We are supposed to be in Granada, Spain tonight. If all had gone according to plan, we would already be tucked into a lumpy little bed with terribly flat pillows at our back-packers hostel near Plaza Nueva. Our Friday night dreams would be punctuated by dances of sugar plumb fairies and the dizzy-dazzling view from the Alhambra.
We have been derailed by a severe case of the scoots. Two cases, actually. First me and then D. No more details are called for.
So now I have all of this “extra” time that was supposed to be Granada time. Wandering around time, looking at cathedrals time, drinking cafe con leche time. Weirdly, it’s sort of a gift to be here, snug in our own apartment as fall descends on Barcelona and the pleasant task that has occupied much of my day has been researching blogs-writing and creativity.
Honestly, I had no idea that there were so many sites dedicated to the topic of blogging. Blogs about blogging. Particularly great is a site called skelliewag.
I found their article “110+ Resources For Creative Minds” inspirational. Now, if I were a master blogger, that would be a link. We build up to these things.
The reason that I have been surfing through oceans of blog-advice is that, although I have long said that I would like to publish some fiction or creative non-fiction, I have done nothing big or concrete about it.
Wow… let’s contemplate exactly how Canadian that last sentence is: “I *said* that I would *like* to publish.” This is why Canadians are not known as great conquerors; you have to be seriously assertive to gain power over others. Some might say aggressive, even! (This reminds me how much we have been LOVING “Corner Gas” for those of you who are familiar with this wacked-out, Saskatchewan-based television phenomenon. So hee-hee-hee and ha-ha-ha.)
Back to berating myself… I know that it is not enough to want to write. One must write. One must fill up moleskin journals and cafeteria napkins and all the white space left in the newspaper. One must fill the blank spaces up with words about what has happened and what’s going to happen and what might well happen. Ideas and dreams and declarations. I believe that. The only way to get to the book is through the first word and then the second. We have a friend who has published two novels (thus far) and the only way he got there was by laying down the words, one after the other. And he has a wife and two kids and a really big garden. This is a man knows how to get the words down.
So I have been wondering what’s up with me. Why don’t I make a regular practice of this writing practice that I say is so important to me? While I acknowledge that starting a new job (again) is certainly a factor, I am constantly starting new jobs, so that excuse is only going to serve me for so long.
But here’s the thing. I realized that I have been writing (and I am not counting letters of recommendation, policies and procedures or late slips for tardy high school kids)! This blog is just over a year old now and I am passionately in love with it. I actually think about my blog on the bus on the way to school; when gazing out the window I’ll see something so uniquely (sometimes so annoyingly) Barcelonan and I will think, “There’s a blog moment.” When I am in work over-drive mode, I find myself longing for some quiet blogging time. In fact, for the last couple of months, DP and I have been keeping creative dates with ourselves (not each other) on Saturdays and this is always one seriously blissed-out blog-fest for me.
So this is me getting the words down. These are the words, the Hansel and Gretel pebbles, dropped on the way to my book. Good!
Perhaps because my undergraduate degree was in English Literature and because I have taught English seven years, I sometimes overlook what is happening on the internet as real publishing. I am a lover of words that I can hold, in book-form, in my hands. (I can hold my laptop in my hands too but the battery is so hot that it makes me sweat). What has become clear, however, is that there is a very real connection between a great blog and a book deal. Over the last couple of days, I have read about two bloggers who have turned their blogs into books. You can check them out for yourself:
Chocolate and Zucchini
Why not me, then? If I had a dime for every time my friends and I have picked up a new book in a bookstore and said, “I had that idea years ago. Shoot.” I would be able to quit my day job right now.
I have decided to blog my way to a book. It’s what David Risher calls a “Big Hairy Audacious Goal”. This is conquering talk here.
So what does that mean for my blog? It means that I have decided to make my blog public. The terms blog and public are probably synonymous in the minds of most people but if you were an international teacher with a higher-than-average need for privacy, you might think twice. I have thought twice… three times, even.
Going public with the blog will mean making some minor changes: removing references to specific Barcelona street and school names, revising some posts in which I refer to friends, family members and colleagues by name, and losing that cute black and white photo of me taken in Lisbon. (“The name is Bond, James Bond.”) All photos will be mine and, when that is not possible, the photographer will be credited. I will learn how to create links. That’s about it. Maybe I’ll get a new tag line. Who knows.
I’m kind of buzzy right now (and warm… it could be the flu or the laptop battery or both)! I am giddy with delight and anticipation. It will take me a couple of weeks to open the blog up WIDE but you 15 will be the first to know.
Thanks to one dear friend and my littlest sister for saying that my blog makes you happy and that I should write every day. That’s probably not going to happen but one post a week is a good goal.
Once a week… a post about life in Barcelona and kids and teachers and culture and tapas and what it means to be a Canadian who hasn’t lived there for ten years. And, ultimately, blogging.