August 5, 2012

My American civil war blog this weekend will be about Samuel Colt.  He designed the Colt revolver which was a very popular and common weapon during the American Civil War and the American wars after 1800.  The main factory was in New Jersey which is my subject for a few weeks.  I was worried about finding any information on New Jersey’s contributions to the war since Wikipedia basically said it was the only free state to never vote for Lincoln and they sent a lot of soldiers for that state.  However, a little bit of digging got me a few topics to discuss, including the Colt factory and products which I will write about today(Japan time).

This week’s post on My Ramblings is about a different type of vending machines: cigarette vending machines.  I find it unusual but I pass one on my way to work everyday and have seen others around.  They aren’t quite as common as the drink vending machines I spoke of last week but they are rather common, at least where I live.

My craft blog this weekend shows that I finally finished all those “Easter lilies” I started folding in the spring.  It was interesting how much of a pattern I got into as I folded them and decided to add more to my little bundle.  Once I got through the first few origami flowers it wasn’t hard to make a few more.

My writing blog for this week will also be published today (Japan time) and will be a descriptive scene of what I see and feel while sitting on one of my ship’s bridge wings at sunrise.

My online business blog, Lydr’s Thoughts, started a month-long series on how to start a business online.  I plan to go from the idea to the completion of the website before I start another series on branding.  It’s a part of online business that I’m horrible on and I plan to write my thoughts and tips as I read a few books on the topic.

July 29, 2012

I’ve been wondering for a while now what to do with this blog.  As you can see, I have only put 4 posts here in the months since I launched this website.  That is because I have too many blogs on the web to keep them all for business.  Therefore, I decided that this blog will be a weekly summary of my other blogs so family and friends can decide if they want to read which blog posts or articles I write each week.  It will also help me keep everything straight as I go through my week.  It’s hard work keeping up with everything as well as having a 50 hour plus a week job and studying for the major certification (ESWAS) that I need to get by the end of the year.  I’m hoping to get most of my current blogs written through August so I can use the month to focus on my ESWAS, get it done, and start writing the story for which I plan to turn into a fiction blog with the story starting in December.


My American civil war blog this week finished up the series I wrote about Robert E. Lee.  This was his post-war years as the president of Washington College which was renamed Washington and Lee University.  I found it interesting that two of his horses were buried at the college with his family and did some digging.  I wrote an article about his five horses here.


Last week I launched my new website for Li’l B’s Ramblings with the story of my trip to Hong Kong Disneyland along with a Flickr photo set of the trip.  I like the WordPress template better than the old Blogger template since I can add more pictures directly into the reading post instead of having five or six photos clustered at the top and having my own site means that there is a wider posting area to tell longer stories.  Yesterday I posted about a huge part of daily life here in Japan: the drink vending machines that are everywhere.


My craft blog this week shows my clay mermaid which I finally finished.  I’ve been staring at her for months saying I’ll get her finished and although I know she isn’t professional, I think she turned out well for being my first sculpture and my first time using acrylic paint.  (The picture doesn’t look to bad but cameras can hide a lot of imperfections, like the huge crack in the rock from the drying clay.)  Next month I’ll be focusing on learning origami and I’ll look for an artist in origami that will answer my questions for an interview post.


I opened a Cafepress store this last week.  I have two pictures I took in Australia on the way up to Kuranda that can be bought on various products.  One image, Australian Waterfall, was taken out the train window on a small waterfall we passed while the other one was taken of the hills (does Australia have mountains or was it just steppes?) from our ride down the mountain in a small glass basket.


My writing blog is starting a new series, of sorts.  Starting next weekend I will try to post a scene a week of some sort.  Next weekend it will be a descriptive scene from one of the bridge wings on my ship at sunrise one morning to help me learn to be more descriptive.  Other weeks it could be a flash fiction scene probably written in a half hour sometime during the week or a scene designed to teach me a skill such as emotion in writing or dialogue (which I’m horrible at).  I’m sick of having a blog for my writing that I’ve barely touched in over a year.  In fact, I’ve written no fiction besides story ideas in over a year.  It’s time to get back into it.


