#WQWWC #23 Writer’s Choice: Blogging Challenges and Tips

#WQWWC #23 Writer’s Choice -My Choices Sunday Stills- Water Details, LAPC – Details, Cee’s FOTD & Sunday Poser from Sadje.

Today I’m leaving the Writer’s Quotes Wednesdays Writing/Photo Challenge topic up to you. Since you know I love challenges, I’m aligning my post this week with challenges and some tips for better blogging.

Insert quote made in Canva

Start with Details from #LAPC #146

Patti Moed of Lens-Artists Photo Challenge inspires us this week to look for the details in our photographs. While doing Becky B’s challenge, there were times I focused on details, and other times I tried to take a picture of the entire car, but I ended up cutting off part of the body when I squared the picture.

Photographer, Cee Neuner’s solution to that was much the same as Patti’s solution to photographing architecture – focus on the details. Armani suggests that even the smallest detail is important.

Prescott Bike Trail #1 Peavine Trail to Hwy 89A

We saw the most beautiful display of red flowers along the Peavine Trail two weeks ago, but we were on a roll to get to the end of the trail, and we didn’t stop. On the way back, Vince suddenly pulled over, got off his bike and started taking pictures. I followed suit, first taking the landscape view, the a little closer and finally a close up with lots of details.

These photos are also submitted for Cee’s Flower of the Day Challenge.

You can see at a distance how scrubby the trees and shrubs are, which is nice to know as a reference that they don’t look impressive. Up close, when you see the details of the flowers, they are quite beautiful.

Vince looked it up on an app on his phone called Picture This. The plant brought up several names: Desert Paintbrush, Indian Paintbrush, or Northwestern Indian Paintbrush. Further details reveal that the scientific name is Castilleja and believe it or not it is in the subclass of Magnoliids like Magnolia trees.

Wikipedia defines it as a “perennial herbaceous” plant meaning it doesn’t have a woody stem and you can’t easily get rid of after one season.

Sunday Stills Focus on Water Details

Before you get to the Hwy 89A cut-off on Peavine Trail, you come to Watson Lake. Of the four lakes within a five mile radius of our home, Watson, Willow, Lynx and Goldwater, Watson is my favorite because of the rock formations and the fabulous the fact that Peavine Trail is broad and flat – the perfect learner’s trail.

Riding or walking along the trail you are close to the water and can hike even closer if you like. The lake houses many types of wildlife. We see a lot of different ducks.

We walked when we took these pictures. We are not experienced stupid enough e-bikers to take pictures at 12-20 MPH.

Terri reminds us that May is Water Safety Month. Our neighbors took their kayaks out for the first time this week. Keep in mind that it almost snowed – I’d call it spitted on Monday and by Thursday the air temperature here was 80 degrees. The water is still COLD!

Sunday Poser Question: Which Human Trait Inspires You the Most?

I love the spirit of adventure. Maybe that is not a human trait, but it is an outcropping of curiosity, which is a human trait. When someone is adventurous, their spirit inspires me to learn, which is what I love to do most.

I appreciate it when my husband plans adventures for us. He bought me an e-bike for my birthday and took care of all the details to assemble it. He shopped for, bought the hitch, and got it all set up safely so we could travel with our bikes.

I love that he plans exploration outings so we can discover the wonderful sights around us. It is fun to be on this adventure of life with him.

Willow Lake, Prescott,
Vince spots a picture, shadow,

I also admire and am inspired by creativity and try to emulate it every chance I get. We can all learn to be more creative, and that is why I love blogging and why I loved teaching. Blogging, like teaching, gives me a chance to LEARN to be creative, to improve the details that define my creativity both in writing, photography, and graphic design – all by-products of blogging.

Blogging Detail Tips

Whether you are new to the WordPress Blocks, or an experienced in-a-rut block user, it sometimes pays to take a break from blogging and learn about blogging. This morning I discovered the detailed list of blocks you can use to make your blog more attractive and easier to write. The most interesting one to me, T.C. History Gal, was the TIMELINE block.

