Friday, November 16, 2012

Hey! Where'd the Funny Go?

When I started this blog back in 2007, it was an exercise to see if I could generate material at the level to be a columnist.  I'd written several humor pieces, some of which were even published in paying markets and the lure of writing for a living appealed to me greatly.  I was just successful enough to order maid service on occasion or have extra pizza nights once in a while, but the bigger pull came from Catholic markets. 

So spiritual Catholic writing became more common.  I joined, got introduced to Danielle Bean of Faith & Family and did several pieces there.  Then, in 2011, things dried up a lot due to the economy.  I kept writing, but the funny story lines that used to just drop in my lap three times a week, stopped.  Maybe I was spending too much time observing and not enough doing to catch the narratives, but I don't think so.  I do think, my children had grown older and while there were still younger children aplenty, I started to hold back on stories in deference to protecting the intimacy/sacred nature of the home.  Stories of teens struggling with teen struggles were not mine to tell, when the teens themselves were still wrestling with them.  I had to guard their hearts and thoughts even if I wanted to share mine. 

I tried writing more political posts and for a time, that was fun but they do encourage in me, a touch of the merciless satirist.  I don't like her.  She leaves me irritated and agitated afterwards, not a state for taking care of any of the hearts entrusted to me.  

So I've on occasion thought about stopping the blog.  I've even stopped it once.  I've taken breaks.  The writing impulse never leaves.  It is always there.  If I stop, 16 story ideas will drop out of the sky demanding I find some way to write them, even if it's a stinking yellow green crayon and back of an envelope.  

It's a form of insanity, being a writer.  Because you are never not writing in your head, even if you've told yourself, I will focus on the task at hand.  Reading a story aloud, my brain is noting the structure, the plot devices, the scaffolding of the book itself.  Watching the news, I'm tracing the story arc and word choice, a movie or tv, the narrative and character development.  Everywhere are 1000 stories and I can't help but see them.  Not all of them go somewhere, but it's a form of permanent memory to draw everything in story form in one's head.   You note patterns and breaks from those patterns, moods and trends, pushes that indicate change, even demand it. 

This blog has been changing for some time from a humor blog and mommy blog into something else.  I think it is supposed to be a Catholic blog, discussing (hopefully if the com boxes cooperate), what it means to be Catholic in the modern world.  I think it is supposed to articulate the How and the Why we must risk more of ourselves in the age to come, and hopefully, it will be a vehicle of growth for all.  

Who am I to write a Catholic blog?  I am a lay person.  I have no degree in theology.  I am a mom, a wife, daughter and sister, I am a practicing Catholic, a writer and fitful reader of fiction and to my surprise and my Dad's delight in his soul I suspect, lover of writings about theology.   We are all called to walk out our faith life and this is an invitation to walk with me on this journey deeper into what we profess to believe and what it means for how we live. 

P.S. Don't worry, if something outrageous happens that I need to memorialize in Internet amber, it will still get written and shared. 

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