Blogs Are Stupid

Doesn't anyone believe in Dear Diary anymore? What happened to the joy of putting actual pen to paper? And why does every ordinary Jane and John think they can write well enough to burden the world with their scribblings? It’s a mystery that badly needs solving. My first entry contains my thoughts about blogging and will set your expectations. The rest will probably be stream of consciousness garbage, much like you’ll find on any other blog. Perhaps we will both come away enlightened.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Was it something I said?

I applied for membership in the "Sassy Southern Writers" group over a week ago, and have yet to approved. I think I look pretty good on paper, so I'm wondering...maybe she read my blog? Well, that'll learn me.

It wasn't a completely wasted effort though. As part of my application I had to list which Southern writers I like and admire. And I realized that other than Olive Ann Burns and Margaret Mitchell, I'm not really familiar with many Southern writers.

So I went a-googling and I found Eudora Welty.

Now, I complain about the South a lot, I know. But really and truly, if you can look beyond the rednecks, the racists, the misogynists, the homophobes and the bible beaters...

The South has a very rich, interesting history and culture all it's own. There is a gentility, a nobility, a romance...that is difficult to deny. It's that South that I like to explore through the eyes of a competent storyteller. It's that kind of slice of life narrative that keeps me reading far into the night.

So I went to the library and I checked our her 1973 Pulitzer Prize winning novel "The Optimist's Daughter", and another, "The Ponder Heart."

What delicious titles! What promise they hold.

I am only a couple pages into The Optimist's Daughter, but already I am captivated by her prose.

The reviews, as you see, if you've clicked on the highlighted links, are mixed. But I've found that truly great literature often evokes very mixed reactions, although equally strong, whether good or bad.

I can't wait to continue reading.

If you're looking for some good Southern slice of life reading, I highly recommend "Cold Sassy Tree" and "Leaving Cold Sassy" by Olive Ann Burns. I devoured them whole, hardly pausing to chew up the words. They were that yummy.

That said....

I did find another writing group that looks much more my style. It strikes me as a little more refined, a little more sophisticated, and a LOT more intimidating.

These are not suburban housewives writing bodice rippers.

These are real writers, publishers, editors; honest to goodness professional book type people. Now, they say that everybody is welcome, and I'm sure they do make everyone feel welcome.

But I feel as if I have no legitimacy as a writer. I have nothing to prove that what I write is worth a plugged nickel. I have no professional valdiation, publication or association. I have no degree. I have nothing.

I feel unworthy.

But I refuse to let that stop me. I know I'm a good writer. And the whole purpose of this group is to get the exposure that I need. To make contacts, to network, to schmooze. To learn how to navigate the very scary world of publishing.

I am going to GET me some legitimacy, dammit.

I am both exhilirated and terrified by the thought.

Now...what am I going to wear???

27 Comments:

  • At 7:22 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    You can't miss southern writers such as Dorothy Allison or Pat Conroy or Melinda Haynes. Or Pat Cunningham Devoto - particularly "Out of the Night That Covers Me."

     
  • At 7:45 AM, OpenID wheelsonthebus said…

    I share a birthday with Faulkner...

    Wear jeans. You just can't go wrong with jeans.

     
  • At 8:07 AM, Blogger Life As I Know It said…

    Good for you! You are worthy.
    I have no idea what an appropriate attire would be though...don't those southern folks dress up all the time ;)

     
  • At 8:37 AM, Blogger Avalon said…

    Wear something sassy!

     
  • At 9:29 AM, Blogger anne said…

    DON'T wear pantyhose!!!

    And don't let them scare you! Everyone has to start somewhere and they were all in your shoes at one time. Well, not your shoes exactly but you know what I mean.

    And if you need any reviews, I'm sure we your faithful readers could write some up for you.

     
  • At 10:23 AM, Blogger Baroness von Bloggenschtern said…

    What to wear, what to wear? Might I suggest a rolled collar sweater with leather patches on the elbows? And a pipe. Definitely a pipe. That will get you some street cred.

    Darling woman, you ARE a writer - you've sat down, time after time, and put your thoughts down in a engaging, well-written way. You've CREATED a good-sized body of work that resonates with people - you have comments, don't you? Do not be intimidated. You have as much a right to be there as anyone else. Now GO!!

