Sunday, December 20, 2009

You Must Read This. And This. And This.

When I first started my blog I wanted to see what else was out there, which is what led me to Blogcatalog, which is what led me to my virus fiasco (we've been through this before). But I persevered because I wanted to see what other writers were up to. I used to think that if you were talented, you would be publishing novels or memoirs or articles or whatever. But as I hunt through the shelves of a bookstore for what I want to read I find a lot of published material that is really quite ordinary. And likewise, a lot of very talented writers are not publishing, but are writing snippets of thoughts in a blog and are living lives that are really quite ordinary.

Blogging is a fairly casual form of writing.  Most of us are shooting off posts in between work and shopping for dinner and pretending to help the kids with algebra and tucking the cats into bed.  Some of us are still finding our voices.  But still, you can tell who out there has the heart of a writer.  And if you'd like to read some of their work, here it is:

The first blog I want to recommend is called AbodeOneThree. Matthew is a lovely writer who posts short pieces that offer us glimpses into his world. He lives outside Sydney, Australia with his wife and son and writes about some of the ordinary challenges we all face and can relate to. His writing is leisurely, soothing and modulated. It draws the reader in slowly and winds to a poignant conclusion. It has depth and honesty. Writing can be a way of finding solace and coming to terms with our life narratives, and I am reminded of this when I read Matthew's work. Here is one of my favorites.  His style is very different from mine. My writing, at least what ends up in my blog, is fairly playful and I tend to flirt around with the language, and his work is a reminder for me bring it back down to earth from time to time and keep it real.

Next we're heading over to the European continent to visit the alpine country of Austria (Austria!). Badger showed up as a follower on my site one day so I thought I'd go over and check out his blog, Vienna for Dummies. His profile said “An Austrian living in Vienna” and I thought: What? Is that the best you have to give us? But his occupation was listed as cat minder and his interests as cat minding and cat minding, so I knew right away I would like him. The first post I read was on beetles and suggested that God had spent too much time perfecting insects, at the expense of other creatures, such as cats. When you're done reading this post click on the word beetles and read it. It's hilarious. Then a few days later I read a post that talked about how he was having trouble with the German language so I looked again at his tagline and realized it said an Australian living in Vienna! Okay. That makes more sense. And I know what you're thinking. That in addition to a flag fetish I have an Australian writer fetish. And maybe I do. But in my defense, Matthew is half English (I think) and Badger is at least half badger (just look at him). He writes about his everyday life in Vienna, but when you're a good writer you can write about the most mundane things and it's fascinating. I always look forward to reading his posts and it never fails, there is something in each one that makes me laugh out loud (even when I'm not hopped up on Vicodin).

Finally, we're going to head north up to London to visit the Buffoon Blog for yet more humor (my weakness). This is written by Stanley and guess what? He's not Australian. He's 100% British and so is his wit. Stanley posts short but hilarious pieces about his unfortunate escapades, such as trying (for the sixth time) to pass his driver's test (give it a read here). Stanley is fairly young (relative to some of us) so I hope he sticks with it. Don't do what I did, Stanley, and stop writing for half your life, because you're good. Thanks for the laughs!

I know that this time of year, with Christmas just a few days away, you probably have nothing but time on your hands, rigtht?  But if, like me, your kids (or cats) are lying prone across your keyboard trying to get your attention, then bookmark these sites and come back to them when the packages are torn open and the cats are in a sugar coma.  You won't be sorry you did.

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  1. Thank you for your mention. I would say I'm around 72.4% english, in case you were interested. :)

  2. I took a few minuets to check out the posts you suggested...great stuff!!!

    I'm always envious of those who have such a way with words...
    I tend to talk a great deal, :0), but I don't have the knack for writing!

    Your writing holds my attention...

  3. A.I. - I'm envious of your jewelry-making talent. Your work is beautiful.

  4. Great tips, hope many will really enjoy reading this post and act accordingly.

  5. Hi Kristin, just wanted to say thanks for the shout out. The fact that you were able to profile my blog next to two brilliant ones so convincingly is a testament to your creative writing abilities.



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