Monday, February 28, 2022

Announcing My New Website: What We Keep
(But no worries, I'm still here!)


Good Monday morning! I don't know where you live, but here the weather this weekend was absolutely gorgeous. Maybe a tad chilly, but full of plenty of sunshine and the afternoons were really quite lovely. Of course, I only know this because I had to take the dog out from time to time, I was far too busy doing other things.

As you might have guessed from the picture, I made another blog, this one specifically devoted to my writing. Yes, it looks a bit sterile, I suppose you could say. Like a hospital ward, with all those white walls and shiny floors. It's minimal, in comparison to Ordinary Days. But, to be honest, I like it better than I thought I would.

Finally being published has breathed new life into my writing, and likewise brought quite a bit of attention to this space and new followers on IG. And while I love this space and will always be devoted to it, I really did need something that looked a bit more professional, I guess you might say. I toyed with several different ideas, thus the reason I rarely left the house, well that and, I'm an introvert! At first, I thought I had settled on just using my name, which is why I purchased a second domain name, still using my name. That, I have always believed, is smart. Domains come cheap these days, but it's far easier to use your name if you decided to rebrand than to have to re-do everything! Plus they are not that easy to link to your blog, at least, that has been the case for me. I'm actually having a time with the new one.

The biggest problem I was facing was that I didn't want to lose Ordinary Days. I am deeply attached to this space. Being here reminds me of visiting my grandmother and the way her home always made me feel. That's not something that you can easily capture online, and since I've achieved it I'm not about to do away with it. Still, this blog is not phone friendly, and the fact is we live in a world where the majority of people live by their phones. It seemed that no matter what route I went there wasn't a good answer . . . until this morning!

There's nothing like a good night's sleep and a cup of coffee to fire your brain. As I was looking at the site I had mostly settled on, I realized that two of the posts were about my book. Yes, the book, the one I keep saying I'm going to write and have sincerely given a good start but need to finish. That book, WHAT WE KEEP. Since I had already made the decision to devote this new site to my professional writing, and since What We Keep will be, I am hoping, my opus, why not format the blog to fit the book, and then throw my other writing into the mix? And the best part, Ordinary Days is not lost, I link directly to it on the page, that little button that says, "BLOG".

That doesn't mean that the new site won't have its own bloggy content, but at 6:00 a.m. this morning when the lights came on, I realized that if I formatted the new site differently, using the same color codes that I use here, the posts, for the most part, will interchange beautifully. What that ultimately boils down to is less work for me. Write one post, post it in two places. I realize this may sound like overkill, and maybe in the end I will decide that it is, but until then, this is how I'm making peace with it. 

There will be some variations, however. For instance, anything related to my book will be reserved exclusively for the other site. It's also where I will highlight future publishing achievements, which I hope to add to, and I have an idea to write some smaller publications which I will feature there as well. But since most readers also like to keep up with our day-to-day comings and goings, the duplicate blog posts will hopefully achieve that. It is also the blog address I will refer readers to in future publications. In doing so I expect this will affect the readership of Ordinary Days, which seems a shame because it is so lovely.  But unfortunately, the template I use here is not mobile-friendly. It does have a mobile setting, and I briefly toyed with that but it's really pretty awful. It doesn't provide a way to navigate to anything in the sidebars, things like the search feature and archives. To find that you have to click at the bottom to take you to the full site, which my guess is most people won't do, and in that case, what is the point, really? So I've decided to leave it as it is and if people don't like it, they can stick with the other site, which is rather lovely, even on a phone.

I don't if this has really solved anything for me, but I also knew I probably wouldn't know until I tried. The domain renews in a year, so I'm giving an honest go for that length of time. Some of you may prefer the new site, and if so, I encourage you to follow me there. But you are perfectly welcome to kick off our shoes, pour yourself a cup of tea, and plop down right here as well because that's exactly how I feel when I'm here. In some ways, it even feels good to keep this place small and special, reserved for the few, which is exactly the way I live my life. I may sound stuffy, but if not everyone makes it here, so much the better!

If after a year I don't see much benefit from maintaining both, then at that point I'll have to make a decision. My hope is that this will work the way I envision it. The other site is essentially for my book, and I do think it needs to be reader and mobile-friendly. In some ways, this place is home and the other is work.

As I said, you are welcome, of course, to follow me in either space, and I will always try to alert you if there's something at the other site that I'm not posting here but think you would benefit from and enjoy. Most importantly, when I get that book published! If you'd like to take a peek, here's the link.

WHAT WE KEEP

FURTHER DEVELOPMENTS: I ran into all kinds of problems by having two domain names with only a slight variation. I even lost this blog for about thirty minutes today because of it. I don't know enough about the inner workings of the internet to understand what happened, but chatting with domain powers that be, I was encouraged to settle on a different name. I really wanted whatwekeep.com, for obvious reasons, but since that was already registered (but not being used), I would have had to make an offer and the asking price was, let's just say what I'll keep in this case is my $. So in the end I settled on thekeeperslife.com. If you visit right now it says "not secure" right before it, but don't let that alarm you. Blogger provides security but it takes them a little while to configure the SSL certificate. A lot of jargon, I know. I'm not even sure I know what I'm talking about. Probably more than anyone wanted to know about my domain dilemma, but since the link changed, I thought you might want to know why. :)

Until then . . .

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