I was just moments away from completing my blog for this week, and somehow, I deleted it. Every bit of it. I blame it on these fake nails (powder-dipped) that I have had since the wedding. Yes, for over a month. They’ve grown out and I’m too lazy to soak them and try to scrape them off, and too lazy to go to the nail salon and get them filled. Fancy, aren’t they?
I have been struggling when I type, and somehow, the one nail which was sort of loose got hung up between the “K” and “I” keys on my laptop, and as I yanked it out, I hit something and the screen went blank. No idea what I did, but not surprised at all. If it can happen, it will happen to me. And before the computer experts weigh in, I was in edit mode on the Wix blog site so it autosaved the last thing I did, which was clear the screen. UGH
I’m pouting right now, and after uploading more than 10 photos and pouring my feelings into a blog about my favorite things (FYI- Powder-dipped nails aren’t on the list) I’m done. Just put a fork in me. (written on Thursday @ 1:23 PM central time)
(Thursday @ 4:47 PM central time)
After an adequate amount of sulking, I decided to move on with my life. No sense in crying over deleted words…AND I DO HAVE SOME BIG NEWS….
So, the post that I was writing, the one that is mocking me while it floats around in cyberspace, was about my favorite things. And secrets. How I tied the two together, I’m not exactly sure and I could never in a million years re-create it. I must confess, I was trying out a marketing ploy, trying to create a sense of curiosity, or even suspense (Seriously, if this blog evokes the suspense thing in you, you might need to reconsider some of your life choices and get out a little more. I don’t mean to sound rude, but seriously).
I mentioned that I had a secret, one that I couldn’t tell just yet. It’s like the whole “vague-booking” on Facebook, where someone posts something extremely and intentionally enigmatic. The mysteriousness of the post draws people in, and then the person, at some point “breaks the silence” and expresses the equivalent of “Hey, I just saved $500 on car insurance in less than 15 minutes.” Pretty uninteresting, and completely maddening, at least for me, because I’m the one who has already invested into this drama, and I have no choice but to stick my nose into the poster’s business and private message them to make sure all is well. I’m not judging, but I value people’s words, and sometimes it’s just exhausting when they are overly dramatic….
(See what I did there? Because I’m being OVERLY DRAMATIC)…It’s called irony, and it’s a great literary tool.
So, going back to being dramatic on social media, I did this in May. And I’m not in any way proud of it.
It was the day we got the news that Charles’ dog Marlie either had bone cancer, or was going to have to have a major operation. I felt we needed prayers, and in my over-thinking, decided to just ask for prayers for my family, because I thought that maybe non-animal lovers wouldn’t pray if I actually admitted it was for the dog. I know, I know…Oh, ye of little faith. And how about me trying to control the situation in that manner? Completely ridiculous. Well, just so you know, I paid the price for my vagueness. When the post hit facebook, I was immediately inundated with calls, texts, messages, prayers and all kinds of concern. It’s a wonderful thing to know that the people in my world care so much, but I was so ashamed. Many people thought something happened to my mother, and she even received calls with people thinking the worst had happened to one of our family members. Quite a mess I created by manipulating the situation and not trusting in people or God. As the comments, and questions, and texts, and calls rolled in, I could hear Ricky Ricardo in the back of my mind saying, “You’ve got some ‘splainin’ to do…”
So, I was going to taunt y’all with this whole “I have a secret thing,” and actually at the end of the post reveal the secret, because by the time I had almost completed the post, the coast was clear for me to share the news. I actually think that I deserved for the post to disappear. At least parts of it probably needed to vanish into thin air. But parts of it were a work of art. I shared very personal words and pictures about things that are of the greatest importance to me. Maybe one day I’ll go back down that road, but for now, I’ll move forward. It’s a little emotionally exhausting to share so much, and I just don’t have it in me to do it all over again.
Blog Audience: Will you get to the point already?
Me: Hold your horses…I’m trying to get to the point, or find the point, or even hope there is a point….
Just so you know, I am a really good secret keeper, but I’m the worst at trying to figure out others’ secrets, and surprises. And by worst, I don’t mean that I can’t figure a secret out. I mean that I will do whatever it takes to gain the knowledge or figure out the surprise. WHATEVER. IT. TAKES. Consider yourself warned. (Disclaimer: I really don’t mean for that to sound like a threat. Just being over-the-top)
At times, Gladys Kravitz rears her ugly head, and I just can’t help myself. I’ve been this way for most of my life. I have an unquenchable sense of curiosity.
My sickness (addiction) began around Christmas time when I was in first grade. My cat Calico, ripped up one of my Christmas presents, enough so that I could see it was a Barbie. That got the wheels in my mind turning. And after seeing my “Santa” gifts in the trunk of the car (because we had to travel to my grandparents’ for Christmas) when I was in third grade, I had a thirst that needed to be quenched.
In the years that followed, I began unwrapping all my Christmas presents before Christmas and then I would meticulously wrap them back. I was a professional at this criminal activity. I knew exactly how to pull the tape from the paper so it wouldn’t rip. And if it did, I could line it up and match it so it was impossible to tell the package had been savagely opened early. It became an obsession and a challenge. I performed this heinous act well into my college years. I remember even trying on one of the outfits from a package I opened early. Completely unacceptable behavior. Scandalous.
