Your Minutiae is Not Mundane

Electronic KeyboardHave you read any novels recently that made you struggle to understand the context? When reading any book that isn’t considered “modern,” it can be helpful to be guided through the meaning by a teacher, or annotated version, or of course, your own internet-driven research.

Consider books published more than thirty years ago, when characters had to communicate by way of phone calls (long distance was expensive and costs accrued in per minute increments), or mail – which was slow. Well, mail is still slow, but letter writing is no longer a necessary form of communication.

Now consider a child born this year: 2015, who later reads a book published in 1985, when they are 15 years old. Will they struggle with understanding the culture? Will they understand how characters communicate, and the methods that they use, and realize what is missing and why? Will the mention of an Answering Machine confuse them? What about photographs not being instantaneous, movies at the theatre or occasionally at home on cable, but renting movies? Blockbuster wasn’t around until 1985 so not many people knew about it yet.

My point is this, your daily minutiae is NOT mundane. The details of your day create a small part of the collective makeup of our society and culture, and culture is sometimes lost in lack of understanding.

We now have more variety than ever before, and this carries over to our daily routines.

How old are you? Are you a teenager? How do you spend your free time? How do you get to school? Are you homeschooled (what is that like and how does it work)? Do you watch TV? Movies? Do you watch TV shows on a computer – or an actual TV?

Are you in your twenties? Did you go to college? Did you live in a dorm? Did you have roommates? What do you do for income? How do you get money you need, do you handle cash, or use credit cards almost exclusively?

What about those of you in your thirties or forties? Do you have children? Do you want children? Are you married or single? What is single life like for you? Married life? How you do meet new people?

What happens when you run out of something you need but you don’t need it the same day? Do you add it to a grocery list and drive to a story in a few days, or do you order it online to be delivered directly to your door?

How do you communicate with those you are close to, do you use the phone (what is your phone like, and is it actually a phone), do you use a computer, do you send an email, text, or chat? What is a chat message?

Your life is not mundane. Your life is context. Life is changing around us constantly and your life is interesting!

Creative Writing as a Life Skill

Jan 2015 Sharon and FrodoToday’s Blogging University assignment is to introduce yourself, a “who I am and why am I here” post. Rather than say who I am, it makes more sense for me to explain, why I am blogging. I’m actually using two blogs on the WordPress platform right now, but I’ll simply publish this post once.

Creative Writing is something that appeals to me, and quite frankly, I rather suck at it. Almost every year I challenge myself to begin writing daily, and I make it only three to four days in before I quit. Writing non-fiction is easier for me, but still difficult.

I launched this blog because I stay extremely busy with “life” but often can’t tell you what I’m doing from one week to the next. I work from home, seven days a week, and the days, weeks, and months all tend to blend together. What did I do last week? I don’t know, but now I have this place where I can go back and look and recall the recipes we’ve tried, books I’ve read, movies we’ve watched… things that make up my day-to-day life.

Now that I have this location (Drink More Decaf) I got a little crazy and created a second WordPress site where I can practice fiction. Why? Mostly because I’m very good at creating crazy challenges for myself. Partly because I want to see if I can actually write fiction more than five days in a row! I’m really not sure. I know if I improve my ability to write fiction, it will carry over to non-fiction, so my goal isn’t to become a writer, but simply a better communicator. It feels a little complicated to manage two blogs where I am challenging myself to write daily for each, but I wanted a clear demarcation between my life, and fictional writing exercises that have no basis in my reality. I’m hoping I can make this work!

So there you have it, for those of you participating in the Blogging 101 course, this is my WHY. I look forward to reading your introduction as well!