Training the Bots

It has come to my attention that I must train the bots. As I hike the WordPress wilderness in search of kindred spirits, I’m finding the bots need some help deciding what it is I’m looking for. This made me think of Lewis Carroll.

The time has come,’ the Walrus said,
      To talk of many things:
Of shoes — and ships — and sealing-wax —
      Of cabbages — and kings —
And why the sea is boiling hot —
      And whether pigs have wings.’

The Walrus and the Carpenter, by Lewis Carroll

The Walrus appears to be ahead of his time, listing off tags and search terms. However, I find I don’t share his interests particularly, although I do like a good pair of shoes.

Sometimes, I browse the WordPress Reader, making up search terms from things I know I like. You can find treasures that way. For example, I like tiny toys and handmade things, and I stumbled across two fun blogs browsing for dollhouses.

Quimper Hitty chronicles the wonderful domestic lives of a set of Hitty dolls. The name caught my eye because I read a book years ago called Hitty, Her First Hundred Years. I wondered if Hitty were the name of a type of doll, not just the name of the character in the book. It is! But the book is the beginning of this custom. The author, Rachel Field, found a little wooden doll in an antique shop, and the book grew from her curiosity about Hitty’s life before she found herself on that shelf.

I discovered Donahey Woodens and Friends on a day when ACorn the Squirrel had misplaced his hat on a midnight adventure involving a bear. The adventure ended well in that the bear was friendly, but the hat was much mourned. This morning, I was pleased to see that ACorn has a new one. ACorn’s human friend is adept at tiny knitting.

I love these tiny worlds, created with such loving imagination. They are a respite from the larger world and they water my story-loving-book-writing mind.

I also love gardens. I never seem to have time to make them in my real life, but I never tire of seeing them, on or off line. When I was little, my sister and I cleared a spot on the top shelf of a sort of built-in bookcase in our closet. It was a good sized space, probably 3 feet by 3 feet, or 2.5. We climbed onto it and pulled the folding doors shut behind us, and we cut out pictures from a seed catalog and taped them up all around us on the closet walls and the inside of the folding doors. It was a secret garden. It remains one of my most treasured childhood memories.

Susan Rushton is one gardener I’ve discovered in my rambles. I followed her for her beautiful photography and for the exquisite sensibility in this bit about susurrus.

I love books (to the surprise of no one), and I encounter many reviewers and book bloggers in my wanderings. Beloved Bookshelf is one I started following recently because I saw a much-loved book from my little girlhood in one of the photos and as I explored the site, it looked like the work of someone who enjoys many of the same kinds of children’s books that I do.

There are other sites – some are interesting because of their topic, some for the voice and personality of the person writing, some because they brush against whatever I was thinking of at the time. But I hope, dear bots, that you are paying attention and will direct your energies more fruitfully after clicking and whirring your way through this post. Should you require further instruction, please consider corgis, small friendly herbivores, home-made bread, daydreaming, literature, tea cups, India, and going to the beach in the fall.

Photo by Brett Jordan on Unsplash

3 thoughts on “Training the Bots

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