Thinking about Argh Ink


I am behind on the comments, so if you asked me something there, I’ll get to you, I swear. I’m slashing Nita’s Act Two with a vorpal sword, and talking with Krissie about rake heroes in general and her latest book-in-progress in specific, and talking with my brother about winding up our parents’ estate (my brother is a wonderful, wonderful person, a saint, I’m telling you), and trying to turn my living room into an office, and making sure the dogs get out in the sun, and then there’s dishes and laundry and the sheets need changed and it’s 4PM and I still haven’t had breakfast or lunch.

The days are just PACKED.

In the meantime, I need to clean up this blog, which means I need to simple things up.

Argh Ink was born in July of 2005 because Mollie wanted regular new content for the newly revamped website. I think she suggested I post once a month. I know she told me never to enable comments because that was a time sink. You all know how that went. The last time I checked, the blog has 122,250 comments on 2,706 posts. Argh Ink is a monster.

The problem is that the blog has morphed through time because I never really had a plan for it. Example: There used to be a separate discussion forum called Cherry Forums where we talked a lot about reading and writing. When it came time to shut it down, in order to give the community someplace to go, I started doing Cherry Saturdays in March of 2013 as a comment-about-anything-you-want day. At this point, every day is a comment bout anything you want day, and Cherry Saturday is pretty much unnecessary, taking up blog space for no reason. So Cherry Saturday is now dead. Anybody who wants to argue for it is welcome to do so and I’ll listen, but really, it’s not accomplishing anything. It’s not like you all hesitate to talk about what you want anyway, and since there are no stay-on-topic police because we-don’t-care, I’m good with letting that go.

Krissie, Lani, and I used to have a personal blog (no professional stuff) called ReFab, and one of the things we did was Happiness Sunday, where we talked about what had made us happy that week because otherwise we were dwelling on what had made us miserable. When we shut down ReFab, I moved Happiness Sundays here, and I think we should keep them. It’s really helpful to take one day a week to highlight the good stuff. So unless everybody here thinks the happiness posts are unnecessary, I’ll keep doing that. It’s kind of a pain in the ass to do, but at this point, I could probably just post “So what brought the happy this week?” and you’d all pile on, so any hassle is of my own making.

This is a Good Book Thursday stays. The rest of the blog may collapse around it, but that sucker is permanent.

Working Wednesday I’m ambivalent about. I really like hearing about what you’re working on, and it’s a good place for me to see if I actually did any work that week, but I don’t see it as essential. Still, I’ll keep it unless you all say to let it go. It does tend to keep me honest about working.

So that’s weekly posts on Wed, Thur, and Sunday, and the other days can be anything else or blanks. Except right now we have Lily Mondays and Fridays, but that’s a temporary thing, a playground until we’re out in the world again, so I’m good with that.

That’s part one of the Blog Clean-up. Part Two is getting the old posts out of draft form. You may remember that the blog got hacked and then there were other problems and I took the whole thing back to draft. I’ve been very slowly reposting old posts, but I think what I need to do is just go back to 2005 and start reposting by year. A lot of the posts really aren’t valuable and they smother the ones that are valuable or entertaining or worthwhile in some other way.

I’ll put up a post about each year as I liberate them. There are sixteen years of blog, so that’ll be sixteen posts just to let you know that year is done and probably provide links to any post from back then that I really liked. I’ll try to get a post up for each blog series, too, possibly as a page in a new header topic that I will have to think of, so there’ll be a page for Leverage Posts and a page for Person of Interest Posts, and a page of Cleaning the Office posts, and the Twelve Days of (Fill in the Book Here) posts, all of which should make it easy to find things.

So in summary, the old posts are coming back, Cherry Saturday is dead, Good Book Thursday is forever, and Working Wednesday and Happiness Sunday can stay around unless you don’t care about them. Organization and decluttering, that’s the key. Let go of anything that doesn’t bring me joy while thanking it for its service. (Thank you, Cherry Saturday, you fulfilled your purpose for a long time and now you may go.)

This work for you? Because, let’s face it, at this point it’s as much your blog as mine.

