This is not going to be a normative blog review. There is just so much to say here, so much to discuss and so much to point out the following is a post which should have been made weeks ago. My apologies to Esther due to a misunderstanding on my part where I thought she did want her blog reviewed. But in the end all things do work out as it turns out it is exactly one year since Esther started her blog, and thus we can do this review on the Blog Birthday, as it were.
Now that I got over my embarrassment - let us take a look at the life of a devoted mother, tennis enthusiast and a real journalist.
There is something very uplifting about "Midnight Writings", Esther's blog (and there is an accompanying web site Estheravila.com) and something that we should all learn from. There is a quiet, serene osmosis between an individual and her profession. Esther is not just a woman who happens to be a journalist. She is a woman who part of her being is being a journalist. Sometimes, yes, she must write dry facts (though they don't appear in her blog for the most part). Mostly you can see her own thoughts and feelings within the posts on her blog. This allows for the mother, the individual and the professional to all merge as one into a coherent, though certainly emotional and deeply feeling individual.
Make no mistake. I number Esther among one of those who I am proud to call a friend. So yes there is a measure of prejudice in what I write here. However, all this being said, I first discovered Esther at Absolute Write and then without ever talking to her, first looked at her blog, Midnight Writings (of course wanting to know if she always smiles in her pictures and she does!)
Esther's accomplishments are kind of awesome and intimidating. She has more than 3,000 published articles and stories in trade journals, community newsletters, web sites, local magazines and newspapers, including La Verdad, Arrowhead, The Porterville Recorder, Noticiero Semanal, The Fresno Bee, South Valley Bee, The Madera Tribune and Valley Voice.
She has also recorded a television commercial and several radio commercials - the most recent for the Bakersfield Californian. ( Aug. 2006) And she is the recipient of an "Excellence in Journalism" award (Nov. 2003)
Now that is kind of intimidating to those trying to break into journalism!
In this post entitled "My first newspaper assignment -- otherwise known as -- The deer-in-the-headlights look" which Esther put up for her blog birthday, one can read how Esther began her career. She does not write in the usual dry fact journalistic tone required for her newspaper articles. Here she integrates us into her life and doubts, invites us in, if you will to her inner self-doubt and worry about success and just plain getting through the day.
Now, let me introduce you to Esther's writing the way I first was introduced to it. Among one of her many blog entries, is a story entitled "Twirling In Blue". It is real about her life when being a child. It is non-fiction. And yet, I myself, as a literary fiction writer, saw in this simple story such poignant truth and deep emotions that it remained with me days afterwards. If you read nothing else of what Esther has written this is a MUST.
The next entry I strongly suggest everyone who has been in chat forum read is Hans. This is a poignant story and very personal. So personal most people would not have the courage to share such thoughts and feelings in a blog. In this story, Esther tells of her on-line virtual friend whom she went to meet in Holland. It is a story of meeting, of love, of sorrow, and of chances taken and others abandoned. I highly recommend this story to fiction and non-fiction readers alike. Because above all it is real.
One last entry. "The Day My Daughter Almost Died". In this true story, Esther bears her heart to us about a story of guilt and a story of courage. This is a MUST read for anyone who has ever been a parent, and even those who have not been. It is something all of us parents have gone through to one degree or another, and yet in the heart-breaking story Esther tells us how in attempting to deal with life and her daughter, ignoring one small simple thing, almost cost the life of her daughter. And yet it is a tale of parental love told in the most beautiful and simplistic terms.
"Midnight Writings" is not just a blog. It is the heart of a woman, mother, journalist. It is a journey from time to time into the soul of the woman who always smiles, names Esther Avila. Her writing friends at AW know her as "September Skies". And thus when I always think of her I think of a clear blue sky in the heavens on a warm, breezy day. It is always a day that brings a smile to one's face. Esther's heart and soul, with the hope that she portrays in her blog, leaves us with such a smile.
Cobwebs Of The Mind Blog Reviews are posted from time to time based on blogs that are serious endeavors on the part of their owners. For those of you who wish to have their blog reviewed at Cobwebs Of The Mind please email me by using the GMail Icon on the right of the page. Members of Absolute Write (AW) who wish their blog reviewed please go to the following thread and read the instructions in the first post in the thread.
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Categories: short stories, writing, on writing series
Getting Wasted - Writing & Editing & Publishing Short Stories