I was drawn by the title. No idea what it meant but it got my attention. I’m a succour for honest pure things and peace and jellybeans both fit the bill.
My first impressions on reaching the site were good. The design is effective and eye catching. Water droplets on a leaf and a lot of green – nice stuff. The black text on yellow makes for easy reading. The design incorporates links to the main site areas, blog, about, writing and photos into the banner. This is cool and allows you to navigate around the site from wherever you are on it.
There is a simple photograph of Laura, the blogger, and a short about me section, which is extended elsewhere, in the left side panel. Further down the panel are several lists. Current stuff Laura is reading, watching, listening to and eating. A to do list for the summer holidays and links to other blogs and cool stuff plus the perfunctory archives and a link to archives from a previous incarnation of the site.
Aside from the extended about me section there are two other sections aside form the main blog. Some photos of Laura and her family and a writing section with one of her poems and some useful writing links. Laura wants to be a published writer and will use this space to show her published works. I was gonna use ‘if’ but she seems to be a pretty determined young woman.
In her own words from the previous incarnation ‘This is NOT a free sample!’…”in this web log, I will document my course as a struggling writer and impoverished student. I will speak my mind about life, God, music, literature, movies, government, current events, whatever… and I hope that some will speak back. I like opinions, I like discussion. I hate to hear my own echo in a quiet room.” I like that last sentence very much.
Her posts are pretty personal and cover her life with hubby, Jim, and their struggle in Toledo, Ohio. She is reasonably open and honest about their life together and also throws in some interesting trivia and thoughts on life outside their marriage. We also get to hear her struggle through school and her literary aspirations. Her writing style is straightforward and easy and pleasant to read. She researches a lot and provides useful links, which work!
There is a comments facility and this is extensively used by angie who I guess is a friend and provides Laura with daily affirmation and support. There is a good feel to this on-line “relationship”.
In its current form the site has been running since January 2004. Laura posts every other day or so and her posts are varied and interesting. The previous incarnation had a life from August to December 2003 so I guess she is coming up to a year as a blogger.
There is a feel good factor to Laura’s web log which raises it above how I’d feel on the content alone and the design is excellent – we find out Laura’s hubby is a web designer! Therefore I’d give this a 3.5 out of 5.
Peace and Jellybeans