The Literary Drover No. 5032

When I moved into my current home I did so with specific knowledge in hand: Work would be required on my part to make the house a home. The previous owners, after their fourth daughter moved out, decided that the time had come to travel. They put their furnishings into storage and turned the property over to a property management group that could have been named “Three irresponsible drunk frat brothers and an incontinent goat”. Simply and bluntly, the property management group responsible for the property did a very poor job of properly managing the condition of the property, allowing renters to do what renters are infamous for doing. The house was structurally sound but cosmetically it needed work. For example, the door for one bedroom was inexplicably off the hinges and stored in the back of the closet in the bedroom. The toilet on the lower level of the house worked, but when flushed alternated between a death rattle-like sound and a stutter that sounded like Donald Duck when he was using inappropriate language. Most of the lawn had been reduced to weeds and small rocks otherwise used for xeriscaping. Only one flower bed had flowers growing in it and they were in desperate need of care and pruning, and the other beds were covered with various forms of debris.

The first day after I moved in I went to the back yard, to the fence, and measured a square foot. I cleaned up the area inside the measurement, removing leaves and trash, and prepared the soil in the defined space for better things. The next day I repeated the process, starting on one side of the previously measured and tended area. Day after day I continued my pursuit until I worked my way around the side of the house and proceeded into the front yard.

Because of where I live I was able to gather leaves and twigs and send them to a local recycling yard where they were transformed into mulch. Some material gathered and removed had to be put out for the general trash, and by the end of the first week of living in my new home the trash dumpster was full.

Week after week I continued the required work, and when the landscape for my home had been cleaned and cleared of debris and trash I set about restoring the lawn and flower beds. Because the weather was good I was able to work outside in the morning and in the evening after spending the day working for a living.

Summer became Fall and I continued working. As I did I became aware of a relevant fact: A neighbor, who has since become a good friend. Retired from several professions he spent his days maintaining his property, and when he saw that I was making an effort to restore my home to a more acceptable state he introduced himself.

He did not offer opinion on my efforts. He did not criticize my accomplishments. He merely nodded as I worked, sweat often present on my person as I dug up this bit of rot and ruin or as I worked to restore or establish a section of landscape.

When the weather began to cool and because the exterior of my home was much improved I turned my attention to the interior of the house.

The aforementioned toilet was addressed. The door was rehung. Threadbare carpet was removed and replaced with hardwood floors. Painting was done. The kitchen and bathrooms were scoured, scrubbed, and cleaned.

The property took on the appearance of a living space.

Over the years I have continued my efforts and more than a few people have expressed praise for the improvements and the transformation from a residential embarrassment to a home others have copied in one form or another.

In order to keep my house a home I have made decisions regarding it. For example, when a neighbor took to leaving the trash from his fast food purchases on his yard and the wind blew them into my yard I gathered them into a black trash bag, and, when the bag was full, I put it on his front step. He got the message and proper disposal of the trash was undertaken.

Over the years, how I live in my home has extended beyond my home. The vehicles I drive are also kept in good condition. My wardrobe is in good condition. My life is in excellent condition.

I mention this personal information because it also applies to my Social Media presence. When I decided to start this blog I did so with specific facts in hand.

Fact: Ninety-nine percent of everything on Social Media can be discarded without concern because it has very little, if any, worth or value.

Fact: To make the most of worthwhile information on Social Media requires aggressive enforcement on my part, using block functions and filters.

Fact: Social Media has great potential and offers almost unlimited opportunity, but potential and opportunity can only come about through dedication, discipline, and determination on the part of the Individual.

Fact: Social Media is an extension and a reflection of the Individual, and the life an Individual chooses to live. I choose to have a healthy and fulfilling Life, and that is represented by the content of my Social Media presence. For example, I do not eat what is described as “junk food” in my real life. As a Writer I do not use language on my Social Media presence that can politely be described as “junk food”.

Fact: The Social Media presence that will stand out from others and endure is the Social Media effort that involves effort on the part of the Individual who creates and maintains it.

I mention these facts because it has come to my attention that the Social Media platform my Social Media presence is located on – WordPress – does not seem to agree with my opinions and assessments. Some time ago I noticed a dramatic drop in the traffic this blog was generating. Investigating the matter I learned about a practice now commonplace by Social Media platforms: Shadow banning. Bluntly, censorship using algorithms to supress specific Social Media accounts because the content published to the account does not support or advance the agenda of the Social Media platform.

Because I do not pay WordPress to host this blog I cannot and will not challenge their actions. I can and will, however, suggest caution be taken by those who use Social Media, specifically WordPress, because you might find yourself on the receiving end of censorship.

I mention the facts noted about Social Media because it has come to my attention that quality is not taken into consideration regarding promotion of a specific Social Media account. Again and again this opinion has been documented to be true and factual. For example, a blog brought to my attention by a friend and a fellow blogger.  The blog has been promoted for reasons that are not apparent. The blog showcased contains profanity, explicity threats, misspellings, punctuation errors, and other issues.

My response: If this is the standard I have no interest in pursuing the implied standard and accept that my efforts here will toil in obscurity.

Since starting this blog I have learned many things. One is a reminder of what transpires in my Life: In order to make the most of Social Media I must lead by example.

I start now.

The Literary Drover No. 4040

I tell others – presumably those interested – what it is I do, how I do it, and why.

I do not post to Facebook. I do not post to Twitter.

For The Writer Twitter is a contradiction because of the constraint of the platform. (140? 280 characters?)

For The Writer Facebook in general amounts to an act of self-abuse because the culture, the environment, and the reality encourage and cultivate hate and hatemongering, abuse, insult, and threat. Individually and collectively they serve to distract and defeat The Writer, who could and should be spending time available writing, mastering the Craft and the Art of Writing.

I have not posted to Facebook for several years, and my life is better for it. I sleep well because I have not been upset by the aforementioned context of Facebook. I am focused and productive each day because the degrading nature of Facebook is not a part of my life. When I posted to Facebook it seemed to me everything was disjointed and fragmented. I rectified the unsettling and unnerving experience by going cold-turkey when it came to leaving Facebook. The same was true for Twitter.

As a Writer I prefer the format of the blog, which lends itself to the development of thought subsequently expressed through the written word. On Facebook and Twitter I did not find this to be true, and I had the constant sense that I would bump into or trip over the furnishings. I found the experience confining and restrictive compared to the freedom the blog offers.

In this freedom I practice the Craft and Art of Writing. In this freedom I am a Writer.

The Literary Drover No. 3714

What does this mean for the independent bookstore:

The Literary Drover No. 3712

Learn. Know. Understand:

The Literary Drover No. 3708

This sounds like a job for. . . THE WRITER. If a person can’t read then my writing has no worth and I will be obliged to find employment as a greeter at a big box store. Believe me when I say no one wants that:

The Literary Drover No. 3706

Let’s get ready to rummmmmmble. (From my corner of the known cosmos, courtesy of Bob Beauprez. Yes. THAT Bob Beauprez.)

The Literary Drover No. 3704

More than a few carry my books: