This is the second edition of handing out blog love here at everything in between. I enjoy the blogs I read for lots of different reasons, and so every so often I plan on highlighting some of the blogs I read so that people who read this blog might be motivated to check some more out. Every few posts or so I am going to pull some blogs from my blogroll to highlight. I certainly have been the recipient of a ton of blog love in the 2 years (almost exactly) that I’ve been blogging – it’s my turn to hand out some love.
Today I’m veering away from bloggers I know in real life, leaving that list for completion another day (it doesn’t help that more and more people I know are blogging, and so the list can no longer be broken into two easy parts the way I originally envisioned!). Today, I’m going to discuss five of the bloggers who I read when I first started blogging, and whose talent and encouragement made me want to blog, too.
1. Litlove, Tales from the Reading Room – Remember the day you first met your spouse? Or your best friend? I remember the day I first “met” litlove. Well, okay, not specifically, but it was around this time two years ago and I didn’t have a blog yet beyond messing around on the inhospitable yahoo site. I was reading some site for work…what WAS that site? I don’t even remember. I think it was a microsoft or an apple blogger, some computer company guy. Anyway, I was reading the comments in response to his post and there was a message from litlove. I have no memory of what she posted but I clicked on her link because, come on, Tales from the reading room? Who WOULDN’T click on her site? I think the first post I read of hers was a beautiful review of a Kate Atkinson’s Case Histories. I checked the book out from the library, read it, loved it, and have been reaping the benefits of Litlove’s compassion, intelligence, and generosity ever since. Atkinson is just one of many authors I’ve discovered since reading Litlove’s blog, but my favorite discovery from her site so far is Sally Vickers.
2. After discovering litlove’s blog I got the hang of reading and commenting and found myself drawn almost immediately to the incomparable bloglily’s site. Her site, I think, has probably grown the most out of the ones I read. Like litlove, bloglily has a generosity of spirit and a compassion, tempered by ferocious wit, that I love. It’s particularly exciting right now to read her blog as she is in the process of revising her novel for her agent, working on another novel, and sending her short stories out into the world. And, also like litlove, she is a working mom who inspires in me the possibility of my own future.
3. Well, after litlove and bloglily this process gets a little messy since that’s about the time I started this blog and I suddenly found a thousand blogs I wanted to read on a regular basis so y’all are just going to have to bear with me since I’m only writing about five today, but trust it was many, many more than that that kept me around, blogging. So, thirdly, Emily. You know, people can bitch and moan all they want about blogging and how it’s taking over better, more thoughtful mediums but I will have none of it because without blogging I would have never met Emily, and then I wouldn’t have known there is this marvelous, brilliant writer out there in the world who shares my thoughts on all manners of things, from rock and roll to martinis to exercise to unprocessed foods…we have had, in Emily’s words, eerie parallel lives and I am so, so grateful every time she posts. I honestly can’t imagine anyone not reading her blog – if you aren’t you should begin, immediately.
4. I’m going out on a limb here and guessing I started reading Charlotte’s blog around that same time as well. Well, I’m more than sure that’s about the time I discovered her excellent blog, but whether she comes before or after anybody else I have no idea. ANYWAY. Charlotte’s blog is a beautiful amalgamation of posts on reading, writing, her children, her husband, South African, cooking, Germany – she seems to me one of the most joyful bloggers I know, and she always manages to strike the perfect balance in her posts, with humor and grace. She and I seem to be, at least from our fess up friday posts, about the same place in our novel writing and I love knowing she’s across an ocean working on her book while I am as well.
5. And finally, today, Make Tea Not War. I just popped over to make sure I had the link correct and she noted it’s the fifth anniversary of her blog – thank goodness for that! She writes that she feels a tiny bit of guilt that she rarely brings her best game to blogging but goodness, so few of us do! My blog is basically a receptacle of essay ideas I’d like to pursue someday, with some memes thrown in for good measure. Anyway, I sense in Ms. Make Tea a kindred spirit, someone with whom I could have a couple of gin and tonics, listen to some Warren Zevon and talk long into the night. Visiting her blog is like visiting a friend and I, for one, am thankful for the tone she manages to strike.
You know, my dad teases me about blogging – he tells me it’s just so much navel-gazing and I’m part of the whole myspace/facebook generation where everything is about me and nothing is about the world at large but I think, if he took a moment (which he never ever will, ever) to read any of the above blogs, he would recognize the space for what it can do when some of the very best writers, writers with huge hearts and minds overflowing with ideas, can do when they sit down to a blank wordpress or typepad page, and share some of what’s going on in their hearts and minds. I have absolutely no patience for the critics who extemporize on the value or lack thereof in blogging because, like all such mediums, there are those who will abuse it, but it’s also a venue to connect like-minded individual and it makes the world a little less lonely. I, for one, am grateful.