Monday, February 01, 2010

The Write Stuff

Things have been relatively boring around here lately. Busy, but not in an interesting way. I can’t be interesting all the time, yet I have to post something. It’s been since last Thursday. If I don’t post often you might not come back. Right? Cue needy music.

Sometimes it’s hard to post because my blog is a closely guarded secret. Until recently the only person that knew about it was my best friend Rachel. I knew I could trust her not to go looking for it if I didn’t want her to, so I told her about it and let her read a few things I’d written. She wasn’t very impressed with my writing, but I didn’t take it personally. She’s very hard to impress and one of the reasons I like her is that she doesn’t do or say things just to make me feel better. I might not agree with her, but I value her honesty.

Things are changing around here though. My sister, mom, and aunt are now all aware that I’m blogging. The only person that I’m really bothered by is my mom. She has this habit of making fun of me and I wish I could say I was immune to it by now, but I’m not. It’s easy to be confident about little things like the way I look wearing blue or how well I do my job, but when you’re talking about my dream it’s a toss up. Some days are better than others.

I prefer to type because it keeps up with my thought process, but occasionally I’ll write down post ideas or random things in a spiral notebook. It drives my mother insane. Every time she sees it she says, “Oh! It’s the secret notebook again! Let me see it. Are you writing about me? Oooh it’s a secret!” I’d probably let her read it if she could be an impartial judge, but she can’t. She would read it as an extension of me, and she can’t often stand me, so I don’t see the point.

I’m not misguided enough to think that everyone will like the way I write or appreciate my brand of humor. I know for a fact that my mom just wouldn’t “get it”. She would think it vulgar, tasteless, and self indulgent. Constructive criticism is welcomed and appreciated, but she just isn’t capable.

When she found out about my blog she said, “Why are you wasting your time writing crap on the internet? Write a book.”

I could’ve given her a list of reasons why, but I didn’t. She makes me feel defensive and I don’t want to be defensive about this.

Her next statement was, “You better not be writing shit about me on there.”

Snort. Ok.

If I ever do write a book she’d better get used to the idea of being in the limelight. I’ve pretty much decided that I’d like to write a humorous collection of short stories about my life and those in it.

Then there’s my sister.

She was nosing around and found a hand written post. According to her she doesn’t care about finding my site, she’d rather read my diaries. She’s welcome to them. They’re too magniloquent to hold her interest for long, I imagine. Besides, I tell her most of my “exciting” news when we’re having one of our sisterly bonding sessions. I’m beginning to love those more and more, even if I occasionally have to hear something that makes me cringe and/or want to sock her boyfriend in the nutsack. She’s surprisingly supportive of my blogging, writing, etc. She thinks it’s good for me.

However, she seems to be under the impression that blogland is an undercover dating thing. She made the comment “maybe you could find someone on there”. I got a good laugh out of that. I didn’t tell her that the only offers I’ve had for anything have been from women. Not that I’m complaining, of course. I’m not using this as a means to hook up with anyone, male or female. If I wanted to use the internet for dating, I’d join a website specifically for that (but they kind of freak me out, so I'd likely never do that).

I also didn’t tell her just how involved I’ve gotten with this. When I started I never thought of it as a way to make friends or gain support. I started because I was bored and just wanted to write. Once I began getting real feedback and interacting with some of you, I got a taste of what it would feel like to be what I’ve always wanted. I don’t presume to know what if feels like to be an accomplished author, but I would find it difficult to believe that they don’t need validation too.

I know for a fact that I’ve gotten better since I started. I’ve gotten more and more critical of my writing and consequently, I’ve improved. Though I know that and can admit it unashamedly, I’ve come to crave the comments and compliments from my readers. It’s a crutch I’m ok walking with for now.

Then, last but certainly not least, there’s my Aunt.

She began looking for my blog, at first without my knowledge. She’s a nosy sort, but she gets it honest (as do I). When she couldn’t find it she asked for the URL. At first I refused. I thought she would surely go back and tell the rest of my family about all the crazy shit I write. Then she switched tactics and just asked that I email her a post or two.

