My Life

Flashback #10: The Night I Did Not Break the Internet

Note: The following repost was inspired by a recent comment, wherein Osyth and I were discussing my brief career as a thespian and she mentioned “I don’t know your voice but we have imagination”. Well, I just happen to have something in the archives that might shed a bit of light on the matter…

So I innocently signed into Goodreads the other night, something I rarely do anymore. It’s not that I dislike the site; it’s just another one of my former obsessions that I drifted away from as other obsessions developed. This is one of my character traits: I can be completely focused on a specific interest or hobby to the exclusion of everything else in my life, then I wake up one day and think, meh, I’m done with this. And I move on.

The only reason I stopped by Goodreads was that I had received a friend request, and I thought it only polite that I check it out. (Maybe someone read one of my books and actually enjoyed it? Fingers crossed.) As I wiped the dust off my Goodreads control bar, I took note of the extensive backlog of notifications, knowing full well that I wouldn’t care about most of them because I wasn’t interested in attending a book signing in another country and I just didn’t feel the need to join a group wherein we discuss the nuances of post-apocalyptic zombie fiction set in Madagascar.

I quickly ran through the list, deleting things with speedy efficiency (no, no, hell no). Then I noticed that I had a comment from Lorie, one of my blogger pals on WordPress. Hmm. I clicked, and it seems that Lorie had taken the time to watch my video.

Oh God, the video.

You see, many moons ago, when I was a somewhat-virginal blogger and still in that Sally Field “I hope you like me!” phase, I made a video and slapped it on YouTube, with visions of instant stardom populating my unrealistic dreams.  This effort failed miserably and accomplished nothing. (I just checked, and the thing has only had 12 views in five years. I think it set a record, just not the record that I had in mind.) Several moons later, there was a resurgence of my temporary insanity, and I re-posted the video, this time on Goodreads during my obsessive cycle with that site. (I did it mainly to stop the constant reminder on my Author Page: “You haven’t posted a video!” it warned, hinting that government agents might be knocking on my door and hauling me away for insubordination.)

Hundreds of moon phases later, Lorie finds my video. And although I initially cringed that I hadn’t taken the video down, Lorie made a comment that helped me see it in a different way: “I enjoyed hearing your voice for reals after reading you. You sound sincere.”

That made me smile. Because as you grow older, if you’re doing it right, the little things become smaller, the truly important things become bigger, and a random video that you made during younger moons becomes just another color in your kaleidoscope.




Original Note: Previously published. No revisions made other than the bumpers at the beginning and end. Story behind the opening photo: Me, slightly buzzed in the Carousel Bar at the Hotel Monteleone in New Orleans. Sad story behind the video: I didn’t realize at the time that professional video bloggers edit the hell out of their videos before posting. This is all one take, no blemishes removed even though they should have been, like that out-of-character “Love Ya!” at the end. I think I was just relieved that I had finally gotten through the whole spiel without any major snafus, after multiple soul-depleting attempts, and the giddiness overtook me…

New Note: This repost of a repost was inspired by the lovely Angie at “King Ben’s Grandma”. She had just shared a video that included her own voice and, after chatting with her a bit, I felt it only fair that I share the same type of revelation. Those of you who have been with Bonnywood for a while, much to my delight and constant amazement, know that I shared another video roughly a year ago, wherein my snarky mug and voice are on full display. You can find that mess here.

Bottom line: Despite the hesitation most of us have in revealing our actual physical or audible selves, the truism remains that the more we share the more we care and the better we understand that we are all basically the same, flailing humans just trying to make sense of it all. And we need that understanding now, more than ever.


42 replies »

  1. I think what I find the most irresistible about your insanely charming exercise in self-deprecation—what was with those shoes?—is the fact that you had NO other dog in that race. No breathless claims about conspiracies, agendas, or accusations. I’m going to bookmark your soothing video and keep it to compare with the dizzy f**ks who taped themselves committing felonies on their path to insurrection and THEN are upset when their own spouses, ex’s, colleagues, neighbors, and especially kids out them because THAT’S HOW SOCIAL MEDIA WORKS.

