Questions for the Millennium

Was the hate always lurking under the surface?
Was division buried where no one could clearly see?
Was the intolerance deeper than it seemed?

Is this really who we are?
Are these really our beliefs?
Is this really what most of us want?
Is this really how most of us feel?

Why can’t I sleep?
Will our democracy survive?
Will the scolding of foreign heads of state evolve into calling up the troops?
Will some brave and ethical statesman finally stand up and say enough?
Will that start an avalanche of sensible thought and action?

Will there be a day when Colbert’s late night jokes can be about something else?

Or a day when the biggest concern is whether or not tonight’s episode of the Big Bang Theory is new or a re-run.

Blogging: To Thine Own Self Be True

Published as a guest post on Connect with Diana, January, 2017.

The first thing I did when thinking about blogging was watch the movie, Julie and Julia.  It’s the true story of how writer, Julie Powell, blogged while cooking her way through Julia Child’s Mastering the Art of French Cooking. The result was a book deal (2005), a movie deal (2009) and being launched as a writer. My goals were less grand but her experiences helped me in some surprising ways to find my own path.

In the movie, Julie let the whole experience unravel her life. She worried about who was  reading her and was she disappointing her readers; she had self-described “meltdowns” that wreaked havoc on her life, her work and her marriage. This insanity was something I knew I wanted no part of.

I was sure of only one thing. If I was going to do this it had to be for me. I wanted my work out there and thought this might give me a sense of accomplishment. Writing friends reminded me that once a piece was on the blog it would be considered “published.” I decided I could live with that.

Lastly, I found help. I found someone with computer skills and her own blog. We met once a month and she constructed my site. In between sessions, I began to post my writing and become more comfortable with the program. It was money well spent.

There are several different programs for designing and maintaining a blog with comparable options for layout and easy navigation. The programs keep statistics to check such things as number of visitors and an on-line support network for questions.  I chose wordpress because I liked their layout and choices.

But I don’t think of what I do as blogging. To me, blogging is short off the top of your head musings. And that’s much different from what I do. I consider my site a website. My pieces are essays, personal essays and memoir essays. Each piece is a complete story. I pay no attention to word count; I’m just interested in telling the story.

I have over a dozen pages on my website so that my stories can be posted into the appropriate category.  I have a page for family stories; another for retirement essays. Work, girlfriend, health, poetry and even a page about writing. I’ve been doing this for two and a half years and have 135 pieces posted.

For any piece that was previously published, I’ve included the date and place of publication at the beginning of the post. This process has me writing nearly every day and always working on something.

I was curious about Julie Powell’s life after her blog and her follow-up story has an interesting lesson for all writers. Julia Child’s editor says that she, Julia, didn’t appreciate the expletives and other personal matters Powell included on the blog; Child would not endorse the book or meet her, saying Powell was doing this as a joke and seemed “flimsy.”

Julie Powell is now famous enough to be on Wikipedia. But perhaps she’s more importantly an example of why it’s imperative to know yourself and your goals before putting your material on the internet in whatever form you choose.  I’m energized and motivated to write all my stories. Now have a place to put them. I keep doing it because it fits my writing goals. But I’m also careful of the impression I’m making.




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