What Do You Think?


As we get ready to greet a new year, I wonder what folks think about this blog?

I was going to set up a neat little survey, but then realized everything I could find that would maybe work was going to cost me money. I don’t think I need to spend money. I think I can ask a few questions, request your answers, and done.

My questions will follow. Feel free to answers one, more, or all of them. You can answer in the comments section of this post, or, if you want to answer in private, send a message to rubbertrampartist@gmail.com. Please feel free to answer whether you are a longtime reader or if you just discovered this blog five minutes ago. I am truly interested in your opinions, but I reserve the right to do whatever the heck I want.

#1 How do you feel about the frequency of publication?

a) Once a day is great!

b) Once a day is a little excessive. How about

i) Four times a week

ii) Three times a week

iii) Twice a week

c) Once a week is about all I can take


#2 How do you feel about the length of posts?

a) Short (less than 200 words) is best

b) Keep most posts at 300 to 2,000 words.

c) Go in-depth (2,000+ words)


#3 What category of posts do you like the best?

a) Travel stories with photos

b) Stories about travels with traveling kids

c) On-the-job stories

d) Experiences with frugal living

e) Book reviews

f) Stories about music

g) Personal experiences living in a van

h) Stories about food

i) Other [please give example(s)]


#4 What do you think about the overall Rubber Tramp Artist attitude?

a) The Rubber Tramp Artist is too negative.

b) The Rubber Tramp Artist is keeping it real.


#5 Do you think the Rubber Tramp Artist is funny?

a) The Rubber Tramp Artist IS funny!

b) The Rubber Tramp Artist THINKS she’s funny!


#6 Would you recommend this blog to your friends? Why or Why not? (If your answer is yes, please go ahead and recommend now.)

I took all of the photos in this post.


About Blaize Sun

My name is Blaize Sun. Maybe that's the name my family gave me; maybe it's not. In any case, that's the name I'm using here and now. I've been a rubber tramp for nearly a decade.I like to see places I've never seen before, and I like to visit the places I love again and again. For most of my years on the road, my primary residence was my van. For almost half of the time I was a van dweller, I was going it alone. Now I have a little travel trailer parked in a small RV park in a small desert town. I also have a minivan to travel in. When it gets too hot for me in my desert, I get in my minivan and move up in elevation to find cooler temperatures or I house sit in town in a place with air conditioning I was a work camper in a remote National Forest recreation area on a mountain for four seasons. I was a camp host and parking lot attendant for two seasons and wrote a book about my experiences called Confessions of a Work Camper: Tales from the Woods. During the last two seasons as a work camper on that mountain, I was a clerk in a campground store. I'm also a house and pet sitter, and I pick up odd jobs when I can. I'm primarily a writer, but I also create beautiful little collages; hand make hemp jewelry and warm, colorful winter hats; and use my creative and artistic skills to decorate my life and brighten the lives of others. My goal (for my writing and my life) is to be real. I don't like fake, and I don't want to share fake. I want to share my authentic thoughts and feelings. I want to give others space and permission to share their authentic selves. Sometimes I think the best way to support others is to leave them alone and allow them to be. I am more than just a rubber tramp artist. I'm fat. I'm funny. I'm flawed. I try to be kind. I'm often grouchy. I am awed by the stars in the dark desert night. I hope my writing moves people. If my writing makes someone laugh or cry or feel angry or happy or troubled or comforted, I have done my job. If my writing makes someone think and question and try a little harder, I've done my job. If my writing opens a door for someone, changes a life, I have done my job well. I hope you enjoy my blog posts, my word and pictures, the work I've done to express myself in a way others will understand. I hope you appreciate the time and energy I put into each post. I hope you will click the like button each time you like what you have read. I hope you will share posts with the people in your life. I hope you'll leave a comment and share your authentic self with me and this blog's other readers. Thank you for reading.ย  A writer without readers is very sad indeed.

31 Responses »

    • Thank you, Wendy, for responding to my survey.
      I don’t think I could change to please others. I’ve tried a few times, and it’s never worked out. I just wondered what people were thinking about the blog.

      Also, some folks have encouraged me not to post every day, so I wondered if a lot of my readers felt that way.

  1. #1 How do you feel about the frequency of publication?
    a) Once a day is great!

    #2 How do you feel about the length of posts?
    b) Keep most posts at 300 to 2,000 words.

    #3 What category of posts do you like the best?
    b) Stories about travels with traveling kids

    #4 What do you think about the overall Rubber Tramp Artist attitude?
    b) The Rubber Tramp Artist is keeping it real.

    #5 Do you think the Rubber Tramp Artist is funny?
    b) The Rubber Tramp Artist THINKS sheโ€™s funny!

    I didn’t know you were trying to be funny. I missed that part.

