Writer’s Quotes Wednesday Writing Challenge: Writer’s Choice or Culture

Create a WQWWC Post

I took a one day break from Sunday Stills to celebrate the Independence Day holiday. My good friend Marsha is busy with her new property as they prepare to get it ready for its new AirB&B status! So I offered to return the favor to host her weekly blog feature Writers Quotes Wednesday Writing Challenge (aka) #WQWWC for her this week!

WQWWC Requirement

More About Writer’s Quotes Wednesday Writing Challenge

I have been participating lately…I originally misunderstood the prompt thinking it was more of a writing prompt responding to a chosen quote. Just shows you how wrong I was. Like my Sunday Stills photo challenge that has a prepared weekly theme, WQWWC also has a weekly theme. This week is writer’s choice!

If you think this is still a writer’s challenge, you would be right, sort of. As bloggers, we are all writers to some degree. Many of us focus on different types of writing, whether the subject and focus is poetry, photography, DIY, lifestyle, food, travel, and others. Most bloggers share their craft in several creative ways, combining photography with some form of writing.

Many bloggers also combine their posts into several challenges or prompts—i.e. photo, poetry, flower-of-the-day, color challenge, and more. Hot this month is Becky B’s square trees challenge. Need more inspiration? Check out Cee’s page For the Love of Challenges and click on the challenge of your choice.

If you were planning to share your trees anyway, why not search for a quote about trees?

For Writers Quotes Wednesday Writing Challenge, the sky is the limit. Especially this week as it is writer’s choice—that’s YOU, the writer.

WQWWC Suggestions

Now that you have the hang of it, let me take a moment to provide a few examples and illuminate the prompts.

Culture

As host this week, it is my sworn duty as a patriotic American to mention culture with a word or two about USA Independence Day, July 4th and what it has morphed into. While freedom and pride are the overarching themes, Americans love a party!

While many cities solemnly celebrate Independence Day with speeches, parades, and a little pomp, as it should be, most Americans are happy to have a summer holiday and blow off fireworks!

Erma Bombeck says it best…

“You have to love a nation that celebrates its independence every July 4th, not with a parade of guns, tanks, and soldiers who file by the White House in a show of strength and muscle, but with family picnics where kids throw Frisbees, the potato salad gets iffy, and the flies die from happiness. You may think you have overeaten, but it is patriotism.”

Erma Bombeck

Do you have a favorite culture quote from your own country?

Writer’s Choice

From here we explore writer’s choice, so share your creativity… c’mon, you can do it! I’m back outside to enjoy water and trees.

Like Marsha, who loves to combine photo and writing challenges in her posts, I’m linking some images to other photo challenges today.

Last week, hubby spent the week traveling back to Sacramento to bring back the rest of the items in our storage unit—bicycles, BBQ, random outdoor furniture, his tools, etc. Once he was done, he celebrated by doing his favorite activity—windsurfing!

Hans Schrandt Executes Big Jump
Hubby with a Big Jump!

I can’t change the direction of the wind, but I can adjust my sails to always reach my destination.

Jimmy Dean

Shared for John’s On the Water LAPC and John’s CellPic Sunday

While hubby was camping in his truck and hanging with friends in the windy and cool Sacramento delta, my dogs and I endured the record heat by rising early. At 4am I was greeted by this amazing sunrise over the ridge.

Colorful dawn in the mountains

John Muir says it best with this quote:

How glorious a greeting the sun gives the mountains!”

John Muir
Painnt Filter Forest
A serene walk in the forest. Image enhanced with Painnt

“In every walk with nature, one receives far more than he seeks.” “Between every two pines is a doorway to a new world.”

John Muir

These wonderful Ponderosa pines that surround me are shared for Becky B’s squaretrees.

Now It’s Your Turn

What inspires you more, your images or quotes? Now you will be doubly inspired. Your choice or culture…maybe both?

Create a WQWWC Post

Post it on your blog and link to this post. Leave me a comment to make sure I see it. I will respond to your posts while Marsha is busy! For more information on the writer’s quotes challenge, visit Marsha’s page. Themes for the next few weeks are posted for those who love to plan in advance.

Last Week’s Freedom WQWWC Links

Marsha and I thank you for linking your freedom posts last week. Please visit if you can!

Sunday Stills is Back on July 11 with the Theme: Under the Trees

In the meantime, there is no reason for me to wait to share all the amazing Great Outdoors Bloggers links until July 11th. With 32 link-ups, you ‘all seem to love the great outdoors!

Have a wonderful week and thank you for linking to all the wonderful blogging prompts and challenges available.

SUPSIG

© 2021 Copyright—All rights reserved—secondwindleisure.com

Bird Weekly: “H” is for Hummingbird and Haliaeetus Lucocephalus

Color Planet Bald Eagle 4th of July

Catch your attention, did I?

Since I’m not posting for Sunday Stills this weekend as we are busy with a family gathering for the Independence Day holiday, I’m sharing for Lisa’s Bird Weekly.

Amazingly, to satisfy the prompt for Lisa’s Bird Weekly (birds starting with letter H), the scientific moniker of the American Bald Eagle is Haliaeetus leucocephalus.

Bald Eagle Soars over Lake Couer d' Aline

Terr’s actual image of Bald Eagle flying over Lake Couer D’Alene

I originally planned to only share my Anna’s Hummingbirds seen later in the post, but the story of a juvenile bald eagle is eager to be told.

