Writing, Unedited

June 1, 2013

You write. And then you stop. And then an undeniable compulsion to write again, sparked by the phrase, “this rich and wondrous earth.” This rich and wondrous life.

A HUGE box of a variety of vegetables given to me the same day I’d earlier read this article about fermented vegetables by Dr. Mercola.

My attempt last year to make sauerkraut (cabbage squeezed by hand) wasn’t finished. Now, I have the perfect combination of vegetables to try again.

A difficult, hopeful talk. A vision of what could be but only if it is pursued to the ends of the earth. The pearl of great price.

The gift of neighbors replacing a cracked sewer pipe (!!) and, the next day, installing a new hot water heater.

The privilege of washing mounds of beautiful china dishes, crystal glasses, and silver ware.

Having just the right knitting project on the needles—satisfyingly long, easy to pick up at any time, meditative, nothing to figure out (except keep track of rows).

Being intrigued.

This Rich & Wondrous Earth is the title of a friend’s memoir. I’ve not yet read it because it is about the boarding school we attended, and I don’t want to “go there” just now. But I know it is an excellent book and would commend it to others. The title comes from the last line of the first verse of the school song/hymn.

January 31, 2013

Although I've been blogging since August 2001, I was much less enthusiastic about other social media channels as they came on line. Only recently, partly due to not really understanding its appeal and partly because of having seen how horribly destructive the (mis)use of Twitter can be, have I signed up with Twitter.

Oh. My. Goodness. It takes me back to the days of hitting "refresh" on the Wall Street Journal site during my corporate working stint to receive a constant barrage of news and interesting articles from around the world. Between Al Jazeera English and Smithsonian Magazine, my thirst for WORLD news, plus science and culture, would be quite satisfied. Then, in addition to a few other news sites, I follow a selection of knitting/craft sites, cooking/food, theology/writing, online marketing/writing, and some friends.

So, if you're on Twitter, let me know (@Treechildbooks @JaniceBakke) and I'll follow you!

January 30, 2013 

One of my recent blogging models is Heather Kopp. I first learned about her a number of years ago via a column on beliefnet written by her husband, David Kopp, who also happens to be a missionary kid from Zambia. He was somewhat older than I, but I knew one of his brothers and his family. (Plus other connections over the years—do I write out all my stories here, now, or wait for another day?)

One of the aspects of Heather’s blog I like is her “Raw” page, where she writes in a more stream-of-consciousness, whatever-is-at-the-top-of-her-brain mode, in contrast to her crafted single-topic, edited “official” blog posts.

I like that format because I, too, feel like just writing and writing sometimes. There is too much to get out of my head to have to stop and take time to polish the writing. But, there is also satisfaction in having an audience (I think? Is anyone here?) to write to so that I am not just talking to myself.

Thus, I am taking a page from Heather’s blog and starting my own “Writing, Unedited” page. Of course, it will still be somewhat edited because it is public. But, I hope this writing outlet will help in my “transparent” project for this year.

Heather is one of a recent number of bloggers who has inspired my One Word 365 “transparency” quest. At the end of last year she wrote about the change she had noticed in her own blogging as she built an audience—which she wanted to keep:
So instead of writing what’s most true, I write what makes me go down smooth, what I think you’ll like, and probably agree with. […] Pretty soon, I’m trying to protect you from my truth while I impress you with my transparency, which is about as absurd as blogging gets.
In an earlier guest post on her literary agent’s blog, Heather addresses the hesitation of how self-centered a blog can be:
Aha! Even if your blog is personal, it still has to be for and about the reader. Blogging forces you to find that sweet spot where your story overlaps with your reader’s, and yet you bring a new perspective.
So, thank you, Heather, for writing out there and being an example for me!

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