KARA: DeNae, tell us about your blog. You describe yourself as an essayist. How do you decide what to write about? What is your favorite blog post?"
DeNae: "I use the word "essayist" the way others use the words "bridge out ahead": It's intended as a warning. I write long posts (usually 1,200 - 1,500 words) and only recently began adding pictures. I write for people kind of like me, who enjoy hearing funny stories or observations about life, and who are fine with providing the mental illustrations themselves.
My love of humor writing came from Dave Barry. I still remember reading his work in the newspaper, and even as a teenager I was amazed that people actually got to write that way! For a living! It's not as though I don't take life seriously; I really do. I just like to think that a little laugh among friends once in a while is just what we need before we strap on our helmets and head back down into the mine.
Sometimes I write something that has been on my mind for a while. Other times I just tell a funny story about my life. And I always take advantage of any truly goofy mood I may find myself in, and write something that is just out there and silly. Almost without exception, those are my readers' favorite posts.
I've written more than 140 posts in the last year, so to choose a favorite is tough. But a couple of the funniest stories might be "The Cat's Out of the Bag(pipe)", "Falling for You", and "Driving Me Crazy". They're all true.
However, two posts I'm the most proud of, where I really felt my writing kind of bumped up a notch or two, are "Brownies, Ice Cream, and the Things That Bring us Together", and "The Wendy Bird". Pop over, and tell me what you think!"
KARA: "On your blog, it says… “...everything I write feels like a conversation, just between you and me. And it's so much fun when you talk back!” Do you enjoy comments from your readers? How do you deal with negative comments?"
DeNae: "I really do enjoy the comments, particularly since they help me gauge whether or not I've reached people. I started the blog to improve my writing, and without an editor or a proofreader, I kind of depend on feedback from my readers. They're always very kind, but I have learned to "read between the lines" to identify which posts resonated, which entertained, and which just took up seven minutes you otherwise would have spent scrubbing the tub. I hardly ever get negative comments; I don't think I'm controversial enough! I'm not particularly political, I've never been much of a ranter (in my writing; raising children is an entirely different matter), I take pains to tread lightly when dealing with sensitive subjects. Remember, I want my place to be safe and comfortable, and I can't do that if I'm ticking off everyone who drops by."
Tomorrow is our last day with DeNae - she'll talk to us about being a public speaker, and about her beauty secrets! Don't miss it!