I went to a blog reading on Sunday. To this blog reading to be exact. As part of the audience, in case you wondered. And my husband even let me drag him along. I was a little nervous though because the reading’s theme was “Weibergschichtn” that means “women’s stories” only “Weib” is quite archaic and not PC. (And for those of you who know German “Gschichtn” should be “Geschichten” in high German.) (And my dictionary tells me “Weiber” equals vixens, but I remain doubtful.)
So you ask, “What the frell is a blog reading?” It has nothing to do with crystal balls or so, but everything with, well, reading part of your blog in front of an audience. It seems that only Germans do this. Because – as Kaltmamsell put it – German bloggers are literally ambitious. (Oops. German mistake. They are ambitious to write literature.)
So we went there, both of us, our son in the able hands of my MIL. The reading was at a very reasonable time – 6 p.m. Marvelous for people who are used to have dinner at 6.30 and go to bed at eleven or so. And it was held at a hamburger place. So we even could have dinner there. Since this wasn’t the first blog reading I have attended (but I never got around to post something on the first one) I went prepared. I brought my camera with me, and dressed properly. What, you think that there is no dress code at a blog reading? You are so wrong. Though, to be fair, I don’t think that anybody else is aware of this. You know, these are the times when I realize that I’m living in a kind of suburbia. To the last reading I went in all the glory of my new red and orange frilly and flowered blouse, topped with a lacy, self-knitted silk-cardigan, jeans and my new boots. Wow, did I look out of place! I know that there are people who think that wearing something orange and red would make you look out of place anywhere, specially when frilly and flowery, but trust me, I looked fantabulous. But everyone else wore black. Or grey, or beige (which isn’t even a color). There might even have been someone daring a pale blue turtleneck. Well, I don’t live in the big city anymore, and I don’t belong to the intelligentsia. (The dress code is the one that I have dubbed “I had German major in college.” Well, or architecture. Mostly black, sometimes brown, conservative with a twist and glasses.” I can only counter that with my suburban housewife sportswear look or, sometimes with my “I am a singer in flowing gowns”-look.)
This time I was prepared and so I had donned an olive green jacket to camouflage my red tee. I still wore my new boots and jeans and my red beloved winter coat, because it’s by noa noa and therefore stylish, even if it’s red. I was prepared, I hadn’t come alone because at the first reading I attended I felt a little lonely. The other people had come in twos and threes. They didn’t talk to strangers, apparently. I felt as weird as the two goths sitting at my table. This time on our way to the reading I told my husband, “I’ll be nervous the whole time, and I’ll want to say hello to everybody, and then I will be too shy and very sad and go home.” And so I did. I even had commented on their blogs the days before and told the world I’d be there.
Would you do it? Go to one of the A-bloggers of your country, shake her hand and say, “Hello, I adore your blog. BTW I commented yesterday and I have a blog too.” And then she’d probably look at me and say, “Um. What? Susanne. Um. Hello.” and if I were lucky she’d think to herself, “Oh. The mommyblogger with the diapers. How pathetic.” And maybe she wouldn’t, but now I’ll never know, because I just sat there (in the back! my husband doesn’t like to be up front) and I snapped a couple of photos. (I’ll have to ask permission to put them up though, since all of them are blogging pseudonymously. Something else that almost all German bloggers do, but I don’t. And Martina Kink)
And now I’m doing something wrong – again – in blogging about the blog reading. As isarblogger put it, posts about blog readings are boring, because everybody only writes that everybody else was really “great” and “charming”. Which they were. All four bloggers reading were great, charming, good looking and well dressed. (Black mostly, but there was red dress (shocking!) and a black and white skirt.) They read well, even Miss M. who hadn’t done this before and was a little lacking in the department of microphone technique. (A little tip: with that kind of microphone it is okay to back off a little. This has the additional advantage of you being able to stand up straight.) There were a lot of people in the audience who obviously enjoyed themselves. Oh, the bloggers (now you know why this entry is called “me and the blog reading”): There were Frau Klugscheisser, Kaltmamsell, Martina Kink, and Miss M. Of course I knew almost all of what they were reading, since I have been following the blogs of three of them for quite some time. Miss M. will be a refreshing addition to my list of feeds. (Not that I really need more feeds to read. Currently I’m at 131.)
Blog readings are a little strange. There are only a few texts that stand up to be read aloud in front of people. Especially when they are written to be read in passing. Blogs are more like newspapers than like books. You can make a book out of a blog, but then you’ll have to change things. Or not. There are German blogs out there that read more like a series of short stories like Merlix. All of this got me thinking. I know, I’m doing it again. I should rename my blog “I am mother, hear me think.” Firstly, I am a little jealous. All my ambiguity towards blog readings doesn’t mean that I wouldn’t say yes immediately if somebody asked me to participate. I’d whip out my bra-story in nothing flat. And they all have about a hundred times the readers I have, or more. Nowadays I even feel self-conscious when commenting, because every comment on Kaltmamsell’s blog brings in several dozen people. They never stay though. I think one look at my masthead is enough to scare them off.
So, at the reading I thought about the differences between German and American bloggers (or Canadian maybe). I feel much more like a part of the American blogosphere. I think that it is because of blogher and crazyhipblogmamas and mommybloggers of course. There is no mommyblogger-movement in Germany that I know of. And there is a difference in the way that I am commenting. The German blogs I love – like the ones from the reading – are all a little dry and sarcastic. And when you comment on those blogs you feel that you have to be clever and write something intelligent and funny in a dry and ironic way. When I’m commenting on American blogs I’m all “hugs”, “That’s great!”, and “sniff”. I like both, but I’d rather have some more warmth in the German blogosphere. And no, I’m certainly not the best person to start something like blogher German or German mommybloggers.
I really hope to attend more blog readings in the future, though. It is nice to actually see the people one is reading every day. Even if one is too shy to say hello. (And now I’m probably off for some “link fishing”, since I plan to tell them that I wrote about their reading. After I have translated this to German.)
(And do you know, how long it took me to write this? Two hours. And, yes, I know it’s too long.sorry. But those are the two hours that I didn’t have for my NaNo-novel today. (And do you know how long it’ll take to translate this? Um, no, probably about one hour, since I can leave most of the links as they are. And I don’t have to look up German words.))