Zero to Hero: Day 30 or “We happy few…”

Day 30Extend your brand, think about a bigger strategic plan for promoting your online presence, and set a goal for the next 30 days.

“We few, we happy few, we band of brothers…”

(…and sisters of course, which goes without saying)

Congratulations everyone! We made it, and my thanks to those of you who have been following theotherpalette and for your comments and “likes” which have all been very much appreciated. And special thanks to Michelle (OK, I’m humouring you as requested!) and to all the WordPress team who have guided us along the way.

I thought for this final blog of the 30 days I would be a little creative with one or two of my posts and re-present them in a different form.  

First, a final image to complement Siena revisited and my happy association with Magdalena’s Just Visit Siena, with a page from the journal I kept throughout our Italian “pilgrimage” in 1999, with more to come in the coming weeks. 

Journal i

Secondly, I have made our visit to St Antimo into a short video including that beautiful Gregorian chant. Since I do not have the video option on this site I have posted it on thechangingpalette and invite you to view it there; the same photos and music but in video form.  Let me know your thoughts.

And finally, I have also converted the seagull images from my submission to Sonel’s Photo-Editing Challenge into a very short video, complete with sound, which I have now added to the end of the original posting.

Both videos were good exercises using iPhoto, iMovie, iTunes and the seamless video and sound options of WordPress.

Now that January and Z2H are over, theotherpalette will be on hiatus for a while with my goal for the next 30 days being to scan many of those old black and white and colour negatives that I wrote about on Day 29 into a gallery of the best, which I’ll post at the end of February. So stay tuned, and if you would like to continue following me on thechangingpalette, I will continue to submit regularly to the weekly photo challenges.

So until next time, happy blogging…



Zero to Hero: Day 29

Day 29: Think through your idea editorial calendar. Bonus: develop a regular feature for your blog.

With one more day to go this is a good opportunity to take stock.  Over the past month I have continued to post regularly on my other site thechangingpalette to various photo challenges, which have increased in number over the past few weeks.

The Weekly Photo Challenge

The Weekly Travel Theme

The Weekly Photo-Editing Challenge

The Monday Bouquet

At the same time, I have posted regularly on theotherpalette to the various Zero to Hero daily assignments, which has been a valuable learning experience, and many thanks are due to the WordPress team for guiding us along.  Hopefully the blogging will continue to improve with more photo challenges to come.

One of my plans for 2014 is to digitize my old black and white as well as color negatives and color kodachrome slides, which I am happy to say remain in pristine condition, even though many of them are over forty years old. I suspect you have similar archival boxes of old photographic material, so why not join me and continue journeying towards blogging “herohood”; looking back as we go forward.

London i

The negative for this image is over forty years old and yet it is as if I took this photograph of Prince Charles and Princess Anne riding through the streets of the City of London only yesterday.

I’m looking forward to getting started, with so much more to come…

Zero to Hero: Day 28

Day 28: Find the post that has received the most views, likes, or comments, and write a related follow-up post. 

Perhaps my most popular post over the past nearly 30 days on theotherpalette was  “Siena revisited” on Days 17 and 18, and it was also my happy introduction to Magdalena and her wonderful Just Visit Siena site.  I thought I would make my follow-up post about our visit to the Abbey of St Antimo, a former Benedictine Monastry in the commune of Montalcino in Tuscany.  On a day trip from Siena we took an unforgettable 10 kilometer walk through the magnificent Tuscan country side to reach St Antimo.  Enjoy the pictures and listen to the beautiful Gregorian chant, “Haec Dies” from “Mysterium” a recording made in the Abbey in April 1995 by the five fathers of the Communita die Canonici Regolari di Sant’Antimo.

Zero to Hero: Day 26

Day 26: Look back over what you’ve published. What have you been most proud of? What are the common threads? Which have been most popular? Create and save at least two draft posts with ideas that come from those.

