Thursday, April 10, 2008

What am I doing here?

I've been doing a lot of thinking today about what I read. Blogs, magazines, books, and actually, certain radio programs that I listen to -- places I turn to for information and entertainment.

What is it about certain writers that keeps me coming back for more?

And on a related note, what am I doing here, on this little sliver of internet?

This was brought on by a remarkable event I attended last night. I met a group of lovely people, who represent a variety of motivations and intentions for their own Voice on the internet.

How did this group come together?

Due to the efforts of one tall, thin, warm and inviting, open and authentic, clever and creative, beautiful woman named Georgia.

Some people were there because they have attended other local blogger meet-ups and know that you tend to meet some interesting people. Some people have blogs with sizable readerships. Some blog about politics, writing, tech ideas, advice, show business, psychology, personal and family topics. I feel lucky to have been able to talk with all of them: Kelly, Megan, Shayera, Melanie, Jennifer, Jason, Kimberly, Suebob, Mary, GloZell, Leah, Erin, and Glennis.

I relished hearing from all of these different viewpoints, and I am grateful to have learned about local blogs that I had not yet found, but I was there for one certain reason:

I am a BOSSY fan.

For me, it was much like going to an author event at a bookstore, because Georgia's blog is one that I read every. single. day.

It started last September, shortly after I started a private blog as a way to keep my far-flung family updated on my kids (I then started this blog in February).

I had been reading Catherine Newman's weekly column on for several years, which she then moved over to a blog. When I started my family-only blog, Catherine's was one of only three blogs I read, and the only blog author that I didn't know personally. Having started my own blog, I was feeling ready to participate in Comments. One commenter referenced blackbird's blog, so I clicked over and was very impressed with what I found. Blackbird is a keen observer of the world, and she writes about her observations with an honest and insightful voice. Hers is another blog I visit every. single. day, to see what she has been thinking about that day.

Blackbird has a blog link list on the side of her blog. Looking it over, I saw a name that caught my eye: "i am bossy." I HAD to click and find out!

And I was rewarded with this post. One of the funniest things I had read in a long time.

It was clear immediately: this woman can tell a story! And she tells those stories in a way that is unique in my experience, with a blend of pictures and words that hits me right in my funny bone. She is quick-witted and upbeat, with a distinct voice that is all her own. It was a thrill for me to meet her in person. Truly a thrill.

Please ignore my many chins. They seem to pop up
for photos - they are not this pronounced in person.

The group talked about blogging (a lot), as well as politics, education, what it's been like to go out on the road alone, who sings and who plays the cajon in a band, meeting a Cusack, sawdust cling, the ins and outs of each of our lives, and sweaty Skechers (here's a look at mine):

Georgia has moved on up the coast, but she and the other talented and interesting people I met last night have left me with many things to ponder, which I alluded to at the beginning of this post:

What is it about certain writers that keeps me coming back for more?
As I've been thinking about this today, I have noticed that in many cases, the writer seems like someone I would like to meet, have a conversation with, and in some cases, seems like someone I would be friends with. Anna Quindlen, Bill Simmons, Linda Holmes, Barbara Kingsolver, even Jane Austen. Radio hosts like Larry Mantle and Terry Gross. Bloggers like BB, Kim, Jen, both Rees, Kristin, Sarah, Mrs. G,Catherine, and of course, bossy.

What am I doing here, on this little sliver of internet? (In other words, why am I writing a blog?)
I think my first answer holds the key. I want to participate, I want to have a conversation with these people, I want to make friends.

I'm not a writer. I am a performer and a scientist; I don't think like a writer. I've never been a journal-keeper. I tried keeping one in college, but I ended up just writing year-end summaries. I want to keep a journal, especially since as I have gotten older and had more children, I can't remember much anymore. I think blogging keeps me motivated to journal my thoughts and memories in this space, since it's so easy, and you can include pictures, and because I also might make some friends in the process.

Georgia noted last night that as adults, we're always searching for the kind of friendships we had in college, when we'd all sit around through the wee hours, talking about anything and everything.

Yes! That is IT, exactly.


smalltownmom said...

I started blogging as an alternative to sending newsy e-mails to friends and family. It didn't really work; a few of them read the blog but even fewer comment. On the plus side, I have discovered a lot of wonderful bloggers! I liken it to having a bunch of pen pals.

I was delighted to discover your blog!

And I'm a little jealous of all of you who got to meet Bossy.

blackbird said...

It's an amazing thing, Bossy's trip, isn't it? I admire her talent and ingenuity.

And thank you for saying such nice things about me - I have to agree, I've made extraordinary friendships on the internet and am delighted to be here...

Kelley said...

Found you through Fightin' Mad Mary's blog story about meeting Bossy too! I think it's really cool yall got to meet each other.

Jason said...

Fantastic description of the evening! I felt much like you in meeting Georgia.

What a great evening, and what a remarkable group of people!


JCK said...

Barbara, it really was a great evening. You described it perfectly. I'm sorry the carpooling didn't work out, but it was SO good to see you!

Tootsie Farklepants said...

It was great meeting you last night, Barbara!! I'm so jealous that you sing! And in a band! I mean TWO bands!

West Coast Grrlie Blather said...

Yay! It was great to meet you and find that we know some folks in common.

I missed the cajon drum part of the conversation. I know a guy who makes them...

Pasadena blogger meet-up is April 19, 10:00 am - 3:00 pm at Sunnyslope Park in Pasadena. Softball is on the agenda. It's a potluck. Hope you can be there!

Jenn @ Juggling Life said...

It sounds like you had the same kind of transformative Bossy experience I had.

I've been thinking it was probably a lot like a 70's encounter group--honest and intimate.

Undomestic Diva said...

Had a great time with everyone. I like Bossy even more in person, which says a lot. She has a presence.

It was fun meeting you and the others.


Ree said...

Darlin. I'm so excited, I get to meet Bossy in a couple of weeks. And to be mentioned in the same post as some of these spectacular bloggers?
Thank you.

I've been overwhelmed by how much I love finding all of these new friends, and how, though we are all strangers, we join together and cheer each other on; help in bad times, and provide shoulders.

kristabella said...

Wow, thanks! Blogging is such an excellent community of some really awesome people!

I'm so excited for our Bossy meet-up next week!

Mrs. G. said...

What a nice post, and I appreciate being included in such an awesome list. I am meeting Bossy tonight, and I can't wait.

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