There was no such thing as blogging back when I was in high school (back in the Stone Age, as it were). There was no such thing as blogging because there was no such thing as a personal computer that you had in your house, or this magical entity called the Internet that has become such an integral part of 21st-century existence.
Back then, if you had a burning desire to write about your life the way bloggers do nowadays, you could either use a typewriter or just good old reliable pen-and-paper and keep your musings in a journal or a diary. (I did keep diaries for a while in my girlhood--until I had to destroy one in junior high, after my best friend found and read it and I realized that no one should be writing down their deepest thoughts unless they wanted the whole world to know them.)
The other thing you could do, aside from the "Dear Diary" routine, was to keep scrapbooks. And starting at the end of 8th grade, that is what I did: I kept simple scrapbooks that were filled with oversized construction paper pages, wherein I taped all the little bits and pieces of memorabilia that seemed of utmost importance to my teenage self (we're talking things like paper napkins and still-full sugar packets from restaurant meals with my then-boyfriend/now-husband, and popsicle sticks with traces of his DNA still on them, I'll bet!).
Oh my, the memories that came flooding back to me! And the things I'd kept! Things like gum wrappers, movie ticket stubs, newspaper clippings, dried flowers. But along with my taped-in memorabilia, I also wrote about all my activities and feelings during that time. (I think I was always a blogger at heart, though I didn't know it yet!)
What is so funny to me is to see pages like this one, from July 1973, when my high school boyfriend and I were just beginning to realize that we like-liked each other, and we rode on some rides together at the County Fair:
even-and-a-half years later, we would get married. And now we have celebrated our 37th wedding anniversary...so I would say that my fears that he wouldn't like me for long were all for naught. :)
There are so few photos of us from our dating years, because people just weren't as snap-happy back then as they are now. There are probably fewer pictures of us together during those seven-and-a-half years of courtship than most modern kids take in a single day, in this New Age of iPhone cameras. But here are a few snapshots from my scrapbooking days; and as you can see from these keepers, my hubby was rocking his big mop of 70's hair like a champ.
Finding Grace, however, is not my story. Poor Grace Kelly spends years pining for the boy she loves, while he sees her only as a friend. She doesn't get to be his girlfriend, the way I did with my Tom Buckley. But there are certainly aspects of Grace's experiences that come from my own. She lives in Plattsburgh, NY, where my husband and I grew up and met in high school, and Grace's high school is modeled closely after the one we attended. She lives in a home that was a lot like mine, and Tom and Irene live in homes that are a lot like my husband's and my best friend's. Tom goes away to Notre Dame for college, the way my guy did. But that doesn't mean the story is meant to be autobiographical. Trust me, it is fiction. But I think I just don't have enough talent to create whole new worlds, so I had to use the one I knew the best as a backdrop for the novel.
Well, seeing as how this is Tuesday, and I've gone off on a tangent about Finding Grace...let's make this post a meeting of the Book Club. If you're here, and you're still reading, welcome!
It's probably a good thing that there was no such thing as blogging when I was a young girl like my Grace; I don't think I would have ever gotten my homework done! It would have been too much for me, too soon. But I sure am glad that I discovered it back in 2011, when my boys were grown and I felt like I had the time to really have fun with it. Blogging has brought me so much joy over the years, and has put me in contact with so many wonderful people I would never have otherwise met.
I think I've always had the heart of a blogger. And really, what is a blogger if not a writer?
Before we end this meeting of the club, I have a question for you. I don't think Finding Grace is too long, because I've always liked epically long novels; but some reader feedback over the years makes me realize that not everyone is like me in that regard. What about you? Do you like a quick read, or do you prefer a long, involved story that doesn't end too soon?
Meeting adjourned. Now go read a good book! (Or if you don't have time for that right now, a good blog post!)