22+

85 thoughts on “Thinking about Argh Ink

  1. Well, I recently systematically went through the Good Book Thursday posts to back-fill in my Goodreads with “finished reading” dates, so I’d appreciate keeping even the archives of those.

    Otherwise, I’m really excited to see the greatest hits of the years from before I found this place!

  2. The only two must-haves for me are Good Book Thurs and Happiness Sunday. I’m ambivalent about WorkingWednesday, because to some extent it overlaps Happiness Sunday (since if the work is making you happy, you can post then, and if it’s not making you happy, well, that’s worth knowing, I suppose, but doesn’t necessarily need a separate post day). And we could still use the #workingwednesdaypix on IG to reference in other discussions. And then it leaves more space for limited-time series, like Surprise Lily or a deep dive into something else that comes up along the way.

  3. I think you need to do what’s best for you. Most of us are hooked and many of us have been for years (I think in my case it may be coming up on 10?), so we’ll stop by and check in no matter what. I missed ReFab when it went away, but, well, that was okay too.

    You do what’s best for Jenny.

    Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have to go back to reading one of my Crusie’s (Agnes) for the umpteenth time. I’m told there’s a new one in the way sometime (soon?)…

  4. Ambivalence. Of two minds (possibly more.)

    On the one hand, it’s your blog! You can do whatever you want with it. None of us signed a contract obligating you to make any posts whatsoever.

    On the other hand, it’s your blog!, which also means that if you choose to treat us all as co-bloggers, or co-conspirators, or co-dependent, or co-defendants, or even cousins from a different family tree, well, that’s also your right. That’s certainly implied by the first argument.

    As long as the link works, I’ll check daily to see what’s up. Maybe more often.

  5. Well first eat something, you need to keep up your strength.

    I’m fine with keeping Working Wednesday, Good Book Thursday and Happiness Sunday

    I read the old links, sometimes, just to remember how awesome they are POI, Leverage, Sense8, last week I clicked on your pig link just to remember why it was there, love that luggage.

  6. As long as there is a place for Jane to update on her garden. And anyone else’s garden.

  7. Definately need “Good Book Thursday”. And working Wednesday can go. I’ll miss “Cherry Saturday”.

  8. As several people have already said, you should do what’s good for YOU! We like everything you post but we’d totally understand if you didn’t have time or inclination to post.

    The topics of the day (with the exception of Thursdays and Lily and Nita) are more of an excuse to check in and see how everyone is doing. Sort of a conversation starter if you will. I’m not sure you even need to come up with a topic more specific than “how y’all doing?”

    Although it amuses me to think of you as being like that guy on Saturday Night Live who comes up with the weirdest topic he can and then tells the audience to “discuss amongst yourselves.”

  9. I can hear the snicker-snack from here. All sounds good to me. I’d definitely prune out everything not essential – I’d be happy with just keeping Good Book Thursdays and Happiness Sundays. Not that I don’t enjoy the other two, but I’m afraid I may repeat myself sometimes when I post on all four days. Perhaps, if you can bear it (contradicting myself), keep Working Wednesdays as a neutral invitation for us to update each other?

      1. It’s not that much of a time sink. I usually do them all at once. It was just this week, I got ready to do Saturday and thought, “Why are we doing this?”

        But we definitely need your garden updates. They make us happy (g).

  10. I like Working Wednesdays as a general check in day because sometimes I don’t want to be a downer on a Sunday. Yes, I know that it’s okay to not be Pollyanna happy on Sunday but still.

    Also, I have to get this off my chest: My husband almost accidentally killed himself today by holding an angle grinder in the crook of his left arm and plugging it in. Somehow the damn thing was turned on, even though the switch to turn in on is very hard to move. Thank all that is holy for the blade guard. It managed to get tangled in his shirt and just give him a couple of small cuts and nasty bruises on his arm but his shirt is cut on the chest right above his heart. Given that he was in the garage when this happened and I was downstairs with my headphones on listening to some doctor blither on, I don’t know if I would have heard him scream if all it did was mangle his arm. Given the magnitude of the potential injury, he could have bled to death before I even knew he was hurt. I’m still freaked out but very grateful.

