Posted in 2019, Autumn at Sonnystone Acres, blogging

The Writing Life…

I’m in a slump… >sigh<  I want my Words to Flow effortlessly from my fingertips.  I want every stroke of the key to reveal a sentence that is perfection.  I want each of my Elevated Thoughts to be expressed so exquisitely that you gather at my feet enraptured by my Wokeness.

Being a Writer is an old, old dream that I cooked up six or seven Lives ago. Through the years, I scribbled in notebooks and journals, but always thought that if I only had the time that Great American Novel would write itself.

I’ve blogged for 15 years now, but being a blogger is not considered to be the same as being a Writer.  In fact, I’ve been told by several writer/friends that it is my blogging that gets in the way of my writing.  Actually, I feel like the time I spend working on the book just gets in the way of my blogging.

I guess I’ve put some ancient expectation on myself that I have to publish a book in order to be a Writer.  In this day of self-publishing, how difficult could it be to satisfy my ego with a published book?  So I’ve written some chapters and re-written them and put them away.  I get them out and re-read them and think, that’s not bad, just finish it.  Then I end up editing them and putting them away again, on a loop.  It feels forced and Not Fun and sort of depressing.  Currently I want to burn it all…

I realize that I’m not a conventional blogger who monetizes her blog and cranks out the “5 things you can’t live without” posts.  I know that my following is meager.  Still,  the idea of not blogging gives me the existential heebie-jeebies.  For the most part, I have thoroughly enjoyed writing these 1000+ posts over the years.

Thanks to the Feeling of Freedom that has persisted since our trip, I’m letting go of the worn-out dream of Being a Writer aka writing a NYT bestseller (but I’m not going to burn the pages I’ve written).  I’m letting go of the daydream that I’ll be a hit on all the late-night shows (but I’m still preparing clever repartee, just in case).  No more guilt or feeling like I’ve not lived up to…something.  I’m sticking with what I enjoy, no matter how hard it is…even if I have to blog about doing the laundry or cleaning the house…even if nobody reads it.

An interviewer once asked one of my favorite authors, Ursula LeGuin,  advice for writers, and she replied: “I am going to be rather hard-nosed and say that if you have to find devices to coax yourself to stay focused on writing, perhaps you should not be writing what you’re writing. And if this lack of motivation is a constant problem, perhaps writing is not your forte. I mean, what is the problem? If writing bores you, that is pretty fatal. If that is not the case, but you find that it is hard going and it just doesn’t flow, well, what did you expect? It is work; art is work.”

Look out!  The Blogger is Back.

 

Thanks for reading!

Peace

 

Posted in 2019, Summer at Sonnystone, Weekly Wrap-Up

If it’s Monday, I must be musing…

I’m especially bored with The News right now…as there is so little news, even during this 4th-of-July-Week…  The NYC kids are in Vancouver, B.C. for the Irish Dance National Championships and I’m sending Strong Peace+Love vibes their way.  The Jrs kids are spending the week with their maternal cousins, in from Ohio or thereabouts, and I won’t be seeing them for a bit.

While I’m obsessed (still) with my ancestry research, I’m neglecting to write much other than timelines. Oh, I’m still going about my usual chores and duties to the house and gardens, spending plenty of time in the pool, reading and listening to music, and even playing the piano (12th Street Rag), but The News just isn’t happening…

So I’ve set some serious blogging goals here…

 1. Stop the genealogy research right where it is Now and write it up for All My Ancestors. That’s easier said than done, mind you, because one little question leads to hours of study.  For example, the blog I’ve been trying to write for weeks about Grandpa and the Button Factory has taken me in new directions regarding my German immigrant relatives.   I am thrilled and excited to share what I’ve learned, but I’ll have to accept that this work is never quite finished and go ahead and write it anyway.

2. Start a series of Proust questionnaire interviews here at The News. There, I said it.  I published a series of interviews back in 2006 or so and it was fun.  At that time I emailed friends and family members who were kind enough to fill in the blanks.  Many of those folks no longer speak to me, but I’ve made New Friends and maybe I can get some cool responses.  Are you familiar with the Questionnaire?  The questions were part of a Victorian parlor game called “confessions”.  The French writer, Marcel Proust, answered the questions first when he was 14 and gets a lot of credit for “inventing” them, but he really didn’t.  The questions have been changed by others throughout the years, so no one gets exactly the same questions.  Here’s an example:

HERE ARE DAVID BOWIE’S ANSWERS:

What is your idea of perfect happiness? Reading.

What is your most marked characteristic? Getting a word in edgewise.

What do you consider your greatest achievement? Discovering morning.

What is your greatest fear? Converting kilometers to miles.

Which historical figure do you most identify with? Santa Claus.

Which living person do you most admire? Elvis.

Who are your heroes in real life? The consumer.

What is the trait you most deplore in yourself? While in New York, tolerance. Outside of New York, intolerance.

What is the trait you most deplore in others? Talent.

What is your favorite journey? The road of artistic excess.

What do you consider the most overrated virtue? Sympathy and originality.

