Behind the scenes

I don’t remember when I started following Terri and James’ blog, Gallivance but I’m sure it was early on in my career and no doubt I found them through Laura’s TouringNH blog. Though my world travel days are behind me, I have lived vicariously through their adventures. Unlike other travel blogs, they bring personality to the cultures and places so beautifully depicted in their photos. I wish there was such a thing as the Internet when I was traveling, perhaps I would have started writing publicly much sooner and from a very different perspective. The art of taking your reader on an adventure with you without sounding like a Fodor’s guide-book is something I admire greatly as I never followed those road maps and found my best Therapeutic Misadventures off the usual paths.

Blogging is a lonely pursuit. I was thrilled with the early stats – to think someone beside friends and family would find my words and comment? It took time to build a following, and to date I doubt if half those who signed up actually take the time to read what I have to say every day. As a nonpaying job, it has its frustrations and times when I wonder why I put in the time. Every once in a while, though, the reward is finding like-minded folks who do care what is happening on my journey.

I took it very seriously when Terri and James honored me with a nomination to write this piece. – Behind The Scenes, Blog Hop. Their accolades of my writing style were embarrassing when positioned against my small contribution to the world. The purpose of the challenge is to answer four simple questions about my writing…not so simple.

WHY DO I WRITE WHAT I DO?

Because I believe there are still those “Ah Shit” moments when we find ourselves staring life in the face and someone has to write them down.

Because I think we are never too old to learn from what every day life has to show us;  we just need to be mindful and notice.

Because I have come too far not to have SOME wisdom in this silly game…

HOW DOES MY BLOG DIFFER FROM OTHERS IN IT’S GENRE

I’m not sure it is terribly different from others I follow though I’m not sure if I have a pure “Genre” that I attach myself to. I use the category Memoir for most posts. I don’t think I qualify for humor very often and certainly it isn’t as specific as cooking or travel. I set out to chronicle life after 50 because I couldn’t be the only one marking these years and maybe what I had to say would invoke a reaction from  others and I would learn something.

Sort of makes me sound like a “comments whore” but from the beginning I promised I would respond to everyone who took the time to say something. I am miffed by people, perhaps more famous to some degree, who never respond to comments. A simple “Thank You” is the very least one should expect.

HOW DOES MY WRITING PROCESS WORK?

I write something almost every day. I have long-range posts I work on sporadically and short bursts of “Ah Ha” moments when I just have to write an idea down. When I hit a dry spot I cull through all the drafts and see if there is anything to inspire me.

My goal every week is to have at least two posts I am passionate about; posts I really feel I’ve polished the thought to a shiny stone that warms in my hand. My personal rule is 5 posts a week and I know they can’t all be brilliant but they should at least be an exercise in creative thought and editing. Many times a photo is the start of the idea. I take a random shot and wrap my thoughts around it.

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Other posts are about an actual event. Photo touring with Laura at TouringNH has provided opportunities to get out and see life through a different lens. I tend to follow folks with lots of photos in their posts so I guess it makes sense that I try to have at least on to inspire me.

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The bottom line is my writing is like any other commitment. There are days when I’m beating myself up and days when I feel very proud. The commitment makes me march forward regardless. There’s not a lot of glory but the moments of happiness it brings me outweigh the rare tedium.

WHAT AM I WORKING ON/WRITING?

My Doppelganger would like to hear I’m working on a children’s story about the perfect pony. It’s there, it gets a dash of time every so often, but it is hardly a work in progress. Other friends who read “Therapeutic Misadventures” ask when the next installment will be done…I am lazy so that may come from my posts. The chunk of life in the middle, the years between the early memoir and today are buried in my journals. Perhaps I will have time to do them justice some day but for now, they are still too close to tackle objectively.

MY BLOG HOP NOMINATIONS

It’s always a gamble to nominate others. I wanted to choose writers whose work I admire and that my followers may not have found. The question remains, will those I nominate be irritated and not wish to participate or will they take up the challenge and tell us a bit about their life “behind the scenes?”

With this in mind, I have chosen two bloggers I admire for different reasons.

