Thursday, April 26, 2012

Eden asks... What is a blog?

     One of my heroes, Eden Riley, in Australia (a place I've never been to yet, but is on "the list") has asked "What is a blog?"  She's doing a big give-away thingie, but really the only thing I'd truly love to win are her  Holy Kitsch Day of the Dead Flags because I think they will be awesome for my 50th birthday party... which will be celebrated late, but actually falls on Cinco de Mayo.  So how much cooler could that be?  But I'm really not writing this piece to win or compete.  I'm writing because she asks a good question.

     To be honest, when I first heard the term "blog" I had to look it up on Wikipedia.  They all just looked like websites, and I had one of those for years before they were ever called a blog (which by the way is a "portmanteau of the term web log," and I had to look up the word "portmanteau" also.  I'm starting to wonder if that MBA was just wasted money or if I'm getting too old to keep up with the language.)

     My "website" originally was an easier way for me to keep in touch with family since we've always been scattered to the four corners of the Earth.  It eventually evolved into a blog because I realized it was becoming more of a soapbox for me... and I was unhappy with my website server insisting on putting pop-up advertising and banners that I felt were sometimes inappropriate for "family" reading.

A hero is someone who thinks outside the box
but also,
sometimes gets outside of the box.

     Unlike Eden, and many of the other blogs that I follow... I've never been approached to have a sponsor.  I suppose if I wanted I could advertise products, but I wouldn't have a choice in what they were.  Often I do write on something I've tried or found and include a link to that site.  But as far as earning any kind of an income from my blog... no.  Except perhaps for the person who occasionally gets weary of my ramblings about my books and actually buys one to read themselves. (Yay!).

      My blog has more or less remained my soapbox.  I talk more about things I feel strongly about, things that have affected me physically or emotionally, and the occasional random Oh, look!  A chicken!  But my 'audience,' I've found reaches, around the globe.  Not just the four corners.  It has become a way to meet new friends, soul sisters, and hopefully to make a difference in someones life.

     Like Eden, there was a time when I almost let the haters shoot me down.  I deleted almost two years of posts because I felt that I had exposed too much of myself, peeled off too many layers of the onion that I am, and I was tired of the criticism from people who just didn't get it.  Especially since some of those haters were family.  Those hurt the most.

     Then I realized a few things... first, when you hit that delete button in anger, you will always regret it.  Second, by letting those people dictate who I was and what I wrote about, I was giving them power and control over me that I have fought so hard to get back. 

     This is me.  Like what I write or not, these are my thoughts and feelings.  No one is forcing you to read them.  No one has glued your eyes open.  If you don't like what I write... go find something else to read.  This is the Internet version of reality reading.  It is almost like getting a new chapter every day, without being able to read the last page of the book to know how it ends.  It is a way to keep a family history going... and shared, as I have done with some of my Dad's carpentry projects.  It is a way to reach out to others, to share knowledge, experiences... life.

     Facebook is ... reality television on steroids ... Beverly Hills Real Housewives on Crack... Survivor of the Rudest.  It is sometimes like a brief glimpse into the worst side of humanity.  People bully, attack, and air their perverse and dirty laundry. 

     Blogs can be that way also... but it seems like those of us who use this 'medium' are creative artists in a different way.  Our words are our art.  We can share photographs, ceramic creations, paintings... but for the most part, we combine them with words that are written to build... not destroy.


  1. CINDI. I love this so much. I accidentally bought two sets of Day of the Dead flags so can you please email me your postal address, so I can post you your 50th birthday present.