Thursday, February 23, 2012

What's your story, morning glory?

In 2005, I launched my first blog, Shattering Rose Coloured Glasses. I knew exactly why I was blogging back then: I had a passion and needed a place to voice my very strong, quite controversial beliefs about childhood vaccines. I was also working on a documentary film about the topic, so the blog served as a place to clarify my thinking, meet others who had the same and opposing opinions, and generally be engaged in a discussion about something I cared deeply about.

After years of effort and many small successes, the vaccine film project had to be put to rest since financing was not forthcoming. So my blog languished and I diddled about until I found a new topic to amuse myself: my own crazy dating life as an unexpectedly single 40-year old.

Looking back, it probably wasn’t a very strategic move to jump from writing thoughtful analysis on media coverage about vaccines to (often) thoughtless analysis of the men I was meeting through Lavalife. But some readers stayed. And new folks followed. I’ve since pulled all the dating blog material into its own space at My Lava Life.

And here I am today having just created a new blog, My Embellished Life. Here’s the $20,000 question: Why am I writing it and why would you want to follow?

I’ve been paid to write for over twenty years. What I write for money is material I care about, but that isn’t part of me. Two months ago I completed the first draft of my first novel. It took me over five years to finish that damned book. The actual writing time was just a few months. The putting it aside for huge chunks of time because I was terrified of letting the world see me in my own writing is what kept this project from completion for so long.

And that’s why I’ve started this blog and why I hope it will be of interest to you – and… and, and, and – why you’ll want to join this coming out party!

Not because you care about me and my controversial ideas about childhood vaccines or my bad dating decisions, but because, like me you have a dream of not just writing, but of having an audience of readers who adore your words!

You have great stories to tell. We all do.

Let this blog be the welcoming home of first-person stories – fictionalized if you'd like, since we really never get the facts right anyway, so why not take pride in the embellishments! –  by all of us who are ready to stand up, be ourselves, and, maybe, make others laugh at our expense.

If you have a story to share, post it in the comments and I'll move it to it's own post. Then I'll let my networks know that there's a new story here and direct them to your blog as well.


  1. I recently wrote a piece about witnessing my mother's death that seems to resonate with people in a deep way.

  2. Hi Joshua,
    Thanks so much for sharing your story. I love how you weave in references to popular culture and little asides that keep the story from ever feeling heavy.

    Although I wasn't present at my mother-in-law and father-in-laws deaths, just 4 weeks apart, my partner, their son was. And I was there in the hours before each passing. Your story resonated with our experiences in so many ways.

    One thing that the nurse who was present at Dad's passing mentioned was that she'd heard from many people that the dead will often leave messages after they pass, to let us know that they're still with us. She said that a common communication device of the deceased is to leave coins in unusual places. An amusing story, we thought at the time. But no word of a lie, shortly after Dad passed, we started to find dimes in the darnest places. And often. Three years later, whenever I happen upon a dime on the street, or under the rug, or in the fondu pot, I can't help but say, "Hello Henry. I'm so glad you're here." It's become automatic.

    I have three more stories lined up to publish so yours will be put on the blog on Friday. I'll post an update to Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and three writer's groups I belong to. Hopefully this will drive more people to your blog and your wonderful first-person prose! Thank you so much for sharing.

  3. A Hairdresser's Diary was suggested by my son in law while listening to my stories about my life. It was my dream when I was about nine to be creative with hair. It starts with my struggles,my my life with a broken family life and my leaving home at 16 to fend for myself.
    I stumbled upon a couple angels with big hearts who took this 82 pound young girl under their wings to help me accomplish my life's dream. Within 18 months of leaving home I became a hairdresser, model amd make-up artist. By 19 I was married after being married for only 6 years it was all taken away from me by a drunk driver. He has left me living with chronic pain for the last 43 years. But with the support of my wonderful husband and 3 terrific children and God I have found ways to deal with this pain. I have as of yesterday had my 29th surgury, had thyroid cancer and won and am now waiting for results on 2 biopsies about more cancer.
    Although my careers were taken from me I found a gift God has bestowed on me and taught myself to paint. I alway wrote poems but not to this extent and now I have just finished my first short story 'A Cut Above Discrimination' and my book 'A Hairdresser's Diary.' I do hope one day I will be able to get them published.

    I believe laughter is one of the greatest healers, that we each have at least one guardian angel and we should all do whatever we can to help others.

    I would be pleased if you could find the time to visit my site even for just a tea without the cake. Nrxtime you might have time for cake as well.

  4. Chris,
    Thank you so much for the invitation to tea at your blog. I stayed long enough for two pieces of cake. Delicious! I will go back in a day or two and find the post that speaks to me most deeply and then request your permission to reprint it here on My Embellished Life for next week. With warm regards, d