99 Word Stories

The Ghost in the Machine – #99-word stories

The March 28, 2022, Carrot Ranch prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less), write a story about disappearance. It can be an event, act, or subtle theme. Who or what disappears? Does it fade or explode? Can it be explained or experienced? Go where the prompt leads! Click here for more details.

“I’m not kidding, Charlene. My blog was there one minute and gone the next.”

“No way. Now what?”

“I’ve had so many problems with my blog. Yesterday, I contacted ProsePress, and they had an engineer look at the coding. Apparently, there was a ghost in the machine.”

“What’s that?”

“It’s complicated, but a ghost in the machine refers to the virtual consciousness of a dead person who exists inside a computer and interacts with the outside world.”

“So, the ghost made your blog disappear?”

“Yup. So, I bought a new computer, and I’ve not had any blog problems since!”

Seriously, I’ve had my share of blog woes lately. I think WP did another upgrade because most of the blocks don’t work (like the Kindle book block), which works on the Chrome browser, but not on FireFox. Safari is so slow, I can’t use it for blogging at all.

I’m sticking with this theme for now. Every theme has something wrong with it in one way or another. It’s the most frustrating thing I’ve ever seen. The new themes don’t have headers or widgets, so they aren’t meant for blogging. I’m not sure what they are good for.

Eventually, I’ll move over to the WP business plan with better themes. But that is down the road. ❤️

60 thoughts on “The Ghost in the Machine – #99-word stories”

  1. WordPress has been acting up for a long time now. Years ago, with the original editor, it always worked fine. My Safari browser still works with my ancient theme, which I believe has been officially retired. However, nothing seems to work on my phone these days.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. This is the worst I’ve ever seen it. The new themes are nothing but print. Everything is limited now. Blogging is a visual experience and they are taking that away. The “newest” editor has you creating your own theme, but it’s so limited… in fact, you have to import your posts and pages into this newest editor. The two editoers are now like apples and oranges. I’ve taken a couple classes on how to use this new editor. I’m not impressed. At least if I go back to the business plan I can get a theme that works. This is sheer insanity.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. What a great piece of flash, Colleen. It’s an excellent theme for a movie or book. I’ll be honest and say I had no idea what ‘Ghost in the machine’ meant. But it sounds very me.

    Sorry to hear about your WordPress problems. I’ve not experienced any such issues, except the WordPress ‘Press This’ sharing button no longer working. However, I am on the business plan. I use Chrome.

    If you’re using old retired themes that WordPress no longer supports, there will be many problems because they won’t be fixing the bugs anymore. By chance, late last year, I found out from one of the WordPress engineers that the theme I was using had been retired – hence the problems I was experiencing. Once I changed to an active theme, everything worked again, although I’ve highlighted a few theme-related minor bugs to them.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, that is what brought about my change in themes yet again. All of these themes seem to have something broken that doesn’t work. It’s frustrating. I’m back on Chrome and eventually will move to the Business plan. I attended a couple of the classes for the newest editor with themes… but the themes are so lacking. It appears that headers and side widgets will be a thing of the past. Blogging is visual—not just a bunch of words on the page. I’m frustrated but I’ll find a theme that works, yet. LOL! Yes… the ghost in the machine is so you! I love the paranormal aspect of it. LOL! ❤


      1. I never use headers on my blog posts because I always have at least one image or photo within the post. They help break up all that text. It’ll be a shame if the sidebar widgets go, as I like to have at least one visible all the time on the right-hand side of my post.
        However, I’m glad they are changing things, Colleen. If everything always stayed the same, it would soon become very boring and dull.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. That’s true, Hugh, but the new themes are dull and boring. It basically a blank page where you type. That’s it… an no side widgets! I’ve always used a featured image, but it might be time to change things up. I did finally find a theme that works. Yay! I just can’t stand all the white screen with gray type anymore. It stresses out my eyes. I use the dark mode for so much now. It’s easier to see. There are many themes on the business plan. I’ll be switching over to that soon, I think. ❤

          Liked by 1 person

          1. I’m hoping that the business plan will still include themes that have side widget bars, Colleen. I hear that WordPress has new plans now, although mine does not expire until next year, so I don’t need to check them out until then.

            Liked by 1 person

          2. I’ve been following some of the developers news and the last I read was that the new editor and themes would be the new WordPress. I’m not very happy with that move, but what do you do. If we ever lose the sense of community we all have here, it would be time to look elsewhere, but until then, I’ll put up with the changes. ❤

            Liked by 1 person

          3. That’s the spirit, Colleen. I saw too many good bloggers do nothing but complain about the Block editor without them even trying it out! Many have since left, but many of them said they had no idea why they complained so much after trying the Block editor out and loving it.

            Liked by 1 person

          4. Go to the dashboard panel of your blog (on the lefthand side of your blog). Click on Appearance – Themes. I selected free themes, and in the search bar, I typed Right Sidebar. I got 37 free themes that offer a right sidebar (although I could not show them all in the screenshot I am attaching).

            I hope that helps?

            Liked by 1 person

          5. When I type in “side widgets” I get 6 themes… that’s it. Also… I started following this site: https://wp-content.co/. I subscribe to the newsletter. This gives you links to learn the new WP themes. From what I’ve read, these old themes will be retired just like the other ones. If I can figure out how to install side widgets to the new themes, I’ll let you know. There is a lot in the works at WP. I watched a video this morning where they have you creating your own theme. There isn’t much there, but it’s moving in that direction. Thanks for your help, Hugh. I’ll keep you posted. ❤

            Liked by 1 person

          6. In the search bar, enter column rather than widget, Colleen. I made the mistake of entering ‘widget’ and was shocked by how few themes came up. However, when I entered column, I got lots of choices. My current theme has a side column for widgets.

            I’ve read about the ‘Customise Your Entire Site With New Block Themes’, but from what I read, this will be a take it or leave it an option for users (although you may have to be on the Business plan to get the option). When I first started blogging, I had a theme that was just text – nothing else. It looked so boring! So I hope WordPress is not taking us back to text-only themes. From what I’ve read, they’re not; as they mentioned, you can add as many columns to themes as you like. We’ll wait and see what happens.

            Liked by 1 person

          7. Thanks Hugh for the column trick. That worked. Most of these themes have issues for me… I know it’s crazy! And Yes… the Full Site Editor is where WP is headed. You will create your own website. Here is a link to a video I saved. https://youtu.be/1ThMIssK3IY. I’ll be setting up a free test site to work with the new full site editor. They promise it will continue to evolve. I’m not sold yet. I appreciate your help. ❤

            Liked by 1 person

  3. I had gotten an email notice about (perhaps the latest) change – that actually said if you don’t want to change don’t do anything. Well… since I haven’t changed anything before this than I’m not changing anything now. I use Google Docs on a Dell PC. And I haven’t changed how I’ve done things in years… But then I don’t mess with new themes. If it ain’t broke don’t fix it – WP hasn’t gotten that message.

    Good luck with all your WP issues. Fun story, kinda reminds me a bit of the old show “My Mother the Car” 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  4. ProsePres, lol! You could write an entire collection of ghost stories from the issues you’ve had, but mostly, Colleen, I admire your “spirit” of adapting to what glitches come your way. You demonstrate a true growth mindset!


    1. I’m afraid I played with the truth in the story, Norah. I still have my old iMac. It keeps plugging along. However, since I moved to the Pro plan on WP, all of those issues disappeared. It might all be a ploy for us to upgrade… or just a coincidence. ❤


      1. I thought it was probably an ‘invention’, Colleen. I was responding to the story. I’m pleased the issues have disappeared and hope they stay that way.


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