The Allure of Normal

Some blogs I’m drawn to because, like me, they are so odd. I like Luanne because she is so normal.
Luanne Castle blogs at Her blog has been featured on Freshly Pressed, quite an achievement. Yet she responds to every comment posted on the blog, responses that actually engage the commentator in conversation about the issue she’s chosen to write about. I truly admire that.
Luanne is working on a memoir (she’s a poet as well), and she often addresses creative nonfiction subjects, a genre I loved and wrote in for many years. Right now, she’s posting about key memoirs she’s read and learned from. The resulting conversations have been engaging. One thing I’ve noticed about Luanne’s followers: like Luanne, they are genuine people who comment because they’re interested in what she is saying. Not a snarky one in the bunch.
Luanne’s posts are primarily geared toward helping others with their memoir-writing, by sharing her own experiences, insights, etc. But I particularly loved this post that teaches by example. It’s an essay on how birds have figured into her life. It’s lovely.
What does my liking Luanne’s blog tell you about me? Individualization—in the language of the Now, Discover Your Strengths book— is one of my strengths; I like to approach people as individuals. Thus, I would be drawn to Luanne’s particularized response to comments. Learner is also one of my strengths. So I’d also be drawn to Luanne’s teaching posts. Positivity is another of my top five strengths. So a woman who was interviewed by the Missouri Review because she wasn’t a “somebody” writer with major awards and publications ( would definitely appeal to me.
If this description makes me sound like a Pollyanna, I can’t help it—the book says your strengths are fixed in concrete. To round out the picture, see my earlier blog posts on Waiting for Satan and 300 Stories

Remember: You Cain’t Do Nothing with Love

blog comments, blogs, freshly pressed, luanne castle, memoir, memoir tips, normal bloggers, writerssite, writing memoir

Comments (7)

  • Ellen, this is so nice of you! It seems hilarious to hear myself associated with the word “normal.” 😉 I treasure your blogs and you as a reader of my blog very much! I’ll point my readers over here by tomorrow!

      • Haha, but you are sweet. But, yes, you understand–that is exactly it. Plus, I grew up thinking I was outside the box of normal, so to hear myself called normal sounds funny, although there are probably plenty of people who actually would describe me that way. Years ago a professor of mine called me “centered,” but I think that was not a compliment coming from her ;).

  • Another fantastic blog recommendation! Ellen, I thank you for keeping me in reading material. I will never again be desperate for something to aid me in procrastinating on my writing again! That’s probably not what you were going for, but it is a mercy still. 🙂

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