Playing Around, Having Fun

If you look closely at these lovely animals, you’ll see that they’re blinking. This is another one of my collages, created for a collage-making contest on Steemit. I wish I could share what some of the other participants in the contest came up with. Some entries are absolutely brilliant.

The contest, edition #20, is in progress right now. I haven’t got a chance of winning, but that’s not why I enter. I enter because it’s fun. Writing uses one set of muscles. Creating a picture, coming up with a concept and putting all the elements together, that calls on another set of muscles.

I just love looking at the animals in my collage, who are looking back at me. The picture is made of three parts. The wistful animal at the top was provided by @shaka, who runs this contest most weeks on Steemit. The lamb was taken from a Pixabay picture, and the resting cattle were from another Pixabay pixture. The hard part was getting the grass from the separate pictures to blend. I used GIMP (photo manipulation program) to do that.

If you’ve read this far, you deserve a treat. So here it is, a video of a sweet, very young goat that really wants to get another pet under the chin:

Thanks for reading. I’ll try to be back soon!


Blogging on Steemit

Paul Gauguin blog revuew 080 public
This picture accompanied a story I wrote on Steemit, Anhelo: Ode to Color


It has been so long since I posted here, on WordPress.  My attentions have been elsewhere, on Steemit.  This is a platform I highly recommend, but with a few caveats.  Don’t expect to get rich quickly, or get rich at all.  You may make money.  Maybe a lot of money, but if that is your prime motivation, disappointment is likely to be the outcome.

I’ve been posting on Steemit for ten months.  It is a rather absorbing enterprise.  One of the chief advantages, for a writer, is that there is no boundary.  Whatever catches your interest may be material for a blog.

Over the last months I have written stories.  I’ve written on Chinese art, ants, land use in India, the Guinea worm, cryptocurrency…whatever subject caught my interest.  All these blogs had one thing in common–I worked hard on them.  I didn’t cheat the reader.  Sometimes the ‘payout’ was paltry.  That has not been my standard for success.  My standard, every writer’s standard has to be, I think, did I give my all?  Did I shortchange the reader?

If you do join Steemit, I recommend checking out some of the communities that may coincide with your interests.  There are a few science-oriented communities, creative writing communities, communities dedicated to blogs in different languages.  Take your time looking around.  Dip your toe in one place or another.  Soon you’ll find several that match your inclinations.

So, I’m recommending to everyone who likes to write: check out Steemit.  After a few months, if you produce good material, you’ll start to attract attention.  You’ll get feedback.  You’ll have an audience.

And, there is always the chance that you will actually make some money.


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Graphic by eBitcoin Foundation, released into the public domain, 2018


A couple of weeks ago my son persuaded me to open an account on Steemit. The environment on this site is completely different from traditional blogging, or any social media platform I’ve sampled. Steemit has an economic component, although that aspect of the forum seems a bit remote to me, at the moment. There is a system of rewards, upvotes and downvotes (rarely used). The idea is that the more good content a blogger provides the more “Steem” power they will accrue.  Eventually, Steem dollars can be earned.

Steemit is not an egalitarian platform, but then, what is? It seems there are whales and minnows. Whales have an enormous amount of influence and minnows have virtually none. However, there’s a sort of nurturing that is encouraged, in which minnows are rewarded simply for trying and being part of the system.

As I explain Steemit, I don’t really understand too much about how it works. The essence of “Steem Power” is steem dollars. The platform is based on blockchain technology, which is also the basis of Bitcoin. I don’t understand blockchain, Bitcoin or Steem dollars. It doesn’t matter to me. This is a new frontier and I want to understand. I think I want to be a part of it, but since I don’t know exactly what it is, I’m treading lightly.

I’ve “met” a few nice, encouraging people on the forum. And there is a kind of excitement that is not present on other social media sites.  Certainly, the financial incentive adds to the energy. And then, I think, there’s the idea that blockchain technology pushes back against traditional currencies.

We are in a climate of rebellion. People sense the reins of financial and political control have been appropriated by powerful forces, forces that ordinary people cannot touch. Blockchain is a way to fight back.

I just finished a post for Steemit, which, after a few refinements, will go up later today. I can’t show the post here, because blogs on Steemit are supposed to be unique. And so will mine be. However, I will continue to post here, with the WordPress community.

Where will the new adventure take me? Will blockchain endure? Will Steemit endure? It’s hard to say. The train has left the station and I’ve reserved a seat. I’ll keep you posted.