Whether you are a history teacher creating a post for your students, a student doing a portfolio assignment, sharing your family history, or writing a post about your latest vacation, this is the coolest block ever. You don’t have to create a line and try to add text boxes. It’s all done for you.

Once you experiment with that one, there are about 30-40 more blocks that you don’t see on your six choices when you add a block.

Thank you to last week’s participants

thanks for joining me this week in Writer’s quotes wednesdays? do you have any details you would love to share?

Becky B’s Squares: Bright Cloudy Day

#BrightSquare Day 19 Cee’s Flower of the Day, Thursday Trios

“As usual for a Squares Challenge month I will be sharing squares daily, and I would love it if you did the same. However if daily sounds too daunting, don’t worry. It is fine to join us weekly or even just pop in occasionally with your squares. The frequency of your squares depends on you and also your blog. All I ask is that your image has 4 equal sides, and that it reflects the theme of bright.”

Becky B.

A Rare CA Day for the Sun to Hide Behind a Cloud

bright cloud at the tip of the palm tree in sunny CA.
bright cloud at the tip of the palm tree in sunny CA.
Traditional Haiku

Burning sun behind
high clouds rests on a palm frond
reaching for the heat.

Copyright © 2021 Marsha Ingrao. All Rights Reserved.

If you want to share your own picture, you can post a picture of it in someone’s comment section by 1. copying your picture’s link from the media file and 2. removing the “s” from https. Thanks to Hugh Roberts for that tip.

Sunday Stills: Purple Flowers from Arizona, Australia and California

Terri from Second Wind Leisure chose purple as her Sunday Stills monthly color challenge. The pictures also work for Cee’s Flower of the Day Challenge. There are more #BrightSquares for Becky today. Finally, Sadje has asked this wonderful question, “Are you a good listener?” for her Poser #24. which I will try to weave into my flower pictures.

Are You a Good Listener?

“When people talk, listen completely. Most people never listen.”

Ernest Hemingway

As a cognitive coach for the County Office of Education, I learned and practiced the skills of good listening. Lean forward towards the person talking, mirror their movements like crossing and uncrossing arms and legs. If they are tense, lean back and give them space. When in doubt, repeat their words to validate them. Don’t offer an opinion or story. Listening is not about ME!

Why are you listening? Are you conducting a therapy session and you want to make your client better? Do you love the person you are listening to and want to validate them? Do you want information from them to use against them in a court of law? Are your trying to learn something for a test or gather material for your next novel? I would argue that everyone has a motive for listening.

Listening and remembering are two different skills, but one augments the other. If you can’t remember, what good does it do you to listen carefully? If you listen carefully, AND have a poor memory, then you should take steps to help your memory.

You may wonder how I tie listening to purple flowers.

Australian Florals

Agapanthus for Becky B;s #BrightSquare

Carol and I strolled through many gardens together. One of my favorites was the Treasury Garden in Melbourne. Everywhere we looked, Carol had more information for me – names of flowers, trees, buildings, birds, bodies of water, statues. I admit that sometimes my mind took a vacation, but my lapses always caught up with me and sold me short when I needed information.

She took some beautiful pictures of bird of paradise, then wandered off and found this agapanthus. But here is the problem. I kept notes, but not great ones, mostly pictorial. Now the only records I have are in my earlier posts about Australia. My posts were not precise about every item we saw. Why? Either I didn’t listen or didn’t retain what my Australian friends told me.

My Listening Score: 2.5 out of 5. I gave myself credit for writing it as a caption on my photo from 2016.

After Melbourne, we flew to Ballarat and visited the historical part of the city known as, Sovereign Hill. At one of the vintage houses we saw these beautiful “spikey purple plants,” as another blogger called them.

