The Bloggess

is today. Or so Facebook and The Bloggess tell me. And that alone makes it true.

I’m not so sure the advent of Social Media as a primary venue for human interaction is something to get all “rah-rah” about. After all, it can only lead to this in the end:

If it hasn’t already for some of us.

Not knocking the brave new world. I met my husband on the Internet, as some of you know, and many good friends exist only across time and space with the help of powerful satellites and Al Gore.

Just a caution I’m throwing out.

So, happy social media day. IM or text your favorite virtual friend. Tweet goodwill to all and update that neglected status bar for the hundreds and hundreds of people you’ll never meet.

But consider taking a walk and doing some Sun Salutations while you’re at it.


I haven’t been picked up for syndication via 50 something Moms in a while. It’s been bumming me out a bit frankly. I would like to say I write simply to hone my craft but the truth is I write to be read, and the more people who read me, the happier I am. Syndication is a chance to be more widely read and as I stated – I haven’t been picked up  for a couple of months now.

Three months. Not that I am counting.*

As I was reading a draft for Rob the other night, he remarked that I might want to tone down my language because I used the words bejeezus, hell and fat bastard. Just for effect and it was a funny. If I am going to mommyblog**, I am going to have fun with it.

“Why? I am just trying to be funny,” I was whining a bit because I don’t often try to be funny and succeed and because like most writers, I hate to cut what I think are good lines that work.

“Because I think it’s what’s keeping you from being picked up again. A lot of the papers that ran your early stuff were in the south. Not just Bible Belt but buckle and notches.”

Now I was confused. The Bloggess is more profane than I am – she posts kitty porn and holds discussions on Jesus’s sperm – and she lives in Texas. It doesn’t get redder or deeper in the pants than the belt that is holding up East Texas.

“When we were living in Kansas, Shelley liked to say that we weren’t just living in the Bible Belt but we were on its buckle. One time shortly after we moved there, and they still hadn’t figured out that our religious affiliation really was ‘none of the above’, a neighbor asked Shelley to help out with a school bake sale. They were driving somewhere together and the woman mentioned that she only baked for sales because she didn’t enjoy it. Shelley replied that she did and she sometimes baked just for the hell of it. And that was the end of that budding friendship.”

“Because she used the word hell?”


“So I need to ask myself will this play in the Bible Belt from now on?”

“Only if you want to get picked up again.”

Which I do. Damn.

Um, I mean darnit. Or is that dang nabbit? No, it’s darnit. The other is Yosemite Sam.




*Three months on the 28th. Of course I am counting.

*Mommyblogging means exploiting the cute foibles of one’s loins for the entertainment of others as opposed to mentioning them in passing to preserve their privacy and/or dignity. I am endeavoring to exploit my womb and Rob’s loins as much as possible without throwing up on myself in disgust.

I have been on Facebook quite a bit this last week. I haven’t spent that much time there since I registered. Facebook was just a way to keep in touch with my step-daughters in the beginning. I really didn’t get the whole acquistion of “friends” thing. I mean, how can a person have 434 friends? Some of these people have to be acquaintances or simply networking connections, right?

Until about a week ago, I had about 25 friends give or take. Fewer than even my husband though in fairness to me – he is related to most of his Facebook friends. But after I discovered that a few of my fellow bloggers at 50 Something Moms were on Facebook and then started checking out their friends list… was all over. I went on a friend’s request frenzy. I now have 47 friends.

To be sure, I do “know” nearly all my friends. They are people I’ve met in person or via their blogs. Most of them I interact with if only virtually. Still, it’s odd. This new need of mine to reach out and connect and, um, network.

Rob had a glance at my list tonight and said,

“You won’t be able to use the “not knowing anyone” excuse to stay away from Blogher next year.”

Yeah, I know. How pathetic of an excuse was that? But I am very shy despite my online image to the contrary.

I read often via other bloggers, writers, writing bloggers, and blogging writers that using social networking is one of the keys to success. Facebook and Fuel My Blog are really my only form of social addiction, and I am not hardcore. I don’t know how to add the de*li*cious or Digg widgets to my posts. I think Twitter would force me to pay attention to my cell phone, and I am still not over being coerced into getting one in the first place by my late husband. It turned out to be little more than a GPS for my mother.

