Below is our rota for the Pensives and Bi-weekly Wisdom blog posts.

We have two blog categories that alternate from week to week.

    • Bi-weekly Wisdom (For example: about the process of writing - yours or other people's; about writers or other creatives you admire; about what inspires your writing; about the professional experience of being a writer or learning to be a writer; about why and/or how you write; about books and/or language ... and so much more! For 2024, another option for this category is to respond to this question: What do all writers have in common? Or: What do all writers of [insert genre/field here] have in common?)
    • Pensives (These are writing prompts. Tasks or suggestions to help your fellow writers put pen to paper.)

We publish on Mondays before midnight (wherever you are), but it's good practice to put a draft of your post up on the site at least a few days in advance. Each blog post writer has an Editor they can call upon for assistance.

The Editor's job is to make sure the writers under their care know they are scheduled to write a post, and then to be available over the period when a post is being written and published to read, suggest corrections to the language, and make sure all essential points are covered.

Anyone can switch places with anyone else, but negotiate it between yourselves. Send a message to @JohnnAdmin and your Editor to keep us updated please. (An e-mail to admin@pensaroundtheworld.com will do it.)

    • Holiday on Monday 1 January 2024
    • John publishing a Review of 2023 on Monday 8 January - Editor John
    • Kimberly publishing a Pensive on Monday 15 January - Editor John
    • Michael publishing a Bi-weekly Wisdom on Monday 22 January - Editor John
    • Gail publishing a Pensive on Monday 29 January - Editor John
    • Guest blogger (Mirjam Frosth) posting on Monday 5 February - Editor Gail
    • Gill publishing a Bi-weekly Wisdom on Monday 12 February - Editor Gail
    • Nigel publishing a Pensive on Monday 19 February - Editor Gail
    • Rachel publishing a Bi-weekly Wisdom on Monday 26 February - Editor Gail
    • Debbie publishing a Pensive on Monday 4 March - Editor Nigel
    • Jos publishing a Bi-weekly Wisdom on Monday 11 March - Editor Nigel
    • Bruce publishing a Pensive on Monday 18 March - Editor Nigel
    • John publishing a Bi-weekly Wisdom on Monday 25 March - Editor Nigel
    • Guest blogger (Ruth Tauber) posting on Monday 1 April - Editor Kimberly
    • Miriam publishing a Pensive on Monday 8 April - Editor Kimberly
    • Kimberly publishing a Bi-weekly Wisdom on Monday 15 April - Editor Kimberly
    • Michael publishing a Pensive on Monday 22 April - Editor Kimberly
    • Gail publishing a Bi-weekly Wisdom on Monday 29 April - Editor Kimberly
    • Gill publishing a Pensive on Monday 6 May - Editor Debbie
    • Nigel publishing a Bi-weekly Wisdom on Monday 13 May - Editor Debbie
    • Rachel publishing a Pensive on Monday 20 May - Editor Debbie
    • Debbie publishing a Bi-weekly Wisdom on Monday 27 May - Editor Debbie
    • Guest blogger (Raissa Falgui) posting on Monday 3 June - Editor John
    • Jos publishing a Pensive on Monday 10 June - Editor John
    • Bruce/TBD publishing a Bi-weekly Wisdom on Monday 17 June - Editor John
    • Miriam publishing a Pensive on Monday 24 June - Editor John
    • Kimberly publishing a Bi-weekly Wisdom on Monday 1 July - Editor Nigel
    • Michael publishing a Pensive on Monday 8 July - Editor Nigel
    • Gail publishing a Bi-weekly Wisdom on Monday 15 July - Editor Nigel
    • Gill publishing a Pensive on Monday 22 July - Editor Nigel
    • Debbie publishing a Bi-weekly Wisdom on Monday 29 July - Editor Nigel
    • Guest blogger posting on Monday 5 August - Editor John
    • Rachel publishing a Pensive on Monday 12 August - Editor John
    • Nigel publishing a Bi-weekly Wisdom on Monday 19 August - Editor John
    • Jos publishing a Pensive on Monday 26 August - Editor John
    • Bruce/TBD publishing a Bi-weekly Wisdom on Monday 2 September - Editor Kimberly
    • John publishing a Pensive on Monday 9 September - Editor Kimberly
    • Miriam publishing a Bi-weekly Wisdom on Monday 16 September - Editor Kimberly
    • Gail publishing a Pensive on Monday 23 September - Editor Kimberly
    • Michael publishing a Bi-weekly Wisdom on Monday 30 September - Editor Kimberly
    • Guest blogger posting on Monday 7 October - Editor Debbie
    • Gail publishing a Pensive on Monday 14 October - Editor Debbie
    • Gill publishing a Bi-weekly Wisdom on Monday 21 October - Editor Debbie
    • Nigel publishing a Pensive on Monday 28 October - Editor Debbie
    • Rachel publishing a Bi-weekly Wisdom on Monday 4 November - Editor Gail
    • Debbie publishing a Pensive on Monday 11 November - Editor Gail
    • Jos publishing a Bi-weekly Wisdom on Monday 18 November - Editor Gail
    • Bruce/TBD publishing a Pensive on Monday 25 November - Editor Gail
    • Guest blogger posting on Monday 2 December - Editor John
    • Miriam publishing a Bi-weekly Wisdom on Monday 9 December - Editor John
    • John publishing a Pensive on Monday 16 December - Editor John
    • Holiday on Monday 23 December 2024 (Holiday Greetings card) -  Editor John
    • Holiday/No publication 30 December
      • John publishing a review of the year 2024 on Monday 6 January

