I’m a baby boomer. Dick Clark was an integral part of my childhood; I don’t remember life without him. Am working on a post about why I don’t think he should have been on TV Saturday night, but am not ready at all. Might not be ready to face America’s Oldest Teenager being truly old.
Shayna did an amazing interview with me the other day. Check it out.
In the interview, I called Jim Thompson, the father of Noir, I meant Pulp of course. Now I’m having a hard time discerning the difference. Pulp is purely American, and always sparse; noir can be more romantic and elegant, or so I think. Jason gave a good example in comments.
Can’t believe I know nothing about the history of two of my favorite genres. Will study pulp and noir; right after Dick Clark, strokes and aging. I’m a geriatric social worker by training and license; while we all understand that a stroke is caused by diminished blood flow to the brain, there are degrees, and many variables. Would never make light of Dick Clark; okay I have been depressed since Saturday night because I don’t think he would want to be remembered for being “courageous.”
My mom was “courageous” the last decade of her life, but I know she wanted to be remembered for all the prior decades. My mom was a vain woman; and I say that with more love than I could have imagined and much admiration. Think Dick Clark is also vain; if not he should have been. Will go into vanity, my parents and Dick Clark in another post. Can see that I’m going to be using Dick Clark as a metaphor for just about everything. Let’s not forget that Dick Clark has unlimited resources; my mom had resources which she wanted to save for her “real old age” when she couldn’t live on her own at all anymore. She did get an aide in the last year. Lord did it help.
Let me add that I do believe that older age should be celebrated; that I watched my mom become a shell of herself, not out of dementia, but shame because she was blind, and often taken for demented, or thought that she was considered demented. It is a very confusing subject to me; and I explore it in bits and pieces in Courting, often mixed among other subjects, because my mom’s last decade was painful for me to be part of.
I was, of course, she was my mom but I too have many faults. One was finding it increasingly difficult to be with her; the other is my own vanity. Is wanting to stave off aging for as long as possible extremely vain in a bad sense? Or is it the healthiest thing a person can do? Why do we only discuss old age in extremes? Or think “I do everything right; nothing bad is going to happen to me?” Cat has an excellent post about her grandmother.
I was adopted; my parents were older though they looked so young nobody thought that they were. I feel too young to think so much about this, yet I wish more people would stop thinking in cliches such as “courageous,” and discuss the realities that go along with stroke rehab. Most people won’t; old age ain’t ever going to happen to them. If they’re lucky, it probably will even if it’s when they’re 95.
Because when we think that we are judging the people to whom “bad” things do happen. We’re also denying ourselves chances to make future plans based on worse case scenarios; based on conversations with our loved ones; we’re denying ourselves chances to let people love us fully and to help us in ways that are easy and good for both people. Dementia is supposed to increase by a huge percentage in the next 20 years simply because people live longer. Yet who talks about that? “Old people are so cute.” “Once born, twice a child.” I hate these cliches.
I had stopped obsessing over this subject; and it was selfish of me to be disturbed by Dick Clark on New Years Eve. It made me think too much, and there are times that I, like everybody else, don’t want to have any intellectual discourse with myself; and nobody wants to discuss this New Years Weekend. Sometimes I write things in my blog before fully thinking them through.
That’s part of the miracle of blogging to me. But I forget that people who don’t know me might read it in 30 seconds or even a minute, and say “Pia Savage doesn’t like old people.” That’s not a miracle to me But it is part of the blogging process. I write young and usually write on subjects that are of interest to all age groups; I so understand being 20something and not wanting to read about old age. But the rest of the post is on blogging. It’s really two posts in one. Yesterday I didn’t have the advantage of perspective of time. Today I see how I easily could have made this into two posts. Tomorrow I will. Instant publishing is both an advantage and a disadvantage.
