Today is the one year anniversary of Chubby Chatterbox. Our son CJ came up with the idea of starting a blog because I was depressed over numerous rejections from literary agents, one of whom told me I didn’t have a flair for writing and should try something else. CJ, who at the time had more confidence in my writing ability than I did, suggested I circumvent the publishing world by creating an audience of my own.
As children often do, he threw my own words back at me: sometimes it’s necessary to think outside the box. I patiently listened as he convinced me that traditional publishing was, for me, a dead end. But something was holding me back—fear. What if people didn’t like my stories? What if I ran out of ideas? What if a blog was too complicated for a computer-illiterate like me to manage? I dragged my heels and delayed posting because I knew that once I started I’d feel committed to doing whatever it took to make my blog successful.
CJ and I had been playing with a free template and I’d been running him ragged with difficult requests over what my site should look like. I think I was trying to wear him out, convince him to give up because I was too unreasonable to work with, but he hung in there and accommodated my excessive requests.
On August 1st of last year I finally took a deep breath, and with my heart pounding in my chest I entered my first post. I started with a childhood incident involving my eighty-six year old mother: Terms and Limits. I received no comments, and only one visit that first day—from Romania. It took weeks before anyone pressed the button to follow my blog, but with CJ and Mrs. Chatterbox’s encouragement I stuck with it.
Chubby Chatterbox has come a long way since then. I’ve written two hundred posts and I’m closing in on two hundred and fifty members, and I haven’t come close to running out of stories. I wish I could express how deeply I appreciate the e-mails and comments I receive—Manna from heaven for a writer. I love meeting my fellow bloggers, even if it’s only online, and learning how you think. I sincerely believe I’m becoming a better writer by reading so many fine posts; the talent on the blogosphere is astonishing.
I’m asked often if my stories are true, and I guess that depends on your definition of the word “true.” They’re certainly my truth, although some claim I’ve always had an overactive imagination. Occasionally I post pure fiction, but when I do I identify it as such. Otherwise, I relate events as I remember them, although I do change names and add a bit of spice to the stew. Otherwise, these stories are an accurate portrait of my life up until now.
From time to time I mention that Mrs. Chatterbox and our son CJ both work for the local police department. I understand that more of our City’s finest are enjoying Chubby Chatterbox. In an effort to avoid what could be an unpleasant situation for me, I’m now addressing only those with the power to arrest me: before slapping me in handcuffs, please note that any stories with references to my drug experimentation, lack of respect for current laws, erratic driving habits or wild nights drinking on the town are pure fiction. I repeat: total fabrications. No need to throw me in a cell with Chester the Molester.