The Annual State of the Planet Report

by Leah McClellan

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Good morning, good afternoon, and good evening!

One of the cool things about having lots of online friends is that, on the one hand, it makes my world a whole lot bigger. On the other hand, it makes it feel a lot smaller knowing that, at any time, friends and acquaintances are awake and living their lives across many different time zones.

So, wherever you are, hello! Hello from the steaming suburbs of Philadelphia, USA. Yesterday and today we’ve had temperatures of almost 100 degrees Fahrenheit (or near 40 Celsius) and brilliant sunshine, although severe storms are predicted for this evening.

I know a lot of people are struggling in the heat—the elderly, especially, and many people in cities—but there is nothing I love more than to sit outside on my patio at midnight when it’s so deliciously warm.

As of May 2011, Peaceful Planet has been up and running for one whole year.

Sixty-two posts, 760 comments, a lot of work, and a lot of fun!

I haven’t made a big deal out of the anniversary because I’ve been blogging for awhile, and Peaceful Planet actually started in February 2010 with a different name, All That Communication. I wanted to narrow my focus, though, and after learning a lot with the fabulous A-list Blogging Bootcamps and buying my own Thesis blog theme (which is what this blog runs on), Peaceful Planet was born (those last two links are affiliate links).

I’ve been blogging for over ten years, if you count my brief love affair with FrontPage and personal website building efforts in the late 90s along with a stint as a guide for—the Men’s Health guide, mind you (how’s your PSA level, guys?). I also kept a blog starting in early 2006 that documented my beloved dog’s 18-month battle with cancer, and one of these days I’ll turn it into a book of some kind.

I loaded up my first WordPress blog four years ago, and there’s been no turning back.

I actually have four blogs, although Peaceful Planet is my main focus and the only one that’s active. Eagle Eye and All That Pet Care are two that I’ll probably work on in the upcoming year while All That Love, a blog about relationships that evolved out of 10 years experience as a divorce support and relationship forum owner/moderator, will probably get dropped.

For your reading pleasure, here’s an article (password protected) that I wrote back in 2009: My Poor Hairless Legs. Your password is “password” (brainy, eh? Don’t forget to remove the quotes). Slightly different from what you’re used to here! I’ll leave it up for a week or so.

Where is Peaceful Planet headed?

I’m still exploring, but here are the basics. I’m almost finished with a new ebook: The Peaceful Planet Manifesto. It’s an explanation of the beliefs behind this blog and how we, as we learn to be more peaceful, can “be the change we want to see in the world” and how we can create a more peaceful planet. I wrote a post about that early on and you can read it here: World peace starts with us: a mini-manifesto.

The manifesto will be free to anyone who signs up to receive Peaceful Planet updates.

If you’re already subscribed via Feedburner (if you didn’t sign up to receive Everybody’s Guide to Proofreading ) and you get updates by RSS feed or email, you can still get the manifesto. Just sign up for it and unsubscribe from one or the other list so you don’t get double notification. I’ll provide this info again when the time comes.

If you subscribed by way of the proofreading guide, I’ll send you information about how to receive the manifesto in the newsletter update.

The new and improved version of Everybody’s Guide to Proofreading is going to be awesome.

When the manifesto goes up, the proofreading guide comes down. Everybody’s Guide to Proofreading is undergoing revision and expansion, and it will include a video or a presentation that guides readers through the proofreading and editing process. I might even throw in a few personal lessons via Skype or webcam. It won’t be free anymore, so grab a copy now if you haven’t already.

What do you want to know about personal peace and world peace? What do you struggle with or what areas of your life do you want to be more peaceful?

If you’ve been reading here for awhile, you’ve seen that my writing takes two main angles: personal stories about how I’ve found peace in my own life and research or authority-based, less personal articles.

As you may or may not know, I’m able to see some of the keywords that bring new readers here, and they sometimes provide inspiration for posts. Peaceful Planet gets quite a bit of traffic from all over the world, and I often see keyword strings that have to do with emotional abuse, marriage and relationship problems, decluttering your mind, gossip, and assumptions. Today readers were looking for information on “tips to let go of someone,” “what it means if ex gives silent treatment,” and “he gets defensive when I say I’m hurt.”

