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Thursday, April 19, 2007

TT #49

One Thing Leads to Another
Part II

the road to blogging

Twenty-one years and some odd months ago, our daughter was born, a tiny little elfin baby, made even more unreal looking by the fact that she had a mild form (mild being a relative and relatively meaningless term to worried parents) of Goldenhar Syndrome. Her only symptoms were pea-sized skin tags removed when she was a baby, and hemifacial microsomia. The summer she turned 13, she had surgery to remedy that. If you know 13-year-old girls, you can probably guess that 3 months with bolts protruding from her jaw, in near-constant pain, and unable to chew meant that she wasn't going to be spending her summer at the pool or hanging out with friends. So we

  1. signed up for AOL. We'd recently returned to the U.S., and had never been online before, at least not at home. When we left Germany, even local phone calls were still charged per minute, so adding internet provider fees to that made the internet an expensive proposition, and not one we were inclined to try. But faced with a housebound teenager, it seemed like a good option. Of course, she wasn't online all the time, so I had to check it out, too. The thing I spent most of my time on was
  2. AOL's message boards. The chat rooms were too unpredictable, but communities developed around the message boards. I browsed for a while, then settled on ones based on favorite authors and ones for military spouses. On one of the latter, I met someone who invited me to an email loop on
  3. Onelist, an intriguing concept. Once I understood how it worked, I started browsing around Onelist and found several fan lists for favorite authors, including
  4. JDRobb. The nice thing about the email loops was that you didn't have to be a member of AOL to join, the way you did with the bulletin boards. I jumped in with both feet, and a couple of months later, the moderator had to quit, so since I was so very chatty on the list, she asked me to
  5. moderate the JDRobb list. Which is where I met
  6. Murialisa, who became active in
  7. Writerspace. When Writerspace started a
  8. website for Berkley/Jove authors, on Murialisa's recommendation, they asked me to moderate the Berkley/Jove Authors Forums. So I set up the forums, Berkley/Jove sent me free books every month, and I had a list of email addresses of authors to contact. The main thing I did was have a book of the week, which was about how many books Berkley/Jove sent. I'd read the book, write up a synopsis and say why somebody would like the book (it was a promotional site, and I firmly believe that there's something to like about pretty much every book). Then I'd email the author and invite them to come chat about it. Everything went quite well for quite a while, and when they wanted to repeat the process with
  9. NAL authors, they asked me to set up the forums and get them going. It was supposed to be temporary. The NAL Authors Forums went even better than Berkley/Jove--there were more authors active even when they weren't book of the week, and more fans stopped by. They also sent more books--at least 12 every month, often more--and in more genres. From Berkley/Jove I got almost romances almost exclusively, and almost always ones I liked. From NAL, I got my first introduction to Regencies, and I got mysteries, women's fiction, and some general fiction along with a smattering of romance. Some I liked, and some I didn't. Then we
  10. moved back to Germany. The books came a little more sporadically, but they did come, but two months without an internet connection, then the time difference and a change of email addresses, and I ended up with no support for the forums. The frustration of that combined with the frustration of writing nothing but positive things about books I might or might not have enjoyed.
  11. Back on the JDRobb list, we'd started keeping track of the 50-Book Challenge, and posting our monthly reading lists there, but I wanted more. Also on the JDRobb list, I frequently posted my "theories"--it got to be a running joke that I had a theory for everything.
  12. Somewhere in there, I'd signed up for a blog in order to comment on someone else's blog (I have no idea whose anymore), and called it (because you had to name it) "nichtszusagen" because I had nothing to say, and didn't intend to ever use it.
  13. Then in October 2005, with so many people I knew starting blogs, I decided this was a good place to store my theories and my honest opinions of books, and here we are.
By the way, the kid's surgery was a success, and she's absolutely gorgeous. Here's a picture she sent to show us that she'd dyed her hair. Again.

Links to other Thursday Thirteens!

