Perhaps I should blame Lucia. Maybe she's the real reason I had a temporary absence from blogging. I know I told you I ended my blog because I couldn’t keep up with my blogging friends. I also said I had far too many blogs. All that's true but there was another reason I decided to leave the blogging world, a reason I haven’t yet admitted. And that reason had everything to do with Lucia. 

Let me tell you about dear Lucia:

Lucia lives in an English village where she is the undisputed queen of society. Sadly, Lucia’s aunt-in-law has died and poor Lucia is having a very difficult time concentrating on mourning because most of her wants to think about moving to that wonderful, recently inherited house in London. Soon her head is filled with schemes for taking over London society. Her eyes sparkle with excitement as she thinks of rubbing shoulders with lords and ladies, duchesses and dukes. How is Lucia to make her mark? How is she to infiltrate the ranks of the upper classes? How is she to become the queen of London society?

Soon Lucia is dropping her calling cards here, there and everywhere. She makes sure she is seen in all the right places.  She tries to be all things to all people. She quickly learns the rules of society and soon she is rising up the social ladder but…

Life at the top (or near top) is precarious. A lot of effort is needed to prevent a slip back down the ladder to obscurity. Lucia is exhausted. Is all the work worth it, or should Lucia return to the less demanding and more secure role of village queen? Could her husband’s poor health give her a legitimate excuse to abandon London and her grand scheme without losing face?

I love Lucia. Of course, she has many faults. She’s self-centred and vain and scheming. Her life’s aim is to promote herself and her own interests. But still… there is something attractive about her endless energy, her cheerfulness and her ability to escape from disasters of her own making. I love her despite her faults. I actually like to sit back and ponder and enjoy these faults. I think, “I’m really glad I’m nothing like Lucia.” Or am I?

Now I have never wanted to be queen of London society. That would be ridiculous. But have I ever yearned to be an up and coming blogger, climbing the ladder of success and popularity, rubbing shoulders with the Big Bloggers? Perhaps I have travelled here, there and everywhere dropping my calling cards of comments, trying to be seen in all the right places, trying to get people to notice me.

Admittedly, I like to hop around the blogosphere ‘chatting’ with friends. There is nothing wrong with that. But could I also have got myself entangled in a web of self-promotion?

And so I ended my blog for a third reason… because I worried I was turning into a Lucia.

You all know I came back. You all know I am trying to change my attitude. I am no longer interested in getting myself invited to all those high teas, formal dinners and blogging parties. I am not hopping here, there and everywhere dropping off my comment calling cards and being seen in all the right places. I am no longer putting in effort solely to maintain any presence I may have acquired in the blogging world.  I may slip back down that ladder to blogging obscurity but I no longer care.

I am a rebel blogger, having fun.

My dear friend Suzie Andres introduced me to Lucia. (Thank you, Suzie!) And if you’d like to get acquainted with her too, she can be found in E.F. Benson’s Miss Mapp and Lucia books. There are 6 books in the series- Queen Lucia, Miss Mapp, Lucia in London, Mapp and Lucia, Lucia's Progress and Trouble for Lucia- and they are GOOD.

A couple of these books are available free on the ManyBooks site as ebooks. I downloaded the rest from the Kindle store for very little money. But I discovered the complete set in two paperback volumes- The Complete Mapp and Lucia- at the Book Depository. Two magnificent books for just under $5 each, postage free. I ordered some copies and now I am going to make someone very happy this Christmas. At least I hope so!

I have heard some people say they never read fiction. They say they don't want to waste time on what is imaginary when there are so many real things to read about. But I'm not one of those people. I love escaping into a fictitious world. And sometimes, quite often in fact, I return to the real world with lots to ponder, like... Am I turning into a Lucia?

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  1. I love this analogy. I've just been reading about the hidden meaning in Shakespeare's plays and, apparently, variations of the name, Luke, were a common theme, as St. Luke was the patron saint of the persecuted Jesuit priests in Elizabethan England. So, to read your little story of Lucia, with its dual themes, was quite a coincidence.

    I agree about the fiction - not all fiction is mindless entertainment. It seems that a lot of classic fiction actually does portray reality, but in a particular way to get a particular message across.

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  2. Blogging is like grafitti without the paint.

    I Blog to remind myself of what I've just said.

    If someone else reads what I wrote then that's good; because they can remind me what I said if I ever forget where I wrote it.

    Does all this make sense? Because it doesn't to me.

    (Thinks) That should get people wondering what I'm talking about.

    God bless.

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  3. Hi Vicky,

    The Lucia books are FUN. They are very entertaining and easy to read but they sparked off some very interesting conversations between me and Suzie. E.F. Benson has a wonderful imagination and his observations on human nature are spot on.

    What book are you reading regarding Shakespeare and hidden meanings? I hadn't heard your Luke story. I'd like to buy "The Quest of Shakespeare". http://www.ignatius.com/Products/QS-H/the-quest-for-shakespeare.aspx Have you read that one?

    Thank you for your comment!

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  4. Victor,

    I am wondering what you are talking about!

    "Blogging is like grafitti without the paint." grafitti? Self-expression? An eye sore? Unwanted? A form of art? Done to cause a reaction? Comes back as soon as it's cleaned off?

    Surely if there was no paint we wouldn't be able to see the grafitti?

    You have confused me this time. Anyone else understand? I suspect it wasn't meant to make sense in the first place.

    Victor, you're making my brain ache again. And you've made me smile. Thank you.

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  5. "Blogging is like grafitti without the paint."

    Grafitti uses paint. Blogging, thanks to modern technology, does not use paint and can be as permanent or temporary as its writer wishes as posts can easily be deleted.

