Today’s my birthday and it’s the coldest one I can ever remember having! Temps have barely gotten above freezing today and snow clouds are building overhead.
I’ve been working hard since I got up this morning to bring this new site online before the end of the day. It might not happen today though, because it’s already a quarter until seven and I’m still not ready yet. And besides, I think this might affect my blog subscribers and I need to give at least a little warning before I throw everyone overboard like that. Hopefully, subscribers will just be reassigned to the new one since it’s going to occupy the same space the old one did (when it’s migrated), but I’m not sure. Right now I’m building it in a separate folder on a separate installation of WordPress, so there’s no telling what’ll happen when I pull the plug on the old one. Yes, that makes me a tad nervous.
Why go through all this trouble?
Well, my old site is … old. I have more than a thousand posts to that blog and when I first started I was new at blogging and didn’t know a thing about SEO. Apparently Google takes offense at repetition of post titles and topics, and they take serious offense at what they consider to be “poor content”.
I take exception to the idea that my content was poor, but since this site is crucial to our business I have to consider the impact of old convoluted blogs to the bottom line. I’ve been blogging since at least 2003, possibly earlier. When I first came to WordPress I already had a Blogger blog several years old. And so I imported it. And then later I went online with the WildOzark.com domain and moved the blog over to the self-hosted version of WordPress and imported again.
Until September my search engine ranking was great and I had a healthy stream of traffic in spite of the jumble of topics, categories and tags. And then the latest update with Google’s inner workings happened and the bottom fell out. As I set about repairing the old site I came to the gradual understanding that it just might not be possible to fix it. Not without a huge amount of work and hair-pulling, anyway.
And so now I’m almost ready to swap the old out for the new and move forward from here. The old posts aren’t going to be deleted from the web entirely, but they won’t be mixed in with this new website. I’ll put a link to the new location in the sidebar later, and as I get time I’ll move some of my favorite posts over here to the new blog.
For those of you who’ve been with me all these years, if you have any old favorites you want me to bring over be sure to let me know. Most of my current traffic comes from search engines, and most of those are folks looking for information about American ginseng. So I really don’t think anyone’s going to miss the old site very much.
My focus has always been on Nature, and that will remain. It’s just going to be a little better organized. The fiction is already in process of being moved to my Fantasy site where I’m learning to do podcasts! I’m enjoying that a lot and plan to add many more.
Once I’m done migrating the website I’ll get back to working on the third chapter of “Into the Ginseng Wood” and when I’m done with that series I have a novel and a flash fiction collection to work on.
So this is the beginning of a brand new year and I’m kicking it off with a brand new site. I hope to see you again in the near future!
Predator and Prey, or the hunter and the hunted is a common theme throughout my fiction writing. No Qualms, one of my short stories (free at most retailers) is about about a predator/prey relationship. Symbiosis, my first finished novel, not published yet, deals with predator/prey relationships and the balance of energy among life on earth, sometimes symbolic and often outright. Many of my flash fiction stories (I have twitterfiction and 100-word flash stories) are also dealing with this same dynamic. This is a strong theme that runs through most of my fiction and is strongly influenced by life in the wild Ozarks where we live. My first published novel, First Hunt, also has a predator and prey theme to it. I guess it's just part of my nature.
Wild Ozark is 160 acres of beautiful wild Ozark mountains. I call what I do "nature farming" because the land produces, all by itself, the shagbark hickory trees, ferns, moss, ground-fall botanicals, and the perfect habitats for growing and stewarding American ginseng. I'm co-creating with Nature - all of the things I use to make the Fairy Gardens and Forest Folk, the bark we harvest for Burnt Kettle's shagbark hickory syrup, are produced by nature without my input. This land is my muse for inspiration when it comes to my writing, drawing, and photography. It's truly a Nature Farm.
About the voice behind this blog, Madison Woods
I'm a creative old soul living way off the beaten path with my husband in the wild Ozark Mountains. Besides homesteading, growing plants & making crafty things and newsletters, I write books and stories. My rural fantasy fiction, written under the pen name, Ima Erthwitch, usually takes place in a much altered Ozarks.