BlogHer09 and My Blogging Identity Crisis

Girl on ComputerOh mine gooze-ness … (as my husband’s great-grandmother used to say) … BlogHer09 is in full swing right now in Chicago! A 3-day conference of cameraderie, blog topics, inspiration, ideas and (as I imagine it) some good times at the hotel lobby bar!

Ayeee …

Last week was a killer, with me wishing I could tap my ruby slippers and be transported to RWA09 (Romance Writers of America). And now this weekend sees another major annual event I’d really love to be at.

I guess I’ll have to start saving my pennies and set my sights on one or both for next year, eh? : )

Anyway, I blogged about BlogHer09 over at Health Bistro today. Some of the famous bloggers I’ve got lined up to guest blog for us at Health Bistro (such awesome women!) are going to be at the conference giving workshops, so I wanted to send out some hellos.

Of course, all of this makes me think of my own blog and feel a bit of an identity crisis. Continue reading

Kwana’s Story of Meeting Frank McCourt

I wanted to share a friend’s post today. My new blogosphere writing friend, Kwana Jackson, wrote the coolest post the other day about how Frank McCourt — Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Angela’s Ashes who passed away at 78 this week — was her high school creative writing teacher! How very cool. I wanted to put the link here so you could read her story about him and his effect on her life: Kwana’s story of Frank McCourt.

And while you’re there, peruse Kwana’s site. It’s a great one. She has the neatest, happiest, most upbeat attitude. I always go there knowing she’s going to have some fun, fast read, and I always leave feeling happier. Plus her daily updates on her little dog Jack are just too cute.

Writing the Denouement and the Ending

As I’m frantically trying to finish my manuscript (and frustrated that I’m rewriting the ending), it’s made me think about endings of other books — which I’ve loved and which have left me disappointed.

I was explaining to Superman that most books have a “denouement” at the end — a sort of “coming down” period after the final battle against the antagonist (or after the protagonist’s final battle for the goal). It provides a moment for everyone to “calm down,” and for life to return to normal for all the characters. But sometimes this “slow period” seems to go on too long for me, making me feel the book should have ended earlier. Books with surprise endings usually have no denouement, but are often the ones we most remember.

Superman and I talked about some of our favorite endings. He said he remembers really liking the end of “The Stand,” and also “The Godfather.” I must confess, I don’t recall really loving any endings, although I was impressed with the ending of “Outlander” because it never slowed down. And I recall being satisfied with the ending of “The Time Traveler’s Wife” because it left on a high-emotion note, which I thought was good. I remember my 12th grade English teacher loving the ending of “The Great Gatsby,” which did have a long denouement but ended with a heavily symbolic last line: So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past.

A lot of Harry Potter fans really adored the end of the Potter books: All was well. For a story that went on over a course of a long series, Rowling said in an interview that she needed something that was unambiguous and said “it’s over.” That seemed to satisfy a lot of people.

What about you? Which endings do you most recall? Do you like the “end with calm” approach, where everything is given a chance to return to order? Or do you love those surprise endings? And how important is the very last line to you? Do you recall many?

The Day Skin Cancer Finally Hit Home

Whew! Busy week this week! Today I’m blogging over at Health Bistro about the day skin cancer finally hit home.

My mom found out she had it, and we’ve been bending our heads and comparing notes on SPF numbers, UV rays, and which sunscreen can be applied under makeup.

Are you a California girl? Do you spend time in the sun? Were you a teenager like me, who (gasp!) used to slather baby oil all over herself to bake for hours on end? (egads! I can’t believe I did that!) Come visit if you get a chance. I’d love to hear from you!

Here’s the link: “Skin Cancer: The Day it Hit Home.”

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