Sunday, July 31, 2011

But, Wait . . . Am I a Travel Writer?

Zora, the writer and explorer behind Roving Gastronome and Astoria Ugly, just tagged me in the My 7 Links meme that travel writers are passing around amongst themselves. I don't participate in blog memes very often; in fact the last time I did was just around this time of year in 2007, and the meme was "seven things about me." This time, I am choosing to participate because I've got a string of posts in the works that I just can't seem to finish. Perhaps by looking through my own past writing, I can get myself moving forward.

Here goes:
1) Most beautiful post:
In Harriet, I write and post pictures about my grandmother. I love this post because I loved my grandmother.

2) Most popular post:
Strangely, it's tied between two recipe-only posts Midsummer Jams and Homemade Spiced Rum. That makes me a little sad, as I hoped my writing would get more attention than my recipes; the recipes, I hoped, were frosting.

3) Most controversial post:
Controversial? Hmm, I write about gardening and food and memory, so I don't tend to be terribly controversial. Nevertheless, I've received some emails over my posts (here, here, and here) on small-scale, high-density home orchards, telling me that I'll never be able to grow them organically. As if to throw a middle leaf in the face of these critics, my high-density, organically fertilized (manure, worm tea, and liquid seaweed), heavily mulched trees are cropping and growing healthily. As an added bonus, I use less water on them than I do on lawn. So, take that, disbelievers.

4) Most helpful post:
Hmm, these two, The Rules and Handy Tips for the New Homeowner, are tongue-in-cheek helpful, but the most helpful one for me personally to write was Graduation, Death, and Chickens. Oh, and the people who aren't disagreeing with me about the orchard posts seem to have found them helpful as well.

5) Post whose success surprised me:
Way Way Up got a lot of local attention when I posted it. In fact, people blogged about it. I'm always surprised when someone finds my little blog, and when lots of people find it at one time, I'm very, very surprised.

6) Most underappreciated post:
I really enjoyed researching and writing Psalmanazar, but very few people have read it. It's light on pictures, is only obliquely personal, and contains no recipe, characteristics that lead to light readership at A Thinking Stomach, yet I felt the story was fascinating enough to make up for what it didn't have.

7) Post of which I'm most proud:
This is a toss up. Books and Mantids explains how I got here. The post Survivor hints at what kind of book I'd like to write someday. Both blend personal, natural, and cultural history into the color of light in which I view the world.


Though the meme asks for five new people, I'm only tagging four. I've chosen these four because they each demonstrate unique ways of talking about the world in which they live, they are distinctly different from each other, and I've learned from each of their voices. (To the writers who I am tagging, I understand being hesitant to complete this meme. Do not feel obligated to do it or pass it on; I've completely ignored tags before just because I really didn't want to write the meme. However, I hope tagging you brings you more readers, for I believe each of you should be read by everyone, and if you do choose to complete the meme, I'll be delighted to read what you write. )

Altadena Hiker: A very talented writer, Karin (as another blogger put it so well) is the "master of the micro epic." I would love to see how she reflects on and sifts through her own writing with this meme.

Nourish Me: Lucy and I began blogging at around the same time, and I feel like we grew up in the blogosphere together. I'm lucky to get see how Lucy looks at the world.

Soilman: Soilman is the shizzle. His writing and bitter humor crack me up. Really, who knew gardening could be so funny?

Whole Larder Love: The stories Ro tells with his photos blow me away and make me want to move to Australia right now. Plus, he's funny, and he loves good food, and he hunts. Expect to get hungry reading this site.


Lucy said...

oh yes. the recipes are the frosting - the cherry on top, in fact - but it's the heft and wonder of your words that have always drawn me in! i am going to read through in case i've missed anything in your 5 (eep) year archive...

we DID grow up together in blogland, and i feel as though we've evolved what we do, that we've learned a lot from one another, all of which makes me just so proud to know you, christina. you make me laugh myself silly sometimes, too.

just the ticket, thank you (have been a little stuck...).

the good soup said...

I bow down to you 5 year bloggers. Hope I can keep my momentum. Christina, there's so much to read in your post, it's like a choose-your-own-adventure. I'm going to settle in with a cup of tea and see where I end up...

Anonymous said...

I haven't participated in one of these before, but I will this time.

But included will be some of my favorite posts of yours. I hope you take this in the spirit it's given, but I don't visit your site for the recipes, not ever.

Soilman said...

Too kind, Christina. I'll give it a whirl at some point. When I've unglued my nose from my watch...

Zora said...

You wrote such wonderful things about Argentina--that counts as travel writing! And anyway, I think it's good to bust the meme out of its little pool of travel bloggers.

I missed the Psalmanazar post first time around--so cool! I had no idea.

And that Survivor essay is great!

Christina said...

PI: Have a great trip!

Lucy: Aw, I'm proud to know you too, Lucy. Here's to another five years!

TGS: I hope the adventure satisfies!

AH: Thank you. I do take it in the spirit given, and I really appreciate it.

Soilman: Hang in there. I know busy, and busy is no fun.

Zora: Thanks. I always appreciate your kind words and enthusiasm--it helps keep me going!

kristan said...

I remember Way Way Up. Memorable. The recipes are the frosting. In fact, I only skim them, and then only in a fantasize-I'm-eating-slash-smelling-that-food-right-now kind of way.