Thursday, April 04, 2013

Here and there on the Blogosphere, and reflections on writing

So on Facebook I came across a blog that for some reason intrigued me: this couple with children buy a house with cash, sight unseen on the Internet, leave job and California behind, and move to Michigan. Catholic Homeschooling. And funny, very funny. Their blog is called, of course, House Unseen, Life Unscripted. I was fascinated and read on: their Before & After posts (turns out husband is handy and they re-did the whole place and very frugally so), their adventures, their kids--and their personal stories. I finally found the connection as I knew there *must* be one!: they met at University of Dallas where he was a Classics major and she a newly convert--from Hare Krishna of all things. The blog is witty, and wonderful. She is very talented and oh so like-able, and real!

From that blog I found another conversion story with an artistic and 'magnetic' twist: Melissa and her paper dolls on Etsy!

And I also visited Conversion Diary, the hugely successful blog by prolific Jennifer Fulwiler. She is about to have a baby with medical complications galore, but that won't stop her from checking out a book on  recipes for cocktails! I had been looking for her piece lately on the huge Supreme Court issue at hand--on redefining marriage--and I find it the best explanation yet on my own position on the subject. I wish I had written it, that's how much I enjoyed it.

And then... from Conversion Diary I found and read a piece by new blogger Matt Walsh on how he hated the film LesMiserables. Every sentence in his post is hilarious. I don't remember laughing so hard reading a blog, ever. (Laughing like this generally ensues while reading McCall Smith's academic adventures in bed, on paper). The funny thing is, I loved the movie and yet nodded at all of his takes! Go figure. The point is, he is funny while talking on the film's accidentals. He never touches on the story behind it, which is indeed left unknown to the movie viewer who hasn't read Victor Hugo's monumental work. His witty remarks also do not touch on the depths of the redemption story behind it--and how Grace works. He left that alone and I don't think accidentally so. If you could use a laugh, don't miss it!

All of this blog-reading makes me think about my own tiny corner of the blogosphere. Those blogs ooze readers, ads, videos, links... in a dizzying pace! As I write here by this sunny window and endless prairie landscape, I know I write mostly for myself:  writing has been part of my life, one way or another, since early age. I used to journal, for years... and then I wrote youth stories for fun.... and then long, heart-felt and poetic, personal handwritten letters between the more involved papers for college and graduate school. Those letters too, I wrote as much for myself as for my recipients, as they were journals of sort. Those days before scanners and home computers I actually xerox-copied many of them. They are in a box in storage, along with the letters from my Mamãe... who was ten times the writer I am, and a poet to boot. When she was still alive we talked often of my desire to write--even way early when we enjoyed Laura Ingalls' books together, she would already encourage me to write something like that later in life. (Husband does it as well. He has been encouraging me to write fiction, which  haven't touched since my adolescence. My recent winning of the writing contest pleased him immensely. Maybe it is because fiction is just so far removed from his long, excellently-written if dense scientific papers...)

When I moved to the USA international calls were too expensive, thank God, so long international letters filled my writing-needs. But then phone calls got cheaper, and the Internet and email became a much more efficient mode of communication... and the blog was born, I believe, from my personal need for artistic output.

I shared this quote on Facebook the other day:

"I write because I don't know what I think until I read what I say."
                                                                                           Flannery O'Connor

And this coming from the best writer of English in my opinion. I know it is to satisfy my own need that I write, and yet every gift or personality trait we have is a gift from God. We are responsible for using them well! So it is also a need for me that what I communicate here help spread His kingdom. He sends, just at the right times, the emails from readers near and far telling me that I am on the right track. (May my readers, please, point it to me if it is otherwise!)

But my dearest mother, and excellent husband, and others couldn't have encouraged me as yesterday's comments did. As a writer I see myself in the quandary many expats share: I can no longer write in my native tongue, and English is to be forever a second language. But I remember always one grad school professor, a visiting lady from SMU, who once told me that I could do it, one day. We had just read two short stories by Conrad and Nabokov, both of which wrote in English which was not their native language,  and we were discussing their command of this language. Who knows, one day.

3 comments: said...

I'm so glad you write from where you are at. It is a beautiful place and you share the love of you faith, family and intellect so very well! said...

I love Conversion Diaries and Matt's post was so funny I linked it myself! ; )

Ana Braga-Henebry said...

Thanks, Lisa! Yes, Matt's post made me laugh out loud!