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120 Day Blogging Challenge

Woman in glasses sitting at desk with journal and laptop in deep thought.
Photo by Ivan Samkov from Pexels

Today marks the last 120 days of 2021. I’m sitting here wondering what I’ve done all year. I think the only thing I’ve really accomplished is becoming Queen of Non-Productivity. I haven’t accomplished any of my goals this year. It makes me sad to think about. I have half-assed some of them, if you will pardon my language. I have written here on AR a bit more. The list of things I haven’t done is long and ever growing. I am 11 books behind schedule on my reading challenge (57 books read this year so far). I haven’t written any more articles on Hubpages even though I have 71 articles in various degrees of completeness. My Amazon Merch and KDP accounts are currently at a standstill. I have yet to actually work on my Etsy shop, email list, newsletter, YouTube channels, and web comic. I still haven’t learned any Spanish even though I’ve been meaning to since 2007. This is only what I can think of right this moment.

I have decided that it’s time to try one more time this year to get some things done. I’ve come up with my own little blogging challenge. Starting today, I am going to write one blog or article every day until the end of the year. Here are my rules:

  • Must write a blog or article every day.
  • It can be for this website or for Hubpages.
  • These articles do not have to be published every day. They can be considered first drafts.
  • The topics are open and can be on anything.
  • There is no word count, though I do try to aim for a minimum of 100 words.
  • As the challenge progresses, I will check in with my progress

This challenge is going to run into a bit of a snag in November because I plan on pretending to do NaNoWriMo this year. I’m hoping that by the time NaNo comes around, I’ll have gotten into the groove of things and I’ll actually make some progress. I’m also in the middle of a move from North Carolina to Virginia, as well as looking for part-time work. Hopefully, I’m not setting myself up to fail. I would like to do something positive this year.

I’m going to make up my own hashtag for this challenge. No idea why or what benefit it will have. Maybe one day I’ll get around to actually writing on my Twitter account. It’s on the list!

#Ryefield120DayChallenge

Please send good vibes my way and, if it floats your boat, feel free to join in with your own 120-day challenge. You don’t even have to follow my rules. I would enjoy it if you share your intentions to do a challenge and progress updates!

Blog

What’s going on behind the scenes

I’m know there are several of you who follow my website. I appreciate that you do and send love to each of you because you have no idea how valuable your time is to me. With all of the things you could be doing, you’re here. So, thank you for gifting me your time.

I have been working on things behind the scenes, as always. You may know that I have some scheduled posts every Thursday morning. These are the writing prompts I set up a few weeks ago and are posting until the end of October. I’m now also working on future posts and have a whopping 60 or so drafts that I’m in the process of writing. It’s beyond time that I have more substantial content for you to view.

A screenshot showing 20 published posts, 63 draft posts, and 10 scheduled posts for this website.
Draft mania

I’m sure I’ve stated more than once that I’m currently a writer who doesn’t write. Life gets in the way often here. As a matter of fact, I’m in the process of moving from North Carolina to Virginia. It wasn’t exactly a planned move, but that isn’t a topic to discuss for the moment. Let’s just say that I’m very unhappy with the way things are in my life right now.

I am attempting to revive my efforts in writing despite the emotional turmoil my current circumstances. I’m still not working on any of my novels. Instead, I am trying to focus on the mountain of article ideas for both AR and Hubpages. Seeing as this blog does not currently provide a source of income, I should be working on the Hubpages articles. However, I find AR much more fun to work on. Fun is something I need right now.

I’m working on another type of writing prompt. I’m not sure if I should have it post along with the current writing prompts or on its own day. I suppose the question is, how often do you want new content from my website to be published?

I feel that having something new posting every day may get overwhelming for everyone. If Thursdays have writing prompts, my general blog posts are currently posted at-will, and writing articles will have their own publishing day as well, how many more days should I post a week?

I’m open to suggestions, so please feel free to comment away. Until then, please bear with me as I continue to get things set up on a schedule!

