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Friday, April 29, 2005

Returning to the Fold

It’s past time to get back into action here. I’ve been completely pre-occupied with an exhausting round of house renovation, and now I’m preparing to leave for an Internet marketing conference in Chicago. I’ve always been a terrible multi-tasker, and my advancing age makes me even more so. So the blogging has just gone down the tubes lately.

However, I got the blogging juices revived yesterday by having lunch with a terrific blogger that I've been wanting to meet for a long time, Maria Benet. I wasn't able to attend her recent reading and book signing marking the debut of her newly published book of poems, "Mapmaker of Absences," so I emailed her and suggested a lunch date so that I could get a signed copy of her book (not to mention the opportunity to enjoy the considerable pleasure of her company).

The slim, attractively designed book is, for me, a small treasure and I was thrilled to get her inscription. If you've done any reading at all of Maria's blog, you know what a hell of a writer she is and probably won't be surprised to learn that her poetry is great too--even better. I can't recommend this book too highly. Do yourself a favor and order a copy.

This was the fourth time I've met and spent a little hang time with a blogger from my blogroll. Although the four individuals are all quite different(Frank, Dorothea, and Denise are the others), the experience is always the same in many respects: the sense of already knowing each other; lively and stimulating interchange; having discussions about other bloggers almost as if they were members our own famililes; trying to dissect what it is about blogging that makes it special, and never quite being able to express it adequately, but nonetheless knowing exactly what the experience is that the other person is trying to express; and probably seeming wierd and esoteric to those within earshot. It's a unique and special bond.

The other thing I've noticed in each case is that the blogger is the measure of the blog. That is, the qualities that make the blog special are personified in the real-world person. What you read is what you get. I think it may be quite likely that the community of serious bloggers is one of the least phony groups of people you could find anywhere.

It certainly holds true in Maria's case. Totally unaffected and down-to-earth despite considerable smarts and artistic talents--oh, and she's technically adept as well. She started blogging with her own personally developed software before blogging software programs came on the market.

I'm in awe of people who can carry the tech mind and the artist mind in the same brain. Maria demurs, saying she's no Shelley Powers. Maybe not. After all, who is? But I'm still mightily impressed.

OK. I hope there's another blogger in the wings who will grace my path one of these days. It could be a great hobby.


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