The Beach! Plus Blogging Ideas, WWI Centenary, and ROW80

For the first time in a long time I've... got nothing.

I've mentioned all the intriguing books on my wishlist and TBR piles... I've celebrated other bloggers (and I still owe so many visits!)... I've gotten a little further on my main ROW80 goal of typing up the Wallace letters (following another wrangle with losing text on the iPad, this time through my own fault)... I've mostly caught up with or at least minimised my daily life task lists (I still carry too much paper and too many to do lists and general stuff in my purse)... I'm starting to get the hang of things more and more at my new job (can't believe it's been four months already!)... and the weather has gone back to lovely dry warmth and sunshine after a weird two weeks of cloudiness and rain.

This is usually about the time I make the mistake of signing up for a blogfest, to give me a theme to focus on. But then I fall further behind in commenting!

There is one main event this week, of course, and that's the centenary of World War I. I think of Tolkien, in the prologue to The Lord of the Rings when he says "To be caught in youth by 1914 was no less hideous an experience than in 1939... by 1918 all but one of my close friends were dead."

Oddly enough, I'd never searched for Tolkien memes before. Found this neat one just now:

Here's a war memorial in Geneva:

And the post-war attempt at peace, with the founding of the League of Nations:

I've looked up blog post ideas before when stuck for something intriguing to say. Here are a few that sounded good:
"Make Something -- Show us how you make your lasagna in a video. Show us how you organize your files on your computer. Take us through in a way that WE can do the same when you're done.
Share Five Friends -- Show us five friends' blogs and give us a blurb on why you like them.
Talk Slowly -- Teach us a difficult tech concept, piece by piece, with analogies, and drawings made off napkins or Flickr pics.
Five Tools I Use -- Show us your web toolbox (add or subtract as needed).
My Mother, My Daughter -- Doesn't have to be exactly this, but the idea is to interview your parent and your child, and ask them five questions to compare their perspectives.
A Cause to Connect -- Share your social cause of choice, and give us a background, the challenge they face, and ways to connect and be helpful.
Without Words -- Can you post a story told completely in pictures? How about sounds?
Conversations With Past Masters -- Seek out a journalist or a radio veteran or a former TV personality and interview them on how producing media was in their day, and what they see coming out of this social media space.
Secret Experts -- You know lots about how to be a digital citizen. You just don't realize that others DON'T know it. Share some tips for people coming online and engaging in social networking."
Book and writing ideas:
Read a classic that has always been on your list.
Write for at least 15 minutes every day.
Reread your favorite book from childhood.
Attend author readings at your local bookstore, library, or literary centre.
Reread your old work.
Read a best-selling mystery. What can you learn from a well-paced page turner?
Find some of the best humor writing and see what makes you laugh out loud. Then give yourself a humor writing assignment.
Get an anthology of poetry and read the same poem twice every day -- once in the morning, and once at night. Does coming back to it in the evening change it?

Meanwhile, there are actual beaches in Geneva!

Some are along the Rhone river:

Swirling colours where the Rhone river meets the Arve river

And some are right on the lake:

We also discovered a temporary Canadian-Quebecois food stall, complete with smoked meat sandwiches and poutine:

What other blog post ideas do you have? What's your go-to post theme?
Hope everyone's having a sunny week!


I'd say you have a lot of ideas there. For some reason, I never lack for blog post ideas.
Deniz Bevan said…
Aww, that's cos you're so supportive of others, Alex, you've always got great news to share!

Meanwhile, ouch! I forgot it was IWSG day today! I guess my what-should-I-blog was insecure enough... Hopefully my lists gave a few others some helpful ideas.
Unknown said…
Awesome pictures! And great blogging ideas--will have to try some of them to keep things fresh :)
S.P. Bowers said…
Great list of blog ideas. I tucked it away for those times I just can't figure anything out.
dolorah said…
This was an awesome filler post Deniz. I loved the journey :)
Deniz Bevan said…
Thank you, ladies!
Zan Marie said…
Yeah! Tolkien was a good writer who understood reader investment in his characters! WWI is close to my heart this week, too. My interest in studying history stems from a 7th grade research paper on WWI.
Deniz Bevan said…
Oh, that's interesting Zan Marie! I was doing a paper on Roman aqueducts that year :-)
I'm in the midst of an editing project that has chased away all hopes of posting something wonderful on my blog...hopefully soon.

Thanks for including the great ideas you shared. Sometimes we just need a jump start. I may very well come back to them when this project is complete - unless, of course, another follows immediately after.

All the best!
Deniz Bevan said…
Editing's a good thing, though, Steph! I'm supposed to be editing too :-)
Jack said…
So many characters living to the end of The Lord of the Rings makes a lot more sense now, though the reason behind it is sad. Wars are hard, but especially on those who are younger.
Deniz Bevan said…
That's a good point, Jack. I also recently read an article on the BBC website that noted how much Frodo's reactions after the destruction of the ring are like someone suffering from shell shock - unwilling to see anyone else get hurt, unable to reintegrate into daily life, etc.
Love your photos!! And when I get stumped for something to talk about on my blog, I always end up falling back on a book I've read recently and what I thought. Might not be the most interesting post, but I never lack of material that way :)
I'm not often stuck these days - but these might be very good for building that queue list I've been stalling on...

So glad you were a bit stuck, and shared ideas. And the photos- I always love your photos! =)
Denise Covey said…
Thanks for the beautiful photos Deniz. And all the creative ideas. So little time, isn't there? I've been blogging about blogging lately and have had lots of interesting comments.

Denise :)
DMS said…
Look at all those ideas! I personally loves learning more about Genova! Great photos! :)
Stephanie Faris said…
Plenty of ideas to keep you going for a while. We're going to the beach in a little over a month and I'm SO excited!
Anonymous said…
Those blog post, book, and writing ideas are wonderful. I enjoyed looking at your fantastic pictures.
Carol Riggs said…
I love your book and writing ideas! I've always wondered how the books I loved as a child would stand up if I read them today. Will have to try that. :)
Hi Deniz ... Denise's and Karen's blogposts on ringing up the changes in creativity certainly generated lots of thoughts - I added to them when I visited the National Gallery for the Making Colour Exhibition .. I still need to add a post or two - but need to do a little more research.

I don't seem to lack ideas - just takes time putting the blog posts together .. just done two so far on the Commonwealth and the Games and how they came about ... I enjoyed the learning ...

Next comes some notes on World War One and that period - not in too much depth ... but my usual look at things.

Cheers for now .. and I love the Geneva beaches, the Canadian foodie stall ... and thankfully never seem to lack ideas for posting - what and when is my problem! Hilary
Deniz Bevan said…
Thanks, everyone, I'm glad it was interesting!
I always enjoy your in-depth posts, Hilary :-)