Curator of the Week Dec. 20 - Dec. 26, 2009
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Our Curator this week is AnnaBeth Hawkins Davidson who authors her blog AnnaBethHD's Blog
Check out Anna Beth's blog along with the three that she reviews below.
  • I'm catching up on curator of the week posts, and found yours very interesting--and I will definitely check out these three blogs, and yours. I'm new to blogging too, and am finding it a fun adventure and have learned a lot in just a month and a half.
  • What a huge surprise and honor! Thank you, Anna Beth, for acknowledging The Blue Suitcase--and especially for pointing me to these additional terrific blogs. Happy New Year, and good writing wishes to all!
  • AnnaBeth, I am so very honored that you would choose my blog. I am fairly new to blogging and am still trying to "hit my stride". I too am amazed by the talent here on She Writes, I often feel unworthy. I am trying to find the "thing" that I most care to blog about, right now it is often just whatever strikes me. I hope to blog more regularly, if only to keep exercising those writing muscles. I probably spend more time trying to quiet my internal critic than I do actually blogging. Maybe in time that will change. Thank you so very much for such a high compliment that you would review my blog. And thank you for being a curator, your reviews are lovely.
  • Here I am, finally. Sorry if this is later this evening than some might have expected, but I made it. Thanks and enjoy! AB I am excited to have the honor of a week as curator of the blog posts.  I have been reading blogs for the past 3 evenings non-stop and have stumbled on so much interesting writing.  The talent here at SheWrites is incredible, and I feel quite humbled to be among all of you.  I feel a bit small, but at the same time excited to know that the support and company here is incredible. I already feel I have learned quite a bit from other SheWrites gals, and that I am growing. I have sifted through so many blogs on topics from writing practice, to narratives on the creation of a book, to personal musings on daily life, to poetry, to commentary on current events.  I can truly say that I feel refreshed and inspired to get writing. I have truly been inspired to search my own life for material and information, and to just plain get writing. Here are the ladies I am featuring: The Blue Suitcase by Bonnie J. Rough, Beginning Life at 50 by Julie Jeffs (the organizer for this group), and finally Beautiful Wreck Sex, Lies & Suicide by Stephanie Schroeder. The first choice I made was The Blue Suitcase by Bonnie J. Rough.  This blog is a delightful chronicle of Bonnie’s “globetrotting” travels with her young daughter and husband.  She calls herself the “documentarian” of the families travels, and within her archive of their travel activities are morsels of precious combinations of words.  What I found in her writings were charming images and thoughtful musings on their journeys.  Her writing made me love words and language even more than I already do. Her latest post was about a trip to the Christkindlemarkt in Nuremberg, Germany.  I was drawn into her narrative about their activities while at the market.  Their day activities cause Bonnie to ponder the impermanence of things: “Of course, this impermanence is why we save a lock of baby hair. This is why my mother has my baby teeth in her jewelry box. This is why the smell of my husband’s skin comforts me so: it is the same smell, familiar and soft, even if very little flesh remains from the day I met him.”  Her language is simple and poignant, and her story-telling made me feel almost like I had a beautiful picture book of their excursion through the market sitting right in my lap.  What wonderful tales she tells! Next, I checked out the blog Beginning Life at 50 by Julie Jeffs. She is one of the coordinators for the blogging group here, and we have been corresponding about my desire to be a curator for the week.  I opened her blog just this evening, and I found an honest and intriguing account of a solo trip to the movie theater.  Julie has recently retired from law enforcement, and is excited about her new devotion to writing. In her post “Table for One,” she talks about her apprehension about going to the theater to see a movie alone.  Along the way she talks about how eating alone has become easier, and what she does to make that feel OK. Then she writes of why the movie experience was different.  She says, “Sitting alone in the theater, I was a little self-conscious when I would laugh aloud, of course only at the funny parts.” I think it takes true confidence and a security in oneself to feel comfortable flying solo in this society that so heavily emphasizes that we must be connected to someone.  Having a part of oneself that can be contently alone is huge.  Julie does a wonderful job of making this clear and shows the significance of having this strength as a human being, and especially as a woman.  She ends with, “I guess I can cross another thing off my list of things that I will do as I have begun my new life at 50. I have gone from being a girlfriend to a wife then a girlfriend and now I am learning to be just a single woman.”  Julie shows great strength in uncomplicated and a beautiful use of language.  Finally, I want to talk about the blog Beautiful Wreck Sex, Lies & Suicide by Stephanie Schroeder. I now journey into the crazy (no pun intended) world of the mental health system.  This blog affected me so deeply because of the candidness Stephanie operates with to address her experiences.  I personally do not know if I could be nearly as forthcoming about such an personal topic.  Mental health still seems to be a sort of taboo in society, unfortunately.  The more often these experiences are presented to the public, to readers who may have misconceptions about those of us who suffer with mental illnesses, the closer our society will come to a better understanding of us. She describes her blog like this: “I detail the psychiatric underworld—first as a staffer at a homeless shelter on Ward’s Island working with mentally ill men and years later as a patient on a locked ward at Jersey City Medical Center. The fifteen-plus years in between are the substance of my book, a raw account of my life both marred and informed by mental illness.”  Her latest post deals with a recent trip to Bellevue for a full mental health exam.  She admits to her struggles with bi-polar disorder, turrets syndrome (both were undiagnosed for many years), and talks of how she navigated her way through an abusive relationship, and has come out on the other side a healthier and stronger woman.  I think so many of us read to find that there is someone else out there who understands and lives through struggles similar to our own.  We appreciate this connection because then we do not feel alone.  I know I have found this in reading novels, newspaper stories, and the like. But to find it in a true life and extremely truthful account of one woman’s experiences goes deep within me.  Stephanie ends with some of the best advice I have heard lately, that I am going to work to use for my own well-being “It’s really important to put in place a support network, whoever you are, but especially if you are mentally ill. It takes a village after all…to support anyone and everyone. I respect my biological family and family of friends who have supported me, mostly in the past four years, but also a few individuals prior to that…..And so it goes…”   I must say I thoroughly enjoyed this assignment, and came away with three things I am going to work for in my own blog writing (I am still trying to get in the rhythm of things, and I feel very scattered). First I am going to document the everyday joys and struggles; my journeys through life with my amazing partner. Next I am going to work to be truer to who I really am whether the world is comfortable with it or not. This leads into the last bit of writing I will try where I go outside what I feel is safe and acceptable, and really tell a story to the world that is authentic. Thank you Bonnie, Julie and Stephanie for your inspiration. I do hope you will visit these interesting places. Thanks for reading!be