The Manhattan Project--2016 A to Z Theme

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

Monday, February 25, 2013

Taking My Own Advice: A New Theme for Wednesday

Lisa Loring as Wednesday in The Addams Family ...
Lisa Loring as Wednesday in The Addams Family original series. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
          Coming this Wednesday I'm going to start offering a new theme for Wednesdays.  Actually I've already begun this series with my last Wednesday post Suggestions to Improve Your Blog in which I responded to a question sent to me by blogger Daron Henson.

           In my reply to Daron I suggested that he might consider offering regular themed posts.   This is something I've been doing for quite some time now.  I fallen away from the theme-per-day format to some extent although I have been fairly faithful to maintaining certain thematic content.

          My Wednesday content for a trial run will involve my blog acting as a help or advice column in a sense.   Call it "Ask Arlee" or what you will--I'm open to any suggestions you readers might have on what to call it or if it needs a theme name at all.

          This is actually nothing new for me as in the past I have often answered questions or offered any help I was able to give others.   Some recent emails and requests in my blog comments have asked me some questions that inspired answers that have turned into blog posts.  Now I will present some of these that are still filling up my blog composition reserve and answers to anything else you think I might have an answer for.

        What qualifies me to do this?   Not much more than my abilities to analyze situations and solve problems.   I'm not a doctor, psychology specialist, auto mechanic, or computer wizard.   Don't expect anything too technical from me.  If I have no idea I might just try to be funny.  Yeah, that could be a real flop.

        After 35 years in the field of management I think I do know a few things about solving problems.   I might have good answers and I might not.  Best of all though will be the answers you will provide in my comment section.

         That's right--this is not about my brilliance, but about the genius of my readers.   You are some of the best in what you do.  Don't discount your abilities.   We all have something special to offer.  Today you may be asking the question, but tomorrow you might be the one with the answers.

         Ask, receive, and give back when you can.  It's the beauty of what we do here in the realm of bloggers.   This will be another Tossing It Out experiment.   Sometimes they work and sometimes they don't.  They are always worth trying.

         Do you have anything you need help with?    Do you have a problem you'd like solved?   Do you think this series needs a name?   Could this potentially be considered a controversial post?



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40 comments:

  1. Ask Arlee - brilliant!
    Heck, too early in the morning for me to think of anything to ask.

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  2. it is a grand idea... my thoughts are always the same...

    how to get more people to your site?

    how to sell stuff with not looking like you are trying to sell stuff?

    how to change your name, so people don't think you are only all about zombies?

    how to know when it's time to stop?

    how to keep up with comments, when you cannot keep up with life stuff?

    how to keep fresh with ideas, when your brain is on overload... because of life stuff?

    Well you get the idea, I hope I was able to drop a few questions your way and I know that some have been covered... I just didn't want to forget them.

    Jeremy

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  3. Arlee...I have this teenager. What the heck do I do with her?

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  4. Interesting idea and some fun questions already. I'll have to think on this for a spell.

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  5. Ask Arlee!
    How can I afford to retire? I need stupid heath insurance but I want to free myself from the stupid daily work grind. I like my work (most of the time - but I want time in my life to read, to write, to hike, to paint, to be, to travel - oh yeah, that costs MONEY! Aswer me that :)

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  6. Alex -- You probably don't need to ask. I'd say you get as many or more questions asked of you than I get.

    Jeremy --- Love it! You've given me several posts right there. Some I may have to go with more humorous answers even though they are very serious questions. Those are the ones people often cover on blog posts but I don't know that I've ever seen the perfect response and that's probably because no one has totally figured the perfect easy answer yet.

    HeatherL-- I'll put that in my line up. Having raised 4 daughters I feel clueless, but maybe I can offer some advice that will help. Teenagers! That's a mysterious topic.

    Faraways -- With your sense of reasoning I may have to turn to you for some answers.

    Gracie -- That will be one of those where I'll have to do the don't do what I did answers. Affording retirement is a tough one, but so is affording to live the way we'd like. I'll add this to my list.

    Lee


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  7. I think Jeremy will keep you busy right up until the A to Z begins.