Naturally I realized the possibilities there. With an actual post it would be much easier for her to search keywords and find the whole blog. But confessed addict of validation that I am, I emailed her two posts anyway.

She liked them and asked for “access” to my site again. I confess I found it a tad amusing, a little terrifying, but more flattering than anything. After thinking about it for a bit, I decided that I would go over all of my archives and if there was something I didn’t want her to know, I’d remove it, then give her the URL. So if you notice some of my archives missing, that would be why. I didn’t even really mind deleting them. I’ve been doing this for a long time, after all. It’s not like starting completely fresh (which I would hate to do), it’s more like revamping. I think I needed to do it and after I started, I realized I didn’t much care if she knew more secrets than I had originally intended to share.

Now I have a reader that’s capable of bitch slapping me for writing something untoward, but it won’t have much of an effect. Don’t think that her reading will stop my open book policy. I warned her before she showed up that there might be things on here that could possibly make her uncomfortable. If she now knows more about my sexual activities than she’d like, it’s her own damn fault.

She’s had “access” for about a week now and so far there’s been no backlash. She might be alright after all. She thinks I’m funny, which isn’t really news to me. Of course I’m funny, Auntie.

Everyone say hello and welcome to my Aunt, will you? *Waves*

Anyway, as for the rest of you...

I’d like to say thank you for reading, commenting, lurking, stalking, and following. It means more than you know. Unless you’re being, you know, creepy about it.

Regularly scheduled nonsense will resume shortly.


Tony said...

Hello, Aly's Aunt!

Thankfully, no one from my personal life, other than Merkin, knows about my blog. I hope to keep it that way. And I'm really liking your blog. If this was a dating service, and if I wasn't engaged, I would totally ask you on a date. ASL? Kidding.

Oy...creepy comment alert!

Organic Meatbag said...

My Mom and Dad have read my blog before...this makes me snicker... hell, it's hard to keep anything a secret anymore...especially stuff like you and your little fling with that Hindu midget...weird fucking stuff!

mo.stoneskin said...

Hello Aunt, high five?

You (OWO, not Aunt, though I don't presume to know...) are one of my favourites because you write so FLAMING NATURALLY that you have no idea what a natural you are. Or maybe you do, but you hide it, which is fine by me. You are a natural, you define easy-reading, effortless to read and a joy.

And I hope there's no backlash from Aunt. Aunts, on the whole, cannot be trusted.

Eric said...

Hello Ally's Aunt!

Does she get some of her writing / story abilities from you? Or maybe her keen appreciation of a top shelf whiskey like Jack Daniels?

In any case, have a nice day.

Homesick Cajun said...

My blog was a "secret" too! My husband figured out that I was keeping one, which was ok! But now I stress over his kids or his sister finding it! They would take things so out of context that it's not even funny! So now I'm wondering if I should delete some of my entries! Gaaaa...can't people just respect other peoples privacy??

Gorilla Bananas said...

Your pen is mightier than your mother's sharp tongue, Aly. Hanif Kureishi's dad didn't speak to him for a year after he wrote Buddha of Suburbia. You mother needs to know these things and start showing you some respect.

Hunter said...

Comments are always nice. Keep up the good work!

On a side note, A Confederacy of Dunces is one of my all time favorites. Hope you're enjoying it.

Rusty Hoe said...

Hey there Aunt of the fabulous Aly.

My family don't read my blog much. We aren't the supportive, interested in each other kind of family. My father was very very disappointed when I decided to discus my newly acquired inability to have alcohol (evil bastard universe) by celebrating my alcohol funfest from years past. I was always proud of my 'Brandy Hag' title and did feel I should honour it. Now he wont read my blog anymore. Woo hoo. Problem solved.

Don't stress about the fam. Even if they can't appreciate your brilliance your legions will still continue to bow down and worship you. :)

Blissed-Out Grandma said...

Everybody needs validation. (Possibly, if we ever got enough from our mothers when we were children, we wouldn't crave it so much the rest of our lives--just a theory.) Sounds like your mother needs validation too, and because she knows you are writing critical things about her she's belittling you for writing at all. Not a happy situation. At some point you may have your thoughts organized in a way that you do want her to read them. In any case, keep doing what works for you.