    1. How awful awful awful. But what a relief it’s more awful in the thinking of what could have happened sense than in the what actually happened sense.

    2. Angle grinders are aweful. I was on the safety committee at my last job and we never knew what to do about them. The consensus seemed to be, we will do what we can, but eventually someone is going to get hurt. Ug.

      Glad it was minor.

  11. I am happy to read whatever you and co-bloggers put on this site, on any day that works. Generally there’s something to laugh about, smile over, admire, and I need all that. But it’s not your primary job, Jenny, and I don’t want it to become a chore for you. so, do as seems best for you. I wish I had downloaded the sketches you made about plot, with the circus performers. Not that I’m doing much writing, but it was genius.

  12. I love Good Book Thursdays (I’ve found SO MANY good books) and Happiness Sundays (they remind me to remember to notice I’m happy). Please keep those!

    And I’m loving Lily.

    Other than that, I come here every day looking for what people have said, and I don’t much care what the title of the post is. Far as I’m concerned, you could throw up a post every now and then that just said “talk among yourselves” and I’d be totally happy.

  13. One of the things I love about this blog is that sometimes people will bring up something pretty random that they love. They mention the food that made them happy or the television show they just discovered or (if it’s Jane, usually!) a great plant they are fond of.

    As a result, I’ve spent three hours today watching Living History (Green Valley eps 1-3) videos on YouTube and loving them.

    Would it be possible to have a “Good Things” day on the blog where people could just mention stuff they enjoy other than books?

    If we strive to avoid any whiff of politics, that is.

    1. I think we can definitely state that Good Book Thursday is open to other good narrative/film/whatever.

      1. In which case, and in the Argh tradition of being off-topic: I’m really enjoying watching ‘Dinnerladies’ from the beginning on Netflix. I only saw odd episodes when it was originally broadcast twenty years ago. Victoria Wood’s writing is superb and hilarious, and each half-hour episode is a neat story with great characters.

        It’s a BBC sitcom, set in a factory canteen in Manchester. No idea if it’s available overseas, and I imagine the northern accents and cultural references could be a little obscure at times. But so funny.

  14. I still have (I think) permanent links to “Cheerful and on Wheels” and “Sex Education” (With Lani’s girls, who must be done with college by now, yikes) so as long as I can find those I will be happy.

  15. Good Book Thursdays are excellent and I’ve found so many good reads via the lovely Arghers here. Otherwise, I just check in every day on the conversation, regardless of the topic header, and chime in if I’ve got something to say, or read and enjoy if I don’t.

    But I do prick up my ears when it’s Lily (because that’s just magic) or writing related because I love your insights, Jenny, and those of everyone here. I’ve learned a lot from the discussions.

  16. I love all the blog posts, regardless of topic. I check here daily, and new posts are a life blood!

    I like Working Wednesdays just because it’s a stop gap to think, and see of others, what’s been accomplished. Its a nice reminder, and makes me feel good when I can contribute.

    I agree with the others – what works for and doesn’t suck up time is good.

    I’m excited for the reposting of the blog!!! Especially anything related to writing or critiquing. I’d still love your writing book haha and I came in after all the other sites (popcorn, refab, the Bob one), so don’t know that content either.

    Thanks for keeping it all going Jenny!!

    1. Popcorn Dialogues is still up, we’re just not posting on it. It was Lani and I talking about romantic comedy movies mostly.

      ReFab was Reinventing Fabulous, in the beginning Krissie, and Lani, and I and then just Krissie and I and then we got to busy and shut it down.

      The blog with Bob was He Wrote/She Wrote (or She Wrote/He Wrote, I can’t remember) and it was about writing Agnes and promoting Don’t Look Down, and then a year of writing craft.

      There was one for Dogs and Goddesses and one for The Unfortunate Miss Fortunes, and a website for Crusie Mayer, but we shut those down, too.

      And then I did a Writing/Romance blog for a couple of years and shut that down, meaning to migrate the posts over here.

      Basically, I should do one blog, Argh, and that’s it. But they were fun while they were running.

