This week marks six months I have been writing this column. Yah, time flies when you’re quarantining during a global pandemic and the world is going to hell in a hand basket. Every week since I started I have received kind e-mails from you readers. Thank you!
I know I hit a sweet spot here: Many of you are stuck at home and reading more than ever before. Times are bleak and you have a pretty low bar for entertainment. You just want a break from bad news and are grateful for something even mildly diverting.
Lately I have gotten e-mails from folks who say they are “regular readers.” I assume they are not referring to their digestive tracts, but to their reading habits. Sometimes they ask questions about my writing. Thus I thought I’d take this occasion to answer a few:
How long have you been writing like this?
I began slice-of-life writing when dinosaurs roamed the earth. In middle and high school my column was called something like “Girl Talk.” In college I got deep with “Mary’s Musings.” When I was a young thang and the Boulder Daily Camera was print only (pre-internet!), I had a column entitled the grammatically painful: “This n’ That.” As you can surmise, I’ve always been drawn to hard-hitting, cutting-edge journalism about minutia.
You use many folksy terms. Is this from growing up in the Midwest?
Yeppers. And, geez, even though I’ve lived in Colorado way longer than Ohio, I still occasionally like a pop (that’s Ohio for soda) with my Campbell soup casserole, doncha know. But listen, I’m not all Gomer Pyle. I have also been known to swear on occasion. But since this is a family newspaper, I try to limit my cursing and keep it polite. But, damn it, sometimes it’s hard.
How do you come up with your article topics?
Article ideas are like weeds: they just pop up whether I want them or not. Like a hoarder I keep scrap paper and pens everywhere, and then write semi-illegible notes day and night, mostly at night around 2 a.m. Very annoying.
Do you have home-related professional credentials?
Not really. I have worked a little in real estate, done a wee bit of staging, and completed too many remodels. But mainly I’m just a geeky home nut who gets to write about stuff I like.
Do you have a blog?
This is on my to-do list right after “Learn what a blog is.” (“Blog” to me sounds like the noise our cat makes when she throws up. Or is that more “blurp”?) Anyway, starting a blog is my 2021 goal, assuming the planet has not imploded by then. When I do I’ll let you all know (and explain how to use for my computer-challenged readers).
Do you realize how often you don’t write complete sentences, just incomplete phrases?
Gosh, really? Dang. Had no idea. So unprofessional. Certainly not a hallmark of excellent journalism. Hmmm. Need to work on that. Seriously. Sheesh.
Do you exaggerate your personal stories? Are they even true?
Why make stuff up when life is so darn entertaining as is? I don’t have a good enough imagination to match what life throws down the pike. However, I have been told I exaggerate like 1,000 times a day. And who doesn’t love hyperbole? I would just curl up in a ball of despondency if I couldn’t use hyperbole. Seriously, just waste away from literary sadness. Good thing I have this column!