The good reason to republish your writing on another blog is to expose your priceless material to a different audience. Good editing may require you tailor the article to the new audience. Blog search engines and directories have rules about doing this: one is the republication must have 25% different material — otherwise, they may consider you a spammer and send you, your post or your blog to blog purgatory.
The bad reason to republish your writing on another blog is you are indeed a spammer. ’nuff said.
The ugly reason is that you are over-committed and can’t produce new material fast enough to satisfy expectations or schedules. Give them something from your old files, they probably can’t tell the difference (be sure to excise contemporary references to President Reagan).
Well, I got an e-mail from Chris Franklin telling me THE BLOGGERS’ BULLETIN schedule has a hole in it and needs something immediately. I write slow (slowly, if you prefer), and now I am bogged down on a piece that is progressing even slower than usual. What to do?
Searching my archives I found a post I like that I had originally published in Yelp.com! I didn’t care for Yelp’s presentation of my Holy Aliens photographs, so I republished it on my own blog, Story Pictures.
Note: The following is an example of a republished post with my new (non-spamming) 25% introduction:
“Silent for Thousands of Years: Now Christians and Ancient Aliens Speak for Its Soul –
The trail down the West rim of Horseshoe Canyon, to the floor 750 feet below, is not difficult in the cool of early morning.
The Park Service says to allow 4 to 7 hours for the 6.5 mile round trip to the bottom, hike to the Great Gallery and return to the West rim trailhead.
The Great Gallery is the photographer’s reward. And The Journey — I’m not sure whose reward that is. In October-November, 6 or 7 hours is probably about right. In June, when we did it, the journey was an entirely different story. By the time you get to the floor, you notice the air warming up. It will go over a hundred by lunch time.
But you’re not concerned about the sun and the heat because you are really determined to capture the Great Gallery and its Holy Ghost (above).
The blue rocks in these pictures – where did they come from? In truth, they are red rocks, but the light reaching them is cold, blue. The light bouncing from side to side of this deep, narrow canyon, is cooled enough to change its temperature from hot at the top to cold at the bottom. Yet in summer daytime, the air down here feels like a furnace.
The main group of characters (below) to the right of the Holy Ghost group holds an ethereal quality. Perhaps it is the consequence of different sizes of figures with different (surviving?) saturation in the rock of the canyon wall.
As you hike from cairn to cairn (it’s a canyon – where else would you go?), you see painted figures on the canyon walls watching you — perhaps 30 to 50 feet above the floor, like this old elk hunter below:
And this complicated grouping (who is doing what to whom?).
Q. How did the artists get up there to paint that?
A. The Indian artists probably painted at shoulder height. Since then, erosion has cut the floor down, say 25 to 45 feet – so, if you can guesstimate the rate of erosion at different points in the canyon, you can play archeologist and guesstimate the age of the paintings and the era when those folks lived down here.
So, how old are these pictures? The Park Service guesstimates range from 1900 BC to 300 AD. Some sources say, no, the Great Gallery is probably more like 7,000 years ago. Other paintings throughout the canyon were probably added more recently, say as recent as 2,000 to 4,000 years ago. Some depict hunting scenes, some may be memorializing ceremonial events, and some may be guardians, placed on the canyon walls to protect it during the absence of its people. In the panel below, some interpret the figures on the left as guardians, while others say, no they are hunters lying in wait for the elk on the right.
Nothing is safe from reinterpretation in the medium of the day. At right is a “photoshopped” version of the guardians shown just above, left. Does Photoshop’s canvas texture and other light and color adjustments achieve a more “painterly” effect? Or is it just kitsch in comparison to the conventionally edited picture above?
Well, to get to the point of interpretation versus reinterpretation, how did the aboriginal inhabitants invent the Holy Ghost in his head piece, even before the Judeo-Christian era? We don’t know whether they did or not.
The Horseshoe Canyon’s Holy Ghost group has at least five members with others close by – hard to reconcile with any trinity concept. Yet, the name of the Holy Ghost group was affixed by 19th Century, European/American visitors on their own authority. Whatever else you might have to say about the Holy Ghost group in Horseshoe Canyon, the name abides into the 21st Century.
And I thought that was the whole story.
But no, just last month I saw a 2-hour presentation of Ancient Aliens on Discovery Channel that changes everything (it was broadcast again last night on the History Channel). Near the beginning and near the ending was a picture of this Holy Ghost painting in the Great Gallery, the presentation grouped it with many other phenomena around the world (Pyramids, Stonehenge, Easter Island mo’ai and numerous Maya and aboriginal sites in the Americas). Indeed interviews within the presentation asserted the totality of these phenomena as scientific, factual evidence of the Ancient Aliens who visited earth and then went away into space. We are to await their return, perhaps soon. Some UFO buffs say perhaps they are already…
According to the Ancient Aliens presentation, the Holy Ghost ceremonial headpiece, is not that at all. It is a space helmet and the squared shoulders are features of his spacesuit.
Well, I hate to be taken for such a doofus — that I was there, saw the Holy Ghost at arm’s length (no, I did NOT touch it) and failed to recognize his astronaut gear. I went back to my photo files and I didn’t see any of the things that either the Ancient Aliens broadcast or 19th Century explorers are trying to push on us. What did I see there and in these pictures?
IMHO I saw a very dignified and mysterious grouping, a part of the canyon wall, looking down on me.
I clicked my pictures, and we started the return trip. There was no more ignoring the heat, and the sun, moving directly overhead, left almost no shade in the canyon.
About a third of the way back, we came to the Great Alcove. An enormous cave-like amphitheatre, naturally hollowed out of the stone wall of the canyon. In this shade we ate, napped, and looked at the walls inside the alcove: more ancient paintings, but also graffiti. 19th century tourists carved their names into the ancient rock paintings.
However, since the tags are 19th century artifacts they are also protected property of the United States. You can see one at the bottom left of this photograph of a procession on the Great Alcove wall:
You’d think that hanging out in a cave for three or four hours would be enough for the canyon to cool down.
Not really. Climbing back up 750 feet in the heat of the late afternoon sun in June must be something of an accomplishment.
After I got down to the canyon floor I learned there is an easier entrance from the East rim of the canyon. You need a 4-wheel-drive vehicle to get there.
But get this: I was driving a 4-wheel-drive jeep, and of course it was parked atop the West rim. Gotta climb up the West rim – sun baked and much steeper going up in the afternoon than it was coming down in the cool of the morning.
Only a doofus…
Next time, from the East rim, new camera for new pictures of the Great Gallery.
End of my Holy Aliens Story for that time.“
If you have a lot of time and nothing else to do, then you can compare this republished version of my story with the earlier version on Yelp. Not so much to say “This is how it’s done,” as simply to say this is how I did it before, and now I’m getting ready to go back to Horseshoe Canyon and try it from the East Rim with my new camera.
Oops, I already said that.