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Blogger Elaine Magalis of Late Fruit, and I met for lunch at King Arthur Flour in Norwich, Vermont, this afternoon for some serious blogging talk. We also broke some good bread together.  

She and I are both at a crossroads in our cyber careers. She has to decide which is more important at this point in her life: Writing novels or keeping her blog fresh and vital? And, as you know, I have to decide whether or not to run for president.

It’s a tough decision for each of us.

If you haven’t visited Late Fruit, you’re in for an intellectual treat. Not only is Elaine a delightfully literate and lyrical writer, she has a sharp eye for strong visuals. Some are quirky, others are just plain beautiful.

Elaine uses her blog to focus her thinking on the role of art and creativity in a full life. She also ponders the inevitability of aging and death, and seems ready to accept both as part of the bargain we strike for a rich life. Hers has been a winding spiritual journey, one that took her to exotic climes then dropped her down in three feet of snow in a tiny town nestled against the Canadian border. Even though Elaine is a country girl today, she says New York City will always be her spiritual home. She thrives on the diversity and inherent energy of that city.   

If you go to Late Fruit here, you might want to leave a comment to let Elaine know you want her to come back someday and share more of her thoughts.



 
 
Sorry to report that Nancy Belle, blogger extraordinaire and a regular at Birds, died last week in Baltimore, at age 66.

Nancy, who called herself NancyB, blogged at The Tempered Optimist, where she advocated for universal, quality  health care, one of many benefits she believed everyone should enjoy.  She also regularly contributed to the discussion at Time Goes By. TGB's Ronni Bennett wrote a lovely post about her here.

Nancy was part of the group invited to participate in conference calls with the office of Sen. Harry Reid (D-Nev) during the health care reform debate.  On the morning after the vote, this is what she wrote on her blog:

I watched CSPAN well into the wee hours and tweeted on the progress of the HCR bill along with thousands of others. The experience of connecting with others and watching history being made was incredible and exciting.

I, for one, will miss her passionate commitment to social justice.  

 

 
 
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Hey, I missed Blogroll Amnesty Day, whatever that is.

Here's what the February 3 holiday's founder Jon Swift had to say about it, on his own blog:

From the day I started this modest blog I have tried to follow one simple rule, the Golden Rule of Blogging: Blog unto others as you would have them blog unto you. I don't call people nasty names because I don't like being called nasty names. I don't try to out pseudonymous bloggers because I don't want to be outted. I don't attack bloggers' families because I don't want my family attacked. And when someone is kind enough to add me to their blogroll, I add them to mine as well. It seems to me that it is the polite thing to do.

I remember how difficult it was to get people to notice my blog when I first started out. "Build it and they will come," apparently only works with magic baseball fields. The only way to get anyone to notice my blog was to get them to link to me and that was not always easy. I linked to other bloggers and clicked on those links hoping they would notice my link in Sitemeter. I sent emails to other bloggers asking them to take a look at my latest piece or to add me to their blogrolls. I instituted my "Liberal Blogrolling Policy" offering to exchange links with anyone who linked to me. As more blogs began to link to me and add me to their blogrolls, a curious thing began to happen. More people came to my blog from those links and from Google. And many of those readers then visited the blogs that I linked to. Though it cost nothing to link to someone, I realized that on the Internet links are capital. Every link has value. And when two bloggers link to each other, they both profit.


See http://jonswift.blogspot.com/2008/02/blogroll-amnesty-day.html for more.


In honor of this special occasion, I’ve added to my blogroll, and encourage everyone to expand their horizons by checking out the offerings (some big, most small) provided by some of our fellow bloggers and readers. Of course, I hope they add Birds on a Wire Blog to their list, too.
 
Psst, tomorrow is a big day in Birdland. Can you guess what it is? Hint: It will take one candle. Stay tuned.