Roping in readers

Woah…hard to believe it’s been two whole years since I gave birth! Not to a baby—at least not the kind that squeals and squirms and grows up to need braces, a room in the house you avoid at all costs, and a college fund. Two years ago today, I began this blog.

In looking back over how my little creation went from wet behind the ears to toddling around getting into trouble, I figured I’d acknowledge its 4,000-plus viewers-to-date by sharing some of my favorite ways it’s been visited this year.

Unlikely links to An Unbroken Bond: Proof of my premise that much of what’s good and true in my life is somehow, someway rooted in Rangeley, I’m honored to report that the largest percentage of searchers landing on my blog were looking for my friend, Edie Lutnick’s book, An Unbroken Bond. So how does a blog rambling about life in the woods by a big, quiet lake end up promoting an award-winning biography about an event that rocked the world from our nation’s core? Just how does an author like myself—who marks the seasons turning with passages like “Out Like a Lamb-eating Yeti”—help another author reveal what it was really like surviving the aftermath of 9/11, what it really means to never forget 10 years later? Very serendipitously. That’s the short answer. For the long answer, see my tenth anniversary tribute. Then please click on the book graphic (to the right of this post) to read Edie’s story, share it, and join the bond that winds its way from the mountains of Maine back to the heart of Manhattan and beyond.

Taking my serious cap back off, I will now pay tribute to my random blog viewers. By random, I mean these folks are not my regular acquaintances, or those who log on because I wrote the URL on a cocktail napkin they stuffed in their purse, or even those who get curious because they heard about the “Rangeley blog lady” from a friend of a friend. I’m paying tribute here to those Googlers who most likely were looking for something entirely different when they happened upon my back woods website.

So here’s to the best of this year’s Rooted In Rangeley search terms and the wayward surfers who found their way to my corner of the lake:

Rooted where? My search engine database is still logging plenty of “rootedinrangeley” attempts and a wide variety of spelling variations on my name and my location. Turns out, I am “routed” here and, some would say “rotted,” but usually just “joy’s blog in Rangeley.” Once I was even found at “My Fork in the Road, Maine.” (On occasion, I do confess to Googling my own self, just because I can. My blog publisher claims it doesn’t add to my reader tally, but it’s still fun to play cyber boomerang with myself now and then.)

Trip advisor (not!): Some people seem to have stumbled across me in their eagerness to discover all there is in to do in here in God’s country, and then some. They might come up in person, but only if they can figure out when the “worst mosquito months in Rangeley” are, what time it actually gets dark here, when will the lake freeze over, will the “Purple Onion” still be serving and, especially, will the transfer station (aka dump) stay open despite everything.

Quirky seasonal celebrations: I’m not the least bit surprised that this search term found me. Even when Santa has to rely on his hazard lights to land at the Wilhelm Reich Museum for his annual breakfast with the local kiddies, and the Easter bunny can barely hop down our muddy trails, Rangeley is a popular holiday destination. One potential visitor, however, seemed bent on “making myself into Santa” and becoming “Santa’s special helper” up here. He’d have to read and distill all my blogs to get the right answer: Move here year-round. Don’t shave or cut your hair from hunting season till ice out. Join the guide’s and sportsman’s club so you can fill out your flannel at their legendary potluck suppers. And keep your cheeks red and yourself jolly with regular summit-to-pub runs up on Saddleback. Oh and, to whoever read Quirky Turkey and A Moving Feast and wanted to know the “best kind of wine to serve with a seafood stuffed turducken,” the right answer is homemade apple—made from whatever Tom could put through the press before the deer nibbled ’em off the trees.

Woodsy Wikipedia: The 2012 award in this category goes to whoever was trying to locate the “tallest tree in Rangeley.” Can’t imagine what sort of research she’s doing, but I think she should ask CMP, M & H Logging, the Rangeley Lakes Heritage Trust, and the local float plane pilots. They’ll tell her the exact coordinates, how close it is to a power line, how much cord wood it would yield if it doesn’t survive the next wind storm, if an eagle calls it home, and how much it would cost to buzz over it.

Haphazard how-to advice: Since I offer cooking tips one week, then blab about my fashion blunders and my novel approach to home decorating the next, it only makes sense that I could attract folks wondering about “how to decorate my old snowshoes” along with those looking for “Tomlette recipes” (evidence there is another Tom out there making signature omelets or, at least, someone who wants to learn from him). I don’t know if, given the chance, I’d invite them off my virtual doorstep and in for coffee, except maybe those sisters still searching for “bathing suits that support real outdoor women.”

Top prize for 2012 search terms in this category is a toss up. I can’t for the life of me decide if the winning query should be “how to get squirrels in my wall to stop making flapping noises” or what to do when a “dead mouse in the wall smells like PMS.” Even though those researchers were misdirected to my take on The Other PMS (Persistent Male Snoring) and Creatures Stirring, I think they need to look way beyond the Web for the help they really need.

Boom chicka wah….what?: Whoever Googled “hot chicks in Rangeley” probably wasn’t looking for a blog featuring me in my fishing hat riding around in the canoe with a couple beagles, but I guess it depends on his definition of hot. And I’m pretty sure the mystery surfer who typed in “tales of Indian wives getting rooted by somebody besides their husbands” was not curious about my descriptions of life (alone with Tom) in the pucker brush. While I do hope to one day be accepted as a “native” around here, I will continue to keep myself “rooted” in a different context!

Seriously, thanks to my readers—those from away who wish they were here and those from here who aren’t scared off…yet. And thanks to my real kids who haven’t stopped speaking to me…yet. If not for all of you, I wouldn’t be Rooted In Rangeley, but trapped in the meandering tumbleweed of my own twisted mind.

2 thoughts on “Roping in readers

  1. There times when I finish reading your blog and think “What will she come up with next?!” and you never fail to entertain me, make me ponder and even provide me a way to look at things around me a bit differently…. keep the twisted mind well oiled – and keep on writing….


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