WordPress.com Blogging University Day Five Assignment: Love Your Theme

To be honest, I liked the first theme I was using called “Typo”. I like this one as well. It’s called “Libre” and it’s on the minimal side. I wouldn’t say that I have LOVED either theme and I don’t like the fact that when I change themes I have to rename and reorder the widgets. It’s not a chore right now since I am just starting out, but I am not looking forward to changing themes in the future. And what happens when WordPress retires or discontinues a theme?

One thing I am still trying to figure out is how to create a side menu rather than strictly header and footer menus. I have explored a few themes and I chose this current theme because it seemed as though I could create a side menu. The list of themes suggested Libre has two templates, but I have not figured out how to implement the second template, unless I can only do so under the Premium plan. I have considered upgrading from personal to premium. I’m not sure if that is necessary for these issues. It is something I would like to do eventually for other reasons.

I am also trying to figure out how to rename some of the default names like on the “reply” buttons. Some minor things that I know are possible, I’ve just got to read more.

I wonder if I am going to learn some of these things in the rest of Blogging U. I have been looking through the help menus and other helpful posts, but I haven’t come across all of the answers I seek so far. I am open to any suggestions any appreciative of the help!



WordPress.com Blogging University Day Four Assignment: Identify Your Audience

meI would like to reach as wide an audience as possible. Ideally, I would like to reach fellow amateur poets, notable published poets, poetry critics, publishing houses, literary agents, and anyone else in the poetry publishing industry.

For the second part of today’s assignment, I’m not exactly sure which new element to include. I’ve already used pictures in the few blogs I’ve posted. When I use content like that, I try to remain aware of the source to properly cite them unless the content is part of the public domain. I have also posted poems since poetry is my primary focus.

I think I’ll embed content from other social media sites I use. I’ve created an author page on Facebook as an offshoot of my personal page. It’s something to get me going in the poetry world. When I post to WordPress, the posts are instantly shared with my Facebook author page. My posts are also shared with my Twitter account. I’m not sure if they’re shared with my LinkedIn or Pinterest accounts yet. That may be for the future. Until then I’ll embed my Pinterest profile. I have exactly twenty boards with the one I created three days ago, “For the Love of Fonts”. The boards I pin to the most are “STAR WARS!”, “LEGO!”, and “Creative Writing”.

To maintain a consistent presence across all of the social media platforms I use, I keep my profile picture the same throughout. It’s not an ancient picture, but it’s not exactly recent either. I’m not trying to sell myself on a dating website with it so I’m not concerned about that. It’s my favorite picture from my last deployment to Qatar and I’m wearing my favorite color – red. I think it shows an air of professionalism as well as conveys a lighter side of me.



WordPress.com Blogging University Day Three Assignment: Learn to Use the WordPress.com Reader

It’s only day three and at times I already feel as if the writers of these Bogging U posts, although immensely helpful, tend to take a lecturing tone with me. I know it is not meant this way, but even the title, “Learn to Use the WordPress.com Reader”… I may not be an IT guy, but I am a point-and-click expert.

I am intimately familiar with the term ‘rabbit-holing’, a term I only learned about three years ago and which I find describes my habits precisely when I am bored on the ever-lovable Internet.

I am also terribly prone to digressing. 😦

I have followed the directions for today and followed five new tags in the reader (a process I was previously unaware of) and followed five new blogs. Blogging U is incredibly helpful and I wasn’t cutting it down with my criticism, just having a laugh.

The five blogs I am now following are: cristasblogwordpresscom, Frank Montesonti, Trish Hopkinson, Tribrach: for those who love (or would like to love) poetry, and Let Me Stay Among The Stars.

I am now following the tags: MFA, Poetry, Poetry Contest, Poetry In Motion, and Poutry Out Loud.



WordPress.com Blogging University Day Two Assignment: Make Sure You Love Your Title

I do love my title. I don’t know why I originally started this blog in 2011, oh man, SIX YEARS AGO! I never did anything with it. Now that I am serious about the craft of poetry and honing my talents, I am taking it back up. Well, starting again really. After all, I never published a single post or created a single page and forget about modifying the visual aspects away from the default selections!

elPitchford at the Edge of the World!

Why? Well, to paraphrase Chris Farley from NBC’s Saturday Night Live, el Pitchford is Spanish for ‘the Pitchford’. Way back in 2005 I was a Second Lieutenant in the United States Army on Active Duty. I was deployed to Iraq for 12 months and there was a First Lieutenant (one rank higher) in the Battalion Headquarters. For whatever reason, maybe it was my awesomeness, otherwise known as my brash young-and-invincible attitude, she did not like me. No matter what I did, I could not make friends with her and she took to calling me ‘The Pitchford’. Whatever. To quote Tyrion Lannister, “Let them see that their words can cut you and you’ll never be free of the mockery. If they want to give you a name take it make it your own. Then they can’t hurt you with it anymore.” – George R.R. Martin, A Game of Thrones. I took ‘the Pitchford’ and I made it my own as “el Pitchford”.

As a poet, I feel that I am always standing at the edge of the world. Yes, there is a bit of metaphor there, maybe some hyperbole, and various other literary devices. There is no “edge” of Earth, but here I am. Looking into the abyss, looking into the great wide open, reaching for the stars, edging toward infinity and beyond! If you read my first post, or the tagline on this site, than you know I have lofty goals and I am aiming to reach them.



WordPress.com Blogging University Day One Assignment: Who I am and Why I’m Here

Every Poem is not a Sonnet

Good morning! I am blogging as an aspiring poet. It took me a long time to acknowledge I am a poet and an even longer time to admit I am a poet in public. I don’t expect to make enough money to support my family, if I ever make money at all. Making money is not my goal with poetry. My ultimate goal is to become Poet Laureate of the United States.

I know, it is a lofty goal, but I have a plan! I am enrolled in a Master of Fine Arts Program in Creative Writing through National University. My focus in the program is poetry. I am ramping up to start my second-to-last class, which is Thesis I (Practicum) and my final class is Thesis II (Revision). I have met some great people, had some excellent mentors, and written some brilliant poetry.

When I finish the MFA in May 2017, I plan on organizing a list of contests I am interested in submitting to. For the next one to two years, I will submit to as many contests as possible. In that time, I will also research chapbook publishers and prepare my work for publication. Following that and with a few chapbooks to my name, I will research book publishers and seek assistance to publish my first book of poetry.

I will publish poems and my thoughts on poetry as well as the craft itself. I plan on linking professional articles to my site and connecting with peers published poets alike.

Thank you for reading,