. (I expect that there is, but that it is only available on paid plans…)

Anyhoo…um…dang. I did actually have something I wanted to say, only now I don’t remember what it was.

Other than that today I wrote 2,610 words, making a total of 40,119 for the month so far.

Man, it feels so weird not to be plugging these numbers into the NaNo site every day…

Missing Letter Monday No “D” – Stats

Published January 22, 2018 by Iphis of Scyros

For lack of anything more creative to post about, I’m gonna share a bit about my blog’s pathetic stats.  (Yes, I am aware of the fact that the low number of views are entirely my own fault, reflecting the lack of interesting new content.  So I’m not complaining.  I’m just commenting.)

From 1/22/17 to right now, my blog has 3,632 views in total, with November making the best month, at 450 views.  (Even though only one post went up in the entire month!)

My best posts (hit-wise) were:

My analysis of the relationship between Zeus & one of his brothers, with 262 views,
The Ahhiyawa Texts,” with 189 views,
Homophone Trouble,” with 129 views,
The almost-conclusion of the Perseus saga, with 105 views,
My post about snakes & other serpenty things in Greek myth, with 105 views,
My re-telling of the Sisyphus myth, with 102 views.

Also, the home page got 803 hits.

Many of those hits might be from spambots, though.  These are the posts that get the most spam comments, so if a spambot hitting a post for a comment counts as a view…



I really ought to get back to writing more re-tellings of Greek myths.

Hopefully I can get to that this year.


Missing Letter Monday No “Q” – Randomly Spam

Published September 25, 2017 by Iphis of Scyros

So, I have nothing to talk about today because the book report I was going to write today has the forbidden letter right there in the freakin’ title (despite that it’s one of the least-used letters in the English language!) so I thought I’d talk about a weird trend I’ve been seeing in spam comments in the last, I dunno, six months or so?

Formerly, all spam generally fell into two categories:  spam that was pretending to be random comments and spam that was directly trying to sell me on their advertising services for the products they for some reason think I’m selling.  (Seriously, if they’re trying to target businesses, why are they sending their spambots to blogs?  Most blogs are not advertising products for sale.)  Well, that and the more direct lists of links, but the spam filter trashes those right away without bothering to send them to the spam folder, so they don’t really count.

Now, I have never really understood the point of the random comment ones.  They don’t contain links, and even the e-mails, fake user IDs, and URLs don’t always contain any indication of trying to move a product or get people to go to some site where they’ll pick up a virus, or whatever it is that the people behind spambots usually want.  But usually one of those three factors would have something obvious, like they’d put the name of a product as their user name, or the URL would be to a store page.  (There have always been make-me-laugh things about those random comment ones, of course.  Like the ones talking about “great paragraph” or “so much informative” on a post on my dolly blog that consists exclusively of a photograph and zero words.  Or the one today that was talking about “I passed this on to a colleague who is doing some research on this” on not a post (despite that it started with “nice post”) but a page which listed some of the dolls I would someday love to add to my collection.)

This new trend, though, it’s really weird.

Read the rest of this entry →

Missing Letter Monday – No B

Published June 6, 2016 by Iphis of Scyros

Also Unsettling and Annoying

Well, I forgot to plan a post for today, so I’m just winging it this week.  No horrendous attempts at poetry, no lengthy tales twisting themselves around to avoid a certain letter:  just some prose, also twisting itself to avoid that letter.

So, yesterday — no, I guess it was Saturday? — well, whenever it was, I came online and was disappointed to see that the little orange dot indicating new activity didn’t include any likes on my latest dolly post, and only one comment, from a recent off-WordPress visitor who started coming around during A-to-Z.  I was disappointed that my closest WordPress pal hadn’t liked the post, yet I quickly decided that she likely just hadn’t come online due to the weekend.  (Despite that the weekend gives her more time, not less.)  When I saw a like from her on someone else’s post as I was going through the new posts in the Reader, I was actually a little hurt, though I should perhaps not admit something so unflattering and childish.

Then I finished reading new posts, went into WP Admin, and was informed, on the dolly side of things, that I had two comments in my spam queue.  I go in to look at them…and one was from the friend in question, and the other was from another frequent WordPress visitor!  WTF was the only response I could come up with.  Neither comment even had any links in them or anything!  (And on visiting the post in question, I saw that it had, in fact, received three likes, and WordPress just decided not to tell me so.)

I started worrying that other actual comments might have gotten deleted entirely as spam, so I switched over my settings so that all messages the system decides are likely spam get put in the queue, instead of letting it delete any outright.

It’s returned to normal since then — the orange dot reported likes on my weekend dolly posts — so perhaps it was just a fluke.  Decidedly unsettling, though, regardless.

