Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Growing and Blogging

I started my morning off as I always do. First, I found some gymnast-inspired way to fall out of my loft bed, then I cleared my throat--much in the same way Drew Barrymore did in "Music & Lyrics" which I can only describe as the sounds of choking and tobacco build-up from over a 40-year span (though, I do not smoke)--and went to the bathroom to see what disaster my dreams and pillows left for me this morning.

I expected it to be a normal day. However, my stepmother's Mac was still on, and I signed online as she was still sleeping to bear witness to this auspicious moment in history. Yes, after almost a year on this blog, I now have 50 followers--51, actually. And it is all thanks to my readers. It is because of this discovery my New Year's post will have to wait until the actual day. Though I have read some nice posts just welcoming everyone to their new year and wishing them luck on their ventures, and even one about a husband who believes the best way to bring in the year is with a penis calendar, to me, this is more important.

Anyone who starts a blog and says they do not care about comments is probably lying. While blogging is therapeutic in some ways, logging on to find comments gives the author a bit more motivation to continue with their writing. I, originally, started this blog so I could practice my amazing, journalistic skills. (Wink.) Now, I find myself writing to my readers. Writing to those who have given me feedback in the past year. I want to share my experiences. I want to share my editorials, my reviews, and my articles with those who care to read. My post, "How Writing and My Mother's Nagging Saved Me" brought in a good number of new comments and followers, which only thrilled me more. While some of the comments on the post are from me as well, responding, I still have never had such a combined number of comments. I honestly did not expect it. While I was happy with the post, I never know if what I write will mean anything to anyone. I just do what comes naturally.

It is because of my new followers and recent feedback I waited until I received a decent number of comments on the next entry before I posted this one. I wanted to see if it was mere luck, or if my readers were really interested in what I had to say. It seems as though it is a little bit of both. For some, this may seem like a small feat. I am following a few blogs with over 500 followers. I did not set out to become a popular blog, and if I never am as popular as the Badass Geek, the Toothfairy, David, or even Julie Powell, I can still take solace in knowing I am not writing for no one. Someone does read what I write. Someone does care to know what I am thinking. It is a nice feeling.

I am glad I continued to post even when I thought I had nothing to say. Thanks for keeping up with me and commenting. I try to give everyone the same courtesy and comment on their blogs as well. A lot I have followed because they are charming and interesting reads. So, as I am, keep up the blogging as well. We are a blogging community. A community of writers, readers and romantics. We find a way to pull the humor and love out of life to make a good post for our audience. We do so to exercise our understanding of language, and to entertain others. As I write more, and my blog grows, I grow. For some, blogging is their only sanctuary. Sometimes, writing a diary is not enough, an audience that can relate and can talk back is worth more than the stoic, woven binding of a diary, of whom one will willingly call "friend" and then shelve after a month of soul-draining confessions.

Tonight, I have read a plea for a woman who has fallen in love with the blogging community just as many others before her have. She needs help.

My name is Brandy. And I have a blog.

And a plea.

I use my blog to showcase the crazy I meet everyday, share the stories of the kids I teach and document my love for tequila, dairy products and the abdominal muscles of Ryan Reynolds. Rarely do I talk about personal issues on my blog- as personal as the dude that I adore (who I actually met through my blog- single ladies, let that be a very good reason to blog, the possibility of meeting someone as wonderful as my man), but I need your help. And it involves my dude.

He’s a guy who made math comics for my class, so they would love learning about addition. He’s the kinda guy who sends my friends gift cards when they are having hard times, who remembers every story I ever told him, who was the first person I celebrated with when I got a teaching job. He’s the guy who sent flowers to me at school- dozens of my favourite pink roses just because he loves me. He’s a guy who has spent a year patiently explaining (and re-explaining) everything there is to know about football during the important games when silence is preferred. He’s made me word puzzles and comics and stayed up late playing Scrabble with me (even though I beat him almost every time). He’s listened to me cry about school and family and jobs. He is everything I never knew I needed and everything I always knew I wanted.

The holidays have hit us hard. He’s recently been told he may have something called multiple myeloma- an incurable cancer, that gives a person an average of five years of continued life. Though this news has came as a shock, he continues to be exactly who has always been- spending his time worrying about me, rather than worrying about himself. He’s the most selfless individual I know- (he stayed late on Christmas Eve to work, so his co-workers could leave early) and a post like this would never be something that he would promote or encourage but when I’m overwhelmed and feeling helpless, the blogging community has always given me tremendous support and comfort, two things I desperately need at this time.

As I write this, the future is uncertain and we aren’t sure what’s happening. He’ll need to see an oncologist soon, to verify what’s going on in his body. My hope is that everyone who reads this think positive thoughts and if you are a person who prays, could you add him to your list? (You can refer to him as ‘brandy’s hot awesome dude’). If you don’t pray, please keep him in your heart.This cancer is only a possibility and I believe that the prayers and positive thoughts of people can make sure it never becomes a reality.

