Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Look, I Wrote You a Post...With a PEN

I was totally going to start telling more Time Traveler stuff about our move from California to Idaho in 1977 with a goat in an old playpen in the back of a 1950-ish van, (yes, a goat.  In a playpen.)  That story never fails to make people go…"Wait.  What?  A goat?" because of course goats make everything more fun.  Except, like, weddings.  I've never been to a wedding that would've been improved by a goat.  Although I have been places that would have been improved by LESS GOAT, like…the back of that van, Mom.  But I digress…(I promise I will totally tell that story soon, though.  Seriously).

Moving on-

I have something even cooler right now.  

We went camping last weekend, only this time I stayed connected to my little world, instead of staging my usual self-imposed exile/mutiny from anything with batteries, at least until my phone completely gave up the ghost and refused to stayed charged.  Like, you're camping, woman.  Give up.  I stayed connected by casually holding up my phone in every square inch of airspace in the camper until OMG YOU GUYS, 2 BARS! RIGHT HERE!  Which was awesome, except that the only 4 x 6" space apparently in the whole entire campground with any cell reception was in the far corner of the back windowsill of the camper, which meant that I could get texts and emails and check my blog feed, BUT I could only answer anything by typing on my phone with it up in the windowsill, while kneeling backwards and hanging over the back of a small rocking easy chair.  But I did this, because I'm loyal like that. 

And thank goodness I did, because I would have missed an email from my friend Michelle at Rubber Shoes in Hell, asking if she could mention me in a blog post.  I said yes, of course, as long as she made me look tall and thin, which of course I'm not.  But she's loyal like that, too, so of course she said OK. I feel taller and thinner already.

Then I realized she was tagging me in her post as an "interesting blogger" and I kind of freaked out because I'm afraid that's a bit of an exaggeration.  Oh sure, my friends find me interesting and funny, and I make myself laugh my head off, and sometimes my kids, but that's about all I expected from my blog.  So it's like I accomplished a little goal, right there...*check*

I also don't know any other bloggers personally, though I read a lot of tremendously funny and inspiring blogs that make me laugh and think and cry and then laugh some more.  I know a few who comment here, and I LOVE THEM FOR THAT, but I don't know them well enough to ask them to answer questions for me, without them being all Seriously? I already did one of these.  Or…Stef who?  Then I'd be all, "Michelle made me do it!" and I think she said it's supposed to be uncomfortable, WHICH IT TOTALLY IS, so I guess I'm doing it right.  Right?? 

The idea was to answer these four questions, then tag four other bloggers who might answer them in turn.  Michelle also mentioned that this whole thing could be a pyramid scheme, so I expect I'll be super rich at the end or something, and you can all say Yeah.  I knew her when-

So, here goes…

1)      What am I working on at the moment?  Well, right this actual moment, I'm working on this post.  Oh.  Umm, and some socks I'm knitting (because I may get old someday, and I need the practice).  And a cookbook.  And all the laundry from camping, which never really ends but just goes on and on and on and on and on, andyouwillneverbefinishedmuahahahaaaa.  I'm also studying French every day.  For HOURS every day.  Because that's what bored work-at-home housewives do, I guess.  And because we are, of course, moving to Europe with all the money I'll make from this pyramid scheme.  (<-not true)

2)      How does my work differ from others of this genre?  *muffled snort of laughter* This…genre? I didn't know I had one.  Umm, well…it's not as funny as most of the humor genre and not as inspirational as the inspirational genre, so there's that.  Too wordy?  Yeah, probably that.  Definitely that.  People with red pens have been telling me for years to EDIT. EDIT. EDIT. FOR THE LOVE OF ALL THAT'S HOLY WOMAN, PLEASE CUT THE WORDINESS.  I can't.  I give up.  Sorry, it's not happening.  If you wanted something brief, you've already read too far.

Also…saying I even have a "genre" makes me feel like I need to "up my game", or it makes me think of convention-type people standing around with cocktails, asking each other so how's your genre doing? Are you marketing to the right audience?  Do you have a book deal yet? or about their golf games or something.  So I guess I differ in that I don't follow any genre.  

P.S. "Genre" sounds French, doesn't it…? 

Stay focused. 

3)      Why do I write what I do? 
a) To avoid laundry and dishes.  
b) Because I closed a bakery, have no car, and need a creative outlet?
c) So I'll be  discovered, they'll make my life into a Made For TV special, and I'll be RICHHHH?
d) For myself, and my kids, and their kids.  So they can read back through these posts someday and hear my actual voice on the page.  So we will have a record of some of the small everyday stories that made us laugh together.  So they can hear about my childhood, which was anything but normal but seems endlessly fascinating to them.  Some of the stories have to be written in an edited-for-all-audiences-including-the-people-involved way, which means there may be a BOATLOAD of stuff that won't be written here, but I'm not that comfortable putting everything out there for public consumption (sorry, public).  So they can read tidbits of our family's history, before the stories disappear.  If they aren't written down with each generation, they are forgotten and gone forever.  That's all, really.  If no one reads this but them, I'd be fine with that.  

