Posts Categorized: writing + blogs

Napping Blog…

Napping Canela

Sun. 07.16.17 – Unfortunately, much like everyone’s favorite little Canela the Chihuahua, this blog fell asleep and has been napping since early May.

Life has been a bit too busy. Hopefully, this upcoming week will allow me to catch up somewhat, as I have been collecting links for the Sunday Tidbits for the last two months and they are a bit overflowing now.

Photo of Canela taken by Ms. Jen with her Nikon D800 yesterday afternoon.

Conuberation : The Neologism that Keeps Giving…

Thurs. 02.23.17 – For years I have used the word ‘conuberation’ to mean a rather exuberant mashup of people or things or emotions as if someone took a conurbation of said things and put it in a trash compactor on speed. For a long time I used it about my mother’s family, who are known to be rather exuberant and opinionated all at once. In 2003, it was pointed out to me by Wanda that it was not an actual word.

Now, I use conuberate or conuberation to mean any crazy pileup of things all at once. I even tried to write it in a comment on a story yesterday that I am beta’ing and then the quiet voice in the back of my head reminded me that it was not a real word but a word I made up. I went back and read my original 2003 blog post about it, wherein I decided at the time that it was a mashup of conniption + conurbation. Last night, I followed the rereading of my blog post up with an extensive search in the Online Etymology Dictionary and decided that the way I use conuberation now is more in the line of exuberant + conurbation as it applies to people, things, and ideas.

I wondered why if the prefix con- means with or together and there are a number of words that have the same base word but different prefixes, then should I not be able to take the base word of ‘uberate’ and add con- to it? According to our friends at OED, uberare means “be fruitful” in Latin.

Con + uberare would be fruitful together or an abundance together – which is basically how I have been using conuberate for the past two decades or more.

This folks is what happens when one takes Latin in high school and then it has years to percolate through a creative brain. How do I suggest it to become a real English word? Do we all have to use it before a dictionary will pick it up? Do I start a Twitter campaign?

Jenifer Hanen is Creating Art & Writing at Patreon!

Greetings Lovely folk of the Internet!

The past two years have been very fruitful creatively for me, I have been quietly writing fiction stories and working on a film photo project, as well as my working on my mobile and DSLR photography. The writing and film projects take time and money to complete.

It is time for me to bring my work out of Google Docs files and the black hole of Lightroom on my computer and share them in a more substantial way with folks who wish to help support my writing and art making endeavors. By support, I mean a community of folk who are excited to read, view, comment on, and receive photos, stories, essays, and be the first to hear about new works in progress.

Would you like to participate in a community that supports my creative endeavors with a monthly photo and story, as well as a weekly link round up? If so, come join me at Patreon by make a pledge.

The various tiers of monthly pledges will range from thank you and here is a weekly round up of links to Patreon-only Monthly photos and stories all the way to a Monthly mailed Photo Card (real printed photos from the film project) to a Yearly signed Photo and|or Story Book. I will also be making and sharing my photos and writing at this blog and other social media sites with a weekly round up of links of my work and other interesting links here at Patreon.

The monies from the pledges will be going to help fund the writing and photography.

Thank you for joining me in this creative endeavor. You rock!

Jenifer Hanen, aka Ms. Jen

Become my patron at Patreon

This is a Blog Post

Warning: Word Usage Geekery Ahead…

This is a blog post. All the blog posts compiled together are a blog.

It drives me slightly nuts when people call a blog post a blog. You are writing and posting to a blog, thus it is a blog post.

One does not call one deer a herd. Nor does one call a crow a murder, nor a dog a pack. To have a herd of deer, one needs more than 3 or 4 deer – plural. One needs at least 3 or 4 dogs to have a pack. Multiple crows to have a murder. etc.

For the folks who write blog to indicate a singular instance, one wonders what they call a plural or grouping or compilation of said singular instanctiation? Can’t be a blog can it?

The Years of Silence

It has been 5 years, 6 months, and 22 days since I was hit with a large shockwave that blew me off my daily blogging perch. I have struggled time and again during this past half a decade to resume a daily blogging practice to only have the silence over take my blog, my typing fingers, and more deeply my soul.

For many bloggers this past half a decade has been a time to leave their personal blogs for writing on their Twitter or Facebook or Medium or other social accounts. That has not been the case for me, as the silence has gone deeper: I quit Facebook in April 2012, I see no reason why I should write on Medium when I could write here, and my Tweeting has declined since 2011-2012 significantly.

No, the real problem that I have become silent. My whole world, internally and externally, has shrunk. And this is more than ok, it was necessary.

I have had one major cycle of quiet whole life silence in the past, where I withdrew into myself for a period of nearly four years. It was a time of reading, learning and conserving my energies before I jumped back out again.

I am not interested in discussing at length what happened in the past but finding a way forward from here. While I am not quite ready to be out and about yet, I am working steadily in the background; there are a number of background processes currently running of writing, thinking, and taking photos.

I am writing fiction stories to be published soon. And I am, also, thinking quite a bit on ideas and trends in technology and how people use it – whether I blog about it anytime soon remains to be seen. I continue to take and mostly post photos daily to Flickr and/or Instagram and/or here.

I don’t think the personal blog is dead. This one may be quiet and full of photos, but it is not dead and the background processes may very well come to the foreground soon.

The Quiet Room

While yesterday afternoon the Quiet Room at the local library was a lovely, silent space to write, transcribe, and edit words, today is an entirely different matter.

To quote Julie Wanda, “The odds are good, but the goods are odd.”