So that was the unsettling part.  (The whole post is the random part, naturally.)

Here comes the annoying part, which is much shorter:

I’m afraid I’m getting sick.  I’ve spent most of the morning coughing.  I haven’t gotten sick since 2008.  I really don’t want to start getting sick again!

Also, my arm is acting up worse than ever, and now the inside of the arm as well as the outside feels hot all the time and reacts to the touch of human flesh as if it was red hot iron.  Which makes it very hard to function, given that I’m seriously overweight and it’s therefore extremely difficult to keep my arm from touching the side of my chest.  (I should try to tape them down, ninja-style…)

Oookay…so…random, annoying and unsettling, yet finished, without the non-letter of the week.

I guess I should go check on my laundry.  (Ugh.  Why do I always have to do laundry once a week?  Can’t it just wash itself for a change?  Or perhaps I need to increase the amount of clothes I have to four or five times as many so I can only do laundry once a month…though I might need a larger washing machine then…and it’s too hard to find clothes in my size anyway…so I guess I’m stuck with frequent laundry-washing…)

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Looking (far) ahead to April

Published February 9, 2016 by Iphis of Scyros

Random, I know, but for some reason I’ve started thinking about whether or not I’m going to do April A-to-Z again this year.  (Probably because a week ago or so one of the blogs I follow mentioned having already signed up for it.)  I’ve especially been thinking about it today, ’cause my paper for tomorrow flowed out of my fingertips like butter, despite the late start, so I was able to spend pretty much all day doing nothing, especially because the snow on the driveway melted in the brief window of sunlight before I went out to clean it up.  (Admittedly, I spent most of the day gaming, but…I tend to think about other stuff while I’m gaming.)

On the one hand, it was a lot of fun, and I felt like people enjoyed what I was writing.  (Some of the time, anyway.)

On the other hand, my class work last April was a lot less draining on my time than this semester’s will be, and by April I will hopefully be gainfully employed.  (Hopefully.  I’m not sure of the time table involved.)  So I’ll have a lot less time to devote to it, meaning that massive walls of text on a daily basis aren’t likely to happen.

Also, I feel like I’m going to run out of stuff to say if I stick to the Greek myths for the whole A-to-Z encounter.  (Especially what with several letters in the English alphabet not being in the Greek one.)

So I was thinking that I’d widen my focus this April, and do world mythology, instead of just Greek mythology.  (Though I’ll probably still throw in one or two Greco-Roman ones where appropriate…or possibly where inappropriate…I wonder if it’s okay to post NSFW pictures on WordPress if they’re also photos of ancient art?)

I was also thinking that it’d be faster if, instead of just a wall of text every day, I posted a pertinent photo of art of the myth/mythical figure in question, always art from the society in question, naturally.  (Not that I have all that many photos of my own to use; I’ll have to get the rest from Wikimedia Commons or someplace.  I have an idea for a post using one or more of my pictures from Peru, and I know I could get a number of posts from the photos I took on my trip to England — I’m pretty sure I did scan all of those in — but beyond that, I don’t have many of my own photos to use.)  My thinking, of course, being that if I post a picture, then maybe I won’t write quite as much.

So, you may be wondering why I’m telling you this, right?  Well, because I thought it’d be a good idea to make sure no one violently objected before I committed to doing something like this.  I don’t want to be spamming anyone’s reader with posts they’ll hate, right?  (Okay, yeah, I realize that’s not likely to be an issue, but…I dunno.  I just felt like I should post this.  Because I’m me.)

Of course, where it’ll really be challenging will be on Mondays.  Because I won’t put Missing Letter Mondays on hold, so I’ll have to come up with a subject that fits the world mythology theme and the day’s April letter, without using the week’s forbidden letter.  Now that will be a challenge!  (I did check already, though, and in no cases will the two letters be the same.  If they were…I think I’d have to do two posts in the same day, one for Missing Letter Mondays and the other for April A-to-Z.  Technically, I suppose I could still do that if I found myself struggling.)

Obviously, if I end up doing it, I’m going to have to start working on it now, and have all — or almost all — of the posts written long before April gets here.  Which might defeat the purpose?  Hmm…I should go to the site and check out the rules before I commit…

NaNo’s over…

Published December 1, 2015 by Iphis of Scyros

…but I’ll be talking about it tomorrow for ISWG, so look forward to that (or not).