Inspired By the “Journey” of an American Bald Eagle

When I moved to Nine Mile Falls, Washington (near Spokane), I expected to see a lot of Bald Eagles. I have seen a few in my own neighborhood and I’ve managed to capture some grainy photos of some. Jonesing for a way to find and photograph eagles with my own lens, I stumbled on a Facebook group, Spokane Birders, from which I am inspired daily by wonderful images of local birds and eagles.

A local woman, Diana G, who lives a short distance away, discovered a Bald Eagle’s nest visible from her backyard and has been taking incredible photographs of the adult pair and their newly hatched juvenile eagle, dubbed “Journey.” She shares her gorgeous photos of these eagles and other birds on Spokane Birders, but as her images of eagles grew in popularity due to a slew of newspaper articles and local newscasts, she created a Facebook group called Bluebell Court Eagles.

Diana has graciously given me permission to use some of her amazing photos to share more about the Bluebell Court Eagles and their “Journey!”

It starts with the Bluebell Court Eagles preparing their nest.

A Baby Eaglet is hatched in early April!

Journey Matures!

As Journey prepares to fledge, the heat is on right now in the Pacific Northwest. Temperatures are as much as 30 degrees higher than normal for late June. Many juvenile birds are fledging early and bird parents are extra vigilant (we hope)!

Videos and images of him flapping his wings and hopping to higher branches of the nest to beat the heat had us cheering him on as he strengthens his wings for his first flight. Until…

Bluebell Court Eagles ©Diana Gigler
Journey practices while Mom look on

…he disappeared from the nest! “He likely fledged,” reported Diana G. This poignant image shows mom in the nest looking in vain for Journey, and panting from the heat.

BlueBell Court Eagles Diana Gigler
Bluebell Court Eagles ©Diana Gigler

On June 28, Journey indeed fledged too soon due to the extreme heat and safely fluttered to the ground. A nearby neighbor found Journey in her backyard and reported to someone who supplied her with the contact for Birds of Prey Northwest in St Maries, Idaho, near Coeur D’Alene.

Bluebell Court Eagles ©Diana Gigler
I’m safe in the loving hands of Birds of Prey NW

A volunteer reported they rescued Journey and successfully rehydrated him and intend to care for him until he can fly back to the nest next week.

Journey’s journey continues…please stay tuned.

More About Birds of Prey Northwest

This 28-year old non-profit is dedicated to rescuing and releasing birds of prey here in the Northwest. The organization received many donations as a result of following Journey’s story on Facebook. An even more incredible story is the how the talents of its staff rescued and rehabilitated Beauty, a bald eagle that was shot in Alaska and left for dead. The gunshot wound destroyed her upper beak. Not to be deterred, the talented staff used science and technology to create a 3-D printed beak used as a prosthesis to save Beauty from a senseless fate.

Here is Beauty’s story…better get a tissue handy! Read here HOW SCIENCE, TECHNOLOGY, AND A 3D-PRINTED BEAK RESCUED A BALD EAGLE.

I’m not kidding when I learned this organization is thee place for rescuing birds of prey!

Why the American Bald Eagle Symbolizes Freedom

Color Planet Bald Eagle 4th of July
Colored by me via ColorPlanet

The U.S. Bald eagle, (Haliaeetus leucocephalus), is the only eagle solely native to North America, and the national bird of the United States.

The bald eagle was chosen June 20, 1782 as the emblem of the United States of America, because of its long life, great strength and majestic looks, and also because it was then believed to exist only on this continent. The eagle represents freedom.

source

“The power and autonomy of the eagle in the air makes it a symbol of unrestrained freedom.”

Elizabeth Atwood Lawrence, a professor of veterinary medicine and anthropology at Tufts University
Freedom quote Bluebell Court Eagles ©Diana Gigler
original image ©Diana Gigler

Freedom quotes are shared for Marsha’s Writers Quotes Wednesdays. I will be hosting WQW on July 7 while Marsha takes care of some business! Next week’s theme is Writers’ Choice or Culture.

Small But Also Mighty

Annas Hummingbirds are typically found in the Western US and migrate South in cold winter months. My hummer families lived in our former Sacramento home all year ’round.

These first two Annas Hummingbird pictures were taken at my Dad’s home in the Sierra Nevada Foothills.

FLoating hummingbird
Floating to the feeder
Annas Hummingbird
All mine!
Male Allen Hummingbird
This perched hummingbird nested in our California Redwood Trees in Sacramento. Sharing for Becky B’s July Squares: Trees

“H” is also for HERO, recognizing citizens and volunteers who care for our creatures during extreme weather conditions, injury and beyond. And as we celebrate US Independence Day, please remember those who gave their lives in service to our country. Thank you to those who are serving now.

Are you crazy about eagles? Visit Tofino Photography. His images of eagles are a sight to behold.

Remember, Sunday Stills takes a one week break on July 4th. Won’t you join me as I host Writers’ Quotes Wednesday on July 7th as I stand in for Marsha at Always Write? There I will share all the Sunday Stills links from The Great Outdoors! We’ll be back on July 11 with the Sunday Stills theme of “Under the Trees.”

Stay safe and cool!