  17. I can’t remember if Cottage Saturdays were here or at ReFab (I miss ReFab)–I loved those and would enjoy having the archives available eventually, if that’s possible.

    Mostly I’m a lurker, so ¯\_(ツ)_/¯, but I think Happiness Sundays and This is a Good Book Thursdays, with or without Working Wednesdays, make a perfectly good week of posts, and it leaves plenty of room for temporary stuff like the Lily posts. Any excuse to come and hang out with the Argh people is a good one.

    1. That’s really the best part, the comments and the community.

      Cottage Saturdays. Was that decorating? I have a mind like a sieve.

      1. Yeah, a lot of it was decorating and sometimes there was stuff like–oh, I’ve forgotten details now, but I remember that you wrote about redoing the bathroom and making the whole thing shower, and there was some stuff about the kitchen cabinets, I think? and about ripping out the staircase in the bedroom. It was really fun and crafty-creative, and since I am Not Good at decorating, it was sometimes instructive and/or motivating as well. People talked about their own home projects in the comments too, which was fun.

        1. I do remember that.
          For those of you not Re-Fab familiar, about eight years ago I bought a derelict cottage (full of mold!) on half an untamed acre of lakefront property (the lake is almost inaccessible unless you have a machete) and I spent quite a bit of time trying to bring it into livable condition. I’m still doing that.

          I’m thinking about doing some more 12 Days things. Those are always fun. I need a new office.

          1. I would _love_ to see what you’re up to in the cottage. It wouldn’t have to be a permanent thing, just something you could share here whenever the mood fit you. If you imported any old posts from the Cottage category, and then added the office project (if you wanted t0 do so) you wouldn’t even have to put up a specific number of posts. Post a specific number if you like or just post as you wanted to. I think your shared recovering of a chair. I also think, before ReFab, you posted things about your old house redecoration, and an office re-do? Since we are all HOMEBOUND and looking at our own four walls, this could be a fun topic.

            I love the other ideas. I’m always interested in reading whatever you’re writing about, and I love the three regular categories. Thank you, and thank you Mollie, for everything you do here.

  18. As long as we do happy sunday, I don’t care what else there is/isn’t.
    when I found an archive of the he said/she said site and reading 100 comments in response to a blank post that you somehow created, so apparently we are pretty self starting.

    1. That was the best ever.
      For those of you missed the He Wrote/She Wrote years, Bob opened a post and then forgot and posted it with no content. But the He Wrote She Wrote people wrote many, many comments along the lines of less is more, and one hand clapping, and how deep Bob was, and then it just spiraled out of control. It was wonderful.

      So yeah, I don’t really have to say anything, just get out of your way.

  19. My favorite thing is when you post book snippets. And I have been going back to the Leverage posts and would love to see all those back. And Good Book Thursday reminds me that I need to read more books. And I love when you post about the cottage. (More pics!) But really, do what works for you. It’s all good!

    1. I need to figure out how to make content lists for the Binge Watches. But they’ll all go back up. Especially PoI and Leverage, but there was some good stuff in Legends of Tomorrow and Sense8 posts, too.

      1. I’m so excited; I’d forgotten you had done one on Sense8. I avoided that one completely because I hadn’t had a chance to watch it and wanted to see if completely fresh. Then, I got lost from all blogs for awhile because of _things_ happening. I will look forward to catching up on that finally. 🙂

  20. So I was talking with my daughter Wednesday about this blog, especially the writing posts and how you, Jenny, have RUINED ME! Now I am much pickier about what I read, and if it’s not working for me, I analyze WHY it’s not. Stupid plot, idiot characters, non-snappy dialogue. It’s spilled over into TV/movie viewing as well.

    So I just hope you keep teaching us here. Lol.

    1. Now, if Story doesn’t start with in two, three pages, mostly that book doesn’t get read.* What drek you’ve saved me from!

      *Rule doesn’t apply to any book fifty years older and back.

    1. I’ve learned so much about story and writing. Like Michelle, I analyze. Very high standards because you are the best.

  21. Yes to all the above (although I’m happy to have politics raised) and I also like Working Wednesdays. I never have anything to contribute, but I like seeing that others are creating, and maybe one day I’ll stop thinking ‘I should do something creative too’ and actually do it.

