2020 Year in Review

I want to say at the outset that it’s been such a horrible year I’m just planning to focus mostly on my blog and writing here. Many others (it seems) are posting more detailed analysis of 2020 and the Covid-19 pandemic, so check those out if that’s what you’re looking for.

All I wish to say about Covid-19 is that I feel very fortunate that I live in New Zealand. When the community transmission was still only beginning here, the government declared a lockdown and closed the borders. To date we’ve only lost 25 people due to Covid and there’s been no community transmission for some time. The only current cases are people that have recently returned to this country and all are in quarantine. It does help my country is a group of relatively remote islands… Here we can attend events and go to bars and restaurants without worrying about being infected. That said, seeing what is happening overseas is horrifying with over 1.8 million dead, so far, and a new strain that is far easier to transmit. The good news is that there are vaccines now, but it will take some time before large enough numbers of people are vaccinated to have any dent in the transmission and death rates… Still at least we’re going in the right direction.

It was a strange year for me. I never really felt that settled until towards the end of the year. I had to move twice, was homeless for a little while, and there were several other dramas that I don’t wish to mention. I wrote a lot, but as I completed two novels the previous year, I felt like I did nothing substantial this year, aside from getting My Life In Darkness ready to send off to a publisher, if ever requested. The Sky-Pirates of Durn is still mostly unedited.

It was a year of growth for my blog. At the start of the year until around April the viewing rates of my blog were in steady decline, but as the year wore on the blog views began to increase again. October was the first month my blog had over 2000 views. My goals of getting to 900 followers was achieved in November, and my other goal of getting to 17,500 views for the year was achieved on the very last day of the year. Pretty amazing timing really.

Here are some figures:

Views 17,513 (+2,113 from 2019)

Likes 10,266 (+1,498)

Comments 2,217 (+196)

Posts 264 (-6)

I was surprised to find out I had done less posts than the previous year. I thought it would be more.

The top countries viewing my blog were from the United States (39.4%), India (18.5%), and the United Kingdom (10.5%). The views from my own country continue to slide downwards. In 2018 there were 388 views from New Zealand (8.8%), in 2019 it had gone down to 238 (1.5%), and now in 2020 it was down to 141 views (0.8%). I find that really disappointing.

I think my biggest highlight of the year for me was doing the 13 Days of Samhain in October. I did 13 days of continuous posts based on a prompt. I had never done anything like that before. In fact I did 17 posts over those 13 days as I was also doing my usual other prompt responses as well. Out of those posts, my two favourites were the The Dead Dance (which was a bit cruel I guess) and The Thinning of the Veil (which I think ended them well).

My repost of the poem Falling in Love was the most viewed post of the year, followed by Therapy, and Broken.

Future Plans and Goals

This year I want to do another weekly ongoing story like I did in 2019. At the moment I’m undecided whether to do Journey of the Sorcerer (set 1000 years before The Sky-Pirates of Durn, and is a sort of prequel) or Oracle (a science fiction story). If you have any preferences let me know.

I also left Dumb Vampires unfinished, so I plan to do the last four parts of that at some point.

I want to send My Life In Darkness to a publisher at some stage this year and also get the Sky-Pirates of Durn edited.

Goals for my blog this year include getting to 1400 followers, and getting over 20,000 views.

I want to thank everyone who reads, comments, or likes my posts. Thanks also to those who have given me advice or support during the year. I would also like to thank Charli Mills, Crispina Kemp, and Sammi Cox for all the wonderful writing prompts they’ve provided all year.

Thanks everyone! ❤️

Please donate! 🙂

©️2021 Joanne Fisher

Happy 2021! May It Be A Better Year For Us All!

As it will be 2021 in approximately nine hours here I would like to take this opportunity to wish everyone a Happy New Year! I hope 2021 is a happier and better year for everyone.

I’m an optimist at heart and though things may seem bleak now, I do think things will eventually get better through the next year. So hang in there!

I’ll be back some time in the new year, so until then here are some random memes. Enjoy!

See you all next year! 🙂

Pizza Time!

I was feeling a little down today, so to cheer myself up I decided to make pizza. I didn’t have much in terms of ingredients, just half an onion (which I chopped up finely), a few cloves of garlic, tomato paste, a red pepper, some salami, and of course cheese.

I started making the dough fairly late (after 5 pm), and as I let it prove I then got the toppings ready (I took a photo but it turned out blurry). When I kneaded the dough a second time I was really pleased how it felt as it had that nice silky smooth texture to it that dough should have.

