October is a good time for wondering.

September can be such a flurry. Such a transition time. Even if your kids don’t go to school, all the regular activities start back up. This year I purposely conjured up a handful of new projects in September, to focus me on a new life homeschooling with just T. And to distract me from the changes, with H at college, and Lulu at high school. A writer’s workshop for younger kids. A science group for exploring the mind-boggling diversity of habitats that we have here in California. A handful of other projects at home and in the community.

Not much time for wondering.

Our homeschooling group hosted its annual Not Back To School Picnic for local support groups, and its fall camping trip–three days near the coast, in the redwoods. I took the photos that accompany this post on the first of October, during that camping trip, on an excursion to the Pescadero Marsh. It was a good morning: a slow hike with time to muse and drink in the nature all around. I picked up my camera for the first time in weeks and just let myself wander.

And wonder.

I thought about something else that had kept me busy in September: The Dictation Project. It started partly as a distraction, partly as a means of focusing me on my book. In those regards it was a success. I wrote a lot, thought a lot. I wanted to give readers tangible ideas, so that meant longer posts and more of them. But one of my other goals for the project was building community. I’d hoped to get people talking about the idea of using dictation as a writing tool. I’d hoped that the comments sections of those posts would be a lively, hopping place. That didn’t quite happen.

I’m still wondering about that.

Not that there weren’t comments. There were comments that weren’t so much comments as stories. Stories of how readers had taken up pencils and pens and written down words and experienced small moments of transformation. And, bear with me, this a slightly ridiculous analogy, but for me these stories are like lembas, the hobbit bread made by elves–small, magical cakes of sustenance for a great journey. Sustenance and encouragement for me as I work at this book. I wish I could convey how much they mean to me without resorting to Lord of the Rings references.

Wanting for more seems like nothing short of Gollum-esque greed. But I do wonder about what happened as the month moved along, and the comments got slighter and slighter. What makes readers comment to a blog post? Personal connection? Having something to say? Were there few comments because the topic of dictation wasn’t pertinent to my readers? When I mentioned this to Chris, he said, “Well, the posts are pretty long.” Point taken. And point struggled with. I wanted to provide my readers with information. I didn’t want to just gloss over the topic of dictation; I wanted to delve in and give practical ideas. Which meant long posts. And maybe more than my readers had time for.

I wrote to a blogging, book-writing friend for advice. I got lots more lembas for my journey. But she also wrote this:  “rss is dead, i hear, because no one has time to read the blogs they subscribe to. everyone just skim skim skims. sigh. it’s hard to build community when people flit and flit and won’t stick with anything!” Well, I know that I have readers who do more than skim skim skim because you’ve left comments, you’ve emailed, you’ve spoken to me in person.

Still, I wonder.

Are readers just looking for a quick hit when they read blog posts? Just a zap of inspiration before they click along to the next thing? Is it a waste to write longer posts, a waste to try to share something meatier? Should a blogger write what she feels compelled to write–or what she thinks her readers want to read? And when do you let those comments and blog stats start to talk to you? Do you listen when they seem to say that people are losing interest? Or do comments and stats tell the whole truth?


It’s harder too when you have a bigger project in mind. A book, say. How much time do you put in, if you can’t be sure others will find it useful? And how much do you listen to the part of you that calls, that compels you to write anyway, regardless of what others say? My wise email friend also wrote this: “… but if you feel absolutely called to write this book, why would you not do it? even if only one person reads it and is helped by it, you will have done something positive. even if only your children read it, you will have put what you know out into the world.”


Wondering is best, I suppose, when you just let it be that: wondering. When you don’t try to make a leap for answers before the mulling time is done. When you just let go, breathe in the nature around you, soak it up with your camera and let the metaphors take over, Lord of the Rings references and all. The answers will come. In time. In the meanwhile, October is a good time for wondering.

And this is a wonder farm, after all.

28 comments… add one
  • Kristin Oct 6, 2010 @ 12:09

    Dear Tricia,

    I don’t think you realize it, but after you write about something, it has been covered so thoroughly that there isn’t necessarily much to add. I think in that instance, a lack of comments is really an affirmation that you made your point very well.

