CNF‘s Quarterly Blog Roundup

Creative Nonfiction in its new format now accepts nominations for blog posts to reprint in its quarterly print issues. It’s a bit like the Findings section of Harper’s, I guess. Yes, you can in fact nominate yourself. I thought vainly this would maybe be a good idea, so I went to CNF‘s Web site to see what’s what:

We’re looking for: Vibrant new voices with interesting, true stories to tell. Narrative, narrative, narrative. Posts that can stand alone, 2000 words max, from 2010. Something from your own blog, from a friend’s blog, from a stranger’s blog.

Of more than 130 posts on this blog so far, I don’t think a single one qualifies. It’s never occurred to me to use this blog as a medium for recording narratives. It seems I have no true stories to tell here.

Am I a disappointment? I say aloud often that people have an innate hunger for narrative, and yet what I do here is all analysis and criticism. I have a tiny audience: would you rather get more true stories? Is narrative what people go to blogs for?

Here’s a true story. Since last Wednesday morning I’ve been spending twelve hours a day in ward 2C of the Francis Building at St. Mary’s Hospital in Rochester, Minnesota—part of the so-famous-I knew-of-it-before-I-ever-knew-how-properly-to-spell-mayonnaise Mayo Clinic. I sit those twelve hours just two steps away from the bed of my boyfriend who’s maybe seventy-percent of the way through a slow recovery from small intestine resection surgery. Wednesday, his surgeon expertly cut out a cancerous tumor the way a poor darner might fix a hole-torn tubesock—slicing laterally twice through the tube and sewing the two new open ends together. Except what the surgical team sliced out of my boyfriend was eighteen inches in length. “You’ve got more than ten feet in there,” Dr. Swain told me afterward. “He won’t miss it at all.”

Hours later they put him in a shared room, despite our requests he be given something private. Already, a large man lay in the bed closest the door, awake and curious, giving me and N and his nurses and his mother the thrice-over. His eyes moved like a scary cardiogram. It was Tyler Perry. The actor-writer-director-producer Tyler Perry was sharing N’s recovery room. I shook his hand and said, “I’ve only seen two of your movies, but I liked them. You have so many others, don’t you?”
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Did I Not Blog about This Blog about Blogs?

Another blog endorsement, this one apparently defunct, alas. Look at This Fucking Idea for a Blog-to-Book Deal is the smartest satire on hip blogs/memes you’ll find.

You can read the entirety of it in a half hour, and it’s a worthwhile half-hour to spend. My favorite entry is a late one, called Road Signs for Carol. Behold:

This is the part of the post in which I was going to suggest other entries to look for, but then I realized I’d just list every entry in order.

I Used to Have a Blog

Another one. It still exists. For a time, the most popular post was about Roger Scruton’s “A Carnivore’s Credo”, which you are welcome to Google. Now, this most popular post, by which I mean the post that is read based on the greatest number of Google searches, by which I mean the relevant thing on the blog people are most often searching for, is Jonathan Franzen’s “Perchance to Dream” a.k.a. “The Harper’s Essay”. Here, in the interest of complicating those search results, is what I ages ago had to say about it:
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Passive Aggressive Hometowns

aggressivenoteHerndon, Virginia, the town I’m from, has been popping up in the oddest places lately. First on Patton Oswalt’s DVD Werewolves and Lollipops, and now on one of the blogs I semi-frequent. The site’s a depository for people to send in scans/photos of notes they’ve found or been left that usually form some kind of complaint, and are often darling in how angry they are.

Lord knows I’ve written my share over the years.

The one from Herndon is here. If I had to guess the restaurant I’d go with the Amphora. What’s doubly-odd about it is that this post is followed by one from Sioux Falls, S.D., which is N’s hometown.

No reason for this post, really. Just a place to spend a few minutes every week.