Bitmoji Birding

© 2021 Copyright—All rights reserved—secondwindleisure.com

Sunday Stills: The Legacy of Favorite #Places

Tuolumne Meadows

Friday was the first day of spring in the Northern Hemisphere and the first day of the official state legal lockdown here in California. It was a beautiful sunny day with mild temperatures. My neighbor and I walked our dogs, of course keeping the appropriate 6-feet of social distance.

I was struck by how many people were out and about, enjoying their front yards, walking their dogs, even some riding bikes around the neighborhood. I feel this crisis, just like 9-11 in 2001, will bring community together even more so.

This week’s theme is Favorite Places

A Favorite Backyard

To spark the creativity for this post, I share a previous photo of my lovely sunflower from last year. You might remember I was home bound for two months recovering from foot surgery last summer, so my back-yard, lush with sunflowers and plumerias was my favorite place for a while. I guess it will be again while we languish at home.

lazy opening of sunflower petals

A Leisure Legacy of Favorite Places Instilled

Some of you may know that my mother passed away in early March. While I am sad and still find myself weeping for no reason, I am content that she is at peace.

For recreation, Mom always insisted we all go somewhere every Saturday or Sunday, whether it was to church, the beach (we lived in San Diego), the San Diego Zoo, Balboa Park, Sea World, or trips to the Cuyamaca Mountains to enjoy winter snow or summer picnics.

Summers found us all at La Jolla shores beach or tide pools. During my younger teen years, we also enjoyed weekly warm summer evening excursions to Pacific Beach after a quick dinner at Wienerschnitzel or Taco Bell.

Pier at Ocean Beach
Ocean Beach Pier

My mom and dad loved camping and spent two-three weeks each summer enjoying the Sierra Nevadas. When we kids were old enough, we joined them.

Woman Hiking
Mom at 41, hiking in the Sierras

I just love seeing this photo of my mom back in 1981, when she was healthy.

Before our 2-week camping trips, a trip to the local library was in order to stock up on books. We did a lot of reading on those 8-hour road trips and read on our down time at the campsite.

We camped in Sequoia and Yosemite National Parks, but always seemed to land in Tuolumne Meadows, in Yosemite’s high country. Less crowded than the Valley, with its onslaught of tourists and hot summer temps, Mom preferred Tuolumne’s campground, with Ranger-led evening campfires, endless hiking trails and daily fishing!

Tuolumne Meadows
Tuolumne Meadows

A Leisure Legacy of Favorite Places Continues

“Our camping trips and excursions instilled a strong leisure ethic in me that exists to this day and has been passed down to my daughters, my brothers and their children.”

A Disappointed Daughter’s Perspective
Family enjoying a hike on mountain
Sunset Walk on Lembert Dome, Yosemite, with my daughters and my brother

I had the honor of writing and preparing her obituary for publication in a local San Diego area newspaper. Diane loved her community of Lemon Grove. Services will be conducted in early June, around the date of what would have been her 80th birthday, in a beautiful park near the home where she grew up.

Obituary Image

We have obtained a permit to scatter her ashes in her beloved Tuolumne Meadows, in July, where she loved to fish in the meadows, where we hiked as a family for over 15 years.

At last, she will be at peace in her favorite place.

Today’s post is chattier than usual as I remember my mom and her legacy. Remember, your post should focus on the theme rather than reflect on what I’ve written.

Sunday Stills is taking a one-week break March 29. I will be back to the blog in April to participate in Becky B’s April Squares and resume Sunday Stills on April 5.

Sunday Stills: Something #Red

Sunday Stills Red Graphic

During the holiday season, it is nearly impossible to find something red to photograph, right?

Wrong!

While I prefer green, the reds of the season lend a dramatic contrast to white snow, lush evergreens, and cold, dreamy blues!

I had planned my usual macros (see below), which are always fun to photograph and edit!

But by kismet and luck, my featured image below (also shared for Becky B’s timesquare) is my attempt at a wedding photo of our dear, next door neighbors who held their wedding in their backyard last week! My hubby thought I should take a couple of photos of them and have the image printed on canvas as a wedding gift.

Wedding photo

Instead of purchasing other artists’ prints, I found this website to print my own images onto canvas or acrylic. In addition to this wedding photo, I had three of my favorites made into canvas prints to be framed (or not) and hung on my own walls. I use CanvasDiscount (no affiliate here, just a satisfied customer!).

It is doubtful I would explore wedding photography as a profession, but I am more than pleased at how this one turned out. At the time of this post, they have not yet received their surprise gift! They chose not to have a dedicated photographer at the wedding, so I was so glad to make this portrait of them!

Now for more reds!

Whether or not your image is holiday-themed, show us something red for Sunday Stills!

Sunday Stills Red Graphic


This post is my last Sunday Stills post of 2018! There is no challenge on December 30.


As I will be traveling extensively during the last week in December and first two weeks in January, Sunday Stills will be hosted by Hugh and Carol. More details on my Sunday Stills Page.

Thank you for a fabulous 2018 with Sunday Stills! I wish you Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to you all!

Terri_holly

 

Sunday Stills: Whistle While You #Work

Stack of papers to be graded

This holiday weekend, Labor Day (in the U.S.), is the traditional end to the summer, as school begins, and vacations are all but over.

