Hillbilly Zen – “Introduce Yourself” – Blogging 101

Today’s assignment: write and publish a “who I am and why I’m here” post.

I was so excited to start the Blogging 101 course, eagerly anticipating the first assignment.  So….why did I get a cold knot in my stomach when I saw what it was?  Because I have to write about myself.  Just me, not my farm or the critters or a friend or music or whatever.  I’m in all those posts in one way or another, but in a supporting role, not the lead one.  Writing exclusively about myself produces major heebie-jeebies and makes me wish I hadn’t quit smoking weed.  On the “About” page, I mention how much I love writing even though it sometimes ties me in knots.  Types of trees are mentioned, but nothing really about myself.  This has turned out to be a good thing, since this past year has involved some honkin’ big changes in my life.

So…who am I?  A cross between Dorothy Parker and Granny Clampett.  A well educated hillbilly, in other words.  Not quite as cynical Ms. Parker, but every bit as feisty as Ms.Clampett.  One of my favorite cousins sent me a tee shirt for Christmas that declares “All I care about is my farm and my animals.  Oh…and like maybe 3 people.”  That pretty much says it all.

I’m here because blogging gives me that bizarre combination of pleasure and terror that I mentioned before.  I have chosen to live alone in the middle of nowhere, so there’s definitely a social component.  It’s a way to connect with some truly brilliant, funny, quirky people who inspire me.  That’s the crux of why I blog – while certainly not one of the truly brilliant, I’m occasionally funny and definitely quirky.  I hope that someone somewhere will be inspired by one of my posts; whether it’s to snort and roll their eyes, or burst into laughter, or just consider what they’ve read and gain a bit of a new perspective.

Due to those aforementioned changes, I have the blessing/curse of more time to spend writing.  Now it’s up to me to get off my happy ass and maintain the motivation….

 

Google Images

Google Images

Google Images

Google Images

 

 

 

Good Things Come In Threes – The Very Inspiring Blogger Award

In acceptance posts for previous award nominations, I’ve listed the reasons why I think these awards are good things for individual bloggers and the community in general.  This particular award blew my mind a little, though, because I was nominated for it almost simultaneously by three of my favorite bloggers.

Britt, at http://fairytaleepidemic.wordpress.com/, is smart, funny and unbelievably talented; a truly lovely young woman both inside and out.   Her poetry is some of the most honest it’s ever been my privilege to read, and she posts music videos that keep me from becoming a total Classic Rock dinosaur.  She’s “Chicklet” to my “Mama Hen”, and that’s a good thing, Martha.

Matthew, at http://matthewkirshenblatt.wordpress.com/ , is one of the sharpest young minds around, yet writes with the wisdom of an old soul.  His posts are often funny and always thought-provoking, and he’s just an all around good guy.  That he considers my blog award-worthy is an honor that I don’t take lightly.

My hillbilly buddy lovinchelle, at http://lovinchelle.wordpress.com/….well, what can I say.  If you’re really lucky or really blessed, depending on your theological view, you have a friend like him.  He’s a no drama, down to earth kind of guy with incredible talent.  He’s got a way of cutting through all the distracting nonsense and seeing the beauty of simplicity.

Thank you from the bottom of my heart.  I think the world of all three of you, and I am truly grateful for your consideration.

Here’s how this works:

1) Display the award on your blog

2) Link back to the person who nominated you

3) State 7 things about yourself

4) Nominate 15 bloggers for this award

5) Notify those bloggers of the nomination by linking to one of their specific post so that they get notified by pingback

As you can see, I slacked off on nominating 15 people.  It’s not that I don’t think the other bloggers I follow are inspiring, it’s just that I’ve nominated them for awards before, they were all good sports about it, and I don’t want to piss them off!  I still think these awards are a great way to discover new blogs, but although the procedures are fairly simple they can be time-consuming.  Whether they choose to participate or not, I urge you to click the links below; these are some excellent posts from excellent writers and photographers.

http://meandtheboss2013.wordpress.com/2013/03/14/wings/

http://senzingzen.com/2013/03/10/poem-memories/

http://1pointperspective.wordpress.com/2012/06/16/life-lessons-from-gilligans-island/

http://likeitiz.wordpress.com/2013/03/10/phoneography-challenge-my-neighborhood/

http://russelrayphotos2.com/2013/03/14/architecture-designs-and-landscaping-by-mother-and-father-nature/

Ok, so here’s the part that always hangs me up – writing about myself.  Ask me to list seven things about my critters and it’s a snap.  Writing seven things about myself makes my brain itch.  But here we go:

I play the lottery pay into my retirement plan once a week.

