Letter To The Editor - Revisited


Twenty years ago when I began theMangoTimes, I included a section called: "Letters to the Editor." At that time, theMT was not even in blog form, so my readers would email me what they were thinking. This was before blogging with comments took off and people were able to interact directly with the writers of blogs and websites. Since that time, microblogging and social media have enjoyed both a rise and fall in popularity. I am glad theMangoTimes survives and I believe that blogs/personal sites like this one still have a purpose.

I have been doing some site maintenance and I found an old post I wanted to reshare/update with you all. It was from 10 years ago when one of my readers asked the following question:

READER: "Do you think anybody cares about what you write in theMT?"

Here is my response and I've added some updated thoughts for 2018.

EDITORS RESPONSE: Nope, I don't really care.

Don't get me wrong, if you are reading this post, then I am glad you found your way to theMangoTimes (please continue to read more of what I have written. You might find something to giggle about).  But, just so everyone knows, I don't write for the masses.  I've always written for Kendra and a few good friends that I think might chuckle at some of my words.  At the beginning of theMangoTimes, it was an email newsletter that I sent to my family and a few friends. In 1995, not everyone had email. In fact, I remember that my mom would take the time to print out the emails for my dad to read on a paper copy. Anyhow, after the first dozen or so email issues of theMT were sent out, I found out that people were forwarding what I wrote in theMT to their families and friends throughout the country. 

There was even one time that I attended a wedding of a friend and a total stranger was introduced to me and said, "Oh, you're Fletch. The same Fletch that writes theMT?"  That was a weird moment back in 1996, but also a revealing moment as I first realized that everything you write in an email or post online is public and can be forwarded to anyone on the planet. 

Even so, I don't think of "everyone" when I write. I really think of my wife and then a very small audience of friends who I know might laugh along with me. I do my best at correcting my grammar and proofreading my posts, but I also assume that my brother-in-law, Jeff, will alert me to my mistakes as he adds his own commentary to what I've written. I like to think that theMT will occasionally pierce into the academic world of my good friend Byron so he can laugh along with my antics.  I don't even expect anyone to leave a comment. But after 20 years, I find  that my high school buddy, James, still faithfully comments on most of my blog posts or social media links.

Here's the funny part: Just when I think people are not really listening or reading theMangoTimes, I will suddenly get a heated reply or most likely a Facebook comment from someone bent out of shape about what I wrote regarding the trap of religion, the freedom of the gospel, or when they disagree with my version of joyful Christian living.

My subscription list continues to grow and that is also a subtle reminder that there are a few folks out there who are reading what I write and care about it.

Still, when I really think about the question, it's as simple as this: If Kendra laughs out loud when reading theMT, then it's a success in my eyes.

Quietly making noise,

P.S. Letters to the Editor is still around. If you want to ask me something, feel free to send in a letter. Some of my best thoughts have come from readers asking questions.

theMangoTimes - Reevaluating Ourselves


July has been a really crazy month here in Mangoland. I don't need to go into the details here on the blog, but it was another opportunity for our family to navigate through tricky waters and ultimately see the power of the gospel living out in real time.

Here at theMangoTimes, this provided a necessary break for us to stop, breathe deeply and reevaulate what we are doing here online.

The first thing to change was the design of the website. I love hosting on Squarespace. Not only do they provide great customer service, but they have a great platform and provide me with everything I need to make an intelligent website that also looks great. I have wanted to change the way theMangoTimes looks, feels and functions. I wanted something a little cleaner and easier to use. Once again Squarespace provided a clean and easy template to accomplish my goals.

Hopefully the site is cleaner, with solid content and easier to navigate whether you access it online or through a mobile/tablet device. Again, a cool thing of SS is the optimization of your websites on any device.

I also picked through the blog and removed defunct posts and retagged everything for better searching. Basically, it was time to toss a bunch of old stuff out and clean up what was left. I've written for six years and there was a lot that needed to be deleted.

Ultimately, I did this for myself. I cleaned up the site visually and reduced the amount of content my readers have to navigate.  But what about my readers? Is theMangoTimes and attractive site? Is it working for you? Do I need to focus my attention on another part of my site? Is there content missing? Items or topics I have failed to address in the blog? Leave a comment or pop me a quick private note and let me know where I can improve my site. Thanks!

Quietly making noise,


Guest Blogging for Father's Day

I was invited to write a guest blog for The Homeschool Potpourri Online about Father's Day. I share the ONE AND ONLY THING all homeschool dads need to remember.  Check it out here: Homeschooling Dads: Don't Miss The Big Lesson.

Earlier this week I gave a nod to Father's Day in a blogpost I wrote at my other regular homeschool writing gig at The Homeschool Post. It was a fun look at lessons that any dad can learn from famous television dads. Here: Father's Day: Top Ten Lessons From TV Dads. Take a look at my take on Howard Cunningham, Andy Taylor, Mike Brady and more.

Quietly making noise,

The Homeschool Post

Follow this button to read what I have to say over at The Homeschool Post.

Follow this button to read what I have to say over at The Homeschool Post.

I am excited to announce that I will be blogging as a monthly contributor over at The Homeschool Post.

I am the first homeschool dad to write for The HSBA Post and look forward to representing the often under spoken voice of homeschool dads. By "under spoken," I don't mean that homeschool dads are not given a platform to express our thoughts, views, or beliefs. I mean that even when given the opportunity (blogging, conferences, etc...) most dads do not take the chance to speak up about homeschooling, choosing instead to push their wives into the arena of discussion and debate. 

With a wife who is extremely involved in the world of homeschooling and blogging, I have been immersed in the homeschooling world for nearly 15 years. I've seen a lot of versions of homeschooling. The good, the bad and the ugly. It is my hope to bring everything I have to the table: experience, stimulating thoughts, gobs of humor, occasional frustration, regular encouragement, and my typical "stick-poking" to the broad topic of homeschooling.

Each month, I will let my readers here at theMangoTimes know what I am writing about over there and hopefully you will visit me at both locations. 
Today's post is a basic introduction to who I am: Meet Fletch!
For those who have been around theMangoTimes, there's nothing much new about me to say, but I would still love it if you would drop by and leave me a comment at The HSBA Post. Thanks!

Quietly making noise,