    And yes ... blogging is self-expression, can be an eye sore and unwanted (there are plenty of bad blogs), or a form of art or done to cause a reaction.

    Christian blogging I believe is essential in today's troubled world because it restores the balance against bad blogging and may well cause a positive reaction in that someone may meet Christ in what we write.

    Yours are examples of excellent blogging and should be kept permanently because you never know who visits you without commenting and benefiting from what you say.

    I use humour to attract readers to my blogs and hopefully find something meaningful there.

    So keep on blogging Sue ... God will bless you for it.

    God bless.

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  6. Victor,

    Thank you so much for coming back and explaining all that. It all makes sense now!

    Yes, we never know who's visiting our blogs and what good is coming out of them.

    I agree that humour attracts people. I'm sure people read my comments to see if you have left something funny for everyone to smile about. Of course, people visit your blog for your wonderful sense of humour as well as your meaningful posts. Your blog is quite unique.

    I've recovered from my blogging crisis. I no longer feel like deleting my blog. Hope that's good!

    God bless you, and thank you for your kind words.

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  7. This sounds a very interesting selection of books.
    Are they adult books or suitable for young ladies??
    And I can also see you reasons may have been similar to Lucias'
    Love Leanne

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  8. Sue- Pride is a crazy thing, isn't it? No matter what our reasons for starting to blog (I did it to share my stories of God's love in my life) blogging, like anything else that gains us attention, can become a source of selfish pride. I, too, struggle with it at times. I, too, have thought about quitting, but ultimately I, too, choose to continue. I continue for many of the same reasons you do. To connect with others, to share my faith, and to indulge my love of writing.

    These are all good things, as far as the temptation to fall into pride- well, that we must turn to prayer for. May God lead our typing fingers to use our words for His glory, and not for our own!

    Blessings to you! :)

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  9. Hi Leanne,

    There is nothing unsuitable in the Lucia books but they might not appeal to younger teenagers. They might find all the bridge parties and high teas a bit boring. So I'd say they are adult books. But saying that, Imogen wants to read them!

    None of the characters are role models as they all have many faults. But they are delightfully faulty and of course, we who are nothing like them (!), can really enjoy watching them get in and out of trouble as they interact with each other.

    The stories are very entertaining. I just love Benson's wonderful imagination.

    Thank you for your comment!

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  10. Kari,

    You have really helped me with your comment.

    I have come to this conclusion: We can quit blogging and avoid the danger of pride that could come with popularity and success. But if we did this, we lose the opportunity to do good through our writing. And we also miss out on the fun of writing for its own sake.

    I will just have to pray a lot that I'm not tempted to turn into a Lucia

    You said, "May God lead our typing fingers to use our words for His glory, and not for our own! " I love that! I could make that my blogging prayer.

    God bless!

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  11. Dear Sue!

    I so thought you were describing your own Nanowrimo novel with Lucia and I was so intrigued. Now happy that there are published novels with her character but disappointed they are not your work (g)

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  12. I tried to comment on my Iphone but I don't know whether it came through so I apologize if you get two comments from me!

    I like blogging because it's like a journal but having some sort of "public" helps me take more care to be somewhat understandable.

    I was thinking that "Lucia" was a character in your NaNoWriMo book and I was so intrigued! I was happy to find that she is in an already-published series but disappointed it wasn't YOUR work : ).

    Maybe blogging can also teach us a little more about ourselves -- for example, I probably would have thought I'm nothing like "Lucia" but since I have struggled with some of the same issues as you have with blogging, maybe I am more like that than I thought.

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  13. Willa,

    As you can see, both your comments arrived! Thank you!

    I like your thought on blogs and journals. I have my blog and my private journal. The blog posts are far more interesting and better written than the entries in my journal. Yes, because the posts are public I take more effort with them and I know I will treasure these family stories much more than my hurried scribbled notes in my diary. Using my blog as a public journal is a very good reason for keeping it up.

    Lucia, a character in my NaNoWriMo novel? You, in turn, have intrigued me. If only I could invent such a wonderful character! I am afraid my novel characters are far less interesting than E F Benson's characters, which I guess is understandable as he's a famous author and I'm not. My novel revolves around a family with 6 girls. Somehow bits of my own family have ended up in my story. Maybe I will write a follow-up post to my NaNoWriMo post of few weeks ago.

    I have often thought that by writing we discover more about ourselves, our beliefs etc. We talk to ourselves as we write and sometimes to God as well. It can at times be a bit like praying. And yes, sometimes I discover things I don't like, such as am I turning into Lucia? On the positive side, it can be good to found out things and be concerned about them and do something about them. Too often I look down from my lofty perch and say, "That doesn't apply to me. That's one fault I don't have" and then I finally face the fact I do have that problem. Humbling!

    So good to mull things over with you, Willa! Thank you for your comments.

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  14. Blogging was also stressing me out a while back. I was reading entirely too many blogs and trying to keep up with everything. I took a break, and now I only read a handful of blogs that encourage me and lift me up. I do like the "conversation" of blogging. I stop reading blogs where I don't feel like the person on the other end is listening, you know?

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  15. Hi Elisa,

    I'm so pleased you stopped by and said hello.

    Yes, blogging can be a challenging world! I also decided to read only a handful of blogs.

    I have left comments on a few blogs, wanting to join in with the conversation and although my comments have been published, no one acknowledges them. I feel like an outsider and that no one is interested in my contribution. I creep away! No one listening? Yes! That's how it feels.

    I really enjoy the conversations that arise here in the comments section. So many generous readers stop and add their thoughts and I really missed this when I took a breaking from blogging.

    So thank you, Elisa for adding to this conversation! I appreciate it.

    God bless.

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