Six LDS Writers and A Frog

Friday, April 28, 2006

It Isn't Easy Bein' (a) Greenie

by Kerry Blair
The posts of the previous two days have left me speechless. There is so much heartache in the world. How thankful I am that there is more than enough faith, hope, and charity to overcome it. How fortunate your families and friends are to have you Julie, Stephanie and Darvell. You are all in my thoughts and prayers.

The first sentence in this blog is true, but it’s not the whole truth. The whole truth is that I’ve been speechless ever since I was invited to join Six LDS Writers and a Frog. You see, I’ve never blogged before. I couldn’t even define blog until last week when I learned that it’s a contraction of web log. (I could have looked it up in the Wikipedia, but I didn’t know there was such a thing as a wiki before yesterday.) By now you’re probably asking yourself what a dull girl like me is doing in a cutting edge place like this. Well, frankly, I’ve always had a thing for frogs.

It’s true. Other girls had posters of rock stars on their walls, but I had a picture of Kermit. I know all the words to It’s Not Easy Bein’ Green and a remarkable amount of Kermie trivia. For instance, did you know that that Kermit T. Frog was born on May 9, 1955, conceived from Jim Henson’s mother’s old coat and two ping pong balls? From that ignominious beginning he went on to author a book of philosophy, serve as grand marshal in the Rose Bowl parade, address commencement at Southhampton College, guest host both the Tonight Show and Larry King Live and, last but not least, sing the only Academy Award-nominated song ever recorded by a frog. Not bad for a humble amphibian with no delusions of grandeur. Kermit is my hero. Our frog (who is not nearly as modest) claims to be a distant relation of the famous Muppet. It might be true. You should hear him belt out The Writers, the Dreamers and Me!

So, when the frog issued an invitation to join the talented, illustrious folks already in his bog, I -- excuse the expression -- jumped at the chance. Now he’s off somewhere catching flies (hopefully for the Diamondbacks) and I’m sitting here on the edge of his pond afraid to slog into his blog bog. I hate soggy socks.

I can only hope that blogging will turn out to be a lot like writing fiction. I had no idea how to go about that, either. I’d never taken a creative writing class or read an LDS novel before Covenant published my first book. It was like falling down a rabbit hole and ending up someplace strange -- but wondrous. Every time I begin a new book it feels the same way. I’m back up at the top of that hole, looking down in apprehension. Do I really want to go there? If I do, how do I get in? I feel like the character in George MacDonald’s Dealings with the Fairies (1867). The scene goes like this:

The Old Man of the Earth stooped over the floor of the cave, raised a huge stone from it, and left it leaning. It disclosed a great hole that went plumb-down. “That is the way,” he said.
“But there are no stairs.”
“You must throw yourself in. There is no other way.”

I believe that’s true of most artistic endeavors. In order to create, we must take the plunge. There is no other way. But why do it? Why venture into a dark hole of uncertainty and possible failure in the first place? Kate Douglas Wiggin answered that question for me in Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm (1903):

Going to Aunt Mirandy’s is like going down cellar in the dark. There might be ogres and giants under the stairs, -- but, as I tell Hannah, there MIGHT be elves and fairies and enchanted frogs!

I began writing to see if I could find the elves and fairies and enchanted frogs that I hoped might exist somewhere outside my laundry room. I’ve come across a metaphorical ogre now and again, and am still working on overcoming a giant inferiority complex, but I’ve been blessed with eight happy endings just the same. The true magic, however, has come with the friends, golden geese, and fairy godmothers I’ve found along the way.

I suspect there are many friends (elves and fairies) lurking in the cattails around this blog. I know for certain that the frog is here because I’ve already been charmed and enchanted by the site! While I am certainly no Candace Salima, and while blogging is still a puzzling thing that remains mostly outside my experience and comfort zone, perhaps I’ll pick it up as I slog along in my soggy socks. If not, well, you know what Kermit says: “Time’s fun when you’re having flies!”

I’m counting on it.


At 4/28/2006 11:01 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Kerry, I think you have one of the most superb voices in LDS literature. Keep those books coming!

A big fan.

At 4/28/2006 11:09 AM, Blogger RobisonWells said...

Kerry, if you're going to comment on your own blog, at least make up a fake name instead of using "Anonymous".

Just kidding. Welcome aboard!

At 4/28/2006 11:40 AM, Blogger Kerry Blair said...

I should have known I couldn't fool you, Rob. Next time I'll be more subtle. You'd never catch on to Yrrek, would you?

But if there WERE an anonymous,
(s)he would be my new best friend! Thank you so much for the kind words.

I have to leave for San Antonio in about an hour, but I'll be watching the news on Monday, waiting with bated breath for Rob's big announcement. (The frog, meanwhile, is waiting with baited breath. ) You all play nice while I'm gone. Save me some dragonflies.

At 4/28/2006 2:02 PM, Blogger Darvell Hunt said...

Wow, my name's in print. I'm so honored.

Too bad life had to suck to get it there.

I do agree, Kerry, you have a great voice. I look forward to reading your green blog posts.


At 4/28/2006 2:54 PM, Blogger Mean Aunt said...

Welcome to Kerry and Go D-backs!

At 4/28/2006 6:53 PM, Blogger annegb said...

Yes, lovely post. I love the quote from Lord of the Fairies. I think God wants us to throw ourselves in, but it's so scary!

Good exploration of Kermie. I love that song.

It's truly a treat for you to blog here, you rock!!

At 4/28/2006 7:10 PM, Anonymous friend of the frog said...

Kerry, you're the only person I know who can be eloquent and funny at the same time. I don't understand this blog business either, but with you, Rob, Stephanie, Julie, and Jeff (five of my favorite authors!)blogging away I've just become a regular reader. I'm looking forward to reading Sariah's book. Judging from the company she's keeping, I suspect she's pretty darn good too.
I don't even know which identity below I'm supposed to click on. I'm not a blogger--at least I don't think I am. I'm not anonymous-I know who I am. So I must be other. Does that put me in the same category as the frog? My little brother and I once caught a few dozen frogs and built a frog farm in the family bath tub, does that qualify me and the frog for the "other" category?

At 5/01/2006 2:30 PM, Blogger G.Ellen said...

Well done for your first try!! I'll be watching for great things to come.


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