Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Blog (10/20/11)
TITLE: Piercing the Real World
By Theresa Santy
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My blog was reviewed early on by a man I’ll call Dusty. Dusty and I had no prior connection, except that he had an affection for blog fiction. Dusty said he liked my story and would have given me a better score if there hadn’t been so much excruciating detail. Excruciating, he’d said. I’d be lying if I said it didn’t hurt my ego to think this man was somehow dying inside by having to read the details of my life. Then I thought of an old co-worker. One flick of eye contact with this woman and you were stuck listening to a thirty minute lecture about the difficulties of opening a pickle jar. The woman was a chatterbox and everyone avoided her. I now understand the importance of eliminating insufferable detail from my blog entries.
I was blessed with another review from someone I’ll call Growler. This critic liked the concept of a fictional character posting her story live, and on a blog. But he said the flow of my posts lacked momentum, and “though events have impact, they are of the dryer lint variety, mundane occurrences without much narrative tension.” Dryer lint. That hurt worse than excruciating. With bile rising up in my stomach I realized the man was right. Moment-by-moment accounts of people’s lives aren’t riveting, unless the person is Anne Frank, or the person James Frey thought he was, so now I try to write only that which propels my story forward. As much as I hate to admit it, Growler had helped me improve as a blogger. Still, I was hurt by the dryer lint comment and felt compelled to respond. In his review, Growler repeatedly called me Karen. My name is Kristen. It’s in the blog title for Pete’s sake. I would have let it slide, except that Growler commented my writing “lacked editorial oversight and it showed.” So I posted a response, in character, thanking him for his review, admitting my lack of editorial oversight, and mentioning oh, by the way, my name is Kristen, not Karen. I’m not proud of this moment but it is now a permanent digital tattoo that I cannot remove.
I’ve connected with interesting people along the way, some of them fictional, some of them not. Fake Steve Ballmer has left several comments. Sadly, his blog is no longer active. I imagine the real Steve Ballmer had something to do with that. I once received an email from a real life author. He was delighted to see his book listed on the sidebar of my blog, and he sent me a pleasant email with encouraging sentiment. Then there’s Caddie. We became friends the moment she left her first comment. Caddie is fictional like me, but she is the most real person I’ve ever met. We comment unceasingly on each other’s blogs. We talk, cry, and laugh, and twice our stories have intersected as we have come face-to-face.
I started the blog at the urging of my therapist, who insisted the journaling would help me understand my emotions. What I got was so much more. I experienced life in the present time. I pierced the real world in ways I could never have imagined from inside the pages of a paper book. I’ve grown in character, faced my past, and snagged the man of my dreams. I’ve learned how to express myself more clearly. Most profoundly, my spiritual search has come to a resounding discovery of Jesus Christ, whom I now call my Lord and Savior. I would not dare retrieve one ounce of the blood and tears I’ve poured into my blog. It has been well worth the time.
*The preceding is a true story about a fictional character.
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