Back From the Cyber-Limbo

Hi, lovelies!!!

I’m really excited to be writing this, even though it’s going to be a silly, tiny post. I just have to write something.

If you’ve tried to visit my blog any time in the last few-to-several months, you know that it has been SUSPENDED.

(And if you haven’t tried to visit my blog and had no idea it has been suspended… no hard feelings. If I didn’t write this blog, I don’t think I would have noticed its absence.)

Here is a beautiful photo (by Cole Keister) to legitimize this post and to illustrate how it felt to be blog-less… like I’d fallen from my tree and was floating suspended and untethered on a mysterious body of water with only decomposition to look forward to.

how I feel when my blog is suspended
You feel me, right?

Yes, I MAY be exaggerating. And maudlin to the point of ridiculousness. It is true that in May and June I did have access to my blog and managed to post… not a thing. But I like to think I would have produced something in the last four months, had the option been available. There were SO MANY things I wanted to write about – which, frankly, is always true, and I neglect to write because of time constraints. Blah.

But you know how it is – you don’t know what you got ’til it’s gone. After a whole summer of feeling deprived (even though I have definitely gone a whole summer before without posting, knowing it’s crazy that I’m supposed to have all this time and still don’t manage), I had a talk with my wonderful husband about writing and why it so rarely makes it to the top of my list, despite the fact that I am only 70% of full-time (by choice) and have 3 out of 5 mornings per week not teaching.

I said, “There’s always lots to do on my mornings off. The work of living our lives is never done. How can I prioritize something frivolous like blogging?” (Except that I was less pithy in real life.)

He said, “You’ve earned this.”

“What?” said I. “How have I earned this? The laundry is not done…”

Here’s what he said, like the A-1 husband he is: “You did the work. You worked hard early on to ensure that you had a well-paying profession that would enable you to afford to work part-time, and you deserve to at least spend one of those mornings writing.”

Thanks to my own hang-ups, I have been feeling guilty about blogging AND about not-blogging this whole time… and now my BFF has made me feel the way not even Elizabeth Gilbert could make me feel (even though she tried): entitled to engage in this creative outlet.

YAY!

For the record, regarding the technicalities: I don’t even know what went wrong exactly, having been protected from those horrors from the man who runs my server (aka my dad)… I just know that we’re not impressed with HostPapa.

Alors, voilà. Here I am, posting something. There is a huge gap in my blog history that I’m rather self-conscious about – and I’ve decided, as mayor of this li’l town, to reserve myself the right to back-post when I finish a post that I began months ago (either on this blog, or in a separate document when it was suspended but I had to write something), so that I feel better about my timeline. Who knows what I might do or write??

I also reserve the right to take forever and/or write not that much. As usual, I am preparing for a Remembrance Day assembly and progress reports at the same time, and I’m also taking an AQ course. But there are so many things aching to be written… so I hope some will make their way out sometime soon.

Thanks for reading, lovelies! And thanks to my dad for rescuing me from Cyber-Limbo. And thanks to Skye for being really dedicated to my scone recipe.

Lots of love and gratitude,

Dilovely

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5-Day Artist Challenge, Day 1: Writing

Okay, 5-Day Artist Challenge, here we go! In true OELC iArts fashion, I shall dedicate each of the five days to a different strand of art, and I decree that writing shall be first. Because obviously.

5-day artist challenge journal writing fountain pen

If art is bread for the soul, writing is… let’s say sourdough. You get a starter of an idea, you let it ferment a bit. You feed it some nice floury research, wait some more, and eventually you’re ready to knead and craft something interesting out of it. Or occasionally you might get a starter that’s all ready and you just have to go for it. Sometimes it will flop, sometimes it will have a respectable grain. Not everyone will like the result, but some people will think it’s delicious.

sourdough bread 5-day artist challenge
Image via bbc.co.uk

{My sister is the actual sourdough disciple. Through her, I have become acquainted with some different versions of her starter, Don Juan. Beth, do I sound convincing at all?}

Ahem. Yes. WRITING.

Writing is something I’ve done on a regular basis since my first diary was given to me on my seventh birthday. I really got going with the journaling in my pre-teen years, and was prolific throughout my teens and even university (as time permitted). I wrote compulsively about events I wanted to cherish, and even more compulsively about heartbreaking or awful or turbulent things I needed to process. Some hopes and philosophies, lots about friendships, and even more about boys.

During my grade-school years, I dreamed of being a professional writer one day (like my authorly heroines – Anne Shirley, Anne Frank, That Scatterbrain Booky). I was also homeschooled by my mom, who is herself a writer of poetry, stories, and historical novels. Her encouragement/bias is evidenced by the many stories and poems and not-at-all-historical novels I wrote during that time. (Her novels tended to treat actual elements of the British monarchy, and mine were about contemporary pre-teen girls with first-world problems. Amy the Dreamer; Remember Me? I’m Your Daughter; and My Friend Christie. They were twelve chapters each, written by hand on lined paper in duo-tangs. Full of my youthful feels, if not actual ingenuity. The Magic Chestnut was never finished.)

I remember submitting the painstakingly typed (and dot-matrix printed) Amy the Dreamer to Nelson Canada (it was kind of a homeschooling project, with a business letter and everything) and receiving a very nice rejection letter for it. I’m pretty sure I once had a poem published in Cricket magazine, and I won a few awards at my high school’s Literary Festival. My real accomplishment, though, was “Rainy Day Cindy,” my first (and only) fully author-illustrated short story – which you can view in its entirety on this very blog!

Then, in university, I wrote a buttload of essays, culminating in my 75-page mémoire (similar to a thesis) for my Masters in French lit. And that was enough of that.

My journaling, and actually my writing in all forms, dramatically tapered off when Sean and I settled down together. Naturally, peaceful love life = less fodder; real job = less time. It wasn’t until I started blogging that I realized how much I’d missed having that outlet.

I don’t really write fiction anymore. As a kid, I had no end of ideas, and felt absolutely entitled to write the heck out of them. Nowadays, I feel unqualified to make up stories, intimidated by the incredibly gorgeous and heartrending novels I’ve read. There’s a part of me that still wants to write a novel, or lots of novels. The trouble is, I don’t want to do so without a character who could steal your heart, preferably within a story that could blow your mind. I’m not confident that my imagination is up to the task.

But I do love blogging. I’ve heard folks paraphrase Dorothy Parker on more than one occasion: “I hate writing, I love having written.” For me, this is not the case. I relish the writing process, love finding and puzzling together the words to say what I mean. I even sort of liked writing essays, for the brain challenge. Writing soothes the itchy parts of my mind.

Thank goodness for you, lovely Di-hards. Just by reading, you validate my act of writing things. You motivate me just by your presence. You make it okay for me to keep this frivolous habit of committing my thoughts to words. I’m profoundly grateful to you.

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