When I started Wine and Cheese (Doodles) last year, the original intent was to document a journey of rediscovery. Nothing too ornate or complex, mind you, just a rediscovery of my newly bought and paid for free time.
With both boys finally in school full-time and a stretch of cleared calendar ahead of me, I was looking for ways to keep sane, keep busy, and yes, start writing again. But over the past nine months and 81 posts, in the unexpected way that the best things often happen, the blog itself has become the way I spend my free time. Blog maintenance is exhausting. There is protocol and etiquette to maintain, there is the reading of the many, many blogs I enjoy, from the sublime to the ridiculous. The ones that make me pause and think, the ones that make laugh or shake my head in disbelief. Then there is writing and editing, which, ironically, takes up the least time. My husband and I call it Game of Blogs. The intrigue and positioning involved in getting your stuff out there and noticed can be just as convoluted and Machiavellian as the books/series. Will the sly satire do well? (Team Lannister!) Or the straight forward, ethical commentary (Team Stark!). Perhaps it will be the fiery underdog (Team Targaryen!) sneaking in across a narrow sea. But in any event, this blog, while following a loose pattern, has slowly become more and more about the writing and the topics I chose to write about then how to find ways to spend a long, Danish winter. There seems to be a natural, organic cycle of posts; I get antsy if I haven’t done an ex-pat post in a while, or a parenting rant. Sometimes the siren call for a saucy satire is too loud to ignore. In the past few months I’ve also been experimenting with memoir posts, though I’ve always thrown in a personal story or two. Some of my posts do much better than others; there are those that do quite well on social media sites, those that get more blogger love, while others languish unread and unloved. Usually my personal favorites fall flat, but there you go. Apparently I have questionable taste. I do like cheese doodles after all.
(The idea behind the blog name itself was meant to be a nifty juxtaposition between high and low, with a little nod to e.e. cummings by incorporating the parenthetical (Doodles). A little sophisticated palate cleansing, a little trashy yumminess. I’ve since found out there are WHOLE NATIONS of people who don’t know what a Cheese Doodle is. My friends, you are missing out.)
I have been toying with the idea of narrowing the focus of the blog. But I’ve become selfish. I want all seven kingdoms. I don’t want to limit myself to any one topic, any one throne. At the same time, I don’t want to get so broad in scope that the plot becomes unmanageable (whose flag are those men marching under? Who holds Winterfell? And just who exactly is that torturing sadist with his cannibalistic innuendos??) Right now I am writing about anything and everything, which has been liberating and enjoyable. But as time goes by, I have a few other ideas that I would like to try, other avenues to explore, personal projects to complete.
So this summer I hope to streamline the blog a bit, rein it in. Figure out what goes where. Gather the lost kingdoms under one banner.
I will still be posting new posts. But while I’m working on a revamp, I’ll be re-posting some of my own favorites. Mostly because they are my favorites and I think some of them deserve a second chance. I’m sure they’ll fall just as flat as they did the first time. Questionable taste and all. I’d like to bring back the Pay if Forward Friday idea, which was meant to highlight other people’s blogs, and would love for others to take up the cause. I have also been nurturing a seedling of an idea to expand the Happily Ever After and Other Urban Myths post into something beyond just a blog post. Wouldn’t you love to read a story about what happens when Cinderella starts having hot flashes? Or is it just me? And that’s a project that fairly screams out for collaboration. And, if you are super lucky, I’ll even post some bad, angsty poetry from years gone by as I dig them out of boxes in the basement. Remember…questionable taste. Wine and cheese doodles after all, not the most sophisticated pairing, but a guilty pleasure.
I would love your feedback. Are there topics you would like to see more of? Less of? Dead weight to jettison or sentimental favorites to keep? Writing is a big part of blogging, but so is reading. You can plan to march on King’s Landing all you want, but without an army, it ain’t gonna happen.
And finally, I just wanted to take a moment to address the blog’s recent Freshly Pressed status. I have been thoroughly overwhelmed at the response to the post that was pressed. And I just wanted to say thank you to all those who took the time to read, to comment, or who decided in a fit of madness to follow along.
So let’s go see what’s beyond the wall. Together.