Time--2017 A to Z Theme

My theme for the 2018 Blogging from A to Z April Challenge is "Cleaning the Clutter"--I might literally be cleaning my closets or figuratively clearing the excess from some other part of my life. I'm sure you can think of other things this could mean for you as well.

Always a work in progress--welcome to my blog...


Friday, December 16, 2011

Deja Vu: Make Target Practice, Not War

Tunnelvision 06Image by fisserman via Flickr

        The Deja Vu Blogfest is hosted by D.L. Hammons,  Katie Mills, Nicole Duclerior, and Lydia Kang.  Its purpose is for bloggers to call attention to older posts that others may have missed or anything they feel is worthy of repeating on their sites.

       This was a little tougher than I had expected.  I set my sights on my earliest posts--the ones that have no comments and were therefore probably only read by a few people if anyone at all.  From the outset I tried to deliver quality goods.  I hope this entry is one you might enjoy.  I think this post tells a little more about what I set out to accomplish with my blog.

       I'll start with a set up of what was happening on Tossing It Out at that time.  My first few posts described something about who I am and what I was planning to do with my blog.   My post of Wednesday September  23, 2009  titled "Who Am I? & Who Are You?" was an introduction of me to the readers. I began that post with a quote from one of my favorite poems:
To-day we have naming of parts. Yesterday,
We had daily cleaning. And to-morrow morning,
We shall have what to do after firing. But to-day,
To-day we have naming of parts.
from the poem "Naming of Parts" by Henry Reed
       On the following day, September 24 2009 I continued with my theme:

Make Target Practice, Not War

        Today we have what to do after firing.  Though some blogs are forums for rants and raves, I don't want to be guilty of  incendiary provocations. I don't want to be just shooting off my mouth or shooting from the hip. This ain't no cowboy blog pardner. I mean, I like cowboys and westerns and such, but I'm not intending for a gunfight at the OK Corral or anything like that. I just want to sit around the campfire and jaw a bit.

        I enjoy a good debate and I will follow through with that when the situation calls for it, but hopefully always in good clean fun. I ain't got nothin' against nobody in particular.  There might be some ideas, lifestyles, movements, or the like that I don't particularly like or agree with, but I'm usually happy to chat about any of it. So civil debate, yes-war no.

      In other words, using the metaphor of words or the blog as a gun, I'm just doing target practice.  I'm not out to attack anyone or hurt anybody.  Not to say I might not get careless at times, but hopefully if I do hit anyone it will only be a flesh wound.

       What to do after firing?  When it's just casual target practice, after firing I would want to take a look and see if I hit my target and see  how I could improve in the future. I've never been a gun guy and have only fired a gun a few times, but I'm not against guns by any means.  

      One of my friends who does own guns and is pretty knowledgeable about them once told me about how he once stood a bayonet upright in the ground, fired at it to where the blade split the bullet in half to where the bullet halves broke two glass bottles standing behind the bayonet. He experimented with the shot a number of times before actually breaking two bottles with one bullet, but when he finally did it I guess it was pretty impressive.  Oh, and two other friends of mine were there to witness the feat and they corroborated the story.  I have no real reason to doubt it.

        The point of all this is if you're doing target practice, after firing you fire again trying to correct any aiming errors you had the first time.  Then you keep firing to perfect your shooting skill.  When you're done you put the weapon away in a safe place.  Sometimes you will need to clean the gun again. Care and maintenance will keep the weapon in good working order.  And whenever you're ready to use it, your gun's ready.  Bang!

       I think I prefer the juggling metaphor better.  It conjures a more peaceful image.  Clowns and costumed performers or people just having fun in the park tossing their props into the air. Skill and dexterity all honed by hours of practice. And it's good exercise.  So are you ready?  Okay I'm going to toss it to you. Ready? Here it comes.  You got it?  Toss it back.

       Did you catch that?  Hope you enjoyed this look backward.  Now continue on to visit some of the other bloggers experiencing flashbacks today.

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  1. Loved the read Lee, can't imagine Blogshpere without you. you have contributed much and we have all gained much from reading your blogs.


  2. That was fantastic imagery, and I loved how you related it to blog writing!

  3. I loved the target practice/writing analogy! Great post!

  4. Yeah, juggling fits better as a metaphor, sice any accidents don't wind up in court, or worse. Plus, it just has more finesse! Except that Bayonet shot; Kudos to your friend on that one!

  5. Heated fellowship is all right - a total war is not.
    My blog isn't a place for controversy or extremes. That's not who I am.

  6. This sounds like a great concept to me and I loved the writing man, you honestly have this awesome flair for writing that's pretty inspirational as said above!