According to the US Department of Labor, “Labor Day, the first Monday in September, is a creation of the labor movement and is dedicated to the social and economic achievements of American workers. It constitutes a yearly national tribute to the contributions workers have made to the strength, prosperity, and well-being of our country.”

Imagine what our country (or any) would be without workers. This holiday was to be in honor of the Labor unions that protect workers from harsh and unrealistic conditions as a result of working in factories.

For Sunday Stills, if you haven’t quite guessed the theme, it is WORK!

We value work so much so that we spend most of our childhood preparing for our future careers.

Which of course leads me into education and my second act in life as a university lecturer. Yes, the featured image above is a huge stack of papers to be graded (from last year)! I won’t see a stack like this until later in the semester.

Some students have to “work” for their leisure! Student jumping off the platform “the dive” in one of our classes. This photo is submitted for “Action” for the Lens-Artists Photo Challenge this week.

Student takes the "leap of faith" 40 feet in the air at the Peak Adventures Challenge Ropes Course in Sacramento.

A summer day in the life at my former career…I trained and supervised lifeguards and swim instructors, and manage to teach a learn-to-swim class every summer. It was still work, but teaching people how to enhance their leisure time and learn new skills was rewarding and satisfying! I might have whistled a note or two while at work!

Swim-Lessons

Here are some earlier posts about “work” when I retired from the day job as aquatics director (from the early days of my blog). Click the links to read more or just check out the images.

PERSPECTIVES ON…THE BOX: RETIREMENT, PART 2

Personal things from the office

Under Construction

A peek at my home office built into the master bedroom addition.

home office in master bedroom
Home office work space

 

PERSPECTIVES ON…MOUNTAIN DESKTOP Now I take my job wherever I need to. I don’t mind grading papers with a view like this of Lake Tahoe!

College Notebooks
Mountain Desktop

Share something related to work for Sunday Stills, even if you are no longer working! I can’t wait to see what you come up with!

Reminder that there will be no Sunday Stills post for Sept 9.

I’m attending my 40-year high school reunion in San Diego that entire weekend (Thursday through Monday), and will not be able to share posts! You can always use an older theme if you miss it too much, by visiting the Sunday Stills Page.

Here is the link-up!

We had over 80 posts in August! Please welcome and visit our new Sunday Stills participants who shared their great photos and posts in August!

City Sonnet 

I’ll Give You a Letter for That

Life Lessons

MV Obsession

Netdancer’s Musings

Quaint Revival

Sights and Insights

Travel Ways

Wide Eyed in Wonder

Have a great weekend and enjoy the Labor Day Holiday!

Camera graphic

 

Sunday Stills: You’ve Got a #Friend

Woman with Dog

Who among us doesn’t have a friend? Some have a larger circle of friends, while others have a choice few.

Sunday Stills asks us to share an image of “friend.” The featured image above shows my daughter with her best friend Gideon!

Here are some of my examples of “friend.”

A surprise wedding shower for me hosted by my windsurf friends 5 years ago!

A surprise wedding shower demonstrates the optimism of a new relationship.

“Friendship is the hardest thing in the world to explain. It’s not something you learn in school. But if you haven’t learned the meaning of friendship, you really haven’t learned anything.”
― Muhammad Ali

Two friends out for a stand-up paddle session.

SUP-Sounds
No wind? No problem. Get out your SUP and enjoy!

Then there are our fur-baby friends who are also friends with each other. Aero misses Gideon (left) who lives with his mommy in San Diego (pictured above).

“Blogging introduced me to people from all over the world. I have met people who I now consider friends who live in Australia, UK, South Africa, Europe, Philippines, not to mention new friends in the states. My new friends, despite their distance, are as important to me as if they were my local neighbors.”  7 Ways Blogging Changed My Life

Bloggers became friends and spent a weekend sharing our tips and tricks for blogging.

We really do have fun while working!

 

“There is nothing better than a friend, unless it is a friend with chocolate.”
― Linda Grayson

Did you know today is National Friendship Day? according to National Day Calendar 

Link up here!

My continuing gratitude to those who faithfully post their photos each week!

Say hello to our new participants who shared posts in July for the first time!

Bushboys World
Indira’s Blog
KAMERAPROMENADER
Mama Cormier
Megakaos2013
The Nuthouse
Picture Retirement
Vintage Neon Signs
Wanderlust and Wonderment
Whippet Wisdom
Wind Kisses
Woolly Muses
Zombie Flamingos

Remember I gladly share your posts to social media! I just opened a new account with MIX, which replaced StumbleUpon. Check it out when you get a chance, as I will also share your posts to Mix via my Chrome Extension.

As always, I look forward to seeing your creative views of the theme for Sunday Stills this week.

Tiki signature

 

Sunday Stills: #Drunk with…? or #Summer Drink

Tiki Bar Ready for Fun

The last Sunday in July challenges Sunday Stills participants to find an image depicting “Drunk with…?” Since this is indeed a challenging theme, I thought I would add an optional related theme “Summer Drink.”

Your theme can be centered around alcohol but it doesn’t have to be. I’m not much of a drinker although a special occasion may find me enjoying a skinny cocktail.

What is your take on “Drunk with…?” I’ve heard the expression “drunk with power,” or “drunk with pleasure.” Perhaps one of my blogger friends can show us what this means in a photo, a poem, a short story, or…?

