Saturday, October 17, 2009

"A Rolling Crone" Will Post Daily (Sort Of)

I started this blog a year ago because I was taking a class at the Worcester Art Museum from computer guru and famous artist Andy Fish. It was called something like “Selling Your Art on Line,” and he insisted that every artist or author should have a blog to put their work out there and build public recognition. He also emphasized that the blog should be updated every day.

Daughter Eleni came up with the title “A Rolling Crone” which I loved. I felt that women my age were not adequately represented on blogs and I thought “A Rolling Crone” could provide a forum for intelligent women post-sixty who are interested in art, travel, photography, literature and issues pertinent to cronehood, rather than, say, the misadventures of Britney Spears and Jon & Kate plus Eight.

(Some of my friends strongly objected to the term "Crone”. So I wrote an essay, “What is a Crone, Anyway?”, on Sept. 17, which you can check in the archives to the right.)

I really liked having a way to publish my thoughts and photographs (and sometimes paintings) on the internet, but after 40-plus years as a journalist, I tend to write essays with a beginning, middle and end, between 750 and 1,000 words. So it’s very hard for me to write more than one essay a week, unless I stop doing everything else. Yet Andy said again, when I took a course this year, that I don’t need to post a polished essay every day—just something: a photo, a quotation, anything. (“Joanie’s used to getting paid by the word,” he quipped to the class. “Ask her what time it is and she’ll tell you how to build a clock.”)

He and several students in the class have organized their blogs into categories for each day of the week. This struck me as a good idea, because then people will know, if they’re particularly interested in art, for example, to check on Thursdays.

So I’m going to break the week into categories on “A Rolling Crone”—but, as my friend Susan suggested, I’m not going to start with seven posts a week. Let’s say five and see how it goes. And I can’t possibly do this unless I get input from you. If you don’t want to post an opinion below, e-mail me at with complaints, favorites things, opinions, suggestions: anything in these categories:

Monday: Crone Complaints. I don’t want to sound like those people who turn into curmudgeons as they age, but there are some things that I find annoying or maddening or out-of-control lately. I think that as old, wise women, we have a right to complain now and then. My first Crone Complaint on Monday will have the title “SHOES”.

Wednesday: The Story behind the Photograph.
On Oct 2 I told the story behind the civil-war-era photo of a slave with a scarred back—an image that was widely circulated by abolitionists. I also wrote a letter about it that was published in the New York Times Book Review on Oct. 4.

Because I collect antique photographs, I’ve learned many fascinating (to me) bits of history from researching the images in my collection. Like every collector, I dearly love some of the prize pieces in my collection and want to share them.

Thursday: The Artful Crone.
I will try to feature a work of art every Thursday with as few words as possible. It may be a work by me, or a favorite artist, or a friend, or a folk artist (or it may just be a mural or graffiti on the street that I saw and liked.)

Friday: Crones’ Picks—citing a book, film or TV show that I like or you like and think other crones would enjoy. This category really needs input from you because lately the only time I have for recreational reading is on a plane. (I try to watch an hour of TV every night while on my stationary bike, but there are very few TV shows I’d recommend right now.) Films… I haven’t seen one I really liked since “Slumdog Millionaire”, although I thought “The Informant!” with Matt Damon was really well acted by the whole cast.

Weekend Essay. Don’t know what to call this yet—I was thinking Sunday Sermon but then no one would read it, thinking it’s about religion. Every weekend, I’m going to try to post an essay about whatever I feel like discussing. Tomorrow it’s “My Life in Junk Jewelry” inspired by the book Madeleine Albright just published: “Read My Pins” telling how, during her time as Secretary of State, she used the pins she collected and wore every day to signal her feelings and goals in her diplomatic interactions.

The following weekend, October 25, I’m going to write a post called “Do You Believe in Ghosts? Do I?” Many years ago, while writing a monthly column for “Country Living” Magazine, I asked for and received 100 letters from readers describing their experiences with hauntings. It turned into a controversial article which the editors told me to soft-pedal , but I’ve saved the letters because they’re full of fascinating detail.

So I hope you’ll help me with feedback and suggestions as I try to make “A Rolling Crone” turn up with a new post [almost] daily.

(If you’d like a free “crone power" bookmark, shown above, send me your address and I’ll mail you one-- or several.

1 comment:

Unknown said...

Joan, I will do my best to post comments and suggestions for your not-quite-daily blog. As you have felt the obligation to post polished essays, I feel the pressure to make sure that any comments I make are "blog-worthy." This is not like Seinfeld's Elaine feeling like her date of the evening needed to be "sponge-worthy." But I do feel like any comment I make should be interesting, funny, or at least have proper grammar and spelling. If we crones free ourselves of the shackles of the fear of being judged by others, and as your teacher urged, feel that it's okay to just write "something," I'll be very relieved and happy to comply.