By Carol Burnside
In writing, the story unfolds with the progression of scenes. We embed subtext as a means of enriching our writing, often without consciously thinking about it. But did you know there’s also subtext on this blog? Some bits of it you (our readers) can see, other bits remain behind the scenes. At this point you might wonder what the heck I’m talking about. Well, let me explain...
As with a lot of group blogs, we PFHT sisters have a loop on which we conduct business regarding the blog, vote via polls, take gentle umbrage with each other and let down our hair a little. Some of us were good friends before joining the PFHT blog. Others we’re only nodding acquaintances with.
As we get to know each other, we compartmentalize our personal lives from business less and less. Some are more cautious than others, but eventually we expose tiny bits of ourselves. I knew this would happen, even expected it. Recently I needed to reference something we talked about early on and went to the group home page to search for keywords in the messages. Even in the post titles, a story unfolded of 19 women coming together in cyber space, forming a bond which has enriched our lives.
At first the post titles contained phrases such as ‘target audience’, ‘pictures for banner’, ‘voting particulars’ , ‘name poll’, and others concerned posts and scheduling and themes. Business, business, business. Then a post appeared proclaiming, ‘Blog is Live.’ Soon after, I noticed the more personal items creeping in with ‘good news’, ‘This is not official business’, ‘Crazy, crazy day’, ‘licking my wounds’, ‘ragin’ rejection’, ‘Susan’s Nick & surgery’, ‘Susan’s update’ (lots of heartfelt messages along here as Susan’s son recovered from heart surgery), ‘I got a review – finally!’ followed by many congrats, ‘A little squee!’ and several Happy Birthday! posts. Embedded in the business of forming and running and promoting Petit Fours and Hot Tamales were tidbits of our lives. Sick kids, vacation envy, horrendous weekly schedules, and pleas for prayers. Details will remain within the private pages of our loop.
Oh, sure, there are a few tense moments (refer back to the ‘gentle umbrage’ comment) because we don’t all agree on everything, but we’re RWA chapter mates, authors banding together with a common professional goal, forming a bond, becoming friends...behind the scenes. Subtext.
While writing this, I realized the same thing is happening within the posts and comments of the blog, though it wasn’t a conscious objective. In contributing to the various topics and in the comments, we share personal tidbits about our individual love stories, our relationships with our kids and families, moments when we weren’t stellar parents or found ourselves in embarrassing situations: tiny snapshots of our lives for you to see.
We’ve noticed a lot of returning visitors in the blog statistics. When we’re really lucky, one of you comments, sharing with us a tiny snapshot of you or just letting us know we’ve struck a chord in your world. We LOVE that and wish more of you would talk with us. Sometimes we feel as if we have friends out there who are too timid to show their faces. Honestly? We won’t bite. So, as we used to say to our friends in childhood, “Come on out and play!” Show us your faces and let’s create new subtext, that of a cyber community finding common ground.