I’m seriously considering going back to school so I can find a job that will finance  my farming habit.

My new favorite author is Nevada Barr.

I know I’m a child of the Universe and have a right to be here, but I have a real problem with accepting what I cannot change.  If I can’t change it, I aggravate the tar out of someone who can.

My favorite bumper sticker is “Hey, where are we going and why are we in this handbasket?”

When I was 17, I got busted for climbing a water tower.  I’d do it again in a heartbeat – the view was amazing.

I cook with wine a lot.  Sometimes I even put it in the food.

Whew!  Thanks again to Britt, Matthew, lovinchelle and all the other bloggers who inspire me.

 

 

 

 

 

Hillbilly Zen – Hazelnut Coffee and Pancakes on a Stick

I’ve had what I thought was difficulty writing before: no inspiration/motivation, trying to find  just the right phrasing, sweating a deadline, etc.  That all pales in comparison with this last week.  What began as a simple writing exercise morphed into a maelstrom the likes of which I’ve never experienced.

Surgeons are discouraged from operating on family members, detectives aren’t assigned to cases involving relatives or friends, judges and juries are dismissed from deciding the fate of anyone with whom they’ve had prior contact.  So why is it that writers are driven to fill pages with visceral thoughts and feelings?

I’ll ponder that later.  Right now I’m going to seek out the most mindless recreation available, while drinking hazelnut coffee and scarfing down a couple of pancakes on a stick.  The reason for these neuron-numbing, pound-producing indulgences?  The “Haiku for Two Trees” series is finished.

The story it tells may be impossible for anyone but me to follow, but I hope readers will find some beauty in the words.  The memories and emotions that swarmed from this Pandora’s Box have been duly noted and properly dealt with, for now anyway.  I know they will always haunt me, but they are less strident, less accusatory.  Grief has been softened by retrospection.  A fringe benefit of that inexplicable writer’s drive, I suppose.

As stated before, this series was inspired by a photo posted by lovinchelle.  I admit that during this last week I vacillated between wanting to thank him and wanting to throttle him for starting all this.  Now that it’s in the rear view mirror I can sincerely say it’s the former.

If you’d like to see the series presented in one chronological post, it’s here.  I’m still debating whether to use the subtitles or go with I, II, III, etc., and would greatly appreciate feedback.  Thank you, from the bottom of my heart, to all who have visited and shown their encouragement.

Online Bingo, here I come.

Hillbilly Zen – Eating My Words (Haiku on the Side)

My friend lovinchelle posted a photo that has just grabbed me and won’t let go. Since I’ve been trying to use words more sparingly in my efforts at poetry, this seemed like the perfect opportunity to attempt Haiku.  Just one Haiku.  Seventeen syllables.  That was the plan.

I visited bussokuseki yesterday, and Gassho has written another of his beautiful Haikus, which seemed to affirm my decision to write one myself.  To my surprise, he also lamented notebook pages covered with ideas that would not manifest themselves in cohesive writing.  I searched for words to encourage him, but all I could think of was “Sometimes you’re the windshield, sometimes you’re the bug.” Needless to say I left without commenting.  The inability to think of anything remotely intelligent to say should have been my cue to close the lid on my laptop, but sadly I did not.corn dogs

The photo embraced me like a pixellated python, my muse was on me like white on rice and I was damn skippy gonna write me a Haiku.  But then I found myself unable to stop. Words tumbled onto the page like Gremlins fed after midnight.  I was up until 3:00 a.m.  I’m too old for this crap.  I finally published what, in the wee hours of the morning, seemed like reasonably decent work.

When I viewed the post this morning, I literally cringed.  I don’t hate everything about it, but it does not do justice to the photo or the vision I was trying to convey.  Thank you to those who “Liked” and commented, but it’s got to come down.  If this were a meal I had spent all day on that turned into such a congealed mess, I’d fling that sucker into the trash and microwave a corn dog. But that picture won’t…let…go.

So despite the heat I’m heading back into the kitchen.  Instead of cramming it all together, I’m going to prepare it one course at a time.  It should be presented with finesse, not haste.  I adore corn dogs, but guests deserve better.

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