sunrise-at-lake-griffinI’ve been thinking about blogging ever since I woke myself up to post on Monday night. I’m sort of a terrible blogger, obviously — I do none of that “building community” stuff, nor do I try to “provide value” for my readers. (Sorry! No value here!!)

I blog about whatever’s on my mind and erratically. Some years I had lots of posts, some years I had almost none. In 2016, I’ve tried to blog every Monday and Thursday and have tried to be restrained about posting more than that, not wanting to bore the audience that tolerates me. (Thanks for tolerating me!)

But when I sleepily decided Monday night to reassess my posting come the new year, it started me thinking about what I want out of blogging. I’m obviously terrible at the whole author business aspect of blogging — well, the whole author business in general. Really, the basic, bottom-line, requirement to be a successful author is to finish what you write and I’m not doing so well at that. But I also don’t do the promotion and outreach and giveaways and that kind of thing that one is supposed to do. When it comes to “growing my audience,” I am pretty much a complete fail.

So the question is, in 2017, do I want to grow my audience, build community, and provide value? I’m sure that those of you who know me or have been reading a while already know the answer: that just sounds like so much work. It’s never going to happen. Besides, if I can’t even finish a new book, what would be the point? And really, I like my blog because it’s a record of my life. It’s an online journal. Maybe I’ll be the last online journal keeper.

But I did realize that I really wish I was at least writing something — a few notes if nothing else — about each of the places I’ve stayed. I haven’t because I haven’t wanted to be boring — how many entries can I write that start with “I stayed…”? Answer: lots! Probably too many. But still, I’m already forgetting places. Last week I was thinking about all of the beautiful sunrises I’ve seen and two days later I remembered the wonderful Harvest Hosts farm in Vermont. How could I have forgotten that so quickly? And what will I remember two years from now if I’m forgetting places already?

So in 2017, I’m not going to worry about posting every Monday and Thursday (although I’m going to for the rest of 2016, just for the sake of finishing what I started.) I am, however, going to write at least a paragraph or two about every place I stay, and I’m going to start now, with Lake Griffin State Park.

Is a picture worth a thousand words? If yes, I should probably post an image of a tree instead of a sunrise, because Lake Griffin’s claim to fame is the second largest live oak tree in the state of Florida.


Oh, look, a tree pic! I have not yet run out of data in my data plan for the month, but with posting all these pictures I probably will soon. But anyway, second largest live oak tree. I tried to keep the Californian in my brain shut up as I admired it (not entirely successfully — redwoods really are very large trees, even the little ones). According to the sign, it was probably used as a landmark for the native Americans before Europeans settled Florida.  (Although, really, wouldn’t it have been a lot smaller back then? Isn’t the impressive thing more that it’s survived for so long rather than that it might have been big even a few hundred years ago? It’s only supposed to be 300-500 years old and you’d think that 400 years ago, when it was maybe 100 years old, there would have been some other 300 year old trees around that were bigger than it that are now gone… Yeah, my inner critic is always noisy.)

Anyway, nice tree! Nice park, too. It’s small — I think that Z and I managed to walk every trail this morning and our total walk length was still just under a mile when we made it back to the camper, but it would be a great place to kayak if I was feeling that ambitious. The campground only has about 40 spots and they’re fairly close together, but — as always — they’re much nicer, greener, and more interesting than the typical independent campground parking lot.

My highlight of this stay was probably my new grill. I used it (a little Coleman portable propane grill) for the first time yesterday. It worked remarkably well, so yay! I’m looking forward to the increased kitchen flexibility — I’m eager to grill fish on it, because smells linger in Serenity, so I’ve been avoiding cooking things that I don’t want to smell the next day. But I miss fish. A lot.

As with every state park in Florida that I’ve stayed at, I would happily stay here again. But this trip is only for two days — tomorrow I head out for Thanksgiving at my dad’s house.

Happy Thanksgiving!