Beyond FRIENDS: Fellow Bloggers and Other Favorites
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.