My New Podcast

My New Podcast, blog post by Aspasia S. Bissas,, Spotify, podcast

I’ve decided to go for it and give podcasting a try! To start I’ll be sharing my blog posts in podcast form, but in time I hope to expand to talk about all things books, writing, and vampires (I may even share some of my fiction). Go ahead and give the first episode a listen and let me know what you think…

(You can also follow this link directly to my channel and listen there.)


Aspasía S. Bissas

WordPress Woes

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Any situation is less frustrating with cute pictures of corgis… (Photo by Nataliya Vaitkevich on )

If you’re a blogger on WordPress, you should have already noticed the new system for writing posts– WordPress’s new “block editor.” You know, the thing that took the simple act of typing words on a screen, and turned it into an exercise in frustration. The thing that took an activity that was quick and simple, and turned it into something that now requires tutorials to figure out. The thing I used to do without a second thought that now makes me want to give up blogging. That thing.

Now, I might not be the most tech savvy person, but neither is the clock on my metaphorical VCR set to 12:00… 12:00… 12:00…. (By the way, if you’re too young to get that reference, you should keep in mind that no one likes a show-off.) I’ve been blogging for a long time, on a variety of different platforms. I’ve even managed to pick up some basic HTML. Nothing has ever made me want to rage quit blogging before.

When the block editor was first introduced several months back, I decided to give it a try– and instantly hated it. Luckily I could still keep using the classic editor. (Oh, classic editor. It’s only been a few days but I miss you so much.) Then came the initial phase-in of the block editor. That time I had to contact WordPress for help. They told me how to switch back to the classic editor and assured me that I’d always be able to keep using it. Great.

But now that the block editor is the default for everyone, I think I’m stuck. WordPress claims you can still switch back to the classic editor– the only problem is, I can’t find where to do it anywhere on the site. Supposedly it exists in WP Admin– a simple setting you can easily change. So why is it that I’ve been through every setting in my admin (as well as my site dashboard and in the block editor itself– multiple times) and can’t find anything about classic editor? At all. Anywhere.

I contacted WordPress again and they assured me (again) that I can keep the classic editor. Apparently it only takes a simple change in WP admin settings. In the meantime, would I like to take some tutorials in using the new block editor? Or how about I try the “classic editor” block, which sort of looks like the classic editor, but acts like the block editor?

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No. To all of this.

I’m not automatically averse to trying to new things. I do, however, firmly believe in “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” The new block editor is clunky, awkward/annoying to use, anti-intuitive, and apparently full of glitches. Earlier this week I tried using the block editor to post a poll. It didn’t show up at all for some people, and for those who could see it, I couldn’t see their answers. The poll is now a survey (by the way, please take it, if you haven’t already).

My first instinct while trying to deal with all this was to move my site to another host/platform. Life is too short to be trying to figure out how to write a few words on a page without losing my mind. But it’s not easy to move a site (at least, not to move it and keep your content), and there’s no guarantee things would be any better elsewhere. So I’m going to stick it out. Maybe I’ll even take a couple of those tutorials. I just hope my readers will be understanding if things don’t look or work quite right. Or if I have to occasionally vent. As for WordPress and its insistence on pushing the block editor on users, do you think voodoo dolls work on websites? Asking for a friend.

What do you think of the new block editor? Have you made the change or did you manage to switch back to the classic editor? Share in the comments…

Love Lies Bleeding by Aspasia S. Bissas, Blood Magic by Aspasia S. Bissas, Tooth & Claw by Aspasia S. Bissas, books, free books, vampire, vampires, dark fantasy, gothic, urban fantasy, paranormal, supernatural, strong female protagonist,
Looking for a distraction from life’s frustrations? Download my books now…

Love Lies Bleeding: SmashwordsBarnes & NobleKoboApple Books, Amazon
Blood Magic: SmashwordsBarnes & NobleKoboApple Books
Tooth & Claw: SmashwordsBarnes & NobleKoboApple Books

If you prefer a good paperback to an ebook, order Love Lies Bleeding from Bookshop – a portion of each sale goes directly to independent bookstores, as well as to myself. Thank you for supporting indie! ♥


Aspasía S. Bissas


Poll by Aspasia S. Bissas
Photo by Pixabay on

Welcome to what was my first ever poll! It turns out some people couldn’t see it, and I couldn’t see anyone’s answers. So, welcome to my survey! Please take a moment to share your thoughts in the comments…

Thanks ♥

What type of posts would you like to see more of on my blog…?

  1. Articles on writing and creativity
  2. Articles on all things book-related
  3. Articles on vampires
  4. Short fiction and poetry
  5. Other (please specify)

If you have any other suggestions, please leave a comment below.


Aspasía S. Bissas

Baking Bread

Yeast in the Time of Corona

Baking Bread: Yeast in the Time of Corona, blog post by Aspasia S. Bissas

Somewhere among all the COVID-19 updates in your feed you might have noticed that people seem to be baking a lot of bread these days. It makes sense– bread is one of those things that are suddenly in short supply in shops, but is easy to make at home (especially if you have a mixer with a dough hook). As soon as I realized our local store was out, I broke out the flour (and was grateful that there was still one pan I hadn’t packed yet). Although bread is now easier to find and yeast is selling out, baking is still a good distraction– and there is seriously nothing better than fresh bread from the oven.