I updated the images in my jewelry store on Etsy as well as adjusting the descriptions I made.  I have a few ideas for new necklaces and earrings as well.  However, my store will be closely linked with my fictional story on which won’t be starting until December so I don’t plan to add a lot of pieces until November.  I do have a few possibilities for things to go up in September but I’m still working on those.


My Writer’s Journey blog has been going through the book Power of Myth lately and this week’s summary of the fourth chapter talked about how mythology evolved as cultures interacted with each other. ( from now on) started out as a blog for my jewelry but as you may have noticed, I haven’t created too many pieces of jewelry.  In fact, I haven’t added anything new to my store since I opened it in January.  So, what could I do to give me more ideas for jewelry and magical creature creations (I’ve wanted to create sculptures for a while) that would have a story behind it?  I decided to create my own land, an island where fairies, humans, and dragons can play with any number of creatures from myth and ancient lore for me to depict.  So far I have a lot of general ideas and a basic plot line.  I’m still working on names, setting, background, culture, and story lines but I’m looking forward to creating this world to tell in blog form starting in December with a story of revenge set in a Regency-like court.

Big Ideas Need Solid Plans

Big changes are coming to my various blogs.  I’m going through all my current projects and creating business plans for each.  I’m nearly halfway done with my major certification in my job and I still hope to be done with it by the middle of June.  Once that is done I’ll be redoing at least one of my blogs and publishing an e-book.  I hate to wait to start my new ideas but I need to plan things out ahead of time before starting and getting confused halfway through my projects. I’ve learned that if I don’t have a plan ahead of time, it’s easy to lose motivation under what seems to be a lot of planning.   Besides, I have so many projects started already that I need to get at least one thing (the certification) finished before starting another project.  Jotting down my ideas now while I finish my certification allows me to brainstorm now and tweak my plan for new projects later.  Then I have a better idea of what direction I want to take when I have the time to commit to a new project.  I have so many blogs going right now that I’m having trouble keeping them all up to date while working on my job.  I started them all on a whim without planning them out and now can’t keep them going along with my certification.  That’s why I’m taking a short break from most of my blogs to create business plans and get this huge certification off my to-do list.  I’ve learned that business plans, or at least some sort of long term direction, should be done before every new project is started.  If you already have projects in the works, it is never to late to create or tweak your plans again.

Take Mini-Risks To Boost Confidence

This post was recommended to me by one of my creativity newsletters so I read the post.  It has an odd title but is about stepping out of your comfort zone.  It recommends taking small risks, like starting a conversation with a stranger, to boost your confidence and your focus for the day.  I’m very shy so this will be hard to implement but it seems a simple way to gain a little confidence that I’m on the right track.  To be honest, that certainty has been in low supply lately so I could use a cheap and easy boost.  how about you?  Could you do with a little more confidence and focus in your endeavors?

Exciting Ideas

It’s been a while since I posted here and I apologize.  It’s been a busy month and a half as I try to get a number of projects in a better position.  I’ve been trying new things in my jewelry making business, working with new materials and techniques, as well as learning new things about the American Civil War (did you know the Confederates tried to start a revolt in the northern states near Canada, called the Northwest Conspiracy towards the end of the war?) and reading a fascinating book that I’m reviewing on my writing blog.  Combined with the rather unpredictable hours of my day job, I’ve been pretty busy this last month and a half.  However, it’s been fun and I look forward to completing some projects to make way for other ideas I have.

Welcome Everyone

Hello and welcome to my new website.  As my home page says, I have a number of blogs and projects going or starting this weekend.  I hope you join me as I update and edit everything for years to come in order to show the world what I have to offer.  It will be a long journey of learning how to do things on the web and what works for me but I have great dreams for the future and hope to get your feedback on things as I go.  So come along and may God bless all of us in 2012!

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