    As far as the length of your posts, I have a comment which may seem unrelated, but I think not. In the museum world, it has been documented by visitor studies that there are three kinds of readers of labels:

    those who are type A and basically read every word
    those who are type B and read a little bit (skimmers)
    and C, those who don’t read anything at all

    The current trend in writing museum labels (interesting note: *developed by the Monterey Bay Aquarium) are designed for most people: the B and C type. Accept in many art museums, which tend to be very slow to change their ways, it’s considered antiquated for long-winded curatorial remarks, which were mainly directed at peers, and not the general public.

    As you know, stats tell you how long someone is spending on your post. I consider it great when people spend at least one minute on a post I’ve written; but there are those that spend a much longer and a shorter amount of time.

    I tend to be a type B label and blog post reader, because I’m visually driven and feel encumbered by too much text–but, I will take the time to read something if the text is well written and I’m interested in it.

    What you want to write about in your posts is your choice. That’s the beauty of a blog. You have complete control in editing and content. It would seem to me that with the limited time you have, combining your blog with your book writing effort makes perfect sense–and any feedback you get helps.

    An on-going blog topic is different than reading a book and you have to assume that people who buy the book are going to be interested to read the whole thing. But blog posts are typically varied and I myself like the variation.

    This isn’t meant to sound harsh, but you know darn well that your book is needed and will be useful. Trust that. A friend just told me that her 2nd grader was expected to write a 7-8 page story and her child could barely write–and the she thought there was something wrong with her child! Isn’t that proof there’s a big problem?

    It might be nice to provide a context for your book–including facts of the crazy expectations of parents and oddball requirements across the nation in the schools, for example.

    Anyway, my aim is to encourage you to do what you need to do and I will be reading, not always commenting, but present nonetheless.

    • patricia Oct 6, 2010 @ 21:06

      Kristin, I think your museum label analogy is absolutely related. My problem, obviously, is that I’m a type A thinker living in a type B and C world!

      (I’ve written about this before. For any fellow Type A thinkers who want to read more: http://patriciazaballos.com/2009/06/24/a-post-without-an-image/ )

      I suppose that I will always struggle somewhat with blogging as a writing format because I am a long-winded, book-oriented reader and writer. The good news, I have to remind myself, is that I am getting away with it on this here blog. I may not get long lists of commenters–but I get long comments! I get comments like yours that are reflective and substantive and even metaphorical.

      When I think of it like that, I wouldn’t want it any other way.

      Thank you for never failing to give me your time and your insights here. It means the world.

  • molly Oct 6, 2010 @ 13:38

    i’m sitting at the library (not in front of starbucks today!) and i have enough time to read one blog before my kids drag me out of here. i chose yours. and i didn’t skim. i read the whole post. and even though i don’t have enough time to leave a long, thoughtful comment (my kids might forget to use their library voice if i type much longer), i just had to tell you that i love you. and your long, meaty posts. and your wonder farm, along with all your fellow farmers. hope to see you this month. (i’ll call you soon)

    • patricia Oct 6, 2010 @ 21:14

      I am beyond honored that I was your one blog. Ah, my molly-friend, you never fail to melt my heart. And I love thinking of my family as my fellow (wonder) farmers. I will always think of you as a poet, my dear.

  • Melissa Crowe Oct 6, 2010 @ 16:02

    I want to be honest–I think there is definitely truth in the observation that blog readers skim; they do this partly because they’re busy, and there’s so much to read and look at. They may have twenty blog-reading minutes while that homeschooled child does a math worksheet or takes a bath. They may be looking at blogs on a break from work or between their own projects–whatever. We are all pressed for time, but more than that, I feel like the very nature of the internet changes my own attention span. I love to read books. I have a PhD for lord’s sake. I can read hundreds of pages in a day. But blogs? Yep–I skim. Because I am anxious to click away to what’s next, see what else is out there, find the next thrilling or inspiring or just pretty thing. I read some of your dictation posts, but not really feeling like dictation was the right tool right now for my own homeschooler, I didn’t fully engage with the subject and wouldn’t leave a comment if I hadn’t read the whole post. That said, if you wrote and published a homeschool book, I would sink into a hot bath and read that darn thing cover-to-cover. For me, book reading and blog reading are totally different animals.