I still have massive amounts of work to do for class (there’s a 3000 word paper due the 10th that I haven’t started yet!) so Thursday myths will not resume until the semester is over.  (Final paper is due the 15th…I think.)  And I’m not totally sure how much time I’ll have to be online between now and the 10th.  (Ack!  What about next week’s Missing Letter Monday?  Ugh…)

Anyway, Eclectic Alli is holding a December NaNo-like event called DeDoWriMo, and I’m going to be participating in that, so you may still be hearing about my novel if I feel like sharing more.  (Though probably no more massive excerpts.  I was able to do those because I was transferring the text at school, where I can use Word on the same computer I go online with.  Can’t do that at home, ’cause I don’t write and Internet on the same device.)

I’m not sure when it’ll go up — Thursday or Friday — but I have a post planned about Roman names, as it’s been bugging me for a while now and I want to talk about it.  Er, type about it.  Whichever.  Beyond that, I’ve got some Plutarch scheduled for next week’s Words Crush Wednesday, and other than that…no clue what’ll be coming here in the future.  (Back to normal, eh?)

Anyway, one last thing before I go.  Last night, my brother called me to have me use my Amazon Prime account (got a free six month period as a student) to order the complete series of Automan for my father for Christmas, because otherwise it was unlikely to arrive in time, as it says “ships in 1-3 weeks” so without free 2-day shipping, it was either risk missing the day or pay a large amount of money for “2-day” shipping that still takes 1-3 weeks.  (For those who don’t know, Automan was a quirky TV show from the 80s.  I know the whole family watched it, but I don’t actually have any memories of my own of it; I just remember my parents continuing (for decades) to talk about the title character being able to drive with perfect square corners, and whenever the bad guys chasing him would try to imitate that, they’d crash.)  Anyway, I scrolled down to the “people who viewed this item also viewed” section of the page, like you do, and I saw another old ’80s TV show listed, called Voyagers.  This one I actually had memories of watching:  it was a time travel show with a man and a boy, an adventure show that was definitely child-friendly, but I know my parents watched it, too, so it must not have been exclusively a kid’s show.  It was quite affordable for the whole series, so I was wondering if I should pick it up for nostalgia’s sake, but then I made the mistake of scrolling down and saw one of the reviews mentioning that the lead actor’s death was “an accident, not suicide” and then going into detail.

Suddenly, I didn’t want to see it anymore.

That doesn’t seem like the kind of thing you should mention in a review of a cheerful, family adventure show.

Talk about squashing my happy childhood memories!

(Um, I apologize if my rant just squashed anyone else’s happy childhood memories.  But at least I didn’t go into the further detail provided in that review!)

Away for NaNoWriMo

Published November 1, 2015 by Iphis of Scyros

Despite that I don’t have time, I’m doing NaNoWriMo again this year.  And that means I’m not going to be writing any blog posts.

The sole (planned) exceptions are that I’ve pre-written three of the four Missing Letter Mondays posts for the month of November.  (The fourth will be an excerpt from my novel.  Because that one is “No Z” and since “z” does not occur often in the English language, I figure I’ll save myself some time by just posting some nice tidbit from my novel that doesn’t happen to feature the word “lazy” or anything ending in “-ize”.  (My hero is not given to apologies, so that’s one “-ize” word unlikely to feature…))  If I come up with any really great bits as I’m going, I might decide to post them, too, but…probably not.  After all, it’s really annoying trying to re-format text into Internet formatting.

I don’t know how often I’ll be around in November to read others’ blog posts and/or respond to comments, either.  So if you ask a question on one of my posts and it takes me a week or more to respond, the reason is that I just haven’t been by to see it.

Just wanted to make sure this was clear, so no one could take offense, or wonder why I’ve suddenly stopped posting things.

Most of my usual features will resume in December.  Given the two massive research papers due in the middle of December, the myth re-tellings may not resume until after the papers are turned in, but the Words Crush Wednesday posts will resume, at least.  (Though on the first Wednesday in December, I’ll do an IWSG post, most likely about this year’s NaNo experience.)

(Needless to say, this post was pre-written yesterday.)

A Question about User Names

Published October 10, 2015 by Iphis of Scyros

Okay, off-subject, I know.  But I recently realized that I could change my WordPress user name.  And since it’s both inaccurate — I’m no longer 39 — and kind of, well, embarrassing, I thought I should change it.  (Though don’t ask me “to what” because I’m not sure yet.)

But then it occurred to me:  would that confuse people?  I mean, not the people who are reading my blog posts.  I realize that a name change on the writer of the post would at most cause a momentary perplexity, followed by the realization that I simply changed my use name.  (How many other people are pointlessly verbose in the same way I am, after all?  And obsessed with Greek myths?  Gotta be a small percentage.)

What I’m worried about is confusing the people who only know me by my comments on their blogs.  Would my gravatar image be enough to make them realize it’s me, or would they think I was a total stranger using the same image as someone who frequently comments on their blog?

