Finding Your Way Around RAMH

Miscellaneous map (NOT of Running After My Hat :)Running After My Hat is not about anything in particular. Which makes it easy to follow over time, maybe… but it can really complicate things for first-time visitors.

The best way to find what you might be interested in is to use the list of categories over there in the left-hand sidebar. Clicking on a category for a list of all posts which (according to me, anyhow) fall under that topic.

A couple of points to remember about this list:

  1. Categories are not mutually exclusive. A given post may be (usually is) assigned to more than one category.
  2. Not often, but every now and then, I add a new category. After I’ve done that, I recall an earlier post which might belong to that category. Do I then revisit the post and assign it to that category, as well as any others? Naaaaah.

You can also search the blog’s content; use the “Search this site…” field at the top right. Note that this does not seem to search comments — only posts. The best way to search everywhere at the site is to use Google’s “site:” feature. For instance:

site:johnesimpson.com music -"big band" ella OR armstrong

This looks for all content here (including comments etc.) containing the word music, NOT including (see the little minus sign?) the phrase big band, but also including either the word ella or the word armstrong.

Now that I’ve been doing this for a few years, maybe the “truest” way to discover what it’s about is to explore the sub-categories under the category called “Running After My Hat.”

Each of these sub-categories constitutes a recurring series of posts on a particular topic. Current series listed over there are:

  • Flange: none of these have been posted for quite some time. Flange is my co-blogger, an ancient gargoyle with a craving for self-expression.
  • Midweek Music Break: the most recently added series. As you might guess, every Wednesday there’s (brief) entry focusing on a single song, music video, or — less often — performer.
  • Paying Attention: what does it take to write satisfying fiction? My answer, more or less evolving, boils down to this. Each entry in the series focuses on something or other which I’ve recently encountered and which is yet another something I’ve got to worry about keeping straight. They’re almost never about straight-up writing mechanics like dialogue. For instance, three successive posts in this category were called “Paying Attention to Your Sense of Play,” “…to  Unpleasantness,” and “…to the Magical.”
  • Perfect Moments: I don’t expect the moments documented here to match everyone’s idea of “perfect.” They were for me, though: oh yes, they were. (Formerly a subcategory under Everyday Life.)
  • Real-Life Dialogue: more or less what it says. Transcriptions of actual conversations, in most (all?) of which I’ve participated myself.
  • What’s in a Song: Fairly heavily researched posts, most in two parts, about American popular songs with long histories. Many of these have focused on show tunes from the 1920s and ’30s still being recorded today, but I’ve got one on a Shaker hymn, and I wouldn’t be surprised to find something from (say) the country or gospel traditions here.
  • whiskey river Fridays: too hard to explain this one here. It’s the only series with its own page of explanation. :)
By the way, the numbers in parentheses after the category names indicate how many posts are so categorized. (In the right sidebar’s “recent entries” list, parenthesized numbers indicate how many comments have been offered so far on a given post.)

 

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Comments

  1. Thanks for linking to the NewPages lit mag list in your Writers’ Biz sidebar.

    Could you update the link please to:
    http://www.newpages.com/literary-magazines/

    Glad I found your blog. I’m going to spend some time poking around!

  2. Hey there, Casey. Thanks for the correction — done!

  3. someone's brudder says:

    J, just came here to look for some old stuff to which I wanted to refer someone else. there is no “sidebar” for navigation in Chrome on our Mac. All of the “categories” appear at the bottom of the page along with Hats Recently chased at the bottom after all the most recent posts, just before sending one “back to the top”. thought you should know.

    • Thanks. Yeah, the location of the sidebar is one of those things I’ve been putting off dealing with. The WordPress theme I bought for the redesign positions the sidebar at the bottom by default — the fix should be fairly simple, but I’ve been desperate to do something creative (non-tech, and non-Pooch-related) for a month now, and keep postponing this. The catch — since I want the design to respond fluidly, depending on the screen width of the device accessing the blog — is that the sidebar should appear at the right ONLY if its width is not squeezing out the width of the main content. In that event, I do want the “sidebar” to slip down to the bottom.

      Also missing: a “search” box. I’ve severely missed that feature, myself. For the record, though, you can search for ANYTHING specific here with a little Google-search feature that many people don’t know about — the site: modifier. It works like this, for example (click on it to see the result in a new tab/window):

      "brudder" OR "the missus" site:johnesimpson.com

      Which, maybe not surprisingly, returns every single page (including some index/archive ones) at johnesimpson.com which contains EITHER the word “brudder” OR the phrase “The Missus” — in the post, in a comment, in the title, etc. (The “OR” must be in caps so Google knows you aren’t just looking for occurrences of the word “or.”)

    • Update, 2015-07-03:

      Well, I got the sidebar to the right. Things now look a bit untidy on the interior, in my opinion: margins need to be wider, for one thing (text crowds too close to the boxes surrounding the main content, especially).

      Furthermore, the “responsiveness” works, but only in a sort of half-*ssed way: the sidebar STAYS to the right, even if the screen narrows.

      Sigh… perhaps the sun will come out tomorrow!

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