Ready? Steady? Go!

Wow. I guess this is the “Farewell” post. It’s a little bit hard letting go. Thanks to everyone who listened to my insanity and helped me feel a little more sane over the past couple years. (Because, “Yes, Virgina, there are bad Witches.”) I hope you hang out to hear Hazey tell her stories too. While she’s a site younger than I am, she has a good head on her shoulders and quite a yarn to spin.

Have a happy and prosperous 2013–pop over to http://www.EhshaApple.Wordpress.com if you haven’t already, you can pick up my travels post-Bad Witchery over there.

I’m sure, as things go , I’ll be back to poke my nose in from time to time. But until then, I have some blogging advice for Hazey, The New Bad; y’all feel free to eavesdrop.

Twelve points for twelve months.

1) There’s no need to tell your story all at once. Folks are happy to listen if you are entertaining; therefore, episodes are better than a movie-length post.

And you’ve got enough to say that you don’t have to be repetitive.

2) Poioumena, parables, metaphors, and fairy-tales are good for telling more of the whole truth than can be put in words. Folks identify with certain stories and know how those stories “feel” so you don’t have to work so hard to put them in your pointy shoes.

3) That said—keep control of your metaphors. Ain’t nothing worse than a metaphor what can’t stay on track. Plenty of “Bad” metaphors out there have run amok of their authors and shown folks that the emperor is truly and completely nekid. Make your logic hang together or folks’ll notice. Our reader is smarter than the average bear (and they know how to make sense of a film’s ending).

4) Metaphors are OK. But don’t lie. Just don’t. It ain’t worth it; the truth is so much more frightening and entertaining anyhow.

5) You aren’t “The Bad.” Remember you are just reporting on “The Bad.” And you have seen that shite as up close and personal as any of Stephen King’s protagonists.

And, as we continue to see–some folks are always gonna think it’s about them. You can’t second guess yourself. If it stings them, must mean they have a guilty conscience–ain’t nothing you can do about that.

6) That said, this is not about revenge; this is about warning others that Pennywise is not actually a clown and that they shouldn’t patronize Leland Gaunt’s little shop of horrors.

7) You are learning loads of new things right now. Information is pouring in and out of you at break-neck speed at this point in your Witchy career. You should share that information and all the great new lessons you are learning—but you should also know when to STFU. When it comes to “secrets,” remember that your audience understands that there are things which cannot be said.

8) Don’t dicker with your numbers. Nobody cares in the end. I pulled up a “Bad” blog not too long ago which purported well over two-thousand “followers.”  The little box came up and asked if I wanted to join 627. Now that’s just embarrassing. We keep our numbers under wraps here for a few reasons: A) The number that pops up here is grossly inaccurate. I’ll explain the logistics of Tumblr, Twitter, FB, etc. later. B) If it hurts someone else’s pride that we have X and they have Y—enough so that they have to make smack-talk about it Online—then we will just remove the info. We ain’t out to rub it in.

Speaking of (A), everything posts to a parallel site on Tumblr. We can discuss Facebook and Twitter and the WP stats function later. It’s not interesting enough to go here.

9) Speaking of “followers,” your audience does not “follow” you—you are not their “leader.” They are your audience, your sounding board, your patient ally, and occasional (when necessary) adversary. Do not presume to make them your subordinates as other bloggers have done. You’ll do better to have 1500 “friends” than 600 “underlings.” (Hell, I’d rather have 600 friends than 1500 underlings.) If no one else ever visits, I’ll be here right by your side, reading, laughing, crying, goading.

10) Speaking of things with which you should not dicker—readers’ comments are sacred. Only SPAM gets deleted. Otherwise, how’s anyone ever gonna trust you?

11) Never blog UI. I believe that’s what the “Save Draft” button was specifically designed for. Trust me. Sometimes you don’t want to publish that shite until you are sober. And rehydrated. And maybe caffeinated—but that’s a whole ‘nother problem.

12) Finally—but most importantly—have fun. This is for blowing off steam, not for generating pressure.

I adore you. I’m already proud of you.

Ready? Steady? Go! (Take this bad broom and fly!)

Sage advice from the original.

Friends, Romans, Countryman

Ya’ll make a pretty good habit of lending me your ear, and I thank you.

My last post seemed to strike a chord. No sooner did I get back from looking at that house I told you about,[1] then WordPress sent me a message that I had broken some sort of likability record. I’m always surprised when this stuff happens. And WordPress is so condescendingly validating about the whole thing: “Dang, girl – 306 people read that post. Good job!” or “Look at you, posting your 108th post. Next goal 110!” As if that wasn’t coming up on, like, Saturday.

But instant gratification. Ahhhh, it’s like the ice-cream truck for a nine-year-old. And even The Bad Witch is lured by the calliope sound and frozen delight of Good Humor. But we cannot live by chocolate eclairs alone. We have to find satisfaction in ourselves. (OK, it’s a crappy metaphor with a cliché punchline. The ice-cream man, who – oddly – happens to be in my daughter’s Calculus class, is outside and the kids took my wallet.) What I’m trying to say is that we have to validate ourselves. The random compliments of a computer algorithm are about as sustaining as an Atomic Pop. Nice and sweet — for a moment.

I am flattered by WordPress’ niceties and I am often more-than-floored by your compliments. I really enjoy the back-and-forth when we agree on a point and I like it even more when we disagree. [2]

On a typical day, several hundred of you read my periodic rants, but I doubt you all read every word of every post. I know you don’t hang on them. (God, I hope you don’t.) I know this because I know my readership – ya’ll are ballsy and strong. I have read many of most of your blogs. There are no wilting, needy flowers among TBW Files’ readership. Thank the lords.

