Monday, September 7, 2015

Blogging Secrets: What Do I Know About YOU?

I began blogging back in 2006 (I think). In the beginning I wrote but the world didn't rush to me door. I was a good thing for me because that silence gave me years to practice writing and to also work out some things in my life that needed resolving. Since those early years a lot has changed. I have moved on in my blogging life and so has everyone else...well almost.

What amazed me as I began this blog post was how much I thought I knew about each person. See people reveal themselves over a period of time without even realizing it. Honestly, reading a blog faithfully is a bit like being a peeping tom or a stalker. If there are people that have that type of personality, that might be where they hang out. I suppose we should all be a little careful.

But what I loved about this world is the connections with such interesting people. In the beginning I worked from prompts for writing stories or observations. One such site as called Sunday Scribblings. The two women that founded the site posted hundreds of prompts over the years. One of founder of that page was Laini Taylor. I loved following her because she was young and so very talented. Her artfully created Laini's Ladies are beautiful little jewel ornaments. One hangs on my wall right now.

Laini lives here in the Portland area with her artist husband and a daughter named Clementine Pie. She is the author of many fantasy books and was nominated for the National Book Award a few years ago. Her books are aimed at young adults and at one time she gave workshops in schools.  She has dyed her hair pink for many years and I am always hoping I will run into her in a Fred Meyer store or on the street. She continues to amaze me with her success.

Pia Savage writes on Courting Destiny . She and Laini are two of the few that I have know since the beginning that still blog. Pia has been at it since the early 2000. She is a native New York City girl that now live in Sorth Carolina. She was adopted, single and told me recently in a comment that she worked with the elderly. Her major in college was Social Services. She also writes regularly for Psychology Today about her Non-Verbal Learning Disorder and can be found on Facebook.

But it that is not all. Pia is a writer, not a blogger but a writer extraordinaire. When she writes on her blog it is very difficult to figure out what is true and what is mere fiction. That takes a lot of talent in and of itself. But it is the stories she tell about NYC back when she was young, a little wild and free that I love to read. In a recent story she wrote called Sleeping Beauties about the murder of someone she knew had me wondering if it was true or not. I love a good mystery and Pia has the gift for making me want more.

All the rest of the women I tell about here do not blog anymore. But, because the Internet is so wonderful, I found all but one of them at their old blog addresses. Most quit in 2013 for some reason. That was the year that the prompt site called Sunday Scribblings went away. That may be the link...who knows.

A prompt on Sunday Scribblings is where I discovered Jodi Herman. Jodi wrote at a blog she owned called Why Paisley? The domain is currently for sale I see so I am assuming Jody is gone, maybe forever. Jodi was wild child in a former life and always seemed a little adrift. But could she write poetry and short stories? You bet she could. She was book worthy from the get go but she just could never find the perfect sponsor for all her work.

She wrote about living in the hills of northern California near the coast. Her stories included one telling about a childhood with parents that belonged to the Jehovah's Witness group and how she was shunned by the church when she was in middle school. I didn't think that part of her story was true but she made it so real I was angry when I finished. She wrote about a guy named ED and raccoons in the hen house and her dog. Was any of it true? I don't know. I learned from her that bloggers can be anonymous when they sit at their computer. Who would be the wiser?

I discovered yesterday that Jodi had cancer and refused treatment. I cannot find her anywhere so if anyone know if she is living or not I would be delighted to hear from you.

Granny Smith aka Phyllis Sterling Smith is a limerick writer. I loved to read her little ditties because they made me laugh. She is a very elderly woman now but back when I started reading her work she and her husband lived in Berkeley California. Her husband was a professor emeritus and was on his way to work one winter when he slipped on the ice and hit his head. Phyllis was and is a remarkable woman. Her husband Otto's death did not slow her down. She moved forward and now lives in Washington state near her family.
Tammy Brierly wrote at The Daily Warrior. She has lived with ALS since 1988. These day she uses a wheelchair and she has given up blogging in favor of Facebook where she posts almost daily. Tammy has learned to use the computer with a device that reads her eye movements.

At one time she had a swimming pool in her garage which just made me smile. It was so typical of her to describe their surprise when the humidity became a problem with a swimming pool inside the house in that humorous way she has of telling a story. Her battle with ALS has not diminished her sense of humor or her passions for her family. Dave, her husband, is now retired and takes care of her needs. She is a lovely person I think and one that I admire a great deal.

Originally I found Tammy on a blog prompt website similar to Sunday Scribblings.

Then there is Whitney Johnson. I am sure that Whitney posted on the prompt pages too. She has managed to built a blog named Dare to Dream into a book of the same name. She graduated from BYU, was a cheerleader, was a successful Wall Street broker.

Now she has a new book out called Disrupt Yourself: Putting the Power of Disruptive Innovation to Work. I also read a blog her daughter wrote for a little while and loved to see that girls words on the page. Whitney is someone that has followed her own advice and made her dreams come true. I think that is remarkable.
Then there is Kristen Taylor Yarranton formerly of Taylor Made Designs. When I read Kristen's blog she was promoting her graphic art creations. Tags for wine bottles, small notebooks and even binding tape for garments and bags could be ordered from her etsy shop. I don't know if she still makes those things or not. I own one of the notebooks and still use it often.

She lives in the Boston area I think and is the mother of two of the cutest kids you could ever hope to see. I loved her beautiful photography and creative ideas. Kristen too quit in 2013 saying she had simply lost her "blogging mojo". I am sure you all understand.

If I read your blog, I know about you too. I guess it is part of becoming connected online. What do you know about me?



  1. "What do you know about me?" --intriguing question. Having followed your excellent blog for quite some time, there is only one conclusion: When I retired, 6 years ago, the main thing I wanted to do was spend my time among good minds. You definitely qualify. My compliments and admiration.

  2. I know you are good company and you throw a good party and that you pretty much talked us into buying our place in Tucson. We look forward to seeing you this winter.

  3. What a coincidence! I was just trolling through some of my old posts and I saw a comment from you from February 2009. I thought I'd click your name (or letter b!)and see what you are up to and landed on this timely piece! Granny Smith also commented on the same short story. I also started in 2006 and it's interesting how the style of our posts changes over time.

    Visit Keith's Ramblings!

    1. Yes it is Keith. AND how few of us are still around. It is wonderful to see your words.

  4. Thanks so much! I could have sworn I commented.
    See how much you learned about others.
    Actually my grad degree is in clinical social work. Licensed to shrink.
    My undergrad degree is in urban studies which I love but having been young, a bit wild, and all my friends were leaving Boston and I missed my NY ones---refused the 9 credits and some money Boston U offered me. I can talk and/or write my way into anything, though I never believe that, so I had been one of 3 undergrads and 3 women in the BU program. Years later I realized what an honor that was.

    1. Well Pia we all know that education and opportunities are wasted on the young. But, if you are like me, you would not go back for anything. Loved your comment. Sorry I did not see it sooner.

      It was fun to see if I could guess about all of you from what I had learned. Thank you for the correct information.


  5. Jodi's stories were indeed true. I knew her in real life. Unfortunately, I don't think she's alive anymore. She was very active on Facebook but then just dropped out. She was not publicizing her cancer so few people knew. I spoke to her a few times after she moved to Florida. Then nothing. Very sad.


Leave your thoughts...I am interested.

Featured Post

Five Little Ducks...stories played out!

The children's song about the little ducks leaving the nest to fly away has always been one of my favorites.  Every mother has seen thei...