Monday, April 02, 2007


You would be pardoned for thinking this is just another post about our local library closure since I've admitted to being obsessed about it and well over half of my posts in the last four months have been about it. But I've been tagged by Selena Kitt to admit to five obsessions. 5!! Now any other time in my life, I would have been hard pressed to narrow it down to five as obsession is practically my middle name. It has been suggested to me by those with expertise in the field that I have more than a touch of OCD going on with me. See my post, Hoarders R Us.

But this week, with the library closure only four days away, I can barely force myself to think about anything else and feel stressed whenever I am unable to have my eyes glued to the page of a library book or the laptop screen as it plays one of the library DVDs. The kind of stress like that experienced in a dream when being chased by the bogey man. So when I got tagged, I was tempted to just post something to the effect that I'd get back to you on Saturday when I had time to think about it. But the concept intrigued me and I decided if I could come up with four more things that I spent significant time doing or contemplating in the past month, I would go ahead and post tonight. It took me less than three minutes to make the list. In fact I came up with five besides the library. Just know that if font size indicated the ratio of attention, then the library thing would have to be 44pt font while all the rest would be in 14pt and smaller.

Following are the five things other than the library capturing a significant amount of my attention.

1. Nuzzling, cuddling, huggermuggering, teasing and playing with Merlin as we adjust to life without Gremlin. Huggermuggering is a word I use to mean mugging hugs, something I started doing a couple years ago because, unlike Gremlin who wasn't content unless she was snuggled against me, Merlin didn't care for being held or even sitting on your lap. By playing the game huggermugger I have increased his tolerance from about two seconds to almost two minutes. He comes when I sing out "huggermugger, huggermugger' and a couple of times since Gremlin's passing, he has voluntarily climbed into my lap and gone to sleep.

2. Story is the over-riding passion of my life. And my Fruits of the Spirit storyworld is one of my favorite mental playgrounds. I have discussed it in several of my Thursday Thirteen posts but especially #25 on the 22nd of last month and #13 on the 28th of last December. All three of my NaNoWriMo attempts were based in it. My two entries in the WriteStuff Creative Carnival were based in it. See: Kicking the Bucket and A Tail of a Wail.

(Oh, I totally forgot to post that I won the contest last month and received the prize Fiction Writer's Brainstormer by James V. Smith, Jr. The day I learned I won was the day Gremlin got sick and the day the book arrived was the day my 13 year old niece arrived to spend five days of her spring break with me and her grandma during which we watched about fifteen movies and walked to the library twice and chatted about stories--reading, watching and writing them.)

My niece has read several of my stories and is very irritated with me that I am not writing more. She thought I was overdoing the library thing even before the upcoming closure was announced in early December after which....oh, just scan the last four months of my blog and you'll get the picture. Anyway, it is partly because of her interest that I began to become re-enchanted with my FOS storyworld again, after a several year hiatus precipitated by the loss of my manuscripts and notes in 2001.

3. Stat watching. After I met the challenge my husband set me at the beginning of March to post five times in a single week and he followed through on his promise to start using his know-how to promote Joystory, I started refreshing my stats pages at Sitemeter several times per day. And there was a week there when it was at least once an hour. I couldn't get enough of wondering who all these people were and especially what motivated them to visit multiple pages and hang out for 5, 10, 30, 60 and more minutes.

Before I started participating in Thursday Thirteen last fall, almost no one visited multiple pages and few besides my sister and niece left comments. I'm still not getting many comments outside of TT. That didn't used to matter to me but now my curiosity is severely piqued and I dearly wish some of those who visit more than two pages or stay more than ten minutes would drop me a comment to tell me what has snagged their attention. Like, right now as I compose this paragraph someone from China has been on for over twenty minutes and visited 7 pages. Now who wouldn't be curious about that? Or when Monday morning someone from the Midwest US visited 40 pages in 31 minutes?

There is more to this obsession then just curiosity or gratification. This is part of THE obsession that will replace the library obsession beginning next week as I throw myself into content creation, design and promotion of the three sites I already have up and two more I have planned. My husband has two up with plans for a couple more too and I will probably return the favor by helping him with promotion. We think we have figured out a way to make income via the Internet by combining our two skill sets. Stay tuned for that story as it unfolds.

4. Riddles, puzzles, puns. I've always loved these but ever since I encountered Weffriddles last November, I've been obsessed in a completely new way. I gave up almost all computer gaming along with almost all prime time TV after learning of the immanent library closure. I can't wait to get back to solving the Weffriddle maze. I quit just after finishing batch 1 shortly after the New Year. I couldn't trust myself to play without getting sucked in for 3, 6, 12 hours. That probably cost me the NaNoWriMo win this year.

So I knew that I had to let it alone until after the library closure, if I wanted to get as much as possible of the essential research and movie watching done before the library closed. I quit playing but I didn't stop thinking about it. And I began to notice that everything I encountered during each day became inspiration for a riddle, puzzle or pun and I began to itch not only to play Weffriddle but to create my own levels and batches and dare I admit it? To put up my own riddle site loosely modeled on Weffriddle but imprinted with my own passions: story, wordplay, reading, writing, thinking, movies and more.

Watch for this before the end of spring. If this concept interests you, leave a comment; with contact info if you would like to be notified when it launches.

5. National and World News. I get almost all of my news online and more than eighty percent from non MSM. I used to read news and editorials and political blogs for several hours per day. I dropped it down to one the past four months. I do a lot more thinking about it than that. Many of the library items I have spent time with in the last four months were first encountered while reading news online.


OK that about covers it. Now I am supposed to tag five people. This is going to be harder than writing the post. There are only two that I feel comfortable tagging without checking with them first.

1. My sister
2. My Niece
3. My Husband.

I'll have to get back to you with three more after I check with them first. But anyone who sees this and wishes to play, consider yourself tagged. Leave a comment with your URL and I will post your link above.

1 tell me a story:

Jamie 4/03/2007 3:11 AM  

Thanks sis, I haven't seen Merlin. He is adorable

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