Welcome to the CMBA Newsletter!
As marriage bloggers, we are a light on a lampstand, shining in such a way that our readers can see what it is for a marriage to glorify God.
During the coming month, take some time to pray for your readers and their marriages. Be on guard for them, asking for protection, comfort, and blessing. Pray in general for all your readers, and pray specifically for those who have commented on your posts and emailed.
Pray, too, for your brothers and sisters in marriage blogging. We face the same challenges as many of our readers do in their marriages. Reach out to encourage each other.
In fact, this month’s newsletter includes a new blog challenge that will help you provide some of that encouragement. You’ll also find a chance to let us know what you’d like to read about in future newsletters, an0 invitation to do a book review, and a behind-the-scenes look at CSL from The Curmudgeonly Librarian.
The following blogs joined CMBA since our last issue. Do visit their sites and share an encouraging word.
It’s time to pass around some “blog love”–the bloggy term for supporting other bloggers.
For this blog challenge, interact with and encourage another CMBA blogger. Go to the member directory pages and pick a blog to support.
Here are some ideas of how you can work with the other blogger:
- Write a post about another CMBA blog or blogs that you love.
- Write a post about someone else’s blog post that you find helpful.
- Write a supportive review of another blog.
- Invite a blogger to write a guest post on your site.
- Offer to write a guest post for another blog.
- Share what you’ve written (and a link to the other blog) on your social media.
This is a great way to encourage a new blogger or support someone you don’t know well.
Here are the rules:
- Publish one post that supports another blog during August.
- Share a link to this post in a link-up on the August newsletter.
- Grab a button to post on your blog to let your readers know you’ve taken the challenge. Save the picture below or use this code: <div align=”center”><a href=”v” target=”_blank”><img src=”http://www.upliftingmarriage.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/07/CMBA_challenge_0815.png” width=”175px” height=”175px” border=”0″ alt=”CMBA”></a></div>
- Visit other CMBA members to read and comment on their blogs.
- At the end of the challenge, we’ll have another button for you to post to your site to show that you completed the challenge.
And . . . there’s a prize!
Thanks to The Marriage Bed, every blogger who adds to our August link-up will be entered in a drawing to win an Amazon gift certificate or a marriage book.
If you would like to try your hand at writing about marriage somewhere other than your blog, here’s your chance!
Creative Nonfiction magazine is seeking unpublished essays about marriage.
Essays must be previously unpublished and no longer than 4,000 words. There is a $20 reading fee, or $25 to include a 4-issue subscription to Creative Nonfiction (US addresses only). The deadline is August 31, 2015. Creative Nonfiction will award a $1000 prize for the Best Essay and $500 for the runner-up.
Contest information is available at https://www.creativenonfiction.org/submissions/marriage.
From the Forum
The CMBA Member’s Forum is a safe place for us, away from the eyes of our readers, where we can gain insight, encouragement, practical help, and prayers.
This month’s featured thread asks about finding images for your blog.
What are your sources for images that show diversity in race, age, and appearance?
How Do I . . . ?
Whether you’re new to blogging or have been at it for a decade, there is always something to learn as a marriage blogger!
Collaboration . . . resources . . . what platform to use . . . cool tools that make the technical stuff easier . . . strategies for writing . . . dealing with comments . . . social media . . . having a website that looks professional without requiring technical certification . . . responding to reader email . . . images . . . podcasting . . . copyright . . . planning . . . and the list goes on.
Each month, our newsletter includes an article on how to do something related to . We’d love to have articles about the things that you most want to know.
Click here to take our one-question survey to let us know what you’d like to know. (And if you have expertise you’re willing to share, email Chris at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Are you on social media? Follow CMBA!
- Pinterest (If you would like to be added to CMBA’s collaborative Christian Marriage and Sex board, email Bonny at email@example.com.)
April Cassidy at The Peaceful Wife has her first book coming out in January: The Peaceful Wife – Living in Submission to Christ as Lord. If you would like to review the book on your blog, you can contact April at firstname.lastname@example.org by August 6. Review copies will be available in September.
Behind the Blog
Meet CSL from The Curmudgeonly Librarian!!
Tell us a little about your real life–spouse, kids, pets, job, hobbies, etc.
Recently Wife and I celebrated our 44th wedding anniversary, and I told our story in my post entitled Strictly Personal. I’m from the PacNW, Wife is from Illinois, and we met because both of us were in the Navy, and were stationed in the Norfolk, VA area.
Wife and I both pursued college after the service, graduating as art teacher and librarian. I was a school librarian for 33 years, and ran the gamut from elementary to adult education. I closed two school libraries (school system down-sized), and got the librarian’s dream of designing a new library from the ground up, before having to retire early, due to advanced arthritis in my hip. Wife taught in a Christian school for nearly a decade, and then came home to home school our oldest, and the second setting that followed him. She taught in a home-school co-op for about fourteen years.
You didn’t ask, but I was raised Roman Catholic and became a Christian when I was 19, and in the Navy. Wife was raised Assemblies of God, and was saved at a very young age. Nowadays, we attend a Methodist church, where both of us teach a Sunday School class. I am limited in what I can do, due to my hip, but one of our favorite activities is to go to the theater. A local university has a marvelous drama department, with six plays a year, and we look forward to those nights out.
As to family, we had a son in our third year of marriage, but didn’t have any more until he was 13. He had horrible colic, and due to an event in my childhood, I react horribly around crying babies. It took Wife nearly 13 years to talk me down from the ledge, and even then it was was a promise that she’d do it all. So our second child, a daughter, was born, and I fell in love. I told Wife we had to make another one of these; I wanted another girl and she wanted another boy. We each got what we wanted, in a set of unexpected twins.
