See that link list on the right - "Blogs I Like To Read"? That would be my blogroll. You see blogrolls on many blogs. Probably the majority of blogs, in fact. They're funny little things. See, they're supposed to be a you-scratch-my-back sort of device: you put me on yours, I put you on mine, we drive traffic to each other's sites, everybody wins.
Typically the linked blogs will be owned by your "internet friends" - those people you don't physically know, but who perhaps write in a similar vein, and who you've become acquainted with by reading and commenting on their work.
Or you link simply because you're a fan of somebody's site. Or you link because you're a fan, they're way more popular than you, and you're really hoping they'll notice you've linked to them and reciprocate and then you can bask in the glorious popularity they've extended your way.
Well, at present, just one of the blogs on my list has me on its blogroll. (Thanks Penny!) I'm not harnessing the power of the internet too successfully, am I? But as I've said before, I'm not good with the whole putting-in-effort thing. I don't belong to any online communities; I don't have many blog-writing friends.
So why have a blogroll at all? I originally put it up because I figured I had to have one... one of those unwritten rules, y'know. But I like having it there. Does anyone ever click through to any of the sites? If not, let me tell you a little bit about them. I don't keep them up for no reason.
This is a site I stumbled across while searching for depression-themed blog journals. It's written by a fortyish guy in England called Andre Jordan (I didn't believe it at first either). He writes tiny love stories and draws lots of simple comic drawings like the one above. Some of them are laugh-out-loud funny, but more often they are the kind of thing that makes you smile kinda sideways and shake your head because it's silly but it's sweet.
I've already spruiked this one a bunch of times because it's gorgeous, but here, again, is the blomic (or clog?) of Allie Brosh, some spazzed-out blonde chick from Montana. Her blogs are a mix of writing and really goofy drawings made in Paintbrush on her Mac. She's hilarious and very endearing and I have to fight off the urge to just totally copy everything she does.
Rabia's blog is a mix of ambitions, brainwaves, plans and reflections. This one is most clearly a journal: the story of a girl finding her place and her purpose. I identify with her like crazy - she's my age, still chugging through uni, dreaming of the future and drafting ideas and bursting with the desire to create.
Also, one time her piggybank fell on the floor and all his coins came out and she felt sorry for him - but not sorry enough to stop herself from taking photos of his humiliating ordeal and posting them on the internet. Poor little piggy.
Here be the disturbingly talented Matilda Lunken. She's a lover of fine theatre and well-chosen words, and her blog consists mostly of theatre and book reviews, poetry and little crafty things. She's new to blogging so the content flows sporadically, but I'm curious to see where it goes. She's one of those irritatingly prolific types and she always finds a way to think different. This is a girl we oughta be watching.
My Queensland cousin Penny, who works as a wildlife education officer and has a dream to branch out into writing children's books. She's got some terrific stories to tell. You know kids will love them, because hey, animals are rad, my friend - but she's still got plenty more for the grown folk to enjoy. Check out her latest about Exhibitionist Echidna!
A classmate of mine who I facebook-stalked and found her LiveJournal. She's a seasoned journal-writer and updates almost every day which makes me so happy! She's also a writer of fanfiction - mainly based around Buffy the Vampire Slayer.
Now, I've never been into fanfiction before. I've seen some; I've read some. It was all painful sex fantasy junk. But Mez's work is something else. She gets character voices just exactly right; she explores concepts within the buffyverse that are fascinating and full of possibilities. In short: superb. This one comes highly recommended for anyone with a little bit of Buffy geek in them.
This would be my dad. He's kind of weird but I like him a lot. Unfortunately, though he has outlined the characters and plot of his epic novel Petunia Happenstance, a full draft has not yet been forthcoming.
He's been hang-gliding for thirty-odd years, riding recumbent bicycles for... iunno, four years or so, and reading science fiction novels since he was a tiny little ginger kid on a farm somewhere. So by my calculations he has read approximately eight billion SF novels by now.
He laughs at The Big Bang Theory, not because the characters are nerdy, but because he totally understands where they're coming from.