(wait for it…)
Yes, wait. The saying is true.
Good things are happening and I think it’s time for my blog to get a facelift. I’m sensing a change—not just my address or current country (although that will be changing soon enough), but in the energy of the universe. This will be the summer of George*!
*George and I share an affinity to eating dessert out of the garbage; I think we can share a holiday.
Before I mention a couple of updates, I’d like to do a brief blogging history of where I started and where I am now, not because I’ve made great strides or because I have a huge fan base who is lost and would like to know, but because I just read the 250th Anniversary of Brown University’s Brown Reader and I’m feeling nostalgic over a school I never attended. So, nostalgia + news = a brief history ending with a victory.
(Don’t get too excited. A free donut is a victory in my mind, so it’s all relative.)
Okay. Once upon a time…
In December of 2010 I created my wee blog, back before everyone in the universe had a blog and before I had any idea what my blog would “be about.”
That’s always the first question people ask me: “What is your blog about?” I don’t have an appropriate answer to this query, and “Nothing” doesn’t seem like an adequate enticement to check it out. “Everything,” maybe? My blog is about EVERYTHING. Yet, it’s also about nothing, with an emphasis on my fallibility as a person who has common sense and healthy eating habits. Sometimes I write about travel. Mostly it’s just me trying to be funny, which results in NOT being funny, and actually only being funny where I wasn’t trying to be funny. So I usually just tell them: “It’s about my life, and I think I’m funny.”
I started blogging during a winter sabbatical from grad school, at a time when I had my entire unwritten thesis before me and felt inspired to write—not thesis material, but about my life. Blogging was a new and interesting way to procrastinate. I got my best blog ideas before thesis deadlines. I wrote about Collectible Magical Growing Things and Natalie Portman. I wrote about people’s reaction to my homemade “No Strings Club” T-shirt that I wore to the gym not realizing I’d made an unfortunate innuendo. I didn’t target a specific demographic or feel like I needed an edge. MimiSmartypants was discovered for her funny blogs regarding everyday life, and I thought some literary agent would stumble across my blog and request to publish me. It would happen naturally over time.
I was so wrong.
I didn’t get discovered during my first round of blogging, though some of my favorite blogs are from when I started, and I let it fall by the wayside while I was living a happily-ever-after lifestyle in New England in the summer of 2011.
During my next bout of escapism, I went to New Zealand to live for a few months and re-started my blog. This time I had a greater sense of awareness that everything around me was potential blogging material, something that I suppose real writers have always known but I hadn’t considered. For the first time, I was looking for writing material and always taking mental notes. Hitchhiking for the first time? What a great way to scare my mother! Eating a burger the size of my face? Better take a picture to prove it! Blog, blog, blog!
This is also when I became interested in sharing my blog with people (strangers, most often), having realized that in order to be “discovered,” people would actually have to read my blog.
My favorite “You should read my blog!” story happened when I was working at the Heritage Hotel in Queenstown, NZ. A group of suited men and business-clad women had come in and were having cocktails by the fireplace, and I was serving them. I quickly noticed they were Americans and rejoiced because we were homeland natives. They asked if I was a student, I mentioned Dartmouth, they all cheered because they were New Englanders (Harvard alum, I believe), and suddenly I had an “in.” We talked about writing and they seemed interested in mine, so I told them about my blog.
“What’s your URL?” one of the men asked.
As a side note to you readers, I picked “fushilou” as my web address because it was my middle school nickname, and I assumed it wouldn’t be taken. It never even occurred to me to look for “JennyCurrier.” The little pop-up window asked for confirmation: Are you sure you want fushilou? This is a permanent decision, similar to getting a tattoo at 18 years old. I was, in essence, saying, Yes, I will always love my lower back butterfly tattoo! It wasn’t until two years later when I was spelling it out for strangers, beginning with, “’F-U-” that I realized my grave mistake.
Nevertheless, I spelled out my URL for these fancy-suited people thinking they’d go to their rooms, look me up, and read my blog posts. Overnight, they’d become my devoted fans, and the next morning they’d find me at the coffee bar. They’d interrupt the velociraptor sounds coming from the espresso machine as I attempted to froth milk and tell me this was my big break. “I know a guy,” one of them would say, “an alum from Penguin who would love to compile these posts into a book. You won’t have to do anything–just sit back and bask in your literary glory.”
That was decidedly not what happened. Instead, one of the gentleman took out his iPad–a possibility I hadn’t considered, as iPads were just coming out–and began reading right then, out loud, to his circle of Harvard friends.
“My trip to Milford Sound,” his voice rang out, filling the lounge, “began most notably with my having to pee.”
There was an odd moment of silence, and I realized with horror what the entire first half of my blog was about. After raising an eyebrow, he continued. “Maybe that’s not the best example–” I interrupted, but he continued with fervor until he got to the part where I mentioned kegel muscles.
“Please don’t base your judgment of Dartmouth education on my blog,” I asked from afar.
(For the record, he did find me the next day and tell me he thought I was funny, and a good writer, but I scuttled away before he could offer me a book deal.)
Since New Zealand I’ve been riding a roller coaster of wanting to write and hating my writing, wishing to be published and thinking I’ll never be published. I’ve been wanting Wordpress to “Freshly Press” me, or the Huffington Post to find me, or even my own Dartmouth friends to read and “like” my blog page. It hasn’t happened.
I was asked by a local Rhode Island magazine to write a preview piece for an event called The Taste of Block Island, and despite not knowing what “preview piece” meant, I did it and they published the story. You can read it by clicking here.
Thus ends the draft of a blog I never published.*
*I took the “wait” theme seriously, hence the five year delay.
Sorry to those of you who thought I had a real update coming. I still have no book deal, but I did recently receive word that two food poems I wrote will be included in an anthology! You know what they say, “First step, food poem anthology. Next step, The New York Times.”
Modern Love, I’m looking at you.