Group Writing Projects

How blogging helps us get connected… or what happens when the mists come down

Photo of a misty Edinburgh morning by Leilani Kittel at World 66

It was wicked cold in Edinburgh and our heroine was glad to be stuck indoors. She was chewing over a writing project, a way to connect words and worlds and people and conversations… but she just couldn’t find the missing link. Her desk was strewn with kipple, notes and scraps and scribbles of ideas and possibilities but nothing that was helping her to make the connection.

And Brad had made it sound so easy. He was a dab hand at the creative stuff after all, what with the cartoons, the poems, the word nerd quizzes not to mention the appalling puns. Whereas here she was, surrounded by kipple, moiling, struggling to find the right words.

As our heroine sat and pondered, so the haar came down over the city. Turning the narrow closes of the old town into a netherworld, the setting for murky stories through the centuries, from gothic adventures to modern-day murder mysteries, a place where strange creatures emerged after dark and anything might turn out to be possible…

And through the mist, shadowy figures started to emerge. Above the ghostly skirl of the pipes, new voices began to be heard. They spoke a strange language, oddly old-fashioned like the characters from a British schoolboy novel. “Bloody hell!” the boys sniggered as they walked past. “Look at those two snogging!”

Deb jumped up. Perhaps the couple were famous! It might just be the chance for some kinnearing… but it wasn’t to be. Before she could say a silent “cheese” the figures were gone again, disappearing into the mist like a pair of frightened duffels… “Piffle!” she muttered.

A quiet voice spoke to her out of the mist. “Don’t mither” the stranger said. “This is no time to be mardy. Stop your grembling and look at your picture. Gothic Edinburgh in the mist. It’s just beautylicious.”

“But how did you know?” Deb spluttered. “And who are you anyway…?”

But the stranger was gone. She turned to Erik for answers. “Did you see who that was?” she demanded.
“Of course. It was the peripatetic trekker. He always appears just when you need him to, like a blog that tells you just what you want to hear, just when you need to hear it. Savvy?”

“I don’t believe you” Deb said. “That sounds like the sort of thing that can only happen in the Middle Zone.”

“That’s a bit ironic,” said Robert, swigging his Irn Bru. “I was just waxing eloquent about je ne sais quoi and the mysteries of blogging, and voila! Here you all are!”

“Here who all are…?” Deb started to ask - except it wasn’t grammatical, so she quickly stopped. Besides – here they were indeed, a bevvy of blogging beauties teetering down the high street in their party pants and stilettos, heels slipping on the misty-damp cobbles, shrieking and sub-woofing like a bag of cats

“Frack!” swore Robert. “This is even stranger than the Middle Zone. I’m hankerin’ for a Klondike Bar. It is a holiday after all. Do you think they’ll have one here that’s Irn Bru flavoured?”

“Struth!” shouted the peripatetic trekker. “That’s not just any bevvy of blogging beauties. That’s my flist! How’s tricks girls?”

“Who’s that?” Deb whispered. “That’s the peripatetic trekker” Erik answered. “He always appears just when you need him to, like a blog that tells you just what you want to hear, just when you need to hear it”

“I’ve got a serious sense of deja blu” muttered Robert, and conked out.

“Rubbish!” shouted Brad, who’d turned up out of nowhere, like a ghost emerging from the mist. “These are just the sort of connections we were looking for! Creative, imaginative, literary, funny, affectionate, obscure, everyday – they’re all part of the language of blogging, the way we weave words together to create a different, richer, more intriguing narrative, the new story that we’re learning to tell. That’s it, that’s it, because these words represent something more than a mark on a page, they hint at a deeper truth, about history, places, culture, literature, tell us stories about the things that make us different but also bring us together, connecting our words and our worlds and even when we get tired of blogging, because we all do, sometimes, well this what reminds us of why we do what we do, how the internet gives us the power to make a difference, to tell a a different story, to seize the day!”

“What a great speech” said Robert “and not as much as a hint of irony. You’d better have another Irn Bru”

“Carpe diem!” echoed the flist, as they teetered down the High Street.

Brava!” shouted Deb

Hana hou!” smiled the peripatetic trekker, who always appears just when you need him to, like a blog that tells you just what you want to hear, just when you need to hear it.

“Bob’s your uncle” said our heroine, as she drew the project to a close.

This story from the mist rounds up the connecting words that were contributed to our recent group writing project. Thanks to everyone who took part, with a special thanks to Robert and Erik for encouraging me along the way, to Deb for spreading the word, and to Brad for the inspiration and collaboration. The lucky winner was Geranium Cat who gets to pick her choice of Brad’s favourite (in print) business books.

