The Watcher: New and Improved!

I’m officially back in business!

After a prolonged battle with WordPress.org first over open comments and then email notification, I can again interact with you properly, dear reader.  Yes, you can now enjoy the instant gratification of agreeing with my extraordinarily erudite and insightful posts as soon as they are published.  No more wondering what I’ve gone and done today, the answer will be in your mailbox.  Isn’t that marvelous?

So feel free to register/subscribe in the side bar to the right today if you haven’t already. I need to see if that is still working too.  There will be a flurry of new posts coming. For once, I have the problem of too much to talk about instead of not enough.  My muse is baaaack.

Next up: THORIN!  Oh yes.  (As if I’m not in enough trouble already.)

 

 

Just Call Me “Ms” Procrastinator

Several things are going on here or not.  Mr. Muse and I got into a big roll; well, I fussed and he ignored me.  Things have been a bit stressed lately and he’s refusing to be helpful.  He’s a git, I tell you.  But a good-looking git.  Sigh.  Then I’m gearing up for company to arrive by plane and car (sadly no train) for my birthday this week.  Okay, it’s April 1st, so get the jokes out of your system.  It will be no joke when my IT pal arrives to migrate this blog to my server which I haven’t touched since the turn of the last century.  I expect madcap hilarity to ensue.  So don’t be surprised if this site goes down; it will be temporary.  Hopefully.

In the interim, two topics landed in my lap courtesy of Twitter that I will work on while my IT does her magic.  One concerns a writer meltdown that’s gone viral today.  Mr. RA himself unwittingly presented the second topic.  Oh, that one should be fun. So watch this space and keep your fingers crossed during the migration.

On Being My Own Worst Critic

My writing hiatus had given me time to read old posts and take stock in my progress.  The original purpose of this blog was to regain the ability to write tight creative prose.  As I dissected each post, I realized the biggest problem wasn’t so much about finding the right action verb, or active tense or pithy adjective.  Something else has been getting in the way.

The problem is one of the pitfalls of introspective writing: how to discuss thoughts and feelings without talking so much about oneself.  I’m sure Dear Reader has encountered that writer whose navel gazing prose is so intense and relentless that it crosses the line between introspection and narcissism, leaving a bad taste.   I want posts to be at least interesting, not insufferable.

This worry has led to increasing self-consciousness.  How many “I’s” can I cut out and still make sense?  Was the story overstated in the haste to emphasis a point?  Did I understate something else?  Is it organized and flowing or babbling?   Do those words accurate reflect my thoughts?  What’s the point to this?

Having made a pact with myself not to rescind a post once it’s published, I then lapse into a heap of insecurity the instant I click the button.  Is it too personal?  Is it too much?   Will readers understand or is it simply more I, me and myself?  Then I anxiously watch for replies and realize it’s not as bad as envisioned.  Things didn’t blow up in my face; I avoided looking a fool.   And then I start drafting another post and the agonizing starts again.  I realize the self-consciousness and insecurity is caused by the vulnerability in revealing parts of myself, but it never gets any easier.

For these reasons, I’ve turned to closely reading blogger, Roger Ebert, the famous film critic.  He still critiques movies but now writes about everything from soup to nuts.  He’s a gifted writer with a simple elegant style and a penchant for just the right turn of phrase.  I’m reading him for not only the technical, expressive aspects of writing, but also for how he deals with posts that have backfired on him.  He treats these occasions as learning experiences, apologies,  clarifies or corrects and then moves on.  (For the creative side, I’m also reading Stephen King’s book, On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft.)

So in essence I have to deal with the ongoing issues on the process of introspecive writing in addition to the techinical presentation and the topic being discussed.  Had this dawned on me at the beginning, I might have thought better of the whole experiment.  But I’m in for a penny, in for a pound, so the blog goes on.

John Thornton (Richard Armitage) has no choice but to be in for a pound in North & South; richardarmitagenet.com

It’s STARTING

So my experiment truly begins, which begs the question: what is this blog about?  Writing about the process of learning to write again doesn’t strike me as particularly interesting to anybody but me at the moment.  So what else?   Well, I joined WordPress to comment on a ring of fan blogs about British actor Richard Armitage.  These blogs are written by older highly educated women whose styles and level of fandom are fascinating.  Some make passing references to RA on the way to talking about something else.   It’s the something else part that intrigues me; it gives a window into their worlds and fleshes them out as complex people, more than the usual SQUEE! post on a forum.  The comment section discussions can be more interesting than the original post.  I imagine some blogs sprang up so the commenters can discuss further in their own space.

(Oh, WordPress says I should stop here and hold your interest with SHINEY! so how about this?)

Prince John really liked Glamor Guy

Richard Armitage as Guy of Gisborne in Robin Hood, my cap

Ahem. As I was saying, this space will be about my experiences in fandom, fandom gone wrong, and the cult of celebrity.  This idea grew out of Servetus asking me on her blog how I arrived at my current attitude as a fan of certain celebrity hunks.  I answered it didn’t spring forth fully formed but evolved through trial and error.   I can’t link to the comment but will discuss it more later on. Having been part of different groups for almost 20 years, I’ve seen a lot up close and personal and hope I can offer some insight and humor about my journey.

As the title of the blog says, I’ve been a watcher, an observer all my life.  It stemmed from a chaotic childhood where psychological warfare was the norm.  I had to constantly watch for cues and clues to defuse situations or stay out of the fallout.  This carried over into adulthood where I spent years sorting out my own head.  But this still has left a fascination for why people do what they do.  I have another blog on LiveJournal which is basically a long version of Twitter.  Those posts were dashed off, without particular thought to composition, style or shamefully, editing.

So this blog will be dedicated to reflection and introspection while exercising that flabby creative writing muscle.  I’ll make passing waves at RA since it’s his fan blog ring that started this and we will need have some pretty and fun here.  I’ll also throw in a few other hunks as well to keep things fair.Oh, I might be tempted to veer off at times but will try to make it worth the reading.