I’m not sure how my mother found out about my secret addiction. It was probably when I made a flippant comment about something my brother was getting, because, YES, I opened his gifts too! (not all of them, but at least one a year). I know you’re appalled, as am I. It was horrible, and unforgivable. The moment my mother found out was the maddest I’ve ever seen her. You see, she loves to give gifts. It’s her thing. It brings her so much joy, and she loves the reactions when people are surprised. And for all those years, I was faking it, because I knew exactly what was in each package. Pitiful. I deserved a big ol’ chunk of coal in my stocking. (I’m hoping there’s a statute of limitations with Santa)
I’m not sure what all this means, and maybe you’ll see how I’m trying to tie this all together.
I believe my shameless attempt at trying to lure readers was a bust, as my blog disappeared into the great beyond. And I deserved that, because I was trying a ploy, and not being true to myself. That’s what I’m discovering on this journey through blogging, with the ultimate goal being to gain a following; a large readership…BUT, I’ve actually found the opposite to be true. I can’t stomach all the things that are necessary to get a blog going, and make money writing a blog, or even as an author. I’m supposed to be “pinning” things on Pinterest. Don’t get me wrong, I have a great appreciation of Pinterest. But it is NOT for me. It brings me the same joy that waterboarding would. I find it excruciatingly painful.
For me, it’s like being at one of the Smithsonian Museums (and as a former history teacher, this is something I’m not proud of) but I can’t spend hours in a museum. It’s just TOO MUCH. I have to walk through it rather quickly and look at everything, as I go running by, trying to escape all the stuff. It’s WAYYYY TOO much! My mind can look at it all, and come up with an idea of what it’s about, and synthesize themes, and relate it all to a specific time in history, and how all this stuff influenced our world…BUT if I look at each individual display, I sort of freak out. It’s unexplainable, and is just how my brain works. Over the years, I have diagnosed myself as ADD. I’m not the hyper kind, but I’m definitely one who struggles to keep my focus when there is too much around me. It makes me itch. Seriously, I sometimes feel like I may break out in hives. And that’s how I feel when I’m on Pinterest. I gave it a shot. (I was supposed to pin things that would go along with my blog. I’ve not mentioned this to y’all because it was something I just couldn’t do well. Pinterest shouldn’t make you want to cry. I know that wasn’t its creator’s intent).
Again, I admire those who do pin things and create boards. I can go to Pinterest if I know what I’m looking for, but to create something from nothing and choose a title for the board, and try to figure out who might like it…for the love of Mike, I just can’t…
The same is true with Instagram, and Twitter. I was on SnapChat for 4 minutes in 2017. I didn’t get it. At all. I know that authors all over the world use these great things to create a brand. And they do it well. But I’m waving the white flag of surrender. I’m planting it deep in the ground, along with that fork I mentioned in the second paragraph. I’m done. I can’t be someone I’m not. I have to be real. I have to be true to who I am. I’m a completely flawed, sometimes funny, occasionally smart, mess of a person.
(I’m not saying that I’m above using these tactics to increase my audience. I’ll just have to find a 12 year old with mad social media skills to be in charge of it).
So, after the Great Blog Post Digression of 2019, I’ve decided to put on my lipstick, and share with the 11 people who regularly read this blog, my BIG NEWS…
My work of fiction is heading to the publisher as we speak. The deal has been sealed, and I’ve taken the plunge. Let me first say, I’m proud of a lot of things: my kids, my husband, my family (all the Browns and Keiths). And I’m proud of this book. Please don’t think I’m haughty, or arrogant, or stuck up (I just had to write that because I haven’t said that since about the 7th grade). The book is about being down and out, and redemption, and love, and second chances. I’m so thankful that the story came to me and I listened, and I wrote with courage, while I was scared to death. I’m proud I didn’t let go of this dream, or give in to my insecurities. Y’all, I’m terrified…this book is getting the literary edit (which means they may tell me parts of it are awful, and I’ll cry, and probably blog about how my feelings are hurt) but that will only help make me better at what I do.
Blog Audience: Will you hurry up and get on with your announcement! We’re losing interest!
Me: Sorry for being all over the place. Here goes…
It is with a lot of pride, and a little fear, and a whole lot of excitement that I can finally say,
“When a Southern Girl Re-Belles”
will be coming out, hopefully around Christmas of 2019. The publisher (the head guy I spoke with today) LOVED my title (and he lives in Indiana). So stay tuned. I will soon begin to introduce you to some characters, and I may be shamelessly vague, and try to add to the suspense, and try to draw you in, and I’ll probably ask you to share my posts, and at some point, I’ll beg you to read my book. Please accept my apology in advance. I’m not going to be able to help myself.
I’m like that 9 year old little girl (or maybe that college student *sigh*) who is eager to open the package and figure it all out and see what’s inside. I just absolutely can’t wait! (I’m doing jazz hands and spirit sparkles with my fingers)
Until then, thanks for enduring my incredibly disjointed ramblings.