As I’ve only moved here recently, I’m still getting used to the oven, and it tends to get hotter then I’m expecting. The oven was on the usual temperature I use to cook pizzas and within 15 minutes it had slightly burnt the first one. I was lucky I checked it when I did. I think I’m still going to have to experiment further with using this oven. I lowered the temperature and the second one came out looking quite good (see first picture). In both pizzas I was pleased how the pizza base turned out. It had a good texture to it.

Best pizza I’ve made for a while 😋

Please donate! 🙂

©️2020 Joanne Fisher

Things I Don’t Understand

Since my previous post The Hunt Begins has utterly failed I thought, after three years of blogging, I would take this time to ask a couple of questions I still have.

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How come some people can do posts that appear on my feed multiple times over several days? Do you have to upgrade your membership to do this?

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I have 860+followers, so how come my posts only average around 40-60 views?

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How come you can’t properly block people here? I tried blocking someone a couple of years ago and I found, though I couldn’t see their posts anymore, they could still see mine and still comment on my posts, which wasn’t what I was aiming for…

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Why bring in this clumsy and annoying new Block Editor? The previous editor had nothing wrong with it and was fairly user friendly. I’m still having difficulty with new one and can’t seem to do line spacing like I used to. If I put a poem up, it merges all the stanzas together and I have tried to fix that, but to no avail. Why fix something that isn’t broken WordPress?

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Please donate! 🙂

©️2020 Joanne Fisher

Great News! I’m No Longer Homeless!

Earlier today I got word that an application I had made for a flat had been accepted. All going well I should be moving in during the weekend. This has ended several weeks of homelessness for me, and it will be great to finally have a place with all my stuff again that I can call home.

Once I’m settled, I plan to resume to work on the longer pieces, such as Dumb Vampires, that I stopped writing during my homelessness. I also plan to work on the e-book of Aalen’s Saga, and begin work on a science fiction novel about colonising new worlds and how it leads to first contact with another intelligent species…

So normal service will resume shortly 😁

Take care everyone ❤️

Please donate! 🙂

©️2020 Joanne Fisher

Pitch Wars Help Needed

I’m currently participating in #PitMad and have a tweet pitching my novel My Life in Darkness.

#PitMad is where writers pitch an unpublished novel to agents or editors who make requests to see the work by liking the tweet. So please don’t like the tweet, as that is for agents and editors to do. You can read more about it here: PitMad

If you wish to help me and you’re on Twitter, please consider retweeting my tweet to help signal boost it. My Twitter is @joannefisher63.

Thanks for your help 🙂

Another Birthday (thoughts)

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Not actually my birthday cake, but it looks good huh?

 

To hatch a crow, a black rainbow

Bent in emptiness

                                  over emptiness

But flying

 

Ted Hughes

 

To be honest I’ve been in a dark mood lately. I was thinking about starting with a quote and what is above is the first thing that came into my mind, and since I’m being honest here these are the sort of posts I really hate to read, so I’ll understand if you choose to avoid this post too. Just go and make a cup of tea or something…

For the record I really love the creative posts on WordPress, whether it is poetry, fiction, art, photography, satire, etc. I’m not as interested in reading people’s thoughts, opinions, or reflections. I mean it’s okay if I agree with it, but what if I don’t? What if I find it too simplistic, or flawed, objectionable, or full of conjecture? I tend not to argue with people I disagree with online, instead I just try to ignore it and not let it get to me. Arguing online is a huge waste of time. It doesn’t change anything. Both sides will still believe what they want to believe, but they will now be angry with each other. Facts will always be ignored if they contradict people’s belief systems or tribal affiliations, that’s how people work. Also we live in very polarising times, which makes it harder to have any sort of reasoned political debate.

Anyway to get back on topic… My birthday was a couple of days ago now. On the eve of my birthday I managed to put my lower back out, which is not unusual for me, though the timing really sucked. The next day I had a booking at a restaurant in the evening where I was going to meet a few friends. When I woke up on my birthday, I found my back felt a lot better and I was able to move freely. Hooray! I thought. Then one of my friends messaged me. He had noticed the restaurant was now closed for a private function in the evening. I messaged the restaurant and eventually they got back to tell me that they hadn’t realised the restaurant had already been booked out for a private function that evening when I had made my booking. Okay, I can forgive that mistake, but they made no attempt to tell me. If my friend hadn’t noticed it, we would have turned up to find the place unavailable, despite the booking. Later that afternoon my back then seized up again and I spent the rest of the day in a lot of pain. Maybe having to cancel the dinner was a good thing, because there was no way I would have been able to attend it anyway, as it turned out. Later in the evening a friend came round with goodies and we watched episodes of The Mandalorian while eating Thai food. I also ended up drinking some of my flatmate’s Jack Daniels as I was out of painkillers. At least that part of the day was enjoyable. I couldn’t say I was surprised by the turn of events as this sort of crap seems to happen quite regularly in my life, in fact these days I almost expect things to go wrong…

