Elyse Press Major, showing us her right brain...
I've known Elyse Press Major for thirty years now (Okay, let's get this over with ... when she was a still a "minor" ... baddump bump). Well, to be more accurate, I should say I shared a brief friendship with Elyse back in the mid-1980s when we were both college students in Providence, RI. I was in a really bad punk rock band and the manual typewriter I kept on my desk in my red-lamp-lit, cigarette clouded, studio dorm room that overlooked what seemed to be the only wood in the city, click-clacked volumes regarding a future that, at the time, was still a great and wild unknown. Elyse and I often talked books and writers and writing, but mostly we talked about bands like Echo and the Bunnymen (sic?) and what shows were coming to the area's premier stage, The Living Room. I lost touch with Elyse after a short time, which is as common for young people as are defaulted student loans, until one day she reappeared for me on, what else, but FB. Imagine my shock and surprise when it turns out she's a writer, and successful one at that. I could only think and grin and recall that typewriter set out on the desk in that tiny little room that overlooked the trees. After a few minutes of thinking, it all made sense. Of course, Elyse is a writer. Having carved out a niche for herself in the "tinkering" and "home crafts" section of your local Barnes and Nobles (and arguably every newsstand in the country from Portland O to Portland M), the still youthful writer produces colorful and stunning coffee table books that aren't for decoration only. They are as well written as they are fun for the whole fam damily, as they say. Here's a guest post Elyse penned for the Vox. You won't find any homespun advice on how to make a sock puppet, but instead you might find something sculpted from her more philosophical right brain. With that, I give you, Elyse Press Major:
Knowing Me, Knowing You
“Wrong, a long time ago we knew each other for a short period of time; you don't know anything about me. “
Nick, The Big Chill
Even though I embraced blogging early on I was late to join the rest of the social media party, wary of it being the ultimate “worlds collide.” Facebook seemed like a toxic potpourri of former co-workers, family members and old boyfriends -- who could care about my every thought the second I had it? And MySpace looked messier and sounded noisier than my high school bedroom.
Then I attended a memorial service for the father of a dear old boyfriend. It was truly lovely to lay my eyes on so many faces I hadn’t seen in years. Over and over I heard, “You should get on Facebook to stay in touch.” Reluctantly I started an account that evening. Within minutes Friend Requests came out of the virtual woodwork. Some from faces I hadn’t seen in thirty years! One request from a woman who had ignored me hours earlier at the memorial service; I decided not to “let her in” to my new alterna-reality.
Cut to just a few years later and admittedly Facebook along with Twitter and Pinterest are regular parts of my day as a work-at-home writer seeking not only water-cooler interaction but publicity work as the admin for multiple pages. In the myriad of new platforms popping up daily somehow Facebook has become the “comfy slippers” but I do have my “walls” of what I will and will not share, and there are trust issues to be sure. While I’m happy to heckle parts of my own day or share a staged meal or view of the moon, I never share images of my children or their whereabouts.
One night I went to see that same old boyfriend play in his band and the night club was filled with people from Facebook. I had to chuckle as I could mentally assign minutia to people without even having had an out-loud conversation. He must be tan from that recent trip to Aruba. Boy, that sandwich sure looked good. She’s a Republican?!
Curiously some of these online friendships are becoming stronger now than ever. Like the cheerleader I don’t think I ever spoke to in high school who is now a great supporter of my work, the neighbor with whom I’ve bonded over a shared addiction to flavored seltzer and magazines, and the noir thriller author I dated for a few weeks in ’84 who has become a trusted mentor.
Elyse Press Major is the author of two craft books, Tinkered Treasures and Seaside Tinkered Treasures (CICO Books). An accomplished writer, Elyse regularly contributes features and articles to magazines such as Romantic Homes, Romantic Country and French Country Style. Visit Elyse at tinkeredtreasures.com and on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest.