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Archive for the ‘Words…Words…Words’ Category

Heart

The lovely Claire bestowed upon me an equally lovely award.  She  passed on the bloggy love, and now I will as well.

1.  The winner puts this logo on his/her blog.

2. Link to the person who gave you this award.  See above 😉

3. Nominate and link to seven other blogs.

  1. Marissa’s It’s All About Me.  Marissa is a talented and gifted writer, and an equally amazing person.  She got me blogging in the first place, and her own blogs rings true to everyone.  She has a way of connecting, even virtually.
  2. Jessica’s The Everyday Adventures of Me in the City.  A more recent bloggy find for me.  But really, we’re so much alike in our philosophies on flying, vinyl records and the Beatles, among others, how could I not heart her blog?
  3. To Kiss The Cook.  Food, style and design.  What’s not to love?
  4. Access Anisa.  I’ve been reading her for so long, it’s like the comfy sweater you wrap yourself up in.
  5. Life Goes On, I Think Because she could write about her sock drawer and I’d find it fascinating.  Yeah, she’s that good.
  6. Erin’s I’d Rather Be Dancing.  After a hiatus she returned.  We all cheered.  Welcome back Erin!
  7. Kendra’s Just Me, KC.  Because even though she’s taken a break from writing on her blog, doesn’t mean I love it any less.  And because she’s awesome.

Thanks all for your wonderful words.

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So, I wasn’t planning to post today.  I was gonna take a day off, let you all soak in my prose of late.  But then I saw this and well, it tied into one of the questions I had last week when Stacy asked what my take was on blogging vs. journalism and I thought it warranted a response.

I think blogging and journalism are, for the most part, two different things.  I don’t claim to be a journalist because of my blog.  I might claim to be a journalist because of my degree in journalism.  But even then, not so much.  Because I am not a practicing journalist.

That said, it’s a tough distinction to make.  Most bloggers aren’t trained journalists.  But the thing is, in this country, we don’t have an “accredited” press.  Maybe some people think we should, but that whole first amendment kind of gets in the way.  It’s a very gray area, but I will side with most journalists that I think a good majority of blogs out there aren’t journalism.  But I also don’t think most of them are trying to be.  And it doesn’t mean they aren’t writing good stuff.

In my experience, most blogs aren’t journalism because they are Web logs.  On anything, including a person’s life.  And who cares if that is what a person did or didn’t do.  The above-mentioned editorial from the Chicago Tribune, on micro-blogging, well I think that it just illustrates a stigma of the internet that is alive and well today.  And a misunderstanding of those boomers towards a younger generation.

If you haven’t clicked the link, let me sum up.  The editorial basically says that bloggers blog because: “A. Bloggers find their lives fascinating; B. They find their lives more fascinating than others do; and C. They want to prove it – by blogging.” It goes on to say that Gen-Y is the most narcissistic generation to date.  I’m not going to debate the self-centeredness of an entire generation, especially a generation I’m not a part of.  I am going to debate the narcissism of bloggers.  And just the fact that the editorial makes a lot of generalizations, of which I’m not a fan.

I don’t blog to hear myself speak, as they say.  I blog because I wanted to be a writer and decided to put myself out there.  What’s wrong with that?  I do not think of any of my fellow bloggers as narcissistic either.  Sure, we update each other on our lives, our weekends.  But what is wrong with that?  What is wrong with finding a way to connect to people you might never have had a chance to know otherwise?  When my grandmother died, I had support pouring in from all corners of the world. Hardly narcissistic on behalf of my blogger buddies out there. Yes, I had it from my friends here in Chicago, back home in Minnesota, and my family.  But what’s wrong with adding another layer to my social and support networks?

The editorial concludes by saying micro-bloggers are doing themselves a disservice, that they are hiding by connecting with friends online and missing face-to-face interaction, missing out on the real thing.  Want to bet?  Just because I blog, doesn’t mean I’m holed up at home missing out on the 3-D world.  And it doesn’t mean it always stays there.  I’ve met some amazing people through blogging, and we’ve met up in the real world. I’ll meet more.  I’ve reconnected with old friends via blogs.  And those relationships aren’t any less valuable just because life decided to bring us together via technology.

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Suffer Well

Or…Blogger Book Club.

Avid reader that I am, when Thomas suggested I read Atonement by Ian McEwan, I wholeheartedly agreed.  Actually, that’s not true.  My first question was “Is that an Oprah book?”  Because I don’t like Oprah books.  Once he assured me that it wasn’t an Oprah book and I was not in danger of trying to track down a book without a big orange “O” smack dab on the front, I was in.  However, finding a book that did not have a movie-tie-in cover did prove to be a challenge, and if there’s anything I like less than a big orange “O” it’s a movie cover on a book.  Don’t ask.

So I settled down with the book and after I struggled to figure out how, exactly, to pronounce the name “Briony” (I still haven’t figured it out) found myself utterly engaged.

First, and of utmost importance to me, is the fact that this book is extremely well-written.  And the story will pull you in until you finish it.  It is almost haunting.  I’d find myself thinking about it as I went through  my day.  The best of stories are ones that stay with you, that make you think and feel.  Atonement accomplishes all of that.

As you may have guessed, the book is about atonement, attempts at redemption, our human imperfections.  It’s about growing up, self-realization.  And it’s about how to find a happy ending.

The book is split into four parts.  Each part builds effortlessly on the last until a resolution that, I think, most readers are surprised by.  Multiple stories and perspectives are woven together well. 

So if you’ve read the book, let me know what you think.  If you haven, then read the book.  Before you see the movie.  Because while I haven’t seen the movie myself, I find myself absoultely postive it doesn’t measure up to the book.  Cause that’s what I’ve read in reviews, and because that is usually the case with any book turned into a movie.  And because in the end, the book is linked to writing, and on some level, I think it’s best kept there.

Oh, and right now I’m reading The Book of Lost Things.  If anyone cares to join me.

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Wednesday at work, I had barely turned on my computer when an email came in from Best Friend.

“Subject: The Road

“Call me when you get this (at work).”

I called her instantly. All to heed her warning.

“I saw that you’re reading The Road. I read it this spring. It’s really good, but it’s really depressing.” she warned me.

“Really?” I said. “I mean I guess I can see that it’s a sad story…” She then went on to tell me that even as she liked the writing, she was feeling depressed as she read it and finally realized the book was making her sad.

I decided to keep reading the book. She did say it was well-written and it did win a Pulitzer after all. (Sidenote: Oprah’s selection of said book for her bookclub generally does not work as a recommendation for me, as nine times out of ten I hate Oprah books…see: She’s Come Undone…). Besides, Oprah books are always depressing and it is about a post-apocalyptic world. I figured it wasn’t going to be sunshine and roses.

Last night on the el, I was reading the book. It’s coming along at a nice clip and I’ve made it about half way. Then it happened. As I stood near the door awaiting my stop, yet so engrossed in the story, I felt like crying. I just wanted to sob and let the tears flow. I wanted to cry not only for the protagonist and his son, but for the entire world McCarthy is painting in this book. They are utterly lacking in hope.

I came to my stop and headed down the stairs and out on the street sniffling and fighting that urge to burst into tears. An urge coming solely from a book. A powerful book no doubt. Yet the sense of hopelessness lingered with me. And all I could do was dig deep and find some hope that McCarthy will leave us with hope, and find a positive note to end the despair, shrug off the fictional murk and pray it never ends up like this. Oh, and watch The Office. Cause any time a book brings me near tears, I need laughter to induce another kind.

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