10 February 2010


Wednesday Night Trailer Theme Song: "Doing it the best I can . . ."

There's no time these days to live blog a full length movie . . . but I think I can manage one episode of a sitcom . . . especially if it's an 80s sitcom!

Besides, Just the Ten of Us happens to fit "Women in Horror" Month: three of the actresses had roles in Nightmare on Elm Street movies! One of them is the Heather Langenkamp who played our Nancy!!!

(What do you mean you don't know who Nancy is? Read my Top 5 Horror Heroines and learn!)

Have I mentioned that the Lubbocks are a Catholic family with ten kids?
(Take that, Seventh Heaven!)

So . . . you're still reading, aye? Didn't the reference to the Nightmare movies and my mention of my favourite decade in pop culture turn you off?

That might be a good thing--depending on how much you care to read what I write--because I'm about to spill something.

Last week, I discontinued Team Taylor Tuesday because I wanted another day of the week free for other blogging. Posting guitar lessons once every seven days was fine when I had main blog on which I could publish more "serious" stuff; but after it became clear that Shredded Cheddar was going to be the main show, I decided I couldn't keep giving what was basically filler it's own special day.

Fair enough, right? Yet that doesn't really explain why Wednesday Night Trailer and Friday Night Movie are back (albeit as Wednesday Night Theme Song and Friday Night Sitcom). Though not as obviously filler material as Taylor Swift videos and guitar lessons, they're hardly an opportunity for good writing. So I should explain further . . .

I've started wondering whether my blogging is killing my writing. The instant gratification that comes from being able to publish my thoughts for anyone in the world to read is great . . . but I also feel as if I'm missing something. My writing used to be to me what the Secret Garden was to Mary Lennox. (Yes, I do mean Frances Hodgson Burnett's novel.) It was a place of retreat--an escape from the world that was more real than the world. That I might have been cultivating beautiful blooms was secondary; what really mattered was the simple act of turning over the soil. No, not even the planting of seeds--just the breaking of earth with a small spade, shaking it up, letting it breathe, and patting it down again.

Today, my writing has become a foothold in the Catholic blogosphere, a way to earn some extra money, a parlour game of list making, and a chance to chat with friends--all of which are good things, and yet none of which are Secret Garden things. In fact, due to the general decline in quality I think my writing has taken, the only description that comes to mind is Slam, Bam, Thank-you-Ma'am. I think one-click publishing has turned me into a love-em-and-leave-em writer--a shallow prose stylist content with paddling in the tide pools of literature.

That is why Shredded Cheddar is going to be all about filler for now on (though that doesn't actually mean the return of Team Taylor Tuesday). I can't keep blogging and calling it writing. If I must blog, I should at least call it filler.

Image Source: Just the Ten of Us cast


Paul Stilwell said...

I remember sitting up in bed almost every night writing before I went to sleep.

I couldn't do that now except with concerted effort. I've tried in my blogging efforts to combat the "instant publication" demon whenever I write, but it's always there in various ways, as long as one writes for the blog.

You're right, the Secret Garden things are not for the internet. I'm still going to read your "filler".

Enbrethiliel said...


I desperately imagine that I could go back to my old, longhand writing habits, if only I cut down on my blogging time. Or am I pining for a golden age in writing that never actually existed? If I blow the dust off my old notebooks and go over the writing of another era, will I see that the filler of the past seven years (Sancta Sanctis and Shredded Cheddar combined) is actually superior in quality to my Secret Garden scribblings?

Thanks for ignoring another of my attempts to get people to stop reading my blog. (There will be another attempt next week.)

Paul Stilwell said...

That second attempt should be interesting...

Try the longhand and cutting down on the blogging (I can't believe I'm writing this considering that I enjoy reading your blogs so much) and I think you'll be surprised - in a very good way. Less of the instant gratification of publication and reader response and more of that leisurely, lost-in-time and lost-in-labour of writing, and re-writing, with pen and paper.

The golden age existed, even if the writing from that previous era is inferior to your present writing.

But why bother going through the old notebooks? I went through some of my old writing once and found some of it quite interesting (as in I wrote that? When?) and lots of it just made me want to crawl under a rock and die.

But it's all fuel. That's the way I see it. Like when I look at an older painting I did and only see how much I failed in what I wanted to get across, there comes a moment when you decide that it will become fuel for the next new painting. And whatever was good in it will hopefully be continued into the next.

Enbrethiliel said...


I had actually been planning to burn the old notebooks! I just need to find a friend with a barbecue pit in which I can do it. (Yes, some of that old stuff makes me want to move away, change my name, and start over with a new identity, too.) That I haven't got around to doing it is a testament to my procrastination.

Since they were private journals, never intended for anyone else's eyes, I think of them as practice rather than fuel. My life is fuel--and for the first time, I understand why the families of widely read writers resent being written into books. I think some people I know in real life are starting to hold back when I'm around, for fear that they might become blog fodder.

As for stuff that was intended for other people to read, such as the archives of Sancta Sanctis . . . yes, you're right: fuel, all fuel.

This brings to mind some Edna St. Vincent Millay (who would have made my E list if she hadn't been so awful in real life):

My candle burns at both ends;
It will not last the night;
But ah, my foes, and oh, my friends,
It gives a lovely light!