What a valuable assignment this has been, and what a surprise to see how much has been accomplished in the last 25 days:

  • Days 1, 2 & 3: The start of this 30 day quest for “hero-hood” which began on my other site, thechangingpalette, with a goal of becoming “a better blogger”; together with an explanation as to why I ever started. It was to allow family and friends to follow us, “virtually” on our trek of a lifetime to Machu Picchu last June. Now here I am still blogging away eight months later; who’d have thought it?
  • Day 4: theotherpalette is borne! Rather than experiment on thechangingpalette, I felt that a new site would allow me the freedom to develop new skills, which I could then apply to both sites.  Success!  This was also the day we were asked to “Explore the Neighborhood”. One of the great blogs I discovered in the process was The Ugly Volvo, and I would recommend that you visit today’s posting “10 Reasons Why Tiger Momes are TOTALLY AWESOME“, that is simply brilliant!
  • Days 5 & 6: Trying different themes introduced us to what’s out there. I also published a post with the new element of sound having been inspired by Kristy’s blog Hills & Bridges.
  • Day 7: A new header and background, with great advice from Michelle, who has continued to encourage and advise us each and every day. Thanks Michelle if you are reading this.
  • Day 8: Finally tackling an “about” page, which was eventually posted on Day 10. I haven’t revisited it, but after reading it through again perhaps I should.  Thoughts?
  • Day 9: The Ten Best Reasons to travel in the Blogosphere; still time to add yours.
  • Days 11,12 & 13: A great conversation with Michelle from Ilovemyplot, and an understanding of what it means, both to be inspired by and to be inspiring to, others in the blogging community.  This led to a “blogroll” in my side bar.
  • Day 14: Who would have thought that you could fall in love with a “window” but I did, and confessed to Kristy that I had done so when I saw her Weekly Photo Challenge!
  • Day 15: A useful exercise in “customizing” to be applied as time goes by.
  • Day 16: A personalized take on the Daily Prompt: Reputation, although I confess mine was not a particularly personal one. Nevertheless the post using text and a small adjacent image I felt showed definite visual improvement.
  • Days 17 & 18: A happy “virtual” meeting with Magdalena and her lovely travelers blog Just Visit Siena. My post “Siena Revisited” has been one of my most successful ones, mainly due to Magdalena generously featuring it on her blog.
  • Day 19: Definitely a format I hadn’t used before – poetry and photography.
  • Day 20: Another “small step for man”…well anyway it was for me. Menu items for the first time, having tried unsuccessfully several times over the past few months. Proof positive that this 30 day journey has been worthwhile every step of the way, with menu items now present on both blogs. Finally an understanding of what I have to do to create a menu. I even added one today (see Day 26 below).
  • Day 21: Linked to my Twitter page @changingpalette.
  • Day 22: Viewing the Blog Events Listing led me to another happy “virtual” meeting, Sonel’s Photo-Editing Challenge, and an introduction to many other great photo bloggers. (Which reminds me to submit to this week’s challenge: (Not) Alfred Hitchcocks…..The Seagulls. What a great title for a challenge don’t you think?)
  • Day 23: A links and roundup day of some really great blogs, all of which I look forward to following
  • Day 24: I dedicated this post to a real life Hero, which I hope you will read if you have the time.
  • Day 25: Yesterday’s post was a shout out to two great photographic blogs, Deb Gale’s Carry My Camera and Tina Schell’s Travels and Trifles. I would like to re-quote a quotation that Tina used from E. A. Bucchianari, because it is such a perfect one for all of us, “Make your lives a masterpiece, you only get one canvas

…And so we are back to where we started, with Day 26 and a draft page that has become a reality.  Earlier this month I decided I would post a bouquet each Monday morning throughout the year on thechangingpalette.  As I started posting I thought it would be great to have a final post at the end of December with all the bouquets from the year. But then I thought…”why wait”… which is why you now see a new item entitled “A Year of Monday Bouquets” under photography on the menu bar. Instead of waiting until December I will just keep adding the Monday bouquet each week and let the page keep growing; at least that’s the plan.

…and that’s what they call in show business, ” A wrap”…

Zero to Hero: Day 25

Day 25: Browse the blogs you follow and note a custom touch you love. Tell the blogger you love it, and interpret it for your own blog.

