First, disclaimers and qualifications:
Yesterday, I found myself involved in a four-way or five-way, I mean, a multiple conversation in Facebook Message. Of the women mentioned in the conversation below, I’ve only met Ann in person. She is a student of the Solstice MFA Program of Pine Manor College. I’m a graduate of that program. I poke fun at Bridget Bufford, a friend of Ann’s, but I hope she knows it’s all in good fun. She and I have a running fiction versus nonfiction argument. Bridget is a terrific author, with two novels published thus far: Minue One: A Twelve Step, which I’ve read, loved, and reviewed on my blog. And Cemetery Bird, which is in queue to read, because I’m a huge fan of her writing. The other women I just got to know during the conversation. The texts in brown are my secret thoughts that I did not reveal until NOW! The conversation is only about half of the total length of our talk. Sometimes Facebook is worth it. Thank you everyone, for cheering me up. Readers, I hope you enjoy. Cindy
- Dear Blogging Friends,As many of you know, I’m preparing to take the BIG leap into the blogosphere. I’m planning on doing a blog over the summer about my experience preparing to turn 50 – my birthday is August 23. The idea is to chronicle the upcoming summer as I go through a very intentional process to prepare for this landmark birthday.My question for you: What do you think of my choice for title?
“My Summer of Turning Fifty”
You all have had far more experience with this than I have so I’m not even sure what to consider when choosing a title.Thanks so much for your thoughts!
btw, after feedback I’ve chosen to go with WordPress. Cindy, your blog looks absolutely beautiful on there.
I guess this message is part of my process, yes? The importance of support and collaboration as I enter this next decade…
Thanks to you all in advance! You’re wonderful, smart, supportive women!
Poor Ann, so sincere, she thinks we’re really going to help her. -CZ
- Lovely title. Please give us the link as soon as you have your first post!
Jennifer is really nice. I just met her in this chain. -CZ
- Jen, you’re sweet! Really? It works?
- Yay! Very cool. I like the title, too. My only suggestion is that the title limits the blog in the event you decide to keep blogging about your fifties or something like that. But if you want it to encapsule just your experience preparing to turn fifty, it is perfect!
- See Ann, it gets more complicated – CZ
- Good point, Laura. Since this is my first foray into this medium I want to make no promises of further work, in case it doesn’t work for me. I thought this was a good way to create a very definite end point. HOwever, if I LOVE it and the fans clamor for more (Ha!) I would segue into a different version. I guess. A sort of Next Chapter?
- That sounds good! I will be following all your posts! And I can’t wait for this big birthday celebration.
- Ann has already been guaranteed a loyal blog follower before she’s even posted and at least one person at her birthday party – CZ
- Thanks!!! And I’ll keep you posted on the plans for the big shindig. There simply must be one!
- At this point, I’m wondering – Do I get invited? Well, instead, I try to sound mature. See below. -CZ
- Ann, most of all, have fun. Blogging is fun. With WordPress you can easily add pages with different titles or start a second blog. So, it’s okay if you want to be specific with the title. I’d like you to spice up the title a little. Maybe an edgy adjective – My Summer of Angst and Turning Fifty, or something that suits you. Your call. Can’t wait to read it, regardless of title.
- I’m going to make Ann work harder on her title. I’m like that. -CZ
- Well. I guess I added a noun.
- I’m embarrassed I called a noun an adjective. I’ve really had a shitty week of bad writing karma. -CZ
- A noun with the flavor of an adjective!
I like it… I wondered about it needing a bit of “spice…” And I like the notion of something “edgy.” It seems like as we women age we’re… whoa, back up. I can’t speak for all women, here. As I age, “edginess” seems an inevitability and I’m loving it! (How’s that?) Thanks, Cindy!For the rest of you, here is the link for Cindy’s blog:
- On a Perfect Day I Want What I Have
On this perfect day in May, I give myself a break from everything: from worrying about what to do about my mother as she ages, to feeling, for the first time, that there may not be enough years lef…
- – I’m thinking OMG, this woman Ann is WAY too nice. She doesn’t know what a bitch I really am, although, ironically, her friend Bridget, whom I’ve never met, does. -CZ
- btw, CoMo friends, Cindy is a graduate of Solstice! A fellow traveler down the road of Creative Nonfiction.