Since my birthday I’ve spent the last couple of days in a lot of pain, though my back does appear to be getting better slowly. All that said, I have been in a dark mood due to this (though I was in this dark mood in the week prior to my birthday as well). I have had lower back problems since I was 18. Constant back pain just wears you down in the end, at least that’s what I’ve found. At times, I have thought about ending my life just so the pain will definitively come to an end. The one thing that has kept me alive on this planet is hope. Hope that tomorrow will be a good day. Hope that things will be better in the future. If I ever lose this hope, I’m not sure what will happen.

 

Anyway, here are some funny memes:

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Which play is that?

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I do like the Segway idea.

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Take care everyone. Kia kaha.

 

 

Please donate! 🙂

 

 

©2020 Joanne Fisher

 

Post #500.

Well I’ve now done 500 posts on WordPress. I would like to thank everyone who has followed this blog, and/or liked or commented on my posts. Thank you. If it wasn’t for you all I wouldn’t have got this far on my blog. So thank you ❤️

Hopefully there’ll be many more…

 

And now an assortment of posts from my life over the last couple of years, as well as some found pics….

 

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A shelfie of my Tolkien books

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A cat enjoying my wampa rug

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My tiger and me watching tv

 

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My tiger finds some exciting news…

 

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Hanging with Cthulhu

 

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Cat paw gloves

 

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My mermaid leggings

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My current bedroom

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The back garden

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The neighbourhood

 

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Indie sleeping on my bed not long after I had moved in

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Time for dinner?

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Probably my favourite Oscar Wilde quote

 

 

Please donate! 🙂

 

 

©2020 Joanne Fisher

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What to do? (thoughts)

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Today is Day Eight of the Lockdown here. Being an introvert and a homebody I thought having to stay at home for at least a month would be no problem for me. However what I didn’t consider was that everyone else would be at home too.

I currently live in a small house with two other adults, one of whom is working from home now and has set up a workstation in the living room and can often be heard talking loudly on the phone to clients all day. My bedroom is also only a few metres away from the neighbours backyard and they love going into their backyard to argue/talk loudly with each other, or play loud music, or make other random loud noises. So during the day I now have a lot of noise around me and because of this I’m finding it hard to write anything. When I’m unable to write I often fall into a deep depression, as I seem to be doing now.  A couple of days ago I was trying to write a new Jess and Cindy story, but I had to abandon it due to the noise coming from next door.

Another problem is that unlike the last place I lived in I can’t seem to find a decent workspace. I had plans to do a final edit of My Life in Darkness, and also begin work on a new novel, but I just don’t seem to have any place where I can focus on them.

All this is making me feel depressed, irritable, and grumpy, and I’m not sure what I can do. At least my physical health is good, and I know I should be thankful for that. I know a lot of people in the world are dying from Covid-19 and I find that hard to deal with. The sheer immensity of it is frightening and very scary. I’ve been trying to use this blog lately to help take people’s minds off it for a while, but it’s hard to keep the world out even when you’re writing fiction.

I have also thought about taking a break from blogging, but this blog is often what’s keeping me alive and if I let it go I’m not sure what will happen to me. It keeps me creative and focused. I like blogging, but I also know I’m not a big success with it. The viewing numbers have been steadily falling since October, and I know this year part of it is due to the virus, but I do feel like I’m making less of an impact with it these days. It does sometimes make me wonder if I should be doing something else with my time.

I’ll do my best to keep this blog going for the meantime. It may change focus however. If I’m not able to write fiction I may just start writing articles as I do have quite a few ideas for them, and this is what I wrote when I first began blogging.

Anyway, I hope you’re all well and safe. I know we will eventually get through this difficult time.

Kia kaha.

Joanne

 

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Please donate! 🙂

 

 

©2020 Joanne Fisher

 

 

 

2019: Year in Review

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Well that’s 2019 over with. For me personally it was a good creative year. I wrote more than I have ever done before and completed both the long narratives of My Life in Darkness, and The Sky-Pirates of Durn. Currently My Life in Darkness is being edited and considered for publication. The Sky-Pirates of Durn will need a lot of editing especially in the first few chapters, but I don’t wish to start editing that until I’m finally finished with My Life in Darkness. I continually wrote and published these stories at the same time every week for 45 weeks (36 for My Life in Darkness, and the last nine chapters of The Sky-Pirates of Durn), and I’m really proud of that.