I’m just not sure how to proceed.  (Which isn’t too big a deal at the present moment, since I’m not sure what I want to change the user name to, anyway.)

Any thoughts?

The Year is Up…

Published August 25, 2015 by Iphis of Scyros

…So Now What?

Well, for starters, it’s actually been up for a little while now, but I wanted to finish the “Pyrrha” business first.

Ultimately, “business” on the blog will continue as usual, except that posts will no longer be on a daily basis.  I’ll still be putting up the Missing Letter Monday Posts every week, most likely doing Words Crush Wednesday every week (may be dropping out of the Insecure Writer’s Support Group, as I don’t think I’m being very useful to it), and hopefully I’ll be able to keep up with my Thursday myths, but with two Thursday classes this semester, that may fall into some down time and/or be re-scheduled to a different day of the week, so we’ll just have to see what happens with it.  (On the other hand, I’ve got like 4 hours to kill on campus in between those classes, and it takes me 45 minutes to get from my house to campus, so I’m not going home between classes, so I might write the myths out between classes.  One never knows how these things will turn out!)

As to the remaining four days of the week, whether or not there will be posts on them will depend if I have anything to say.  No more pointless daily griping.  (Or at least very little of it.)  There will still be book reports (I still have to write ones for The Death and Afterlife of Achilles and Go Set a Watchman) and various posts on mythological topics, topics associated with my thesis (though that, too, is mythologically based) and any points of interest that come up in my classes this semester, which are on the fall of the Roman Republic and on political revolutions in the Spanish colonies in the Americas.  Also anything interesting that happens at the museum; we’re building an expansion to the museum where I volunteer, and the construction workers have been setting aside interesting bits and bobs they come across in digging the foundation, so I spent this past weekend cleaning and accessioning glass bottles and metal basins and teakettles from the early 20th and late 19th century, and who knows what else interesting might happen during construction.  (Though I doubt they’ll be digging much deeper for the foundation of the new wing, so probably nothing much older of archaeological note, but other stuff might happen.  Plus I’m hopeful that there’ll be a job opening for me to make the transition from volunteer to paid staffer.  That would be nice.)  There will also be some off-topic posts.  My thesis is tied to issues of gender and sexuality, so anything tied to those issues is technically only partially off topic even if it isn’t about ancient Greece, so there will be other posts on those issues.  (I’ve been planning one for a while now on gender and sexuality in Devil Survivor 2, but I have to finish playing it before I can write the post.  And by “finish playing it” I mean getting all five endings and finishing the sequel path included in the 3DS version.  I still have the fifth ending and the sequel path to go.)  Also the occasional random post; I’ve had one called “randomness” in the Drafts section here for a long time, accruing little bits of weirdness, and eventually I’ll feel it’s got enough bits of weirdness and actually hit the publish button on it.

Now that this is out of the way, I’m going to go write up a new “About” page that’s more accurate to the new “mission statement” of the blog, change up the title of the blog, and do some other minor “house-keeping” tasks about the place.  Then I’m going to have to get ready to head off to the first day of class!

(Yes, I did plan this so that the change-over post would come on my first day of class.)

Losing all momentum here.

Published July 10, 2015 by Iphis of Scyros

Even though the end is near.

Ack, that rhymed.  But this is going to be post #297 out of the 335 posts I’m aiming for before I can relinquish the daily post shtick and switch over to an only-post-when-I-have-something-to-say format.  So to be running low on things to say now of all times is somewhat annoying.

Of course, losing momentum has been a general condition in my life for some time.  It’s the “summer vacation blahs” I think.

I’d also blame it on the heat, but it’s been quite cool here the last few days.  Not that that’s helped my arm any.  It still feels hot all the time, and it’s feeling hot on the inside as well as the outside, too, so now if it comes anywhere near my breast–and it’s hard to keep it from doing that!–then it’s sending signals up to my brain as if I was literally holding it in a fire.

Anyway, changing the subject to something slightly less unpleasant, I’ve been thinking about my play “Pyrrha” lately, for various reasons.

It still needs a lot of work, but I don’t know what to do to it, because I’m an incompetent writer.  (Well, at least I’m honest about it!)

So I’ve been thinking of posting it here, scene-by-scene to fill up some of the remaining 38 posts (well, less than that, actually, ’cause of things like Words Crush Wednesday and Missing Letter Mondays).  If I did post it, would anyone read it?  Would anyone post any suggestions how to improve it?

Most importantly, does anyone remember any of the stuff I posted earlier about the late 18th century play I based it on?  Or the original Greek myth that play was mutilating?  Should I mention that stuff only at the end, or right up front?

Or should I not post the play in the first place, because everyone would prefer the sound of fingernails on a blackboard?

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