I mentioned in last week’s field journal that I was in the midst of rebranding my site. I have been working on this project a little at time since April when I made the move from Blogger to WordPress. It’s a slow evolution, but exciting and rewarding just the same.
Part of my never-ending research about the inner workings of the Blogosphere involves “studying” a dozen or so highly successful blogs on a regular basis. These include Dooce, The Bloggess, Penelope Trunk and Cup of Jo. These sites have several things in common, but first and foremost, they were early adopters of blogging. When combined with their amazing talents and transparency they were each able to reap huge rewards. Dooce and the Bloggess have written about mental illness and depression. Trunk has written about incest and Joanna Goddard has posted pictures of her nursing her baby.
This seems like a good place to point out that the most successful bloggers — the pioneers of blogging, if you will — are all members of Generation X. It makes me happy that my generation blazed this trail. Heather, Jenny, Penelope, Joanna — all Gen Xers.
I’m very contemplative about my own vulnerability as a blogger. I have on occasion written very opinionated posts, but, for the most part, I’ve played it safe. Very, very, too safe. There was always so much more I wanted to say. I have written about this struggle many times. Rebranding my blog is all about turning that ship around. There’s not going to be one great big flip of the switch or one great big roll-out of a new logo or masthead. All the changes will take place over several weeks and months. This is what it means to be a methodical, strategic planner who is at least 50 percent introverted. Eventually, there will be a new masthead. Eventually, my cornerstone content will hit the mark. Eventually, that post about the thing that devastates me most will find its way into your inbox or feed. Eventually. Because when you hide, you always miss your target even if your blinded aim has been impressive at times.
I want to live an honest life. Writing helps me neutralize my shame and face my failures so they don’t control me. I need to write to be healed, one word, one post at a time.
Kurt Vonnegut said, “Write to please just one person. If you open a window and make love to the world your story will get pneumonia.”
I need to write to make sense of the hell. I need to write like I live. I awake every morning and no matter what, I kiss the day like I was blind, but now I see. I am so grateful to be alive, so glad I’m not dead.
Some 50 years after Christ walked the earth, the Apostle Paul wrote a letter to a church in Galatia, a Roman province. This letter forms the ninth book of the New Testament. This letter means so much to me. Paul believed we should carry each others burdens. This advice is applicable to all faiths. Take a look at what else he wrote:
If anyone thinks they are something when they are not, they deceive themselves.
Each one should test their own actions. Then they can take pride in themselves alone, without comparing themselves to someone else, for each one should carry their own load.
Nevertheless, the one who receives instruction in the word should share all good things with their instructor.
A man reaps what he sows.
Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.
Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people…
When we bear witness to the tales of survival we honor life as a gift and we bear the burdens of people we don’t even know.
So, that’s where I am. Where are you? Here are some photos to comprise a field journal from the 47th week of the year. As always, you can click to enlarge most of the images.
Check in the Lost and Found
I continue to work on my art project about missing and lost things. I have a long way to go on it. In the meantime, I continue to see pictures of people and pets on posts. How people we love end up on flyers nailed or taped to light poles and windows is beyond me. I want to put micro-chips in my children.
I saw this flyer on Sunday in the window of the old Rainbow Records store. JaRay Wilson, 16, missing from Weatherford, Oklahoma.
Raking Fall Colors
On Sunday, I took down the lights than hung over our bed of leaves. Why do the best days go so fast? Our giant leaf pile has been crushed beneath the weight of our children. They jumped in and out of it 1,000 times reducing it to a small mound. Yesterday’s freeze didn’t help matters, and with it we have officially entered winter.
People who don’t live in Oklahoma don’t know how long that can be. These are the days I glory in stoplights, the only color around. Here’s a post Cup of Jo linked to this week about how to handle the long winters in New York City.
When I arrived at the office at 10:30 a.m all was clear. When I left at 2:30 p.m. this is what my Jeep looked like.
One of the highlights of my week was having coffee with Mari at my favorite coffee shop in Oklahoma City, Beatnix. It’s wrong for someone who blogs about Gen X to like a coffee shop with that Boomer of a name. Should be Slackers. Beatnix has new owners, so there’s still hope.
Mari is a great writer! Please follow her blog, Mari’s Virtual Notebook.
I have no idea what’s going on here, but I thought I better take a picture and tell you about it.
Here is some amazing fall color from around Heritage Hills, Oklahoma City. Enjoy!
Here’s me having lunch with my younger two children during the annual Thanksgiving Lunch at their school. We take pictures every year.
My new camera is coming in handy during Juliette’s dance and Glee Club performances. We attended Fine Arts night at her school this past week. She did an amazing job with her dancing and singing. I’m so proud of her!
Here are some photos I decided to give a Polaroid treatment via PicMonkey. Both my niece and nephew, Cathrine and Jayson, made separate trips to Oklahoma this month. It was so wonderful having them visit. Cat is a blogger at Life Is A Lyric. She is a very talented, thoughtful writer. She doesn’t know how good she is!
Yes, I misspelled niece. No, I’m not changing it. Please note, I did not misspell misspelled.
My friend Malena, an author and blogger, posted an interesting discussion on Facebook about fake bloggers and the suspicious overnight sensation of Killer Martinis. The woman wrote a post on poverty that went viral and now she has an agent and a book deal. Hmmm.
I laughed so hard reading this piece by Marisa.
How did you spend your 47th week of the year?