Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Someone I'd Like You to Meet: Damselfly from Growing a Life

Damselfly from Growing a LifeWhen I first met Damselfly she had just given birth to her little boy, Flybaby, five weeks previously and I enjoyed reading about motherhood from her first-time perspective. It helped me to remember some of the things I'd forgotten way back when I first had my own little baby to figure out.

Two years later (give or take) he's the Infant Formerly Known As Flybaby--shortened now to a much more mature "Fly"--and I'm still following her and making comments like "He's getting so big!"

Anyway, she has blogged at Growing a Life for over two years and has a wonderful weekly event, "What I'd Wear Wednesday," where she convinces me more and more that she has very fine taste in everything from shoes to nightshirts to watches. Sometimes she writes a bit more intimately and my favorite post of hers, More Love, is one where she talks about her childhood and how that has influenced her own parenting.

She's a fine writer who, besides being charming and entertaining, has a degree in journalism, previously worked as a writer and editor and is a published author with a book that's still selling copies. Maybe I'm silly but that was one of the first things I learned about her and it put me in awe.

I asked her a few questions after her long gig as this month's Write-Away Contest guest judge and here are her answers:

Have your feelings about motherhood changed as Flybaby has grown? How?

"I think before Fly was born, I was afraid to become a mother in part because I felt society didn’t respect mothers. But now, I wonder if it was really myself who didn’t respect mothering. My perception now is that mothers are everywhere, and they basically make the world go ‘round."

How do you find fulfillment as a mom? As a woman?

"I just enjoy knowing that my husband and I are building a life for our son and that we are a family. It’s great just spending time with my son. It’s hard being a stay-at-home mom sometimes because your only label is 'Mom' unless you do something else. I enjoy making music and volunteering my web and e-mail marketing skills outside of being a mother."

Does blogging contribute to this? How?

"Yes, for both being a mom and a woman. Blogging about Fly is a way to savor these days I have with him, and as blogger Oh Amanda once put it, 'Blogging makes me feel I have accomplished more than just running errands or cleaning house' -- that kind of thing."

What would you say to anyone who didn’t get a chance to go to Blogher? (here’s your chance to vent)

Well, I hosted a non-BlogHer chat for the second year in a row. It was fun! I would have loved to go, if only to meet the great women I’ve come to know through their blogs. But I live about as far away as you can get from San Francisco and still be in this country. And I am a terrible flyer.

Would you ever trade places with a famous blogger like Dooce? Why or why not?

"You know, I have been to Dooce’s blog only a couple of times. One time, she was really funny, but another time, it was just a regular post. I’m not a reader. I think it’s great she has such a following but I think that kind of fame would overwhelm me."

What's your biggest pet peeve about blogging?

"I don’t know if I can call this a pet peeve, but something I’ve been curious about lately is the bloggers who used to comment and all of a sudden dropped off. There are some really great women I miss hearing from. It makes me wonder if I said something offensive, if I got boring, if they never really liked me in the first place or if they just got too big to comment on my little blog! Sheesh, I sound so junior high! I guess what I’m trying to say is, I wonder what makes me lose readers/commenters."

I had to include this last question because her answer made me feel guilty as lately I've been so horrible about commenting, I've been lurking from my RSS feeds like a criminal and her answer has "Michelle" written all over it [hanging my head in shame]. But setting aside the fact that I feel pretty guilty about not commenting as much as I should if you're feeling anything similar to what Damselfly is describing I would suggest that it probably isn't that you've failed as a writer but that traffic ebbs and flows naturally.

Summer is usually a low traffic season and commenting seems to go down when everyone's more excited about being outside than at a computer. Then I'd also say that I have hundreds of blogs I follow in my RSS feeds--Growing a Life being one of them--where I read through but may not comment. Not that that clears my conscience or anything but maybe it'll make you feel better if you're feeling the same thing Damselfly is talking about--people may not be commenting every time but they're there . . . lurking in the shadows!