  1. Julia's purse
  2. Tilly Greene: records--yes, vinyl!
  3. Gattina: movie cliches
  4. Carmen's travel wish list
  5. Dragonheart's dad's birthday
  6. Lisa: pet peeves
  7. Gabriella Hewitt: Japanese elementary school
  8. Candy Minx: fashion and movies
  9. Susan Helene Gottfried: a rock star named Walter
  10. Denise Patrick: musicals
  11. Thomma Lyn's 10th anniversary
  12. things Annie wishes she did better
  13. She: Canadian movie quotes
  14. Christine's to-do list
  15. Alyssa Goodnight is shopping
  16. Amy Ruttan's birthday
  17. Melody: book memes
  18. Doug does Cosmo again!
  19. Kate R: recipes
  20. You're next!

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun! Be sure to update your Thirteen with links that are left for you, as well! I will link to everyone who participates and leaves a link to their 13 things. Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!


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WOW Darla, this is sure a good story how you were lead to one place to another....love it. I'm so glad to be one of the members of the JDRObb list. It have been such a great fun and you are doing great as list mom of the group.

WOW your daugher dyed her hair!!

Happy T13 Darla!
I'm impressed! With your then 13 year old for hanging in there and you for finding a way to make it through with your sanity and finding your joy at the same time.
That's wonderful what plastic surgery can do today your daughter looks very pretty ! And in some way it's thanks to her that you started blogging ! I dropped into it while looking for documentation of Egyptian cats on Internet ! From Cat Forums to Cat Blogs suddenly I had to look up what a blog was and then I jumped in. That was not even a year ago. I started end July ! and now I have 4 blogs to run ! Isn't that great when you can be in contact with the whole world ? That's why I write in English. German or French is too limited !
glad you "accidentally" started blogging. :) And that picture is a cute one!
What an interesting adventure you've had. :) My mom discovered the internet when she was at university, when the web was still largely just text.

Your daughter is beautiful! That's a cute woofie she's holding too.
What a great story.

I really need to read the last two JD Robbs, but am trying to hold out for paperback.
It's fascinating to see how you fell into such a position. And is that what nichtszusagen means? Nothing to say? I always wondered every time I stopped by here.

Your daughter is beautiful. Dyed hair is a small price to pay for good health. ;-)

Thanks for stopping by my blog!
Your daughter is gorgeous!!!!

And what fun to read your adventure towards blogging...being introduced to the internet is such a fun memory isn't it? It really has added a lot to so many peoples lives. The biggest change I've noticed is that at first you could find some things but not in depth information on the net...now you can find out fairly intense blocks of research and info on the internet...which helps make it so much fun and time consuming!

Here is my TT list:


By the way...a package a long tube...is being sent in your direction as I type. My email had closed down last week so it took a while for me to be able to track down your address, but all is done and I am so excited!!!
She's gorgeous!!

Isn't it amazing, the places the Web can take us? I'm really in awe of you for being able to do all that for Jove and NAL. You are my type of reader; I hope you'll join in the fun of my summer reading contest!

Happy TT!!
WOW, you've done so much and your daughter has been through so much. She is beautiful now, but I'm sure she was not happy the year she was thirteen.

Thanks for dropping by my TT.
What a great list of events leading to events -- you sound like a great and supportive mom, and your daughter is lovely!

Happy TT and thanks for visiting mine! :)
Darla, that's just an awesome TT! I love how one thing set such a fun course for your life.

And I've always wondered what the journal title meant. Very cool!

Happy TT!
Your daughter is beautiful.

I love JD Robb and will need to check out the list you've mentioned.

And yes, you got them all (movies associated with quotes). IMDB does rock ;)
She is beautiful! It's great to see what families can do to stick together through challenging situations.
She's lovely, and you are just the go-to-girl (er...woman).

Fascinating list! Happy T13!
Glad the surgery was a success. She's gorgeous!

I know what it's like to have a sick kid. My son was born with pediatric pulmonary hypertension. He was in the hospital hooked up to machines the first 4 weeks of his life. He made it, now he's a terror!

Great list.

Happy TT and thanks for dropping by mine!
Darla, I'm so impressed with your TT! And yeah, I enjoyed reading it...

Your daughter is lovely, and look how she has grown. :)

Thanks for sharing with us!
A very personal history of blogging. Well done.
darla, that's some story! My favorite TT this week.

and your daughter is gorgeous.
and that goldenhar page right away starts out with "Doctors are uncertain why Goldenhar occurs. However, they do not believe it is the result of anything the mother did while she was pregnant"

They know about how mothering = guilt
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