Here’s the full list of contributions:

Word Sell Inc: Connecting words - rubbish!
Confident Writing The language of celebration: my connecting words
J Erik Potter: Words Out
Punctuality Rules: Connecting Words
Middle Zone Musings: Unconventional meaning from conventional words

And inspired by Booking Through Thursday, contributions from:

Rhinoa’s Ramblings
The Life of an Obsessed Reader
Loose yarn and UFOs
Blonde momentos
Chapter III
An Adventure in Reading
Books on the Brain
A Guy’s Moleskin Notebook
Christine’s Journal
Puss Reboots
Books please
Mervi’s book reviews
Hello, my name is Alice
Cat Musings (the Geranium Cat)
My own little reading room

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14 Responses to “How blogging helps us get connected… or what happens when the mists come down”

  1. On December 11, 2007 at 4:59 pm Lisa responded with... #

    How fun! Thanks!

  2. On December 11, 2007 at 6:06 pm Joanna Young
    Twitter: joannapaterson
    responded with... #

    Hi Lisa, well I had fun with the round up as well as the project. Thanks for taking part - and joining in the conversation here.


  3. On December 11, 2007 at 6:34 pm Brad Shorr responded with... #

    Joanna, your story makes for a perfect synthesis of these fascinating posts. Thanks again to everybody for participating in our project. I enjoyed reading and learned something from every contribution.

  4. On December 11, 2007 at 6:53 pm Robert Hruzek responded with... #

    Hey, this is really a great way to round things up, Joanna! A tip o’ the hat to ya; and what the heck - while I’m at it, a pint o’ Irn Bru, too! (But does it go well with haggis?)

  5. On December 11, 2007 at 7:12 pm --Deb responded with... #

    Tee! What a clever conglomeration of creative words!

  6. On December 11, 2007 at 10:57 pm Jeanne Dininni responded with... #


    Very entertaining story! I’m only sorry I wasn’t able to join in on the fun this time around!


  7. On December 11, 2007 at 11:58 pm pussreboots responded with... #

    Thanks for including me. I enjoyed seeing what you did with all our connecting words.

  8. On December 12, 2007 at 6:50 am EnnaVic responded with... #

    Well done - I can tell you had fun putting it together :)

  9. On December 12, 2007 at 8:26 am Joanna Young
    Twitter: joannapaterson
    responded with... #

    @ Brad, well a big thanks to you too for encouraging, inspiring and helping to co-ordinate the project

    @ Robert, I have to confess that although Irn Bru is supposedly Scotland’s second national drink (and probably does go well with haggis) it’s not really my cup of tea… BTW I saw this advert for it the other night and it’s a real classic. Lots of nice Scottish scenery to enjoy - and a great twist at the end. Thought it might appeal to your sense of humour. You can watch it on You Tube here

    @ Deb, a big thanks to you for promoting the project and helping us make so many new connections

    @ Jeanne, no worries, I’m totally backlogged on memes and challenges myself - including some from you!

    @ Pussreboots, thanks, and for taking part in the challenge. It was fun.

    @ EnnaVic - I did. The words (and writers of course) seemed so special - I wanted to do something a little different with them

    Thanks all for your contributions and encouragement


  10. On December 12, 2007 at 12:48 pm Robert Hruzek responded with... #

    Well! Now THAT was an interesting advert! Guess I’ll have to make sure I’m carrying an extra one if I’m ever visiting Scotland in the wintertime!

    I never did trust snowmen…

  11. On December 12, 2007 at 6:05 pm Joanna Young
    Twitter: joannapaterson
    responded with... #

    It was fun wasn’t it?

    I think “never trust a snowman” is a sound piece of advice, in business and in life :-)


  12. On December 12, 2007 at 9:48 pm Mervi responded with... #

    Thanks for a great round up!

  13. On December 12, 2007 at 10:00 pm J. Erik Potter responded with... #

    Wow! Joanna, its going to take me 2-3 days to follow all of these links. And that’s not a bad thing. I’m looking forward to meeting a whole slew of new writers.

    I’m glad to have run into you and Brad. Keep up the excellent writing projects.

  14. On December 13, 2007 at 10:33 am Joanna Young
    Twitter: joannapaterson
    responded with... #

    @ Mervi Thanks once again for taking part

    @ Erik I’m glad you bumped into us too. See you again soon!



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