Digging Deep: The Agnony of Revisions

My dog is an opportunist she watches perched on top of her chair and waits patiently as I prep dinner in the kitchen.  She always  knows there are morsels of scraps in the trash bin and will seize the opportunity to raid the bin as soon as I leave the room.

The end result is disaster across my kitchen floor and the only words uttered across my breath are “SADIE!”  She then like any scolded child slinks to her room and hides for the next hour.

idea

The other day as I removed the chicken bones from the stock and threw them in the bin. The girl could not contain herself and within seconds she had lifted the bones from the trash in front of my very eyes.

The NERVE! She didn’t even have the impulse control to wait until I left the room.

In my life I can be just as impulsive!  It is that moment of throwing caution to the wind  with that extra shot of tequila or two  on the beach and  enjoying the freedom to dance all night long.  A good idea can have the same effect and it  strikes when you least expect it!

The next day usually results with a very strong hangover. The spur of the moment of creating and the end result always a  disaster! But the key of a good idea gone ugly is surviving the  hangover.

My routine is to awaken with weary eyes, blink several times, slumping down in my chair, and then force myself into the process of revision.  The room  spins  from the agony of it all but deep down I know there is a story to tell.  Just as there is poutine waiting to rescue my belly from the heaviness of a hangover – there is a keyboard waiting for my fingers to connect to my brain and revise the story.

If you are good opportunist you wait to share that story not at its first, second, third, or fourth draft. You wait until it is perfected and that your words will be understood.  All you need to do is lift the idea from the  bottom of the bin, polish, and then trim it with cautious love. Some days revising  feel like a  spinning hangover but in the end I know with patience I will be sharing my first novel with you.

Why I Am Not a Brand

As bloggers we are told by experts that we must define our brand. What is a brand? A brand is a trademark or distinctive name identifying a product or a manufacturer. The last time I checked most of us are living and breathing human beings.

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I am not a can of soup.

I am not a box of cereal.

I am not a  bag of chips.

I am not a kitchen appliance.

I am not a race car.

So therefore I can deduct that I am not a brand. A brand would mean that it would be an inanimate object waiting for consumers to devour or enjoy my services.

It is when I read  bloggers, authors,  and journalists. I am not looking at their brand. I am interested in the person behind the creative and what inspires them to be great.

What am I if I am not a brand?

I would like to point out that I am a living breathing human being with thoughts and emotions. Sometimes I write rubbish. Sometimes I hit the mark and I am funny. And sometimes just sometimes something good happens from having a blog.

All of this occurs not because I am a special brand of cyborg. But because I connect with other fellow bloggers who share their own thoughts and creative sparks.  Who as far as I know – are also not cereal boxes or cyborgs?

My only request to experts in the blogging field to attempt to use marketing terms that reflect the human spirit. We are real breathing people just as you are a real breathing experts spouting your expertise. So instead of offering courses or insight on finding your brand.

Perhaps, it would be finding yourself? Keeping it Authentic? The Path to Happiness? I am not sure you can really put a brand or a label, on that, can you? But I guess that is the thing in this world of consumerism we all have to be labelled to sell ourselves or you would be out of a job.

So if I was a brand it would be one that took risks, laughed too hard, cried too much, am damned one way or another, and usually busted for holding my finger up to anyone who reminds me of all of my usual inadequacies. But then I guess I am a terrible brand. I am only human after all.

Are you a cyborg? Confess.

I would like to thank Linda from the Task at Hand for inspiration for this post.

The Expressive Leap: Blogging and the Personal Essay

Janet Steen examines the question “Have Personal Essays Gotten Too Personal?” in a quest to determine what is the truth and beauty of the personal essay.  In her article she points out the shift of the personal essay has transformed with the evolution of blogging.   Steen states “Blogs were an inevitable stage, and a useful one, but often they were narcissistic and ranty and you, the reader, had to sift through. A list of gripes does not necessarily make an essay, but a well-crafted, meaningful list of gripes might.”

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It is these well meaningful list of gripes that many of us sift through to discover the blogs that are gems and acknowledge that there is a truth to their writing. It provides meaning and sustenance in our daily lives.

One of the many diamonds  in the rough contribute each day whether it is a ranty post about poor customer service,  an inspirational post about a walk in the park, the political manifesto that your never thought of,  or a humourous look at motherhood.  All of these have helped to shape and transform our world and bring people one step closer together within the global community.

Janet Steen  points out “A great essay takes some little leap out of the ordinary, it has alchemy to it, it has magic.” It’s when you discover that hidden gem which makes blogging more interesting and exciting!  It is underneath that gem which holds a truth of what is beautiful and imperfectly human.

I have seen and read comments on occasion that suggest every Tom, Dick, and Harry seem to have a blog these days. It maybe true but the rubbish usually fades into the sunset while many bloggers seek to find their own truth through the words of their own blogs. They seek out to be better, to express themselves with eloquence, and shine on their own page.

Seth Godin, points out in his  short novel The Dip “The people who are the best in the world specialize at getting really good at the questions they don’t know.”  So perhaps as many bloggers throw in the towel there are many bloggers out there attempting to be the best by expanding their growth as writers and taking the time to seek out the truth.

It is by pushing ourselves to the limits that we create new expressive thoughts in personal essays.  As the world evolves, technology pushes us too new limits, our thoughts, and dialog will change. It is our role as bloggers to break the rules and seek the limits of discovering the truth through our own creative work. It is up to us to determine what is good and thumb our nose at the rigid critics who are unwilling to change with the times.

Do you attempt to take a leap out of the ordinary with your blogging?

NaBloPoMo Survival Tips

 

What NaBloPoMo survival tips would you add to the list?

Eureka!