  7. I'm new to this blogging world and your flashback correlates greatly with me at this moment. I have fears. Fears of the differences people will read into the words I post that were never there when I posted it. A pota-TOE/potaTAH, kind of thing. Thank you. I'm just practicing and ready to learn and correct any mistakes I make as I venture forward. Can I post a question here? (Leaning that, too. =) When you read so many blogs, how do you keep from 'copying' others ideas?

  8. OOH, I love target practice but most hillbillies do. :) I guess I've been here long enough to totally understand, "You love a good debate." :)
    Jules @ Trying To Get Over The Rainbow

  9. Too bad I don't know how to juggle! Well, literally. But I can juggle having too much to do with the best of the them. :)

  10. Yvonne -- The feeling is mutual and I've appreciated your support from my earliest blogging days.

    Rachel -- At first I was just trying to understand what blogging was about.

    mish-- Analogies can be fun and educational.

    Will -- I'd like to have been there to see the bayonet trick.

    Alex -- I'm with you, but there are plenty of hot site out there that I normally try to avoid.

    Matthew -- You always have an uplifting comment for me and I appreciate it.

    Lost -- I don't think you should keep from using the ideas that others have put out. As long as it's in your words and you've added your own view it's not copying, but you're just continuing the conversation. To me that is flattery and respect.

    Jules -- I'm not a fighter, but I like a good argument so long it has something to do with intelligence. I think it's fun to have an enthusiastic debate.


  11. Laura -- I read about a lot of juggling going on with bloggers. Life can be so doggone busy.


  12. I think the comparison of juggling and writing is spot on. I know I always feel like I've got many, many balls or whatever in the air when I'm novel-ling - characters, plot points, setting, etc. Whew! :)

  13. I get the juggling bit. You do a good job.
    Happy Weekend!

  14. Great poem! It fits so well. And I'm glad to learn that if you hit anything it will only be a "flesh wound."

  15. I like hearing how you got the name of your blog, or how the name connects with your philosophy. Most writing blogs are pretty civil, but sometimes I come across one that is not. Then I take 'em off my list.

  16. Madeline - Yes, writers are all doing a bit of metaphorical juggling.

    Carol-- I appreciate that.

    Kirsten -- It is never my intent to hurt anyone, though I can sometimes leave teeth marks with my playful bites.

    Theresa - I don't mind some controversial blogs, but I have been known to unfollow some when they become too uncivil.


  17. McARLEE BOID ~
    I actually do recall having read this one when it was originally posted.

    A wee bit hard for me to relate, however, because as you know, when I pull MY gun, I damn sure do mean to shoot somebody with it! (And "My Aim Is True", to quote Prince Elvis.)

    ~ D-FensDogg
    'Loyal American Underground'

  18. I love that poem. It's one of my favorites. :-)

    But I really want to know: How the HECK did your friend split the bullet?!

  19. StMc -- If you read it, you didn't say anything. But that's okay, I got my first comments from you and you're still commenting. It's kind of like a bad nickle--or is it nickel? Or wait I guess it should be a penny, but with inflation and all--you know.

    Misha --It took steadiness and careful aim to split the bullet. He's the kind of guy who will stay with something until he accomplishes what he sets out to do--a good example for all of us.


  20. The juggling image works for me. There's a peace, a sense of cooporation, or give and take. That feels right for your blog (one I always enjoy).

  21. Enjoyed scrolling through your posts and "meeting" you via Deja Vu blogfest. Always enjoy reading advice on writing! All the best!

    Heather Day Gilbert

  22. Love the analogies to writing and blogging. Practice does make so much better.

  23. Great analogy, juggling. It applies to so much of our lives, including our writing, of course.

    Great look back and interesting to see how your blog has evolved.

  24. LD -- I can go for that cooperative image. Shooting can be scary.

    Heather -- Thanks for stopping. I hope you will be a frequent visitor.

    Alison -- Theoretically practice perfects.

    C. Lee -- We are all jugglers in one way or another.


  25. The analogy works for me. There are blog post we fire off sometimes that elicit very little response, then there are others that hit the bulls-eye. This blogfest was a bulls-eye!

    Thank you for participating in the blogfest and helping to make today so special! Looking forward to the challenge. :)

  26. The metaphor makes lots of sense to me. Juggling does too!

    Thanks so much for joining the Blogfest!

  27. How did I miss this blog? Glad that's been corrected. Nice to meet you, Lee, and this is a great re-post and a wonderful analogy!

