Blogging is such a 21st Century thing to do, but despite my 20th century reservations, a while ago I took the advice of my publisher and some of my younger friends and gave it a try. To be honest, though, I was truly convinced to blog only after I considered all the things I wasn’t prepared to do in the name of shameless self-promotion . . . Twitter, Instagram, Tik Tok. (Tik Tok!!!)
In November 2021, I published my second book Expecting the World, a memoir of my thirty years working in international development, which took a solid four years to write, rewrite, revise and edit. Although people now ask “So what’s your new book going to be about?” I reply in alarm: “New book?? No!! No more books!! I’m 70 years old. Surely I’m not required to write another book.” And yet . . .when I’m not writing, I miss it. Even if I’m not up to writing another 300 page book, maybe I still have things to say, stories to tell, ideas to share. My memory is still pretty sharp, but they tell me it dulls with time. Maybe blogging will help?
In 2019, my husband Terry and I bought a house in a tiny village in the Alentejo region of Portugal. Since then we’ve been dividing our time between Europe and the farm in Pennsylvania.
Although I’m the first to acknowledge my embarrassment of riches, whenever I am in one house, I miss the other. When I spend lovely times with friends on one continent, I miss my friends on the other. Blogging helps bridge the gap.
When I was twenty, I lived and attended university in Paris. I remember a close friend coming to visit from the United States and marveling at how Parisians just went about their business without even noticing that they were in this incredibly beautiful city. He was astonished by such apparent indifference to their surroundings. “How can they be so blasé?” he asked.
Well, fifty years later I live in another beautiful place–Portugal–and I have no intention of being blasé about it. I want to take note of what is beautiful about our house with its flowers and fruit in the backyard, our medieval village Porto da Espada with its steep hills and cobblestone streets, our sturdy (if ancient) neighbors who encourage me to learn their language since they don’t speak a word of English, not to mention the castle next door. And I want to share with the people I care about what its like being in Portugal (when I’m here) and being on the farm (when I’m there). So . . . now I blog
Of course, there are many ways to stay in touch . I can do it close up – spend time on our farm, visit friends and family in the U.S. , invite them visit us in Portugal and I can do it remotely via Facetime or Zoom. Or . . . I can blog!
To my delight I’ve learned that blogging encourages readers to comment on what you’ve written. It allows the kind of back and forth that writing and publishing a full-length book doesn’t. Much as I love to write, it’s even more fun when readers write back. Suffice to say I’d love you to subscribe to my blog (if you haven’t already). It’s easy – scroll down to the bottom of the Home Page, fill in your name and email, press Subscribe and you will be alerted every time I post something. And if you subscribe, I’ll be motivated to keep blogging.
It is the 21st century, after all!