    (My current favorite is “This you mom?”)

    Liked by 3 people

    • Aww, thank you muchly, Barb. I was just trying to be myself, or at least as much as one can be when staring into a video camera and muttering to themselves in the middle of the night.

      I am still stunned at how many idiots self-indicted themselves on social media, gleefully sharing their participation in the insurrection without a second thought about the consequences. On the flip side, their trials should be fairly expedient… 😉

      Liked by 2 people

  2. A braver man than I. I thought I coulda been a star, bar my prospective agent labelling me bland, boring unphotogenic and possessing a sibilance to speech that had the local hounds barking. Then he asked me for a head shot. The result rocked me, not what I expected at all.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. While I agree, a discussion on post-apocalyptic zombie fiction set in Madagascar is a bit much… I found your voice to be quite soothing, like a good martini. And that’s a beautiful thing.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. I’m normally not adverse to learning new tech – and I am in love with the sound of my own voice – literally – I like how my voice sounds in a recording – but visuals? Get away from my, you Zoom invite. No! I do not want to take part. Die! Die!

    Besides, if I’ve said it once, I’ve said it a million times – I am much better on paper – you know, *that* paper that has a thousand and one strike-throughs and scratch outs and edits, edits, edits.

    You are a brave, brave, soul.

    Now I’m off to have a looksee and listen.

    Liked by 3 people

    • I’m rather fond of my own voice as well, since we’re being open and honest. It has served me quite well over the decades, both professionally and personally.

      And I’m not a fan of visuals, either (I don’t even like to be photographed), so it’s fairly stunning that I’ve now shared this THREE times.

      I still don’t know the story behind the shoes. Looking at them now, I’m clueless concerning the placement and the actual owner…

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Ha ha ha. You are hilarious! Snafu numbers four and five were my favourite and made me chuckle for minutes. You have an incredibly deep, sonorous voice which is quite compelling. Your honesty and your self deprecation show through and I think endears you to your listeners. Good job my friend! Have you thought about walking around outside while delivering your Vlog? Check out Andy Bailey’s MS video diary. It is incredibly enjoyable and it’s on YouTube.

    Liked by 2 people

    • I’ll admit that the snafu snippets made ME chuckle as well. I was SO frustrated with trying to launch my monologue after 146 tries that I was ready to slap anybody who dared to come near me. As for vlogging whilst roaming around? I’ve actually been thinking about that, as I’ve seen several clips from a vlogger who does the same, just meandering hither and yon whilst emoting, and he’s hilarious. I can’t get anywhere near his level of professionalism, but maybe I can get a little bit in that direction…

      Liked by 1 person

    • Bit of trivia: Many centuries ago, whilst I was in college, my major was actually “Communications”, wherein they attempted to make us presentable as news reporters and whatnot. I never graduated, because I was an errant spirit, but little smidges of that experience still surface from time to time…

      Liked by 2 people

  6. Although I’ve been too old too long to care about doing something like that to gain the recognition most of us desire, I haven’t forgotten my starry-eyed, “I hope you like me” days of yore. If age has taught me anything, it is that life is a ‘game’ of stages, each one built on those which preceded it. Learning to live with the “stage” you’re on now is its own reward when the size of the audience is secondary to the quality of the audience..

    Liked by 2 people

    • I couldn’t agree more. I’ll admit to a tremendous need in my younger years to be affirmed in some way, because I never got any validation from the very family members who should have been affirming such, even if no one else would. But time and age and distance have distilled that need down to a weak essence of a memory, a lackluster tea that tastes of never was…

      Liked by 1 person

  7. I hadn’t noticed the shoes, but the second you mentioned ’em, there they were and I could not look away.. As mentioned when you originally aired your dreamy voice, it is the stuff of legend. You and I? We might have been radio stars in another life… (I’m told that I have an exquisite voice, I just can’t hear it myself…well we CAN’T, can we?) O_o Now that’s gonna bug me for a while while I obsess about why it is that we can neither hear nor see ourselves as others do.. Erg.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Picture This: You and I do a weekly podcast wherein we philosophize about everything and nothing. Radio stars might be a thing of the past, but so are we, in a sense, yet still we tick and breathe and hope. We have much to share, outcasts that we are, and our stories have relevance that could be significant to all the other outcasts.

