Posts Tagged With: blogging

Little House in the Big World: It’s Not Laura’s Prairie Anymore

We moved when I was in second grade, over Christmas break.  This meant starting at a new elementary school in the middle of the year.  My world suddenly got bigger.  Instead of walking to school, I rode the bus. Instead of a traditional classroom I was in a shared classroom with multiple second grade classes sharing space barely divided by moveable walls, and small reading nooks.  The classes were on a staggered schedule, with different start and end times for various groups in the same grade.

I was one overwhelmed kid in that arena. I nearly missed the bus home the first day at that new school. Too much noise, too much input, too many kids, too much to keep track of.

Add in the fact that we hadn’t yet discovered that I needed eye glasses.  That made this new noisy world fuzzy at about five feet away in any direction.

Charles & Caroline Ingalls

Charles & Caroline Ingalls (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The one thing I remember focusing in on very clearly was story time.  The teacher was reading “Little House in the Big Woods,” by Laura Ingalls Wilder.  Mesmerized within the first paragraph or two, I sat entranced, absorbing every word. I lived for those few precious pages our teacher read to us each day.  I was so spellbound that I started reading these fourth grade level books as soon as I could talk the librarian into letting me check one out.

I loved the world Laura inhabited. Even the difficult things she dealt with didn’t deter my desire to live her life in the wild countryside.  It was a small, manageable world with daily adventures and the perils of nature and society ever-present.

Fast forward a few decades or more.

I am not naïve and brainless. I don’t spend my time watching reality TV or sitcoms. I consider myself informed, well-read, educated, literate, book smart, experienced in the school of hard knocks. I’ve lived through more than a few things, survived a few close calls, I know what real life dishes out. I’m no second grader, not any more.

Since I started blogging, my reading and learning has expanded.  It’s as if, once again, I’ve been transported to a new school, with a new curriculum, in a world that never sleeps. I’ve read blogs from all over the world, learned about things I never dreamed existed, followed the rants and responses to topics that amaze and fascinate me. CNN, BBC, NBC, PBS et al have nothing on bloggers and writers and their ability to inform, entertain, enlighten and share and touch raw nerves.

Here’s the thing.  Instead of a lovely, manageable novel or two of a tiny world, I’ve stumbled upon the entire planet. At least it seems like it.  Suddenly I am feeling guilty for the life of ease I live as I realize someone in Pakistan or Ghana or Croatia is reading my words, my life, my wonderland.  I marvel at the audacity of Americans to think they are the center of the Universe and somehow qualified to make decisions for the rest of the planet. I am breathless as I learn of tiny countries and the families and people that live day-to-day, hand to mouth, oblivious to the worries I think are important. The foundational ideas that make me who I am have developed a few hairline fissures as I’ve tried to balance other world views on the same ground.  The ridiculous and the sublime compete for my time and brainpower.

Superman logo

Superman logo (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I hover between two desires. I want to go back to having no eyeglasses, the world a vague and fuzzy place like it was four months ago. And I want to miraculously have laser vision, a flying cape and super powers, endless resources, time and energy to save, help, lift, care for and make an impact.

There I am thinking I have something to contribute having barely skimmed the surface of information.  Silly me.

I want to go back to focusing on my tiny family of six, or my expanded family of sisters and brothers and parents, or even my extended family with cousins and aunts and uncles. I want the ease of worrying over people in my small community and trying to find time for a few friends who need a listening ear or a friendly face.

I barely manage to work, fix dinner, do laundry and keep the house clean. Occasionally I’m able to help out a friend, call a sibling, touch base with someone I feel a responsibility toward.  If I gave up sleep I still couldn’t care for all the people in my life I want to care for, love, share with and spend time around.  How can I possibly do anything with all this new information, this new sense of weight, responsibility and worry I have for the rest of the world?

The Earth seen from Apollo 17.

The Earth seen from Apollo 17. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The genie can’t be stuffed back into the bottle.  And, unfortunately, I can’t make a wish and have phenomenal cosmic powers.

Here is one itty bitty woman with tiny resources, 24 hours in my day, with a new weight trying to settle in on my shoulders.

Part of me wants to disconnect from the internet, move to a distant, isolated tract of land and simply live a small quiet life.  But I can’t.  Even if I could, I couldn’t.

I’ve heard the stories, I know they’re out there. Reality is too real. I am lost and probably about to miss the bus again.

A good book isn’t going to give me a grip on anything at this point.  Maybe I just need to step back, clean off my glasses and try to pull things in to focus.

Categories: The World, Wondering | Tags: , , , , , , , | 17 Comments

Getting to Know Me. A Trifecta Challenge of Sorts.

As a new blogger I’ve explored other blogs, blogging ideas, blog challenges and blogging prompts. What a surprise huh?  Ran across this one called Trifecta with a different twist that I want to keep following.  The questions and answers below are part of my participation in Trifecta. So without further ado, fan fare, annoyances, or advertising, here are my answers to ten fascinating questions.

Size comparison between the famous ceratopsian...

Size comparison between the famous ceratopsian Triceratops and a human (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

1. What is your name (real or otherwise)?

 Kami Tilby.  It’s real. Really. Otherwise, I’d make up something like Hortense Decrepit.

2.Describe your writing style in three words. 

Fluent, Fluid, Funny-ish.

3.How long have you been writing online?

Two months and 6 days as a blogger.   Overly long status updates on Facebook for 2 years. Snarky comments on Facebook for 3 years.

