I like playing around with different looks for my blog, selecting an enticing theme and hitting the apply button. When viewing a possible makeover, I ponder where I want the side bar, how many columns I need, and which colors will make my blog pop. Today, I was exploring Word Press themes, as encouraged by the change appearance button, and to my surprise and dismay, found that when I hit apply, I could not retrieve my original blog page. I could get the content, but none of my sidebar widgets, and I had lost the ability to customize anything unless (and here it is) I chose to buy the ability to customize. So, boys and girls, the good old days of free custom blogging sites with WordPress are gone, even when using freeblog themes. Before you go exploring, get your credit card out. It’s going to cost you at least $30.00. I suppose the free ride was too good for too long and I, for one, didn’t fully appreciate what I was getting for nothing. That being said, I am all about making profit on great ideas and products, but please, guys, no more surprises!
If a picture paints a thousand words, then what about two pictures? Put them together to tell a story, make them move, and you’ve got yourself a GIF. Cute, right? Or maybe a little annoying?
But is GIF a new art form? Art is many things to many people and if you google the word art, you will probably find a definition to fit your personal bent. I like this one: “The expression or application of human creative skill and imagination.” By this definition, ancient cave drawings, my own crude paintings, insta-gram photographs and GIFS qualify, as well as Picasso and Sherman.
But, if I think a piece is rude, crude or socially unattractive, I prefer the definition: “the quality, production, expression, or realm, according to aesthetic principles, of what is beautiful, appealing, or of more than ordinary significance.”
Art, like beauty, is heavily influenced by one’s culture but ultimately belongs to the eye of the beholder. I choose what appeals to me. You choose what appeals to you.
I’ve seen these moving images before. I just did not know the term GIFS, short for graphics interchange format. I find them amusing, obnoxious, flashy and funny but up until now, have never considered whether they are art. I did find that creating a GIF involves challenge, choices, infinite possibility and a sense of accomplishment and pride at the final product. Art or not, thanks to this week’s WordPress challenge, I have another tool for telling my story and am a few steps closer in narrowing the ever-increasing technological, generational gap. After all, I don’t want that little girl with the missing teeth to say that her grandmother is still in the stone age.
I must have been crazy to attempt this at my age. Some people were very pessimistic. Then again, the people who love me most, encouraged me to go for it. There were many times that I thought I would lose her, when I had to mentally say good-bye, but somehow she managed to survive. Last night my much-anticipated miracle baby entered the world with all the hoopla I could muster.
The gestation period began six years ago with A Boy, A ball and a Book. In the early stages of development, I timidly shared my news with a few friends. Their reaction gave me courage and though, to most people I was barely “showing”, I was glowing! And then I started blabbing about it to anyone and everyone who would listen. I am pretty sure that I bored some of you to death, you know who you are, and that you began to think that this blessed event would never happen. Thanks for hanging in there with me. Despite the odds, my book began to grow, a book created to honor the relationship between grandparents and grandchildren, specifically, Janelle aka. “Grandmama.”
Preparing for this baby, I purchased a LLC agreement, a copy right, a business license, a checking account, a credit card, a web domain, an e-book developer, a pay-pal account, a Facebook page and a blog. I studied and read articles about publishing, dabbled in internet social marketing, asked advice of others, took advice from some, and weeded through scads of on-line help sites. I learned the difference between Android and I-things, tablets, pads, nooks and kindles. Apple, Barnes & Noble, Amazon, Google, Go-Daddy, and WordPress, are now old friends, sometimes irritating, sometimes helpful.
Like my baby, I too have grown, especially in my struggle with control and collaboration, initiative, patience and faith. Here are a few things I have learned in the long period between conception and delivery.
Lessons About the Birthing Process
You are overjoyed at the initial prospect
You think and dream about her all the time/wonder what to name her
You are afraid that you are inadequate for the task/self-doubt escalates as time goes on
You hope that your baby will be early, or at least on time, beautiful and healthy
False labor occurs over and over/you have to relax, focus, regroup and wait
Real Labor eventually happens/much more is required of you than you ever imagined
There is a lot of excitement and pain/labor lasts a long, long, time
When you feel like you cannot push again, you push again
During transition, you may feel like cussing out everyone in the room.
When she arrives, you quickly forget all about the struggle to get her here