The Next Big Thing

An elephant in Paddington Station, LondonA couple of months ago I reviewed Dancing in the Fountain, a wonderful book about expat Karen McCann’s experiences living in Spain.

Since then, Karen and I have exchanged some emails. Last week, she hit my inbox with an invitation to participate in The Next Big Thing. It’s a way for authors and bloggers to share their plans for their next big project.

Since I actually have a new project coming soon, I said, “sure, I’ll play.”

So Here’s My Next Big Thing

I’m putting the finishing touches on a new website, WordPress Building Blocks.

You know those WordPress for Expats tutorials I’ve been writing? I’ve come to realize there are lots of non-technical folks who would love to start a website or blog. Most of the “how to” sites are a bit too techie and intimidating, though.

So I’m putting together a very basic set of how-to instructions for starting a WordPress-based site. And I’m working hard to make it as non-techie and non-intimidating as possible.

I’ll be letting you know when it’s ready for prime time. But just to give you an example of how lighthearted and friendly it’ll be, here’s a sample of one of the illustrations I’ll be using.

Now for the specific questions and answers The Next Big Thing online asked me for.

What is the Working Title of your Project?

It’s WordPress Building Blocks.

Where did the idea come from for the website?

It came from conversations with readers of this site, as well as friends and followers on Facebook, Twitter and other social sites. I learned that many of them felt quite overwhelmed when learning how to use WordPress.

I could totally relate, because a lot of the instruction out there seems designed for programmers and people with degrees in IT or computer science. Learning the technical side of things has been a challenge for me, so I thought I could do a good job of helping others like myself.

What genre does your site fall under?

Hmmm. . . Technical but not intimidating? Not sure how to answer that one.

If it becomes a book and then a movie, what actors would you choose to play your characters?

I highly doubt that’ll happen, but the names Harrison Ford, Renee Zellweger and Big Bird come to mind. . .

What is the one-sentence synopsis of your website

Learning WordPress without the worry — creating your WordPress site one building block at a time.

If it becomes a book will it be self published or handled by an agency?

Definitely self published.

How long will you be working on it?

Probably forever. The WordPress platform is constantly evolving, and people keep creating new themes and plugins for it. There will always be something new to write about.

What other sites would you compare it to?

Not to be snobby, but I’ve looked and looked and actually not found anything to compare it to. That’s because other sites presume their readers have a level of expertise right from the start.

Who or what inspired you to start this website?

Readers of this site who want to build a presence on the web.

What else about the site might pique the reader’s interest?

You’ll have to visit to see all the rest of my charming stick figure drawings and what I do with them.

Passing the Torch

Ann Jordan-Mills is a social media specialist from Alberta, Canada. She also tickles my funnybone with her Computer Savvy Granny site. Like me she’s an older woman who’s a few jumps ahead of her friends with today’s computer technology. And like me, she’s an expat who plans to move to yet another country.

Rich Polanco is another expat. From his home in Guatemala, Rich helps readers with their portable careers. His website’s tagline says it all — “Start Online Business. Travel the World. Live Anywhere.”

Carol North runs a very informative site called Feeding Fido and Fluffy. Carol’s main mission is making sure what we feed our pets is safe for them and will promote their optimum health. The topic is especially interesting to me since we’ve been making most of the food and treats for our dogs since we moved to Panama.

Christine Fitzgerald loves the country life. She’s a writer, realtor and small farmer in the Pacific Northwest. Chris loves dogs, and I’ll let her tell you about her plans to involve her canine companions in her writing at My Country Heart and Home.

Mike Davenport created the captivating little stick figure image above. At Stick Figure Simple Mike helps people simplify their communication. Mike also coaches collegiate sports, and helps other coaches here.


  1. Thanks for passing the torch!

    Keep me in the loop about your WordPress guide. I’d like to refer others to it 🙂

    -Rich Polanco

  2. I think you’ve hit on a terrific website concept, and I REALLY like your one-sentence synopsis. It made me think of the following: Website creation without the intimidation. Technology without intimidation. Accessible technology without the intimidation. Good luck, I’ll definitely stop by.

  3. I am looking forward to WordPress Building Blocks website….which I know will help me build my website for my new business in Panama next year.

    Thanks Suzanne

  4. I would definitely read the WordPress how-to book. My website is in need of updating but I haven’t the first idea. I like the synopsis too, one building block at a time.

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