4.Which, if any, other writing challenges do you participate in? 

I rocked NaBloPoMo in November.  I’m a dabbler in the Daily Post, meaning I post daily, but don’t often respond to specific topic challenges on WordPress.

5.Describe one way in which you could improve your writing.  

Be less timid; write like I’m a rock star with a million followers who hang on my every word.

6.What is the best writing advice you’ve ever been given?

A)  Keep your butt in the chair and write!  B) Limit adjectives and adverbs. C) Read great literature.  And D) a twist on the Kindergarten classic, “show, don’t tell.”

7.Who is your favorite author?  

I love Anne Lamott. I swoon over Geraldine Brooks! Ivan Doig‘s descriptions leave me breathless. Anna Quindlan and Anne Tyler are exquisite.  Elizabeth Berg reads minds and hearts. Richard Ford, Barbara Kingsolver, Marilyn Robinson, write with rich, evocative, flowing prose. Leif Enger, oh my, you have to read his books. Ann Tyler, covers it all. Thomas Hardy, is all pain and stark beauty.

8.How do you make time to write?

I give up two hours of sleep every morning.  Sometimes I give up  bedtime too.  Depends.  My best writing seems to happen when I’m only partially coherent. Which, come to think of it, is most of the time. I must be a brilliant writer. Or delusional.  Or very sleep deprived.

9.Give us one word we should consider using as a prompt. Remember–it must have a third definition.  Incandescent. Then, I could write about myself, on a good day, slightly delirious and self-aggrandized, and with a bit of a God complex. Or not.

10. Direct us to one blog post of yours that we shouldn’t miss reading.

What happened to the trifecta idea?  Fine, if you’re going to limit me to just one post.  It would  have to be “The Good, The Bad, The Not So Pretty of Parenting Moments.” Although, be assured this is not a mommy blog.

There you have it.  Me in a Meme.

I’m not usually so me, me, me.  But I couldn’t help myself. Embarrassing.

(Seriously, you should check out one of those writers I mentioned in number 7.  You can’t go wrong with any of them. Sure, you can wait until after Christmas, but no longer.)

Categories: Writing | Tags: , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Living Out Loud

I’ve often wondered what would happen if I just said what was really on my mind. Probably some major natural disaster, a combination hurricane/flood/earthquake/fire named Kami.  Okay, maybe I’m being a little dramatic.  Just a little though.

I know people who do speak their mind, with very little filter, in some instances with no filter at all, ever.  People are either afraid of them, avoid them, or talk poorly about them behind their back.  I’d prefer none of the above.

Not saying what’s on your mind, not being direct can have some serious consequences.  Beating around the bush is great if you’re a hunter looking for that lost quarry, but it’s not such a great thing if you’re trying to communicate with someone.

Is it possible to say, “THIS is what I want,” or “THIS is how I feel” without the listener misunderstanding or being offended by the directness?

Blackboards

Somewhere along the way I learned, or chose, to say things in a roundabout way.  The classic, “where do you want to go to dinner?” question is always answered with a “I don’t know, where do you want to go to dinner?”  That happens even if I know exactly what I want to eat and where I can find that meal.  That happens with every little thing that comes up.  Why would anyone do that? Overly concerned about how the other person feels?  Poor self-esteem?  Group dynamics?  A warped sense of self?  I don’t know.

I thought by now I’d have some of that sorted out.

Writing

Writing.

Maybe that’s where the writing thing in me comes from.  Writing is the way I say all those unspoken things.  My best writing, in my opinion, is when I simply let my hands do the work.  There’s no filter, no external voices saying, “you can’t say that!” or “what will people say?”  It’s just me and the pen and paper.  Simply me and the computer screen.

It’s just me.

Maybe that’s it.  When I’m writing, I’m really only trying to communicate with myself.

That’s how it started out when I was young.  My head was swirling with emotion and input from the weird world of teenage horrors.  Writing it down felt like the only way to make sense of everything.

I could pour out all these thoughts on to the paper like so much sand and dirt and grit caught in my shoes from walking.  Then later, I could look at the evidence, investigate the different kinds of detritus that made walking hurt, or uncomfortable or awkward.  A chunk of rock would explain a blister; sand caught in my toes would explain the itchy dryness.

Likewise, having my guts spilled out in ink or pencil on the page let me think in a slow methodical way, about what it all meant and how I would act or react to it all.

Sometimes my only conclusion was relief to not have all that stuff in my shoes, all that stuff in my head.

Have you ever felt like there was so much stuff in your head it might seep out, or ooze, or explode or leak?  That you might, actually, truly, be going crazy?  I did.  Sometimes, I still do.

I think some people cry and that takes care of that pent-up emotion.  Some people vent by running or being angry out loud. Some saturate themselves with sports, or television or volunteer work, or any of a thousand things.  Some simply say what’s on their mind, out loud and unfettered.  What an amazing thing to be able to do!

Typewriter

Me?  I simply write.

I write it all down.  And sometimes, I let someone read it.

Will they think I’m crazy?  Will they avoid me in the grocery store? Will they whisper behind my back?

Apparently, that doesn’t matter to me anymore, because here it is, my writing, being presented on a daily basis to the world, or to the twenty to forty people who “hit” my blog.

I can’t think too much about who reads my words and by extension, reads my soul, reads my mind.

It’s a frightening, thrilling ride.

This living out loud thing might be changing who I am.

Categories: Writing | Tags: , , , , , | 7 Comments

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