In this issue:
- Rundy(22) Writes about blogs, and where you can read more Purdyville writing
- Titi(18) Writes about Deidre
What is a Blog?
Perhaps you know what a blog is. But then, maybe you don’t. Blogging of those up and coming things, in the online computer world, and if you aren’t into keeping up with new technology you might still be pretty well oblivious. If you don’t know what a blog is, you might wonder if it’s somehow a distant relative of a blob, or else if it is some type of socally dangerous activity.
No, not quite. I’ll admit that the word blog is a mutilation of the English language, and perhaps a harbinger of the decline of literature. It is certainly true that some people who write blogs might be classified as blobs, but that doesn’t really get to the heart of what blogs are, or why you should care.
I wanted to give you the dictionary definition of what a blog is, but apparently blog has not been in the language long enough for Merriam-Webster Online to carry a definition of the word. Instead, I found another non-offical definition which suffices:
A blog is basically a journal that is available on the web. The activity of updating a blog is "blogging" and someone who keeps a blog is a "blogger." Blogs are typically updated daily using software that allows people with little or no technical background to update and maintain the blog.
Postings on a blog are almost always arranged in chronological order with the most recent additions featured most prominently." (This found at http://www.matisse.net/files/glossary.html)
The above definition is concise and technically correct (though people argue over what exactly distinguishes a blog from other online postings), but is scarcely able to grasp the depth and breadth of what is out there in the online digital world. In my own mind, there are two things wrapped up in the idea of "blog." There is the technology behind blogging, and there are the blogs themselves.
The technology behing blogging is brilliant. Without trying to get into the details, the various different types of blogging software allow people (both techies and regular folks) to easily post information on the Internet, store it, organize it, and share it with the entire world. Being a writer who likes to store, organize, and share what I write, I can tell you this has been a great boon. The technical end of things can take care of themselves and I can devote more of my time to simply writing.
Blogs themselves now . . . well, that’s a different issue.
The first blogs to come out were basically collected links that were posted with some commentary. Mostly these first bloggers were people sharing what they found interesting on the internet. As the blogging world has expanded the types of blogs have expanded as well. Some people loudly proclaim that these other people aren’t blogging but rather writing online journals. Be that as it may, there are now probably more blogs of people writing their own creative (or not so creative) text, than the old link-content blogs.
Some people find this explosion of written content to be very exciting. However, as the general standard of writing in the world is not very high, this ease of publication means a lot of ignorant self-centered people now have a chance to fill up cyber-space with their ignorant and self-centered opinions.
This is not to say that all blogs are bad, or that there is no use for blogging. Quite the contrary. There are useful blogs, and there are interesting blogs. But technology hasn’t made people as a whole any better writers than they were before technology came along. Blogging is very useful, and for some it allows them to get their voice out where it can be heard. For the vast majority of bloggers out there, they are mostly talking to themselves.
Here in Purdyville we have done some experimentation with blogs. This is where blogs and blogging concern you. Yes, indeed, the creative writing talent around here has not been limited to TWIP. We have diversified. This wasn’t exactly deliberate, but as we each followed our various interests, the blogs sort of . . . came into existence. Mom has her gardening blog, then there is the family blog, our dinner blog, my blog, Cadie’s blog (but she isn’t writing in it), and Titi wants me to set her up a blog. For some time our TWIP readers have remained largely ignorant of this collection of written work, so I decided it was time to explain everything.
Where Are The Writers?
We haven’t dropped off the face of the earth. Some writers in Purdyville have moved on to other things. Others of us have simply, somehow, wandered into other places of writing and somewhat accidentally left you all behind. Part of this was because putting together an e-mail newsletter involves a bit of work (compiling is the real headache). When blogging technology arrived, it presented an easier way of publishing our writing. We no longer had to wait for other people to finish their writing–we could simply finish our own and send it out. This convenience and ease led us naturally to shift to the blogging form. For some time now blog posts have been stolen to make content for TWIP. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but it seemed good to me to keep all our readers up to date on what is going on.
TWIP will continue to bring you a bit of unique content, so I encourage all our readers to stay tuned. However, it by no means is covering all of the wonderful prose that Purdyville is putting out. Those of you who enjoy reading what we write will be interested in knowing of the other sources now available for reading. Below is a list:
(1)Mom has been running a professional-looking gardening blog for over a year now. This provides a fairly steady stream of gardening-related writing. If you’re interested in seeing what is up you can go over to http://weblog.coldclimategardening.com/
(2)There is also a family blog, which is something like the twin of TWIP. It has only recently been started, and who knows if it will go anywhere. Mostly it is an attempt by Mom to collect various and disparate bits of family writing that pop up in electronic media all over the place. You will see stuff from other blogs appearing here. Posting is erratic. If you want to take a look at what you’ve been missing, go to http://www.purdyville.com/twip/blog/
(3)Then there is my blog. This is where all my writing has ended up. Technically, I don’t call it a blog, since I don’t update it often enough to be called that. I call it Letters From The Silverware Thief, and I update it fairly often. If you’re interested in what’s going on in my life, or just interested in my most wonderful writing, you can take a look at http://homefront.silverwarethief.com/ If you’re wondering why I’ve called it Letters From The Silverware Thief, read what is written here http://homefront.silverwarethief.com/about.html
(4)We also have a dinner blog. This is something of the brain child of Mom, another one of those really interesting ideas, which in reality requires just a little bit more work than a
nyone is willing to put into it. It is updated, sporadically, by Mom. For the curious, look at http://www.purdyville.com/kitchen/dinner/
I’ve also set Cadie up with a blog so that she can easily share her writing with those interested in reading. However, she is something of a techno-phobe and so far hasn’t touched it. I would like her to get comfortable using her blog so I didn’t have to handle all of her writing in the process of publication. However, she is still TWIP bound at the moment.
