Monday, May 23, 2011

Audience participation

I have put a lot of brain power into what to do with this blog as my cancer treatment decreases in intensity.  Of course I plan to leave it on the world wide web, just in case it could help someone else who enters into my situation.  With them in mind, I plan to add some pages about me and about inflammatory breast cancer.  But this still doesn't address the very essence of blogging:  short and frequent blurbs by the author.  Right now the future of blurbing on Carnations is unclear, but I don't yet feel like throwing in the towel.  Maybe my posts will become less frequent, or less regarding cancer, but it seems that I will always find something to say.  Lately the scientific community is pestering scientists to create science blogs.  A science blog sounds like a tremendous amount of work, like writing a mini-review article every week, but perhaps with practice I could get into that.  We all know how much I love science.


That video could use a few more microbes, but I digress.  Until I evolve as a blogger, I have an idea to keep this cancer blog afloat.  My friend S. of Ames has a lovely biking blog on which she occasionally posts themed pieces by guests.  I'm thinking that my blog would greatly benefit from guest posts, too.  There is much more to cancer treatment than merely the experience of the patient (see my Lines and overlapping circles post for a visual of some of the various perspectives).  I'd like to hear about your experience, and I'd like to share your experience with others.

Because this blog has been entirely selfish thus far, let's keep it that way:  this assignment is aimed at those of you who know me in any way at any level (personally, electronically, acquaintance-ally, etc.), and I suggest the topic should be how you've been affected by my cancer (personally, spiritually, lifestyle-ally, etc.).  I don't mean this in an egotistical way, although it sure sounds that way.  My goal is indeed for the sake of the blog, because I think it's important to maintain continuity within the theme (Heather and breast cancer) at this juncture.  But I promise I'm not looking for "Heather rocks, cancer sucks."  That's been your mantra in the comments sections for seven months, and for that I am grateful.  I'm hoping and guessing that you have much more to say than that.  If there are readers who don't know me but who feel inspired to write, by all means do so, as I'd love to hear from you.  Let's face it, Zora Neale Hurston said it best when she said, "There is no agony like bearing an untold story inside you."         

The only rule is No Swearing, because kids could benefit from this, too.  The art form (i.e. poetry, essay, drawing, etc.) is totally up to you.  Regarding length, do what works for you, although perhaps 750 words is an appropriate maximum for this blog.  As Ms. Cotton would say, in a voice unexpectedly sultry for someone with glasses of a certain thickness and who teaches 10th graders, "A piece of writing should be like a skirt:  long enough to cover the subject but short enough to be interesting."

I urge you not to be intimidated by any lack of self-confidence in your own writing prowess.  I am willing to help you revise your piece, to find you a kind (and possibly handsome) editor, or to post it raw and unadulterated by me.  You decide.  Also, you decide your level of anonymity ("Written by a close friend", for example).     

Please submit your piece(s) to either my personal email or to my new public email, <>.  No deadline ever, although I'd appreciate if someone were to be inspired soon, to get the ball rolling.  Also, I might end the assignment if it's just not working for all of us.    

I am grateful that you're even considering participating.  This should be good.  


  1. Fantastic idea. I will make volunteer a submission, as well as my editorial perspective on the pieces of others.

    Also, I apologize for my lack of communication the last week and a half. I'm back to Seattle in my routine (as of 12:30 last night), and will be contacting you regarding a Skype date this week (it will have to be after the girls are asleep).

    Love you!


  2. I will post on your blog - in June :-) What a great idea - this has been such a gift to so many people -it's a been a great tool in processing all this scary . . . stuff. Hopefully your reading about your readers' experiences can bring this whole cancer things full circle for you. It's been a real ride for so many people - I'm glad you were always guiding us, even when you did not feel like you were.

  3. Great idea, Heather! I will think about this and try to come up with something!


  4. I'm so on this! Just give me a deadline because that is how I roll. Also, thank you so much for the scaffolding. I love it!!!!