Blog Description

A French-Inspired Garden and Home by Judith Stringham

Chroniclers of a New Era

Friday, September 12, 2014

As a retired teacher, I have always thought of August/September, not January, as the beginning of a new year, a time for fresh starts. Life-long rhythms are slow to change, and I still think of the beginning of the school year as a time to begin new projects, a time for a clean slate, a time to open new doors.   
The timing fits perfectly with an invitation from Anita, author of Castles, Crowns, Cottages, to be part of 

The Blogger's Writing Process Tour

in which a blogger answers four questions about her writing and in turn, invites two-three other blog writers to be part of the tour also. Anita is a lyrical writer whose style creates magic with each new post as illustrated by her contribution at 

Anita is an inspiration to write better. 
I love her photos, her stylistic layouts, and her dreamy prose. 
Most of all, her dreamy prose that sweeps me away from reality. 

What am I working on?

I am working on improving my writing skills and am attending the Blog Elevated Conference in Galveston, TX on September 25-27. This will be my first blog conference, and I am working as a volunteer with hopes to make many new blogger friends while learning some tips on better writing.  When I realized the Round Top Antique Fair's dates are September 20 - October 5 this year, I knew I had to make plans to attend the Fair since Round Top, TX is only about 2.5-3 hours from Galveston.  In addition to taking hundreds of photos at the Fair and practicing any photo tips I learn at the conference, I will be looking for French-inspired antiques and creations to purchase or to create for my annual French Country Christmas held on weekends leading up to Christmas. September is going to be a month of whirlwind falling leaves and Botanic Bleu inspiration. 

How does my work differ from others of its genre?

Each writes with a unique perspective.  While my life experiences have some common threads with other blog authors who write with a French connection, each of us offers a personal view of our experiences.  When I write about traveling in France as part of my on-going Moment in France series, all of the photos are my own personal photos of scenes and events that spoke to me.  Others may have had the very same experience, but will share photos from a different angle or of a different object and will compose text emphasizing a completely different viewpoint.  

Botanic Bleu's posts on any subject are influenced by the French Country way of living that embraces joie de vivre.  Articles include garden and home decor, a recipe on rare occasions, and project tutorials in addition to the Moment in France series that has twenty posts to date.  

Why do I write what I do?

Following retirement, life became much simpler and slower-paced than when I worked full time, and for the first time, I had time to explore and to pursue creative writing. Also, for the first time I was able to spend leisure time on the internet where I discovered blogs, a whole new world. With major changes in my life came much introspective thinking.  Thus, the Botanic Bleu blog was born as a place to experience a little creativity, to share my love of French Country and Christmas, and to leave a written record of my life and work. 

“Don't let it be forgot, 
that once there was a spot, 
for one brief shining moment, 
that was known as Camelot.”  
Camelot movie/song

Personal blogs are the 21st century primary source gold mines of everyday life, of an evolving culture on the cusp of a new era created by a paperless society. We are the chroniclers of a transitional time in which our parents were in one era, and our children are in the next. 

How does my writing process work?

A scene caught by a quick look from the corner of my eye, a vignette in a Pottery Barn catalog, a comment on another blogger's post, a holiday, and a love for blue have all been the inkling from which a blog post was conceived.  Once a thought occurs, I begin taking photos, hundreds of photos, that illustrate the original thought and the visions that grow from the original idea.  Narrowing the photos to a small group of eight to twenty, I begin to see the story line unfold.  As I edit the photos and add my watermark, I number the photos into the order that they will appear in my first written draft.  Often my first draft is in my head and is changed as I write the first written draft.  

Master Bathroom

Goals for me in writing are to show the best original photos I can, and to support the photos with a meaningful commentary.  Or vice-versa, write a commentary that has something to say even without photos, and to support the commentary with the best photos possible.  After the first draft, I proof read it, edit, re-write phrases, re-arrange photos, take more photos when needed, and then sleep on the post before hitting publish.  Then I review the post, edit where needed, and schedule it for publication. I don't have a formal topic scheduler/planner, but I do keep a notebook of ideas for blogs, and I organize photos into folders in my iPhoto software.  Currently, I have about 17-18 blog topics written in my notebook with varying stages of support material such as links, props, and possible photos listed.  I also have 3-4 photo folders with pictures of vignettes for sharing Christmas ideas later this year. 


to reveal who are next to share a look into their creative writing process. These two bloggers are also inspirational authors who have distinctive writing voices with many followers. Each influences me, but in different creative ways. 

Alison @ Nancherrow


Sherry @ The Charm of Home 

Both Alison and Sherry always make me smile with their witty commentaries in which they share recipes, home decor, and about life in general. Both are on my blogroll, and both host awesome linky parties on Fridays.

Take a peek at what these ladies are posting today, and then go back to read their contributions to  The Blogger's Writing Process Tour.  Whatever they are up to, I am sure it will brighten your day. 

Please join me at these inspiring sites...