    • patricia Oct 6, 2010 @ 21:31

      And there’s the rub: I want to be the one in the bath with people!


      Honestly, though, as I wrote to Kristin above, slower, ruminative writing is my style. I’ve been apprenticing myself as a writer long before blogs were even around. I will probably never master the quick-dash-of-inspiration post. I suppose I’ll always be a little uneasy in this blogging format–and sometimes I get a little woeful about it. But then readers like you leave me slow, ruminative comments and all is right with the world.

      Thanks for taking that time, Melissa.

      If only I could write this book faster and get it out into the hot baths of the world…

  • Melissa Oct 6, 2010 @ 19:18

    There are two reasons why I did not participate in the dictation series (except for one post).

    First: It made me feel guilty about what I wasn’t doing with my kids. Are all those exercises valuable? Would my children be interested? Am I perfectly capable? YES! But, still… nothing.

    Second: Recently I read (loosely quoting the idea of the article) that spending time seeking information about interests, specifically reading blogs, lessens the actual action of the reader. That somehow reading about OTHERS doing “things” satisfies the desire to actually DO said “thing”. Lessens the drive to action.

    For me, reading blogs is a reminder of all I could be, and I’m not. And it’s not as if I’m not doing anything, it’s just that I’m not doing everything. And I don’t want to feel guilty about it. And I do. Really, really, I DO.

    • patricia Oct 6, 2010 @ 21:51

      Oh, to think that I made you feel guilty! That makes me feel guilty!

      Your comment points out a glitch in my own thinking that I hadn’t considered. Back in my first dictation post I wrote this:

      “I recommend that at first you simply read along here, and ponder the ideas a bit. I don’t want to get you all fired up about dictation, and have you pounce on your child with your New Big Idea! …One of the most important things to remember about taking dictation is that you want to do it because your child wants to–not because you think it’s a good idea.”

      I wanted to put this dictation idea out there as a tool for parents to consider, to use when the time was appropriate. And the appropriate time is best determined by watching your child. Reading his or her clues. Dictation is really something you should pull out of your pocket when your child does something that tells you that he or she needs it. That’s one of my firmest beliefs.

      Yet what did I do? Get all gung ho, and try to get parents to play along on my time clock! That’s hypocritical to what I’m trying to do here! What I really want to do is to lay the ideas out so when the time is right, a parent can say, Hey, I think dictation might be what my kid needs right now. Maybe I should click over to wonder farm and read those dictation posts…

      So please don’t feel guilty, Melissa. If you haven’t used dictation yet, the right time probably hasn’t come. It will. And these posts will be here if you need a little help.

      Thank you for helping me see the big picture of why my project didn’t work out the way I thought it might. Your comment has been so very helpful.

  • Just Peaches Oct 7, 2010 @ 11:19

    First off, you must know I’m a huge fan of the WonderFarm and all its meaty posts. Yes they’re long. I know they’re going to be long so I save your post for when I have time for a cup of tea. And then, I wonder.

    I wonder about transitions. Like you, I filled my September with distractions: brick repairs, plumbing repairs, furnace servicing…all to avoid thinking about the fact that my youngest is now happily in school full time. For the first time in fifteen years I find myself alone for an entire day. During the second week of school we had a thunderstorm in the night. I awoke waiting for her to come running into my room and crawl into my bed afraid of the “boom-booms”. But thunder isn’t “boom-booms” anymore and she slept soundly through the storm. Transitions are hard: they’re uncomfortable and challenging. When I’m out walking and I’ve reached a comfortable stride, I don’t want to climb the 100 steps to the top of the hill that I know I’m coming too! But I do. And when I reach the top, out of breath, heart pumping – I stop and I’m rewarded with a beautiful view of the city. I think that wondering and imagining is part of the transition process.