Phil – Philosopher Mouse Of The Hedge is my first nomination. “Phil is known for astute observations, insightful analysis, and common sense comments of city, field, and that odd species: humans.” But oh, there is so much more. Phil appears to reside outside Houston TX and though his voice is third person and we have only rare glimpses into who Phil really is, we are delighted by the voices of his housemates; Molly the dog, RC of the Realm – the all-seeing, all-knowing queen in the form of a cat, and Bob – the reptile I’m still not convinced is alive. From a pet’s-eye-view of silly human behavior to current events cleverly disguised in fun prose, Phil never disappoints.

HandmadebyJo – Fort Pelham Farm  Her “About” page doesn’t begin to tell all the wondrous tales in her blog. She has gorgeous looms and weaves spectacular fabrics, she gardens, takes fabulous photos, and renovates her 200-year-old home in a small New England town. The other half of her life is working in an urban area running an automotive repair business for the past  30 years. In her own words; “Follow me and you will endure my ramblings about life in two worlds, crafts, nature’s beauty, life with dogs and an occasional smattering of politics. I also post a photograph a day – new or old.” I feel akin to Jo and always enjoy her thoughts.

Phil and Jo, please don’t feel obligated to respond. I wanted you to know just how much I appreciate your work and that every email notice of your posts brings a smile of anticipation.

As I said, it can be lonely out here. Sometimes it helps to read of others who sit down in solitude and journal their lives and the world around them.

Thank you…

17 thoughts on “Behind the scenes

  1. Pingback: Left Brain Meets Right Brain: Behind the Scenes at Gallivance | GALLIVANCE

  2. Martha, this is a wonderful look behind the scenes of your captivating blog. I love the reasons you write what you do – particularly the “Ah Shit” moments! 🙂 Your phrase, “posts I really feel I’ve polished the thought to a shiny stone that warms in my hand” is so beautiful and describes your writing to a T. Thanks so much for participating and for your kind words. And we totally agree with you about the comments. All the best, Terri & James

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  3. I love reading your posts. They are unique and something in them appeals to me. Maybe because I am also over 50 – that’s what initially attracted me to your subtitle when I first joined WordPress and was looking for blogs to follow, but it’s your content and way of writing that has kept me reading them. I will certainly check out the other two blogs you have nominated.

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  4. Oh, sorry, late to the party – but it was sunny! And that’s been so few and far between this winter, I escaped…..then there was the piles of ignored laundry, dog towels, and chaos needing to be sorted out now that Molly’s sleepover friend went home.
    I am deeply honored for this nomination. It is a chance for reflection and analysis of why you are driven to write. (will take a bit of pondering. I keep a very low profile on social media for multiple reasons)
    This is said so well “As a nonpaying job, it has its frustrations and times when I wonder why I put in the time. Every once in a while, though, the reward is finding like-minded folks who do care what is happening on my journey.”
    (and agreed about the responding to comments)
    Impressive you can write so many posts a week. Maybe I fret too much over mine as 3 is hard to manage for me. As you say, writing frequently leads to more and better writing. I threw away my clock several years ago and flow through life as it seems appropriate and comfortable right now (Oddly I’m one of those people who kill wrist watches – been through tons of brands and styles – they never last long. My mom used to get so angry and accused me of “breaking them”. A local watch repair guys told her some people simply aren’t able to wear them – either move too fast or some odd magnetic deal in their bodies.)
    I know what you mean about there’s a WIP back there – but it’s sort of in hibernation without any guilt on this end. I’ve published several pieces (that is a long multi generation family tradition) and sometimes feel a nudge about wasting talent, but blogging does dull that until ready.
    Right now this works.
    There’s always something cool to discover in your writing or photos. A must-do journey over here. (Like that tree photo – more than just a tree…)
    Glad you are contented on your writing journey and life – and ready to embrace what lies ahead. It’s the Great Adventure very single day!
    Thanks again…and sorry for rambling!

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  5. Love your “ramblings!” I enjoy puzzling out your posts and love the voices you bring to them. Thank you for taking the time to contemplate and respond. Much appreciated! Houston holds rather sad memories for me. Haven’t been back in many years. That said, I vicariously enjoy your glimpses of the area as it sounds like it has changed a lot in the thirty years since I was there…

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  6. Martha I love your posts and the nomination was well deserved. It’s i teresting to see how others come up with their posts and ideas too. As for people following and not reading, maybe they do but I read every single post and enjoy them very much 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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