Sunday, August 30, 2009

NAME DROPPING

When I mentioned in my blog that I knew Elizabeth Taylor -- my readership -- the number people visiting my blog, went up. The stats program that keeps a record of "hits" went up the next day, and stayed up throughout the week that I showed pictures of my extravagant large rings, which I'd bought because of Liz.

Ah ha! Em the detective thought, when the numbers went up again, after I wrote about our palling around with Richard Burton.

Mmm, I've been thinking, as I learn more about who reads blogs when, and why. And of course I've been wondering what other names I could drop, that would get me more readers.

So, being a worker, I went ahead and made a preliminary list -- jotted down names of famous people we know and have socialized with -- "names" I could write something about that was personal, interesting, or surprising, a little titillating ...

29 names ...

DAMMIT! I can't do it.

In the "Cyrano" I wrote for JC, which was (and still is) a favorite marvelous project that got extraordinary reviews, raves and attention for us both, I used Rostand's play as an outline and inspiration -- my words for Cyrano speak for me. hit me, stop me hard when I think about "writing to get more readers... "

"And be what? An opportunist who climbs up like some parasitic vine on a tree trunk? No thank you!

"Pay an editor perhaps, to publish my poems, write a play to display the talents of the latest fashionable actor? I thank you, but no thanks.

"Shall I concern myself with popular opinion, public approval, who's where, doing what, what's in vogue and what will gain attention, get my name upon the pages of the newspapers? Plan, ponder, connive and scheme for introductions to the influential, invitations to their parties, socialize my way to fame and glory? No. Indeed, no thank you.

"But, to sing, to dream, to laugh, go where I please, have eyes that see things clear and a voice that rings true, and when I like, wear my hat wrong-side front or inside-out, or none at all. Fight for a cause. Fight for a 'yes' or for a 'no' or write a poem.

"And work without thought of fame or fortune. saying anything, writing anything, but not one word, not a line will I write that comes not from my own heart!

"Then, if by chance I gain some small success, I will not be a vine, I will not be a parasite. I may not be an oak or a Linden tree, nor stand as tall or high, but I stand, yes, thank you, I stand alone."

That's where I'm at. I can't manufacture a mood that will send my fingers flying into a story about this lady, that nut, that bitch, some hunk -- all their insecurities -- the childish fears of famous grownups.

That doesn't mean I'll never tell the tales, but it has to flow out of events in my real world which, today, is filled the Kennedy family things -- the tributes, the stories of the Kennedy brothers, and seeing and hearing the funeral today.

Oops! Just now, right on cue, my email notifier buzzed -- I got this email from Fran, my friend, blog coach, web designer who lives near Boston -- "We have been so deeply moved by today's proceedings. What a loss. Talk about redemption!"

That's where my mind is -- on Ted Kennedy's Massachusetts, and Fran's home there -- the sights, the people, the community she's a part of -- the funeral processional through the streets lined with ordinary people, trees, churches, and homey looking homes like Fran's make me a part of it too.

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