The A to Z Blogging Challenge Condensed to the A to B Blogging Challenge

Cover of "The Diary of Anne Frank"
Not exactly a diarist of this caliber.Cover of The Diary of Anne Frank


I only got so far as B, so it’s going to be the A to B Blogging Challenge. For added grins I write it in “Melodramatic Victorian:”

My dear readers,

Given the task of writing a ‘B’ article for the A to Z Blogging Challenge, my mind turns to the idle days of youth. Those days, dear readers! Oh, those days! My pen quivers at the memory of budding life ‘ere the blossom bloomed and  old age withered the emerged flower! Do you remember, my most constant  friends, those days when our cheeks were cherry red with acne and life? I recall it as though it were yesterday…

It was the fall of my thirteenth year, and I had yet again given into the flights of fancy peculiar to me, the furies of fear, which set me apart from my schoolmates. The other children at the schoolhouse could not leave such a curiosity as me be. The privy, the dining area, out on the grounds, few places were safe from the little villains. I was afraid and yet part of me felt that negative attention was  better than no attention. Better not forgotten, but awful being remembered, I found that I despised educational pursuits altogether, so when I was installed in a safer place I still wanted to be done with the lot of it. In a way indeed I was.

This school, instead of being awash in Godless heathen, was awash and a dried   with God-fearing souls of a fundamentalist sect. I had been there, done that, and bought the appropriate apparel in the earliest of my formative years, and did not wish to do so again. Though the overwhelming majority were of the nicest sort of people, having been away from such beliefs for so long gave me a distaste for such ideas. I recall walking past a bulletin board against the candidate for the US senate who I supported because of abortion. Tsk, tsk. I also recall the campaign against Halloween, that evil Pagan holiday, where someone might sacrifice you to the devil if you were a virgin (a peril I’d still have to worry about today, sigh, as an aging spinster). I called “BS” on such fancies, having not recalled in all my 13 years hearing anyone in our town being sacrificed, but as you no doubt know, there’s a first for everything.

I wanted out of there, a place one could say was a liberal’s hell, and I feigned being ill so often they dismissed me from among them. I wish I could go back, give the proverbial rat’s derriere about learning, and propel myself through the middle grades. But I didn’t. I stayed home being homeschooled and developing agoraphobia, you know, the typical plights of adolescence.

I retired to home, schooled myself for two years in what I felt like learning and naught else, kept a diary, and remained agoraphobic except when with my mother.  The villains from the school before last and a crazy man who jumped out at me one night sealed my fearful state so much that only other fears brought me back into society two years later.

After my years à la Diary of Anne Frank, I resumed my education, my epistles in my diary became sporadic at best. Life lived outside the tiny expanse between my ears gave me other concerns than giving blow by blow dissertations on why my family ‘sucked,’ to use the vernacular common today, or what transpired on the television. Looking back on the juvenilia,  I am tempted to chuck those little books for the poor quality of the writing, but old sentimentality bade me stop.

We leave adolescence behind now and look beyond to the institution of higher learning ,The Community College, where one is given two year’s (or, in my case, five year’s ) instruction to go to higher-higher learning or to take up a trade. I was a wretched student for the most part, my inability to make deadlines one and for two there were diversions aplenty downtown. Secondary school had been easy for the most part. College was a whole other kettle of fish. I wonder at times, dear reader, if my days trudging the hallowed halls were worth it, that all my learning went for naught since I am pensioned by the government’s good will towards the mentally afflicted. Yet, one may postulate that knowledge, from the tiniest kernel of truth onward, is never a waste of time for anyone should it enhance the life of the pursuer –Eve excepted of course. The canvas of my mind was painted the hues of a liberal education, subtly infused with yellow flowers of reading and writing and a happy sun  of Windows 98. Oh, wonderous beauty, oh marvelous keyboard of life  (never mind I failed the word processing class. Moveable type wasn’t perfected in a day and the metaphor is effective just the same).

It was Creative Writing I that first propelled me forth in my illustrious pursuit of the written word, along with Creative Writing II, which had a few lesbians trying to find their Sapphic  muse as I tried to find my voice too. In class the first I learned and  listened in between the peculiar fits of panic I was dealt at that time of my life. From hearing my teacher lecture others and myself I learned:

  • Do not besmirch your paper with a preponderance of adjectives and adverbs  -a little goes a long way.
  • If you see something wrong with someone’s writing, tell him , that he might improve instead of gushing how wonderful his writing is (ah, but should I be bade  to tell someone EXACTLY what I saw wrong with something, I could pick out a few things. While my own writing  considerably lacked and I wasn’t able to discern just how bad it lacked, I could  see a  lot with the rather unexceptional lad with whom I was paired).
  • You need to work on the punctuation and spacing in your poems.
  • When writing a poem about your mother, don’t make it sound like a Hallmark moment (though said mother preferred the generic version as opposed to emo blood n’ guts version, thanks).
  • While you got a knack for pacing, this is the sort of story that’s been told 1000s of times, and your characters are archetypal (Lisa, cut out the gothic dramas, and what the hell is archetypal?.
  • If you’re writing a vintage style detective story, Oldest Guy in Class, don’t let the narrator call one of the characters “an old Jew.”
  • Young Guy, don’t use “ye olde English,” there’s enough of that from classic poets. To thyne own self be true… but only to  a point.