Which words or phrases do you most overuse? Chthonic, miasma.

What is your greatest regret? That I never wore bell-bottoms.

What is your current state of mind? Pregnant.

If you could change one thing about your family, what would it be? My fear of them (wife and son excluded).

What is your most treasured possession? A photograph held together by cellophane tape of Little Richard that I bought in 1958, and a pressed and dried chrysanthemum picked on my honeymoon in Kyoto.

What do you regard as the lowest depth of misery? Living in fear.

Where would you like to live? Northeast Bali or south Java.

What is your favorite occupation? Squishing paint about a senseless canvas.

What is the quality you most like in a man? The ability to return books.

What is the quality you most like in a woman? The ability to burp on command.

What are your favorite names? Sears & Roebuck.

What is your motto? “What” is my motto.

Would you be interested in taking the questionnaire?  My readers are (nearly) as clever as Bowie, so I know it will be entertaining.  Lest you think I’m making You do all the work, remember that I will write a short bio and add a photo…I’ll be contacting as many of you as I can throughout the coming months.  Think about it, dear friends.  Maybe we could even meet up, face-to-face, which would be incredibly cool since I haven’t actually laid eyes on most of my FB friends in 20+ years…

We have no plans for Independence Day…perhaps I can get #1 goal marked off the list this week… then I’ll be in touch, pals.

Peace

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in 2019, Spring at Sonnystone, Weekly Wrap-Up

I just don’t feel like blogging…

I’ve been thinking again…always dangerous, if you know me… I’m unable to find words to explain…I can’t make myself sit down at the keyboard and try…

That summer feeling of freedom is creeping up on me…if it weren’t for the chiggers I’d lie down in the grass and watch the clouds change shapes…but there are definitely chiggers, currently living on me in places where the sun doesn’t shine, so instead, I sit outside on one porch or another, swinging away the time.  Sorry to say, but I just don’t feel like blogging.

I had a super surprise this week when I was contacted by a distant Mayne cousin.  He shared some good stories of our Iowa Maynes during the Civil War.  He clued me in to the Gold Mine story.  I enjoyed the conversation so much and he’s going to send me some info, to boot.  Before he called, I was researching a completely unrelated family member and studying up on button factories, but now I’ve put that aside as I delve back into the Maynes… I love doing the research and learn something every day.  I want to share it with you…and I will!..but right now I just don’t feel like blogging…

Umm…That’s all I got…

We’ll have Olivia and Samantha staying with us Mon-Thurs while their mom works up north.  We will have a blast for sure…and I hope I’ll feel like blogging…

Peace

Posted in 2015, blogging

How I came to be a blogger…

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Back in 2004, my daughter began blogging.  I was intrigued and in 2005 she set me up with a blog through the platform she was using, I know not what…(it was http://www.sonnystoneacres.com/—go there and you’re nowhere)

I started out blogging as my cat, Sonny, a legendary feline with exquisite taste, who wrote about the 2 caretakers (Casey and me)  of his estate, Sonnystone Acres. Melissa was in and out of the hospital, so when I visited NYC, Sonny would turn over the typewriter to me for live reporting.  It was before smartphones or facebook, so it was a good way to keep the folks back home informed.

Not too many months after I started the blog, Sonny died.  I was devastated.  I did publish his Last Will and Testament, some of my most best work, and a fitting, tearful tribute.

From then on, the blog was in my voice.  I wrote about Melissa’s surgeries, Michael’s wedding, the birth of my 2 oldest grandchildren, the constant remodeling of the house and grounds…

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Technology kept improving, and I decided to start a free wordpress blog, Growing Every Season, to feature my gardens and garden photos.  When I signed up, in 2010, it was just so damn easy, so much more reliable than the old platform.  I decided to start up a second blog, called it The News from Sonnystone Acres, and announced to my dozen or so followers that I would be moving.  They were all family, anyway…

I started a third blog, Rave On, Madwoman, with the vision of lively discussion of current events.  It never got off the ground, probably because every time somebody argued with me, I removed the post…

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Along came Facebook, and with it the ability to share my blog with another kind of friend.  My reader stats increased nicely, and there was the immediate gratification that comes with lots of “likes”.   I felt a little more pressure to please, to entertain, and to do it well,  and that motivates me to keep the calendar full of photo ops and enviable activities.

It was 3 years after that when I took a Blogging 101 class here at wordpress and, surprise!, there’s a whole ‘nother kind of reader out there—fellow bloggers..!  I learned tons about appearance, tools, pages, media , and all that, but couldn’t quite relate to the community.   It seemed like all the other “students”  bonded and within a month or so had 3-4x as many followers as I have, so I am a tad bit jealous.   We all know, though, that I’m a confirmed introvert.

While it was never my intention that my blog become famous, the immediate gratification of “likes” is addicting.  Comments put me over the moon…

It is difficult to not feel disappointed when you write something you consider good, and your only proof that anyone read it is an indecipherable bar graph on a stats page…

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Still, I do so enjoy writing this drivel.  I hope you like it…