Never. Why would I give away my writing for free? Of course I give it away in the local NPR commentaries that I write and record for the awesome WKMS. And I have given it away on the dog lists and groups for years on a daily basis. And I post stories on my store's website. (In fairness, it has been a couple of years since I put a new story there.) But blog? No way. No sirreee. It is so cliche' right now. Everyone has a blog. Blog, blog, blog: it's the new blah, blah, blah.
Mary says, "You really need to have a blog." Nah, not me. Jeannie asks, "Why don't you have a blog?" I'm so above blogging. Rhonda gently nudges, "Have you considered a blog?" I have, and I've soundly rejected the notion. Then husband Bill creates a blog. Well, that makes sense; he's kept a journal for years, and he is wise and quietly spiritual and funny. But I've never kept a diary for more than a hopeful week of Pollyanna enthusiasm, and I'm drowning in the middle of a novel. (Writing one, not reading one.) And besides, who do I think I am?
So stepdaughter Amy calls this morning. Seems there's an article in the Chicago papers about a new blog that created so much buzz that literary agents are knocking down the blogger's door. Literary agents? Oh I had heard about bloggers being discovered, but Amy made this sound so possible. She said wonderful flattering things about my writing, and when she heard my standard arguments, she smilingly ignored them all. I could hear the tone in her sweet voice, which subtly screamed, "Get with the program! Hellooooo? Just how stuck in the last decade are you?" I still don't get it because I don't see how people find blogs. I spent the whole morning, OK, an hour, OK, at least 3 minutes doing a search for "dog blog" and I got a whole bunch of nothing.
But I trust my friends and relations, so Mary, Jeannie, Rhonda, and Amy - this blog's for you.
I live in western Kentucky in an Arts Community with my husband and my nine dogs. Whippets. They look like small greyhounds, but aren't the tiny Italian Greyhounds. My husband is. Italian, I mean. We didn't always live here, but have since June of 2002. My husband moved to this town, Paducah, for the Artist Relocation Program. I moved here because I love my husband. He is a gifted artist. I am enormously talented and extremely well versed at picking up dog poop.
Today, when I was walking the dogs, which I do in shifts, the workers were already on the neighbors' house putting on a new roof. I take the two oldest dogs, thirteen and a half year old Giacomino and twelve and a half year old Maria only around one block because more than that would do them in. It's only seven-something and as I'm waving my pathetic good mornings to the roofers who just think I'm weird because they've seen me walking all these skinny dogs for hours every morning, I see Giacomino start to hunch.
Oh please don't poop right here. Why do the dogs choose to poop when I would least like them to? The rough hewn shirtless roofers are finally starting to offer half-hearted, begrudging waves back at me. And now Giacomino is going to poop right here and the roofers will be grossed out, and I don't know why but I care. The bad poop timing never fails. The dogs can be all de-pooped, but let the president of the bank be walking on the same sidewalk and have him stop to offer pleasant salutations and at least dog one will get a sudden urge to purge. And when the Mayor and his beautiful wife drive by, and stop to chat - that guarantees multiple simultaneous poopage. That's a conversation killer, you betcha. Three pooping canines and my whipping out baggies to scoop it up and carry it along? Yup, any non-dog-owner is out of there.
So I gently drag and cajole the evacuating Giacomino behind the next parked car, and we make it in time. Maybe it's going to be a good day. Maybe it's a good sign for my infant blog, I don't know, but we didn't gross out the roofers.
So. Now. Wasn't I right? Who wants to read a blog about dog poop? I suppose I might post some exerpts from my novel from time to time if there's any interest. Here's a paragraph:
She was lying in the sun next to her litter-brother Proper. They were lying in the grass next to the picket fence. Kind of a cliché that picket fence, but they couldn’t help it. And anyway, it fit. This was home – safe, comfortable, familiar. Everything a picket fence stood for. Home. The Woman was talking to someone over the fence. Their voices made a buzz that harmonized nicely with the summer bees and the background traffic from the Interstate. You had to listen for the traffic noise to notice it, otherwise it was just there, five miles or so away, just in the trunk of your consciousness, humming Interstate traffic background music. Proper stretched and curled his toes to deepen his appreciation of the lazy sun. She looked at the Woman, blabbing away with the person on the other side of the picket fence. She wondered if it was worth her energy to figure out what they were talking about. Listened for a moment, but didn’t hear the good words: “dinner”, "car”, ”walk”, ”Jake”, ”cookies”, or ”OK”, so she lay her head back down in the grass, worshipped the Sun God, closed her eyes and felt the soothing medicine of peace creep over her. She was running. Making a path through the wheat, which felt like whips beating, “faster, faster, go faster” and then disappearing into the rows of corn, the running lanes, cool and dark. Little cries of running joy crowding into her breathing in time with her strides. Run. For the sheer joy of feeling every muscle reaching to its absolute capacity. Fast oh my God she was going so fast. The corn stalks passing in a blur of insignificance. Go go go go there was nothing faster in this world. She was a heat-seeking missile, soaking up her speed. Chasing what? The illusion of some prey? Just chasing; that was for sure, not being chased. For the running was the joy. No fear. Just symmetry of perfect athleticism and grace and rhythm. Run. The cornfield ended abruptly and she dreamed she was back in the sun. Back with Proper in the grass by the picket fence. She felt that glory of pure physical exhaustion. She felt her heart beating so hard that it must be a foot in diameter. Felt her breathing so deep that it hurt in a great way. She felt it all, as she felt the comfort of her brother’s nearness and the warmth of the sun and the thirst. The good, honest thirst from the long run. And she felt the heat from her exertion. She thought she better find a shaded spot with a cooling breeze, where she could still see Proper. Still hear the Woman in the background buzz. She opened her eyes.
So that's it. And that's that. Lord help me, I started a blog.