One Writer’s Attempt at Blogging
I write fiction. This statement is a little small and a little plain in the setting of the grand blogosphere. There are such masters of the social page out there in the zipping and flying around type connections of the public dark matter. For some peculiar reason when I imagine the sharing of information on the internet, I think of the concept of dark matter. A little over analytical, but I like dark matter—it is my writing style and that hypothesized mass that adds to the totality of the universe. Social media, I recently read, is the platform that will enhance visibility of my product and connect readers with (again) my product. Hopefully, either adding me to the dark matter or pulling me from it, whichever form is preferable. Most writers I know fear the blog. One writer said she spent the entire day deciding on a name for her blog; she feared picking the wrong one, so she puttered and fiddled until a name that didn’t make her feel completely exposed was found. I avoided this interesting trap by making my blog name curiously normal. Yet, I fear the blog, but I will blog. I must be a little obsessive-compulsive; this blog thing must be perfect, right? I will blog.
When I finished the form that introduced me to my new blog-world, I looked at the un-beautiful blank page and the “new post” field. I was overcome. This was a little unusual for me—I tend to love the blank page. The one just before I write, rewrite, edit, rewrite, and start again. Blank has its own form of beauty; the blank blog page does not. It says that I haven’t yet begun to connect and enhance. However, I found a way to delay my first post. I added pictures to my blog, added a few more, and then looked at different templates. Many of which added a professional nuance to my blog but cost $99.00, which didn’t add anything. After I polished the page with artistic touches, I listened to the sounds around me that were coming in from the window. This is a favorite pastime of several creative-type people with whom I interact—it’s almost as much fun as listening to peoples’ conversations in elevators. It seems that meditative thinking and deep listening are required by the writers/poets of the world—this is as old as the canon. I believed these ambient noises would inspire my nascent blogging voice to creep out of my writer’s personality. They didn’t, but they allowed me to find time for a nap. I fell asleep and dreamt (a non-melatonin inspired dream) of the blank page on my blog. I dreamt that I over-watered the orchids, killing my blog. I over-watered to such a degree that the house began to run with water—the roots of the orchids fell off, moved down into the flow of water that squeezed between the floorboards, and disappeared beyond the dream—very over-dramatic. However, dead things in my dream seemed so much less panic inducing than attempting to think of how to introduce myself in a blog post. I will blog.
I grew up on the Big Island of Hawaii living in tents, in coffee shacks (if you have never seen a coffee shack, you are missing out on one of Big Island artists’ favorite subject matter), in beach shacks, and finally, in a redwood house in Honaunau. I lived in the redwood house until I became an adult. The strange thing about growing up in Hawaii and not being of Hawaiian ancestry or of any of the many other interesting local ancestries is that you question if you have a right to your words. Is it authentic? I am currently working through this paradox with my novel. The novel is set in Kainaliu and Waipio Valley on the Big Island. It explores the mother-daughter bond and the brittle world of the alcoholic. Placing the novel in the setting of the Big Island reminds me that I have agency to my own voice. It also answers the question that writers are asked quite often: Why do you write?
I answer: I write because she sat next to me on the wooden steps. I write because I wore a pink dress and watched him play with the homemade slingshot, the one of rubber bands and many colors. I write because the man killed the silver cat. I write because the little boy pulled his sister from the well. I write because mothers can’t always protect their children, but sometimes they can. I write because he pulled out the brown-handled gun, the one he said he got from the fisherman who lived down at Keei beach. I write for the sound of avocadoes that hit the tin roof—the roof that covered the rafters the rats used to walk the length of the ceiling. I write because when she was dying, I offered her water. I held up the glass. Did she still want the water when she was dying? Did water make dying easier? I write because I said I would. I write because I need to write. I write because I love to write.
I write fiction. However, recently I began to experiment with creative non-fiction and poetry. Both are captivating and have their own universe. I sit and listen to the other poets in my class at University of Hawaii at Manoa. They speak of enjambment and “make it new.” They mention what is popular with poets now. I attempt to absorb their universe. I am visiting it to understand many forms that writers can inhabit. I write. I read. I write. I will not avoid blogging. I live in a world that blogs.