    What I am sure of is this: if you feel compelled to write, then you must. To misquote Field of Dreams, “if you write it they will come”. I could be wrong Patricia, but I don’t think there are a lot of people out there typing “dictation” when they google. I think many people haven’t even considered dictation as a writing tool. Our family fell into it naturally but what is natural to some isn’t necessarily to others. In some ways, I think you’re preaching to the choir. Ideas, like seeds, need time to germinate.

    Write, wonder and take us along for the ride.

    • patricia Oct 8, 2010 @ 9:00

      Oh, it must be hard to have your last one in school for a full day. That is a transition–probably more for you than for her!

      I think you’re right: wondering and imagining is part of the transition process. It’s good to busy yourself and create distractions, but ultimately you have to slow down and reflect as well. I didn’t mean to portray this wondering time as a negative, pitying thing. It’s been hard but also quite wonderful: I feel my focus realigning, and my plans shifting. All good stuff.

      Thank you for your unflagging support, Peaches, and your meaty comments. These conversations are the ones that convince me that I’m on the right path.

  • Susan Paulukonis Oct 8, 2010 @ 7:04

    I am a Type B. This allows me to subscribe to 25+ blogs, spanning everything from homeschooling to cooking to visual design to running to crafts. I am a completely distractable, want-to-know-a-bit-about-everything Type B. But I don’t do in-depth very well, as you might imagine.

    Yours is always the first blog I think of when I think, “I haven’t checked Reader in a while…” And yours is the one that makes me feel like I should focus long enough to write something myself.

    But taking dictation is a distant memory…

    • patricia Oct 8, 2010 @ 9:09

      Well, it’s nice to know that sometimes I can drag a Type B into Type A behavior. 😉

      It’s interesting to think about your work in epidemiology and that fact that you consider yourself a Type B thinker. I would imagine that Type B thinkers are especially good at looking at lots of information and seeing patterns…

      Don’t relegate dictation to a distant memory, though. I don’t know about your J and school writing, but dictation sure helped H through when he struggled with high school writing! At least to get him started.

  • June Oct 8, 2010 @ 19:04

    Well – this is not related to this post…but: I stumbled upon your blog earlier today while reading comments on a Beauty That Moves blog post. I really liked what you had to say and it lead me here. I’m enjoying reading your posts, although it is a bit time consuming to catch up! But anyway, I just finished reading your “What’s a Wonder Farm” page The excerpt “I love the word wonder. It’s a noun as well as a verb. It can mean a miracle, a phenomenon or a state of amazement. It can be the act of marveling or questioning. A wonder is a journey of the mind, lasting maybe a minute, maybe a lifetime.” kind of made me dance for joy. My husband and I recently had a daughter, our first, and we chose to name her Gwynevire Wonder. We’ve been really amazed at the bizarre responses we’ve received. Many saying that they’ve never heard the name Gwynevire, or that it sounded like a boy’s name. But mostly the curiosity has been toward our choice of Wonder. No one seems to understand and I’ve always simply told them to look it up and then maybe they’d understand. But you’ve said it SO incredibly well here, it gave me butterflies. I need to memorize it so I can quote you next time someone asks. Thank you! If you chose to respond, I would like it if you’d email me…I’m not sure if I’ll catch it if you comment here. – xo June

    • patricia Oct 10, 2010 @ 22:09

      Well, June, I’m somewhat dumbfounded that people would be so rude as to question what you’ve named your baby! What are they thinking? And, yes, I think wonder is one of the finest words in the English language, so if it isn’t suited to a child, I don’t know what is. I have a niece named Gwendolyn, which is a little like Gwynevire. When people question her name, they’re told that she was named after Spiderman’s girlfriend. So there!

      Thanks so much for taking the time to leave a comment, June! And FYI to you and any other prospective commenters: I always email my response when someone leaves a comment. I wouldn’t presume that anyone has the time to come back and reload the comments on any post to see if I’d responded. We all have busy lives!