- CoMO? Homo? I’ll let this go for now. -CZ
- Yes, we get edgy, angst-y, and wise. And aren’t you sweet to promote my blog. I really love blogging, Ann, and see it as its own art form (and craft challenge). Really, have fun. Turning 50 is a great topic. Can’t wait to read.
- I mean all this. -CZ
- Thanks Cindy! I love the way you think of it – as an “art form” and a “craft challenge.
- I like you more and more Now Bridget is another story. Hahaha
- hahahaha! Bridget, where are you??? Napping, again?
- Where have I been? Just caught this thread! Edging toward 50? (not Slouching, as in Slouching toward Bethlehem?
- I was facilitating the Friday morning creative writing workshop. Working on a piece about The Blue Fairy and Geppetto meeting up in San Francisco; the Fairy, still in his teens, is too young to know how to deal with Geppetto’s shame over being Catholic, divorced and gay. Edgy and angsty. Fiction.But I do like Cindy’s blog, and am eager to catch yours once it appears. Thanks for including me in this announcement.
- Oh Gawd, Bridget’s here talking about FICTION. She won’t admit that she’s really Geppetto. -CZ
- LOL. You are so funny, Bridget. Have a good weekend.
- There, take THAT!
- You, too. BTW, Ann should have known where I was; she sometimes attends that workshop.
- So Ann, wtf? -CZ
Yep – CZ.
- Bridget, you are too funny!
- Jen, her head’s gonna explode. -CZ
- I do respect Cindy’s work, but I’m a bit concerned about her choice of a title for you. “My Summer of Angst and Turning 50” seems like it could end badly, considering it’s only June 1.
- Thanks, J. Not as funny as that Wednesday workshop; you all are out of control. Becky wonders what we’re doing downstairs; said she feels like she’s missing out.
- Does she really respect my work? -CZ
- She should come down–as long as she agrees not to try to whip us into shape.
- Now they’re talking whips. CoMOs and Whips. -CZ
- I don’t think “angst” would be the word I would choose to “spice” it up, but I do wonder about adding some sort of “spicy” something or other. Is “turning fifty” alone spicy enough???
- omg, Jen. I can’t believe you just gave Bridget that opening. Batten down the hatches!
- She’d have to write, though. One thing works in my favor–she needn’t fear that I’m writing about her, or our relationship. I don’t think anyone is going to mistake my WIP for nonfiction or memoir.
- Bailey brought the Friday morning workshop a fledgling that she killed. I think she likes them better.
- Ann–it could use a bit more savor.
- “savor”… Not sweetness. I like that. Ideas, anyone? What about a subtitle that suggests “savor?”
- I always mistake Bridget’s work for closeted CNF. And “Angst” is my life, not Ann’s, I agree. Ann, find a better word than “Turning” and a two word title will be spicy. Your challenge for the weekend.
- Becoming Fifty?
- Never mind. Boring.
- Better… but don’t stop there. And Ann/Jennifer, I’d like to hear you weigh in on the CNF question. Does BAD PUPPET strike you as a closeted memoir?
- First, I’m going to have to hear some more details from your personal life, Bridget!
- Ha, Jen! -CZ
- Good answer. Some hints: at no point have I ever been a) a tree; b) a drag queen. I have, however, worked in a cabinet shop, though I never spontaneously animated a piece.
- Well, not yet, Bridget. -CZ
- Did you ever want to?
- Spicey comeback, Ann! -CZ
- The opposite urge came to me often; i.e., I fantasized about killing my boss.The piece of Bad Puppet that truest of me–I am terrified of dolls.
- Note to self – Buy Bridget a doll for Christmas. -CZ
- I’m supposed to be mowing and watering this afternoon, but hanging out here is much more fun.
- You can throw me out of the email chain after saying this, but all fiction is closeted nonfiction to some degree. Even your puppet. Even gay, Catholic Gepetto. Are you gay and Catholic, Bridget? Terry in Minus One was one hell of a lover. Did you just make up all that awesome sex, Bridget? Damn, what an imagination! I’ll give you this: all CNF is closeted fiction to some degree. It’s impossible to ever tell the whole truth because none of us ever knows it. We are all writing the same thing just pretending it’s something else. There is no pure genre, just good writing or bad writing. Chew on that. And remember, CNF is not journalism, which isn’t pure either, just FYI.
