Sunday, May 3, 2009

Bloggy Stuff

Sometimes I feel like blogging is to the early 21st century as CB radio operators were to the 1970's -- I remember going on trips with my family (to exciting places like the Poconos) and we would look in the cars to see who had a CB radio. They were a way of communicating that was pretty much alien to us. "What could they be talking to each other about?" was the common catch phrase. CBers were highly identifiable nerds.

I'm pretty sure a lot of folks feel that way about bloggers. When my kids text, and text they do, friends who are not around teens constantly say: "Why are they texting so much? What could they be saying?" I think the common refrain here is: If I don't participate in it, how could anything that's transpiring there be important?

So the "organized mothers" talked about blogging the other day. This is my label for the women who are never late to anything, who have their Christmas cards out the day after Thanksgiving, and who can always locate all the papers necessary for the school trip the night before the school trip, and don't use the morning as an exercise in human stress capacity. I often say to my kids, "Hurry up, we'll be late and then I'll have to walk past all the organized mothers." This usually spurs them into action because I can't stand dealing with this group.

So the other day,at the spring concert, my daughter, a member of the fifth grade chorus, was hiding in the violin room because the chorus songs were "way, way too dorky to sing" -- I had to stand lookout for any stray school administrators while the fifth grade chorus sang without her. She didn't mind playing her violin in front of the school; it was the dorkiness of the songs that prompted her vanishing act.

It adds a new dimension to parenting when you are standing in front of a cluster of music stands stage whispering, "Emma, really, we'll get ice cream. McDonalds. Really. Just come out of there." To which she replied, "I'd rather be dead than sing those dorky songs."

Of course, while I was standing guard until the violins went on, a group of organized mothers were gathering (in an early and poised manner) right outside the violin room, right there alongside of me. They were talking about the Internet, and how the PTA needed a website.

They went from website chat to blogs, and they talked about how dumb blogs are, whose sister-in-law kept one, and how they are meaningless clutter on the Internet (my paraphrasing).

I like blogs. And it's not just because I have a semi-justifiable way of avoiding my real writing work by blog cruising. I like seeing what other writers are reading, what they are working on, and what they are thinking about books. I don't have the kind of life where I can call people very often; I don't have long periods of sustained time for conversation. And when I do, I have to use it to work. So blogs keep me connected with other folks, and mostly writing folks. I don't think I read any blogs of people who don't write. I am now a highly identifiable writing nerd connecting with other highly identifiable writing nerds.

All of this is a long way of saying that Flux, who is my publisher, has some great stuff going on over at its blog. It's got author interviews and streaming podcasts, and book giveaways -- I like to think if the organized mothers created a YA blog, it would be something comprehensive and appealing like this. Those organized moms are probably all right; they just don't speak my particular language.


Cara said...

Hey Anne! I love blogs that writers keep b/c I want to write one day. BTW, I love the way you write about EVERYTHING -- I read your article in the Writers mag and your book, and some of your poetry I found on the Web. Do u still write poetry?

Also, is your second book from Flux also? Thanks and keep writing!
: )) Cara

Mary Witzl said...

Did someone say 'book giveaways'? I believe you used the magic phrase there -- I'll be right over!

Those organized moms are in every country, and some of them are really nice. But honestly, what sort of fun can they have, living like that? In Japan, I can still remember when, during a PTA meeting, THREE women volunteered for publicity and newsletter detail. I was beyond stunned.

My sister-in-law thinks blogs are the biggest waste of time in the world and has told me so more than once. She does crossword puzzles for hours on end...

adrienne said...

Oh, the organized moms...I used to try to hang out with them, but I was always late for their meetings...

I think I've come across that site before - I'll have to check it out again.

Christy Raedeke said...

The "organized moms" are called "helicopter moms" out here, on account of all the hovering they do. It's exhausting to be around them because I'm never in the know and I'm never wearing makeup. I try to steer clear...

I'm really enjoying the new Flux blog/podcast thing. Brian Farrey has a great and soothing voice.

