Virginia Wolfe had it right with regard to the difficulty of writing with multiple competing obligations and the lack of a personal space to write in. She used the illustration of Jane Austin, who had the great good fortune of a good income and a supportive family to help her bring her amazing pieces of fine literature to fruition.
I am not the only writer to fall prey to this dilemma. Over the course of my adult life, I have found times when I could be extremely productive, and others when I have gone weeks or even months without writing anything of note. Talking to my many friends who write, they report similar issues.
- It has an overriding theme instead of a subject, and I have a goal of writing at least one ‘content’ post per day.
- It is a commercial site with the eventual goal of supporting my family.
- It has as its main idea ‘Personal happiness is valuable, achievable and extendable to the world.’
- It honors a sense of fun without meanness.
- Each article comes from a place of compassion even in anger.
- Personal life affects professional life affects political life affects personal life.
- Shopping is fun and providing ways to find deals on line is a service I enjoy providing.
- Giving away stuff is also fun and something I enjoy doing for my readers.
- Alerting people to situations where their help can make a difference is important.
- Every post should add value to readers’ lives.
- I want a community to form around this website that shares these ideals.
So, to put it mildly, I have some ambitious goals around this website, which run into two primary barriers: available time and organization of ideas. And of course, limits on talent, but I do what I can with what I have.
I have been so busy today completely reorganizing and categorizing the site (look, see? much easier to navigate, more relevant categories. Really nifty, if I say so myself) that I don’t have time to write a real post. So instead, I’m going to introduce you to my cool friends who make stuff. If you like it, please buy it, and support small business.
This post was originally spawned by filkertom (Tom Smith) who writes and performs filk songs (no, not folk, filk — they are based off science fiction and fantasy, done in a folk song style). What he linked to wasn’t actually his (oh, the stars, the STARS! and the link plays music, too,) but in payment for pointing me to it, I’m linking to his ‘buy stuff‘ page at his website. Making music costs time and money. Please buy his stuff or subscribe to his streams. And I dare you to watch this video without laughing:
When I put e-books on my library hold list to read and review, I am sometimes completely unaware of what I’ve just ordered. This was very much the case with Blood, Bones & Butter: The Inadvertent Education of a Reluctant Chef by Gabrielle Hamilton. I thought I had ordered a cookbook to browse through. Instead, I had ordered a memoir by a cook (a chef, really).
Happy, happy mistake. This is a meandering memoir full of foodie-licious details of French and Italian cooking and the sort of personal details that make you either want to put the book down for a moment to absorb what you have just read, or plow forward.
I read this, coincidentally, during a weekend devoted to making peace with my family of birth. Hamilton, too, describes such an event, and like mine hers was a fraught mixture of success and failure. Mine, however, is unlikely to be set down as a memoir, certainly not one as mouthwatering as hers.
I identified with the craziness of her childhood life, the mistakes of her young adulthood, the settled certainty of later choices and then the even later questioning of that certainty. I grew to care about the character even as I sometimes judged her as harshly as I judged myself.
Throughout reading it, I badly wanted to hand it to 15 year old overthinker to enjoy, but realized even with the impulse that he needed more life experience to truly appreciate this book, even with his love of cooking and dream of being a chef someday.
This was not, for me, an easy book to read. It was, however, fascinating and heartbreaking and full of truth in both its lurid ugliness and beauty. I hope someday to whip up a concoction this complex and delicious, and suspect, sadly, that I never will.
Wow, did that get poetical. Deal with it, folks. That’s how the book made me feel.
Originally published at . Please leave any comments there.
Remember Dances with Dragons, that adorably assertive and clueless little boy? Or perhaps The Perpetually Grounded Son, who spent over a year being the source of many stories about the woes of being a parent? Or Teenager, who got tired of me calling him the Perpetually Grounded Son?