Let me know in the comments below this post or send me an email if there’s something you’d like to read more about.

I have shelves and shelves loaded with books on many topics, loads of experience with all sorts of stuff, and—of course—the Internet. Research is my middle name.

Speaking of middle names, some of you want to know a little more about me.

One of these days soon I’ll do a video, and maybe a list of “100 things you don’t know about me” or something like that.

Meanwhile, my middle name is Augusta which means great, magnificent, majestic, or venerated. Leah means weary in Hebrew but it can also mean mistress, leader, or ruler (or cow, depending on the source). And going way back in the origins of McClellan, we’re talking about descendants of wolves. So, my entire name—Leah Augusta McClellan—means “the weary but magnificent leader of wolves.” I like that.

Do you know what your name means?

A few little things about me:

I live in the suburbs of Philadelphia in a nice community that’s just a few miles from farmland—you better believe I love shopping the farm markets! Strawberries, blueberries, peaches, corn, and watermelon are summer favorites.

I own a small house with a big yard, a leaky roof, and dripping plumbing. I have two big dogs—Jack and Missy—and a cat, Nikki, who is a miraculous cancer survivor (3 years with lymphoma, in remission, and we may have beaten it entirely).

In September I’ll have been here in my own little house for four years. I bought it after I was divorced and and moved out of the home my ex-husband and I had shared. I was working as a real estate agent (I bombed after two years, not only because it’s not my style to do sales like agents are expected to do but also because the U.S. housing market crashed right when I got started), so I was able to get a pretty good deal plus commission.

I get a lot of exercise in the yard, not just mowing and trimming but also digging new flower beds and a vegetable garden as well as shoveling truckloads of mulch and topsoil. No need for upper body gym workouts here!

When I quit real estate, I decided to get back to building my freelance writing and editing business. I hadn’t done much for quite awhile, but now I’m a freelance editor for two different companies. Most of that work is academic—journal articles, papers, and dissertations—which I really enjoy. It’s almost like translation since it’s usually for writers whose native language isn’t English.

I also do editing and writing for local and online businesses, and it usually keeps me pretty busy. I’m always looking for new work though, and I especially enjoy helping people with ebooks.

If you need something professionally edited or know someone who does, please let me know. I offer a special discount for readers and fellow bloggers. You can read more about my business right here on Peaceful Planet under Services.

That’s about it for my report! A few more small things:

If you’re following me on Twitter, I’m sorry I’m not there much other than tweeting my posts or retweeting something I’ve read that’s good. I haven’t had time, but I plan on setting aside a daily block of time in the future.

I am on Facebook. If you’d like to get Peaceful Planet updates there (and get to know each other), that would be great. I usually post stuff I’m reading, music I’m listening to, amazing tornado pics and video (bet you didn’t know I’m a weather geek), and pics of my animal friends or garden and stuff like that. On Facebook I’m LeahAugustaMcClellan—look me up!

Have a wonderful week!

I’m very glad you’re here and glad you’re reading. Please feel free to comment any time, even when you don’t agree with something I’ve written. I enjoy discussion, and I like learning about your ideas. And if you don’t have time to comment but like what you read, please share with friends on Twitter or Facebook or wherever you like to share things. There’s quite a choice below on the Share/Save button.

And don’t forget: if there’s something you’d like to learn more about, leave a comment here or send email from my contact page.

Photo credit: Kathleen Constantino Palmer, my wonderful and talented neighbor.



Jonathan Bennett

You’ve created a great blog and resource in the past year. Keep it up, my friend! :)

Leah McClellan

Thanks Jonathan! Nice to see you here :)

Lisa H.

Hi Leah,
Happy Birthday on the Blog! I remember when I hit that Milestone in late March. Interesting middle name. Mine is Yetunde. It means great grandmother returns in Swahili. I look forward to reading your manifesto. If it is anything like your blog, it will be awesome.
Lisa H.´s last [type] ..Bill Paying Made Easy

Leah McClellan

Thanks Lisa! Happy belated birthday to yours! Cool about your middle name. It sounds like it could be a great compliment, like maybe your mom or grandmom was inspired by you (?) Thanks about the blog and manifesto–coming soon!

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