But at any rate, go check out Growing a Life for yourself, then leave her a big fat comment that Michelle says hello. Or better yet, tell her how cute her boy is--those blond curls of his get me every time.

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Adventures In Babywearing said...

This is a great interview! I have been reading -and still commenting
:) at Growing A Life for I don't know how long now!

I just love her site and how simple and clean it is, and just the light that seems to come from her. You know?

I do think that MANY blog readers caught on that you can read blogs through bloglines and they don't always click through. But I've heard of a new movement coming where we are all challenged to start clicking through the bloglines and going to each other's sites to help make our blogger friends some money with our clicks!


Annie said...

Thanks for introducing us to Damselfly!

I don't read a ton of blogs (only dial-up is available here), but try to comment on those I regularly read.

Damselfly said...

Hey! Look, I'm on Scribbit! :)

You are so nice, and don't you worry about the comment thing. I wasn't talking about you, honest. I mean bloggers who have just dropped off completely.

Thank you again for the chance to judge your fabulous contest and to be interviewed by you!

carrie said...

yay! I love Damselfly! I chatted with her at her even and now I love her even more.

carrie said...

I meant to say "her event". sorry.

tjhirst said...

It's refreshing to hear another bloggers candid thoughts about blogs that have a big following versus those of us who just keep doing it even when the comments don't always keep coming (or even start coming). I've wondered the same thing about offending other people. Now, someone actually said it for me. Thanks for introducing her!

White Hot Magik said...

Great interview. I am here via Damselfly's tweet. In regards the last question, I would agree abut ebbs and flows. I have been reorganizing my bloglines reader for that reason. I had so many things bookmarked it was a mess. I also take breaks occasionally and life gets busy and my blogging takes a back seat.

White Hot Magik said...

Great interview. I am here via Damselfly's tweet. In regards the last question, I would agree abut ebbs and flows. I have been reorganizing my bloglines reader for that reason. I had so many things bookmarked it was a mess. I also take breaks occasionally and life gets busy and my blogging takes a back seat.

Becky said...

I really love it when you interview other bloggers. I've discovered more great blogs through yours than I can count. There are so many out there and I can only stumble upon so many. Thanks for introducing us to more great writers and wonderful blogs. My Bloglines list is continuously growing. Thanks!

Nicole said...

I've only been reading Damselfly for a short time but I am enjoying her immensely. She is so kind. I'm always throughly impressed (and humbled, and a little embarrassed...) when "famous" bloggers actually respond to comments I leave, or visit my little ol' blog. When she stops by it makes me feel all giddy because I'm such a new blogger and she seems so "important". It's like having a celebrity eat in your restaurant.

I just don't know how all you bloggers find the time to write your own posts, read and comment on other blogs, and send personal responses to each commenter! It must create some serious blogging karma for you!

MoziEsmé said...

I love this interview! And I can so relate to the Dooce answer - I would hate to have to live up to all those expectations.

oh amanda said...

I adore Damselfly. How can you not with a name like that? She writes so beautifully that sometimes my mouth hangs open!

Plus, she's a transparent, generous woman who loves being a mom. I love that about her!

(and thanks for the linky love. i'm totally blushing...)

Heather said...

Hey, I'm finally getting here to read and comment! Ha! I read and comment at the 'fly's place regularly. And her non-BlogHer chat was fun...if you weren't at BlogHer you should have joined the chat!! (Not you Michelle, you other people. Oh I'm so eloquent.)

Anywho! Great interview!

Maddy said...

Hmm, wonder how I missed that one? Must be 'summer.'

Mary@notbefore7 said...

Great interview. I am glad you asked the last question and she was so honest. I, too, am a commentor that has dropped away from many blogs...for me it is just lack of time. BUT, it does make me think I should perhaps post a little explanation or send a note...so junior highish, at least that is what my hubby says, but other bloggers "get it" :)