For my own purposes, I chose to go with Summer Drink. I admit I may need more literal themes to inspire me on these hot, lazy days of summer.

This is one of my backyard hummers enjoying his summer drink.

Is a hummingbird really ever satisfied?

My hubby’s collection of steins from Germany and Europe.

Hubby's Stein Collection, from Germany and Hungary

A leisurely sip of cold beer on a hot summer day.

Lounge chair and beer

Again, I rarely drink these days, not that I did before. I’ve only been really drunk a couple of times and I HATED the feeling of being out of control, the accompanying sick stomach and the inevitable hangover.

I suppose I can be simply drunk with joy whenever I am out experiencing summer leisure activities.

Dancin'

Sunday Stills Stats

In July, during just the 4 weeks, we had over 60 bloggers share their posts.

 

We’ve had over 100 links since we started Sunday Stills in May.

Thank you to those who regularly share posts for Sunday Stills! I hope you are enjoying this as much as I am!

Link up here with your post! I share all posts on my Second Wind Leisure Facebook page, on Twitter and on Flipboard or Pinterest.

August themes are up for view! Visit my Sunday Stills page here!

Terri_sig_palm2

Four Reasons to Attend a Blogging Conference

Four Reason to Attend a Blogging Conference

Four Reason to Attend a Blogging Conference

In September, I had the pleasure of attending not one, but two blogging conferences in my hometown of Sacramento, California.

WordCamp Sacramento 2017 focused on WordPress developers and website design, but had an entire bloggers track. This alone brought in over 200 more attendees than previous WordCamps.

The International Food Bloggers Conference, aka IFBC, spent three consecutive years here in “The Farm to Fork” Capital of Sacramento, and travels to New Orleans in 2018.

Last January, I shared some preliminary thoughts on attending blogging events in Need More Inspiration? Attend a Blogging Event. 

Before I share my four takeaways, here are some general thoughts on choosing a blogging conference.

Choosing a Conference

Having a blogging (or writing) conference come to your town is a huge gift.

2017 International Food Bloggers Conference SacramentoThrough a Sacramento Bloggers event in 2016, I discovered the IFBC conference would be offered the following year. Although I wasn’t a food blogger, past attendees assured us there was enough general information that it would be wise to attend. Although the IFBC was pricey, at over $300 for registration, the IFBC offered a deeply discounted rate to “Citizen Bloggers,” who agreed to share three blog posts before, during and after the conference.

At a price under $100, I registered well in advance, not knowing what the sessions or agenda would be.

In April, again through my association with Sacramento Bloggers, we found out that Sacramento was hosting its third annual WordCamp, this time with an entire track devoted to beginner bloggers, and how to use WordPress tools.

In case you don’t know, there is a difference between WordPress dot com (through Automattic, Inc), the free blog platform many bloggers use, and the WordPress dot org platform used on self-hosted websites. I have two sites: this one, Second Wind Leisure Perspectives, (you are reading here now) and my self-hosted website for my business Windigen Consulting.

Registration for WordCamp Sacramento was an unbelievable $40 for the entire weekend. This is attributed to the amazing and generous sponsors! When I applied for and was selected to present on the bloggers’ panel “Blogging Success and Monetization,” my registration fee was FREE! Plus, all attendees received conference t-shirts, swag and a useful printed program.

There was enough general information shared at sessions that I could apply to both this blog and my consulting website. Attending two local conferences almost back-to-back was a little tiring, but my drive to downtown was only a few minutes and parking rates for weekends were dirt cheap!

 

Without further adieu, here are my Four Reasons to Attend a Bloggers’ Conference:

Easy to meet others at a conference
Easy to meet others at a conference! Image from WordCamp.

1. Meeting other Bloggers

The main reason I attend conferences is to meet other bloggers in person, the actual folks with whom I have developed an online blogging relationship. Oftentimes, the world of a blogger can be a lonely place. It is a special treat to engage with other bloggers in person, who “get” you! And so nice to not have to type your reply for a change!

Before the conference:

  • Once you are registered for the conference, plan ahead and make some business cards for your blog, even if you just print them yourself.

At the conference:

  • Network with others. Most conference-goers are easy to spot with their name tags. Do not be shy about introducing yourself to another blogger. Exchanging those new business cards is helpful and useful.
  • At your table, say hello to those seated beside you. This may be difficult for some folks, but you can simply ask, “Are you a blogger,” or “What is your blog/website about?” Be prepared to answer this question, too.
  • In one session, the presenter asked for everyone’s cards so she could send us her slides and information. Many folks had awkward slips of paper rather than cards, which could be mistaken for trash and did not present a professional look. I was glad I had mine!

After the conference (or during):

  • Find your new blogger friends on social media and follow them.

2. Networking the Room In-Person and on Social Media

  • Use your time to walk around and explore all the conference areas. At the IFBC, there was a huge swag (gift) table where we selected one of each item to take home at the end of the first day. There were some leftover goodies the next day and we were encouraged to take them.
  • Be sure to meet and thank the conference organizers and sponsors. Most of these folks donate their time to put on these events. The sponsors and vendors also donated in-kind services and/or money to make the conference happen. One way you can also acknowledge them is by sharing their names and hashtags on Social Media.
  • Most conferences encourage social networking during the sessions. While this practice is beneficial, I find it rather distracting to the presenters. Use this at a minimum while the person is speaking, besides, how are you listening to what they are saying, while your fingers are tapping away on the screen? There is plenty of time in between sessions to share.
  • Do take photos of interesting conference items, like logos, t-shirts, session signs, displays, food, etc. Those make great sharing options for Instagram and Facebook where images are the key. Use the conference hashtag where possible while sharing. This is also a great opportunity to build your social media following, while following others. Some of these photos I used for this post!

