What is a Vagabond?

vagabondHistorically, vagabonds were pretty tough, anti-establishment characters who lived as homeless drifters by choice. Modern vagabonds tend to be people who live off the grid or those who travel the world from out of a backpack.

Traditionally a vagabond is a person who wanders from one place to another, with no real home of their own. In modern culture this could be a homeless person or a street person. However, vagabonds aren’t the same as people who stay in a city (or any one place) and live there without having a typical home. Vagabonds are a subculture of their own making.

Some offbeat world travellers call themselves vagabonds. They travel the world, they travel as cheaply as they can (in order to keep travelling , they work here and there… but they do have a home to plan to return to once they finish travelling. The vagabond tourist is about seeing the world and stretching their resources for as long and as well as they can along the journey. Historically, vagabonds were more rebellious and travel was their way of avoiding putting down roots or really belonging or being found anywhere.

Vagabonds (tramps, hobos, or drifters) during the Great Depression lived a homeless lifestyle by choice. Often they were fugitives from the law or just avoided the law after having a few run ins with the police and/ or jail. My Grandfather was a drifter for awhile. He told me about some of his adventures. He said the tramps were dangerous and he learned to avoid them. Those men could be brutal and were living by taking what they could get.

After living that way awhile some of them adapted the lifestyle as their own subculture. They created rules and guidelines for who they were and created a culture out of their vagabond lifestyle.

There’s a romantic ideal of the vagabond (the little hobo with patches on their clothes and a pack slung on the end of a stick), but that’s not based on the facts so much as the idea of travelling and seeing the world, meeting new people and enjoying different cultures. The modern is about adventure.

wanderers

Could You be a Vagabond?

  • You really need a change, like a jump start for your life or your spirits.
  • You haven’t figured out your career path or all your jobs seem to be dead ends.
  • You don’t have a lot of obligations, personal (family and kids) or financial (mortgage on a house).
  • You feel burnt out or you’ve lost (or never really had) your sense of who you are.
  • You’ve never really travelled, never left your own country, or even your own home town.

 Other Words for Vagabond

  • vagrant
  • tramp
  • drifter
  • hobo
  • wanderer
  • nomad
  • landloper
  • train hoppers

 The Downside of the Vagabond Lifestyle

  • Living out of a backpack, suitcase, luggage of whatever sort.
  • Always looking for travel arrangements and destinations.
  • Finding temporary work on the road, year round.
  • Not having a place of your own where you can put down roots and keep your stuff.
  • Living under someone’s (couch sitting, hostels, etc.) roof with their rules and ways.
  • Meeting and getting to know people but always moving on and not having any real relationships with anyone.
  • No routine, having to adapt and make plans every day.
  • Packing and repacking everything into one bag and then hauling it all around.
  • Eating on the fly – sometimes not eating when the money is low.
  • Living on a tight budget and having to be thrifty.

Vagabond Lifestyle

Vagabond as a Traveller

Articles About Being a Vagabond

The Unsolved Riddle by Samuel Wilberforce

“Sweetest of sound, in orchestra heard,

Yet in orchestra never have been,

Bird in light plumage, yet less like a bird,

Nothing in nature has ever been seen,

On earth I expire, in water I die,

Yet I run, swim and fly,

If I cannot be guessed by a boy or a man,

A girl or a woman I certainly can!”

via 10 More Bizarre Mysteries – Listverse.

Is the News Unbiased When it’s Paid For?

The New York Times announced on Thursday that it will launch a redesign of its website on Jan. 8 that will include content sponsored by advertisers, a concept known as native advertising.

via ‘New York Times’ Readies for Web Redesign on Jan. 8 With Native Ads.

For the news to run content paid by advertisers… isn’t that going backwards? How will they keep a balanced perspective and how will readers be able to trust the news when it comes from people trying to sell them stuff instead of people reporting on the facts, unbiased. Can you really trust news when it gets filtered through corporations with their own agendas?

Who Will Read your Diary in the Future?

I write a diary. You could also call it a journal but I prefer diary because that feels connected to history and all the women who have kept a diary through history. Since the early days of writing on paper women have documented their thoughts, their lives and their ideas.

We write with someone in mind, a reader.

It may be a generic reader or you may think of an actual person as you write. I do. The person I write to has changed over the years. I think I wrote to myself when I was a kid. It’s hard to remember and know for sure what I was thinking as I wrote so long ago when my mind was so much less complicated. Then I wrote for the people. I used to think my diary would be read long after I’m gone but it would be used for my biography, whoever took up the task of writing it.

At some point I began to edit myself as I wrote. Having that reader in mind, I started to think about how much I didn’t want the world to know versus how much I wanted to write about everything in my head. Writing a diary is a release, a freedom of thought and a way to organize your emotions too. But, when you think of someone else actually reading all of that… your outlook changes.