We all wait for that special eureka moment! It occurs to us in the shower, on a solitary walk, or as we rest our head to the pillow when the lights begin to dim out. It comes at the most unusual times and when we least expect it!

  Eureka is that one moment when we jump for joy and are inspired to share our thoughts to the world!

If you could share one blog post that was your Eureka moment what would it be?

Home Rests within the Heart

I am a creature of habit and when I return home for a visit I fall back into the hum of a very old routine. It is the drive down the river for a fresh lobster roll and a stroll along the boardwalk. I like to listen to the sound of the wind and gaze at the blue heron in the distant horizon.

It’s the familiarity of the landscape and the comfort of being close to water that ignites a quiet inspiration.

As  I reflect back on this past summer with the thoughts of  pints with friends, the warmth of my family, and the acquaintances who greet you on the street with a warm hello.

They are all a reminder that one of the greatest gifts in this world is the ability to connect with a warm smile or a gregarious laugh.

So as the west wind keeps me in one spot my heart always quietly yearns for the east coast. But blogging has helped to soothe that loss with the connection of friends throughout the world.

It is something that I am grateful for and smile to you for making me feel so much closer to home.

What does the word “home” mean to you?

The Fragrant Ritual of Comfort

Hair it is a part of who we are and our identity. It aggravates us, comforts us, and sometimes shields us from the elements. It is after one of those days  I look forward to is stepping into a steamy shower and washing my hair.

The few minutes in the shower is my own time to clear my thoughts, relax my muscles, and wash away the negativity of  the day. I look forward to lathering the shampoo into my hair and inhaling the fragrant scent  that wraps its blanket around me with comfort.

I then wait letting the conditioner repair and untangle the wavy mess that is my hair. It is by untangling the mess with ease which  gives me a small sense of control in the tornado that has swept through my day.

It is in that silent moment I stretch and breath trying to regain a minute of clarity. As the moment passes I slowly rinse with my thoughts running forward thinking tomorrow will be a much better day.

I know in the next wild moments of life when my hair is blowing in the wind and there is no answers that I will get a  fragrant scent that sweeps across my face.  It is that scent that comforts me and lets me know it will all be okay.

Do you have a small step in your daily routine to help shift the perspective of your day?

One Question

It was last October that I participated in a month of your questions! It was a fun way to keep my on blogging track!

So I am asking you for a favor to help me get my blogging groove back!

Can you leave me one question in the comment box? It can be anything that pops off the top of your mind!

I will use each of those questions as a writing prompt every Friday until the comment box runs empty. I will also link your question back to your blog and thank you profusely for inspiring me.

I look forward to being challenged with all of your brilliant questions!

Do you have one  question for me?

Are You Raw Enough?

Every now and then you hear the comment bloggers need to be more raw and share their inner most thoughts. It is by being raw that you can only be true to your readers and to yourself.  But when I look at the meaning of raw it makes me wonder about my voice. Is it authentic enough?

The Definition of Raw:

1 : Not Cooked.

I can leave a check mark next to this  because I am definitely not cooked! Maybe just a little tanned…

2 a (1) : being in or nearly in the natural state : not processed or purified (2) : not diluted or blended

Sometimes if you catch me in a foul mood raw sewage does spew from my mouth. But do you really want to read my posts when I am in a scathing mood?

c : not being in polished, finished, or processed form
Well I never went to etiquette school so I am definitely not polished! However, do you want to read one of my drafts that lack paragraphs and misspelled words. I think not!

3 (1) : having the surface abraded or chafed (2) : very irritated

I hate when my sports bra chafes against my skin or I break out into the hives. I suspect you feel the same way! So I would never want to rub you the wrong way.

b : lacking covering : naked

Well do you really want to see me bare it all even if my itsy bits are photoshopped? I highly doubt it!

c : not protected : susceptible to hurt

Do you share everything? Are you willing to open that door? I sometimes open it a little but at the end of the day I do not want to be left vulnerable to the world.

4 a : lacking experience or understanding : green

I lack in a lot of areas of expertise. So will I write about that? Heck No!

b (1) : marked by absence of refinements (2) : vulgar, coarse

Yes! I confess!  I am guilty of vulgar language! And I do love to drop the F-Bomb from time to time.

c : not tempered : unbridled

Snort! If I was a wiccan I could have raw power! Summoning my inner goddess for world domination in order to make love not war and end child poverty. But sadly my powers are futile and the best I can do is imagine a world built on peace as I lounge by the camp fire.

5: disagreeably damp or cold

Well! Yes! I hate being cold! And it makes me cranky which leads me to a foul-weathered mood and in the end cursing up a storm.

Does any of  these different meanings make my authentic voice raw? No it makes me human. I believe at the end of the day how we share our thoughts makes our voice authentic to the reader.  But to worry about breaking down every emotional barrier to be more raw is tiresome. Quite frankly, I’m all rawed out!

How would you describe your voice? Do you believe you are raw enough?

The Dusty Blogging Trail

My dog leads us on our walks running ahead sniffing the trail, she will then stop, and run back to get us.   It is in her world she leads one  step ahead of the other and makes sure we all get to our destination. Her nose is her instinct  to lead us in the right direction.

Blogging has been a similar journey sometimes I run two steps ahead and ready to share my thoughts with you.  Other times I feel two steps behind feeling like a smelly can of expired  ham.

I have a folder of posts that I  judge with my squinty eye “not quite”, “not good enough”, and” not for today.”

It is on my blogging journey  I need to find the key to  consistently move it along without battering the same subjects over the head.

I wonder when I look at my dog running ahead on the path does she question where she is going? Or is she truly a creature of instinct? All  I know is as  I move it along  I’m just trying to find my direction on this dusty blogging trail.

How do you find your direction on the blogging trail? Do you always follow your instinct?

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