My Dear Dilettante Devotees, Enthusiasts and other Assorted Admirers, Freaks and Aficionados,
It has been far too long since last we spoke of the delightful discoveries and fantastic finds in the world of wordpress. I blame myself, as should you, darlings, if you feel you must.
For those of you unfamiliar with what it is these sporadic supplementals are all about, allow me to illuminate while you ruminate.
It is my philosophy that only the truly narcissistic feel that they deserve or are entitled to your love and attention. While I confess that I have a touch of the narcissist, I struggle to overcome that, and have been greatly humbled by the outpouring of admiration and support that I have received. It has given me a new perspective on the nature of blogging and of social media. The more I delve into the blogging world, the more I realize just how vast it is, and how much there is to weed through. So, to have people read your work and show their appreciation is something special. But there comes a time when you realize that you have a responsibility to give back. It’s not a mathematical equation, but it seems to me that you can only expect to be appreciated if you have shown that you are willing to show appreciation. It’s a whole “you get what you give” or “in the end, the love you take is equal to the love you make” type of thing.
So take the time to meet people, read what they have to say — and believe me, you’re going to find a lot of people who have nothing to say and yet continue talking — just like in real life — but you are also going to find beauty and humour and sadness. Taking the time to comment or encourage someone is the gift that you can give that costs you nothing, but has value beyond measuring.
Here are just a handful of good reads that I’ve discovered over the past couple of weeks.
Non-fiction/essay/memoir – The Romance with Mulholland Drive by Gunmetal Geisha. It’s a lovely love letter to the Southern California canyons, a magical musing about writing and online identity — something that resonated with me particularly — and a candid confession about her possible over-enthusiasm for a budding relationship that hit, as love sometimes does, like lightning. The writing is wonderful, the voice strong and inviting.
Fiction – Marcello’s Revenge (Chapter One) by Joseph Carlucci – I have recently discovered Joseph Carlucci through his incredible poetry, only to learn that he is also posting a novel a chapter at a time. So I knew that I had to give it a chance — and I was thrilled to discover that his prose is as wonderful as his poetry. His setting is simple — the suburbs. This first chapter is based around a husband and wife, and is a great opener — this feels like the perfect appetizer for what is bound to be a great meal. His dialogue is witty, and feels authentic — the characters come to life quickly and easily. I know I’ll be back to read Chapter Two and beyond.
Poetry – Helen Magellen McNaulty McSneeze by Linda Vernon. Linda continues to delight with her silly poems about delightfully named characters with often strange habits, physical traits or personality defects. If you are (or were as a child) a fan of Dr. Seuss, Shel Silverstein or Maurice Sendak, you’re going to want to subscribe to Linda’s madness. The things she comes up with to make her rhymes are beyond belief. Who would have ever thought to make a couplet out of “Tower of Pisa” and “Mother Theresa”? Who? Linda, that’s who.
Poetry – Salmon Sushi Kind of Girls – by Björn Rudberg. Björn is a student of poetry, and a good one. He writes prolifically, so I could have chosen a dozen poems easily, but this one stuck out for me recently — I think it captures the banal so perfectly — and the banal is so rarely the topic of poetry, so the fact that he managed to make the ordinary so extraordinary is something in itself. His use of repetition with the first and last couplets was particularly effective.
Essay/Non-Fiction: Self Esteem, the Bitch Who Rides Me – by Dawn Landau . Dawn writes with brutal honesty about the dangers of beating yourself up, and she does it with style. I know that the content of this post is really the message, but the language she uses is just amazing — the imagery like swimming in honey, or talking about wearing sarcasm like Teflon coated armour — just shows what a talented wordsmith Dawn actually is. Maybe she should remind herself of this, and if she can’t, well, there’s always me, darling. If you suffer, like many of us do, from a feeling of inferiority, or you spend more time doubting yourself than confidently moving forward — go read this wonderful affirmation by Dawn at Tales From The Motherland.
Alright, darlings — you’ve got some homework to do. There’ll be a quiz on Monday, but it will be open book and multiple choice, so don’t panic.