Sunday, August 21, 2011

Seven Links

I'm way behind.  I was tagged by Heidi last week and I haven't had the energy to be thoughtful.  In case you haven't seen the "Seven Links" thing that's making an appearance around blog world, it's a set of seven categories and you're supposed to choose a post from your blog that fits each one.

Some of these were hard for me since I don't rely on a stat counter.  I decided more than a year ago that since I would write in this space only if it was for me, I need to ignore that data.  I used to get all kinds of hung up on how many page views or comments I had; I discovered that my blog is a low-comment kind of blog, but that doesn't necessarily mean that people aren't reading, and none of that matters so much anyway.  I'm going to write because I'm going to write.  So these are based on my sense of how popular something is, not any kind of scientific research.

I was also a little unsure of how I'd feel posting my "best" somethings... but I enjoyed reading other bloggers' so much that I decided to quit being such a worry wart and just get over myself.

Most beautiful post

I have a hard time calling my own posts beautiful, but I will share what I think are the two best in terms of writing.  Is it breaking the girl code to write about a massage? I wrote in my head while getting a massage in Hawaii two years ago.  It just turned out exactly how I dreamed it up.

May Sestina I am proud of because it too turned out just how I wanted it.  Also, if you know anything about the sestina, it is a really difficult type of poem to write.  The last word of every line is repeated in a different order in the next stanza.  I was proud to make that work and have the poem reflect exactly how I felt about my vow renewal to E.  This poem captures exactly how we felt, knowing we were coming back together rather than divorcing as we'd planned.

Most popular post

By far my most popular post is Our Retrouvaille Weekend, and it makes me so happy.  I wrote it for me, but I also wrote and titled it so it would show up in a Google search for Retrouvaille.  When E asked me to go to Retrouvaille and save our broken marriage I went looking for personal accounts in blogs so I could decide if it was a good idea.  I wanted my post to be there for people to find who need help.  I get emails about it from random people to this day.

I believe wholeheartedly that Retrouvaille gave us the skills we need to stay married.  And I'm not saying "stay married" like some sitcom joke, either.  We were living in separate houses with separate bank accounts and we were going to divorce.  This program helped us learn the skills we have to use to be together.  We love each other, but marriage needs careful work.

The last thing I'll say about it is that I am glad this post is my most popular since it represents the spirit with which I started the blog.  Honesty.  When I started the blog I was a single mom and my life was miserable.  I had just found blogs and I was heartbroken by how perfect the picture looked from the outside, save for one which showed just how hard it is to live through a divorce.  I adopted a policy of honesty for this space that I think has served me well and been a good approach to my writing.  In the end I was surprised by how many other people were living the same difficult things that I was.

Most controversial post

I don't think that I write anything too controversial, unless you count the whole idea of writing about every detail of my life as controversial.  And since I don't get consistent comments, I'll go more by topic.  I think that the ideas in Should you go into teaching? are more controversial than most things I write.  I think people want to imagine that teaching is always easy and fun and I think we're living in a time when that's not always the reality.  I do think, though, that overall my blog represents the totality of how I feel about teaching, but this particular post explored some of the preconceived notions people hold.

Most helpful post

I'm choosing running/health posts for this one.  When I started to run two years ago, I didn't know Jack about it.  So as I discover things I write about them.  Par example: What if I hate running?,  Why PE screwed me up, Myths about running, and just for good measure: Green Monster, perfected.

A post whose success surprised you

I saved this one for last because I have no idea.  I don't know too much about which of my posts (beyond the Retrouvaille post) is most successful.  I'm going to cop out and say I am most surprised that people will read what I write at all.  Every time someone says "hey, I read on your blog..." or "I've been reading your blog and..." I think to myself that it's kind of surreal and amazing.  Or the first time I get a comment from someone who is like "I just found this blog and I'm adding it to my Reader..." I don't know.  That's gold right there, folks.  So I am most surprised that my blog has readers.  The end.

A post you feel didn’t get the attention it deserved

I don't know the answer to this one either, since most of my posts are not commented on (which is fine!) but E and I have a running joke that I can spend three hours crying and opening a vein to carefully write a post that will end up with no comments, but I will post a few cat pictures with a caption and I get ten.  So in that spirit, one of the most difficult (and comment-free) things I ever wrote was Sonnet for Adele. It's the only sonnet I've ever written, if I'm not mistaken.  I wrote it on the very night that she stopped reading aloud and started reading in her own head.  But I understand why it didn't get a ton of attention.  Sonnets aren't exactly Snooki, you know, when it comes to entertainment value.  :)

The post you’re most proud of

My answer to this would be different depending on the day, so I chose the two things I've created that I'm most proud of: Addie and Henry.  In that light, the posts about their birth stories are the two I want to share here, Sunny Side Up and Hank: The Story.  These are not my best writing, but they're my best life works.  My two little humans.

I also like these posts because they're my first attempts to search my own memory for inspiration and my first efforts toward using this space to record the details of our family history.

So there you go, Internet.  If you're not tired of reading through old posts yet, you can check out my Key Posts tab at the top of the page.  There you'll find even more of my favorites.  I'm supposed to tag people, but you know how that gives me anxiety.  So if you'd like to do your Seven, please do, and please let me know you did.  But you don't have to.  It's your party, man.

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