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Thursday, June 21, 2007


“Hey Critic take a moment to understand
My world is melting in your hands
Melting, melting, melting…”
- From the song “Hey Critic” by David Stanley

Ryn Tales has been reviewed twice this week! Once because I asked and once unasked.

The girls over at
So Many Blogs, So Little Time reviewed my site this week. You can sign up on their list and they will eventually review you. I signed up in February about 30 years ago. You can read the review here.

Diva Dee thought my template was crap and canned. Which describes it perfectly. They came down particularly hard about that. I agree, my template is canned and my blog has a bad case of sidebaritis. I don’t know about you, but I think each post should have it’s own unique wacky label. Is redundancy really that bad? All the governments of first world countries rely on a high level of redundancy to keep life as we know it chugging along.

DD's review was good motivation for change. I was bored to death of the skin Ryn Tales was in, so I changed it and will change it again as I learn more. After all, DD’s site is on Blogger. They have just “Hacked the crap out of the template” to quote Dave when we looked up their source code. I thought I would copy their source code into HTML and in doing so copy their template and then ask them for another review. Imitation is the most sincere form of flattery is it not?!

I noticed that in other reviews the girls panned canned Blogger templates but if the blogs were funny or well written they were very forgiving about it. For mine I think she gave me the score she did out of sympathy for my situation. I think DD must have been like, “Oh shit, she’s got a disabled kid.” She admitted that she wondered how she would give me a fair review. I appreciate her honesty there.

At the end of the day they gave me a 7.5 out to 10 summing me up as, “… just truly quite remarkable.”

Hmmmm. She has a point there, of course. In fact, that is pretty much how I think about myself day to day. Truly Quite Remarkable. You can just call me TQR for short from now on.

Getting a 75 on a paper in school would have been such very bad news. What does this say about my writing? Is it soooo not worth mentioning? I think this is a sign of room for improvement for me in that area. Certainly. I write most of my posts in minutes and then read them over once or twice in the process of posting them. I don’t spend hours struggling over the writing or laboring for perfection. And, I know this summer I have been less than inspired. Great writers I think wrestle a lot more with their work. I have read stories about Sylvia Plath agonizing over her poetry. In my case, I don’t think shear volume of writing is always the best practice if you want to get better at it. Which is so unfortunate, because it is so very easy for me to capture my thoughts shot gun style with the keyboard.

She decided at the end that Ellie was the best thing about Ryn Tales. Here, I heartily agree with her.

Overall, I am glad I signed up for their critique even though I am joking about it here. Getting feedback about how one is doing in life is critical to any ones' growth and development. It’s so rare that we get honest feedback from anyone. Throw in a special needs child and it becomes even more difficult for people to be straight about you in your fragile condition. Thanks Diva Dee!

The next informal shout out I got unexpectedly I have to say meant a lot more to me personally. It was like meeting
Obi-Wan Kenobi and having him say, “Hey I’ll put a word in for you with the Jedi Council.”

Dream Mom, who I have to say is one of my absolute hero’s in life on so many levels, gave me a shout out here. She even wrote me an email. I was so delighted. Her writing and thoughtfulness and wisdom regarding her life is beyond the pail. Her story is quite harrowing. But I have to say, even if she did not have a disabled child, and she wrote about her life the way she does in her blog, she would still be my hero. You will see what I mean if you read this or this or this.

She has clearly transcended the normal state of consciousness and gone somewhere high above it. Her writing often describes my inner dilemmas as well as giving me answers to them. She is farther ahead down the parenting path than I am and lighting the way as she goes for me and, I am sure, many others. Thanks Dream Mom! I am honored to be on your Blogroll.

So here goes. What do you, dear reader, think of my blog? How could it be better? What do you really like and what could you do with less of? Did anyone even read to the bottom of this post to notice I am asking?