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  8. So I want to know what you did. I think I blew it already by being the responsible (read: good) parent and refinancing the house to pay off student loans for two offspring - good for them but now I am tied to house payment when I had been within six months of paying if off.
    What did you do? teach me!

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  9. You know of my experiences Lee, still getting them, Great Idea hope you get a good response.

    Yvonne.

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  10. "Ask Arlee" I like it!!

    should be fun and informative and...

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  11. Quality content vs. frequent posting? Obviously, it takes way too much time to do both!

    Funny, I was thinking along these same lines this past weekend for my EH blog. Guess we'll experiment on this concept together a bit. Sure hope a few people answer Mimi's question I posed on there today. I know absolutely nothing about sleep talking and sleep walking. May end up researching these, if no one chats in the comments.

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  12. I know I'll find this quite interesting.

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  13. Ask Arlee - sounds like a fun theme! I'm drawing a blank on questions at the moment, but I'll let you know when I have one ready for you.

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  14. Excellent idea! I'm sure you'll get lots of "How to" questions leading up the to the A to Z Challenge!! Bring it! ~Angela

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  15. 'Ask Arlee' does have a certain ring to it. Will watch for Wednesday's post.

    I like themes on blogs on occasion, it's a diversion from all the promoting that's necessary for writers.

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  16. L. Diane -- Since I've already got several posts already lined up in this series, Jeremy's question may not appear til after the Challenge.

    Gracie -- One thing my parents taught me was if the money's not overflowing don't pay for your kids' college. I paid my own way for the most part and I didn't take any student loans at that time. I'll add this aspect to the topic when I address it later.

    Yvonne -- Thanks for inspiring this topic. I've already got a number of ideas.

    Moondust -- ...and time consuming? Hmm- this might take some research at times. Well, maybe I'll learn a thing or two along the way.

    MJ -- I'll have to check out what Mimi asked. Yes, this is a good theme to play with and when people have asked me something in the past I've often turned my response to them into a blog post. If I've written something like that might as well put it to broader use than just a return email, right?

    Richard -- And I'd say you will be able to provide some additional insight that will be useful.

    Tyrean -- Sure, take your time. I've got a slate full of questions so far.

    Angela -- If the questions are A to Z related then I may have to give those priority. Also, the A to Z Team often answers those types of questions at Blogging from A to Z Challenge.

    DG -- I'm not sure writers should overdo the promoting. Themes are a good way to establish a certain platform of knowledge and create more rapport with readers.

    Lee

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  17. We have grown children, in their 30s. They look at us and say, "Oh, Mom/Dad!" with condescension. Any comebacks for this?

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  18. What a great idea! I've been thinking of doing themed posts, myself.

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  19. I really like this idea in all honesty Lee, it's a good idea to do features and hopefully this one's a success. My question is how long would you say it takes to write and edit a book into being something complete? I'd love to write a novel but don't have a massive amount of free time.

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  20. Lee-

    You could put up a sign...

    The Blog Doctor Is In

    5 Cents


    -Larry

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  21. "Ask Arlee" is a great name.

    Well, I do have one question for you. On my Thursday posts I dedicate Youtube footage that (ideally) resonates with something a reader wrote earlier in the week. Sometimes I have a difficult time getting that person to SEE it. In the past, I have taken several routes with this problem. I have left a note on their blog. Usually this is only necessary if they are a sporadic blogger. However, this isn't always the case. What do you think I should do? Should I have to hold their hand (aka leave a blog note)and lead them to the "good stuff?" Or should I just let them miss it? What would you do?

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  22. This sounds like such a fun idea I might have to steal it...

    If you opened Ask Arlee up to any kind of question, you'll probably get a lot of really wacky queries. Sounds like a hoot.

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  23. Susan -- Sounds like me at that age and then as I approached 40 I was seeing how right my parents had been most of the time. Teenagers change a lot about the way parents feel.

    Em -- Bring it on! If I can't answer I'm sure we'll have a reader who can.

    Nancy -- I like the idea of themes. Keeps me on track, provides ideas, and gives variety to the readers. There are a lot of advantages to keeping within a parameter of themes.