Deb Gale’s site Carry My Camera and Tina Schell’s Travels and Trifles are two great photographic sites that I always look forward to visiting.  I particularly like Deb’s list of “Others liked” in her sidebar and have been trying to re-create it in mine today, without much success. I suspect it may be that my Theme, Twenty Eleven, doesn’t allow me to create the small thumbnails with adjacent text that Deb uses in hers.  For today’s post I have added some of my favored posts to my sidebar but the effect is not quite what I had hoped for; to be continued as a work in progress.

One of the great pleasures of Tina’s posts, other than the wonderful photographs, is reading the quotation that accompanies each image. Take a look at her Temples of Angkor and enjoy one of the best examples of a photo essay you could hope to find.  Her first quote from E. A. Bucchianari, “Make your lives a masterpiece, you only get one canvas” is one for us all to learn from.

“Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery”

Charles Caleb Colton

Zero to Hero: Day 24 – dedicated to a fallen hero

tulips iii

…I would like to dedicate my post and photos today to a real life hero, Tim Jones, who died suddenly and unexpectedly last Sunday .  Whilst I never knew him personally, like so many others, I was aware of his remarkable leadership and heroism. He had been a volunteer with Vancouver’s North Shore Mountain Rescue Service since 1987 and over the past nearly thirty years involved in over 2000 rescues. I would encourage you to read about his life and the people whose lives he saved.  Today he is being honoured with a parade through the streets of North Vancouver followed by a memorial service.

Petals ii

To the memory of Tim Jones, 1956 -2014, together with all our other fallen heroes

Zero to Hero: Day 23

Day 23: Publish a roundup post that links to posts on at least three other blogs, and tell us why you love the posts — and why we should read ‘em.

In response to today’s assignment, I would like to highlight what has become one of the pleasures of this 30 day journey in blogging improvement: the opportunity to meet new bloggers and to learn so many new skills.  Yesterday’s post introduced me, and you, to Sonel’s Photo-Editing Challenge, and through it a whole list of talented photographic bloggers. Here are just a few of them but to see a complete list visit Sonel’s blog.

…so the journey continues with seven more days to go…

Zero to Hero: Day 22

Day 22: Find a blogging event and throw your hat into the ring.

Through the Blog Events Listing I discovered the perfect event to throw my would-be hero’s “hat in the ring”:  Sonel’s Corner Photo-Editing Challenge.  This is Week 12 of the challenge and is entitled Unusual Anglesphotos taken at an unusual or extreme angle or vantage point.  Since I already regularly submit to the Daily Post’s Weekly Photo Challenge,  I shall look forward to making future submissions to Sonel’s Corner.

My submission today is a photograph taken at the Vancouver Convention Centre and edited in Adobe Photoshop Elements, a program in which I do all my photo editing.

angles i
angles iiiangles ii

Zero to Hero: Day 21

Day 21: publish a post inspired by your post from Day 19, and publicize it on one or more of your social networks.

…Since I have already tweeted my Day 19 post to twitter, @changingpalette, and in keeping with the spirit of today’s assignment, I thought I would post a painting that was inspired by my visit to the Asklepion and the Temple of Apollo on the Island of Kos and which I gave as a gift to the medical Class of 2002 at their graduation ceremony…


Zero to Hero: Day 20

Day 20: Today’s assignment: add a new page to your blog.


Another “small step for man,” although definitely not a “giant leap for mankind”. There are now menu items in addition to my about page as you can see. The benefit of having a Test blog, which is private fortunately, has allowed me to troubleshoot this whole process over the past three hours! The Zero to Hero posts can now be visited sequentially; the Weekly Photo Challenge and Travel are highlighted; and there is a link to my other site, thechangingpalette.  I would call this a successful day.

A final accolade was receiving a warm and wonderful comment from “big brother’ who is always caringly watching over us.  It notes that the stats on my “Test Blog” are “booming” with over 40 hourly views.  I think this notification is deserving of a special quotation,

Your stats are booming! Looks like “My Test Blog” is getting lots of traffic.

The question is whether or not to admit to the traffic being all me!

The photograph of Buzz Aldrin descending from the lunar module is 
courtesy of NASA