Anne Spollen said...

Oh Cara, all of my secrets are out. Yes, I started out wanting to be a poet and I once belonged to the Sylvia Plath cult. I'm sure there are poetry artifacts floating around the Internet since I used to publish a lot of it. I do sometimes sit down to write poetry, but I never seem to finish it. So currently, I'm not writing poetry, but that doesn't mean it isn't still my first love. I'll go back to it one day.

Yes, my second book is also from Flux. And in case folks out there are wondering, they are a terrific group of people.

So organized moms are worldwide, huh? I like that I was standing there with them. They were probably thinking, There's that crazy mom and she's early for once. Little did they know that my daughter was in silent exile inside the violin room.

Blogs are like leisure writing. I don't watch tv very often so I've picked my poison. You should tell your sister-in-law that there are blogs out there about crosswords...

And yeah, Adrienne, what is it about those meetings? They are always having meetings with "light refreshments" and co vice presidents. Maybe I'll go to one and come back and blog about it ; )

Anne Spollen said...

Ok, Christy, I was commenting on the comments, and yours just came in which means we were on at the same time -- and I believe we're in different time zones. I love when stuff like that happens!

I think I might be a helicopter parent. I know all my kids' friends and I grill them in a friendly way.

Yeah, Brian has a great voice. I'm from the NYC area, so the midwestern twang fascinates me.

Christy Raedeke said...

Anne, what is your publication date for Flux book 2? I think I am Summer 2010, will we be in the same season?

(And you're only a helicopter mom if you spend a majority of time hovering at school - i.e. hanging out in the school office, going on every fieild trip, chairing every party/event. Hovering at home is a whole different [and good] thing!)

Katie said...

Yes - Anne I can assure you are NOT a helicopter mom. They control the little league teams and such.

And I am a Total Blog NERD and proud of it :-)

We should all wear t-shirts that say, blog nerds.

SF and I are about to make some that say "Plot Head."

Anne Spollen said...

Hey Christy. I think it's early 2010 for my second YA book release.
I'll double check.

Oh, helicopter moms -- I get it now. I'm just a pain in the butt mom to my kids -- where's your hw? eat your fruit -- wash your hands kind of mom.

The helicopter moms organized a party in my daughter's class (there are three of them and their kids are a trio of bff girls -) and they only "allowed" three parent chaperones - themselves. They exist on a different plane of obnoxia than the organized moms.

Plot Head -- LOL!! Do only blog nerds find that funny? Count me in.

Hardygirl said...

I call them uber-moms and they scare the heck out of me. The worst thing is that they sometimes mistake me for one of them. . . and then there are expectations . . . and then I can't seem to follow through . . . and then the uber moms oust me from their secret society that I didn't want to be a part of anyway. Better to just steer clear entirely.

And, yes, I'm a proud Plot Head!! Get lit.


Bish Denham said...

I once went on a cross country trip with a large group. We had CBs to communicate between our 3 different vehicles. Listening to the conversations between the truckers was a hoot. But what was really fun was hearing different handles. I won't soon forget Toe Jam, Belly Button, Honey Dew and Dirty Toenails...There's a story in those names...

As for organized moms, they can be such a pain, but where would we be without them? They keep the rest of us on our toes.

PS. I finally got a copy of The Shape of Water through inter-library loan, it is next up on my pile. Currently my husband is reading and really liking it!

Anne Spollen said...

Mistaken for an uber mom? I think if moms have visible energy, they could easily be taken for one of those kind of moms. You will soon be found out that you cultivate plot and subsequently ousted, yes.

Lovely names, Bish. You still remember them which is a testament to their creativity.

Yes, well, sigh, organized moms...they're just so...organized...

I'm glad your husband is reading SOW! Actually, I'm happier that he LIKES it. It's sort of a weird YA because it's fairly lyrical. That's what folks tell me.

The weird thing is (like there's only one weird thing) when you put a book out there, you think only teens will read it. It always surprises me when adults read YA - even though I do all the time.