      Of course, this will never happen, because neither one of us has the desire or the gumption to do such, but still, dream a little dream and relish what might have been… 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  8. The video actually played! But…where’s your Southern accent? 😔 I understand…mine’s almost gone…except for my flat “I’s” and my dropped “g’s.” 🥴
    Oh! I know what you should do. Be one of those people who read books out loud. I’d come a hell of a lot closer to listening to a book than actually reading one. 📕
    Now, remember…when you get rich and famous off of your voice…it was MY idea! 😘

    Liked by 3 people

    • Hurray on the video playing!

      Interestingly enough, I’ve never had an accent. I don’t know what happened (or didn’t happen) where, but I never spoke like anyone around me. Sure, I can do the dialect with ease, because it’s always been all around me, but most of the time you can’t tell where the hell I’m from…

      I’d love to read boots out loud. But I’m such a perfectionist that I’d most likely not be happy with any of my takes and I’d be fired from any gig I might get… 😉

      Liked by 1 person

      • I sure don’t sound like all the folks around here, and never really did, and I talk a lot faster than they do. (That’s from living “up the street” in places like Boston and Philadelphia).
        And….go ahead and perfect that voice for when you start to read “boots” out loud. Bwahahahahaha!
        You could start with something like:
        Boots on the ground,
        Boots out loud,
        Boots spit-shined,
        Boots so proud! 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  9. I just looked up “snafus” and “thespian”. They really exist!!! Please don’t say immigrants don’t learn enough English. The fact is English has too many words. In other languages, there’s certain effort to relate new words to words already exist–such effort being very prominent and conspicuous in cultures that respect the old and the tradition and ancient times–but in English such effort is completely absent. Thespian could have been expressed as “theaterlike” and snafus “verymessy’, but Noooooo. That’s way too easy to guess…

    Liked by 2 people

  10. LOL, I tried to take back the previous comment, but wordpress doesn’t give that option. All the native speakers, please forgive me and many other non-native speakers who speak creole like versions of English. Hahaha. I don’t mean to make you feel uncomfortable. LOL. English is a smart language, but still it is, just like other languages, as messy and irrational as our life. I think my opinion is not just my own as I represent a huge number of non-native speakers who go through the torturous process of dealing with so many words.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh, there’s no need to delete your comment. I think it’s perfectly fine, and if anyone was offended by your words (I seriously doubt it) then that’s THEIR issue to deal with. (Still, if you’d like me to make the comment go away, I can certainly do so. Just let me know.)

      I agree that English may have too many words, but that thought can also apply to many languages. I’ve been studying Spanish for the last few years, and it’s been eye-opening to see how many words they have for the same thing. But it’s all about perspective. In this country, it used to be (almost) a requirement that you study a second language if you wanted to get into college. But that concept went by the wayside several decades ago, and I think that’s sad. Exploring a new language can introduce you to new cultures, and that’s never a bad thing. Everyone benefits when we learn about each other and have respect for all societies…

      Liked by 1 person

      • You are right. No need to delete even if I am, as you said, “in that Sally Field ‘I hope you like me!’ phase.” LOL. Probably even worse. All my life I am in “I beg you to like me” phase, but then after a while when the pressure of such a wish builds up to a level too much to bear, I freak out and scream and ruin all the previous social effort.

        Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Christi. Please feel free to toss out compliments any time you have the desire to do so. My cookie jar has been a little low lately…

      Yep, I miss me some Osyth. I check her site periodically to see if there has been a resurgence, but other than a sprinkle of reposts in early 2020, there hasn’t been much activity since 2018..

      Has my buttah inspired you to do your own mini-podcast? Because that would make ME swoon…

      Luv ya back!

      Liked by 1 person

    • I’m not so great at checking, either, which is why I usually have about 500 or so notices built up when I bother to check. I am never going to win any social media awards for timeliness… 😉


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