January was a busy month. I have several irons in the fire and never seem to stay still long enough to gather dust. Besides adding two new job titles — paraprofessional and literacy tutor — to my responsibilities at the school, I’ve been busy with projects at home. Watermarking my digital photos as an attempt to protect them has become one priority. I don’t know that my photos are actually worth stealing, but they are mine, I put work into them, they are special to me. Anyone thinking of snagging them consider this: they are kinda shitty compared to professional photographs. Bitch please, I’m an amateur photographer. If you’re going to commit intellectual property theft, you are on the wrong site.
I did a round of NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writer’s Month). The first time I encountered this on WordPress I thought another blogger was writing about Japanese anime characters so I disregarded. In late December I received an e-mail from a blog I subscribe to, challenging me to participate in NaNoWriMo for January and write 500 words every day. There were no strings attached except that participants make a valiant effort to write. My progress was nothing to brag about, but I did make an effort. Part of my problem was that I ended up ill for ten days, and during this time I didn’t have the energy to approach my computer, let alone type 500 words a day. I managed to put extra effort into what I did type, and January writing projects were quite enjoyable. So, I am happy to report that while I didn’t write a novel (and don’t intend to at this point) I have developed the habit of wanting to type about 500 words each day. That is a good habit to develop!
I began a new project and a bit of a crash course. I have had this fantastic book, Will Write for Food, by Dianne Jacob, for two years now, and just cracked the cover this month. I am nearly halfway through and am learning invaluable information about…drum roll please…food writing! Before I even considered starting a blog, my husband was encouraging me to write a cookbook featuring old family recipes and “secret” ingredients. Unsure how prepared I was for such an endeavor, I ordered Jacob’s guide and it sat in a corner for two years. Now that I (finally) opened it I can say that Will Write for Food is THE quintessential resource for food writers. I am gaining nothing by making positive statements about this book, I just really think it is wonderfully comprehensive!
After I finish reading the book, work on the suggested exercises and research areas of interest, I will (hopefully) be a more experienced writer. In the meantime I am launching an ambitious little blog called Okra Blossom, focused on anything food related. I took a nap a few days ago, and when I woke up I HAD to start another blog immediately, and I HAD to call it Okra Blossom, because that is my favorite flower. As impulsive as I can be, this is not without some deep and careful (apparently subconscious) thought (while I was napping?) but I am enthusiastic about the positive repercussions of having a semi-professional food blog. I will still have my any topic/any time eclectic chaos occurring at Blogging Pioneer. But Okra Blossom will be more laser focused and (again hopefully) will help me develop a specific skill set as a writer. If you are interested in reading my food writing, come visit me soon at:
You are a glutton for punishment (taking on a second blog). Thanks for the tip on “Will Write For Food” – looking forward to reading your food writing.
My original idea for a blog was to do an ethnic food shopping blog for NYC (looking for Thai Basil?) but I was putting it off until I retired. Donna told me I should start a practice blog – to see if I liked writing and to learn the basics. So I started A Boy and Her Dog as my training blog, except it got a life of its own. I’m still planning a blog, but more about ingredients rather than focusing on recipes.
Yay! You are my very first follower on the food blog! You have also been a tremendous supporter and inspiration these past months, and all these things will not go unpunished – ha! Seriously, thank you for being there. I think you would find ‘Will Write For Food’ a fun read and great addition to your collection. I am definitely a glutton for punishment, but that is my Lutheran upbringing! I have discovered that I really enjoy writing about food, and wanted to see how a topical blog performs differently than my practice blog, which sometimes seems a bit scattered. I guess it is hard to predict how writing will be received by readers; your blog definitely has a life of its own and has become a favorite that I read weekly. I think a blog about ingredients would be fun, especially in NYC, since you are surrounded by so many specialty food shops, spice markets, and amazing restaurants (can you detect my tone of jealousy?). I can imagine the adventures of seeking out the perfect ingredients for dishes, and rather than featuring recipes, writing about the adventures and the ingredients. Very cool!