Scraps of paper, loosely arranged in stacks, rest on my bedside table, on the highest shelf in my office/guest room/kids playroom/occasional restaurant, in multiple file folders of different names (jenny goodguts, b-school, writing, ideas, projects). Then there are the notebooks which are 80% drawings by my daughter who must fill any blank sheet, these days mostly with pictures featuring a couple kissing, their lips grotesquely puckered to enable them to fill the available space between the two figures. Some of those lips are as long as arms. There is a picture of me sitting at a piano (one of my favorites) and one of her and me, smiling, with musical notes all around. I keep them all, of course, but these two are my treasures. The other 20% of these notebooks are filled with ideas or drafts that I start while sitting in bed reading or, possibly more commonly, directly after showering.
If I ever have good ideas, and who is to say, they mostly come to me while I’m showering. It is occurring to me at just this moment that showering is the one occasion during the week (as this is certainly no longer a daily occurrence in my life) when I am somewhat relaxed and there are, for brief spans of time though certainly not for the full duration of any shower, no children, spouse, mother with their own needs breaking into my thoughts. There are no piles of mail to open, no computer to check, no phone to beep. Just me and some hot water and whatever is running through my mind. So at least half of the time when I get out of the shower I have to immediately find the nearest available paper so I don’t lose track of whatever “genius” idea I have just had. These notes are either haphazardly arranged within the treasured steno/doodlepads or stacked somewhere for a time when I have the bandwidth to use them for their still undetermined purpose.
I mention this because I had written a draft for a post that I was excited about and it is in one of these stacks and now I am visiting my parents. So I cannot electrify you with the majesty of my premeditated and brilliant thoughts of several weeks ago. What I can do, in the few moments I have before my children and my two nieces, with my assistance, turn my mother’s kitchen into a Mexican restaurant (complete with adult and kids menus for the littlest ones that includes a hand-drawn coloring page) is to jot down a few thoughts I had several weeks ago after listening to a webinar about how to grow your blog audience. (In case you were wondering, yes, of course there will be the requisite “show” where the girls and Sam dance in more suggestive ways than I feel comfortable with to Desposito but C’est la vie (except in Spanish).)
Why write about my recent revelation regarding blogging success (I am asking myself?) — because I want you to understand why in the future all of my blog post titles will be significantly different from how they started out. Let’s look at my past choices: Not holding out for a hero, Paris or Pittsburgh, Why did I start a blog, Remembering to breathe, The happy atmosphere challenge, smalltalk (etc). I’m doing it all wrong.
From now on, I am advised, my title is the most important single thing that I can write. Because without a good title, no one will be interested, I will catch no fish. I can grow my blog empire exponentially by tweaking my titles. So henceforth, I must tell you exactly what you can expect to receive by taking the time to read. Be forewarned.
Next item of business. The blog turns three months old in a couple of weeks. It still doesn’t know what it wants to be, but I love it anyway and I appreciate your reading and your comments and your support! Basic training, which was meant to start in June, will begin on August 26, or something like that and I plan to explain basic training on August 19.
I still have not told you about some of my organizing principles (most of, I guess) but those are to come shortly.
In closing, I would like to leave you with a bit more from my beloved E.B. (White):
“The sound of the sea is the most time-effacing sound there is. The centuries reroll in a cloud and the earth becomes young again when you listen, with eyes shut, to the sea — a young green time when the water and the land were just getting acquainted and had known each other for only a few billion years and the mollusks were just beginning to dip and creep in the shallows; and now man the invertebrate, under his ribbed umbrella, anoints himself with oil and pulls on his Polariod glasses to stop the glare and stretches out his long brown body at ease upon a towel on the warm sand and listens.
The sea answers all questions, and always in the same way; for when you read in the papers the interminable discussions and the bickering and the prognostications and the turmoil, the disagreements and the fateful decisions and agreements and the plans and the programs and the threats and the counter threats, then you close your eyes and the sea dispatches one more big roller in the unbroken line since the beginning of the world and it combs and breaks and returns foaming and saying: “So soon?”
I am on my way to visit with the ocean soon and look forward to asking her my questions and listening for her answer.