January 22, 2009

The Professional Blogger

Some of you may remember that once upon a time the mythical creature I call The Shmata Queen was a blogger. No, really, she was. She had a blog that she used to share stories about her life and thoughts about things that took place within it. Now it is no secret that occasionally I'd borrow the keys and take the blog out for a spin around the block.

As you can very well imagine she wasn't always pleased with the improvements that I made upon her posts. Occasionally she was more than a little irritated, irate might be a good description. If you'd like you can blame it all upon my puckish nature. Had we gone to elementary school together I probably would have pulled her pigtails, assuming that I had deigned to speak with her.

But what you might not know is that I also wrote a number of serious posts on her blog and passed them off as having been written by her. Some of them received more comments than I ever got on my blog. It made me a bit crazy when that happened, but I suppose that it was a bit of a blogger's karmic kick in-the-pants.

I share this with you now because it fits this post. I blog for many reasons not the least of which is that I love to write. Blogging provides a good excuse to write daily and a chance to try and improve my skills as a writer.

That is something that is important to me. When it is all said and done I should like to be known as a very fine writer. It would please me greatly if I could write well enough that my work would live on after me. That would mean that I had done something right, or should I say write.

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I was blessed with two grandfathers who were master storytellers. They had different styles but they were very skilled at holding the attention of those listening to them. I share that not just as a loving grandson but one who was often told by friends how much they enjoyed the stories I grew up with.

It is a skill that I have spent almost forty years trying to emulate. There have been moments where I have felt like I had the same magic tongue they used. There have been times when I was spinning my own yarn or sharing some sort of tale and I knew that I had those people in the palm of my hand. And then there have been the moments where I could see that whomever was listening was disinterested and trying to politely hide their desire to run away or fake narcolepsy.

Sometimes I wonder if part of the magic of their stories is a generational thing. Just to clarify I feel quite lucky to still have my maternal grandfather. In about six weeks he'll turn 95. I try to make a point of asking him to tell me some of my favorite stories because one day he won't be around to tell them.

In the 2.5 years since my paternal grandfather died I have missed him terribly for any number of reasons. But one of the primary is that I miss those stories. He had bright blue eyes and when he got going they would just light up. It makes me smile just thinking about it. If I close my eyes I can hear see his face and hear him start laughing as he'd talk about what life in New Orleans was like in the thirties.

I have made a point to share some of those stories with the people I care most about. It is part of how I honor his memory and make sure that he is not forgotten. I sometimes wonder what he'd think about this. Not that he'd be upset, but I wonder if I am telling the story the right way. I didn't live through these events, at least not most of them. But I do my best to try and tell them as he did.
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I could be a professional blogger. If it paid enough I could do this for a living. I could spend my days telling these tales and sharing my thoughts about this and that. I could be the pundit who speaks about politics. I could be the dad who riffs on and around the challenges of being a father. I could be any and all of them. That is the beauty of the blog. You can constantly reinvent yourself here.

But for the moment the dream of becoming a professional blogger is just that, a dream. I hold it close to my heart along with a few others that are dear to me. Sometimes dreams do come true. Sometimes they are more than pity phrases. Sometimes when you ask if they are someone to have fun with or someone to live a life with the answer is crystal clear.

One day I'll have grandchildren of my own. One day being 50 years or so from now, could be more, I plan on living until I am at least 130. And I hope that if nothing else I can keep that storytelling tradition alive. So stick around for a while and let's see if that is just a pipedream or the reality yet to come.

4 comments:

therapydoc said...

Professional.

rutimizrachi said...

Thanks for sharing your granddads. Those of us who didn't have such wondrous creatures in our lives can enjoy them vicariously when you share a tale or two. May God bless you with a long life, filled with excellent stories to tell. May He let you retain that wisdom that perceives when you've got them in the palm of your hand, and when it's time to let them go back to sleep.

Jack said...

Doc,

:)

Ruti,

Thank you. If I gain a quarter of the ability of my grandfathers I will be very pleased.

shavuatov said...

Lovely imagery, Jack. I never knew one of mine and the other one was a down to earth factory worker who I loved to pieces.

Keep on writing.

Rachel