Images of WordCamp Sacramento 2017 Conference
Attendees at WordCamp working alongside the presentation.

3. Learning New Skills

Attending a conference provides an opportunity for professional development and learn the blogging best practices from the experts. Both conference organizers sent e-mails on a regular basis with up-to-date information as the conference dates approached.

Before the conference:

  • Read the agenda and look at the sessions that interest you. Have a back-up plan if one gets cancelled (it happens).
  • Ask yourself what you hope to get out of attending the conference.

During the conference:

  • Attend sessions. Have you ever been to a conference and didn’t go to the sessions? Back in my work days, I saw this practice all the time. I never understood the point of spending money, then not actually learning something.
  • Take notes. Conference attendees take session notes a variety of ways, whether by pen and notepaper, recording with a device, or by typing on a laptop.
  • Talk with the presenters after the session, and take the opportunity to thank them and ask questions.

After the conference:

  • Watch for follow-up e-mails from the conference organizers. Many presenters offered their slide shows in a shared format that all attendees could access.
  • At WordCamp, professional photographers took lots of photos and shared them with attendees (that is how I got many of the images in this post). I’m told WordCamp images are public domain, so no need to attribute them to the photographers.

Taking notes at WordCamp Sacramento 2017
Taking notes at WordCamp Sacramento 2017

4. Putting What You Learned into Practice

This is often neglected, especially if you attend a conference out of town. Traveling home, you may be tired or needing to catch up at work, and you may be tempted to put your bag of notes and goodies away for a few days. Those nuggets of great ideas can easily be lost or forgotten.

At the conference:

  • While taking notes, give yourself 1-2 actionable items from each session that you can implement within 24-48 hours.
  • Put it on a to-do list, your day planner/calendar or sticky note or somewhere you can access it quickly. I sent myself a list in a calendar event with a nagging reminder so I wouldn’t forget.

After the conference:

  • Following up with these notes is important, or why did you bother to attend? Get as much as possible out of your conference experience.

At the IFBC, I heard two excellent speakers. One presented on “Massive Instagram Growth” and gave us actionable how-to items to implement quickly. Another speaker talked about SEO and provided excellent examples, as well as her slide deck at the end. I saw lots of folks snapping photos of these slides for later use!

Those were my top four reasons. Here are some additional nuggets for you to consider.

The Conference Speakers

  • Have patience with the presenters. Although they are sharing their expertise on a topic, he or she is unlikely a seasoned speaker. Using a microphone and managing a laptop while speaking is frightening to many folks! Speaking from experience, it can be extremely nerve-wracking to stand in front of 100+ people and present, so take that into consideration and try to jot down the best nuggets of information they have to share.
  • Many conferences provide a sharing link for all the slideshows used at the conference.
  • If you just don’t enjoy a session and there is another offered concurrently, do not be afraid or intimidated to walk out of an uninteresting or irrelevant session and move on to another one if possible. You paid for this information when you registered and you have the right to move around.

WordCamp speaker engages with his audience.
WordCamp speaker engages with his audience.

Take Time to Evaluate and Perhaps Volunteer

Be sure to evaluate the conference and offer your feedback. If you were disappointed with something, take a moment to describe the issue in detail. At the end of the survey, there might be an opportunity to sign up to volunteer or present for future conferences, if that is something in which you are interested.

If you do have to opportunity to present, you will likely get comped for the entire conference, so that is always a good incentive.

My Overall Impression of Two Blog Conference Weekends

I am glad I went. I hadn’t been to a professional conference since Bloggers at Midlife in 2016, and before that was when I presented at a work conference in 2013.

I learned several actionable items and concepts as well as met many people I could ask for assistance if needed. Don’t miss the opportunity to attend a blogging conference in person. Keep checking your WordPress admin panel for updates on WordPress events in your community.

Network with local bloggers, if possible, to see if other events are being planned.

I also have an opportunity to meet with several fellow bloggers over Veteran’s Day weekend in mid-November as we converge in Southern California. I am very much looking forward to spending some quality time with these special friends..

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Speaker Interview With Terri Webster Schrandt – WordCamp Sacramento 2017

wordcamp logo and speaker photo

wordcamp logo and speaker photo

My 15 minutes of fame as a presenter comes this weekend at the WordCamp Sacramento 2017 conference! I cannot believe how fortunate I am to be able to attend not one, but two, local blogging conferences in September!

In January, I shared “Need More Inspiration? Attend a Blogging Event” encouraging bloggers to meet other bloggers in person when and where possible. I read that many bloggers discovered regional events they could attend.

WordCamp Sacramento 2017 happens over two days this weekend (Sept 16-17th). This year a blogger track was added to assist bloggers. Through Sacramento Bloggers, I connected with other bloggers and we now meet two-three times per year to share ideas and network. Founder Margaret Andrews, blogger and self-published author, and I are honored to present on the panel for the session: Blogging Success and Monetization.

