Monday, December 14, 2009

A Blogging Inspiration

This weekend, Eric went to Florida for a quick visit while I stayed in New York. As I mentioned, I had plenty to do to keep myself occupied while he was gone, so I've got a couple of posts brewing over the next couple of days to recap my weekend. This is just the first!

Before I get started, I thought I should post a brief update on Toni, since it has been a while since I shared anything and I know many of you are still praying for her (which we so greatly appreciate). She is out of the ICU now and in a rehab facility. She is continuing to make slow but steady progress. As of last week, she is finally off the ventilator. This is a huge, wonderful step because now they can try things like swallowing (so she can maybe start eating real food) and talking. On the talking front, I hear she even mouthed words to a friend this week! Eric said she is also much more mobile now than when we were last there, and she is able to greet you with a hug. So, these are all positive things. Thank you all so much for your prayers, as always. Hopefully, the positive updates will keep trickling in and progress will only continue. Please continue to pray for her recovery.

Now, on to the recaps! On Friday Eric left for Florida straight from work, so it was my first day on my own. I did some Christmas shopping in the morning (in the absolutely frigid weather), but my evening activity was the most interesting. One of my favorite bloggers, The Pioneer Woman (Ree Drummond), was signing her new cookbook at the Borders near our apartment. I have been reading her blog for years now. It was probably the first blog I started reading regularly...and now, my Google Reader is filled with tons of various blogs that I follow, so a big thanks to the Pioneer Woman for getting that obsession going.

The premise of her blog is that she is a misplaced city girl who found herself living life on a ranch in Oklahoma after marrying a rancher, instead of moving to Chicago for law school as she planned. Her blog is all about her life on the ranch - the cattle, the food, the countryside, her family, etc. She started her blog for the same reason I started mine: to keep her family and friends up to date on her family life and experiences on the ranch. Over time her blog has grown, and she now has a number of different sections to it, including a photography section and a cooking section. Her cooking section has been turned into a cookbook, which is what she was signing on Friday.

I was able to get a great seat for the Q&A portion of the evening, and I found Ree to be very funny and down to earth. She answered a few questions from fans and then started signing. It was very nice to meet someone whose words I have been reading for years!

This pic was taken from Twitter (I didn't take it) - the Q&A portion of the evening.
I'm not in this picture, though. See the blonde all the way on the right (next to the man in a red sweater)? I was just to the right of the blonde.

Ree answering questions

Meeting the Pioneer Woman

My autographed cookbook

Now that I have a blog of my own, I kind of look at her blog as something I might aspire mine to be. Her blog is very popular and well-known. Every post gets thousands of comments. Wikipedia tells me her blog gets millions of hits each month. It seems she has really turned her blog into her career, and now has a book published as a result.

I don't flatter myself to think that millions of people would really care what I have to say here. And to be honest, I'm not completely convinced that I would want that sort of exposure. I love blogging, and I'm amazed that even the few people that do read what I write keep on reading and seem to enjoy it, but I'm afraid that with a larger audience, I might start to feel a little self-conscious and it might suck some of the fun out of it. Trying to entertain that many people just seems like an awful lot of pressure. But, I do love to blog. I love to write. And who doesn't dream of turning a hobby they love into their livelihood?

I have always loved to write. My mom loves to talk about how I was "writing" stories even before I could actually write - I would tell her what I wanted my story to say, and she would write it down for me, and I would draw pictures. When I was a kid I was always reading (we're talking reading-books-on-my-walk-home-from-the-library-because-I-couldn't-wait-to-start-them kind of reading), and writing stories. I even wrote a series of "books" about a little girl named Peggy. The first was called "Peggy and the Old Clown," and it was about Peggy's toy clown, Bebo, that her mother threw away after his arm ripped. He went to the dump and met other discarded toys, and they made the long journey back to Peggy's house. Oh, Bebo!

As I've gotten older my writing hobby has sort of fallen by the wayside...or at least it had until the blog came into being. This certainly isn't the creative writing I used to do, but I still enjoy it very much. I like to have the record of our lives, and I like this outlet for processing things going on in my life. The fact that you all actually like to read it is really icing on the cake.

So, if I could decide that I wouldn't mind having the exposure that comes with having a popular blog, I might aspire to be the Pioneer Woman. I would certainly love to have a book published someday. If my blog was a way to get to that point, that would be all the better. Only time will tell where life (and this blog) leads me, I suppose.

For now, I'm left to publish my OWN blog books, and I have done just that! I recently assembled all my blog posts from 2008 into a book and ordered it from Blurb. I have to say, I am so pleased with how it turned out! And now, I have basically a diary/photo album from 2008 to look back on. I plan on doing the same thing for all my posts from 2009. I put so much work into this blog, it's good to know that my writings won't just disappear into Internet Land someday.

Want to see pictures of my book?

The front cover of my blog book

The back cover

The inside - each of the cover flaps has info about Eric and me "As 2008 Begins" and "As 2008 Ends."
The "Welcome" page includes the little blurb about the blog I have here at the top, as well as the pictures I had on the right side of the blog in 2008.

A sample of the inside - each month is marked by an intro page like as shown on the left, and then the posts from that month follow (obviously).
Side note: The pic on the month pages is one that we took of NYC from the Top of the Rock!

So, congrats to Ree for all her blog success. Maybe someday I'll be on a book tour of my own, either thanks to my blog or through other opportunities. Stay tuned, let's see what happens!


Becky said...

Your book looks so cool, Meghan! You are going to bring it to Cleveland with you, right? I want to look at it! Also, didn't your idea for Bebo stem from that clown doll that Nana gave you (green and white striped clothing)? Or am I mixing that up?
As far as I'm concerned, you're the best author ever.

Anonymous said...

I love your blog...... also I would love to read this series about the clown!

Sister Kelley

Dad said...

THE Peggy book is right on the shelf in the Family Room and Bebo is in Heather's room. Those we love don't stray far from home do they.

So proud of what you do Meghan.

Mrs. W. said...

Mom - Yes, it was based off that clown Nana made! His arm ripped and you wanted to throw him away and I got sad so I wrote a story about it. But, his real name was Bobo. I changed it to Bebo because I had to protect his real identity, you see.

Sister Kelley - I'll see what I can do about getting my hands on that book next time I'm in town, now that I know my dad still has it, safe and sound!

Dad - Thanks for taking care of the star of my story and my writing! :)

Molly said...

Meghan, that is really amazing! What a wonderful thing to have made and to keep for all of your memories. Imagine your kids reading that one day!!