Blog

My work has been copied!

Screenshot of my legal copy of the article "Jerusalem Cricket Care, Diet, and Lifespan"

One of the never ending dangers of publishing any of your works online (and even offline!) is that someone who is too lazy to put the work in themselves will take it upon themselves to steal your content. They will either post it as their own or lie about gaining it legally.

In my case, my content was taken and re-posted with the statement that it was republished under Creative Commons. None of my work is ever posted under Creative Commons unless specifically indicated. My content is posted on or with only a few websites including this blog, my associated company The Feather Connection, Hubpages and it’s many sub-sites, Facebook, YouTube, Etsy, and Amazon. My content is pinned on Pinterest. I do not post my content on any other websites at this time. I also exclusively hold the copyrights to every single thing I create with no permission given to have it duplicated.

Two side-by-side screenshots of the beginning of my infringed article showing that the stolen title and main image are unaltered.
A comparison of my content verses the stolen content.

Why is it such a big deal that my content is duplicated? The honest truth is that my content is how I make my living. My content is how I can afford to pay for the medications I need to give my diabetic cat every day (costs average $350 a month for her care!). My content is how I have time to write more content, when I actually get around to doing so. The article that was duplicated is my highest ranked article on Hubpages.com’s sub-site PetHelpful.com. Though the article is in serious need of a rewrite, it still brings in the majority of my money every month. It has been the only article of its kind since 2018, is top-ranked on Google, and is globally searched from the United States to Nigeria to India to the UK to Japan. Having the article illegally duplicated can easily take the money it brings in away from me. If one of my articles is duplicated, all of them can be as well. It takes only a few minutes to directly copy it and re-post to another website. Days or weeks of hard work, ranking highly with Google and Bing, and depending on that income can be wiped out if duplicated content is allowed to remain.

I am currently fighting with the domain registrar about having the website that is duplicating content shut down. Based on my research, many articles from PetHelpful have been illegally copied to this website and has been an ongoing problem. The domain registrar refuses to assist because they are only responsible for the name. I have also contacted the web host, the actual website owners, and Google about the infringement but have not heard back yet. It has been only a few days, so I am still hopeful that this will end in my favor. I am planning on continuing to fight the infringement for as long as it takes.

Two side-by-side screenshots of my legal copyright at the bottom of my article and the untrue claim that the duplicated article is under Creative Commons.
My copyright and the (inaccurate) claim that the article is under Creative Commons

Even though it is a hassle to fight DMCAs, it is very much worth it. Make sure that you support your favorite artists by visiting their legitimate content and reporting copyright infringement when you come across it.

Blog

Scheduled Posts Will Save My Life

My ability to write is simply sporadic at best. I still exist! I have been struggling to write. Blogging has been so far out the window, it’s almost circled around the world to come back into the opposite window.

I’ve managed to do some writing today for Hubpages, though the article won’t be done for another week or more. Research is both our friend and our enemy. But, useful articles take time. Can we pretend that my articles fall under the category of “great” as well? We all know that saying. Great things take time. I think we can all agree that I’ve taken plenty of time.

A decision has been made on my end. In order to get this blog off of the ground, I need to set up scheduled posts. This will help for the times I simply can’t bring myself to write anything constructive. Late this afternoon and evening, I began the first step.

For the next twenty weeks, you can look forward to a writing prompt being published every Thursday morning around 9-10, Eastern Standard Time (GMT -4 currently). Hopefully, some of you may find the interesting enough to do. Some of them were Shower Thoughts, so they are a little off the wall.

Over the next few days, I will be working on some writing articles as well. I’m not a great writer, so I don’t feel I have a lot to offer in this area. Maybe it will turn out that I’m wrong. If so, I will be writing up articles to publish on a schedule as well. It won’t be Thursdays. Maybe Mondays? Who knows?

I hope you will see more activity from me in the future. Send good, productive thoughts my way!

