A Fresh New Start

In a way this quick posting is a fresh start for me, as I’ve taken what turned out to be a little more than two week hiatus from blogging to decide if/when I wanted to resume. My frantic daily postings, along with other online projects ongoing at the same time, kept me too often confined to sitting in front of a computer terminal. Out of balance. Many things got left behind, others skimmed over, and all for the sake of daily posting. It wore me out. In my blessed idle time not blogging and more or less giving myself the freedom to do or not do as I wanted I came to realize that I was blogging in my head even if not online. So when I got the comment from Comedianne Carol Hughes I felt I owed it to my readers who, like me, love Mrs. Hughes, to let them know she’s still around. So that marked the beginning of my fresh new start. The difference between then and now is the frequency of postings. They will come as the muse dictates. No more, no less. And I will work hard to keep a better balance of the years remaining in my wintersong.

The real reason I wanted to post today is to let everybody know about a new (sort of) blog I’ve come across. It’s called A Fresh Start in a New Place and it’s written by Kate, who describes herself as a 50-something woman in Denver, Colorado. Besides being practically a neighbor of my recently adopted state of Utah, I find myself identifying with Kate, or at least the character she occupies in her writing muse. Kate formerly wrote as Nora, an 80-something woman in a nursing home in a non-designed community, somewhere, USA. I began reading Nora (Code Name, Nora) with high hopes, but soon was bothered by what I felt to be a deception of sorts as she pretended to be Nora, and I became more and more convinced that someone was writing fiction and trying to pass it as a blog.

Turns out I was right, as were several others who were bothered by similar issues. Clearly the author could write, but I’m one who cannot abide deception of any kind. Tell me the truth no matter how bad it is, and we’ll go from there, but don’t lie and have me catch you in it because (politicians beware!) the truth always wins out! I think a lot of people are like that so I’m not so unique. So Nora faded away quietly and just recently (to this blogger at least) quietly resurfaced in A Fresh Start in a New Place.

I like Fresh Start so much better. Although it reads like a journal, it may very well be fiction as well. But it doesn’t matter because there’s no attempt to convince the reader that it’s a bonafide blog (whatever that elusive word “blog” means), and quickly grabs you and places you square in the writer’s world, no matter who that writer is or whether she’s writing fiction or life.

Even though you suspect it’s fiction, it doesn’t matter, and while I’m on the subject let me just mention that some of the best fiction I’ve read are those that make you wonder if it’s real even if it’s labeled as fiction. Three excellent examples that spring immediately to my mind are from the works of John Steinbeck (Tortilla Flat and Cannery Row), Wallace Stegner (All the Little Live Things), Herman Wouk (Don’t Stop the Carnival) and especially Peter Taylor (A Summons to Memphis). While there are innumerable other examples, these are some that I’ve read that will always stand in my mind.

So if you’re a writer yourself, or a blogger who enjoys reading other bloggers’ musings, I suggest you toddle on over to check out Kate’s Fresh Start for yourself. The two links above are separate and distinct. The one in paragraph 2 will take you to the latest post. I suggest you may want to start at the second link (paragraph 3) which takes you to the beginning. It’s weird reading the first post, then scrolling upwards to read the follow up at you would in a normal book, but that’s what I decided I would do very soon after my re-discovery. And anyone who remembers Nora from Code Name? Nora’s here too (in the later entries) but she’s much more fascinating and complex in this version, much more three-dimensional. And she appears to be a character in conflict, not one sitting around judging and mocking others. Good luck with this fresh start, Kate, and happy blogging to all!

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9 thoughts on “A Fresh New Start

  1. I remember seeing people talking about Nora and trying to work out if it was real. I didn’t really follow the discussion at the time as it wasn’t a blog I’d read. Under the circumstances, it didn’t seem a good idea to start 🙂

    I’ll take a look at the new one.

  2. I hope you like the new Nora, Grannymar. Btw, have you noticed my flickr photos in the left sidebar? You can click on any of these pictures to view the complete collection (I think, but then you probably know more this than I.). I’m really enjoying taking pictures now, partly because of your enjoying all your photo walkabouts!

    Hi Sylvia, I’ve read all of your short fiction I’ve been able to access and you’re far and away a better writer in the literary sense (!), but I’m always happy to cheer new (and I know I’m assuming a lot here) writers on. If I were in my 30s instead of my 60s, I’d probably do more “real” writing myself.

  3. I like you, have found a solution to the long periods spent here blogging. I keep my ideas short…..bullets help to express forty ideas in one inch. 🙂 I write less. I post pictures more and fewer words. I read fewer friends….who I miss. And I can spend more time out there in the real world doing things.

  4. Hmmmm…….OF course I found this extremely interesting, because as you know, Alice, “I” was one of the BIGGEST doubters of Nora. To the point where I got put down by the famous Ronni at As Time Goes By. BUT…..as usual, I stood by my convictions. Not for a second, did I think this Nora was the real deal……and like you, it wasn’t the fiction……it was the being DUPED that really bothered me.
    Interesting to see whoever the writer is, she’s on to another path.
    As for blogging every day………I did the same thing 3 years ago when I started my blog. And then I realized….my BLOG is NOT my life, but rather my life is my blog. I now do my blog entries as time permits and my muse is screaming on various subjects. And in the past 3 years, my life hasn’t slowed down a bit….only gotten busier.
    So enjoy your free time and I will enjoy finding you here when your mood dictates.

  5. Kate has been praised with not-so-faint damns for the late Nora. I wonder how you were proven right about Nora not being who she said she was, an 82-year-old woman living in a retirement home. I ‘d love to know ,so am all ears. Nora is alive and well, to be 83 in January, and still living in the Twilight Zone.

    Also, for your info, Kate has said on her blog, A Fresh Start, etc. that she was in Vermont some thirty years ago. And how could she make those things up? You’re giving the writer way too much credit for imagination.

    Anyway, interesting to read your blog and the comments, as far off as they are.

  6. The best fiction is nearly always based on fact. John Steinbeck’s novels were written when he lived in Monterrey, California. His protagonist, Doc, was a real Marine Biologist and his equipment can bee seen in the Aquarium there. I have no doubt that the other characters were based on real people who worked in the Cannery. Of course he took literary liberties to make the novels more interesting, but they are based on real people..

  7. Welcome to Kate. Doesn’t matter to me whether Nora is real or not. The fresh start is more interesting to me. I’m not prepared to spend another minute even thinking about it.

    Yes, I knew the books were based on Steinbeck’s experiences in Monterrey, but those characters are so well developed they seem absolutely real. As a student of writing myself for many years I know many of the tricks–rolling several people into one multi-faceted character, etc., but some just manage it better than others. Peter Taylor’s book, on the other hand, I’m still not sure because I know less about his personal life. He’s not as well known, being a southern writer.

    Thanks to you both for commenting.

  8. Oops! I didn’t mean to ignore you, Mage and Terri. Somehow I overlooked you for a minute.

    Mage, I really like your short posts, and especially the little “stamped” comments in the little text boxes. If like the way it reminds me of real postcards where the writer adds little things in the margins they forgot to write on the post. And I’m working on doing things the way you’re currently doing them. What’s getting me bogged down, too, are the thousands of photographs I’m trying to get scanned and onto flickr.com. I can thank you for that! : )

    Thanks Terri, and Mage, for commenting. I love hearing from you both.

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