Saturday, August 10, 2019

When There Are So Many Words

One morning a few weeks back on Facebook - the proclamation "Blogging is Dead"

And I look back on the last view years of blog posts. Hundreds of blog posts.

Just a few short years.  So much can happen in that time. 

A well-tended grave, in a military cemetery surrounded by flags.  One wooden box, bearing in cold air a warmth that can't be replaced, a well-loved dog toy resting on its lid.

On each are short simple words that do not begin to carry the weight or the sharpness of their past.

How do you write about that, how do you share?

But as a new author, everyone said "you need to do all of the social media"
I did my first twitter.  It had all the literary grace of Rodan. #Ineedmoreroomforwords

I started Facebook.  It's like the schoolyard with free ice cream and magic. I am having some fun with it.

But it also leaves me wanting for something---for it does not feel like writing. It's fun, but simply that---fun. To me, it's not flight or mode of combat, words that take on shape and form, Even as I shared in the laughter and offered short comforting thoughts, I missed those long tales that are born from a soul that's an irrepressible retailer of words, a shopkeeper of phrase, an enabler of intent. Facebook is like hanging out with your best friends with beer.  Blogging can be like that as well.  But it can also be like sipping single malt scotch in front of a typewriter, which is where many of my stories started.

Still, where else can you post a cat with a gun, riding a fire snorting unicorn.
So I'll have my fun on Facebook even as I quietly say into the silent night - Blogging is not dead.

Book #1 was born, out of a blog post that became a chapter, then another, and another. It was born because another blogger, Neptunus Lex, believed that I was an author at heart and encouraged me to to find my writer's voice.  Because I am a writer and my world has too many words. Now having just published book #5, I still find that urge to sit at a keyboard in late evening hours, a single finger of single malt in a crystal glass, a photo of my late brother on the table behind me, the sound of a violin in the basement as my husband practices.

I sit here now, no music playing, no noise---just the soft breathing of a couple of rescue dogs and my thoughts, words almost imperceptible to the senses, hanging on the air to be plucked by my fingers and laid upon this white table.  This computer is my accomplice, guarding me with its quiet accord, bearing with me the seclusion, the mystery. I should probably get up and do some housework, but while the words are still within reach, I am imprisoned by the very freedom of my hands.

I think of the classic writers - would Jane Austin have been a hit on Pinterest? Would Hemingway have been popular on Instagram? How many Twitters to win a Pulitzer Prize?

Creativity can be short bursts of color and forms and words.

But not in the world that I like to live in.
I am a writer and I have too many words.

I am the run-on sentence. I am the "too many commas".  I can't take a morning standing out among broken trees, red and blue lights flashing as words pass over the forest floor like the sound of big guns and make it a quip.  I can't look out upon the hills, the top of one wreathed in billowing smoke, as around me there are shouts and hollers, ringing out like war cries, yet spoken in hushed tones so as not to disturb the dead, and express it with a hashtag.

For words are my truth immense and they are my voice.

Blogging is dead.

It is not dead, it's strings of thoughts that you would have to travel far ahead not to hear, before you outrun the reach of a voice.  You can turn off your modem, but the words still exist.  For they are my words, and though confined to a virtual reality, they are words that exist, in my head and my heart, their tone from the stillness and gloom of a life with a past where my words were my one truth in each passing day.
You can choose to turn away, or turn off and not read.  It does not mean that the words are dead. For I am a writer, and that is what we do, sharing the nature of that internal silence that follows us down into the depths of our soul and brings up a bucket from a well---one brimming with words that spill over, to quench the thirsty hearts of whispering men.

I will still enjoy my Facebook, it's like waving at a neighbor you like as you pass each other coming out of your drive.

I'll still fail at Twitter and most other forms of social media. I'm just not interested in being connected to the whole world 24 and 7 and I'm perfectly happy being friends with only a few dozen people who realize that friendship is not a button, it is a gift.

I've realized that those that truly care for us don't require constant validation, and if I don't send someone a Facebook "Like" on some un-posted socially acceptable schedule, my true friends will just chuckle and move on. For I am a writer---that solitary person that stood in the corner of the schoolyard and just looked on at the popular kids. But I always had the words, even when I was too solitary to say them.

I can go weeks and weeks and not talk to those I love. I will continue to be bad at responding to emails. I will love a few of my friends more than I can ever say. There are many of them I would take a bullet for. So, I say it on here, this is the place where I go to tell you the words that I meant to say, to offer a kind touch, or wake you up from some slumbering place where shadows may soon pounce.

It is what it is, a way to capture in words on a screen instead of a page, pages that can be held close in, or telegraphed to the world. It can be whimsy, it can be fun, it can be as disturbed as the mind behind it, or as calm someone one can stare at in wonder, words that reach out like a consoling whisper. It can be as intimate as a kiss or as impersonal as the wind.

It can simply be a piece of bacon and a smile.

Blogging is not dead.

It is alive when the muse fails and the hands stay still in the air with honest idiocy of objective which made their fruitlessness both profound and poignant. It is alive, when the fingers dance over the keyboard in a frenzy, grappling with ghosts in one final act of common courage.

It is alive when the keyboard is silent and the house stills and the one you treasure more than anything on earth looks up from the smartphone that you will never own and says "I love what you just wrote".
It is alive because it is here my voice has no word count, it can be black and white or filled with color.  It will be stories of battles fought and won, of great mysteries, and simple pleasures. It will be warnings that the younger self will not grasp until the older self breathes its last. It will be joys and sad caresses, tender words laid out upon the tongue like a wafer, a benediction, a blessing, a self-communion of one formed of two hands. If you do not read, I will still write as I do not write so you can claim some part of me. But if you come out from beneath that place---that conception of existence we hide under like a tortoise in his shell and listen---the words will draw breath, even after I am gone.

Blogging is not dead.

It breathes as long as I do.  Because I'm a writer and there are so many words.
 - LBJ


  1. Hari OM
    HOOORRAAHHH - glad to hear it LB!!! I kid you not when I say that I have just come from scheduling my Monday post and it chimes with this quite well; entirely different words used but the sentiments are there. I love blogging and cannot imagine life without it. I resist wholeheartedly the phizbook and phonebird. I have, however, this month adopted the instything, and in the past week have been exploring, and will be participating in, Medium - not all of it. It's hhyyoojj! But find the places in it that suit - I think you might like it. YAM xx

    1. I don't own a Smart Phone (life choice not budget issue) so don't do the Instything. But I have had fun on Facebook. Limiting my "friends" to people I actually know has made it a fun experience.

    2. Hari OM
      neither do I - insty on laptop foreverything except can't post from there, so do it from my tablet in Android. So far so good - and yes, I don't go chasing all those who follow me as most of them are not actually interacting. Those that do for more than three posts, then I will reciprocate. I think all the negative stuff that gets reported is because folk just don't put up their fences or tend the edges of their lawn, as it were... Yxx

  2. The longer I'm on FB, the less I enjoy it. Our family has a private page which connects us all together in a safe environment and I have a blog page, but don't tend to post much on my actual page any more. The lost time, the angry, rude comments, inhospitable tones, thank you. I can barely keep up with the blog, let alone all the social media around. It complicates life.

  3. Momma likes FB, but she enjoys blogging too. Can't we have different formats for different types of writing? It's like magazines and novels. One doesn't preclude the other.


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