But do I aspire to be say – The Bloggess? She has like 400 and something friends. But Rob reminds me of some recent study that revealed that beyond 150 people, we become overwhelmed and shut down. This means that 350 of the friends on Bloggess’ list are taxing her mental processes to a point that could short-circuit her.

I don’t think I will ever have that problem.*

I do think that there is something to this networking thing though. In addition to my Facebook peeps, I have blogging comrades and have met writers and political pundits. I have even been allowed to blog elsewhere. Christina Katz, an author, blogger, and freelancer,** has a new book out titled, Get Known Before the Book Deal. I haven’t read it yet, so I don’t know if Facebook, or anything else for that matter, is part of the “getting known”. I think probably, yes.

So, wanna be Facebook friends? It could be mutually beneficial.

*Her fame or the mental collapse thing.

**And someone I know through her blog and on Facebook.

P.S. Please run over to 50 Something Moms today for my new piece, The Full Monty.

When of my rather odd quirks is a tendency towards being quite literal. Rob didn’t believe me when I warned him about it early in our relationship, but he can attest to the fact that more often than I care to admit, nuance sails over my head.

My late husband affectionately referred to these as my “blonde moments”; Rob calls me “literal girl” – I don’t think that is catchy enough for a super heroine, do you?

The Bloggess posted this yesterday. It’s the very literal interpretation of the video of A-ha’s Take on Me, one of the catchiest tunes of the 80’s but with English that is sketchy at best.

Over the past three days I have had an incredible amount of traffic on an old post inspired by a Lisa Kogan column from O Magazine of a year ago. 

In the article, Kogan ponders the possibilities of losing one’s mate. Not literally. She just wonders, as many of the more morbid among us do at some point, what it would be like to be widowed. 

She was trying to be funny and I didn’t find her subject or style too amusing. Not because I don’t have a gallows humor gene – I do. Once, when my late husband was lamenting how much being dead without me was going to suck (he had dementia, remember), I reminded him that time probably flew by much more quickly in the ever-after and that he would eventually have my second husband to keep him company anyway.

He didn’t laugh. Neither did my co-workers when I related the story to them. Probably you aren’t laughing either. 

I suck at the humor thing as much as Lisa Kogan.

But getting back to the sudden surge of her presence in my search terms, I decided to google her to see if anything was up. Maybe she died? Or perhaps she wrote a book and is making the rounds of the talk shows and morning “news” programs. Doug and Annie Brown, the couple who had sex for 101 straight days and then wrote a book about it, (and why I didn’t think of doing that I will never know) show up in the search terms whenever a news article or review about the book turns up. Lisa, however, doesn’t appear to have done anything of late aside from her latest column in O. Which wasn’t that good. In fact, I found it annoying and thought that The Bloggess could have done a better job with the topic.

But I digress – often, yes, I know – there just seem to be an awful lot of people interested in Lisa Kogan. And so far as I could ascertain, she hasn’t died. Which would definitely explain people searching for her. People who read O anyway. But she didn’t. As far as I know.

And why am I writing about search terms?

Because I am still working on Kumari!

Yeah, I know I said it was done. It is, but the revising continues because it’s not quite right. So I signed up for an online writer’s workshop for sci-fi, fantasy and horror writers (I think horror but I can’t remember exactly), and posted it for review. Only one review as yet and it confirmed my opinion that the story is still light and far too staccato as far as flow goes.

Revising is one of those things that either takes off like a brush fire or feels like mental constipation. There is no middle ground. 

I can almost feel the direction I need to go but can’t squeeze the right words out. Once I find the chink in the wall, I know the meat of the story will pour out, but I am not quite there yet. 

Hence this post. Which is my alternative to cleaning or baking or blanching veggies for the freezer. I could have attempted to tempt my husband into a nooner when he was home for lunch instead but we are into day three of a “cleanse” and things are getting fragrantly ugly. No constipation there. Anyway, we just had a nooner, and a nooner habit could become an impediment to say – employment – and we don’t want that. 

What I need to do is re-order a few sentences and paragraphs for flow and tone down the royal “we” of the story’s language and flesh out the character’s parents and the priests a bit. I also need to play up the global warming theme of the setting. I don’t think that is coming out although I don’t want to “go there” in terms of explaining what is happening specifically to the climate/geography. I am not a techie when it comes to sci-fi. More like a Bradbury.

Off to stare at my draft some more. Perhaps it’s like meditation? If I let my mind focus and then drift, it will come to me.