When Julie & Julia came out, everyone kept telling me I just had to see it. Why?
“You’re a blogger. You’ll love it!”
All that did was make me cringe.
Great, some new standard of wonderfulness to live up to that I likely never will.
Yet, even before the movie was released, when they were just showing previews, Julie & Julia had piqued my interest.
Cooking, Julia Childs (who I’d read some biographical info on for a Gale work project a few years back and couldn’t help but be inspired by), and blogging…yes, it certainly did have all the makings of a movie that would appeal to me. Throw in Meryl Streep (LOVE HER!) and Amy Adams (who I have yet to watch perform and not be enchanted by) and I knew sooner or later I’d cave and see the movie.
Oh, which reminds me why else I didn’t see it when it was in theaters. When it came out I was still in my “funk.” I had submitted so many stories and all had met with rejection. (Okay, not all. In some cases the pubs went out of business. Others were MIA…and still are.)
The last thing I needed reminding of was my yet once again failed attempts at getting more things published. BAH! (And, no, my past publishing “successes” proved little consolation. All I was focused on was why I couldn’t repeat that process!)
But little did I know there were major circumstances out of my control. Namely, the planets truly were not lined up in my favor.
I’ll never forget writing an article for Families.com a coupe months before I quit in 2008. I talked about the black cloud I was under and just could not seem to shake. I’d fallen away from following astrology at that time. If I’d been on top of it I would’ve known about Saturn and all the chaos it was causing…and still had yet to cause. Truly, I was jinxed by a black cloud. Or, more aptly, a black planet.
Saturn was a HUGE factor in my “funk.” When Julie & Julia first came out it was still “infecting” me. Seeing the movie back then might have only served to aggravate me more than inspire me.
But Saturn’s since moved on and with it so has my black cloud and my funk. When I finally saw Julie & Julia last weekend I was in a good place mentally. I could receive the movie’s message as it was intended.
If you’ve seen it, it’s kind of fairytale-ish in its own way, isn’t it? Which appeals to me. I like fairytales. I believe in happy endings. Or, rather, I want to believe they’re at least possible.
That Julie had this idea to write a blog, and it ended up generating interest which lead to a book and a movie deal…it doesn’t get much more fairytale-ish than that.
But I liked that it showed the ups and downs both Julie and Julia faced. Julia Childs wasn’t an immediate, overnight success. She had her own adversity to face and challenges to overcome. Julie, too, wasn’t an instant hit.
In fact, the scene where she got her first comment, her first non-mom comment…I laughed and cheered for her. I remember my first non-Families.com fellow blogger comment, a.k.a. from a reader…WOW! What a feeling! There’s little that compares to some faceless stranger you’ve never met taking the time to comment on your words. Amazing.
But the most fun I had watching the movie was that both women had dreams in their hearts and passions to pursue. Ones that motivated them to get up every morning and to shut out the naysayers.
They were their own knights in shining armor. They saved themselves and created their own happily ever afters on their own terms. That’s awesome!
Those are the kinds of stories I like most. It’s inspiring to see people living “better than they ever dreamt dreams coming true” lives. All because they stayed true to their Authentic Selves.
And more and more I’m fascinated by bloggers who make a name for themselves with their blogs, are used as experts in magazines and on TV shows, have huge followings, make money via their blogs, get book deals, etc…
From the time I could put pen to page and let loose my imagination, I’ve always had this idea I would write world-renowned novels. That’s how I would make my mark.
But my dad always used to encourage me to pursue non-fiction.
“Ick. So not me. You, like, have to give facts and stuff.” (This was during my Valley girl phase, but it’s the most telling description of how I felt about non-fiction.)
But in my early thirties something weird started happening to me. I started having this itch to write something…else. Something that stretched me. Something deeper. Something that might matter.
Then I learned about blogging…such a wonderfully freeing form of writing. And come to find out people were making their marks that way.
Could I be one of them? Did I dare try?
I held off for a long time, but when the opportunity to write for Families.com came along, it showed me “Yes, Courtie, there is a blogging Santa Claus!”
It reminds me of the chant in the 2004 movie version of Peter Pan. When Tink’s near death but Peter and Wendy and all the rest start saying, then shouting with abandon, “I do believe in fairies! I do. I DO!”
They resurrect Tink and breathe new life into her.
That’s what blogging has done for me. I’ve “met” some amazingly wonderful “faceless strangers” who I still haven’t met in real life, but it doesn’t matter. They’re kindred spirits and I count them among my dearest friends.
The one who comes to mind first and foremost is Jade Walker. She started following my Marriage posts at Families. It didn’t take long before I looked forward to what she would say.
One thing led to another and we started chatting via email. Next thing I knew she was sending me story ideas. Now we exchange birthday cards, presents, she sent me amazing gifts to boost me through my cancer days…Basically, she’s become a good friend.
And then there’s the friends I’ve made since starting up Haunt Jaunts, like Autumnforest, Julie, and Patty. Autumnforest was the first winner in my Halloween Blog Party but you know what she did? She ended up sending me a gift! A very cool ghost hunting game. And now it’s not uncommon for us to chat via emails about our writing aspirations…among other things.
Julie leaves very thoughtful comments and exudes a balance and charm that never fails to bring me comfort. And Patty…if she stumbles on a neat site she shares it with me.
My blogging may not have generated income, book deals or media appearances, but I’ll tell you what…it’s certainly generated something equally priceless, if not more so: friendships.
And these friendships have done wonders for my soul. These ladies have breathed life into my Tink.
So everyone who said I just had to see Julie & Julia was right after all. It made me reflect on all the good that’s come of my own blogging –and all the dreams still yet to come true!