Thursday, February 4, 2010

Blogging and Writing

The film JULIA AND JULIE revolves around a young woman who vows to recreate every recipe in Julia Child's book within a year's time.  When she embarks on this endeavor, Julie Powell starts a blog detailing her adventures and misadventures in the kitchen.  The film then depicts the parallels struggles of the older Julia Child and the younger Julie Powell as they attempt to become skilled cooks.  

The movie kept me interested for several reasons.  Meryl Streep and Amy Adams are excellent actors, and the take on blogging was fascinating.  Through blogging, the modern Julie connects with others who share her interests and follow her adventures.  Julie's readers sometimes encourage her, chastise her, or act as voyeurs while she cooks.  Julie eventually develops relationships with her "followers" as she works her way through her idol's cookbook.  Her readers keep her focused when she is tempted to cheat on her stated goals or when she doubts her own prowess in the kitchen.  As I watched Julie pound away at her computer, I realized how modern technology, particularly cyberspace, keeps us connected in ways we never were before.  We "know" people who are states, even continents, away from us.  Through shared interests, these people, or followers, have become our friends.  Like Julie, I've "met" many people who have become friends and associates.  I've developed an interest in their lives and projects.  They have expressed interest in my life and in my writing.  I also think cyberspace is keeping us connected in other ways as well.  For example, e-books are keeping literacy alive for a new generation brought up on computers and video games.  These young people have no problem reading a book on-line.  E-books are also keeping books affordable for millions of people.  I, for instance, was very fortunate to have Sapphire Blue as my publisher.  E-books are an egalitarian alternative to the more expensive print books.  I am not trashing print books.  In fact, I think they are important to our society, but for many cash-strapped people, e-books offer a positive alternative. As the world becomes more connected by technology, e-books will find even a larger market.  

What also struck me was how cooking saved these women from boredom and mediocrity.  By cultivating a gift, Julia and Julie found themselves and inspired others.  Writing also has helped save and define me.  In my darkest hours, I have run for my pen or pounded on my keyboard.  When my mother died, writing saved me from debilitating grief.  Revising BURIED TRUTHS and focusing on other projects rescued me from utter despair.  I  only pray I have inspired others.  

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