Goodenough Gismo

  • Gismo39
    This is the classic children's book, Goodenough Gismo, by Richmond I. Kelsey, published in 1948. Nearly unavailable in libraries and the collector's market, it is posted here with love as an "orphan work" so that it may be seen and appreciated -- and perhaps even republished, as it deserves to be. After you read this book, it won't surprise you to learn that Richmond Irwin Kelsey (1905-1987) was an accomplished artist, or that as Dick Kelsey, he was one of the great Disney art directors, breaking your heart with "Pinocchio," "Dumbo," and "Bambi."

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you gave voice to what i've been thinking a lot about.

as far as serious writing goes, i hate blogging.

i dont consider it serious writing.

even if we are writing about the most serious things.

this is my third attempt at blogging.

i always stopped previously b/c it kept me from fermenting my soul, which is what it takes to write, really write.

this is why i blog so much about the 'outside' i.e. politics and laws, because i would like ot retain my insides for myself, for real writing.

when i write really write on the blog, either i mangle it or the readers think its mangled.

one should accept that blogging is like keeping a diary, idiosyncratic and bulbuous. while writing, real writing, is formal and aesthetic and spartan.


Ok, deep breath.

On the other hand, blogging is incredibly good for "writing." It creates a habit of fluency that pours right over the surliest block.

This is true for me beyond what I think most be could imagine.

There are a number of reasons I started blogging (first via comments), but #1 was that I had hit the point where I could no longer bring myself to write anything other than a press release or certain kind of training materials. Not a freelance article. Not a piece of fiction or poem for myself. Not a journal entry (not even in my son's baby/toddler books: sketchy lists had to suffice). Not a "real" letter beyond your basic formal, thank-you note (though I could do e-mail). Not a thing. I had hit a state of complete word constipation in written form. This lasted for a period of years, and it was devastating to me.

Thank goodness I had editing gigs, or I'd have effectively given up altogether a craft and career on which I had spent most of my life, from childhood on, in one way or another.

Blogging saved me, really, even though I struggle with it (my confession above might explain some things to readers of mine, both about my blogging and about the hiatus).


Idiosyncratic and bulbuous! That's like some women I'm seeing out on the beach!


I recently read a final post by a writer/blogger who believed that blogging was interfering with her writing, because she was getting used to tiny stories, and getting fatigued with all the blogging.

It's interesting that you seem to have an opposite take on the relationship between blogging and writing.


She's quite right that blogging can be time-consuming and distracting and even exhausting. It's a great way to procrastinate. On the other hand, procrastination is sometimes a way of giving something time to cook on a back burner, and during that time, blogging can be a way to warm up, to get up to speed. Like singing scales when you're preparing for a performance. I find I'll often have a burst of blogging when I'm gearing up for a burst of "writing" but not quite ready to start.


So, ali, I want to know -- those beautiful things on your blog, like "The Hoor's Last Sigh" orthe one on Mohammed's loneliness -- are they written in struggle or blogged? Or is there a third answer?


Amba Hello,

Good question.

Most of my 'rhetorical' i.e. 'good' posts, like the Hoor one, are handwritten in what I call: the blog mode.

I handwrite all my serious writing. But whereas real writing involves a lot of writing, revision, rewriting, revision and finally, frustration, the 'blog mode' is a lot more fluid.

The handwriting of it helps it separates from my more 'ordinary' blog writings.

These are all psychological tricks, I'm sure. But that's what writers have to do as I'm sure you have your own.



"Handwritten in the blog mode" is the way to go, then. (Not for relaxation, I mean; for maximum impact.) I can't imagine that the things you labor over could be any better. But then I haven't seen them . . .

Jozef Imrich

Building bigger roads to solve traffic congestion is like buying larger trousers to cure obesity.

Blogging in order to succeed at something is to forget that failure is the other side of the same coin.

Ever tried.
Ever failed.
No matter.
Try again.
Fail again.
Fail better.
-Samuel Beckett

I love the way my blog fails me every single day ;-)

CODA: Being a blogger is a bit like being an alcoholic: if you say you are one, you are What makes a blog a blog?

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