Especially when a person doesn’t think in a linear style. Last winter in a February, I think, post, somebody asked about non-linear thinking, mental illness, and being a member of the far left. I found that question to be extremely rude, and wrote a post centered on it. This year, I would have been angry, but I would never have answered it. I could almost understand the “mentally ill” part. It’s similar to my fear of old age; but it’s still rude. The far left? Is a strong dislike for the present administration, and liking Letterman over Leno hallmarks of the far left? Because then I am.
I borrowed the part of the interview where Shayna asks what I have to say to bloggers. As blogging is one of my ten or fifty favorite subjects, I decided to expand upon it.
We are so fortunate to be in the vanguard in the biggest revolution in media since film, and much more far reaching as hypothetically every person in the world can partake in it. Think people are just beginning to see how much blogging is affecting the world; marketing, media, everything is beginning to change and be affected by it.
I think of it as a meritocracy with a caveat. Blogging hasn’t reached its full potential at all yet. But it is one of the easiest and fulfilling ways to make communities of people who enjoy each other. I love it for that. But sometimes I post something, then take it down because it was too exposing, or not written well, or for some other reason. It still remains in Technorati and Google heaven. That’s a price that I pay for blogging. Will it keep me from succeeding? Probably no more than the obstacles I put in my own way.
Yes there is a big part of me who wants to win an award. Work hard on my blog, and it’s a form of validation. When all is said and done, I’m not a competitive person; and it’s the community aspect of blogging that I love. Love feedback; not on my moral/values but on my writing, and ideas. I said that I will study the differences between noir and pulp after Dick Clark, strokes and aging. Will do pulp v noir first because it’s more fun, and this is my blog so I rule. Sometimes I think that having an editor would be a wonderful gift, and not just because that would mean I’m being paid.
As a writer I do push the envelope often. Blogging lets me do that; and I enjoy it when people understand me. Can’t lie about that.
I expose my soul; and sometimes it’s not easy. This post is a good example; I was looking at Dick Clark through the eyes of a vain baby boomer; I was also looking at him through the eyes of somebody who isn’t a nurse or doctor but can understand and speak in medical jargon concerning aging. When I began blogging it was for writing practice; it quickly became a form of self therapy. Only nobody read me then; then a few people did. Blogging is my place for self-exploration. It’s the only successful diary or journal I have kept except for 1982; for some reason I recorded everything that year.
Began on Blogger; cost me nothing. Then I surfed on BE; that might have been an accident of timing but people found Courting and read it. Really I was shocked. Courting is an expansion of me, and I’m nothing if not quirky. Always thought that the perfect category for me would be “best indie/cult.” Have thought that before I knew what the word indie meant.
Yes I know that the Dooce’s, This Fish, Steph aren’t eligible, but to even reach this point is an honor. Because seventeen months ago I thought Wonkette meant blogging. Now her book, fiction, just came out.
For almost a decade I was angry at the Internet because I could see its potential, but couldn’t find anything that drew me into it for more than a few days. One July fourth weekend about eight years ago, Lucia and I were going to go Lincoln Center outdoors. For about a month they feature a different type of dancing each night.
I had dial-up AOL then, and we could only find AOL groups; damn if even the literature groups weren’t really about pairing off. If we wanted that we would have gone to matchmaker.com or another group. We were looking for groups that we shared interests with, not Internet romances. We kept on trying to get the conversations back to the book. Couldn’t do it. Guys, and they could have been thirteen for all I know kept on wanting to ‘private message” one of us or the other. We were just being ourselves.
Did get so into playing the games six hours later….It felt cheesy then, and we were fortifying ourselves with copious amounts of wine. In the morning, it felt positively tawdry.
So many people including Lucia, sometimes, are under the impression that the Internet is a place for 40 year old men to lure teenage girls to meet them. Or 40 year old women….Blogging’s not like that. Very few people can keep up a fake identity six days a week for a year or three. But those few….
