From Zero to 15’000 – Some Thoughts on Building Community…

I found this post when he “liked” my first Three Day Quote Challenge and I decided to check out his blog. It says a lot about how to become part of a community, something which is especially of value to newbies like me.

James Radcliffe

One of the most frequent things I get asked is: ‘How did you build your following?’.

It’s a fair question.  A few years ago I started as everybody does, with pretty much zero support and 5 followers (2 of which were my mother who had signed up twice to make sure she didn’t miss anything).

Today I am a 100% audience-supported artist; I have a blog that is read in 170+ countries by a community of over 15’000 subscribers, and a Twitter following that is sitting somewhere around 66k.

How did this happen?

Read on, and I’ll tell you…

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Just a Rant About Lies and Judgments

angry woman1I’m glad I saw the Three Day Quote Challenge from Deb earlier. Focusing on that helped quell some of my anger. I was so pissed off earlier that I had to take half of a Xanax to stop my shaking.

It normally takes a lot to get me that pissed off, but the one thing that will do it faster than anything else is for someone to lie to me and I find out. Some might argue that the lie was just a small fudge, not an outright lie, but it still hurt and pissed me off when I found out.

My baby sister and I are 12 years apart in age and as adults we’ve never been really close. I’ve made repeated efforts to change that over the years and I still get shunned. The only time she includes me in anything is when it’s a family event, when she really can’t get out of it. So while it still confuses me why she rejects me, I’ve gotten used to it.

I live in a room at my oldest sister’s house and I have no car until I get some money saved up, which means I have to borrow her car when she is off work to do my shopping and errands. I hope I get the retroactive approval on my disability application so I can get a vehicle and get back into a place of my own. While I appreciate M keeping me from ending up homeless when my life took a nasty turn, after two years it’s getting old and the stress factor is increasing.

Yesterday, I asked if I could borrow the car to make a trip to Big Lots and explained what I was looking for so I wasn’t going to be gone long. She said they (I thought meaning just her and my BIL) were leaving soon. To me, soon means within the next hour at least. When I asked M when they would be back, she said, “Late.”

I asked, “Where are you going?” Her reply was, “Out with some friends.” I told her, “Good for you. Y’all need to relax.”

So I made a quick run to a nearby convenience store and came right back. Three hours later my BIL was finally taking his bath and getting dressed. I was irked because I could have done my brief shopping trip and been back long since. But I didn’t say anything. They, including my nephew, left about 6:00. They were back about 8:00 (that’s late!?!). I didn’t say a word, just stayed in my room. I had a proofing job to work on anyway.

Then today I saw on J’s Facebook page pictures of her, her new boyfriend, her kids and grandkids, plus M, my BIL and my nephew, taken at a restaurant last night.

Like I said, I’m used to baby sister ignoring me and not including me, but it hurts that M thought she had to lie to me. It would have hurt less if she had simply told me the truth about them being invited to dinner with J and crew. It’s certainly not like I’ve ever begged to go out with them somewhere. I just really don’t understand why she felt it necessary to lie to me.

I haven’t said anything to her yet. When I’m upset or pissed I have trouble talking without crying and then I get told, whatever the situation, that it’s nothing to cry about.

Guess I better close this out. Supper’s ready and my belly is growling. Maybe I’ll say something afterwards.

I did speak up, but I might as well as have saved my breath.

Me: “Why did you feel it necessary to lie to me about last night?” Her: “They are our friends.”

Me: “I know you and she get along better.” Her: “I didn’t want you to get your feelings hurt.”

Me (starting to cry): “I wouldn’t have been hurt. I’m used to J not wanting me around.” Her: “Yes, you would. You’d be acting like you are right now. It had nothing to do with you, anyway. She doesn’t want any of the family around her new boyfriend yet. We only met him last night.”

Me: “No, I wouldn’t. It hurt more that you lied to me.” Her: “Yes, you would. I know you. You’re blowing this all out of proportion!” And she walks away without another word, almost slamming my bedroom door.

I am so fecking tired of my family judging me based on the way I was 30 years ago! As someone who is affectionate, a hugger, and open to new things and ideas, I certainly don’t fit in with my ultra-conservative, uptight family.

Three Day Quote Challenge – Day One

Deb at OnceUponaHotFlash has selected me for a Three Day Quote Challenge. Deb is a new follower who I am enjoying following in return. You might want to visit her if you don’t already.

Thank you, Deb, and I look forward to getting better acquainted with you—between your hot flashes.

These are the rules of the challenge:

  • Thank the person who nominated you.
  • Post a quote for 3 consecutive days
  • Nominate 3 bloggers each day

Almost instantly upon being challenged I knew what my “theme” would be: curiosity. I was born with an incessant curiosity. The good thing about that is I’m constantly learning new things. The drawback is spending too many hours in a chair in front of the computer feeding my curiosity. Curiosity in itself is not a bad thing; it is what wards off ignorance. So for my first quote I give you. . .

cure for boredom

Today’s nominees are three of the first bloggers I followed when I began blogging last September.

  1. Anand
  2. Kelsey
  3. Alyssa  [Edited as I didn’t realize until Day Two that I had not included the link with Alyssa’s name.]

If you have the time and want to join in the fun, please join in. There is no time frame; take it up at your leisure. We will all love seeing what quotes inspire you or appeal to you for some reason.


FFfAW – Hot Lick Redemption

burning guitar

Courtesy of

Oliver sat in a chair with his head in his heads, moaning. The performance hall smelled of burnt wood, varnish, and hot wires. Water was everywhere. All of their band equipment ruined,  And just as they were getting gigs at larger venues.

An officer approached and asked, “Can you tell me what happened here?”

*SIGH* “I honestly don’t know, officer. The rehearsal was flowing smooth as a river over burnished rocks. Billy’s new axe was playing sweet. About two minutes into “Fire Down Below”, that Bob Seger song, we heard a SNAP and saw a FLASH. Next thing I know both the axe and Billy are in flames.”

“You always check your equipment and do your own sound checks, and the equipment never leaves your sight until after rehearsal, correct?”

“Yes. Wait! Are you saying somebody sabotaged our equipment ?”

“We’re just covering all the bases. Accident or sabotage; either way, Billy Lane will never play guitar again.”

A man and woman sat, unseen, at a table in the south corner of the hall. With a wink and a grin, the man handed the woman a paper that read “Contract Fulfilled – One Soul Redeemed”.

I exceeded the word count this week but I just couldn’t get it thinned down and hold the story together.

Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers is sponsored by PricelessJoy.  On Tuesday each week a new photo prompt is posted. All writers interested in the challenge have until the following Monday to complete the story and link up.

Click on the Blue Frog to check out more stories from this challenge.