Monday, March 31, 2008

Day 31: What NaBloPoMo Has Taught Me

Well, this is it. I feel like I've just schlepped the last box to the car and returned to gather up the pizza boxes, vacuum into the corners, and then stand wanly in the foyer, surveying the empty shell of my past before I close the door forever.

Wow. If that sentence doesn't suggest a gift for melodrama, I don't know what would.

But this is not forever, Readers. It's just that today is...


This is my 31st post in 31 days. I set out to do it, and by gum, I did.

I laughed pretty hard when I read Cheri's emphatic refusal to start all over in April ("Will I do April NaBloPoMo? Not on your life.") even though it's oh-so-tempting because the April theme is "Letters," and I am and always will be an epistolary kind of girl. Who knows, maybe I'll be inspired to do a letter post once or twice. But I am looking forward to a little break. Many days I write feverishly through Jarrah's nap time, desperate to finish before she wakes up because there is no concentrating after that. I miss the good ol' days of knitting and watching Gossip Girl during nap time, not to mention surfing the internet for porn.

I want to take a moment to thank, from the bottom of my heart, my loyal readers and commenters this month. You have no idea how often you made my day. Cheri is so right when she says all bloggers are "comment 'hos." There's nothing like a little validation that someone is out there, receiving these transmissions.

A special shout-out to Cheri, who has inspired me every day of this month. I shamelessly stole from her, laughed with her, shed a tear at times over her warm and moving posts. Most of all, she kept me going, not only with the daily posting, but with the list theme, even when I worried I couldn't enumerate one more item.

Today I am beginning a new adventure. This evening, I'm starting an acting workshop that will culminate with a series of performances in June. No doubt that will bring fresh material for the blog. And now:


1. The more I ruminated about a "concept," the longer the post became. A few times, I was shocked to see how long. (Brevity may be the soul of wit, but if Polonius was a rambler, at least he got laughs--I'll take my comfort there.)

2. Short posts get more comments. Short posts about Jarrah get the most comments of all.

3. Blogging as part of a contest is a great way to get to know people. I've been introduced to some fab blogs (and their owners) along the way. Tonight, I'm even (sadly) missing a get-together of San Diego bloggers.

4. It's possible to turn anything into a list. It's all in the formatting.

5. I often think in lists now. "How many reasons can I name for getting the Mint Chip? How many reasons for the Rocky Road?"

6. Writing every day is good exercise. For the brain. I haven't been forgetting stuff as much this month. I feel like my vocabulary is sharper (it had taken a serious plunge in the last couple of years.) And I have to think on my toes when I need a fresh idea every day. (Why oh why didn't I ask you smart people for suggestions sooner?)

7. Adrienne Rich was right. Mothers who write seriously are fighting the good fight. (I read "When We Dead Awaken: Writing as Re-vision" when I was in college, and had no clue what she was talking about. It's dated, but it still resonates.)

8. My life seems more interesting when I read about it in the blog.

9. When I write every day, I can dispense with telling a lot of people what's up with me, and get right to what's up with them. (Hey, "Samantha" does mean "The Listener" in Aramaic.)

10. I had yet another opportunity to learn how much my husband loves me, from his tireless efforts to take, tweak, and post my photos, HTML pointers, and Jarrah-wrangling so I could "just finish this sentence, puh-leez!"

11. I'm paying more attention to everything Jarrah says--after all, she's easy material.

12. I really enjoy writing. It makes me happy. I could do it for a living. (Maybe that's what I wanted to be when I grew up!)


Robyn said...

I am so honored to know you, Sam. Your posts are like a daily dose of home and friendship. Even though I didn't comment daily I always read your words. Usually when I think of a comment it's nowhere near as funny or meaningful as your posts so I just keep it to myself. Now that I realize how much it means to you to have comments I'll make a more concerted effort to post my thoughts - lame though they may be! I'm looking forward to seeing you this weekend. Hugs to you, David and Jarrah!


Jennifer said...

I for one have LOVED your posts this month!! You have a wonderful gift for writing. I know that's not my gift...that's why my blog is mostly about family stuff. I will miss your daily posts!

Anonymous said...

Oh Sam, I am going to be utterly heartbroken the first day that I look and there's no post from you! Reading your blog is a craving very close to chocolate and that's saying a lot for me. I have ADORED this month and I so hope you'll post daily (okay, or almost daily) from here on. I would comment more if I didn't have an almost-one-year-old and mom brain. :-)

You so have a novel in you. And a witty weekly column. And a daily talk show.


Anonymous said...

I forgot to say thank you.
Thank you, thank you, thank you.
Not just this month but always.
You have given me laughs and tears and insights. Of course, I love everything you write and you reminded me of my love for Matthew Broderick and John Cusack so what's not to love? But I especially love the Jarrah posts. Not only what she says, but your thoughts and feelings about the mother experience.

Anonymous said...

Congratulations, you did it! I can not wait to read all about your acting adventures coming up! You are on it girl...a real inspiration on that whole discipline is freedom thing.

Caroline said...

I want to add my thanks, too. It's meant a lot to have your posts to look forward to every day. Sometimes I sneak on late at night to catch them early. I can feel your relief at being done with the daily assignments, but I'm with those of your fans who'll miss them. :)

And I'm a comment ho, too! I'm so glad that you comment on my little blog. It gets pretty dusty over there and I thrive on other people's responses.

Mary and Paul said...

Congratulations on finishing and with such wonderful posts!



Jenn @ Juggling Life said...

We missed you!

Great points about your life seeming more interesting, and your brain being sharper. I concur!

Cheri said...

Sweet Sam, how you inspired me too. I felt like we were kindred spirits back in the days of western expansion, laborers laying railroad ties side by side in the blistering sun.

I learned and did so many of the same things on your last list. Do you think we'll ever stop thinking in lists? Is it like when someone moves here from Spain and speaks English, but still thinks in Spanish? I expect that my brain will return to normal prose at some point. Maybe the Vicodin will help.