Sunday, 23 March 2014

The Man Behind the Mask Pt 2

Sometimes I do things backwards. I have been known to make a major elecronics purchase, then return home to read Consumer Reports to see how I did.  And yes, it is true that my life sport has been rowing where we choose to travel backwards. Finally, yes, it is true that I started a blog without any mention of plans, goals, motivations etc. for the blog. How about we rectify that situation? Author authored Q & A format will be easiest...

Why are you blogging on such a personal topic?

They say to write about “what you know”. I know Parkinson’s. As such, I don't really find that personal, at least what I've offered you so far. I mean, seriously, you can get more perspective on this by going to the bio section in your local bookstore where you can find some pretty gut-wrenching personal stuff. Makes my stuff pretty dry :-)

Who do you hope to reach with this blog?

Of course, your first target is usually those with Parkinson’s - they are the ones that need the laughs the most. I'm thinking however, that there might be a tougher market to crack. (And maybe one more valuable to you). That is, your support group, and those just outside of your support group. The latter group would include your friends, coworkers, teammates etc., ones who would be rarely called upon for any specific support duties but who would benefit from having an understanding of your situation. They are also the ones who would be very unlikely to take it upon themselves to learn about your disease from the standard relatively depressing, medical site. However, if you dug up a blog entry of mine that you liked, and sent the link, you could say something like:

"check this out - this blog is from some dude who has Parkinson's. He's a bit out in left field but can  be pretty funny from time to time…"

The biggest plus in this situation is not that Blair gets another page view, but that you have given permission for someone in your circle to laugh at Parkinson's. That may open up another level of communication that you didn't have before. Give it a try!

It seems that many of your topics are, well, interesting, to say the least. Comment?
I think if people are going to stick around long enough to absorb your intended message, then providing a few humorous side adventures may help keep them engaged. As much as possible, I do like to start postings with the setting in the broader side of life. I.e., I prefer the stories did not start and end in the petri dish of Parkinson’s.

What do you hope to get out of this? (It looks to be a fair amount of work)
Honestly, in the beginning I wasn’t quite sure why I was doing it. I had an urge to do it but I couldn't clearly identify a reason.  As time goes on, I recognize the following fueling my writing:

It Keeps My Mental LEGO in Order

Parkinson’s or not, like your hard drive, your brain becomes sluggish and lethargic due to sloppy housekeeping and inefficient memory storage practices. The writing process does a wonderful job of re-filing those fleeting thoughts (red), Pulitzer quality blog drafts (yellow), and acceptance speeches (blue) etc.  into a tight lean, mean, blogging machine. Note that the above image and its associated color coding is from the author’s recent MRI.

Talk the Talk - Time To Walk the Walk

I’m no different than the rest of you.  I have this "LAZY" gene that sometimes rears its ugly head and prevents me from getting those "My Body Is a Temple" items done. And let me tell you, when you've got Parkinson's, your list of things that can make a difference is a rather long one. This makes my list more often than not, a "Temple of Doom" list. I’m thinking items like fitness, nutrition, social interaction...  Often I get tired of doing all those things that should be done to take care of Parkinson’s. My hopes are that the blog will keep me honest.

The Satisfaction of Sharing And Contributing

Hopefully readers will take away more than just a chuckle or two. I think there's something for everyone somewhere in my quasi-fictionary tales. You may have to look hard, sometimes reading between the lines - occasionally requiring a Waldo-rian search effort but it's there somewhere!

Are You Worried about being called a Naval-Gazer?

I had already assembled an elaborate defense against this hideous crime - call it a  preemptive strike against those that would throw rocks. Then I sat down and wondered - was this an awards show or a trial? I looked at all of the grayscale definitions and realized that I would be quite pleased to be accused of some half of their crimes of passion and the other half I didn’t really care about. So I suppose I’m resigning myself to a conviction in absentia. Who knows, maybe I’ll end up doing hard time - I hear the writing opportunities are good in the big house. And if I play my cards right, with bad behaviour and all, maybe I could get some solitary.

My editor is looking over my shoulder saying I need a conclusion to tie this entry together. I said it is wound as tight as a middle school teacher at report card time.

Honey? Honey???

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