During Creative Writing the First, we were all expected to keep an “observation journal,” which was not to be a “How my boyfriend and I argue all the time journal” (not a problem for me, believe me). I was in the “wish I could disappear phase of my college education, so my journal became the friend I didn’t have. Rather, my teacher by proxy became my friend since she read the journal and left comments in the margins if I were lucky> I wrote about my observations and thoughts on things in what I flatter myself to be a humorous way. When class ended it was as though I lost a very dear friend. But this was another pre-cursor to my life as a blogger and horrid comment whore.

During Creative Writing the Second I began to realize my life was not meant to churn out fiction, rather my life was meant to chronicle my life, mundane as it was, and get a laugh or two. I remember I wrote a short story based on my life in high school and college and told of my one forray into the romantic world (humiliating myself for the grins of others, which pleased me. Better to laugh than cry…).  The teacher had us read excerpts from our writing at a bar that had a small stage, so perfect venue! I didn’t eat anything, lest I be sick, but I got up there, before the students and their friends, plus people who just came in to drink and didn’t care what else happened. I made a “Hi, mom” crack and began. I was a hit! It was one of the best moments of my obscure life.

I wish I could say after graduating, I became a celebrated writer or journalist or even went on to university, but it wasn’t to be. My anxiety, shyness, and inability to concentrate won in the end and I get paid by the government to exist and that’s my life.

But of course, my story doesn’t end there, my blogging story that is. Since graduating, my society with others, which was originally insignificant, almost went to nil. I have 3 friends I see regularly and other than that I keep to myself. Though I like people, I prefer it this way. In case you weren’t aware I’m terrified of rejection, plus I like being left to my own devices most of the time.

To supplement my lack of social life, I started conversing in a chat room for about 5 years or so. Now let me tell you something about chat rooms, lots of the brilliant conversationalists have problems bigger than yours, and no I wasn’t in a mental health room. It just seems like not many were “normal” insofar as my weak understanding of the word means and I don’t mean that as a slight. They say you don’t really know people online, but in 5 years, one does after a fashion, in a way some people  are more their true selves online than off I venture to say. Why I say this is you see how they deal with their fellows online and you know they are more flawed than you would see exhibited in polite society (not that I was a saint either to people who were rude to me).

In my chat room days I kept a couple of blogs. One I did a couple of posts and lost interest  in it, another I posted a few times until someone from the chat started pasting my musings into the chat to embarrass me.  Then I restarted blogging on that site, but my dearest mother sent me into fits of paranoia that the SOB gentleman down the way would find out I was writing about how he NEVER PAID ME BACK that $73.00  I loaned him to pay his light bill (what, me bitter? Not I, Christian charity, etc.). After a little while blogging almost privately I stopped writing there also.

Skipping on to the beginning of 2010, my best chat room friend and I had a falling out and suddenly I had nothing in my opinion. I stayed out of the chat room and the fellow who caused our quarrel began instant messaging me again. One day, as befitting his tastes and humor, he showed me a video of his favorite actress of the adult genre, Penny Flame. Who? What? Huh? “What makes her your favorite?” I asked, because watching said actress on said couch riding said man, she looked, well, like an actress of such moving pictures. A more everyday lass, less artificially rendered in make-up or enhancements of the bosom, but an actress none the less.

“She’s affectionate,” he said.


Well, now, this wasn’t enough for me and my delicate sensibilities, so I researched her, and that brought up that infallible oracle  of truth, Wikipedia.

“Hey, did you know she retired, went on a Sex Rehab thing, and now keeps a blog as Jennie Ketcham?”

I became fascinated with not-Penny and was amazed by her goodness and how we seemed to have similar insecurities though she were endowed with more beauty and talents of letters than I ever should be gifted. I observed how her writing seemed to truly help people and a peculiar idea came to me, “Hey, maybe I could help folks while helping myself by writing too?” Misery loves company, right, I thought, and perhaps it would help other anxious people to know they aren’t alone or some such, etc. So I created this magnificent, magnanimous blog. Though I ramble something awful, can’t stay on topic to save my life, and worry all the time about losing my blogging friends, I must say this is my crowning achievement in life (I know, “winning” right?). I’ve met so many wonderful people through this blog and love you all. You give my life meaning and I hope to keep blogging as long as I live.