  28. I sure did enjoy this lookback. Cool analogy. I've only shot guns a few times, too. Now, your friend who performed that impressive feat, well, if it had been captured on video, it would have gone viral on YouTube! That's pretty awesome. I'm more comfy with the juggling analogy, since I love clowns and costumes. Too bad I'm a klutz, though, and juggling doesn't come easy for me!

  29. Howdy pardner! Well peace to you bro'. I'm with you. Who wants to read rants and raves although at times I totally understand where the blogger is coming from, but they will most likely regret putting the rant out there eventually.


  30. I will have to stick with your firearm image. Partly because I am born of rednecks and like to shoot things. And partly because I am deathly afraid of clowns, and the thought of them juggling things at me makes my heart hit CPR territory. I'm visiting from the blogfest, love the way you made a plan for what you are trying to do with your space and thoughts.

  31. I'm not controversial. I want my blog to be a happy place where people enjoy hanging out. Drama is just a waste of energy.

  32. DL -- I don't know how anyone could have resisted Deja Vu.

    Lydia -- I have enjoyed this blogfest.

    Sarah -- You're here at last. I've been waiting for you.

    Lyn -- My friend's gun trick was done before personal video cameras were available--people would probably think it was a camera trick anyway. My blog is like a circus sometimes.

    Denise -- Things can come back to haunt one-- I've acted stupid on the internet more than once. I do try to keep the blog not too controversial though.

    Julie -- See! I have something for everybody.

    Diana -- Controversy can be fun, but it can go on for a long time.


  33. I caught it ... and promptly dropped it! Never did manage to learn to juggle... :)

  34. Very cool Post! I love reading your blog and look forward to your posts. Thanks!

  35. I think I'm a lover not a fighter, but I will fight for what I believe in.

    I never want to be one of those who debate just to hear themselves talk. I know a few.


  36. Terrific post with great metaphors. Loved it.

  37. Jemi -- It takes practice you know.

    Margo -- Thanks for visiting.

    Rodney -- Appreciate you saying so.

    Teresa -- I'm kind of like you although I've been accused of talking to hear myself talk. I don't see it that way though.

    Melissa -- Hope you'll stop by often.


  38. I love the metaphor of target practice. Lee, you might not know this but you were the first person I met her in blogland with the A-Z challenge. I am thankful for you and enjoy sitting around your campfire.

  39. 'but hopefully if I do hit anyone it will only be a flesh wound.'

    Gotta love the 'Monty Python' references ...

  40. I prefer your juggling metaphor too. But I missed. Can I get a do-over?
    Be well, Arlee.

  41. Tracy Jo -- I'm honored to have played that part in your blogging history. A to Z was a great way to start blogging and you have done well since then.

    Suze -- And actually I wasn't consciously thinking of Monty Python when I wrote that, but I may have been drawing upon a subconscious memory. Maybe I was dreaming when I wrote that post.

    L. Diane -- You juggle more than you think with all that you have going on in your life.

    Robin -- Sure, do overs are always a part of juggling.


  42. Got it! Thanks. I'll have to buzz over to the other side and link something up. Thanks for your visit.


  43. I'll give up on the juggling. Been trying on and off my entire life with no success. So the target practice is a better metaphor I can relate too. Okay, I'll try juggling oranges again today and see if I can improve.

  44. Looks like your early posts are up to par. Nor that you haven't grown, but you should be proud that you started so strong. Some people take much longer to be able to craft engaging posts.

  45. Lee,
    It makes more sense to go back and read this post after we've got to know you. You truly are a leader and mentor, and overall, you are a great blogger friend. You have made blogging a fun and incredible activity.

    Merry Christmas!


  46. Great metaphor with guns and juggling. Does sending up smoke signals work? I may be misinterpreting smoke signals, but since smoke is similar to clouds, sometimes the author has one message, but a reader could see something else?

  47. Joyce -- Time to showcase older or neglected work.

    Stephen -- Fresh orange juice for dinner tonight!

    Kelly -- I tried to write with the best quality I could muster from the outset.

    Doris -- Gosh, Doris, that's so nice of you to say. And a merry Christmas to you, not to mention an incredibly successful 2012.

    Buck -- I think smoke signals could be another excellent metaphor to use.


  48. Good toss! I hope I can get them back to you without dropping them...given my lack of juggling (of pins) experience.

    Now...as for juggling life...well, truth be told, I'm equally bad! :)

    Great Do-Over post!


  49. I'm running round late reading these posts, but I'm really enjoying the chance to read stuff people wrote, often before I 'knew' them :-)

  50. The shooting metaphor is so true. I see so many blogs that do that.

    I like your juggling metaphor. Except the clowns. I don't like clowns.

  51. I've always liked the name of this blog, and now I've got an early metaphor to go with it. :)


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