Updated for the 4th Chain on 13 May 2024.

1. John
2. Gail
3. Nigel
4. Miriam
5. Kimberly
6. Jos
7. Michael
8. Gill
9. Debbie
10. John

When you log in to the website, your profile page is the first that you see. If you have never had anything to do with WordPress before, this will be blank with a greyed-out area as your cover image and a white-on-grey figure as your profile photo. Your website @name will appear in white superimposed on the cover image next to your profile photo.

(If you have a WordPress account elsewhere, and have uploaded information about yourself to WP’s associated Gravitar site, your profile may include a profile image and a bio drawn from that information. If so, and if you’re happy with that leave it. Otherwise you can change the biographical information, and the profile portrait by following the instructions below.)

Image of blank member profile

Below all the grey areas, you’ll see six tabs: Home, Activity, Profile, Notifications, Messages, Friends, Settings

Click on Profile

Under this tab you’ll see four more tabs: View, Edit, Change the Profile Photo, Change the Cover image.

(NOTE: You cannot change your bio here. We’ll get on to that!)

Taking these tabs in reverse order…

Under Change the Cover Image, you can upload a picture from your hard disc. For the best results make sure to upload an image that is larger than 1300px wide, and 225px tall. You should be able to see the picture replace the grey block at the top of the page.

Under Change the Profile Photo, you can upload a picture from your hard disc. For the best results, upload an image that between 500px by 500px and 1000px by 1000px. You will be able to crop the picture once you’ve uploaded it, so it doesn’t have to be square, but making your picture square before you upload it gives you better control over the final image. Again, once you’ve uploaded it, you should see your portrait replace the white-on-grey figure outline.

Under Edit you’ll see a number of fields. You can add direct URLs (links) to your website and to your social media accounts. Website Admin can add new fields. Let the administrator(s) know which new fields you would like. Only those fields with a link will be visible on your profile. They will appear to the right of your portrait photo, under the cover image.

To edit your bio, in the first set of tabs (Home, Activity, Profile, etc.) click on Home.

Scroll down a little and you should see a clickable link “Edit your bio”. Click on it.

This takes you to a section of the website “behind the scenes”. There is a black sidebar to the left, a black bar across the top of the page and you can see your profile photo with the title: Profile Picture next to it. Directly above the words Profile Picture, you’ll see Biographical Info, and next to that a text box with under it: “Share a little biographical information to fill out your profile. This may be shown publicly.”

Write or paste your bio into the text box.

Pens Around the World recommend that you write a short bio in the third person, as you would like it to appear in a book perhaps. But write however you like. Just remember this bio, together with your profile portrait, will appear under every post you publish on the website.

Remember to update/save this page once you have added your bio details.

Take a moment to scroll up and down this page.

Apart from the Biographical Info, note that you can reset your password from this page.

Make sure you have checked the “Notify me when I get mentioned” box under Forum.

You can also add a Signature which will appear under any message you write to another member in the Forums.

Any further questions? Contact one of the website administrators: @johnadmin 

Click on this link:

https://pensaroundtheworld.com/wp-login.php

Then click on "Lost your pasword?"

 

Our blog posts come in two flavours that alternate

    • Bi-weekly Wisdom: About writing, writers and our inspiration for writing.
    • Pensives: Writing prompts

For pedantic instructions about posting to these categories, see here: https://pensaroundtheworld.com/how-to-post-a-blog-also-for-muses-posted-to-the-front-page/

See also the How-to videos on this page: https://pensaroundtheworld.com/how-to-videos/

Key section: Two final essentials to check before you publish...

https://pensaroundtheworld.com/how-to-post-a-blog-also-for-muses-posted-to-the-front-page/#access_forum

There is a dedicated page to answer this question! Go here:

https://pensaroundtheworld.com/faq/adding-images/

New members are offered an existing member as a buddy during their trial month.