Blog

Why I Failed NaNoWriMo2020

Hello again!

So are we ready to get into the nitty-gritty of why I failed NaNoWriMo for the third year in a row? It’s really not for lack of trying, I swear. November seems to just be a bad month for me. Oddly enough, it’s not even because of the holidays. Three years ago, there was a sudden move from Colorado to North Carolina. Last year, there were some health problems that prevented me from having the motivation to sit and write. This year, I was all set to go, but…

My poor Cassie became sick. This year, NaNo went out the window because I wanted to care for my cat instead. Also, I may be a little lazy. Can I blame that on COVID? Probably not.

Lynx (Dog), Cassie (Center), Spookie (Back)

Cassie has been with me since 2009. I got her at about six months old. She’s always been a special cat. She has a great personality. She was born with syndactyly. This is when two or more digits become fused and is a birth defect. She has a special little foot that is shorter than the rest and ends in a little stubby toe. Someone didn’t want her because of this, sent her to the shelter, and that’s how I ended up with her. I had to have the special kitty.

Recently, she began to lose a lot of weight and was always hungry. It got to the point where she was getting into the garbage can to get food! With all of the food she was eating, she was still losing weight. I was out of my mind trying to figure it out and finances were tight. Luckily, a family member was able to finance the vet visits, which are proving to be fairly expensive.

Cassie, my beloved little calico, has tested positive for diabetes, congestive heart failure, and restrictive heart disease. She is on very very borrowed time. With all of her vet visits and my constant worrying, NaNoWriMo fell away to the back burner.

Now, a month later, Cassie is doing better. She will never be 100% again and I know that I have only so many months left with her. She’s taking a handful of medication twice a day. I have to give her insulin shots and feed her specific food. She’s gained a bit of weight, though she’s still very bony. I try to feed her whenever she is hungry.

Things have settled down a bit and we have most of our new routine down. What does this mean for my writing? I’m going to try NaNoWriMo again for December. It’s not an “official” NaNo, but I can still set a goal of writing 50,000 words in a month. I’ll be pretending that it’s November and that there is a mad rush to get that word count up.

I’m writing this on the 1st, so I don’t have my official word count in for the first day. I’ll have to check out my links for NaNo2020 in the menu above to see what’s going on. May my unofficial NaNo2020 be more successful than the official one. I can’t wait to see how it goes!

Blog

Another Site Revamp

It’s so difficult trying to get your website to look exactly right. I still haven’t gotten there and am mostly unhappy with the way it looks. I think one of my problems was that I tried to combine my writing stuff (that I pretend to do) with my other online business that fall under my company The Feather Connection. It began to crowd this website too much and I hated coming here to add stuff.

Today, I moved The Feather Connection to a new blog (see: https://thefeatherconnection.wordpress.com/). There’s nothing there at the moment. I’m still working on physical products (which are also getting revamped) before putting the links there. I have so many things to do and I’m not doing them!

This website will be dedicated to writing and my personal musings only. All of my product production will be isolated to TFC. It should make things much, much, much easier on me. Hopefully you don’t mind the change either!

Now for me to get off of here and start actual writing.

P.S. – I failed NaNoWriNo. I’ll be posting tomorrow about that.

Blog

Progress In Content

It’s been a long time since I’ve tried to get some content up on the website. Life seems to get in the way so often. I’m afraid I can’t even blame COVID-19 on my lack of productivity because I have been unmotivated since last November, at least. However, I now have a few new things going on, and I am making a concentrated effort to post up my much-needed content for you.

This month, I am adding several writing articles, a few writing prompts, information about Pre-Preptober, and a bit on Preptober. I’ve updated my Works In Progress. More importantly, I’ve added a new menu item – The Feather Connection. I have recently begun to publish low and no content books and t-shirts on Amazon. Current products can be found under the two sub-menus.

Several things are happening on this website, and things may scramble around a bit. I’m still messing with the look of everything. I can bet no one has ever said that maintaining a website is easy!