I want to give a big thank you to the blog owner who scraped their original blog plans and graciously put this up. My goal is to get as many people as possible to see and read this post. If you are reading this and want to help, copy and paste my plea into your blog or send a link through twitter, so more people can keep him in their thoughts. I would be so very grateful (even more grateful than I am to my friend who first showed me the picture of Ryan Reynolds on the cover of Entertainment Weekly. If you haven’t seen it, google it. You. Are. Welcome).

I realize this all sounds dramatic, a Lifetime movie in the making- but this is life. Right now. And I’m throwing away any hint of ego and am humbly asking for you to pray or think kind thoughts. If you are able to pass this on, thank you and if you know anything regarding MM- please email me (my email is on my blog). This isn’t a call for sympathy or a plea for pity. It’s just one girl hoping you can think positive thoughts for the person she adores. If my current heartache provides you with anything, let it be with the reminder that life is short, love is unbending and no one knows what could happen next. Maybe it is silly, but I really do believe that positive thoughts can make a huge difference. Thank you for reading this and if you haven’t already? Please tell someone you love them today.

I did.

Please acknowledge her plea and pray for her/keep her in mind. Also, if possible, Tweet this post so people see her plea, or copy and paste her plea into a blog post to spread the word.


  1. You sweet, sweet girl. You really do have such an inate journalistic quality about yourself, Jennifer. Most bloggers love getting comments (especially bloggers whom are journalists.)No matter how knowledgeable a blogger is on his or her subject, there will most likely be someone reading your post and they can add more information. These comments generate new ideas and therefore makes the blogger feel they have accomplished something and it sends a message of relief knowing the blogger isn't talking into thin air.
    I love reading your blog. I feel like I don't give my blog the attention you give yours. I am so enthralled with pre-teen book material (while writing my novel) that I overlook the importance of some blog posts. Maybe I should post something more profound than a recipe.
    I will pray for your friend Brandy. I, too, believe in the power of prayer and positive thinking.

  2. Dear Jennifer,

    That was a very beautiful, moving and thought-provoking post - you should be very proud of yourself indeed! There are bloggers - I'm sure I count myself in this - who struggle to say anything anywhere close to what you've expressed regarding life, writing, having a readership and how the whole cycle benefits all. And while expressing something very personal you also found the opportunity to post a plea on behalf of someone else! I suspect that the entirety of that post sums you up as a human being - and a fabulous summation it is too.

    I genuinely look forward to reading future posts on Here's To Life from my haunted house in Scotland. Keep well.

    Steph Fey x

  3. J...

    You know I've always cared..., and even read sometimes - haha

    Happy Happy Ano Nuevo (ese 2010), and thanks for being out there with all of your opinions an stuff!

  4. Kristie: Thanks so much for your kind words. And yeah, I know of Brandy through another who posted her plea, but I guess in a way we are connected. I suppose that I have yet to take it seriously as in become a "professional" blogger, monetizing my blog, or all of that, but I still like to post something worth reading. I think recipes are nice, though. Foodies can be fun to read. Especially if you add some pizazz with the food. :D

    Stephanie: Thanks so much! I try to do what I can. Lately, it's as if I have some sort of muse just whispering in my ear new things to write. I like it. I'm hoping s/he doesn't go away anytime soon. I love the feedback, so I definitely won't mind hearing from you again. I'm pretty sure I followed you so you might get a comment from me soon enough.

    Ric: Haha, I know. Thanks for the comment! Cheers! :)

  5. The other day when I posted about my husband's brilliant idea for a penis calendar he would say "did you check to see if there are any new comments for me?" I laughed, but understand how great it is to get a comment, a new follower and wonder why a follower has dropped.

    The blog about Brandy is something I've seen floating around and I won't post because it reminds me too much of a fake chain letter. I know, that sounds horrible, but it just does.

    I love the Badass Geek. He cracks me up. I remember when he had a low # of subscribers and just noticed he's over 500 subs. I swear it happened overnight.

    Keep blogging. You definitely have a great voice.

  6. I definitely understand what you mean. This one doesn't seem like those that say something like "I get $1000000000 everytime you post this" so I'm passing it along. :)

    Thanks for the comment!

  7. Jennifer, I am really looking forward to reading your blog in 2010! It is very interesting. And thank you for following my blog now, too. I appreciate you! Happy New Year!

  8. I am so glad that I found your blog. You are really good at painting a realistic picture that your readers can relate to. Keep it up!

  9. Great post, Jennifer. I began my blog in May of '09, so I'm new to the blogging world. It really does mean a lot when people comment on our ramblings, doesn't it? I really enjoy blogging because I have learned a lot about myself. In fact, I can't imagine not having my blog! It can sometimes be a struggle to come up with a riveting new post, but it's important to keep at it, and I'm so glad I do. Thanks for being my new blogger friend!


  10. Jenny: Thanks so much! I always enjoy your comments! Happy New Year!

    Amelia: Thanks so much! I try my hardest to do just that! Happy New Year!

    JO: I know, sorta, what you mean. When I am to myself, doing nothing, in my room, I do get on Blogger and surf for other blogs or check anxiously for new comments. So, if I didn't have it, I would have to find another way to occupy my time. Which would kinda suck, haha. Happy New Year!


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