  • susan Oct 9, 2010 @ 7:38

    I always read every word of your long posts! I wanted to be here, doing dictation. I promised I would take dictation from Clem on our trip. I didn’t. I did take dictation for Greta. One letter to a friend. My handwriting is so primitive that they thought Greta had written it herself! And I wanted to share bits of it here but somehow my September ran away from me! Two weeks camping and then we plunged into the activities. I was stunned to find that your month of dictation was over and that I had contributed so little. I am teaching a writing class for reluctant writers and I have encouraged all the parents to take dictation and pointed them towards your eloquent and inspiring posts. Even though I wasn’t present here much, your dictation project was on my mind.

    • patricia Oct 10, 2010 @ 22:27

      Well, I think that my mistake, as I mentioned to Melissa in a comment, was in assuming that everyone would get on board with this just because I’d decided it was a good time to do so. What really makes more sense is to put these posts out there as a resource for people to use if they decide the time is right. Based on the needs of their kids.

      Thank you for pointing other parents to these posts. That is a compliment beyond compliments. And I hope your class for reluctant writers is a success! You know who to call if you want to brainstorm ideas…nothing challenges and intrigues me more than a reluctant writer.

  • Lori Oct 10, 2010 @ 8:05

    it’s good to wonder. 🙂

    i hope you keep putting what you know out there for other people and working toward that community you want. many people give up when it doesn’t come easily. but if you keep working at it, you can find your way.

    wisdom. it usually only comes through bumpy experience. 🙂

    • patricia Oct 10, 2010 @ 22:34

      A wise person suggested that I might want to make my ideas accessible on my blog, so that’s what I’ve been working on. Which means I haven’t been working on my book. But in the meanwhile, wonder of wonders, all sorts of new thoughts about organizing the book are coming to me when I’m not willing them to. Isn’t that just how inspiration works?

      Thanks for the encouragement, Lori. You are a never-failing source of inspiration.

  • Darcie Oct 10, 2010 @ 17:10

    I have been reading your posts! And now I’m wondering why I usually don’t leave comments…

    I love your ideas. I’m inspired by the way you teach your children at home. The dictation hasn’t been as smooth as I would like it to be, but it works sometimes. I love the idea, the tool it is.

    When I first came across your blog I devoured it because I was looking for and ready for what you write about…all aspects of it. For long meaty posts, as well as books on any given subject that take some thought and application, I think the timing must be right. People look and are hungry for things at different times. That is why variety is good, and that is why response to something YOU feel strongly about is slow. When I read an old post on someone’s blog I usually don’t comment because my reading it is so delayed, but boy do I ever appreciate the ideas. So your posts will inspire many for years to come. When people are ready they’ll spend all the time necessary in learning all they can.

    Keep it up!

    • patricia Oct 10, 2010 @ 22:41

      Thanks for the encouragement, Darcie!

      I’m just beginning to understand how right you are about timing. I put these posts out there and assume that people will respond to them immediately, but you’re right–folks come to them months and even years later. My new goal is to organize them to make them a bit easier to access for readers who come after-the-fact.

      And just so you know, I’m always happy to receive a new comment on an old post, and I’ll bet any blogger would feel the same. A connection is a connection, regardless of when it happens. It’s always meaningful.

  • Carrie Pomeroy Nov 10, 2010 @ 22:04

    I want to echo what Melissa said, a little. I was puzzled by my own lack of participation in responding more to your dictation series, because the posts excited me so much. I think I felt anxious about the fact that when I did do dictation with my children, they didn’t respond to it as enthusiastically and avidly as I wished they would. I wondered if it was something “wrong” with them, or with me, and felt sadness that we weren’t happily writing together more. I am not sure what to do with all these feelings, but it did affect how much I was willing to comment.

    We did have some nice points of connection using dictation. After your “they don’t all want to write stories” post, I realized that my son often wanted me to ask him questions about what he knows about Legos. So I decided to formally interview him and write down his answers. I felt like it was some of the best listening I’d done with him in a long time, and I think he and I both experienced the way writing allows you to think more deeply and discover what you know, so to speak. He also dictated a review of a video game on the Lego website, and that gave us a chance to talk about the kinds of information people are looking for in a review.

