My offering for the last challenge of 2019: What a lovely spot for a picnic! Well worth the walk.
Last year at this time, ARHtistic License had almost 600 subscribers. As of this writing, readership has grown to 807. (I was hoping for 1,000—serves me right to set a goal over which I have absolutely no control.) If you occasionally read ARHtistic License and like what you see, please sign up to subscribe in the sidebar on the right. You will get email notifications whenever a new post drops, or, if you are also a WordPress blogger, ARHtistic License will show up in your Reader feed.
My Top Ten Most-Read Posts of 2019:
- NaPoWriMo 2019 #13 I participated in National Poetry Writing Month in April. This poem, What If, was featured on the official website.
- Phoenix Folk Dance Festival Photographs and videos of the annual festival my folk dance group puts on. We get participants from all over the country (and even some from Canada).
- Interview with Author Paul Mosier Fabulous Young Adult author, whose fourth book, Summer and July, is coming out July 2020.
- #DC383: Ratoon Three posts in the top 10 are my responses to the Diva Challenge, a zentangle challenge that is on a long-term hiatus due to a hand injury to the Certified Zentangle Teacher who ran it.
- Ugly Fabric Quilt Challenge This post is an examination of a phenomena that occurs in quilting groups.
- #DC385: Valentangle Another Diva Challenge response.
- Hiking in South Mountain Park, Phoenix Full of photos taken on my first hike in this beautiful desert park.
- An Interview with Quilter Stephanie Finnell I’ve been following Stephanie’s blog for years, and I love her quilts.
- Interview with Author Kathie McMahon Kathie is a former teacher and musician who has written several children’s musicals. Her first children’s book recently came out.
- #DC386: Drawings and Dewd Another Diva Challenge response.
Interspersed among the top most-read posts of 2019 are earlier posts which still receive lots of visits. Here are The Top Ten Older Posts Most Read in 2019:
- Jan van Eyck’s Crucifixion and the Last Judgment: Painted By a Committee This 2016 article explores the painters’ workshops and apprentice programs of the Renaissance.
- How to Make a Meme on a Mac Step-by-step instructions, first published in 2017.
- Escaping the Khmer Rouge: Review of Beautiful Hero by Jennifer H. Lau This review was written in 2016. The book went on to win at least 5 big awards.
- How to Practice Piano: Doh! Dohnányi The unplayable exercise book that is the bane of every pianist’s existence.
- 10 Best Zentangle Sites on the Web I wrote this in 2018. I need to write a sequel to this article, because I’ve discovered so many other good websites.
- Ballet Feet They’re not cute and dainty. Ballet dancers literally suffer for their art. This article was written in 2016.
- Hawaiian Quilting with Pat Gorelangton If you don’t know about Hawaiian quilts, you need to read this article, posted last year.
- U is for Unicorn Quilt Patterns During last year’s A-to-Z blogging challenge, I combined two of my obsessions—quilts and unicorns—for the letter U.
- 20 Tools Every Writer Needs Last year I posted this list of writer’s essentials.
- Review of The Accidental Tourist, or Why I’d Rather Read the Book than See the Movie I wrote this in 2016.
Interestingly, all of the above posts had more views than my second most-viewed post of 2019. Does that mean I’m not as good a writer as I used to be, or did those posts just have better SEO (something I rarely consider)?
Another way to gauge a post’s popularity is the number of “likes” it garners. Here are My Top Ten Most Liked Posts of 2019:
- Hiking in the Arboretum Beautiful Boyce-Thompson Arboretum.
- Hiking in South Mountain Park, Phoenix Also made the most-read list.
- NaPoWriMo #13 Also made the most-read list.
- Wordless Wednesday/ Flower of the Day: Assorted Vincas Wordless Wednesday and Flower of the Day are two popular photography challenges. Sometimes I combine my offerings into one post.
- Creative Juice #159 Creative Juice is a weekly feature. Every Friday I post links to 12 artistic articles I find on the web. It has its own following.
- Wordless Wednesday/ Flower of the Day: Red Bird of Paradise
- OctPoWriMo Day 1 A poem during October Poetry Writing Month.
- Flower of the Day: African Daisies
- Creative Juice #156
- OctPoWriMo Day 17 (5-way tie with the following:)
- Wordless Wednesday: Desert Path
- Wordless Wednesday/ Flower of the Day: Bloomin’ Barrel Cactus
- Wordless Wednesday/ Flower of the Day: Lantana
- Creative Juice #123
The saddest thing about this list is that these posts only received 19-32 likes. NaPoWriMo #13 had 260 views, but only 24 likes. I did the math—it’s only 9.23%. What does that mean? Did 90.77% of my readers hate it? Should I just give up blogging? It would free up a lot of my time if I did . . . I know this is a serious character flaw on my part, but I am so jealous of bloggers who get 100 likes on every post.
