Monday, February 13, 2012

The Soon-to-Be Second-Time Guest Blogger Watches Where He Puts His Feet

For the past two days, besides more research and preparing for a phone interview that I'll write about after it happens, I've been answering a set of interview questions and writing a guest post for G, who occasionally comments on this blog. After writing a guest post for Janie Junebug's private blog (Janie's given me permission to repost my entry on my own blog, so I'll do that once I'm done writing everything I want about Henderson, since it falls after coming back from there), I read that G was looking for guest bloggers. I went back and forth on it for a few minutes, wanting to write one, then asking myself if I really wanted to commit time to someone else's blog. Then I thought I should because how else is my blog to become more widely known, as I want it to be while I'm writing Mayday! Mayday!: The Making of the Airport Movies so potential agents and publishers can see that I've not sat back and let time pass since my first book was published. Then yes, I should. What's a few days of making sure that my writing is readable for others?

When I first wrote reviews for Film Threat, I was careful and very cautious. I wanted to make sure every thought was expressed clearly, that there weren't any sentences that sounded like they were written in a rush, that there was enough attention to grammar and punctuation that I didn't sound like I had a half-formed brain. Therefore, my early reviews expressed what I wanted to say, but they were stiff, more concerned with looking good than being lively. It's a reasonable reaction to being in a new position like that one, and as I wrote more and more reviews and months with Film Threat became years, I loosened up. I had fun with some of my reviews. I enjoyed writing interviews because most of it was a copy-and-paste job, straight Q&As except for the introduction, which was easy to write.

I spent three days writing my guest post for Janie Junebug. One day was for the writing, and the other two days were making sure I wrote well everything I wanted to say, and that every word and punctuation mark was in the right place. Reaction to my guest post on Janie's blog shows that my writing didn't read like I was nervous, but I was a bit nervous. With Film Threat, I knew who read the site: Movie buffs, independent filmmakers looking for reviews of their movies and short films, people who love independent film, people who hate independent film, and people just curious about what independent filmmakers have produced. In short, everyone who read the site was there for the reviews and the columns offered. That never changed.

With guest posts, I'm reaching different readers every time. I don't know who will be there. I hope they'll like me. But I have to make a decent impression every time because I'm there behind those words. I'm giving myself to those different sets of readers every time, telling them to see all of me right here. I'm letting it all out.

I'm not done yet with my guest post for G's blog. I haven't even gotten to the crux of it yet. Many more paragraphs to go. But even as I begin to feel for the end of my post, I keep scrolling up to the top of my Word file, reading my answers to G's interview questions. Does this read well? Have I said what I wanted to say in this answer? Can I leave this answer as it is or is there some word that has to be added to the third sentence? Letting go of these answers and this guest post is a little more difficult than letting go of this entry because this is my blog. I can put my feet up wherever I want. I do read other blogs, but I don't know the layout all that well. I have to be polite, make sure my hair is combed, and don't act like I can just put my feet up on the coffee table on top of the magazines.

It doesn't stifle my writing. Janie can attest to that. But I do admit that I put a little more effort into those guest posts because I'm in someone else's house.

You'd think I'd be nervous about the phone interview I have at 11 this morning. But I don't get starstruck. Reviewing movies since I was 15, up until I was 25, and having lived in Southern California for eight years, actors have jobs to do just like I have my job to do whenever I'm a substitute campus supervisor. We do the work and we get paid.

The interview is for Mayday! Mayday: The Making of the Airport Movies, and this actress was an extra on the fateful Trans Global flight, the interior 707 set on stage 12 at Universal. It meant five weeks of solid work for the actors chosen. You might be surprised about who it is, considering her place in television history, but that's all I'll say until the interview is done.

And G, I promise not to put my feet up where they don't belong.


  1. Knowing how much consideration and effort you're putting into your guest post makes me even more excited to host you on Bloggerati...and as they say here in Wales 'my house is your house'

  2. I find all your posts to be the same: perfect. You never seem nervous and you're never boring and you always make me happy.


  3. I always want to do my best for potentially new readers. Took me an extra day to get the ending down for the guest post on your blog, Janie. I kept going over it again and again, and am happy about the reception it got.