A fellow blogger listed the blogs she follows and mine was on there. Thank you, my dear. Interestingly she filed us under categories: Fashion; Current affairs; Inspirational…I was under Literature. Nothing to complain about there, I thought, caressing my elbow patches. But it got me thinking about how my blog looks to other people.
It put me on the spot. It was as if someone had asked me “What do you want to be when you grow up?” I’m reluctant to say. Because the adults will inevitably begin to steer me, push suggestions, encourage, cajole, manipulate, and then it won’t be what I want to do anymore, will it? And what if I change my mind? No, I think I’m not ready to commit.
But then I passed the milestone of 100 followers this week and while that might not sound like much to you, I never thought I’d get past 4. The question continued to niggle. Other bloggers have a little statement of intent underneath their blog header or a cute name above the striped awning of their shopfront. You know what you’re in for if you turn up here:
Mr Pisces Crabcod Esq and Son, Fishmongers. Specializing in all things finned and gilled!
Admittedly, Jackiemallon.com doesn’t give you much to go on. What’s her shop got? you might ask. I should have a business plan. Everyone else in New York does.
But here at mission control, there are too many components to squash them into one branding package. Here’s the best I can do. Consider it a table of contents/mission statement:
-I spent too many years working in fashion to discard that part of myself. It’s alive and well and suffering from wearing high heeled boots all day Friday despite intending to run the NYC marathon tomorrow (but that’s another post–tune in Monday).
So there will be fashion. But I promise I will never pose in an urban alley or in front of a graffiti wall and have my friend take pictures of me carrying an ‘It’ bag
So I am not a fashion blogger. However I do think we should all take to wearing fresh flowers in our hair…
-Literature is my lifelong passion. I just published my first novel and have begun a second. However Kat and Edward, the two main characters from Silk for the Feed Dogs, my first one, still come thundering into the room, pull up chairs, pour themselves a drink and begin rowdy conversations in my kitchen. I end up getting dragged in; they say things just to provoke me, I’m sure of it. They’re so distracting that if I didn’t sometimes post their conversations, you wouldn’t hear from me for weeks because I can’t get anything else accomplished. I’ve warned them but they’ll try anything: chocolates, booze, those little almond pastries from my favourite Italian pasticceria. Every writer has their excuses for procrastinating. I blame them.
-I read constantly and that may spill over. For example if you guys had been around two years ago when I eventually accomplished the feat of reading Ulysses, boy would you have heard about it. It took five attempts, more than it did to quit smoking. I felt smart, special and on a higher plane. No need to keep that to myself now, is there?
-Speaking of which, my Irishness will pop up, despite living in cosmopolitan New York City. If the chic Italians couldn’t cure it and they had eight years to do so, then it’s a condition that we’re all going to have to live with. There is no way to strap it down to my person. It squeezes out from underneath, or swells up over the constraints like a beer gut over a leather belt. I’ll try and warn you but it might just pop the buttons and you’ll have to duck.
-I am a huge consumer of magazines. I loaded up hundreds into crates and had them shipped from another continent so that they would be waiting for me when I arrived in the Americas. I visualized a custom built library wing on my future mansion (when I grew up) and I’d have them all leather bound and perhaps allow students access to them, for reference only. Then I came to New York, met my husband who pronounced my apartment a fire hazard and put the kibosh on the whole library wing construction project on our fifth floor one bedroom.
But the result of my glossy diet is that I know not to post huge blocks of text without something visual to tickle the reader under the table. At dinner, we like our plates of food to be colorful so our intellectual nourishment should be visually stimulating too. Vanity Fair is a great model: good writing, strong supporting visuals and the topics are varied. You never know what you’re going to get! If it’s good enough for them…
-I teach fashion at a NYC school and so I fill impressionable minds on a daily basis with much the same stuff as I force upon you. Maybe in these pages I’ll divulge some classroom shenanigans, or observations on the new crop of professionals in my field.
I’ve been building up to doing a reading of my novel in the school gallery but for some reason that’s more daunting than standing in front of the same students in the classroom every day. I equate teaching to a performance on a stage to some extent but a reading from the novel means I’m laying myself bare in a different way. No greasepaint to hide behind.
-Oh, and I love to draw. And paint and collage. So if I present you with something I did earlier, all I ask is that you smile politely and display it on your fridge till someone ‘accidentally’ opens the carton of milk too violently and it slides down the door in shreds. Think of it this way: I could be learning to play the trombone and then you’d have to listen to snatches of that instead.
There you have it, folks; that’s my grand plan.
Curious about that pesky pair, Kat and Edward? You can buy Silk for the Feed Dogs here.