Yesterday, following a visit to the gym, I spent most of the day submitting to blog directories. I don’t know if you’ve ever done this; if you want people to read your blog, it’s not a bad idea. The blog you’re reading now is in only one directory, and since I don’t keep track of it in any way, I don’t know whether that directory drives traffic or not. However, I do know that the blogs which I have put in directories as a plyer of The Dark Art have more readers and better rankings on the SERPs than those which, for dark reasons, I have not.

So I was submitting my clients’ blogs to the directories. This is dull work. Linkbuilding is not all dull. Much of it involves tracking things down and persuading people and strategizing, all of which are fun for me. But submitting is a matter of filling out forms… over and over and over. The challenging part is paying enough attention that you don’t begin to make errors.And not getting testy over the fact that you’ve just typed acres of stuff and then they tell you that you can’t submit more than one blog for a single domain or something.

In the course of five hours of submissions, you will encounter many many captchas. Those are the little codes you have to type in so the robots on the other end will know that you are not yourself a robot. Some have distorted letters for you to type in, and some have hard to read ones with little distinction between the letters or numbers and the background. I don’t care for those. I have to peer at them. I like the ones that require simple math, because they seem ingenious and don’t rely on your ability to distinguish  a distorted j from a distorted u (or was it a v?)

Then I did some keyword development and a little minor web design for Client #7, chatted briefly with Client #2, checked everybody’s stats and analytics, and made a bootless attempt to learn Corel Draw without reading the book first.

Not perhaps a frolicsome day, but a satisfying one.6

I made Chicken with Caramelized Onions and Tomatoes for dinner. This is a delicious recipe from the Sonoma Diet Cookbook. I don’t know why modern cookbooks have to give their dishes such completely transparent names. Isn’t it more interesting to cook things like Shrimp Wiggle and Potatoes Anna than things called Chicken with Tomatoes and Onions?

The boys were not at home. That’s why I was able to cook this without having to fight with anyone over it. My husband added lots of salt and ate it, and then watched a cooking show on TC and said things like, “See? She left the fat on!”

The Sonoma Diet begins with 10 days of greater strictness, known as “Wave 1.” You are not supposed to eat fruit, for example, because that will help you lose all desire for sweets and refined grains. I have eaten fruit. Our local growing season is not long enough that a person can be cavalier about berries. Heck, I’ve eaten cake.

There was a time in my life when I was very strict about simple carbohydrates and saturated fats. My doctor told me to do that, and I am pretty biddable, so I did. There was no point at which my doctor said, “I’ve changed my mind. Now you can eat pizza and ice cream.” There was also no point at which, if pizza and cake were present, I 6happily munched on snow peas instead.

I am not sure at what point I quit being strict about what I was eating. I think maybe my life got too complicated for me to pay attention.

So in theory, today is the tenth day, and I can now move on to eating fruit and dark chocolate. However, since I have not perfectly followed the plan, do I have to start counting the ten days over every time I eat things not on the list, in which case I will be in Wave 1 at least until the end of the melon season. No, then come apples and raspberries. Yeah. I’d have to be in Wave 1 till Thanksgiving, at which point I’d have pecan pie and then —

Forget it. I have lost four pounds, and shall continue on to Wave 2. I may be more successful with following Wave 2.

With both Erin and the Flowers and Leaves Shawl on the needles, I went ahead last night with a Prayer Shawl, since I didn’t want to fall behind on the Summer Reading Challenge. Have you ever seen anything so pink?