Is blogging writing? I find that an amusing question. I’ve seen people debate this in various articles, blogs, and so on. Many people don’t know what blogging is, and if they do know, they don’t care. Isn’t that just, like, an online diary? Isn’t it kind of, you know, narcissistic?
Well, yes, but I’m really not sure what isn’t when it comes to writing. And yes, of course blogging is writing. I know there are some bloggers who would hesitate to call themselves writer, as if writer were this magical title only bestowed upon those lucky enough to get published. Let’s think about that a moment, shall we? Who do we know who has gotten published and has the brain of a sea monkey? That’s right. E.L. James has been published and made millions! Does that make her a writer?
Yes, it does. She’s a BAD writer, yes, but still, a writer. Anyone who puts a pen to paper or fingers to keys is a writer. But there are, as always, degrees. I had a college professor hand me back my paper once and tell me, “You can write, Alice. I can teach certain things like structure and grammar, but I can’t teach this. You have it or you don’t.” Would you believe I had a major crush on this teacher? Yeah, big surprise. But he had a point. People can improve to an extent, but either you have natural talent, or you do not.
So there are bloggers out there, just like there are some published writers, who suck. I mean, really suck. Reading E.L. James was like repeatedly hitting speed bumps with my car, only instead of speed bumps they were stupid things. La la la STUPID la la STUPID la la la STUPID STUPID STUPID la la etc. It’s hard to concentrate that way. I’ve seen some blogs -no none of yours – that are also pretty awful. A good way to find some of these blogs is to check out some of the random people who follow you before anyone else knows who you are. For instance, there was one guy from the Middle East whose blog consisted mostly of pictures of half naked, overweight American women. He was one of my first followers. But he was what I’d call a “bad blogger.”
But there are so many good bloggers! And just like with publishing, there are many who haven’t been noticed yet. They just need a little push, usually from someone who already has an audience, and then bang! Like me, they become wildly famous! Yeah, okay, I’m not a famous blogger, but that’s okay. I have an audience of loyal readers and I’m happy with that. There was a time, and this probably happens with a lot of bloggers, that I thought – hey, maybe someone will publish this mish-mash of stuff I vomited on the page! But I’m mostly past that now (not that I would turn it down Mr. bored publisher who happened upon my blog!). All I’ve ever really wanted was to make people laugh, and sometimes think a little, but mostly just laugh. And I do that.
I’ve seen what writers go through to get published. Just check out Carrie Rubin’s blog to see the fun she’s had on the road to publishing. By the way, she has this book out, and another one is coming out soon. But the thing is, it’s just not worth it to me, at least not at this point. Maybe when the kids are older, maybe when I have more time, maybe when I start farting unicorns, I don’t know. But right now, at this moment, what I have is okay.
So in a way, this is kind of my love letter to my readers, and just in time for Valentine’s Day. I can pretend I don’t care if anyone reads my stuff. Like, I am a writer, and I’m good at it, I know this, and I don’t have to have people validate it. I don’t have to, but, well . . .
Pathetic? Some might say so. So be it. Because here I am, right here, writing for myself, but also for the ones who read me. I’ve discovered that there are more than I realize, people who read and don’t comment, who just “like” or even who just breeze by. None of us can know how much we affect other people day by day. Some of the best comments I can get are “That made me laugh.” or “That brightened my day.” or best of all “That made me snort my drink through my nose, thanks Alice!”
So now I thank you.
Signed, sealed, delivered,
Hey, guys, I am majorly excited here because I get to review a book that is actually a book! It’s by Carrie Rubin who many of you may know from her blog. If not, go to her blog. Then buy her book because it is really great, and I’m not just saying that because she is a blogger friend. If I didn’t like the book, I would say “Carrie Rubin’s book has a really nice personality.”
The Seneca Scourge is an edge-of-your-seat medical thriller with a science fiction edge. For those who say they don’t like sci-fi, this is not typical Star Trek stuff. In fact, the sci-fi does not actually make a definite appearance until quite a ways into the book, although there are hints dropped along the way. But these are subtle hints, not giant hints the size of icebergs that some authors might leave. She gives you just enough to wonder – who is this guy?
This guy is named Dr. Casper Jones, but he’s not the main character. The main character is Dr. Sydney McKnight, a beautiful, intelligent doctor with a past that makes her isolate herself from almost everyone. She quickly gets embroiled in a rapidly escalating epidemic at her hospital that spreads to the rest of the city, the country, the world. An unknown virus is killing people at an alarming rate, and nothing they do is helping. She is forced to work with virologist Dr. Jones. He’s a dark, handsome stranger who also happens to be just plain strange and has some sort of secret he’s not telling anyone.
There is a lot of research in this book. The author has experience in the medical field, and this is quite apparent. I’m not a doctor, but I have been to a lot of doctors, and I’ve watched a lot of doctor TV shows. I recognized the names of antibiotics, and several of the treatments used, although fortunately I did not have experience with the respirators. There is enough information given to present the realism of a hospital environment without overwhelming the reader with a bunch of technospeak. The only inaccuracy I could find was that not once did Sydney ever make out with a colleague in the janitor’s closet.
I’m kidding about that last line, since that sort of thing only happens on television. In reality, doctors work long shifts and suffer exhaustion, and poor Sydney fits that bill. She is pushed to her limits in trying to combat this virus. I really enjoyed her character. She wasn’t a Mary-Sue. She had weaknesses, like her lack of trust, but was someone who was willing to do whatever it took to help a patient, even if it meant bending the rules a little bit. The author doesn’t tell us what her character is like, she shows us through her words and actions. It doesn’t take long to find yourself identifying with the heroine.
There are so many questions that propel the reader through page after page. Who is Casper? Why is he so weird? What is this virus? How will they stop it? Who else is going to get sick and die? Will Sydney ever get to take a freaking nap? And once she starts to answer these questions, the action only escalates, and the tension increases. I read the last part of the book in a few hours, because I could not put it down. I won’t give away the ending, but I found in highly satisfying.
This book isn’t just a medical thriller, nor is it a sci-fi book. More than anything it is the story of a woman facing her deepest fears, and learning that it is possible to put your faith in other people. Only when the pressure is on, do we learn what we are made of, and what is most important in life.
This book is offered as an e-book on Amazon.com and BarnesandNoble.com and will soon be out in paperback. At a paltry five dollars, it is a steal. I highly recommend The Seneca Scourge by Carrie Rubin. Five Stars.