January 3, 2011

genesis of nancy jane, aka tangential ramblings in an e-paper world

Before I become sidetracked, I would like to tell the ten people who commented on my first post how much I appreciate each sharing time from her day with someone she doesn’t know. It reminds me of a funeral I attended last year in Ohio. (Oh, that did not come out right, but you’ll understand once I finish my story.) On the way from the funeral home to the cemetery, cars pulled to the side of the road as the very long procession passed. When I first noticed this, I was confused. We were on a narrow road and I thought the person was being polite and giving us room to maneuver. The next time it happened the road was much wider, yet three drivers stopped their cars in the middle of the road. When I saw their heads bowed in prayer and understanding came, I was so incredibly touched. While I love where I live, no one here would take the time to stop for several minutes without prompting and pray for a stranger. More than likely, drivers would be seething and cussing out the person who ruined their schedule. So, to see those many drivers spontaneously park their cars and bow their heads as we drove past brought me comfort and an amazing amount of hope when I very much needed it. Thank you to them… and to you ten.

When I first visit a blog, I try to take the time to read the first few posts to find out why the blogger started her adventure. With that in mind, I thought I’d share my story. And that is where the tangential ramblings come into play. Fair warning, when I get behind a keyboard, there’s no stopping me.

I hate the telephone. I would happily limit its use to ordering pizza, making doctor appointments, and listening to my daughter as she walks to class. (Brianna is a college student who likes to talk – rather than listen – and does so with me as she walks across campus. It’s just enough time to catch up on what is important to her at that moment.) Since it would be rude to ignore people not in my immediate world because of my aversion to phones, I send out notes. Holidays – be it New Year’s, the 4th of July or Thanksgiving – are perfect times to mail cards with a little bit of love inside. After sending out my Halloween cards in 2009, I said to myself, “Nancy, you should make your own cards. You remember how much fun you had with Brianna when you made cards together.” (Yes, I do talk to myself. And Brianna was very little when we made cards together many years ago.) So, because I am a scientist and doing research is part of my genetic makeup, I headed to Google.

Did I mention that I like to do research? Did I also mention that I am like the tortoise in that wonderful fable The Tortoise and the Hare? Well, four plus months later, after hours of research and planning, I made my first card. It was for St. Patrick’s Day.

Wonderful feedback was received from the card recipients. (They’re obligated because they’re family and friends, right?) And Brianna began her campaign for me to sell my cards on Etsy. “No way,” I responded. “Who would buy my cards? You have to have a strong blog following {thinking Mish here} to sell anything on Etsy. I’d have to start a blog first. And have some original ideas.”  That was the perfect thing to say to distract Brianna because she started lecturing me on how original ideas no longer exist. While I successfully diverted Brianna from Etsy, I set myself to thinking about starting a blog. Could I? Would I?

What witty title would I give my blog and, if I couldn’t come up with one, would “witty title here” work? Well, yes, it would, but not for me. Heather had already come up with that one.

What would I put in my “about me” section? Unemployed. Post-menopausally chunky. Procrastinator. Divorced with no understanding DH who hangs the stars in the sky. No, I would tell a few white lies. That would definitely work. But, darn it, someone – thanks, Jess, champion log roller – already used that approach.

Would I have a theme to my blog? Janelle’s Show and Tell is so clever, using her daytime life with preschoolers to direct her posts. And there is Andrea, the engineer who ends each of her posts with “the engineering details.” I thought about taking a lessons learned approach to my blog since I do that with my research, even incorporating LL into the title, but decided I wouldn’t be able to keep up with that. What would I write in LL if I loved my card? LL:  Nothing learned, I wouldn’t change a thing? Or worse, what if I hated my card? LL:  Don’t make this ever again!

During that time from March 2010 to January 2011, I kept making cards… to say hi and stay off of the phone. I also kept dodging Brianna’s Etsy conversations. And I kept visiting blogs and wondering, could I blog?

Here’s one card I made during that period, something simple that is so not my usual style. (Thought you might need a break from my words.)

During that same period, Cath held many challenges on Moxie Fab World. On November 29, she opened one for all occasions cards, my favorite type to make. The challenge closed December 13. I went through my usual should I, could I, would I questions about participating while looking for a job, getting ready for Christmas and packing up Brianna’s room at school. On the last day of the challenge, I decided that yes, I should, could and would enter. On December 15, to my absolute amazement, I read this post in which I was named a winner of the challenge. Someone other than my family liked my work. (I’m not sure if it is proper blog etiquette to mention a win, but I was and am so excited about it, I have to share. Also, I am going to admit that almost as much fun as winning was reading the comments that people wrote about my card in the announcement post.) When I finally stopped shaking – the smile didn’t leave my face – I started pondering the whole blog thing again. With such a moxie fab honor, I needed a place to display my badge. My e-mail inbox just didn’t cut it. So with that nudge, my blog came to life.

nancy jane is still in its infancy. The title is thanks to my daughter, who told me it had a certain panache with its simplicity. I’m not entirely convinced because no one calls me Nancy Jane unless they are either yelling at me (usually me at myself) or trying to sweet talk me into something that I know is not good for me. The “about me” section is still blank since I’m trying to come up with something that will not put everyone to sleep, myself included. And the theme? Let’s just say that this better be my last tangential ramblings type post or no one will visit again.



Janelle said...

Gosh, "Nancy Jane", I love you already! Great cards and thanks for the mention. Congrats on your Moxie Fab win -- quite an accomplishment, especially for a first-timer! You go!

Monika Wright said...

I think that card is awesome! And your tags are pretty cute, too!

mcB said...

A. Hey! I still think originality exists in form but the idea of the original (absolute) is negotiable. I.E. dating back to Plato's philosophies - the idea of a chair, the chair, replication of chair.

B. Post-menopausal, perhaps. Post-menopausally chunky, stop lying to your readers and yourself, Mama! Mama said there would be days like that but Brianna says these are more days to feel b-e-a-u-tiful and see yourself as such!!


Stephanie said...

Love your card!!!! I'm so glad you started a blog and I can't wait to see many more of your cards in the upcoming year! Congrats on your Moxi Fab win.....That's just AWESOME!

Sue Plote said...

Nancy Jane, I think I love you! Card is beautiful, tags are wonderful, but YOU seem fabulous! Can't wait to visit more!

Viola Mahr said...

What a sweet story... I love long ones, especially those that aren't a bore. Wonderful to know how your blog came to life... thank you for sharing. Oh! And congrats on your moxie fab win :) That card was super cute! And thank you for droppin' by my bloggy too. <3

Joan B said...

love your blog! and that card!

Belinda said...

Thanks for sharing your story and love the card! Glad you started a blog -- can't wait to see more of your creations. The one you created for the Moxie Fab challenge is just fab!