*wipes a tear and clears throat*               moving on

(Also, I LOVE it if I can make people laugh, so if you have ever laughed at any of this…then you are the only other reason I write). 

4)      How does my writing process work?  I keep to a strict "by the seat of your pants" method…which means, if I find myself in random awkward or funny or annoying situations that bear re-telling, I come home, sit down, blast them out off the cuff, and hit PUBLISH.  Then…I go back and spell check, gawk at my grammar, and thank goodness that my College Prep Comp teacher has probably long since died of old age and/or doesn't know how to use the internet.  I used to be a much more formal writer.  Now I write exactly like I talk, and there's just the one draft, which of course is rambly and parenthetically full of rabbit-trails and would make him probably pass right out, but it's easier for me. (Sorry, Mr. W!)  

Seriously, other than that, I do keep a running LONG list of titles or key phrases that remind me of stories I still want to tell, and sometimes if I find myself sort of composing a story in my head overnight, and that is how I decide when it's time to write something.  In between my real life and my random blabs about nothing, I try to make time to write those down and track down the family photos to go with them.   I don't actually think of myself as a "writer" other than the fact that I like to ramble and I'm a pretty fast typer (typist?), so the idea of blogging as an online journal seemed really cool.  The fact that strangers read it always seems amazing to me.

P.S.  I ALSO wanted to point out that for THIS post, just this one…I actually wrote this in a notebook while camping, WITH A PEN, which was both painful and messy.  See?
I know right? Exactly like Hemingway.

Now I'm having to reread what I scribbled at 1 a.m. and turn it into a post.  Plus, I've revised it entirely, so basically I've WRITTEN IT TWICE YOU GUYS.  You'd think I could have made it shorter, but I've given up (hence the name of this blog.)  I'm totally going back to the one-draft thing, and thank God for laptops!

Ok, Ok, OKAAAAY.  Almost done.  The other point of this was to refer you to four other bloggers who I love to read.  I didn't tell a couple of them that they will be part of this, so we'll just let it be a surprise…riiighht?

First:  My daughter.  She and I got the idea to blog "together" at first, and we started this blog:  Running With Cookies at http://www.running-with-cookies.blogspot.com/  I branched out on my own not long after, and she kept the original blog, where she writes and does FREAKING HILARIOUS DRAWINGS that make me laugh my head off.  She shares my odd sense of humor, and her artwork just absolutely brightens my day.  I am endlessly proud of her, and I love laughing with her.

Next:  Check out The Yeti's Wife at http://toolazyforyoga.blogspot.com/   I stumbled on her blog, and I love it.  She is an American living in Nepal, and her stories of life there are hilarious and insightful. 

Next:  AmberLynn at One Girl Breathing at http://onegirlbreathing.blogspot.com/  I love Amber's posts about being a runner and a mother, and she was kind enough to agree to being included here.  And I bet she's actually tall and thin.  Plus she is always encouraging in my continual battle between my carbaholic side that wants to eat baguette sandwiches smothered in salami and mayo, and my AHMIGASH INEEDTOLOSEWEIGHT side, and is kind enough to comment on my posts, even when I feel dorky about them.  Muah!

Last but not least:  Eli at It Just Gets Stranger at http://www.itjustgetsstranger.com/  Eli is amazing and hilarious, and he also has this deep wisdom and ability to write incredibly heartfelt posts that make me laugh and cry, sometimes simultaneously.  Plus, if you've never read his posts about Snuggy Texts, make a cup of coffee and go check those out--Right now.  He also doesn't know I sent you, but I'm pretty sure I can talk my way out of that.  *looks up legality of linking to blogs without permission* 


 And Michelle…THANKS FOR MAKING ME LAUGH A LOT AND CRY A LITTLE, but in a good way.  I love you, sister.



    I love this post so much that I want to take it to dinner and then do naughty things to it and then cuddle and watch The Wire with it.

    Or did that get too weird?

    Seriously, I so much appreciate you participating in the blogging pyramid scheme...any day now, we're going to be rich. You'll have a car and I'll have working central air...it's going to be GREAT!

    And now I'm off to check out these other blogs you speak of. XXXOOO

    1. Girl. I grew up in the 70s. Pretty much nothing's weirder than THAT. lol

      I really appreciate you thinking of me, for the pyramid, too. We are going to be SO rich. I'll let you know when the checks start coming in...

  2. Also, I can't wait to read about the goats

    1. I'm excited to write about the goats, too. I have pictures and everything...

      I think we could sell anything, if there were goats involved.

      #1: Look, a produce market.... meh...

      #2: WAIT. They have GOATS. Stop the car!

    2. Please make sure that when you write about the goats that you somehow incorporate TOTES MAH GOATS.

    3. Bwahaha!! I have teen, so why didn't *I* think of that??

      I'm pretty sure that should be an upcoming title. ;) Thanks!

  3. Thank you for being my first follower! I am playing catch up on reading posts this week, but can't wait to get to the goats! You ALWAYS make me laugh....except when you make me cry, but I think that was only once.

    1. I'm the first? HA. I'm never first at anything...

      Sorry if you cried, but I'm glad it was only once! The goat in the van post is next. Seriously.