     
  • At 10:31 AM, Anonymous AA said…

    You know, when you wrote the Sassy post I almost commented with "Better hope none of the Sassy Writer's are your readers", but decided not to freak you out.

    I was going to suggest you read some Pat Conroy too. I know there are others - but I have sinus head right nwo and can't think.

    I say wear jeans with boots that have heels and a nice top.

     
  • At 10:42 AM, Anonymous Veronica Mitchell said…

    My favorite southern writer is Walker Percy. I like his Lancelot best, but that might be too Catholic for you. Try Thanatos Syndrome sometime.

     
  • At 11:03 AM, Blogger Ldani said…

    Try Robert Inman. He makes me laugh every time.

     
  • At 11:11 AM, Anonymous Maddy said…

    Unworthy? Listen to yourself dearie. That's just the kind of negative talk that will send me over to your place to slap your wrists. Go and sign on the dotted line and live the dream.
    Cheers

     
  • At 1:21 PM, Blogger PunditMom said…

    First of all, your writing is magnificent, so who needs them anyway?? And Eudora Welty -- welcome to that club, my friend! :)

     
  • At 1:25 PM, Blogger Chanda (aka Bea) said…

    Ooo! If you don't mind one more recommendation, Kaye Gibbons is another wonderful contemporary southern author. Her book "Charms for the Easy Life" takes place in and around the Raleigh NC area and is a beautiful slice of life story about her grandmother's(possibly her great grandmother's)life as a midwife and country medicine woman.

     
  • At 1:36 PM, Blogger flutter said…

    any southern lady worth her salt will have some comfy jeans in her arsenal

     
  • At 1:48 PM, Blogger Manda said…

    Delurking here... I'm a writer too, and Eudora Welty's book "One Writer's Beginnings" is one of my favorites on writing.

     
  • At 2:00 PM, Blogger nina said…

    Well that just pisses me off! If I were a gay boy I would pitch a fit but I am a dyke... want me to bring the hammer down on 'em???

    oxox
    nina

     
  • At 2:20 PM, Blogger we_be_toys said…

    The real writers group would be a greater challenge for you than the "Sassy" bunch, I think. If they're open to everyone they have to be expecting some amateurs. I can't imagine you wouldn't do well in with them though - go for it!

     
  • At 2:21 PM, Blogger jennie said…

    definitely not nylons!

     
  • At 2:38 PM, Blogger mrinz said…

    Go for it BA.

     
  • At 2:46 PM, Blogger sltbee69 said…

    I think by the number of comments you get on every one of your posts you let you know that you have one helluva following due to the way you write. I know I was hooked from the very first post I read. Although she doesn't have a huge book list, might I suggest Fannie Flagg?

     
  • At 5:15 PM, Blogger Phoenix said…

    Your writing is great in my opinion. Don't give up.

    A southern woman writer who I love is Zora Neale Hurston.

     
  • At 6:45 PM, Blogger Mac and Cheese said…

    C'mon, give the nylons another try!

     
  • At 10:42 PM, Blogger Tracey said…

    You know, I was gonna comment that to post the title of the group you are applying to could make you very googlable (is that a word yet?) and therefore give away your location. Just a suggestion...

     
  • At 12:05 AM, Blogger Lara said…

    you have nothing? you have us! people who have busy lives and yet sit down to read you, day in and day out (even if we don't always comment), instead of getting the extra sleep we really need!

    if that's not a professional validation, i don't know what is.

     
  • At 12:38 AM, Blogger Jenn said…

    May I suggest the emerald tiara?

     
  • At 12:39 AM, Blogger slouching mom said…

    Welty's short stories are fabulous.

    Now go, go. Knock 'em dead.

     
  • At 9:16 AM, Blogger SUEB0B said…

    Woman, STFU!! Your writing intimidates me because you are so good. You can hold your own with anyone. The only shocking part to me is that you don't already have a shelf full of published books. I am not saying this lightly. You are one of the better writers in the blogosphere.

    Go. Kick ass.

     
  • At 2:28 PM, Blogger Terri said…

    Good for you!

    I have enjoyed some of Flannery O'Conner's short stories, but I'm not up to date on current Southern writers.

     

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