Anonymous said...

Hi auntie of Aly! Hope you enjoy your visits to your funny-assed niece who cracks us up several times a week by being well...her.

My mum used to read my blog. When I started this blog I didn't tell her because I wanted the freedom to just not be thinking "What would my mum think of this?". I let it slip recently that I had another one and she wanted the URL but I sort of changed the subject. Not that I write much she COULDN'T see but you know, some things you just like to be for YOU.

Keep on rockin' girl.

miss. chief said...

Hello Auntie! :)

My boss and co-workers know about my blog, and one time my boss said "she's such an important blogger" in a super patronizing tone and made me want to quit writing forever. But I mean...I got over it. It took like a week though. It's really hard to put yourself out there sometimes.

Anonymous said...

You are a brave woman! Mom can't do much now except be surprised.


Dawn said...

(*Waves!* Hey Auntie! Cute shoes! How's your family? Say hi to everyone for me!)

Sorry 'bout that, but that's how we greet everybody around here. Just had to pop in and say, please don't ever censor yourself for anyone. Call it exaggeration, or artistic license, or your slightly psychotic imagination, whatev. Tell them whatever you have to in order to keep me entertained, I mean, in order to be true to yourself. We love you just the way you are.

NWO said...

You rock! Reading your blog is such a pleasure for me.

I can't believe you've never had an offer from a guy reading here. Can I be the first?

Baz said...

You should be proud of your Niece, her writing is amusing, honest and
free flowing that it just rolls off the tongue. It's a pleasure to read
and something I always look forward to in the mornings, but not the
only thing mind.
Ally, you asked me a while back what my impression of SC life is, and,
to be honest I had difficulty putting into words what you had created
in my mind’s eye. Until....
My Dad asked me to sell his Hi-Fi equipment on eBay for him as he no
longer uses it etc. So up it went and after 7 days with little interest
and bids that were just an insult I 'bought' it. First record (vinyl) I
listened to was Creedence Clearwater Revival, which summed up perfectly
Southern life as I perceive it.... not even close I guess, but hopefully
not an insult either.

Judearoo said...

*Cheery wave to Ally's auntie from across the sea*

Ah but little does your sister know you HAVE met someone on here - many someones. Admitidly most of us are the wrong sex, married, possibly not human or just plain don't want to shag you senseless but we do still want to dip into Ally's world every now and again for shits and giggles.

None of my family have ever read my blog (I know, I know, it makes feck all difference if I never update the shaggin thing)and I dont want them to. Its mine. MINE, I tell you...

As you were.

otherworldlyone said...

Baz, email me please. I can't do what you asked and your email isn't on your profile.

IT IS ALLY said...

My Mum and sister are exactly the same about my notebook. They also say supportive things like, "It amazes me that people read your blog."

In a fit of really poor timing Dad stumbled across my blog the day after I posted all those haiku. That was awkward. But now he reads it religiously & every time I ring him for a catch up, he already knows everything I've done this week.

Mr London Street said...

Unlike everyone else I think I'll wait for your aunt to say hi first.

Family is a tricky one. When I started I was desperate for readers so they all had the link. Now I don't get on so brilliantly with my brother and have monumentally fallen out with my mother life would be a lot easier if I'd never told them. As long as it never stops you from writing what you want to write then you should be okay. In particular, I have a couple of stories about my brother that I would have loved to blog about but they would get me permanently disowned.

I know exactly what you mean. Blogging and that validation gives you a window into what a life of writing could be like. In fact, there's probably more validation through blogging: how many people comment on a magazine article? How many people review a book on amazon? Exactly.

And you are indeed getting better all the time. When I read a post of yours I half enjoy it and am half impatient for the next.

rebecca said...

thankfully none of my family know the URL for my blog. my sister knows about it, i dont think my brother or my mother actually know about it which is how i like it. i dont want to have to censor myself. i just wanna be open and honest although i dont write details of my sexual activities on my blog just in case my mum does find it.
a few of my friends know about my blog but i dont mind it. theyre so close to me, they know stuff i wouldnt even write about.
anyway sorry i dunno what the hell im saying im half asleep
love the post x

Colleen said...