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While it has been a good year for me creatively, there has also been some bad things as well. I’m still dealing with the mass shooting in my city that occurred not terribly far away from where I live in March. 51 people were shot dead in two mosques here. I never thought something of that scale could occur here. The victims and their families are often in my thoughts. I remember after the shooting I felt very scared and vulnerable, as many others here did, and I didn’t like leaving the house for several weeks afterwards. On the day the shooting happened, many police cars went speeding down the road I live on, and to this day whenever I see police cars going past really fast with sirens blazing I get very worried and anxious all over again.

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2019 Statistics

As I have now had two full years on WordPress, this means I have two sets of data that I can compare with each other. Wahoo!

I started the year on 207 followers, and finished with 541 followers. I was hoping to get to 500 by the end of the year, so I’m very pleased I achieved that. Thanks to everyone who follows me.

                                                          2019                                 2018                         +/-

Posts                                                  270                                   138                      +132 (95.66%)

Views                                           15,400                                4,388                      +11,012 (250.96%)

Likes                                               8,771                                1,886                      +6,885 (365.06%)

Comments                                     2,020                                   379                      +1,641 (432.98%)

 

As you can see it’s been a good year of growth for my blog.

 

Top Ten Countries Viewing  My Blog

2019                                                            2018

United States 5,649 (36.68%)                 United States 1,749 (39.86%)

India 3,944 (25.61)                                   India 722 (16.45%)

United Kingdom 1,666 (10.82%)           United Kingdom 474 (10.80%)

Australia 703 (4.56%)                              New Zealand 388 (8.84%)

Canada 459 (2.98%)                                 South Africa 97 (2.21%)

South Africa 328 (2.13%)                        Australia 91 (2.07%)

New Zealand 238 (1.55%)                      Canada 86 (1.96%)

Saudi Arabia 229 (1.49%)                        Philippines 79 (1.8%)

Netherlands 212 (1.38%)                         Netherlands 66 (1.50%)

Denmark 168 (1.09%)                              France 56 (1.28%)

Of note, the percentage of people reading my blog in India has increased almost by 9% from last year. The most concerning aspect from those figures comes from my home country of New Zealand. Though I had 11,000 more views, there were 150 less views from New Zealand than last year. In percentages it fell from 8.84% to 1.55%. I’m not sure why this has happened.

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Top Posts

 

Flash Fiction

Abandoned

New Paint

The Black Arrow

Big Splash

It Was Only After…

 

Fiction
Into the Woods

The Scarecrow, part one

The Importance of Names

Life After the Invasion

Meela and Caelynn Have A Serious Talk with the Author…

 

Articles

Darkest Day: The Christchurch Mosque Shootings

Dragons of Middle-earth (written in 2017, but still going strong)

Fantasy Art of Bob Kehl

Favourite Nebula Images

Oumuamua: Thoughts About Our Visitor from Another Solar System

 

Poems

Blood Money

Morning Love

Who Needs Love?

I Really Wish You Were Here, Instead of Me

Half Past Four

 

I decided not to bother listing my serial fiction. it was just various parts of My Life In Darkness…

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Further Plans For My Blog

 

Around mid-October there was a decline in the numbers viewing my posts. This decline continued and progressively got worse in November and December. At present my posts are generally now getting around half the number of views and likes they got before this decline. While I’m getting more followers, at the same time I’m getting less people viewing what I’m posting. I’m not sure what to do about this. The last couple of months have felt like I’m going backwards, which isn’t a great feeling.

I was going to do another ongoing series starting next week, but I have decided to put that on hold for now. At present my plans are just to continue with flash fiction pieces and the occasional longer story and article, and wait to see if this decline in numbers is going to continue to get worse, or begin to recover. If it continues to get worse, I may have to reconsider what I’m doing with this blog. I’ll guess I’ll wait and see…

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Another thing that some of you might have already spotted, but I’ve begun adding pages to my blog. You can now easily access some of my poems and flash fiction pieces (not currently all of them, though I’ll continue to add more as time goes on), and shortly there will be more pages added, such as longer fiction and articles.

 

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Thanks

Thanks to everyone who follows, views, likes and comments on my posts. I really appreciate it. I would especially like to thank the following for their constant advice and encouragement: Crispina Kemp, Charli Mills of Carrot Ranch, and H.R.R. Gorman. There are many others I would like to thank here too, but it could become a very long list if I started doing that. Needless to say I appreciate everyone who supports this blog in some way, especially those who take the time to read my work and comment on it. Thank you 🙂

 

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Please support this blog 🙂

 

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©2020 Joanne Fisher