20 thoughts on “The A to Z Blogging Challenge Condensed to the A to B Blogging Challenge

  1. Lisa,

    I so love how you were a hit reading your excerpt at the bar in your Creative Writing class 2! I’m so touched by how meaningful blogging is for you. You are a special person and wonderful writer. You definitely touch other people’s lives.


    • Thanks! I love azaleas but you blink and they’re gone, so this way I get to extend spring a bit. This theme they only came out with for .com a few weeks ago. “Mystique.” It’s pretty just as it is, b/c it has a rainbow header, but I wanted girl it up some.


  2. Hi Lisa — life runs away with me and I don’t comment enough on blogs that I really enjoy visiting, of which yours is one. You’re a very funny, clever and honest writer. Your blog looks great, too.



  3. I, for one, as if I might be two or more, depending on what time of day it is, or what day for that matter, never observed any rambling in your excellent, and brilliant, some might say, I being one of them, blogging challenge. Does non-Penny ever rent herself out for the occasional occasion, or non-occasion as the case may be? Can she bring The Rodrigo along?


    • I understand what you mean, not that I wouldn’t understand, but you see what I’m saying if you know what I’m getting at. I feel as a challenged blogger, not much maligned but challenged all the same, someone I could name but wont I dont think but would like to if I didnt think it would upset him, you know? But what I’m telling you is someone unsubscribed from my blog, which is fair and OK among free thinking readers, but you understand you know how it would upset me because he said he couldn’t take my writing style, see? I had to ask why because i was scared and worried I had hurt his feelings or made him mad, but no not really he just didnt like my style or fashion of writing. I think, though i’m not qualified by any means to say my older posts are less concise though i intend to do a vol. II of best of the first year b/c its fun to see, you understand and I’m not a narcissistic because anytime someone criticizes me all positive praising for my epistles go out the window, all or nothing thinking is for winners.

      Dearest man for the consuming,
      The No Penny no works anymore, she makes for to be a student and writes. Very nice. I, the Rodrigo, in my other hand, would loves to make the porns for the bothsexuals. I swinging for the mans and the womans, but my elderly monied ugly female wife no for likes me to have the sexing except on her. But you, I maybe we works something for out? Do you wants to meets at Super the 8 or the 6 Motel? RSVP please by favors?
      ~I, The Rodrigo


      • After reading your undeniably extensive, glorious and sometimes truly inspiring work of reply art, I drank a half bottle of vintage NyQuil, berry flavor, slid into consciousness, only obtained by a selective few, and understood it like nothing I’ve ever understood before, except that time drank a whole bottle of really cheap tequila.

        Dear The Rodrigo,

        I would make a date at a cheap motel I know about that has an amazing window air conditioner that sounds like Yanni stepping into a really really hot shower. However, a google search of “bothsexuals” led me to this wonderful spot, . Not even vintage NyQuil can prepare me for what’s there. As such, I bought a blow up doll on ebay for $4.95 +s/h.


  4. “I had been there, done that, and bought the appropriate apparel . . .” Cracked up at that!

    I think it’s awesome that you read some of your journals on stage in a bar. I’ve always wondered if I would be able to do something like that.

    Loved reading about your road to blogville!


    • Had to! But it was fun. I was on a med that made me less anxious in public. It wasnt good though b/c the first thing I’d think, out of my mouth it went. It had side effects bad too and that was a major reason I stopped. Probably was Effexor. That is hard to get off. I called a guy an asshole coming off that. Coming off makes you easily angered and say something you wouldnt find yourself saying (not at loud at least). I’m mortified now. Even more mortified by the stuff I did coming off Paxil. I was in my late teens and decided to get off of the med to lose weight and even though I winged myself off it has a long life and messes up your serotonin, fluctuates it or something which makes you mad. My best friend’s mother’s boyfriend was a total jerk and he made me angry, so I made him aware he was a Jerk. And we got into a yelling match (me! can you believe? I cant believe it, but I was there and remember, sooooo). Because he was a jerk indeed, he wanted to hit me. I was like “go ahead and hit me!” But I was going to run if he actually lunged for me. I knew I couldn’t win a fight against Gary Coleman let alone a dude who was over 6ft tall. (in fact I have only hit one person in my life, maybe in 4th grade and I dont think I hit hard enough to hurt…I burn with guilt over that. I never forgive myself for things) Luckily my friend’s mom stopped her douchebag boyfriend. I feel guilty b/c I got mad first and can’t believe I was that stupid brave. Thanks Paxil! Winning!


  5. Your life growing up was fascinating. You should write a memoir about those fundamental days. I’d buy it first!

    (I’m pretty sure that a virgin had never been sacrificed in the history of the world. I don’t even think the ancient Mayans would waste a thing like that.)


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