    #6 Would you recommend this blog to your friends? Why or Why not? (If your answer is yes, please go ahead and recommend now.)

    Yes. I would recommend it because it shows that 1. women can travel alone 2. women can travel alone in a van 3. the world is not a big scary place 4. there are so many adventures to be had 5. a real person is living a very non-traditional lifestyle, with all it’s up and down, and making it work 6. you can do art while traveling

    • Thanks, Cerenatee, participating in my survey.

      Since you like the stories about travels with traveling kids the best, you will be happy to know those are the stories I plan to tell in my next book. Unlike Confessions of a Work Camper, I plan for the new book (as yet unnamed) to be a story (more like a novel, but true) and less like a collection of short essays.There will be new parts that have not been published on the blog. So stay turned for that! (I hope to have it ready to read by the end of 2017.)

      I’m not always trying to be funny, but sometimes I am. I wondered if my humor was evident. Sometimes my humor is very specific to my life, and sometimes humor is difficult (for me at least) to get across in my writing. Thanks for letting me know my humor is not always apparent.

      Thanks too for saying you will share my blog with your friends and telling me all the things you think I am conveying well. I hope your friends will like the blog too.

  2. You should publish as much as you want to publish, if I fall behind I’ll catch up. You publishing less is better than publishing for the sake of keeping a schedule. I prefer the travel stuff, but wish you would connect it more with your personal attitudes about life and, for lack of a better term, philosophy. What has this lifestyle taught you about yourself?

    • Very interesting points, Rock. Thank you.

      I’m strongly considering going to an every-other-day schedule for the blog. I’m finding I’m feeling a bit overwhelmed by keeping the daily blog schedule, promoting the current book, and writing the next book. I still have a lot of stories to tell, but some of them will go in the next book, and some the book after that.

      As for connecting my travels more with my personal attitudes, I guess I thought they were already coming through. Thanks for letting me know I may need to be more transparent in that aspect of my writing.

  3. I enjoy reading about your experiences on the road. If it’s a subject I’m not interested in, I just skim over it. Write about whatever You want, you don’t owe us anything. I’m just happy to be along for the (literary) ride. Sometimes you post a helpful tip, and I say to myself “oh! I’ll have to remember that when I’m full time!” I appreciate your sense of humor, also. I like the pictures, it helps me feel like I’m there. I sometimes have trouble keeping up with the frequency, but I just leave them in my inbox until I get time. Please keep doing what you’re doing, I don’t think I’m the only one who lives vicariously through your posts! ((Hugs))

    • Thank you for your comments, Lynda.

      Glad you like my humor and my photos.

      Good plan to skim the posts you’re not totally interested in and to catch up when you have time.

      I’m really pleased that you enjoy the blog and get to do some vicarious living through my travels, triumphs, and tribulations.

  4. 1) a. Once a day is fine, whatever you feel up to doing.
    2) Just say what you have to say. 2 paragraphs? Fine. 20 paragraphs? Fine, too.
    3) Your current choices have been fine. If it’s something that totally doesn’t interest me, I’ll delete it. You know what they say about pleasing everyone all the time.
    4) b >>> Call it as you see it.
    5) Sometimes you’re funny, sometimes not. See answer #4.
    6) The blogs a person likes are usually particular to them. There has to be some kind of mental link. I’ve done what you’re doing, and will be again. Most of my friends are sticks/bricks people, and they wouldn’t relate.

    Doing what YOU want, on the subjects YOU want, and how YOU feel about them are the point of this blog.

    • Thanks for your comments, Sue.

      I agree with you about doing what I want to do. I did, however, want to get a feeling for what my readers thought. If a lot of people were annoyed by one certain thing, I decided I wanted to know. Overall, people seem happy about how the blog is going, although I’m sure the people who are happy about it are the ones who have stuck with it this long.

      I do agree with you that people like particular blogs for particular reasons. And of course, you know your friends and know if they wouldn’t like my blog. However, I don’t think simply living in a conventional house precludes enjoying my writing. I suspect most of my readers currently live in a conventional house and have never and have no plans to ever live on the road.

  5. I look for your blog everyday as I am not traveling now as I have family obligations. It helps me to cope I find you are funny I like all subjects especially your work experiences. I feel we think the same

    • Thanks for your comments, Murphie. I’m glad my blog helps you cope with your current situation/obligations. It’s nice to know you get my humor and enjoy reading about my work experiences. I plan to be back in the woods next summer, so I bet I will have more to share.

  6. 1. once a day is fine but I know how hard it is to keep that up so it’s okay to skip a day if you don’t feel like writing a post
    2. b
    3, a. b. c. d. g.
    4. b.
    5. a. b. ๐Ÿ˜€
    6. yes, especially woman traveling alone and travelers on a budget

  7. Since I am trapped in an office every day, I like that you post so frequently — gives me something to look forward to so I don’t totally fall asleep at my keyboard (LOL). I like your frugal living posts, the travel ones (with photos), your camp host stories and your thrift shop reviews.

