Six pieces of advice for parenting while cooking in exotic locations during a photoshoot on the journey to becoming a writer — all in list form!

Posted on March 6, 2012


This is a photo I took of food. The recipe is to pour boiling water on Shredded Wheat, drain the water, then add milk, a sprinkle of salt, and about a two cups of sugar. (If you're watching your weight, cut back on the sprinkle of salt.)

WordPress has a feature called “Freshly Pressed” in which 19 posts are published on the WordPress front page. These posts are meant to represent the “best” of all WordPress bloggers.

That certainly seemed to be true when I first noticed them a couple of years ago. They were diverse, well written, and frequently over 1,000 words long.

And then, quite suddenly, everything changed, and they became predictable, amateurish, and short. But what really ticked me off was seeing one Freshly Pressed post that consisted solely of the default “Hello World” page that comes with every new WordPress account.

I mean, seriously? This is “the best”?

If this kind of crap can get Freshly Pressed, why not my kind of crap?

I’ve been looking at them more closely lately, and realized that the posts now featured on WordPress’s “Freshly Pressed” page all seem to fall into one or more of six categories:

  1. Food
  2. Travel to exotic locales
  3. Photography
  4. Parenting
  5. The journey to becoming a writer
  6. Lists

So I decided to write a post incorporating all six categories.

There are, however,a few problems with this plan. Six problems, to be precise:

  1. My parenting days are well behind me.
  2. I hate traveling (and travelers).
  3. I can’t cook anything other than scrambled eggs and duck l’orange (I am a man of few, but diverse, talents).
  4. The only camera I have is my cell phone, which has no aesthetic sense
  5. I’m a failed writer, and seven years of failing to teach the skill to college students proves it.
  6. I don’t do lists.

So it’s possible my experiment won’t work.

This is a photo I took of the exotic Ice Wine Festival in the exotic locale of Niagara-on-the-Lake, where we traveled to from our home 20 minutes away. We met many exotic natives and learned their exotic ways. We also ate some of their exotic food. Exotic. Exotic.

Still, for what it’s worth here’s the post that may well land me on that most coveted page in WordPress: Freshly Pressed.

Six pieces of advice for parenting while cooking in exotic locations during a photoshoot on the journey to becoming a writer — all in list form!

  1. Parenting: If you’re a parent, you’re an adult. Advice: Quit whining and act like one.
  2. Cooking: Food is really great when you’re hungry. When you’re not hungry, there are other things to do. Advice: Do them.
  3. Travel: Lao Tzu said, “The more you travel, the less you know.” That’s because many people who don’t travel are able to converse about ideas, music, movies, and a host of other subjects. People who do travel, however, often seem incapable of conversing about anything other than travel. Advice: Get a life.
  4. Photography: You know how there are all these jokes about people who pull out the family album every time a visitor comes over? There’s a reason for those jokes. Advice: Put the album away.
  5. The journey to becoming a writer: Becoming a writer is, indeed, a journey, and grammar and punctuation should be your traveling companions. Advice: Shut up!
  6. Lists: Lists can be very effective for conveying concise information. Advice: Don’t mistake lists for actual writing. Also? Never, ever have more than one list in a post.

Thank you. (590 words)