Sunday, September 02, 2007

Beyond FRIENDS: Fellow Bloggers and Other Favorites

I’ve tried to keep my list of links at right limited to resources that celebrate diversity or promote tolerance or otherwise offer helpful insights to BEYOND Understanding visitors. There are so many (!) blogs and sites I enjoy out there, though, that I wish I could link to all my favorites. At least I can mention some in a post, so here goes:

I discovered Simply Wait, a blog from author Patry Francis, last year and checked out practically all her archived posts because I enjoyed reading her personal, insightful, highly entertaining accounts of life in her neck of the woods (Cape Cod, to be relatively exact) as a mom, waitress, and soon-to-be-published writer. I still think she ought to put together a collection of her stories of the unique personalities who’ve crossed her path over the years, and hope some day her agent will agree with this inspired idea of mine. At this point, Patry’s busy working on her second novel. Her first, The Liar’s Diary, was published in January and is now available in like, 16 languages. Read my review of Patry’s book on Literary Mama (a favorite site I’ve featured before and, I’m sure, will feature again) here.

Simply Wait has always been a fun chatty blog with lots of regular visitors. Through Patry’s blog, I’ve been introduced to bloggers located across the country, including multi-talented Oregon author and artist extraordinaire Laini Taylor at Grow Wings; environmentally inspiring, Washington-based Roger and Robin Andrea at Dharma Bums; closet historian and worker on the railroad, Illinois-based Steve at On The Slow Train; and phenomenal photographer and everyday philosopher Gerry at Two Blue Day, located on the Cape or in Florida, depending on the season.

Then there’s former reporter and Middle East correspondent, freelancer ex-pat Tara Bradford of Paris Parfait based in (you guessed it) the City of Light, whose photography of French sites and antiques wow me every time I visit. Her recent posts from a trip to England include views from the historic City of York and photos of incredibly spiffy ladies on a recent race day. (We’re talking horse racing here, not NASCAR, kids. Talk about fancy hats.) While I love to travel, window shop, and visit European antique shops vicariously through many of Tara’s posts, I’ve been most grateful to her for her direct, revealing stories about the social ups and downs experienced by French citizens on a daily basis and the political forces that impact these issues. Other recent photos, for instance, highlight the plight of the homeless in Paris, an interesting contrast to the ladies of York.

When I noticed recently that Lisa Kenney—yet another Simply Wait regular—lives in the Denver area, I checked out her blog Eudaemonia and touched base to say hi. Turns out we live within 15 minutes of each other and got to meet up for lunch the other day. How cool is that, especially when your lunch conversation about blogging and writing, favorite authors and bloggers (like Patry, of course!) lasts much longer than a mere hour. I think it was more like two. I swear I took notes because Lisa turned out (as I’d anticipated) to be a terrific resource. We’ve both been involved in different ways with the popular Denver writing institution, Lighthouse Writers Workshop, and had plenty of notes to compare on that front. Her best leads, however, involved Souvenir author Therese Fowler of Making it Up; another Denver author, Carleen Brice (whose popular books I’ll feature soon in another post) of Pajama Gardener; Denver poet laureate Chris Ransick’s blog WordGarden; and a “group blog” from a tight-knit Boston-based writing group called, appropriately enough, The Writers’ Group. Lisa Kenney offers links and insights to resources like these on a regular basis on her blog. She also features discussions of visual artistry and creative writing and how the two fields so often correlate, as well as occasional samples of the breathtaking work of her artist husband, Scott Mattlin.

Is it any wonder I love to blog?? I know many people consider blogging a waste of time and effort, but I’ve found it an enlightening hobby, to say the least. How’s this for a blogging “bumper sticker” of sorts: “It’s a blog thing, you wouldn’t understand.” Chances are if you’re reading this, though, you do.

12 Comments:

Blogger paris parfait said...

Karen, you are so good to mention my work on my blog. Thank you so much! And you'll never believe this, but I had forgotten all about the book you'd said you were sending. I got home Friday afternoon from running around town w/ my daughter (home from university) and the gardien had a package for me - yes, your book! At long last. Seems it was delivered months ago while the gardien was on holiday. And the substitute gardien stuck it on top of a filing cabinet in the building office. It apparently fell off said filing cabinet and remained there, undiscovered until last Friday - when they finally moved the filing cabinet to vacuum! So now I have your book. Thank you so much! I will write a post about it soon. Can't wait to read it! Thanks again, for the book and all the kudos.

10:59 AM  
Blogger Sustenance Scout said...

Tara, I'm still laughing about my book's Parisian misadventures. What a riot! If you could clarify what exactly a "gardien" is, that would be great. I'm guessing either a gardener or some type of guardian of one's home? Maybe a landlord? Hope you find my book an enjoyable read after all that! K.

11:25 AM  
Blogger Lisa said...

It was so much fun to meet you and this is a great post. There is a certain "6 Degrees of Separation" experience that happens -- in this case through Patry Francis -- that makes the blogosphere a much smaller, friendlier place. I've got you listed under my "Very Cool Blogs" now and look forward to seeing you and more Lighthouse friends again soon.

11:29 AM  
Blogger Sustenance Scout said...

Thanks, Lisa! I totally agree with your take on the blogosphere. Funny to think blogging is still such a new phenomenon. K.

11:38 AM  
Anonymous gerry rosser said...

Thanks so much for the "props." I put that word in quotes because they say it on TV so it must be okay.
Everybody needs a stroke every so often.

7:32 AM  
Blogger Sustenance Scout said...

You're welcome, Gerry! Looking forward to viewing more of your photography as the seasons change. K.

7:49 AM  
Blogger steve said...

Karen,

Thank you so much for mentioning my blog. And congratulations on your blog anniversary. Now I need to check out some of the blogs you've mentioned.

8:22 AM  
Blogger Sustenance Scout said...

Have fun blog surfing, Steve! They're all well worth a visit. K.

12:56 PM  
Blogger Carleen Brice said...

Hi Karen! Thanks for the mention! I can't believe you got to meet Lisa before I did! :-) The blogosphere is an amazing thing, isn't it?

2:06 PM  
Blogger Sustenance Scout said...

Definitely, Carleen! Trouble is all the nifty links (and books and articles etc etc) I learn about every day and can't wait to read. We'll get there! K.

2:08 PM  
Blogger The Writers' Group said...

Thanks for the link, Karen, and it's very nice to "meet" you. Any friend of Lisa's is a friend of ours. Best of luck with your writing!

Amy

11:24 AM  
Blogger Sustenance Scout said...

Thanks, Amy! K.

8:38 AM  

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