    • Maddie, I am glad I can help you make it through your workdays. I’ve had those jobs too, where I could barely stay awake and I used the internet to get me through.

      Glad you like the camp host stories. I plan to be back in the woods next summer, so I should have new ones to share. In the meantime, you can re-experience your old favorites as well as find 15 stories that have never been on the blog (and will never be there) with my book Confessions of a Work Camper: Tales from the Woods. If you go to my Confessions of a Work Camper page and click on the image of the book, that will bring you right to Amazon, where you can get a paper copy or an ebook.

      Thanks for your feedback. I’m glad The Rubber Tramp Artist can be part of your days.

  8. On Question One : B-2.
    On Question Two : B.
    On Question Three : G.
    On Question Four : B.
    On Question Five : A

    Your blog is one of my favorites … so really anything you publish is immediately on my reading list!

  9. Here you go ๐Ÿ˜‰

    #1 How do you feel about the frequency of publication? Do what you are currently doing, several times a week is cool with me but if you go other stuff going on just post when you can.

    #2 How do you feel about the length of posts? A good mix is fine, short posts with longer ones.

    #3 What category of posts do you like the best? I do look forward to your monthly budget as it gives me a real world example of what I can expect when living in a van. Like a blend of all your topics.

    #4 What do you think about the overall Rubber Tramp Artist attitude? She’s the Bomb! ๐Ÿ˜‰

    #5 Do you think the Rubber Tramp Artist is funny? Yes, I’ve just about spit out my coffee a few times.

    #6 Would you recommend this blog to your friends? Certainly would, I’ve promoted on FB.

    There are a ton of traveling blogs out there but you Blaize got that Spark of Fire! Always something interesting, you make me laugh, cry and look forward to the next post and keep it real. You are not going to sugar coat it and that honestly is very refreshing to read. Keep doing the amazing work, look forward to your posts in 2017!


    • Oh, wow, Tina, thanks so much! You just made my day!

      (I was especially gratified to hear I’ve made you spit out your coffee laughing and that you’ve promoted the blog on Facebook.)

      I appreciate your feedback. Thanks for reading.

  10. I enjoy your posts very much and really enjoy the randomness of them. My husband and I used to take a lot of road trips but we have gotten older and road trips are more tiring than they used to be to us. SO I travel vicariously with you. You have a good eye for “interesting” —we are big museum lovers and oddities usually attract us also. So I find your choices mostly interesting too. I have been to every state except Hawaii, so am interested in your various destinations. (I don’t enjoy flying so Hawaii is not calling very loudly to me.) I don’t read your posts as they are written all the time—I kind of save them up for a week or so and read them all at once, since I’m ALWAYS in a hurry to do whatever is next on my list! I love that you include photos as it gives me a better idea than just words.

    • Thank you, Marcia, for your input.

      I’m glad you like the photos. One thing I really enjoy about the blog is having an outlet for sharing the photos I take.

      I also like the randomness too. I enjoy thinking about people out there wondering what they are going to get from the Rubber Tramp Artist today.

      I’m glad you are along for the ride.

  11. #1 How do you feel about the frequency of publication?
    I don’t check it too often, but I do love your day to day posts. I’d be happy with whatever works for you, from once a day to once a week.

    #2 How do you feel about the length of posts?
    Over 300 words for sure. Longer is better!

    #3 What category of posts do you like the best?
    All of them! This is really the best travel blog I’ve ever read, because it’s also a memoir of a very cool person ๐Ÿ™‚

    #4 What do you think about the overall Rubber Tramp Artist attitude?
    The Rubber Tramp Artist is keeping it real. Love it!

    #5 Do you think the Rubber Tramp Artist is funny?
    Yes! In that dry way that I am, I think.

    #6 Would you recommend this blog to your friends?

    • Thank you for your feedback, Anna. I sure do appreciate it.

      I like knowing that even if you don’t read the blog every day, you eventually make your way back to it. I’m also glad you get my humor. Even in person, I worry that people think I am 100% serious when I am poking fun.

  12. I like reading everything you write. I really enjoy saving up a bunch of your blog posts to read all at once with a good cuppa Joe. Like binge watching a TV series online. Love ya! Can’t wait to see you!

    • Thanks for the compliment of liking to read everything I write, Coyote Sue. I love the idea of you binge reading my blog.

      I appreciate your feedback.

  13. Here are my votes:
    #1: 2-3 times/week
    #2: 300-1500 words
    #3: a, c, e, g
    I haven’t noticed that you’re negative. In the end, negativity reflects negatively on the blogger. We had a stomachful of negativity in 2016. It’s time to move on.

I'd love to know what you think. Please leave a comment.