  22. Like Lee, above, I have permanent (I hope) links to many of your Words of Writing Wisdom, Jenny. And in some instances, I’ve just copied and saved the whole thing as a file.

    Recently, I clicked on my link to the Mystery Writing Rules laid out by various know-it-all guy writers from the 1920s (and your rich commentary). This was the link:
    http://arghink.com/2016/01/rules-for-golden-age-mystery-writing-thank-god-its-not-1928-anymore/

    It failed! In a panic, I searched Arghink all over, and found many interesting things, but also discovered that a big chunk of 2015 and early 2016 had vanished.

    Nothing daunted, since I really really wanted to read it again, I did a general internet search. Found it! Along with a whole hugey heap of your blog posts on Goodreads. Wow.

    It’s here….
    https://www.goodreads.com/author_blog_posts/9708870-rules-for-golden-age-mystery-writing-thank-god-it-s-not-1928-anymore

    It’s well worth rereading. And of course now I’ve saved it in its own file.

    1. I’ll put a lot of that stuff back as I go. The hack really took us down. Glad you found it!

      1. When I discovered your books and found the blogs, I would print off stuff. I have a big binder which I have to find in the stuff, stuffed in the other spare room. Must go look.

    2. Oh – I love this topic. I am reading a “golden age” mystery and really struggling with it. I am writing my own thoughts on _why_ and what I’d like to try, so I it will be interesting to compare the two when I’m done. Thank you for the head-up Susan D!

  23. I think two days, Thurs/Sun would be great. My life is boring. I visit here daily but maybe comment twice a week because I got nothin’. Working Wednesday, now I’m no longer writing, and like everyone else stuck at home, makes me feel guilty. How many times can you weed the garden, vacuum the rug, or bake chocolate chip cookies and have a need to tell everyone? Some days, lots of days, I just read a book and eat all the cookies.

    1. I think this might be the crux of problems, where people have them, with Working Wednesdays. I don’t know how to knit or crochet, have no yarn, no sewing machine, deer and raccoons wandering my former garden, so I seldom have anything physical to display as the result of any work I do. Which can be daunting, especially when others do things that are so beautiful.

      On the other hand, though, I love seeing the quilts & scarves & garden views of others, so I’d be sad to see those things disappear. I could easily contribute to a page that was about “Tasks You Haven’t Done Yet” or “To Do List Fails,” however. 🙂

      1. Yeah, I don’t have time or skills to do Working Wednesdays but I do enjoy reading what others are doing and seeing the photos of their work.

        As for the rest of the blog posts, I’ve been skipping a lot of the Lily ones the last couple of weeks. I’ll get caught up on them someday. Or the girls will force you to write something. Either way, I’ll enjoy it eventually.

        I don’t get online much on weekends so I usually try to get caught up on the weekend posts later in the week.

  24. I’m cool with you getting more time to focus on writing.

    Sometimes I think about Fairytale Lies (?) and Monday Street and just sort’ve ache in need. Then I breathe through it.

    1. Fairytale Lies is currently Paradise Park, so it’s still in there. I just have to figure out that princess problem.

  25. +1 on do whatever works for you, Jenny, but also, since you’re asking, +1 on keeping Good Book Thursdays and Happiness Sundays and ditching Working Wednesdays.

  26. I’m glad you decided to keep Good Book Thursday. This is pretty much the only day I comment here. I even started to write reminders to myself what I read during the week, so I wouldn’t forget to put it in my comments on Thursdays. And I got so many good reading recommendations from it, I’ve lost count long ago.

    1. I think Good Book Thursday is probably the most valuable thing Argh does. It’s such a small community and we get to know each other so it really is friend recommendations. All of which is to say, I’ll keep Good Book Thursday forever.

  27. First, I would like to say that I am in awe of how much you post and how regularly. I struggle with consistancy on my social media accounts.