Don’t think that we have begun to see what the Internet, and blogging can do yet. I can’t begin to understand the infinite possibilities. I understand that my world has changed dramatically in the past year; and at a very minimal cost; except for time which is a big one. But when I’m excited about writing I need less sleep, and my days expand tenfold. Used to need less sleep and have no appetite when I would fall in love. This is a form of love
Boundaries are hard to define, at the present time. While I would rather see a movie with sex than violence, most of the time I would like to use my imagination; there are exceptions to that rule. Anything involving Viggio Mortenson or James Spader, but not together. Though I think James Spader and William Shatner make the greatest buddy team on TV today. Every time they’re together I feel as if I’m watching real friends.
Every writer craves feedback. When published in tradition media unless it’s The New York Times or a blockbuster, you don’t get that. And you never have the interaction. Obviously I’m not talking about newspaper or magazine staffs, but still by definition writing is solitary
And solitary can be lonely; I need an audience and people to talk to; finds it helps stimulate my writing. I’m a social recluse. Well I want the recluse label, but too many people literally call and say that they’re at my corner. That would be great, but in winter they generally mean, “come meet me, don’t want to walk up the windiest street in New York.”
Since I have begun blogging I have never run out of things to blog about. But good book writing and good blogging are vastly different.
I hope people continue to write in book form. Real writing involves many drafts and revisions, but it feels so great when you know you have written the one sentence that shows your meaning flawlessly. It’s something that I had to teach myself again. This time I’m less stream of consciousness in my real writing. My writing’s more fluid; more fun. And I get more constructive criticism from bloggers than I did in several writing classes.
Yes I know I have an organization problem. Almost every darn critique said: “Great characters, great story, great writing; not organized.” Real frigging helpful.
The memoir’s partially about me succeeding despite it. Show me how I can change that, or see beyond it. Bloggers have. Maybe because posts aren’t book length; maybe because posts have no previously defined form or limitations. Maybe blogging can redefine form and limits in many areas.
We live in a rapidly changing world. Blogging helps me keep up with it; blogging makes me stay young in ways that my dad, who was young until he died, would be jealous of. And proud that I have kind of mastered a form many 50’s baby boomers haven’t. Kind of because only I could try to link to the nomination and ping it. But even I see the humor in that. And many people much younger than I am have no idea what I’m talking about when I say the word ping.
Of course blogging is real, but it’s a whole new world. We can map it out ourselves; and as somebody with no sense of spatial relations I can make a map outside the globe. Why not? My blogging is spontaneous; I don’t obsess over it; except at times like today when I feel that I haven’t expressed myself to my satisfaction, and to the satisfaction of many people who read Courting. Can’t lie; I want to be liked and I want to be understood. More than that I want to be truthful to my vision, even when it’s murked as it is with aging.
I’m grateful to everybody who has ever read my blog; I’m grateful to the lurkers. Don’t make it easy for people to comment and I understand that. If I didn’t have a blog I don’t know if I could comment.
Yet blogging has dramatically improved my book writing, as the few people who have seen my chapters have told me. I’m not very critical when it comes to how I blog. I aim for a certain standard, but I don’t endlessly rewrite. If I were sending this out for publication which I wouldn’t; I would revise it until it was so tight you would barely know that it was this post. And it would involve aging or blogging; or blogging for aging people. It wouldn’t ramble. That’s a blogging vanity.
Sometimes I do revise a post so much that if somebody read it in the morning they wouldn’t be reading the same post at night. But that’s not often. However, today is an example of that.
I have a great design. I know how to do the package to some extent. Don’t use bells and whistles; can’t even get pictures into the post. Should stop now before I tell every negative about me. Self sabotage is an old friend I have been attempting to ditch for a long while now. Before I truly succeed…Vote for Pedro, or me, or if not me, email me and I will give you a tip.
I’m depressed over Dick Clark’s speech. He’s old enough to be my father. And my parents generation’s dying off. Because I didn’t have children I don’t have the usual markers. But also not the usual boundaries. I can define my own. That’s totally exciting. Even with misunderstandings, revisions, and no dinero.