My entire family reads my blog, which is nice. I enjoy the support and I don't find that I have to censor, though sometimes my mom will text me and say, "I want you to think hard about what you wrote on your blog today. You know, employers can track those things."

What I won't let my family read is my short stories, and lately my mom has been all up in my grill about it. I'm like, "Mom, I don't think you are prepared for my stories. They contain some questionable language and mild nudity."

Crystal said...

HELLO People!!

Auntie here, and to say I am truly in support of Ally's blog... I know she would do well with a book. Unitl recently I didn't even know about it until her sister let it be known that there was a notebook.. haha. Remind me to tell you of another "notebook" story sometime, lol. As you all know by now we have a pretty "dsyfuntional" family, but I'm here to tell you we soooo put the "fun" in it!! Ok, so yeah, its a weird family.. maybe whaco, ok whatev...

But with that in mind, will tell a little tale of my favorite neice, (for now, until she pisses me off) about what she was like at oh, three.

I remember I was keeping her for her parents who went to funeral or something. They were obviously desperate for a sitter since I didnt do this often( I think people don't trust me?) anyway, had a smart mouth on her THEN!! She went to the bathroom by herself and I asked if she needed help, and she said, "no, I can do it!" Marvelous I thought.. after a few moments, she came out and I casually asked did she wipe? And She said, "maybe, maybe not !!!" OMG !I almost died! a THREE yr old just told me that maybe or maybe NOT she wiped her little ass!! laughed and cried at the same time for half an hour! Amazing... but this is how she was, and this is how she is...

I Love her ! :^)

Sally-Sal said...

You're pretty brave, letting your aunt read your blog. I let my sister read mine, and when I posted someone about butt sex, I cringed, but she thought it was funny.

Blah, blah, blah, words, words, I think you're awesome and stuff. :)

Beautiful Things said...

Hey, I've just found your blog and this post really did make me laugh. I haven't told any of my family or friends that I'm blogging because I need to do it for myself. Aw, just ignore family and the snide comments, you're a great writer. Don't let anyone take that from you. x

Jessica said...

OH how I relate. In all my genius I married an atheist, gave birth to genius devil's spawn, and then decided to log these adventures on a blog. The trouble comes in when my Mormon bishop father reads it. It doesn't help that I'm a social tard with the inability to keep my mouth shut.
Blog on Other Worldly One, blog on.

JUST ME said...

Strangely enough, my aunt reads MY blog too. Every once in a while I get an email where she tells me "TMI, J. TMI!!!"


Anonymous said...

Hahaha! Auntie Crystal totally outed you, missy. Why is it not hard to believe you were a sassy three year old?

BrightenedBoy said...

Listen and listen good:

You are a good writer. You have real talent, and the time you've spent here contributing and honing your craft has shown up in the improved quality of your posts, which were already good to start with.

Something you must remember in seeking validation or constructive criticism is to be discerning about where it comes from, to distinguish between someone whose opinion is valid and someone whose opinion isn't.

Family and very close friends are often poor choices for objective analyses, as they'll either try to bring you up or cut you down. I went around for a while thinking I couldn't sing because of things my parents said, but you've heard some of my audio posts and I'm in fact rather good at it.

I learned to let whatever they said, good or bad, brush off.

Remember that no matter how good you are you'll never be universally liked, and that even the people who are best in their field have bad days.

Within that, though, always have confidence in your ability. Keep writing.

And as for your family, the aunt you've invited on notwithstanding, I'd try to keep them at a distance from this project. No one knows I write a blog anymore. I learned that lesson the hard way.

j said...

your mother sounds exactly like my father. "what're you WRITING about in there ANYway?!?? you're always WRITING in that stupid thing! .... are you writing about me? then why can't i read it!??"
i still don't know how i've kept all my notebooks safe aaaall these years.
and yah, your mother ALSO sounds like my mother, who reprimands me for writing certain things on my blog or "cussing!" on it when she's the one who asked for the damn url.
ANYWAY.. you always make me laugh, owo. thanks.