    Second, I love this blog because it is the only place where I consistantly interact with people who I don’t know IRL and that has been great because I find that my online voice is much harsher than I intend it to be. It’s good practice for me and you all are so nice to each other. I really appreciate that. I also follow Ilona Andrews’ blog because I love their work and they add fun stuff but the community can be a bit blood thirsty.

    About Working Wednesday… I am ambivilent towards it because it doesn’t start as many conversations. We share things, which is fun, especially the pictures but we don’t really talk. Maybe it can be reworked to foster more discussion? Crafting and home decor and gardening are all things that I love. What about a recipe share? I am always looking for something new to try. I don’t really like cooking but do love to eat and sometimes it’s hard to find new ideas.

    1. Quite a few people have commented that they feel excluded from Working Wednesdays, and your idea that it doesn’t foster conversation as the other days do is interesting. I wouldn’t want recipes myself, but perhaps we could focus on trying new things??

      I don’t see Working Wednesdays as being for posting achievements necessarily, but for sharing where you’re at with whatever your ‘work’/main focus at the moment is. (Perhaps ‘new things’ would put off the same people, in fact.)

      1. I feel the same way. Kind of a what did you do this week thing. I’ll leave it up for now, maybe think of a way to reconfigure it.

      2. I like Jane B’s suggestion. Working does imply “in progress.” The Girl Scouts have “Try-its” (I think maybe ReFab did too?)

        Here is something that occurred to me just about 2 weeks ago. I thought that I didn’t have anything to post. But then I thought about the fact that we all do “Stuff” and it’s easy to lose track of our successes, even – or maybe especially – if they are small. But they are still important for our growth..

        Perhaps we are all becoming well educated in viruses. Perhaps we are reading new authors, or re-reading old favorites. Perhaps just unloading the dishwasher after avoiding it for whatever reason should be acknowledged as progress, as the work that was needed.

        IDK.

  28. I occasionally get a good book off of Thursdays, and I love the happiness Sundays which makes me at least try to come up with one happy thing. The working Wednesdays mostly make me depressed because I can’t quilt/crochet/knit/fill in the blank.

    And I want you to have less on your plate. So maybe Thursday, Sunday, and whatever you want one other day of the week?

    Thanks for being here for us. ARGH.

  29. I’ll be ok if Working Wednesday goes, but only if people keep up with the IG posts. I love the cats, the quilts, the garden, the dinners. That said, I’m glad to pop in whenever there’s a post and catch up on various lives

    I’ve been mostly driven back into lurk as my stupid iPad locks up every time I try to reply to anyone’s comments. I don’t know if it’s the iPad or safari, but it’s really beginning to irk me!

    I’m sorry to hear about the angle grinder incident, I’m grateful for the KJ Charles recommendation, there was something about a sci fi recommendation but I don’t remember what.

    1. Sounds similar to my experience on my iPad for the past few weeks. I’d say about half the time I comment it ends up taking several minutes while Safari hangs and then says ‘can’t open page’, and I eventually manage to navigate back to my comment (usually) and post it the second or third time around. I know Mollie was trying to solve this, but it hasn’t gone away, alas.

  30. Isn’t every day Cherry Saturday here?
    I love Working Wednesdays. I need the reminder that it’s possible to fit other stuff in between going to work, going to sleep, and doing some cooking and laundry. And reading All The Things. I’m sorry to hear it doesn’t work for some people.

  31. I LOVE YOUR POSTS ON WRITING! I have saved every relevant post in a special folder. On Friday, my writing group on Zoom had a long discussion on structure and I introduced the concept of a spine because of you, dear Jenny. After we closed I went back and sent them two of your posts as follow-up.
    I read your blog hoping every time for a post on writing. Re: conflict box, spines, antagonists, protags, revision, theme, etc.! Have learned SO MUCH from you, and those posts keep me going as a writer. So I would vote for much more of those on the blog.
    Also…please write that book on writing.
    Thank you for all you do!! 😘

    1. Oh, that’s great to hear.
      I’m working through the archives to republish things now, so the writing stuff will go back up.
      And someday, that writing book . . .

  32. Hmm… even though I mostly comment on Good Book Thursday, I still enjoy checking in with the Argh Community on other days.

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