    Yeamie -- I guess your question about writing a novel depends on the writer and the novel. I've heard of authors having spent 40 years trying to finish a novel, while many do it in a month or less (look at the annual NaNo event). You have to make the time for everything involved. I'm a sorry example for finishing a book. I know what I need to do, but doing it is a whole other story.

    Larry -- Probably more than I get from Google Adsense.

    Robin -- I'd go with letting them know if you really want them to see it. I've almost missed things on other blogs and have probably totally missed things. I try to visit as many sites as I can, but sometimes I just don't make it. My situation is probably one shared by others. Tell us so we'll know to visit.

    Patricia -- I think I'd rather get the wacky queries more than the really serious ones that might tax my credibility. I've always wanted to do an advice column. Go ahead and use it--the idea's not original with me.

    Lee

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  24. I need help in opening these "plastic" American Falls purified drinking water bottles. Whenever I hold them and twist the cap the water spills out all over the place.

    The problem I would like solved is how do I get off a non-stop flight?

    Of course this series needs a name!

    No!

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  25. I paid my own way too - through undergrad and grad school - a little student loan money in grad school but enough that I could manage paying it back. Thing is, the times were so different then. It's tough now when it costs the older one is doing his grad school internship in Silicon Valley and living paycheck to paycheck , renting a room in a house for $900/mo b/c that's all you can find there -- ugh -- and the younger one is starting grad school so she can have a degree that will get her a job - undergrad degrees don't go where they used to go. UGH - did I say that already? times are so different than when I started college in 1970.... We wanted to help the kids get started in life b/c how are they ever going to get out from under the mound of student loan debt. I am afraid I shot my own retirement to hell though. Maybe I will just sell the house and go live in a cheaper part of the country? Alaska? or maybe go live in Western Canada? Just thinking aloud -- can't wait for your post over all this!

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  26. Gregg -- You must be getting those joke water bottles kind of like the old peanut cans where the snakes jumped out. Maybe you're booking the wrong destination on those non-stop flights if you feel the need to get out early. Try Greyhound.

    Gracie -- I agree that college has gotten out of control, but so has just about everything else. When I started college in 1969 the cost was $115 a quarter plus books which usually came to less than $60 or so. I lived at home so if I worked during the summer my year was paid for with a fair amount of spending money on the side.

    Lee

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  27. This sounds like a really wonderful way to help people. It is really an altruistic and humanitarian attribute that you possess. Love it!

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  28. Good idea. What to do when you want to ask a question but you're too shy to do it?

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  29. Taking your advice... I dedicated something to you on my last Thursday post. Hope you like it!

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  30. Shah -- I hope I'll be helping people with this. At least I hope we can have fun if nothing else.

    Al -- Actually that translates into a much larger and excellent topic. Let me think on that one.

    Robin -- Thank you! I'll be over.

    Lee

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  31. Haven't picked a question to ask yet but I'll be following this theme with interest. Great idea.

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  32. Great tip for making themed posts. Will have to try that out. To start off Ask Arlee, "How do you keep blogging when your schedule gets busier than normal?" Thanks!

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  33. All right, here's my question:

    How do I find time to do the business/marketing side of writing when I am already working two full-time jobs with the job that supports me and the writing that creates the books?

    (I am also starting a garden this year and getting a new puppy... neither of which is negotiable... although I do see some comical dichotomies in those two events. Mental note: must put fences around the garden... or the puppy... or both.) :)

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  34. LD -- I've got plenty of questions to keep me busy until you come up with yours.

    Buck -- Good question. Let me think up an answer.

    Julie -- Ah yes, the age old dilemma faced by so many. I'll prepare a post, but don't expect to see it for a few months I'd say. Maybe I need to start a separate "Ask Arlee" blog--no, I don't think I'd better take that on yet.

    Lee

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  35. Hi Lee,
    I love Ask Arlee it is cute and catchy! Yes, do it...YOU will be fabulous~
    What is the trick to juggling?
    Yeah, I am serious :D I would love to learn how~

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  36. Ella -- Juggling lessons? We'll see what we can do.

    Lee

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  37. Ask Arlee is a great name for it!

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  38. Ice Girl -- It looks like "Ask Arlee" is the title that has stuck.

    Lee

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