This afternoon the Quiet Room is not quiet; lots of twitchings, movements in seats, throat clearing, and mild talking under one’s breath.

Luckily for all, the local bouncy dude, who spent most of his first hour staring at the Google home page giggling and twisting about in his computer chair, has blessedly departed.

I am at a long, thin plastic table near the emergency exit crash door writing this, in hopes that theese words will breed more words – cultivated word husbandry, if you will, in the not-so-Quiet Room at the local library.

Sunday Tidbits: Storytelling has a Shape

“Storytelling has a shape. It dominates the way all stories are told and can be traced back not just to the Renaissance, but to the very beginnings of the recorded word. It’s a structure that we absorb avidly whether in art-house or airport form and it’s a shape that may be—though we must be careful—a universal archetype.” – John Yorke, All Stories are the Same

“That is why I like novels: instead of heroes they have people in them.” – Ursula Le Guin, The Carrier Bag Theory of Fiction

“The anthropologists got it wrong when they named our species Homo sapiens (‘wise man’). In any case it’s an arrogant and bigheaded thing to say, wisdom being one of our least evident features. In reality, we are Pan narrans, the storytelling chimpanzee.” – Terry Pratchett, The Science of Discworld II

Musings on the Digital Life and the End of the Daily Dish


An online hamster illustrating my life from 2008-2013.

Yesterday, Andrew Sullivan of the long running blog, The Daily Dish, announced his retirement from blogging and the closing of the blog.

I like the Dish. I am not and was not too fond of all the intricate details of the Washington D.C. political scene, but I very much liked Mr. Sullivan’s perspective, breadth of blogging interests (Hello, beard of the week!), and insights into worlds and cultures that I don’t live in. And that is what the best of blogging does no matter the subject matter, it gives the reader a personal view into a world(s) or culture(s) or interest(s). In particular, Mr. Sullivan and his team gave me insights and views into many worlds. Thank you, Mr. Sullivan.

It is this quote in his going away post, that reflects a similar trend in my own life that I have not written about much here on this/my blog:

“The second is that I am saturated in digital life and I want to return to the actual world again. I’m a human being before I am a writer; and a writer before I am a blogger, and although it’s been a joy and a privilege to have helped pioneer a genuinely new form of writing, I yearn for other, older forms. I want to read again, slowly, carefully.”

I have been online daily since 1994. I have been creating websites and various bits on the web and internet since 1996. I have been receiving my primary income from web work since 2000. In the late summer of 2010, a large tumult occurred when the internet start up that I co-founded and spent up to 16 days in a row without a day off coding for failed and I had to ‘pivot’. While my pivot to mobile web and app development made a great deal of sense at the time, it took a toll. By 2012 I realized that I was burnt out – burnt out on web design client work, burnt out on bigger project contract work, burnt out on trying to get my own app ideas out of my computer, and just plain emotionally and psychologically burnt out.

In real life, I got sick – weekly or more migraines, bad environmental allergies, insomnia, bad stomach acid issues, etc – my body was sending me several large notice to cures and I felt pressured by work ethic guilt to not listen. In real life many wonderful and well-meaning friends and web colleagues encouraged me to get back up on the saddle and find another music or mobile start-up to work in or write that tech book on mobile user experience or… or…

In 2012, I traveled, I came back home refreshed, some family stuff hit the fan, I traveled again hoping to regain my perspective, then the family stuff really hit the fan. I found myself trapped in 2013. Sick, stuck, angry, stuck, working on a couple of mobile apps that would never see the light of any app store, broke, and did I mention angry and still sick?

A little over 9 months ago, I pulled the plug. I gave notice at my overly expensive apartment, I lined up a few house sitting gigs for family & friends, I stopped checking and posting to social media sites more than once a day, and off I went to figure out how to slow down, to live, create, and thrive in the actual world again.

I did something that I have wanted to do for years but never could allow myself to do in my rush to always be on and always be useful/working, I started reading fiction again – both in paper book and ebook form. And shooting film on two actual real live film cameras, as well as a weekly photo walk with my Nikon D800 DSLR. And went out to look at the stars as much as I could with my binoculars. And I discovered the wonderful world of online fan fiction.

It sounds odd but the world of online fan fiction helped me to remember what I loved so much about the internet in the beginning and middle of my life on the web: folks from anywhere and everywhere gathering together in communities over specific interests and sharing their d.i.y. creations to their online friends in those communities. The creations may not be polished, they may not be shiny, and they may never have a business plan or V.C. backing, but they are really the best of the web.

Much like Mr. Sullivan, I wanted to slow down, get off the web hamster wheel and figure out how to live again. Sorry if there has been much silence in the public facing parts of my digital life, especially on Twitter, but I don’t regret the last year of silence. Like Mr. Sullivan, I am also a human being before I am a person on the web, I am a creator before I am a web worker, and I am a creator and a human being and a friend before I am a social media __________*.

One of the things that I am looking forward to in the supposed future of the internet of things – a digital life that is an embedded, ubiquitous, and mundane part of every day life rather than a screen that demands all attention. To quote the old Nokia taglines, it is the act of creating with the technology and connection to people that makes the digital life interesting, not to be subsumed into it.

Good luck to Mr. Sullivan in his reading, writing, and personal life endeavors. Good luck to me in attempting to find a good work / life balance between creating for earth monies and creating for the love of it.

* Given how much I truly hate the words that social media and marketing industry folks use for people with high to medium numbers of followers on the major social media sites, I won’t be using the term(s) to describe myself. My hate for one particularly gross term, that starts with an ‘i’ and ends in an ‘r’, is the subject of a whole blog post to come.