Have you been baking lately? What else are you making while you’re stuck at home? Share in the comments…

(Pictures and recipe are originally from an old post on my other blog.)

Baking Bread: Yeast in the Time of Corona, blog post by Aspasia S. Bissas (ingredients)
For those of you not from Ontario– yes, that is bagged milk in the pitcher.
Baking Bread: Yeast in the Time of Corona, blog post by Aspasia S. Bissas
The dough is still too sticky at this point (it shouldn’t be adhering to the hook like that). Time to add more flour…
Baking Bread: Yeast in the Time of Corona, blog post by Aspasia S. Bissas
Once the dough sticks to itself but not to the bowl, hook, or you, it’s ready to  rise.
Baking Bread: Yeast in the Time of Corona, blog post by Aspasia S. Bissas
After rising for about an hour.
Baking Bread: Yeast in the Time of Corona, blog post by Aspasia S. Bissas
Aluminum loaf pans I inherited from my mom. These are the best for baking bread, but you can use any loaf pan or baking dish. You can even just shape the dough and put it on a greased baking sheet.
Baking Bread: Yeast in the Time of Corona, blog post by Aspasia S. Bissas
Loaves shaped and left to rise. Use the next hour to read, message a friend, or contemplate the nature of existence (Netflix is also an option).
Baking Bread: Yeast in the Time of Corona, blog post by Aspasia S. Bissas
Ready for the oven. At this point you can brush the top of each loaf with a little milk or beaten egg white and sprinkle with sesame seeds or whatever else catches your fancy.
Baking Bread: Yeast in the Time of Corona, blog post by Aspasia S. Bissas
You might not have toilet paper, soap, or faith left in humanity, but you have delicious, sustaining bread, and that will take you pretty far.

Basic White (or Semi-White) Bread

This recipe came with my mixer and has quickly become my favourite bread recipe.

½ cup low-fat milk [I use 2%–you can use whatever you have on hand, including non-dairy milks]
3 Tbs sugar [you can use honey or whatever sweetener you have on hand, but not sugar substitutes]
2 tsp salt
3 Tbs butter [you can also use oil or margarine or any fat that will melt]
2 packages [or 2 Tbs] active dry yeast
1 ½ cups warm water [105F to 115F, or in other words, warm but not hot enough to burn you]
5 to 6 cups all-purpose flour [You can replace 1 ½ to 2 cups of all-purpose flour with whole wheat flour if you’d like your bread to be more nutritious but not too heavy.]

Place milk, sugar, salt and butter in a small saucepan. Heat over low heat until butter melts and sugar dissolves. Cool to lukewarm.

Dissolve yeast in 1 ½ cups warm water in warmed mixer bowl. Add lukewarm milk mixture [Tip: if the milk mixture seems like it’s still too hot, you can cool it down by pouring it against the side of the mixer bowl in a thin stream instead of dumping it all at once into the yeast mixture.] Add 4 ½ cups flour. Attach bowl and dough hook to mixer. Turn to speed 2 and mix about 1 minute.

Continuing on speed 2, add remaining flour, ½ cup at a time, and mix until dough clings to hook and cleans sides of bowl, about 2 minutes. Knead on speed 2 about 2 minutes longer or until dough is smooth and elastic. Dough will be slightly sticky to the touch.

Place dough in a greased bowl, turning to grease top. Cover. Let rise in a warm place, free from draft, about an hour or until doubled in bulk [the time it takes depends on your yeast, as well as the temperature in the room].

Punch down dough and divide in half. Shape each half into a loaf and place in greased 8 ½” x 4 ½” x 2 ½” loaf pans. Cover again and let rise again, about an hour or until doubled in bulk. Before placing the loaves in the oven you might want to add something on top. I’m partial to sesame seeds but you might prefer poppy or sunflower seeds or chopped herbs. Just gently brush the tops of the loaves with milk or egg white and sprinkle with your toppings of choice.

Bake at 400F for about 30 minutes. Remove from pans immediately and cool on wire racks. [Tip: the standard test to see whether bread is fully cooked is to tap on the bottom. If it sounds hollow you’re good to go. I recommend using a spoon to avoid burned knuckles.] Try to resist the fresh bread long enough to let it cool down a touch before slicing and slathering with decadent amounts of butter.

You can halve the recipe if you want, although extra dough is ideal to use in recipes such as Tiganopsomo (fried bread) and Wrapped Sandwich Loaf. You can experiment with add-ins too: try adding raisins and cinnamon to the dough for raisin bread, or add herbs and grated cheese. It also freezes well.

Makes 2 loaves


Aspasía S. Bissas

Aspasia S. Bissas's books: Love Lies Bleeding, Blood Magic, Tooth & Claw
Don’t forget to download your FREE copies…

Love Lies Bleeding: Smashwords, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, Apple Books
Blood Magic: Smashwords, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, Apple Books
Tooth & Claw: Smashwords, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, Apple Books

If you prefer a good paperback to an ebook, then order Love Lies Bleeding from an independent bookshop and support small businesses when they need it most. Click here and scroll down for the full list of available online shops.