I am on the panel as a “hobby blogger” and will share how blogging opened the door for successful freelance writing and self-publishing.

WordCamp Sacramento 2017 has a boatload of sponsors. Because of their generosity, registration was a mere $40 for two whole days! Unheard of! As a presenter, I even get the entire conference free!

“WordCamp is a conference that focuses on everything WordPress. WordCamps are informal, community-organized events that are put together by WordPress users.”

More information about WordCamps and other WordPress events is in your WordPress Admin panel. You can see what it looks like on your admin panel below. It may look a little differently depending on your geographical region.

WordPress Admin Panel Info

I have attended a few WordPress meetups in Sacramento, and many communities have these available. Yes, they are heavy on the developer end and focus on the WordPress dot org platform. If you are a hosted blogger on WordPress dot com, you don’t really need this level of WordPress. However, if you have a self-hosted website/blog and you use the WordPress platform, these can be valuable sources of information, as well as opportunities to meet other bloggers.

Had I not taken a look one random day at this box in my admin panel, I might have missed this local event and the opportunity the present with the panel. Once you find a WordPress meet-up group, stay on their mailing list for updates.

2017 International Food Bloggers Conference SacramentoAt the end of September I am attending the International Food Bloggers Conference, also held in Sacramento. I’m not a food blogger, but the event is local and my goal is to meet other bloggers and attend a couple of the general blogging sessions. These sessions include:

  • How to Make Money from Your Blog
  • Why Bloggers Need to Know SEO
  • Get Paid For Your Posts
  • Let’s Talk Massive Instagram Growth
  • Beyond the Blog – Panel
  • and How to Write a Scroll-Worthy Blog Post by my friend and local blogger, Margaret Andrews

 

There are food-related activities, too, and I’m excited about being a part of it all!

After I attend these two blogging events, I will share a post on my take-aways from the events. Stay tuned!

Meanwhile, you can read a little more about me. WordCamp organizers took the information from our required profiles and shared each and every presenter in blog posts over the last few months. Mind you, this event is completely run and organized by volunteers. Special shout out to Jennifer Bourn of Bourn Creative who is one of the key organizers of this event.

Source: WordCamp Sacramento Speaker Interview With Terri Webster Schrandt – WordCamp Sacramento 2017

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What To Do When One Of Your Blog Posts Is Reblogged #bloggingtips – Hugh’s Views & News

How to Successfully Re-Blog a Post

How to Successfully Re-Blog a Post

Reblogging a fellow blogger’s post is one of the most flattering forms of sharing! Keep in mind that all of their post’s images will be added to your media files. Something else to keep in mind is to double check the post’s images to be sure you feel comfortable associating them with your blog site. The same copyright rules apply!

Once you re-blog, quickly head to your admin page and update the post by adding appropriate categories and tags and set the featured image.

If you are unsure, rather than re-blogging, you can always use the “Press This” button on the post, found at the bottom of the sharing option. You might think about installing the “Press This” button into your browser’s toolbar. WordPress has simple instructions for doing this! Using Press This also works for any website you want to share, and for any self-hosted blogger that does not have a re-blog button. When using the Press This option, you will have to create your own image (like I did).

In any case, sharing IS caring!

Read more on what Hugh has to say about it!

Have you ever had one of your blog posts reblogged by another blogger? Here’s what you should do (or should be doing) when a reblog happens.

Source: What To Do When One Of Your Blog Posts Is Reblogged #bloggingtips – Hugh’s Views & News

Comments are closed, please visit Hugh’s post for the full story!

Kindness Rocks Project Spreads Messages of Hope

Paint a rock with an uplifting message and leave for someone to find

More rocks from the Kindness Rock Project

Remember those old 70s collages made of random materials? Back then, art classes in junior high and high school were rife with making collages, (remember decoupage?), painting rocks and wood, macrame, yarn art, spirographs, hooking rugs, and other artsy stuff!

I just loved creating those craft projects!

Fast-forward to 2017 and painting on 3-D materials like rocks is still popular as schools, community centers and local organizations all over the US and beyond have joined the movement that is sweeping the nation and beyond, called The Kindness Rocks Project

“The Kindness Rocks Project was created to spread inspiration and a moment of kindness for unsuspecting recipients through random inspirational rocks dropped along the way.”

At the California Park and Recreation Society’s annual conference, I saw first hand the beauty and inspiration these hand-painted rocks can bring people just on this extensive table display.

Display of Kindness Rock Project shown at 2017 CPRS Conference
Display of Kindness Rock Project shown at 2017 CPRS Conference

Does your community have a Kindness Rocks Project? Maybe you have found a painted rock yourself!

Paint a rock with an uplifting message and leave for someone to find
Paint a rock with an uplifting message and leave for someone to find

These photos are submitted for the weekly photo challenge Collage.

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How a Bridge Connects Us

Sac State's Guy West Bridge

Sac State's Guy West Bridge

“Think about the things, places, or people that connect us.” I like this idea as it relates to the theme of Bridge.

I share several angles of the Guy West Bridge that spans the American River from the Sacramento State Campus to the community of University Village/ Campus Commons. This bridge is also right off the American River Bike Trail.