- Jesus, no wonder I don’t have a girlfriend. I am BORING. -CZ
- That’s rather a double bind. Should I say that my sex life is really that awesome, or my writing is?
- Damn, she’s clever. -CZ
- Hahahaha. They both are.
- I had nothing. -CZ
- Another good answer. You CNF people are quick.
- I don’t think she means this. -CZ
- You guys are too funny!
- On that note, I’m going to head home for the weekend before a third devastating article is published in the Trib about the press.
- We have to be to keep all our lies in check. . Nice to meet you, Jen.
- Why did I say that about the lies? -CZ
- I’d like to just end the work week on good sex & good writing!
- You, too. I guess we are going to have to give Ann her due now and become FB friends!
- I’m liking this chick. -CZ
- Good call.
- Yay!!! I love it when my friends become friends… You two were destined to meet. Remember AWP???
- And good sex AND good writing? We should all be so lucky. I think there is a blog post in there somewhere. Unfortunately it can’t be mine. Yet.
- You can bet it won’t be mine. Guess that leaves Cindy.
- How does this woman know me so well? -CZ
- Oh, the perfect blog post for me. Do you mind if I mention your name, Bridget? I’ll plug Minus One. Jen, you want to be friends with me, too, I hope?
- Ann, I love the “yet” in your last comment. You’ve got the good writing down, soooo….. Love your hopefulness.
- But I’m not sure I’ll make that journey part of the “becoming 50” experience that I’ll share with my readers. Or maybe I should…
- Oh, but wait. What if I simply don’t have any material for that?!
- oops, did I just stumble into 50 shades of turning 50?!
- This chick is brilliant! -CZ
- Oooh, Allison! Yes. I mean, Ahhhh, yes, yes, yes, YESSSSSS!
- Ann, share it all. Write naked.
I think I just scooped the “Write Naked” phrase from fellow writer Hannah Goodman. Sorry, Hannah. -CZ
- Cindy, that sounded a bit like When Harry Met Sally. What is this email rated?
- Are you all serious?
Are we corrupting this sweet woman? -CZ
- I’m always never serious.
- This blog is going to be cr-razy!
- You, too, Jen?!
- omg… I’m laughing so hard I have tears streaming down my cheeks and my dog is looking at me with his head tilted. “Has she lost her marbles?”
- Well, Bridget writes sex better than I do, Allison, because she “makes it all up” and it’s FICTION. I just sound like a bad movie, as does my sex life.
- May I have everyone’s permission to replicate this string on my blog? People would love it. Let me know.
- Doesn’t all good sex sound like a bad movie?
- Someone finally understands me. -CZ
- Ha. Okay, then I’m doing it right.
- Oh, please Cindy… give this exchange some greater meaning!
- I’m still trying to remember if that is indeed what sex sounds like…
- Aw, Ann, you’re such a sweetie. You’ll find love/sex… – CZ
- Thank you, Ann. Everyone else?
- Ann, umm, me, too.
- Really, when’s the last time I had good sex. “Good” being the operative term. -CZ
- Dirty girls! There’s a lot more than hot flashes going on in Como!
- There’s that “CoMO” again. What the hell is that? -CZ
- Perhaps we should commission Bridget to write up some good sex for us! … make us the main characters. Bridget???
- What’s Como? Yes, commission Bridget.
- I finally ask. -CZ
- Columbia, MI
- It’s a Missouri thang. -CZ
- Call it Bridget’s Diary
- Hahahaha, Allison, awesome. -CZ
- Allison, You are on Fire today!!! Do not waste this surge of inspiration…
- You know, I’m really liking “Fifty Shades of Turning Fifty…
- I like it too
- Allison, LOL. Love it. I, too like the Fifty Shades. You’ll get a lot of hits, too, by playing off that popular book title. I’d use it, Ann.
- Okay, Gals… You heard it here first: Fifty Shades of Turning Fifty!