My stats page tells me that The Files have been shared over a thousand times.[3] Tons of folks have come to find me on my “person” FB page and I understand that I will soon reach my limit to those I can “accept.” (A term that gets under my skin.) Only a small fraction of you “Like” The Bad Witch on Facebook (and she likes you back, btw), but that’s OK. The number of you regularly interact with me there make me happy – I love it! A few hundred of you tweet and retweet along with me, to me, back at me. And if you haven’t joined the ranks, I invite you to come on over. I do actually interact with people online; and I’ve made a decent friend or three like that. Social networking is great fun.

But it’s just that – social networking.

Like an Atomic Pop. The Bad Witch, unlike so many who misinterpret social networking sites for “their whole lives,” knows that thousands of “friends” and “likers” does not mean that thousands of folks are ever gonna show up at my door looking for bread and circuses. More than that, I don’t think it translates to a single disciple. Again, thank the lords.

Because I have heard/read the idle chatter/blogging of a would-be self-proclaimed-messiah, I guess I need to make a thing or three clear. I don’t like the word “follow” associated with Twitter or the blogosphere. I do not expect my readership to stand on their desks, having deleted Pritchett’s essay from their hard-drives, saluting, “O, Captain! My Captain.”[4] Because that would be dumb. And you are not dumb.

When I first joined Twitter (when it was brand-spanking-new) under my street name, I got a kick out of the term “Follow” as it had that stalkery flavor I immediately associated with Twitter. Now, I find the word “Follow” – what’s the word I’m after? – gross. Gross will do. It kinda implicates me as a leader of some sort. You are my comrades, my path-mates, my audience, and my sounding board.[5] And if you are fool enough to actually follow my lead, Lords have mercy . . . . My whole point of being here is to warn you of the potholes – the ones *I* fell in.

On Facebook, we are “Friends.” In G+ we belong to the same “Circle.” Why must WordPress use “follow”? I mean, it’s not like you would all rend your clothes and tear out your hair if TBW Files were to disappear. I think you could manage to live your lives and keep on making choices (spiritual, mundane, political, all of it) without my input. I’m just here to nip at your ankles like a yappy-dog – maybe prompting you to mind your step. But only maybe.

Mostly I’m here for me.

I’m just glad that I’ve found this space for me that doesn’t diminish you. In fact, some of you professed to have been lent a hand or two by TBW. This makes me say, “Hot dawg. I finally did sompin right.”

My purpose for blogging is that I have all of these thoughts that don’t solidify until I tell someone. You have become that someone (so, if anybody needs anybody in this situation . . .). Often I get what I think are my thoughts out on this little WYSIWYG box and – oops – it takes one or three or five of you to force me to articulate myself a little better. That’s when it gets awesome.

I see a lot of Facebook statuses (and fortunately no Tweets) that are little more than starving egos looking for a boost, some at the cost of cannibalizing others. And these folks are supposed to be “Friends.” Ouch. I know you know what I mean. I have also read a few blogs that have left me feeling like a bartender or hairdresser must feel at the end of every-other Thursday.[6] But I try to be a good community member and read them nonetheless. I figure, I have off days – weeks even; I give everybody a few shots before I surrender.

I don’t write this blog to validate my ego. If I did, I suppose I would delete the more contrary of your commentary rather than engaging openly with opposing viewpoints.[7] I don’t need yes-men. I’m not always right – who’d want to pretend such an unlikely thing? (Oh, wait. Egos.) My whole point of writing is not to prescribe – but to seek. Which is why I like it when you engage!

Like Whitman, I am launching forth filament, filament, filament out of myself till my gossamer thread catch somewhere.

In the end, it is in realizing that I have this filament within me – it is in knowing that I may cast forth a thread – that I find my validation.[8] Thank you for being there to catch – “O, my soul.” [9]

Cheers,

TBW

———————————————————-

[1] The house/farm is awesome. I will not fall in love with this place, I will not fall in love with this place, I will not – -

[2] I have to admit, I kinda hate it when y’all disagree with shite I didn’t say. Makes me think I’m writing in Taglog.

[3] My question is, WhoTF are y’all sending this to? I mean, thanks, but y’all are wickedly weird! I can just imagine somebody saying, “I just have to show this crazy post about vaginas and Witchcraft to my Meemaw!”)

[4] Whitman, Walt. “O Captain! My Captain!” 1865. As referenced in: Dead Poet’s Society. Dir.Peter Weir. Perfs. Robin Williams, Ethan Hawke, Robert Sean Leonard. 1989.  Touchstone Pictures, Silver Screen Partners IV.

[5] Do not be my disciples (as if you would). Do not be my “followers” (as if you would). I beg of you, do not be so dim-witted that you would believe every word I spewed forth simply because your find me amusing or charismatic or whatever it is y’all see in me. I see it this way, if you were dolts, I wouldn’t wanna talk to you no more.

[6] This is why, you may have noticed, I am not actively participating in blog projects anymore. It was a good run, eh? 

[7] I do wonder when you MSSG me on Facebook or send me private email why you don’t post here – is it because you’re afraid I’ll delete you? Nay, I only delete spam. I ain’t skeered.

[8]  Whitman, Walt. “A Noiseless Patient Spider.” Leaves of Grass. 1867. 

[9] Ibid.

Especially after the hellfecked week I went through and you remained interested and supportive. <3