Welcome to
Transactions with Beauty.
Thanks for being here.
I hope that this is a space that inspires you to add something beautiful to the world. I truly believe that 
you are required to make something beautiful.

– Shawna



On Blogging

On Blogging

If you’ve been following this blog, and I know some of you have followed my previous blog and even the ones before that….., you know that I’m due for my semi-annual crisis of faith related to this whole process. On my past blog, I pretty faithfully offered up this quotation by Rilke:

“Do not believe that the person who is trying to offer you solace lives his live effortlessly among the simple and quiet words that might occasionally comfort you. His life is filled with much hardship and sadness, and it remains far behind yours. But if it were otherwise, he could never have found these words.”

And of course my life continues to be, thankfully and knock on wood, not filled with hardship. But life is never a cakewalk for any of us; we all have our stuff. There is a way, though, that the internet has of making things look a bit other than they are IRL.

I have been trying to up my Instagram game, for example, on behalf of my partner, Robert Lemay, who is a visual artist. Everything is staged, more or less. Well, the shots of his studio are pretty much as is. But we do a lot of furniture moving, to get things where we want them, etc.

We’ve been laughing for a couple of weeks about this article at The Atlantic about Instagram-Husbands. We’ll never be able to attain the level of “influencer.” I think we’re too old for that. But it’s worth keeping in mind all the behind the scenes work involved in making those perfect Instagram feeds. (The video in the article is quite funny).

flowers and purse

And so, the blog as such continues to become more and more uncool. Which must make it actually quite cool then, amiright? Well, perhaps the sphere of influence is smaller, but it’s also more deep. More authentic. Or at the very least, as Kerry Clare says on her blog, Pickle Me This, “Totally meme-free, with unlimited characters, and nobody’s sharing any fake news article created by a shady network in Outer Siberia.” I love her post titled, “The Back to the Blog Movement” so much, I’ve decided not to even have my semi-annual freak-out session about why I spend so much time on this beautiful beast.

I persist because my readers are nice people, and it means a lot to know that there are so many nice people in the world.

I persist because when I keep my eye out for things to share, I find things that feed into the rest of my writing, and that, frankly, make my life richer. I sit with them a bit longer than I would if I were merely scrolling through my Facebook or Twitter feed. I mull more because I blog.

I persist because I’m kind of addicted to this kind of writing. The kind where you open up a new blog post window and just start typing and hoping.

I persist because I never really know what my next post is going to be. And I want to find out.

I persist because I’m so vain and I love my photographs, and I want to put them somewhere nice, of my own making.

I persist because the only reason I dust the surfaces of the tables in my house is so that I can take photos for my blog.

I persist because I really do believe that we’re all required to make something beautiful and some days this is my attempt.

I persist because I remember when I didn’t have a blog and I’d gotten the world’s shittiest reviews on a couple of my books by men who said ridiculous stuff that the internet these days would eat for breakfast, and also by one woman who spelled my name wrong 12 times in one review, and if I’d had a blog then, I could have written hilarious posts about it all and you all would have laughed along with me! And it would have been fun instead of demoralizing for days. (And in truth, years).

flowers on a distressed table

Blogs can be messy, which is why I’ve always liked them. They’re written on the fly in between part-time work, side-hustles, running the eternal errands, reading books, conversations with friends, cleaning the house, making dinner, and the so-called “real” writing. There’s no big reason to blog. I don’t make money from this…..I break even, question mark, each year thanks to the generous donations I’ve received from readers – huge thank you to everyone who has ever clicked on the coffee cup “support” button.

So blogging. Yah, let’s keep doing it. Even if we’re not influencers writing sponsored posts with affiliate links and paid product placement.

And cheers to Kerry Clare for starting us off on this conversation, for sparking blog joy, and for generally being a very excellent human being and blogger.

tulips and hellebore
Artemisia Gentileschi and All the God-Sized Fruit

Artemisia Gentileschi and All the God-Sized Fruit

Morning at the Public Library Before it Opens

Morning at the Public Library Before it Opens