Titi wants me to set her up with a blog, but I’m not sure what that will contain, and I haven’t got around to doing it . . . yet.
What About Receiving blogs by e-mail?
So . . . all of this blogging has made things much easier for us writers in Purdyville, but for our readers, what about them? Our writing is all over the place, and how can you make sure you can read it all?
Well, you can bookmark the various blogs and check them out often. However, if you have a busy schedule, this probably isn’t practical. A more reasonable option is to sign up for e-mail notification when an entry is added to the blogs you are interested in. I have this option on my blog, which I strongly recommend you take advantage of.
But what if you want to continue receiving your reading material in your e-mail inbox? Currently, most blog software does not have the ability to send out every post as a full fledged e-mail list. However, I know someone people do not find it convenient to go onto the internet, or else simply prefer to receive their reading material in their e-mail inbox. As an experiment I am willing to try sending out my blog entries as e-mails to those who are interested. If you are interested in receiving my blogs into your e-mail box, write me at firstname.lastname@example.org and ask to be added to my blog list. Note: This is experimental, and if I find it doesn’t work out I will have to discontinue the feature.
Whether you choose to simply continue recieving TWIP or decide to start reading a blog or two, we hope you enjoy the writing from Purdyville!
Comments, questions? Write to Rundy at email@example.com
Life With Deidre
Are you my little sister?
Deirdre and I have this game we play. It’s basically making small talk with a kid who’s almost 2. It’s called "Are you my little sister?" And Deirdre, being a kid who’s almost 2, says "Nooooooooo."
"Oh! Well, then, are you my little. . .porcupine?"
"No!" she says cheerfully.
"Then are you my little. . .orangatang?"
"Nooo!" She says, as though I was making a ridiculous statement, throwing back her head and dragging out the word.
"Well, are you my little. . .kangaroo?"
"No," she says in her squeaky little aren’t-I-cute-when-I-say-no? voice.
"Maybe you’re my little armadillo!"
"NO!" she yells.
"How about my little penguin?"
"No-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o–" Deirdre, in case you hadn’t noticed, knows 101 ways to say the word "no".
"Then are you my flamingo?"
"-o-o! Pang! Pang!" She stops off half way through her "no" and starts talking very earnestly at me, peering up into my face.
"Oh! Are you my little penguin?!"
"Pang!" In that satisfied, contented voice only Deirdre can conjure up.
"Oh, you’re my little penguin! Are you a nice penguin?"
"Nice!" Game over. Now we go back to whatever we were doing before. (You’ll note she never actually said yes, by the way.) Sometimes I guess what she is on the first try. Sometimes it takes forever for me to guess. Yesterday I had almost exhausted my list of exotic animals that I could think of when she decided she was a buffalo. I don’t think she has any idea whatsoever what a buffalo is, but she certainly decided that was what she was. I suppose she just listens to the words till she finds one that she likes. She’s always something different, too. But in reality, we all know what she is. She’s my little nut-case!
Deirdre’s hair keeps getting longer and longer. Being the one in charge of haircuts, I made the executive decision that Deidre was going to grow her bangs out. This, of course, means that her bangs are usually in her eyes right about now. She has her own stubborn opinions about her hair. You brush the hair out of her eyes; she determinedly brushes the hair back in. You put a barrett in her hair, she pu-u-ulls it right out (along with a few hairs, and a sqinch-eyed look). The one agreement we can usually come to is—Tony Tails!!
The first couple of times I put them in, she wasn’t too sure about it. But, since it was universally decided they made her look cute, and she decided she liked being cute, she accepted them. It went like this: I, being the wonderful big sister that I was, put the ponytails into the squirming little girl. Then I said, "There, go show Lachlach! Go show Lachlach your ponytails!" So she doubtfully walked off to find Lachlach.
"Tony-tails." She said faintly, one hand on either ponytail.
"Tony-tails!" Skreched Lachlach, grinning hugely and pointing at her.
"Aren’t they cute, Lachlach?" I subtly prompt him.
"Yes! They’re very cute! Dear-duh looks very cute!"
"Cute!" Deirdre says quite firmly, obviously satisfied.
"Now go show Mommy!"
"Mommy!" And away she toddles to go show Mommy, and be properly admired by her. Once everyone had their turns to be able to shower praises on her, she pulled them out. Sigh.
But, she really does like them. Now when I put them in her hair, she likes to walk around the house, one hand flipping one pony-tail, the other hand flipping the other pony-tail singing "To-ny tails, To-ny tails!" with the goofiest grin you ever saw on her face.–TAP
Comments, questions? Write to Titi at firstname.lastname@example.org