Now I try to write just for myself again. Thinking too much about the reader took away too much of what I needed from the whole thing of keeping a diary. So, they all join each other in a big storage box as I run out of space to write. But, I don’t know if anyone will ever read them. At least not until I am long gone and will never know (or hear) what people say about the real me in the pages of those hand written books.

The history of women is in our diaries, our letters and our crafts. I’m so glad to see the history of women being pulled from obscurity.

So few women managed to become a part of recorded history, other than being mentioned as the daughter, wife or sister of some important man. So much of women’s history is lost. What was it really like to be a woman, daughter, wife, Mother or sister in the 1600’s? Those were the days when North America was being discovered by Europeans. I’d really like to know about women in early, ancient and prehistory. In such early days we don’t have history of any people but those who were politically important, enough to have been written about. Of course, in those early days of writing, it was rare for women to be taught to write.

I think about that sometimes. I don’t take writing and being about write for granted. We record our own history, in our own words. That is something of value – our way of having a mark on the world, even if we aren’t sure we really want someone else to read it!

 

Individual Bloggers Need Their Own Niche

Top 5 Ways to Master Online Content

1. Optimize, Not Compromise

Content farms are so obsessed with Search Engine Optimization (SEO) that they prioritize search terms within content over logical narrative. Worry less about how Google indexes, and focus on delivering great information about potential keywords.

5. Find Your Niche

Being an expert at one thing is better than being knowledgeable on many things. Do research on a specific area of interest. Find what is under-represented and fill the void.

via Too long. Didn’t read. – The Writer.

I think finding your niche (actually, creating your niche) is the real way for individual writers online these days. We can’t compete with the amount of general content on the content farm sites. Even as a writer on one of the content farm sites we seldom stand out enough to make enough money. So, the key is to stand out on your own in some way. Find your niche, something you can sustain, and then get into promoting it so people will begin to find you out here in the vast online wilderness.

Have you Read more than Six of These Books?

Have you read more than 6 of these books? The BBC believes most people will have read only 6 of the 100 books listed here.Instructions: Copy this into your NOTES. Bold those books you’ve read in their entirety, italicize the ones you started but didn’t finish or read an excerpt. Tag other book nerds. Tag me as well so I can see your responses! (Underlined stuff is on the wish/TBR list – though a couple that I’m waffling on haven’t been underlined.)

