Hello world! I’m finally starting my own blog! Yippee! And my name is Marie Smith. “Stirbuzz” is the name of the blog. My friends kindly started calling me “Stir” after watching a skit on Saturday Night Live back in the early ’90s, probably after having a few drinks. Blogging is chat, and chat is what I call “buzz”. So Stir’s chat is “Stirbuzz”.
This is not my first experience with a blog. I’ve been keeping one on U2.com and on Ourstage.com. I’ve gotten some good reviews on the U2 blog over the years so this week I decided to go “off on my own”. Besides, some of my stories are long and I don’t know if U2.com is the best place to post them. And there’s only so much you can say about U2 (although it’s a “general” blog where fans can write anything).
Last year I was at Border’s Books in Camp Hill trying unsuccessfully to raise money for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society by wrapping gifts for donations when I ran into a guy named Don Helin. He was there promoting his new book, “The Kingdom Come”. I bought a copy, and Mr. Helin told me he was a member of PennWriters. I made a mental note to check PennWriters out because I have always enjoyed writing and was told by many professors over the years that I have potential in this area. A few months later, I became a member of PennWriters and signed up for my first formal writing course. To date, I’ve written a hodge-podge of memoirs intended for use in a book about being a U2 fan. I later found these stories morphing into a book about addictive behavior and reckless spending. I used this theme throughout my lessons in the writing course. My hope is to use these memoirs in a book that will motivate others and help them to steer clear of the pits I managed to get into…and out of…over the years.
Much to my horror, I realized that most of the active members of PennWriters are highly experienced writers who have published books already and are well-known. I am kind of embarrassed at this point to introduce myself to them outside of the online classes. I can see it now:
Really Talented Published PennWriters Member: “Nice to meet you, Ms Smith. Tell me, what kind of work have you done?”
Me (blushing): “Outside of formal papers for my classes? Well, several blog posts on U2.com, an op-ed piece in the Patriot News back in 2006, and roughly 50 original songs!”
RTPPW: “Oh, very good. Well good luck to you”
One of these days I’ll have the courage to come forward in the PennWriters’ discussion group. They seem like very nice people; I’m the one who is uptight.
In the next few days I will start to make some genuine posts here, a few of which will be from the U2.com blog or intended for that site. I think they are written in a way people will enjoy them, regardless of how they feel about U2. At least I hope so.
I won’t bother with the posts I made on Ourstage because to my knowledge no one has ever read them. My posts there are even less visible than my music which, although heard by a few as noted on the Ourstage “number of plays” dashboard, is buried under thousands of other original songs by thousands of other indie artists. Those posts also have a very negative tone, mostly because my music is going unnoticed. Since I don’t want to come off as a Debbie Downer, I’ll try to keep things merry as I embark on this blog.