    Still, I think our dictation sessions had a little bit of the whiff of the obligatory and forced about them, possibly because I have so much underlying anxiety about how little B. writes. It is certainly not something he asks to do.

    I remember when I used to teach writing to homeschooled kids before I had kids of my own, many of the parents seemed so grateful and amazed at what their kids wrote in my classes. I thought it would be easy to replicate similar results with my own kids. It’s so not the case so far, perhaps because I am so much more invested than I was with my students! I am trying to be patient and feel a way toward what our process will be in all this, and trying to trust (though my heart feels fearful) that it will all work out.

    • patricia Nov 11, 2010 @ 11:26

      Carrie, I so appreciate your willingness to share this.

      What a great idea it was to interview B–especially about his love of Legos! And yes, it sounds like an ideal way to discover how speaking (and writing) about something help you discover what you have to say about it. So important. I’m writing “interviews” down in my notebook of ideas!

      I understand that “whiff of the obligatory” though. Ideally, we want kids to write or dictate because they want to do it, not because Mom or Dad wants them to do it. Getting there can be tricky, especially for homeschoolers, who don’t necessarily have the built-in audience of classmates. But I think audience is key (unless a child is one of those who takes to journaling for personal expression.) It’s not enough to have something to say; we need to have a reason to say it. I listed a few ideas in my Glitches Along the Way post. http://patriciazaballos.com/2010/09/27/glitches-along-the-way/

      Audience isn’t something you need to rush out and whip up for B tomorrow–or that old obligatory whiff is likely to return. But it’s something to think about. Consider his interests and the opportunities that present themselves. It sounds like that may be what you did with that Lego review. Did it get published on the site? Maybe that act didn’t thrill him like you might have hoped it would, but B. got the sense of what it’s like to have his words out there. It may take more of that, slowly, over time, to help him find reward in it. Or maybe you haven’t discovered the audience that will ignite him just yet.

      I think we may have already written back and forth about this, but remember that a big part of becoming a writer doesn’t involve writing at all. We learn to write by reading, and paying attention to what our favorite writers do. We also learn to write simply by talking to others, and clarifying our ideas in words. Maybe you could focus for a while on simply sharing good literature and talking about what you like. I’ll bet you’re already doing that. Just the other day, T was reading a Percy Jackson book to himself, and he suddenly piped up with, “Crestfallen. That’s a good word.” It was a reaction to all the conversations we have about writing. Not canned, “whiff of obligatory” conversations, but little discussions here and there about something we like. We do this a lot when we listen to audiobooks together in the car.

      Over the years of listening to kids read their work in our writer’s workshops, I can always spot the readers in the groups. Many of those kids do almost no writing in their younger years, but when they come to writing it’s at an impressive level that bespeaks of all the time they’ve spent reading–or being read to. They’ve internalized many of the qualities of good writing, and they write with voice. It’s often stunning.

      Hang in there, Carrie. I know it can be hard, especially with your first, when you don’t have that ability to look back yet. (And I’ll give you yet another nudge to consider starting a workshop. You already know how to do it! They can work like magic, in my experience. Just as they seem to have for you in the past, based on the comments of the parents of your students…)

  • Heather Dec 28, 2010 @ 9:48

    I haven’t read all the dictation posts–was too late to have read them “live” as it were. However, your discouragement at facilitating conversations is something I’m extraordinarily passionate about. I started a facebook page for the magazine (http://www.getbornmag.com) in order to help facilitate conversations and ultimately lead people toward the magazine, which I feel is a much more in-depth venue for conversation. But of the over 1,300 fans we have, we still can’t seem to get more than 400 subscribers. One woman said, outright, that the facebook discussions give her all she needs. I call it the Burger King phenomena–it’s the fast food of community connection. I don’t love it, frankly. I’d rather have the meandering, ruminating conversations you’re speaking of. They’re more soul-filling to me. As an attempt to make the business succeed, though, we’ve been trying facebook, and it’s definitely given us more brand awareness. I have LOTS more hits on the actual blog when I post a link to it from my facebook page. But very few comments, as a rule. People comment like crazy on our little evocative facebook questions, but not on the blog. Maybe it’s too big a commitment? Who knows. Figuring out readers on this information superhighway makes my brain hurt.

