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Debbie Ridpath Ohi reads, writes and illustrates for young people. Every few weeks, she shares new art, writing and resources; subscribe below. Browse the archives here.

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Clara and the Bossy, xmas ornaments, blog poll results

For the interest of those attending GAfilk in early January: I've put together a package for the Interfilk auction which includes a copy of the DAW short story collection Magic Tails (contains a short story co-written by Michelle West and me), a fridge magnet made from a signed copy of my first Will Write For Chocolate strip (which launches next month through Offpanel Productions) AND a personal appearance by the buyer (or a friend of his/her choice) in My Life In A Nutshell. Yeah, I know, it's all about me-me-ME. :-) I hope to throw in some other fun stuff; more details in an upcoming Blathering.

Clara and the Bossy

The photo above is of Clara and the Bossy, my sister's newest book, due out in March. Check out the Ruth Ohi sticker on the cover! Speaking of my famous sister, one of my nieces (Jeff's brother's daughter) called the other day to say she just saw Ruth in an episode of This Is Daniel Cook. She thought it was me at first. :-)

The revamped Urban Tapestry site is now at! It's still somewhat under construction, but at least the basic structure's in place. Our goal was to update some of the info and make it a bit friendlier-looking. I also took out the blog; didn't make sense since both Allison and I already have online journals.

Yay, thanks to Jeff for brightening my home office! This afternoon he installed extra lights in my craft area as well as my desk, and a hanging lamp from the office tree, above my reading chair. I'm going to make an interesting lampshade and wind some realistic-looking greenery along the cord, to look like part of the tree.

Jeff is an unusual sort of technonerdboy in that not only is he good with computerstuff but is also handy with workroom tools; he likes building and fixing things. There was no space in our condo for a workroom but now he has a space set up in one corner of the basement. Jeff says he's going to build a bookshelf for my paperbacks, to fit in the narrow space in the entranceway of my office.

Considering Jeff's pretty busy with work and still hasn't set up his own home office area, I think it's sweet that he's been taking all this time to get my work space comfortable.

Xmas ornament

Christmas ornaments exchange

The ornament to the left is one I made for my mom-in-law years ago, out of felt and some gold braiding.

Last week, I posted about homemade Christmas ornaments and a proposed Christmas ornament exchange. Singlemaltsilk says she was inspired by the Blatherings comments thread on the topic and has created a new LJ community. "I've created this community because I enjoy making, and sharing, Christmas ornaments. I'm hoping that like-minded crafters will join, and share ideas, resources, tips and (of course) photos of their projects. With that in mind, I've put up a few photos of the handmade ornaments currently on my tree. I hope you enjoy them!" If you plan to participate in next year's xmas ornament exchange, I encourage you to join this community.

You can see a list of the Christmas exchange groups for next year in this entry. If you're interested in signing up, there are still some places available in the second group; please post in the comments of section of that entry.

Blogs and blogging: survey followup

Thanks to those who responded to my poll question about blogs. I found it interesting how many people only read blogs of people they know personally. Many felt their own blogs weren't particularly interesting, but wrote them to keep in touch with friends.

I was delighted to hear that Blatherings helped inspire fifona to start her own blog and folkmew to start posting her watercolor pieces online.

Gingerbread cookie

Just a few excerpts from discussion in LJ:

From figmo:

"I like reading blogs of people who have lives and talk about what they're doing. This can mean anything from a day with the kids to dealing with 'the interesting and famous.' Folks like pafuts and artbeco show that staying at home with the kids doesn't mean you don't have A Life; I particularly like reading their blogs. Both of them also write so well they could chronicle walking from one part of the house to the other and make it interesting. Reading blogs like theirs shows me that choosing a lifestyle that for me would be Sheer Hell On A Platter can be very rewarding to others and puts balance into my own life."

From redaxe:

"I'll read most things that catch my eye. I have on my reading list a blog about malls, a batch of political blogs, humor blogs, blogs with links to music or cool stuff, parenting blogs, blogs about reading and books, general-topic blogs, blogs by high-profile folks, blogs by scientists and academics. Your criterion of "well-written" usually applies, though mine tends toward 'interesting' -- I'll cut some slack in the writing if the person's content is worth the effort. Blogs with good communities of commenters are more interesting, in general, as well."

Sink Cat

From jhayman:

"I like to hear about my friends. Truly personal stuff makes me uneasy, but my definition of 'personal' may vary from someone else's. I'm privy to pretty personal stuff all the time. The little vignettes in blogs add dimension and depth to my understanding of the people I know.

I like to hear about people I've only heard about. Again it's a way to just get a sense or impression of a person. I'm a voyeur of people's lives :-)."

From ldwheeler:

"Well, I myself have the World's Most Boring LJ Ever (I'm thinking of renaming it to that very title), but I like it. :-) I started it last year partly out of curiousity -- a longtime friend michaelhinman had started an LJ, and it seemed to provide a few benefits: a venue for self-expression; a fairly simple writing exercise to use as kind of a warmup for other writing projects (that's had limited success -- I don't even do the warmup every day); and an opportunity to maintain contact with friends old and new. I hope my LJ is occasionally of interest to people; while I ultimately write to please myself, I try to remain conscious of the fact that it's still public and that I'd like to be engaging or at least not annoying.


Personal blogs I like (which includes the various LJ friends, plus other blogs of real-world people I know) tend to be well-written, by people with interesting lives/pursuits/passions who can express themselves in a coherent and humane manner. While I occasionally like blogs with a narrow focus (and I regularly check a couple political, faith-based, cultural, etc. blogs in addition to my various LJ communities), I tend to prefer a more varied approach -- people who post about family, culture, viewpoints, foodstuffs, miscellaneious silliness, anything else that comes to mind. Kind of like Blatherings, come to think of it. (Your judicious use of photos, artwork, etc., elevates it further.) I don't care for blogs that are All Angst All The Time; or Profanity-Packed, Barely Coherent Rant Of The Day; or Meme Quiz Quiz Meme Lather Repeat. So I try to write a blog that wouldn't annoy me. :-)"

From missquirt:

"I find reading about very personal information fine in some cases (when it's a friend who I would talk about such things with anyway, for example) but very awkward in others. Unfortunately, I ran into trouble once when I de-friends-listed someone whose posts always tended to make me upset. That was tricky because I really enjoy knowing the person in real life, but there are some things you just don't want to know about someone, and it can be hard to avoid reading when it's right there in a short snappy one-sentence post...

Right now, I'm really enjoying reading blogs to read about things going on in Ontario. I'm enjoying the experience of being out here, but I'm always very aware that it's not home, so it can be very comforting to read about familiar places in terms of anything from pancake houses to blizzards to maple trees."

Joys of home ownership in the winter

Photos on today's Blathering were all taken recently. Click on any image to get more details.

Dec/2005 comments:
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