Saturday, February 16, 2013

Going Blog Wild

Please don't mention the F-word.  (I'm talking about Facebook!  Sheesh, don't you know me better than that by now?)

It's too soon.

Why don't we talk about the B-word instead?  (Blogs, that is.)

I have become a big fan of blogs.  In the past six months or so, while I've been in the process of trying to market my novel (and have been contacting Catholic bloggers to help me get the word out), I have been introduced to a whole other world of writing that I never knew existed.  There are bloggers out there who have more writing talent in their pinkie fingers than half the novelists who are churning out bestsellers year after year, and I never even knew about them!
(I get as excited about finding a great new blog as son #4 got about the noisy T-Rex sparking "gun"
the Easter Bunny left in his basket in 1990.  Really.  Well, almost.) 

When I started my blog in March of 2011, with the encouragement of my sweet daughter-in-law, I had only ever read two blogs in my life.  Pioneer Woman was one of them (a blog I found by accident when it was mentioned at the end of a Good Housekeeping article I read about PW's Ree Drummond).  Pioneer Woman is a big-time mega-blog, and its founder is now quite famous.  She has written a book chronicling her courtship and marriage to her cowboy husband and two children's books about her beloved Basset Hound Charlie, and she currently has a cooking show on Saturday mornings on the Food Network.  I love Ree's blog; she's absolutely hilarious--self-effacing and goofy--and she adores her family and her life with them on their cattle ranch in Oklahoma.  The photos she posts are magnificent. She's definitely worth reading, but there are so many lesser-known blogs out there in cyberspace that have just as much--and sometimes more--to offer.  The other blog I'd read was the one my daughter-in-law had been keeping for several years before she met and married my son.  It has gone through some title changes over the years and is now called Morning Glory.  My girl is a faith-filled Catholic wife and mother, a librarian and lover of books, an accomplished writer and musician, and an enthusiastic crafter/seamstress/knitter.  Her blog is absolutely delightful, and bonus--it often showcases photos of my adorable twin granddaughters!

For the longest time, these were the only two blogs I followed.  But as I said, a whole new world has been opened up to me, and I have discovered so many wonderful blogs--more than I could ever have time to read on a daily basis!  One blogger I enjoy is Sarah Reinhard over at Snoring Scholar.  Sarah is a self-described social media junkie who has a "bit of an obsession with reading," and her posts are often dedicated to reviewing the books she reads.  In a recent post, Sarah explained perfectly why blog-reading has become so popular with everyone, not just with me.  She was reviewing a book that consisted of real letters between two women who were lifelong friends, saying it read more like a blog than a book--and here's how she described what she loved about blogs and found "so rarely in books: the honesty, the bare emotion, the hilarity mixed in."  That's it!, I thought.  That's exactly why I love blogs so much.  I am often disappointed by books, even ones that are touted as New York Times bestsellers and get nothing but glowing reviews; but I am rarely disappointed by the sometimes hilarious, sometimes touching, sometimes quite profound musings of my new blogging friends.

Here's a short list of the blogs that have been providing me with entertainment and soul food lately: Jen Fulwiler's inspiring Conversion Diary (which I've been linking up to lately via "7 Quick Takes Friday" posts); Kate Harvey's Pinterest-worthy Something Ivory (which I've mentioned before, and is a lovely little trip into a world where all aspects of life are shown at their most graceful, beautiful, and calm); Rachel Balducci's humorous Testosterhome (a laugh-out-loud peek into the daily grind of a busy mother who has six kids, five of them boys--this one speaks to me, I wonder why?); Margaret in Minnesota's sweet and funny Minnesota Mom (which was recommended to me by my daughter-in-law, and which I love); M.R. Zapp's cerebral Regency Catholic (a must-read for would-be writers and anyone who has a soft spot for Jane Austen and the era in which she lived); and Katrina Rose's simply endearing Cedars and Tiny Flowers (the work of a young Catholic wife and mother who was actually one year behind my #4 son at Notre Dame, discovered through Conversion Diary's "Quick Takes").  I have a new friend named Erin in Australia, a homeschooling mother of nine whose blog is called Seven Little Australians and Counting (another lucky "Quick Takes" find).  I also know a group of darling twenty-somethings, some of them related to me, who have recently begun a blog together called SMC Women on a Health Mission (it's charming, informative, motivational, and amusing all at once).  Just yesterday, when I had decided I wasn't going to look at one more new blog, I stumbled upon a gem called Mama needs coffee.  I'm sorry, but with that title, I just had to check it out--and I'm glad I did.  The mama in question is a young American journalist with two blond baby boys close in age (I can relate!) whose husband's job required a Rome!  She's so witty--even when she's discussing motherhood and a host of other serious topics that affect not only Catholic women, but all of us.

There are others.  I've gone a bit blog wild, so as I said, that's the short list.  But if you're in the mood to read today and you don't have a good book available, click on some of the links above and check out what these bloggers have to say.  I don't think you'll be disappointed.


  1. You're a dear, Mrs. Pearl! Thanks so much for the shout-out. I'm so touched by the way you describe Something Ivory. I don't know if it deserves all of those beautiful words but nevertheless, I'm very happy to see them connected with my little blog.

    I'm off to check out some of the others you mention! :)

  2. Aw, thanks! My favorite is the part where you wrote "My girl". :-)

    1. The girl population in our family is beginning to grow...but you will always be my first girl.

  3. Thanks for the mention and the blog roll giving us an idea what the blog is about. Cheers!

  4. Oh wow! so honoured to be mentioned!!!! and I'm loving getting to know you:):)

  5. Thanks for the shout out! Sadly, we have been lazy recently. This motivates me to write another post!

  6. Maggie, Erin, and Laura: I love promoting other people's blogs that I enjoy. I am like a kid in a candy store, with all this great reading material handy all the time. In fact, I may have to give up blog reading for Lent next year. No FB is tough...but no blogs might be tougher!