When I went to my first New River Writers’ meeting in 2009 I just wanted to be a groupie and rub elbows with other writers. I never dreamed I’d actually have to write in order to be a member. I know, duh! But, shamed into participating—my two non-fiction books were published after all—I started writing a novel.
In the time since I’ve drafted a dozen chapters, well received by my pals, and I finally came up with a title, But Why? Early this year though, circumstances stopped me cold. Months later, I volunteered to submit something, though not another chapter, for the August meeting. I intended to write about a topic that turned out to be “too near the bone” to tackle without a lot more research.
Panic hovered. How about a blog? Millions of people, more than half of them women, blog these days. I hadn’t actually thought much about building a site nor what that meant when I wrote six potential posts. The group liked my drafts and encouraged me to go for it. Fueled by their enthusiasm, I plunged ahead. I could do this. Yes!
One young woman in the group, Andrea with the “butterfly mind,” knows her way around a blog. http://andreabadgley.com/ She oozes passion and confidence. I’m sure she never thought a blog was some awful plumbing problem that the Rotorooter guy could fix. Never would she have thought that a gravatar was a tool to measure six-foot holes in the cemetery next to the church. Andrea’s not even 40 yet! She’s more than a decade younger than my daughters. Her children are young enough to be my great-grandchildren.
After several weeks’ trying to leap confounding techno-hurdles and frustrated by slogging through the mire of jargon, I decided to pack it in. Quit, in other words! My seventy-four-year-old brain just could not decode and absorb all the blogobabble.
But I’m not a quitter, damnit! After my walk the next morning I came home determined to be a blogger! I had a plan. I’d Google “older bloggers” to find, if not help, then at least commiseration, justification. I found several interesting sites, but in one, “old” Jen wrote, “I read…bloggers fall into a certain age category, and anyone outside that neat little box is…’too old’ to blog.…I am 26…being told you are too old can…hit a nerve, especially if you’re a teensy bit sensitive about your age to begin with.” C’mon! Sensitive about being twenty-six?
Next I looked up “bloggers…seventies” but that brought up lists of people who were nostalgic about the “me decade.” I wouldn’t go there again if you paid me.
Then I found “Senior blog for my senior years.” http://adelegould.com/ Ah, a like mind, though Adele, too, is younger than I. She asked, “How do you get a blog?” then answered her own question with, “Beats me…[but it] sure helps to have children who grew up in the computer era…my twin sons created this…site as a Mother’s Day gift. …It is not…a walk in the park to absorb this techno-babble,…I envy the generation who, in the blink of an eye, can make a new blog site.”
OK, so maybe blogging really is the province of youngsters who have grown up playing on computers the way I played with my abacus. They were born knowing the meaning of URL, FTP, TTL, CMS, PHP, MySQL, avatar, blavatar, and widget.
At the deservedly biased recommendation of friend Mollie I started following her daughter’s blog. http://www.limitlesslessons.com/. Paige has a busy life with a full-time job, a husband, and young teens and, get this, she writes her blog on her smart phone!
I don’t even have a smart phone. The thought of writing on the site terrifies me. What if I accidentally posted it before all the t’s and i’s were crossed and dotted, the spelling checked? Uh unh, I will continue to write in Word, and will copy and paste my posts into my waiting site, thank you very much.
So anyway, with tips from Andrea and Internet know-how from grandson Miah, I kept going. Way more than half the credit that this site exists at all goes to daughter Leslie who patiently, laboriously walked me through the process without pulling out her hair, or mine.
There’ve been no end of “blogjams” regarding PINs, domains, and passwords—why so many passwords and why an assigned one that reads like a Greek dessert?
I’ve spent hours on the phone with help sites. About 45 minutes into one call I asked the young man in Arizona if the number was toll free. He didn’t know. “Are you calling from your cell or landline?” he asked.
“Landline,” I said.
“I don’t know about those,” he sniffed, “although both my mother and my grandmother worked for Ma Bell.” If that was supposed to help it failed. I told him I’d known Ma Bell personally. It was so quiet on his end I thought he’d hung up.
“You could use your cell phone,” he went on. “Depending on your plan, if this isn’t a toll-free call, your wireless plan should cover it.”
I told him I almost never use my cell. More silence as he tried to process almost never use my cell.
After all this I’m still not sure about the difference between a host and, well, a host. I have two, uh, maybe three. I Googled the name of one host and found that it has the same name as one of Chef Gordon Ramsay’s newer restaurants, Fat Cow. Now if he were my host I know I’d understand his language. I’d probably have to wash his mouth out with soap though.