“Blog.” My new all-purpose four-letter word. Perfect for replacing those other unmentionables. You know—clap, slit, damp, hall, and duck.
But Nancy, you say, reaching a caring hand across the imaginary cyberspace table, Why the animus toward blogging, an innocuous activity if ever there was one? Well, precisely because of the activity’s apparent inconsequentiality. The blogosphere is so clogged with entries (WordPress boasts “200,000,000 Posts…and Counting”) that you have to wonder whether any of those posts are actually being read—other than by their writers. If a blog is posted in the blogosphere and no one reads it, was a blog posted? If everyone is blogging, who the *blog* gives a *blog*?
So what has moved me to join the fray? Three evenings ago I was reading in bed with my significant other—I, consumed by my fourth reading of a lovely book originally published in 1966 and he, immersed in a recent issue of Atlantic Monthly (the one dramatically portending “the end of men”). Turning the page, he suddenly remarked, “Oh wow. You’ll want to read this. ‘Our Houses, Our Selves.’”
Want to read it, my *blog*. In fact I spent the night in a blur of insomnia with the term “also ran” flashing endlessly through my consciousness.
The article Mark was reading—a characteristically sharp and entertaining piece by Sandra Tsing Loh—reviews three recently published books, one of which appears to deal with the very topic in which I have invested myself over the past year—home, and particularly its meanings to women of our time.
My manuscript, ripe fruit of some fifteen years of thinking, research, and writing, sits poised at the brink of delivery to the Indiana University Press, with publication scheduled for the autumn of 2011.
So perhaps what this blogging thing is best for is venting. Now that I have set up my own means of global publishing, I can yell and scream to my heart’s desire, enjoying the illusion that someone, somewhere may understand my frustration. And if no one reads the post, no harm done.
Vent–another four-letter word.
 Rachel Peden’s The Land, The People, published originally by Alfred Knopf and republished by Indiana University Press.
 The Atlantic Monthly, July/August 2010.