Getting Freshly Pressed. “What? Like It’s Hard?”

A couple of nights ago I got an email from WordPress. The message said:

Hi there Pat Bertram,

Congrats! We’ve picked your post ( https://ptbertram.wordpress.com/2012/11/27/thirty-two-months-of-grief/ ) to appear on Freshly Pressed on the WordPress.com home page.

Thanks for sharing this — it’s simple, succinct, and quite touching. It will appear on Freshly Pressed in the next day or two, so get ready to welcome your new readers.

This line caught me in particFPular: “My emotions are on a slow Ferris wheel ride, usually sliding down into sadness on Saturdays, the day he died — a day that apparently is etched in my very psyche — and then a gradual climb to hope and possibility on Monday and Tuesday.”

FYI, I noticed a typo: “I find it impossible to pretend that this new experience of life alone is positive thing.” >> Add “a” before “positive”?

Thanks for making the internet a more interesting place!

–WordPress.com

***

I’ve been Freshly Pressed three other times: I Am a Three-Month Grief Survivor, I Am a Six-Month Grief Survivor, and A Perfect Grasp of Storytelling, so when I read the email, I chuckled to myself and thought, “What? Like it’s hard?” (Remember Reese Witherspoon’s line in Legally Blonde. Her ex-boyfriend says in amazement, “You got into Harvard Law?” and she responds, “What? Like it’s hard?”)

I don’t mean to be facetious, because getting Freshly Pressed is hard. There are a more than a million new posts every day from a half a million bloggers. Most people won’t get pressed once, let alone three or four times.

All four times, the honor came as a surprise, but the truth is, I had prepared for such an eventuality by following the guidelines in “So You Want To Be Freshly Pressed.” Until I read that article, I’d never used photos in my posts, but now taking the perfect photo to accompany my words has become an art in itself. I’ve always aimed for eye-catching headlines and typo-free text (oops, I missed one this time, but luckily they caught it), but I don’t always have a strong point of view. (I don’t much like contention.) Apparently, though, I’ve managed to strike the right chord with the WordPress editors four times, and you can, too. Just keep blogging, telling your truth, letting yourself be vulnerable, and your day will come.

***

Pat Bertram is the author of the conspiracy novels Light Bringer, More Deaths Than One, A Spark of Heavenly Fire, and Daughter Am I. Bertram is also the author of Grief: The Great Yearning, “an exquisite book, wrenching to read, and at the same time full of profound truths.” Connect with Pat on Google+

I’ve Been Freshly Pressed and You Can Be, Too

On Monday, I got an email from WordPress:

Hi there Pat Bertram,

Congrats! We’ve picked your post ( https://ptbertram.wordpress.com/2012/08/13/a-perfect-grasp-of-storytelling/ ) to appear on Freshly Pressed on the WordPress home page.

We really enjoyed your well-written, sharp, and succinct take on perfect characters, unbalanced worlds, and good storytelling in general, and we know the rest of the WordPress community will too. Your post will appear on the site in the next day or two, so get ready to welcome your new readers.

Once your post goes live, shout it from the rooftops! Tell your family, friends, and readers to check out the WordPress home page, and share the good news with your social networks (we’ll do the same).

Most importantly, keep up the great work. To boost your blogging prowess even more, check out “So You Want To Be Freshly Pressed” ( http://en.support.wordpress.com/freshly-pressed/ ) for tips on everything from enhancing your theme to becoming a grammar guru, and visit The Daily Post ( http://dailypost.wordpress.com/ ) for pro tips, blogging challenges and more.

Thanks for making the internet a more interesting place!

***

The post appeared on Tuesday evening. This was the third time I’ve been Freshly Pressed. The other two articles that made the WordPress front page were I Am a Three-Month Grief Survivor and I Am a Six-Month Grief Survivor.

All three times, the honor came as a surprise, but the truth is, I had prepared for such an eventuality by following the guidelines in “So You Want To Be Freshly Pressed.” Until I read that article, I’d never used photos in my posts. I’d also over-tagged and over-categorized (though that doesn’t seem to be something they care so much about now). On the off chance that the WordPress editors would notice my little corner of the blogosphere, I cut down to no more than ten tags and categories combined, and I started adding an image to my posts. (That became an art in itself, taking the perfect photo to accompany my words.)

I’ve always aimed for typo-free text and eye-catching headlines, but I don’t always have a strong point of view. (I don’t much like contention.) Apparently, though, I’ve managed to strike the right chord with the WordPress editors three times, and you can, too. Just keep blogging. If you write it, they will come.

Thank You For a Heartwarming and Heartbreaking Day

On Monday when I logged into my wordpress account, I discovered that my I Am a Three-Month Grief Survivor post had received thousands of views and dozens of comments. A quick check of my stats showed that most of the views came from WordPress. Imagine my surprise when I saw that my post had made the home page. Whew. Took my breath away.

Then I read the comments, and that was the end of breathing for a while. I was awed by the willingness of people to support me in my grief and overwhelmed by the generosity of those who shared their own stories of grief. So much pain. So much sadness. So much love.

One woman posted a link to a list of online communities that could potentially help, so if you are grieving, be sure to check it out. http://www.anachronisticmom.com/Medical-KK/Grieving.html

Another woman posted a quote:

Here at the frontier there are falling leaves…although my neighbors are all barbarians, and you, you are a thousand miles away…there are always two cups at my table. – Tang Dynasty

And a third woman told me about “Death is Nothing at All,” a poem by Henry Scott Holland that might offer comfort:

Death is nothing at all.
I have only slipped away to the next room.
I am I and you are you.
Whatever we were to each other,
That, we still are.

Call me by my old familiar name.
Speak to me in the easy way
which you always used.
Put no difference into your tone.
Wear no forced air of solemnity or sorrow.

Laugh as we always laughed
at the little jokes we enjoyed together.
Play, smile, think of me. Pray for me.
Let my name be ever the household word
that it always was.
Let it be spoken without effect.
Without the trace of a shadow on it.

Life means all that it ever meant.
It is the same that it ever was.
There is absolute unbroken continuity.
Why should I be out of mind
because I am out of sight?

I am but waiting for you.
For an interval.
Somewhere. Very near.
Just around the corner.

All is well.

It was an incredible day for me,  heartwarming and heartbreaking all at once. Thank you, everyone, who stopped by to read or to comment.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 5,403 other followers