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Friday, February 18, 2011

A Blogger's Dilemna or What am I Trying to Say?

I haven't been blogging regularly because, well, I'm paralyzed with fear that my blog will go astray.

All the experts say your blog has to have a theme, and that makes sense. I go to Buns in My Oven because I want great recipes. I go to Newbie's Guide To Publishing because I want great advice about publishing, or self-publishing, as that seems to be the hot topic right now.

But isn't defining your blog a bit like asking Who am I? To my father, I'm Jacqueline (except when he's irritated, and then I'm Jacqueline Marie.) To most of my family, I'm Jack. Except for my husband. He calls me Jackie and all sorts of nicknames that are none of your business. And to Buster the Wonderdog, I'm Woof.

See? I have so many identities, and that's just my name!

Blogging is by it's nature sharing. So what do I want to share with you?

I love to cook. Actually, I love food. Even as I write, I'm baking brownies for the Women's Guild meeting tonight. When I run into something fantastic, I want to share, but I don't want to write a food blog. I'm not good enough. I defer to Buns in My Oven's Karly. (Karly, you are a goddess!)

I'm Catholic. Really, I'm one of those "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" kind of old-school Catholics, but one of my sleuths is a Catholic priest. He's also and Iraqi war vet and former police chaplain. After losing his temper all over a nasty criminal, he's relocated to teach Religious Ed at an all-girl high school. Talk about penance. I mean it. I was a teenage girl. We're brutal.

I'm writing a Pet Psychic mystery, and I love all things dogs (though I certainly would never discriminate against other pets.) I've had training nightmares with my 80 pound mutt, and sharing what works for me could be helpful to others. Or fun. I had an article in Fido Friendly Magazine last April about using a pet psychic to train your pet that was based on my experiences.

My Wilder Women mysteries focus on family. I have a hu-u-u-u-ge extended family with lots of oddities, like the uncle with nine lives and the grandfather who carried a nifty combo walking stick/blade that he got from Hell's Angles. But isn't telling their secrets just rude?

My character Evan Miller is a crime reporter. I could talk about crime, but then I'd have to bury my depressed head under my pillow and go to sleep.

As a writer, I have lots of things I can say about the writing process. I can run interviews with other writers. I can review books. But there are so many other sites out there doing the same thing. Is there anything special about mine?

I like positive things. You can attribute that to my inner rebel. There are so many articles and people intent on dragging us down. Just look at the magazine covers at the checkout stand. Tragedy! Separated! Destroyed! Just a few of the cover story titles this week. Well, it's not going to happen. Not on my watch. (Did you have a flash of All the Good Men and an urge to salute? Me too.)

I don't live in the past, but I appreciate the different mindset. For example, while Hitler decimated entire populations, Charlie Chaplain came out with The Great Dictator. The same year as His Girl Friday and Philadelphia Story. No wallowing. No whining.

Rallying. Providing Humor. Adversity bringing out one's best. How unbelievably admirable. How can I even approach that subject, except to say I wish I belonged to a different generation? Although, that does bring on all sorts of dilemmas with my parents and my husband.

Finally, does anyone care about what I have to say? It's so Me, Me, Me. And I do think people share way too much these days. I'm going to have to think about this.

If you have an opinion, I'd love to hear it. Do you only visit blogs when they have a specific purpose? Do you drop by various blogs because you like the title of a particular post?


  1. Jackie, this is a great blog! Oh what to blog, what to blog!!! If I get a new blog up once a month I feel like I've accomplished something. To answer your questions, I go to blogs where I like the blogger (usually because I've met them or they were kind enough to comment on my blog or fb) or the same with the person they're interviewing--or the topic sounds interesting from the fb post or listserve. I miss a lot of blogs because I'd be reading all day, so I'm chosey(sp)

    Anyway, great post! Madeline

  2. I loved this blog. I blog every day too, so I'm always looking for new topics--I love to interview other authors because it fills days I don't have to come up with something new.

    We share something else in common, a passel of interesting (?) relatives and I don't dare write about some of them, though others may appear in a different from and be unrecognizable to anyone but me.

    Love your blog.


  3. Hi Jacqueline! I visit blogs based on intriguing blog titles or recommends from friends on FaceBook (I followed a post here from Jackie Houchin,) or other blogs I'm following.

    On my own blogging, I'm writing two - one on writing and writing-related stuff, and the other for the excruciating personal journey stuff (hence, the pseudonym.) For myself, I feel more comfortable making a distinction, but other bloggers I follow just do one big dogpile o' subjects. Feel free to come visit and Follow Me - either through Google or Networked Blogs (FB-connected) if you feel I have anything interesting to say on either one. Thanks!

  4. Everyone, thank you so much for your comments. It's difficult to decide whether to lump topics together, separate them as The Writing Goddess does, or just decide that I have nothing of possible interest to say and walk away. (Except my dog really enjoys hassling me while I type, and it would be cruel to deprive him of that joy.)