Call for input

This blog has been, and continues to be, a revelation to me. And you, I hope. I’ve been trying to post something twice a week for four months, whether I have anything to say or not.  There were times when there was nothing at all going on upstairs, so I turned on the computer to see if I could channel anything from elsewhere in the universe. Those were probably the best posts. I’m at my most boring when I think I’m being clever, or when I’ve thought the whole thing out before I sit down to write. I appreciate your steadfastness in bearing with me.

I’m fascinated by the changes that are taking place in the world of publishing. Blogs are a big part of that. I’m psyched to have jumped headlong into something so absolutely cutting edge. Who would have guessed! It’s exhilarating.

Along those lines, my CTO (Dave) and I have taken the bold step of reserving some domain names, and we’ve parked them on a server somewhere in California. I’m going to move this whole blog over to one of them fairly soon. 

I’m doing this for a couple of reasons: one, it’s the start of the Gydle publishing empire and as such needs its own dedicated web space, and two, it satisfies my insatiable appetite for minute control over things. If I can edit the CSS behind the blog page I am just a much happier camper. 

So here’s where you come in.

I was discussing the design of my new site with my writing group on Monday. Instead of bringing in a piece of writing like I was supposed to, I asked them what words I should include on the blog header. Two things came out:

They weren’t sure how to pronounce Gydle (like “bridle”, “needle” or “diddle”?) and felt that knowing this would enhance their enjoyment of my prose. Two of the writers reluctantly revealed that they had a problem with the image of jelly beans. I’m not going to tell you what their association was just yet, for fear of biasing you, but let me tell you I was really surprised. 

“If I hadn’t known you personally, I could never have gotten past the jelly bean image to read the page,” one of them said.

Wow! This is serious stuff. The idea of Jelly Bellies having a negative connotation hadn’t occurred to me. Not in my wildest dreams. I was stuck. The Jelly Belly image is a central part of my design concept.  How widespread is this phenomenon? How can I find out?

Well, obviously I can blog about it. 

What I’d like is for you to tell me if Jelly Bellies (or jelly beans) have any particular association for you. The best is to post a comment, so everyone can see each other’s responses, but if it’s too embarrassing you can also send an e-mail to me at 

9 thoughts on “Call for input

  1. There were always jelly beans in my Easter basket, but they were far from being my favorite. These jelly beans on your page are huge – they are no longer jelly beans but have become something else. Not sinister, no, but strange. And most of the colors look too artificial to be edible. Personally i have always preferred chocolate M & Ms or Smarties.

  2. In my field of work (addictions counseling), I associate Jelly Bellies and other similar candy with drugs … often these candies are used to hide laced lsd, ecstasy, and other drugs. Sorry for such a negative connection.

  3. I am with Susan in that the jelly beans are too big, which means they distract from your text. That should NOT happen because your blog posts are SO good!!! If I was you ML, I would spend a little $$ getting a blog template (with jelly beans) designed by a graphic artist. You could easily do this for $100-$150 if you put a bid up on or let me know and I'll hook you into my eastern European connections. The Gydle publishing empire needs a "look."

  4. Booger, vomit and grass jelly beans will forever linger on my mind's tongue from reading Harry Potter with my daughter. As a child, jelly beans were rare treats, dug out of yellow and green plastic grass in my wicker Easter basket. Now, I'm please to say, I associate them with Gydle!

  5. The comments are great so far! The blog is only one part of the future Gydle publishing empire, of course, and I am debating the rationality of using outsized jelly bellies as a unifying thematic motif. So far the camps are pretty evenly divided. I'm waiting for more feedback about jelly belly/bean associations…

  6. I like jelly beans! But, I think Molly has a great idea about getting someone to design a jelly bean template for you. I hope the Gydle publishing empire is also going to include a candy division.

  7. Jelly Bellies: American domestic bicycle racing team, with Sports Beans a frequent freebie in race packets; my son begging for candy at the gourmet candy shop. Jelly beans: Ronald Reagan. So a mixed bag, sort of like life, sort of like trying a new jelly bean and taking a risk on whether it's any good or not.

  8. Obviously Jelly Bellies and not Jelly beans are the way to go! Turns out Ronald Reagan was the reason behind the negative connotation for my friends in the writing group! But he ate jelly beans, not jelly bellies. Perhaps Europeans don't appreciate the difference quite enough, since Jelly bellies are not widely available here.

    I have a jelly belly cycling jersey, it's my pride and joy. I love the idea of "trying a new jelly bean and taking a risk on whether it's any good or not." Isn't that true? sometimes you just have to go for it!

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