As to pets, I’m guessing you don’t mean kids? Basically, we’re a cat & dog family. Son wanted a dog and the girls wanted cats, so over time, each got what they wanted. Unfortunately, we had to put the dog to sleep a few months ago. Just because it’s my blog, I put her picture in This Day Had To Come. The photo at the top of my blog is Older Kitty, who jumps into my daughter’s bed and crawls under the cover whenever she can. Hence the photo of the Queen giving you her disapproving stare. Again, just because I can.
I only had one true hobby, and that was chess. I played in both OTB tournaments and postal tournaments, and got quite average, as “real” chessplayers go. By “real”, I mean those who know their Nimzo-Indian from a hole in the ground. In the real world, there aren’t 10 people in my some-what rural city that could beat me. And I’m quite proud of the fact that I won every postal tournament I entered. I gave it up, though, when chess computers became so prevalent. The ability to cheat was just too easy.
Oh, and old movies. My sweet Lord, do I love me some old movies!
Tell us about your blog—when/why you started it, the name, what you write about, etc.
I started the beginning prep work in early October, and my first post, Holy Matrimony?, went live on 10/18 of last year.
As to the Why? Well, that’s because I felt the need for a playground of my own. Wife will tell you that I don’t play well with others, and as I freely state on my About page, “I do have a track record of obstreperousness that is a marvel to behold.”
They say that evangelism is merely one thirsting soul telling another where they can find water. In my case, I was one hurting Israelite who had found his way out of the wilderness, and I’m wanting to help others in crossing the Jordan. That’s what I see my blog as doing.
The title of my blog, of course, is descriptive. I’m a retired, cranky old coot who worked as a librarian for 33 years. So “Curmudgeonly Librarian” just fit. Type casting, you might say.
What do I write about? Ah, there’s the rub. As Hamlet meant to say,
To be or not to be, that is the question.
Whether ‘tis nobler on the blog to suffer
The limitations of writing about marriage only
Or to take up tablets and laptops against a sea of troubles
And so solve all the problems of the world.
My focus is on husbands, and helping them to address their marriages, with an emphasis on sexless marriages. My approach is to address matters concerning personal growth and maturity as husbands, and how to work to change their marriages.
At this time, I also write about my one of my loves, Old Movies, and also Christian topics (my Creed series, currently). Wife and I are talking, and we don’t think that can be maintained.
What is your favorite blog post?
That’s a hard one! After all, who can forget “The Lord Jesus Milquetoast”, “Happy Town” or the “Magic Penis” posts. But I guess the post I feel the strongest about is “Addressing the Sexless Marriage, #4”. So often, husbands who are in sexless marriages are given advice that is seem to offer no real help or hope. In that post, controversial as it might seem, I offer eight different ideas for conveying the message that a marriage needs more than Mama to be happy to be successful.
What has surprised you about blogging?
For me, I guess it was the ease with which I found my niche, and how satisfied I am to fill that niche. Basketball players will speak about the importance of “filling your lane”; in other words, doing what you do best, and not try to be the whole show. Like the old spiritual says,
Pass the plate if you can’t exhaust and preach.
If you’re just a little pebble, don’t try to be the beach.
Someone (you know who you are) told me that I have a heart for refused husbands, and have a blog that reaches them. That’s enough.
Describe your writing process.
One of my favorite folk singers, the very obscure Scott Alarik, once said that he writes down scraps of lyrics on scraps of paper, throws them into his sock drawer and lets them fight it out. My process is somewhat akin to that.
I have a TextEdit file on my laptop with nothing but topics I want to write about. Then, when I get to thinking about a topic, I copy/paste the title to another file and slowly begin putting down ideas that I might want to bring up. I will get ideas that I will want to add, and so, write them one or two lines, or one or two paragraphs, at a time, and save the file.
Then when it seems to reach critical mass, I’ll sit with it, tend it, re-write and re-word it. When I think it’s ready, then I will read it aloud to Wife, which serves two purposes. By reading it aloud, I catch most of my typos, or I find better phrasing, and it also allows me to ask her about weak points, places that might need further writing, etc.
I do have one odd tool, my old Apple iPod Nano (4th gen.). When I go to bed, I put earbuds in and play some music to go to sleep with. (Wife can’t sleep with music on, hence the earbuds.) That old iPod, however, also has a video camera function, which I will use at night. I will sometimes get an idea for a post, or something to add to one I writing, and so I’ll switch from music to video camera and use it as a voice recorder to record my ideas for the morning.
What advice do you have for new marriage bloggers?
Advice for new marriage bloggers? I am a new marriage blogger! Admittedly, as I am soon to turn 66, I am one of the oldest rookies in the field, but I’m a newbie, nonetheless!
But, yeah, I do have a couple of tips for new bloggers.
1 – As I wrote in one of my early blogs, Find Thyself A Teacher. As Rabbi Avram said, “This I have done. But sometimes I thought my teacher would find a new pupil.” Chris Taylor, of Forgiven Wife, and Bonny Burns, of Oysterbed7, were very gracious in giving me invaluable advice, uplifting encouragement, and timely technical expertise, as I started navigating the unfamiliar territory of WordPress, the platform I chose to use for blogging. I’m pretty sure that Curmudgeonly Librarian would not be what it is without their help. (You can either thank them or blame them, take your pick.)
2 – If, as a new blogger, you do choose WordPress as your blogging platform, be sure to sign up for Blogging101. It’s a 30-day intro to WordPress, getting you into the basics of using their features, stretching you into finding your writing voice, and immersing you in the world of bloggers. All the while, nice “Happiness Technicians” are there to help answer your questions, as they arise. I’ve enjoyed my experience on WordPress.
Opening Image Credit~simonfilm at morgueFile.com