When I started this blog nearly two years ago, I had only the vaguest idea of what I was doing. I had been looking at lots of other blogs and thinking, “I could do that.” I knew that I wanted the entries to be varied. I didn’t want to blog exclusively about aging, or cats, or teaching. I didn’t have a set format in mind. In short, I wanted free rein. Since I imagined that many entries might be about the way things are now and the way they were then, I first tried to call it “Now and Then” or “Then and Now.” Every variation on those words was already taken, so I just said, “What the heck. I’ve got two cats. I’ll call it “Two Felines,” and thus it was named.
People have asked where I get my ideas.. Reading anything – newspaper, book, or magazine – is often a source. Even TV commercials can spur my imagination. A book called “Awe-Manac” by Jill Badonsky has been invaluable. Conversations with friends and family often motivate me. And sometimes one post leads to another. In most cases there have been a number of ideas circulating in my brain, and a day or two or the night before, I write a rough draft which I edit for publication that morning. My best ideas come to me either in the middle of the night or during my morning walk, and that’s when I flesh out the topic. I have to say that usually once I settle on an idea, the words just flow. Every once in a while I think I’ll write about something and it just doesn’t work, and I store it for later. Only once did I face the computer in the morning with nothing at all in mind, and, somehow, even then, a post appeared.
I have written extensively about my parents, aunts and uncle, about myself back in the day, about life back in the day, and about my pets. Especially when writing about family and my own past, I have discovered new things about myself, often a new understanding. I keep running lists of obituaries, headlines, and oddities which I share at random times. I have pulled things out of my “archives.”
Blogging would not exist without the computer for composing, storing, and sending. What would I do without cut and paste, and spell-check, and, particularly Google? I sometimes refer to Google as my best friend. Although I never pretend to be scholarly, I want any historical facts to be correct, I want to check out concepts, and verify spelling. Interestingly enough, before I started this blog, I was still using yellow pads and pen or pencil for writing, fearing that something would be lost if I reworded or crossed out a sentence or section. Now I couldn’t go back to that method, and I find that using the computer has made me much more prolific. On Monday or Thursday morning, you would find me at the computer in my “office”, a cup of coffee beside me and probably a cat watching me work. I also love to sit on the couch or in my favorite chair and write on my iPad and then send it to my computer so I can polish it for a post, and I keep my lists on the iPad.
It’s gratifying when a reader comments on a post as I never know how many people I am reaching or who is in the audience. But when I first talked with my son, Stephen, about undertaking a blog, he said, “Just be sure you’re doing it for yourself.” And I always remember that.
© Dorothy C. Judd
Next post: Monday, August 18th