If you’ve been a member some time, you’ll be familiar with the website, have posted a blog or a pensive and understand the ethos of PATW. To a newbie, this will all be unfamiliar ground and having a guide and mentor will ease their progress and give them confidence.

The following are guidelines for a buddy:

  • As soon as you’re nominated, make contact, by e-mail perhaps. Zoom if you can. Face-to-face over Zoom or Skype makes it easier to establish rapport. A telephone call can also be useful.
  • Try to get to know the new member, their writing interests, whether they’ve published anywhere and if they’ve any particular questions. What do they expect to gain from membership?
  • The Pens Around The World website is a good, clear one, but it takes time to be familiar with it. Describe and discuss the various sections, ask the member to have a good look round, then come back with any queries. Some folk are IT literate; others aren’t.
  • Describe the blogs, the Bi-weekly Wisdom and Pensives sections, point to the FAQs on the subject and explain that technical and editorial help is available.
  • Check what IT system they use and if there are any problems eg unreliable Internet which can’t support programmes like Skype or Zoom.
  • Explain that the four-member exec is responsible for running PATW in consultation with the members.
  • Talk them through the monthly Zoom meetings and direct them towards the Zoom Meeting notes in the FAQs.
  • Feel free to contact a member of the executive if you run into an issue you can’t solve.
  • Be there as a friend to help and guide until the fledgling is ready to quit the nest

As of January 2022, we are paying for the "professional" version of Zoom.

Here is a link to a PDF document that may be helpful: NOTES ON TAKING PART IN ZOOM MEETINGS.

Bear in mind that we're all learning how to use Zoom and how to make the best use of it. Some of the Notes refer to using Zoom generally (eg: Extraneous noise). Other notes are more specific to our monthly business meetings over Zoom (eg: the section on Minutes; references to an Agenda). This document may well be updated as we get more familiar with the using Zoom.

To edit one of your forum posts

You can always edit your own comments on forum posts - but only your own comments - by clicking on the "Edit" button in the top right corner of your comment's field.

To edit one of your comments on a blog post (Bi-weekly Wisdom, Pensives etc)

Members can always edit their own blog comments. (But non-members can't.)

To edit your comment you must be logged in because you have to go behind the scenes to do it. Hover over the Pens Around The World in the black bar at the top and click on Dashboard when it appears.

On the Dashboard you should see a field called Activity. Under that are two panels, one under the other on my Dashboard (yours may look different). One panel is Recently Published, the other is Recent Comments. At the bottom of Recent Comments you should see some statistics: All, Mine, Pending, Approved, Spam.  Click on Mine to see all your blog comments in a list, the latest at the top.

Hover your cursor over the comment you want to change and you'll see a list of options appear: Unapprove | Reply | Quick Edit | Edit | Spam | Bin

Click Edit (NOT Quick Edit) to edit the comment. Click Bin to erase it completely.

Contact someone with administrator privileges.

Write to @JohnNAdmin within the website.

Or write to admin@pensaroundtheworld.com

The main wordpress suite just offers the basics. There are plugins, additional bits of software which you install as extras, to do other stuff. There are literally thousands of options to manage users, forums and, oh, everything you can think of. Do you want random lyrics from "Hello Dolly" to crop up with every page? There is a plugin which offers that.

This means that some basics, like a user profile, are offered by the original wordpress suite, and also in different plugins which have their own, independent profile software. The two different bits of software are separate, but both take material from the other.

Should I worry that this is unorganised? I wouldn't if I were you, just try changing either or both and see what happens.

This website has been set up using wordpress. This is a suite of software that lets you set up a website, manage members, log ins, forums, analytics and other things. The suite lets the admin arrange everything by just clicking menus, the admin doesn't see any of the code underneath.

Advantage is that it all gets done quickly, and all the fiddly details are (mostly) right first time. Disadvantage is that you can only do what a menu offers, so even really simple design things can't be done if they are not a menu option.

In the PC and Tablet versions of the website, but not in the smartphone version, there is a field at the top of the page above the logo where a random quote appears. All members can add quotes to the database.

I'm sorry, but the plug-in that powered this option has been discontinued and I've not yet found a suitable replacement. I shall update this answer when (if) I do.

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