The filthy and sublime

I’m going to go meta. It used to be called navel-gazing. But I want to talk a little about what I’m doing with this weekly wonder thing.
I started my blog in 2002. Thirteen lucky years ago Chris told me about web logs. “They are called blogs.”I was intrigued.

“If the name Wonderblog is available, I’m doing it.” It was and I did.  From blogger, to typepad to wordpress I’ve been writing on it ever since.

Experiences, thoughts and musings. I have written the way I want want, not giving in to formulas.

I’ve tried to improve what I write over time. Right around the time that facebook gained ascendancy, I learned that people couldn’t be bothered to go to my website anymore. I created the Weekly Wonder as an email to send my blog to your inboxes.

When I started the Weekly Wonder, I felt a sense of embarrassment. I figured I should up my game a bit. Chicken scratches weren’t enough anymore. I was pushing this onto people. The least I could do was spell check. And maybe I could try to have a point.

I think I have gotten better at whatever this is I’m doing. I hope to keep that trend going.

This week I signed up for an online course. Kevin Alison, the incomparable founder of the very not-safe-for-work storytelling podcast Risk! created a course called “Storytelling for Business”.

This ain’t exactly business, but I figured I’d learn something. In lecture two, Kevin describes that stories for business require a point, a take-away, what used to be called a ‘moral.’

The constructed story. The crafted story. You know that part of the movie, whatever movie, where the music swells because of some emotion? My eyes get wet, just as they are meant to.

And I get so angry. I blink at the tears and resent the hell out of these movie makers playing me like  harp.  Don’t tell me what’s cute or worthwhile. I get to decide. I am the one in the drivers seat.

If I’m going to cry, I don’t want it to be when the music swells. I don’t want it to be a forgone conclusion.

So. Stories have a moral. O yes they do, and they are rigidly required. The good guy wins, the bad guys get theirs in the end. The immoral woman is severely punishes (always and forever), and the world is in the order it should be.

Except not in all stories.

And particularly, not in mine. My meta story, what I strive for, is to create something my audience does not expect. Red rose in an orange pot? Beautiful. The wonder and the glory of the filthy and sublime. The ordinary and the divine and all the ways that everything is both.

That’s my story, and that’s what I wonder. Not just weekly. Daily, minute by minute. If it catches my ideas, hooks my attention it is worth sharing. The moral is not always clear. But the wonder shimmers through it all.

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