    • patricia Dec 28, 2010 @ 23:41

      Ah, the Burger King phenomenon. That’s about right! I’ve been dragging my heels about starting a Facebook page for my blog. I don’t have a personal page, and don’t really want to go that route, but my friend who designs blogs for writers recommends it! It sounds like it’s working for you–although I hope it brings you more subscribers as well.

      I think you’re right about commenting being too big of a commitment–which is why I value the thoughtful commenters that I have. It means a lot to me that people like you take the time for meaningful dialogue here. Sometimes I have to remind myself that quality matters more than quantity.

  • wanderingsue Jul 2, 2013 @ 5:46

    Yep, you’ve been in the bath with me, my dear, and I think it’s fairly obvious that I’m type A- I’ve read so many of your posts, and gone back and re-read them straight away! Sometimes I want to skim, because both my desktop lists of links to follow up and my bedside stacks of things to read are getting longer and longer, (taller and taller!) but I just can’t rush it. I want to chew on it for a while, and I guess that’s part of the beauty of leaving comments. But one of the funny things, too- I’m really talking to the you of a few years ago, huh?

    Somebody recently posted a link to one of your more recent posts to a yahoo HE group over here, and I was terribly excited! Eventually, (H. wouldn’t be due to start school til this September anyway, so it’s early days in my network,) I’ll have live friends who I can talk to about all this, as we go. I need a book club or something, for HE blogs.

    I am a book-loving blog-lover, only terrified that something out there will crash (maybe society!) and I’ll lose access to all the blogs I love. Yours is the only blog where I read ALL the comments, and then go off linking to other people and knowing there’s this whole community that I’m just going to fit into, and enjoy. Okay, mine’ll be in south London, and not the Bay Area (did I tell you I lived there for 3 years? Was a Green Tortoise driver, if you know them,) but still, it’s completely brilliant.

    Rats, dentist appointment, must go!

    • patricia Jul 16, 2013 @ 9:21

      Ha, wandering sue, I had to go back an reread my post to remember what your references to baths and type A thinking were referring to! I’m glad you gave me the impetus to do that–both because it helps me realize that I *still* struggle with some of these same issues, and because rereading the comments reminded me that I have some utterly wonderful, longtime readers.

      Nice to hear that my newer posts are being passed around in your neck of the woods! Re: finding community. It’s funny: I have a local homeschooling group that I’ve been tight with for fifteen years. Still, it wasn’t until several years into that group that I found my online homeschooling community, and it filled a different need for me. There are only a few people in my life who are part of both worlds. Have you ever thought about going on Twitter? It’s another whole sapper of time, but I do love the real-time back-and-forth with the homeschooling people I’ve come to know there.

      I didn’t know that you lived in the Bay Area. Small world!

      Thank you for reading my blog so carefully, Sue, including the comments. They’re wonderful comments, aren’t they? It’s a nice little community here. I’ve been playing with the idea of making a forum here, to extend that. We’ll see.

      • wanderingsue Jul 17, 2013 @ 6:09

        Yeah, wow, that would be a doozy of a comment out of context, huh?

        I love the community, too, out here in blog land, but sometimes I write a few miserable or incomprehensible posts, forget how to include photos, tell some really dull kiddie stories for my Mum or something, and stop linking to my blog when I comment on others. I feel like if I’m going to invite people into mine I should really bake a cake, or at least dig out the living room floor, so to speak.

        So, I haven’t made you a cake, but here we are. 🙂

        • patricia Jul 17, 2013 @ 9:49

          I’ll take a comment over cake most any day. Still, I’m glad to finally have found your blog!

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