Built in 1966 to link the campus with the then-new, Campus Commons college-community development, the 1,144-foot-long, 16-foot-wide pedestrian bridge is officially known as the Guy A. West Memorial Bridge. Dr. West was the first president of then Sacramento State College.

I teach a general education course on Friday mornings called “Leisure Lifestyle Development.” Taught in a large lecture hall seating 80-plus students, I keep them busy learning how recreation and leisure are essential in their lives.

Each semester, after a lecture on various play theories, I take the class outdoors where we walk the short distance to the Guy West Bridge and blow bubbles.

We get a few quizzical stares, but my favorite question of all, from a man on a bicycle was, “What class is this?!” Of course I’m happy to tell him!

 

Guy West Bridge at Sacramento State University

 

A bridge that is a mini-replica of the Famed Golden Gate bridge in San Francisco, indeed connects university students with the surrounding communities and a sense of fitness and leisure through walking and cycling.

How a Bridge Connects Us

How do bridges in your home-town connect community?

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#Book Review – #Better Blogging with Photography by Terri Webster Schrandt

I am very humbled and happy to share Author Tina Frisco’s post of her book review of my eBook, Better Blogging with Photography.

I love the fact that other bloggers share and promote each others’ works by buying, reading, reviewing and sharing. Without “blogging” I would never have considered writing and self-publishing my own book. Watch for my book reviews later this week.

TINA FRISCO

Terri Webster SchrandtAlthough I don’t own a smart phone or digital camera (yet!), I’m very interested in photography for many reasons, not the least of which is to generate my own photos for use on my blog. I’m so impressed by Terri Webster Schrandt‘s book, Better Blogging with Photography, that a digital camera has just moved to the top of my Absolutely Have to Purchase bucket list! Read on and learn why… 

Purchase Better Blogging with Photography  HERE 

************* 

My 5-Star Review  

Better Blogging with Photography by Terri Webster Schrandt

A Gem of a Little Guidebook 

If you’re considering using photos on your blog to generate readership/sales, or simply to make your website more attractive and appealing, reading this book will ignite your enthusiasm and give you the tools needed to begin. 

Terri Webster Schrandt has condensed her knowledge of photography and blogging into a terrific little resource guide.Better Blogging with Photography

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Blog of the Day: Second Wind Leisure Perspectives

I am honored to be featured as “Blog of the Day” here at SuzieSpeaks! If you are not already a reader on her blog, please stop by and say hello! I am also linking this to Weekend Coffee Share now hosted by Nerd in the Brain.

Suzie Speaks

Meet Terri!

Terri is the creator of Second Wind Leisure Perspectives, a lifestyle blog that focuses predominantly on leisure, while including examples of her writing for various challenges and photography. She explains more in her About Page:

I am a leisure educator, self-published author, blogger, and retired recreation and parks practitioner living in Northern California. Second Wind Leisure Perspectives is my blog about living a leisure lifestyle.

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Out of the Shadows

Legs cast shadows and reflections

This week’s photo challenge asks us to depict Shadow.

Not only did I get some great shots with the new camera, I got double pleasure with shadows and reflections at Coronado’s dog beach in San Diego last December.

Aero cavorts on dog beach accompanied by his shadow and reflection

Aero cavorts on dog beach accompanied by his shadow and reflection.

Legs cast shadows and reflections

Legs also cast shadows and reflections.

But, wait, there’s MORE!

In my post, How to Get 100s of Free Photos for Your Blog, I got a wonderful response and several bloggers found great uses on their blogs for some of my donated images!

Sally Cronin from Smorgasbord – Variety is the Spice of Life used one in her post, Weekly Image and Haiku—From a Grateful World and wrote a lovely haiku with it.

Blogger Marje from Kyrosmagica used a photo as her featured image (with some Canva editing), which featured me on her Author Spotlight!

Fellow blogger, Allison, at Allison D Reid, contacted me and asked to share her vast collection of gorgeous images of forests, streams and other natural settings. Like me, she has oodles of photos “collecting virtual dust” as she cleverly put it! You can also find the file of her images from South Chagrin Reservation in Bentleyville, Ohio.

Here is a wonderful example of one of Allison’s photos. It happens to fit the WPC shadow theme (but the credit is hers)!

Forest in Shadow
image by Allison D. Reid

As I said, FREE images really are available. No sign-ups, no passwords to remember, no gimmicks. Just click on FREE BLOG IMAGES for the link or visit my new page Free Photos for Your Blog.

Help us bring our unused photos out of the shadows!

Current folders include landscapes, flowers, animals, cityscapes and general office. Visit on a regular basis for new folders and photos added weekly.

New to the folder this week are the following:

  • “Donated Images, with subfolder, “Donated by Allison.”
  • Sports with subfolders: Climbing, Cycling, Group Games, and Water Sports
  • The folder “Landscape” was also updated to include a subfolder “Water.”

Do NOT be shy about using these. It will be up to you to choose and edit them for use on your blog.

I know many of you take quality photos! If you are a blogger with unused digital images laying around “collecting virtual dust” and would like to donate them to the blogging community, please contact me and let’s see if we can add them. I use the Pro edition of Dropbox with plenty of room, (so no worries on space!) and it is very easy to share.

Bring these photos out of the shadows so we may all enjoy them!

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