It is with great trepidation that I, your gentle author of Here in Franklin, dip my toe into the roiling waters of Ask and Ye Shall Receive. When Madame Bellicose beckons, I have no choice but to follow.
Around here, on the buckle of the Bible Belt, we don’t get much exposure to Buddhism. Heck, I’m Episcopalian and even that is viewed as somewhat exotic in the land of Baptists. However, before Thanksgiving, I spent a week in Japan and got a first-hand look at some sacred Buddhist shrines. I saw giant gold Buddhas, little tabletop Buddhas, Buddhas of every shape and size. I think I even drank a Buddha beer.
So when I was asked to review One Zen Mom, I couldn’t help but reflect on my own recent travels. Surely this was meant to be. Buddha=zen, right?
To begin, I remember a time when I divided the world into people who thought Monty Python was funny and those who didn’t. These days, I tend to divide the world into WordPress vs. Blogger. As a WordPress devotee, I just find almost all Blogger sites cluttered beyond belief. Unlike my office desk or kitchen counter, I like my blogs clutter- free. Give me the basics—an About Me section, a Best Of option and Archives. Please, for the love of Buddha, get rid of the buttons, badges, ads and autoplayers. Unless you’re Dooce, you’re not making enough money to keep me in my daily large Diet Coke with lime from Sonic. Plus, even with my super fast connection, it takes your site ages to load and scrolling is clunky and slow.
Second, learn the difference between a hypen (-) and an em dash (—). They are not interchangeable. If Blogger won’t give you an em dash, at least use two hyphens with NO SPACES between the words on either side. Yes, I realize that this is slightly OCD, but it really distracts from your words.
I did not read every single entry, but Zen Mom gets mad props for blogging regularly. Some fall into the mommyblog realm, some are pleasant enough recountings of weekend activities, (although I must say that “to die for” meals are hardly ever served on paper plates) and some are just really, really good.
And here’s what’s interesting, Zen Mom knows when she’s hit a home run. She has a list of entries she would save if her blog was on fire. Almost every one of them is golden. Especially this and this.
You know when you do it right, Zen Mom. Remember that when you post something like this—you have a nice voice and style, you don’t need gimmicks. Sharpen your focus. Think about your audience. Lose the hyphens.
There’s some really nice writing here that earns you:
But, for your fugly template and badge-orama, I give you:
And thank you for shopping at AAYSR.