1. Pride and Prejudice – Jane Austen

2 The Lord of the Rings – JRR Tolkien

3 Jane Eyre – Charlotte Bronte

4 Harry Potter series – JK Rowling

5 To Kill a Mockingbird – Harper Lee

6 The Bible

7 Wuthering Heights

8 Nineteen Eighty Four – George Orwell

9 His Dark Materials – Philip Pullman

10 Great Expectations – Charles Dickens

11 Little Women – Louisa May Alcott

12 Tess of the D’Urbervilles – Thomas Hardy

13 Catch 22 – Joseph Heller

14 Complete Works of Shakespeare

15 Rebecca – Daphne Du Maurier

16 The Hobbit – JRR Tolkien

17 Birdsong – Sebastian Faulks

18 Catcher in the Rye – JD Salinger

19 The Time Travellers Wife – Audrey Niffenegger

20 Middlemarch – George Eliot

21 Gone With The Wind – Margaret Mitchell

22 The Great Gatsby — F Scott Fitzgerald

23 Bleak House – Charles Dickens

24 War and Peace – Leo Tolstoy

25 The Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy – Douglas Adams

26 Brideshead Revisited – Evelyn Waugh

27 Crime and Punishment – Fyodor Dostoyevsky

28 Grapes of Wrath – John Steinbeck

29 Alice in Wonderland – Lewis Carroll

30 The Wind in the Willows – Kenneth Grahame

31 Anna Karenina –Leo Tolstoy

32 David Copperfield – Charles Dickens

33 Chronicles of Narnia – CS Lewis

34 Emma – Jane Austen

35 Persuasion – Jane Austen

36 The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe – CS Lewis

37 The Kite Runner – Khaled Hosseini

38 Captain Corelli’s Mandolin – Louis De Berniere

39 Memoirs of a Geisha – Willaim Golden

40 Winnie the Pooh – AA Milne

41 Animal Farm – George Orwell

42 The Da Vinci Code – Dan Brown

43 One Hundred Years of Solitude – Gabrial Garcia Marquez

44 A Prayer for Owen Meaney – John Irving

45 The Woman in White – Wilkie Collins

46 Anne of Green Gables – LM Montgomery

47 Far from the Madding Crowd — Thomas Hardy

48 The Handmaids Tale – Margaret Atwood

49 Lord of the Flies – William Golding

50 Atonement – Ian McEwan

51 Life of Pi – Yann Martell

52 Dune – Frank Herbert

53 Cold Comfort Farm – Stella Gibbons

54 Sense and Sensibility – Jane Austen

55 A Suitable Boy – Vikram Seth

56 The Shadow of the Wind – Carlos Ruiz Zafon

57 A Tale Of Two Cities – Charles Dickens

58 Brave New World – Aldous Huxley

59 The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time – Mark Haddon

60 Love in the time of Cholera – Gabriel garcia Marquez

61 Of Mice and Men – John Steinbeck

62 Lolita Vladimir Nabokov

63 The Secret History – Donna Tartt

64 The Lovely Bones – Alice Sebold

65 Count of Monte Cristo – Alexandre Dumas

66 On the Road – Jack Kerouac

67 Jude the Obscure – Thomas Hardy

68 Bridget Jones’s Diary – Helen Fielding

69 Midnight’s Children – Salman Rushdie

70 Moby Dick – Herman Melville

71 Oliver Twist – Charles Dickens

72 Dracula – Bram Stoker

73 The Secret Garden – Frances Hodgson

74 Notes from a Small Island – Bill Bryson

75 Ulysses – James Joyce

76 The Bell Jar – Sylivia Plath

77 Swallows and Amazons – Arthur Ransome

78 Germinal – Emile Zola

79 Vanity Fair – William Makepeace Thackeray

80 Possession – AS Byatt

81 A Christmas Carol – Charles Dickens

82 Cloud Atlas – Charles Mitchell

83 The Colour Purple – Alice Walker

84 The Remains of the Day – Kazuo Ishiguro

85 Madame Bovary – Gustave Flaubert

86 A Fine Balance – Rohinton Mistry

87 Charlotte’s Web – EB White

88 The Five People You Meet In Heaven – Mitch Albom

89 Adventures of Sherlock Holmes – Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

90 The Faraway Tree collection – Enid Blyton

91 Heart of Darkness – Joseph Conrad

92 The Little Prince – Antoine de Saint Exupery

93 The Wasp Factory – Iain Banks

94 Watership Down – Richard Adams

95 A Confederacy of Dunces – John Kennedy Toole

96 A Town Like Alice – Nevil Shute

97 The Three Musketeers – Alexandre Dumas

98 Hamlet – William Shakespeare

99 Charlie & the Chocolate Factory – Roald Dahl

100 Les Miserables – Victor Hugo

via Could have sworn I’d done this before – meh.

I only bolded the books I’ve read. I seldom start a book and not finish reading it.

Writing for Content Marketing Sites is Too Expensive

How much does it cost to write for other sites, like HubPages and Squidoo? There is a push for writers at these sites to add video along with the content they write and the images they post too.  No one quite dares to make video mandatory (as far as I have seen). However, for me personally, the addition of video to my posts has cost me $20 a month more on my ISP (Internet service provider) bill.

Viewing several videos for each post takes up bandwidth. My account is not one of the huge packages, I live on a budget (as most writers who don’t have money to burn, do). There is also the image added to a post. Some writers at these sites pay for the images they use. I don’t. I use my own photos, create images myself or go to sites where the images and clipart are free to use.

Don’t forget to count your writing itself. No matter how you feel at the time, writers should be getting paid for the content they create. I find many of these content marketing sites don’t pay writers a single cent. Over time a writer may make a pittance or two. However, how much time writing, promoting and researching has the writer spent to earn $10 over the months… years… they gave.

I used to think writing community sites were a good thing for web writers. I don’t any feel that way now. Mainly the cost of viewing video and the push for writers to add video – that is what has me a little angry actually. No big deal for these sites to ask for video added to posts. The sites make money on the farm of writers they keep. Don’t think they are struggling too much. Their success comes from the people they pay nothing to almost nothing. It doesn’t matter to them if the writers are happy, not really. People who write for them are a dime a dozen, cheaper actually.

So why write for them and spend more than you get paid? Pick yourself up, copy your content from the site and put up your own site. It’s not hard and you shouldn’t be intimidated. You don’t have to be a huge success right away. If you can improve your earnings from cents to dollars you’re ahead of where you were before. Plus you can have pride in what you have done, you are your own editor (along with spellcheck) and every penny you make stays in your pocket.

Create a Compelling Title for a Christmas Story

The contest deadline is today (as I’m writing this) so by the time I post it the deadline will be past. Still, good to try coming up with a great title. Exercise your writing brain.

To win any of the great prizes, simply review the Christmas story summary below and then create a compelling title that would make any potential reader sit up and take notice.

Linzie is 13 years old and lost her parents in a car accident  a few months previously. She was taken in by family members- the estranged sister of her mother but life feels empty. As Christmas approaches, it takes a very special event to make Linzie appreciate that Christmas can still be a very special time of year.

via Create a Compelling Title – The Writer.

Toponymy

Toponymy is, by definition, the place names of a particular region and the study of those place names. It is derived, in fact, from the two Greek words topos – meaning place and onoma – meaning name. A toponymist will look at not only the surface meaning of the name in question, but also at the history of the area.

via h2g2 – Canadian Toponymy.

Toponymy is a new word to me. I like the idea behind it. What writer doesn’t love words and word lore and history?