June 30, 2014

Taking a Tour on the Blogosphere Bus

I met the fabulous Lisa Petty, of Petty Thoughts, at Blog U, dancing like a maniac. Or maybe it was me dancing like a maniac. At any rate, she's fantastic. And she invited me to be part of an ongoing blog tour! I've had a ton of fun at every stop, getting to know different bloggers and their writing styles and processes. It's a been a helluva digital vacation! And now the planes, trains, and automobiles have brought us here- to my stop. So while you take in the lovely Chicago scenery, maybe visit the Field Museum and eat a veggie dog on the back steps, I'll tell you all about what I do.

What Am I Working On?
I'm still fiddling with my memoir (excerpt here), and increasingly desperately trying to get a literary agent. The fact is, selling a memoir is hard, unless you're a celebrity. And sadly, having a few enormously viral blog posts does not a celebrity make. Aside from that, I'm writing here, on the blog, and I'm working on a super secret project I can't talk about right now, but that will no doubt make me wealthy beyond my wildest dreams.

How Does My Work Differ From Others Of Its Genre?
The memoir? It differs from others of its genres by somewhat defying genres. It's a story of the many ways our brains can try to destroy themselves, with tumors or poisons or chemical imbalances. But more, it's a true story about the power of love bold enough to stand defiant in the face of death. It's a love story, and an offer of comfort to anyone suffering from mental illness who ignores their own pain as immaterial or unreal. It's about surviving a death sentence, and collapsing under the weight of freedom. I'm not sure I've ever read a memoir with those particular themes.

Why Do I Write/Create What I Do?
I can't not write. I moved to Chicago for art school twelve years ago. And when the dean of the Art Institute welcomed us to the school, he said most of us would never work making art. Very nearly none. "So if you can do anything else, do that," he said. And it stuck with me, because I could. I dropped out of the Art Institute because I knew I could do something else. But there is one thing I can't stop doing. Since I wrote my first poem at age five, I cannot stop writing. Haiku, novellas, short stories, slam poems, fiction, and nonfiction... whatever is happening in my life, I am compelled to continue writing. Lucky me, the blogosphere is welcoming to folks with my particular writing handicap- namely, an addiction to an audience.

How Does Your Writing Process Work?
I'm a follower of Earnest Hemingway's methodology. "There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed." I sit down to write, and I write until it's done. I ignore my children, I don't eat, I don't get up to use the bathroom. I just sit and write and write and write. Sometimes, I get an idea for a post or a chapter or a poem when I'm not at my computer. I turn it over in my head a while, coming up with phrases I like, examining the sides of the issue, or my perspectives on it, and then when I sit down to write I jump around a bit, make sure I hit all the salient points. But for the most part, I just sit and write.

...and that was the Becoming SuperMommy stop on the Blogosphere Express!

Let me introduce you to your next stops!

Celeste McLean is the writer behind the widely unread blog Running Nekkid, where she writes about grief, mental health, and her Pacific Islander ancestry. She left her tropical paradise island home twenty years ago and has been trying to figure out how to go back ever since. She currently lives in Seattle with her husband where they raise two children and tolerate one very demanding cat.

Get a feel for her by reading a few posts before you get to her station. Big Hair No Pants is a heartbreaking and beautiful tribute to her father. Then read For Ian, a Memory, which is an equally beautiful love letter written back before her husband was her husband. They are utterly marvelous posts, and your day will be inexpressibly richer for having read them.

Tamara Woods was raised (fairly happily) in West Virginia, where she began writing poetry at the age of 12. Her first poetry collection is available at Sakura Publishing and Amazon. She has previous experience as a newspaper journalist, an event organizer, volunteer with AmeriCorps and VISTA, in addition to work with people with disabilities. She has used her writing background to capture emotions and moments in time for anthologies such as Empirical Magazine, her blog PenPaperPad, as a contributing writer for the online ‘zine Lefty Pop, and writing articles as a full-time freelance writer. She is a hillbilly hermit in Honolulu living with her Mathmagician.

Get acquainted with her by reading her dystopian fiction, and watch her read a poem from her book- Hot Comb Self-Deception. It's wonderful.

Melanie is a recovering nerd who has always considered herself a writer, but barely considers herself at all anymore because three kids. She is mom to Moo, Slim and The Geel and is proud to say that so far the kids have fared much better in her house than the houseplants have. The NotsoSuper blog was born out of frustration and the not-so-thrilled feeling she got when she found out she was pregnant with The Geel.

She calls herself the NotsoSuperMom because she does not want to give anyone the false impression that she is trying to "do it all." She's not even trying to do it right. She'd just like to get something--ANYTHING--done. She writes to escape the laundry and to pretend that someone is listening to her. She was recently featured on In The Powder Room and you can find her on facebook and the twitter.

Get to know her delightfully self-depreciating humor in her post, Annie Get Your Gun (or the Night I Almost Shot My Yoga Pants). Then read her beautifully vulnerably post about the day she lost her first grader, Little Moo Lost.

Karyn is a lapsed social worker, work-at-home mom, and one-quarter of Team Pickles. Along with Ben (the thinker), Molly (the doer), and Ian (the Brit), she battles for truth, justice, and the Canadian way in a world where parenting and puns go hand-in-hand. Follow their adventures at PicklesINK and get short bursts of funny on Facebook and Twitter.

To give you an idea of why I'm crazy about Karyn (and it's not just her rock awesome moves to the Spice Girls), start out with her brilliant post- Are You Elsa or Anna? What Frozen Says About Depression. It's beyond insightful. Then for some more parenting depth and conversation on kindness, check out A Passion for Compassion.

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