I also contribute to A Writer’s Path. Here are My Guest Posts for 2019:
- How to Do an Author School Visit
- Recycling for Writers
- Why Do Authors Need a Newsletter?
- How to Choose a Writer’s Conference to Attend
- How to Attend a Writer’s Conference: Before, During, and After
- How to Keep On Blogging
- Thinking About Theme When Writing
- Elements of Fiction
- Where Do You Write?
My Other Writing:
- I rewrote The God of Paradox and gave it to my pastor to read. She identified two aspects she thought needed further study, and I’m rewriting again, almost halfway through.
- The Unicornologist is at a standstill. I don’t know how to fix the manuscript the way it is. I’ve decided I need to start from the beginning and write it all over again, since I know the story from beginning to end.
- I’m still submitting my poetry chapbook to every contest. As soon as I lose one, I do some tweaking and enter another. I was going to stop entering contests, but then I read one of the winning chapbooks and realized mine is comparable in quality.
- I’m writing poems and drawing zentangles. I also joined a photography group at my church so I can improve my picture-taking.
- I started a short story that is a retelling of The Nutcracker, but I’m stuck. I know where I want to go, but not sure how to get there from where I am.
My Goals for 2020:
- I’ve said it for years, but I want to finish The God of Paradox and The Unicornologist and submit them.
- I also want to find a home for my poetry chapbook.
- I want to finish my other projects, like my children’s poetry book and the Nutcracker
- I’ve done very little practicing of piano, guitar, and recorder. Greg and I have had health issues, and we’re on the “medical merry-go-round” with constant doctor appointments, test, blood draws, surgeries, etc. I hope we’ll get off the carousel soon so we can pick up some of the activities that have fallen by the wayside.
- I need to decide whether to continue blogging, cut down on it, or give it up entirely.
Now it’s your turn:
- How have you done with your creative endeavors this year? What are your creative goals for 2020? Share in the comments below. If you’ve posted about it on your blog, feel free to share the link.
- Have you read all of my most popular posts this year? No? Make my day and choose, say, three of the ones listed above and let me know what you think.
- If you read a post on any blog, not just mine, that you find well worth your while, please “like” it if you’re given the option. Or leave a brief comment. It gives us bloggers such a lift. Feel free to click the “like” button below, and share the article on all your social media. Build some good blogging karma for yourself. Or if you don’t blog yourself, wouldn’t it be a shame if your favorite bloggers quit and took up skydiving instead?
I’ve discovered a new (to me) photography challenge at the Mind Over Memory blog. My offerings this week were taken in the Phoenix Art Museum in 2017:
Nude Man by Viola Frey, glazed ceramic
Facade from a house in Hue, Vietnam
Upside Down, Inside Out by Anish Kapoor, sculpture made of resin and paint
Column Interminable by Betsabeé Romero: 17 “tires” inscribed with symbols from pre-conquest North, South, and Central America, the Aztecs, the Paracas people of Peru, and the ancient Hohokam people who lived in what is now Arizona. Romero’s themes are migration and borders.
Message by Matthias Goeritz; gold painted perforated metal on painted wood
Detail of Message
Bust of Julio Contarini by Alessandro Vittoria
Hopi Flute Player by Emry Kopta
Every Friday I publish a meme meant to inspire the creative people who hang out at ARHtistic License. Here are my favorites from this year:
If you find these memes helpful, feel free to share them on your social media.
Our last collection of curated inspiration for 2019:
- Photographs of balloons.
- Beautiful architecture in Lyon, France.
- A designer talks about a chair.
- What the UPS guy was really doing when he should have been delivering my packages.
- When dancing on the walls, watch out for the windows.
- Pareidolia is a psychological phenomenon that causes people to see patterns in a random stimulus. This condition can lead people to assign human characteristics to objects. Here’s what an pareidolic artist does when he sees faces in inanimate objects.
- If you haven’t had enough Christmas yet, here’s a lovely Christmas quilt.
- The Brownings and others muse on artistic integrity.
- This museum is on my bucket list.
- A children’s book illustrator describes her path and her process.
- So far I’ve never found a podcast that I actually wanted to follow. Maybe one of these recommendations will inspire me.
- 1960s architecture in Brasilia.