I may have asked Carol or her sister-in-law, what they were, but three months later when I wrote the first post about them, I did not know what they were. But the answer is in Google or Bing if you look hard enough. It was also right under my nose at the Woodlake Botanical Garden also on file in my WordPress media file.

My Listening Score: .5 out of 5. I gave myself little credit because if I did hear it, I didn’t write it down or look it up so I would remember it later.

Artichoke plant

My Listening Score to Manuel: 1 out of 5. I recognized the picture on Bing and knew I had an artichoke.

Purple in Prescott, AZ

Finally, back to the here and now in Prescott. My neighbor has been spraying what she calls “vincas” like they were invasive enemy #1. They might be. They are not like the vincas, also known as periwinkles, I remember from California. Bing had pictures of vinca major that look like my back yard where these pictures were taken.

Listening Score: 5 out of 5 So far both short-term memory and listening skills are working.

They seem too beautiful and delicate for be attacked as an invader.

California Purple Monsters

Violet, purple
California has it all
Not to be left out!

Morning Glory plants win the prize for both beauty and killing roses. Puppy Girl enjoys the shade provided by the Morning Glory tee pee built by Manuel Jimenez, the founder of the Botanical Garden in Woodlake

Listening Score to Manuel and my friend Sylvia who told me about Morning Glory 35 years ago: 5 out of 5.

I gave myself extra credit for remembering a factoid for over 35 years.

This picture also qualifies as a #BrightSquare

Another beautiful invasive species that I planted all over my yard in California is the Mexican Petunia. Even when you think they are dead sticks, they are working on their rhizomes, “a continuously growing horizontal underground stem which puts out lateral shoots and adventitious roots at intervals.” Wikipedia. Our home buyers may love them, but if they don’t, it will be difficult to get rid of them.

Listening Score 3 out of 5. I still want to call them Mexican pansies.

Closing Comments

Have a great week and a good memory.

Becky B’s Bright Square: Roadside California Poppies

#BrightSquare 18 Cee’s Flower of the Day

“As usual for a Squares Challenge month I will be sharing squares daily, and I would love it if you did the same. However if daily sounds too daunting, don’t worry. It is fine to join us weekly or even just pop in occasionally with your squares. The frequency of your squares depends on you and also your blog. All I ask is that your image has 4 equal sides, and that it reflects the theme of bright.”

Becky B.
bright golden CA poppies
bright golden CA poppies in Three Rivers, CA

Believe it or not we have some beautiful poppies emerging in Prescott, AZ as well as in the California poppy state. Every day I get out with my camera, they close up for the evening. The golden hour for poppies is in the middle of the day.

I caught these beauties on the way back from running errands when I lived in Central California. There were so many along the road and they were so stunning against the unusually bright sky that I pulled over, got out and took several pictures.

bright CA poppies in spring
bright poppies against a bright blue sky

These orange poppies were in our yard in Elderwood, CA.

Have a great week. terri’s back for Sunday stills

It’s not too late to comment on STORY CHAT or participate in Wednesday Quotes

Becky B’s Squares: Roses to Brighten Your Day

#BrightSquare Day 16

“As usual for a Squares Challenge month I will be sharing squares daily, and I would love it if you did the same. However if daily sounds too daunting, don’t worry. It is fine to join us weekly or even just pop in occasionally with your squares. The frequency of your squares depends on you and also your blog. All I ask is that your image has 4 equal sides, and that it reflects the theme of bright.”

Becky B.

Bright Spring California Roses

bright peach rose with gold center Becky B's Bright Square
bright gold center of a peach rose at Woodlake Rose Garden

I’m also submitting this for Cee’s Flower of the Day Challenge and Jude’s Life in Colour of the month – pink.

Thanks for joining me in my first attempt to post every day for a month. Have you ever done a month of challenges and made it every day?

I got my new computer yesterday – mine drown in a cup of coffee last week. I messed up trying to set it up and couldn’t sign into to my Microsoft cloud where my pictures are stored. And so therefore the meaning of challenge becomes reality.

Have a great weekend.