I love checking out the nominees for the various weblog awards because that’s one way of finding good stuff. And the category that interests me most is the one for good writing. Naturally. Just look at the nominees for the Best Writing of a Weblog award in Bloggies 2006 — the incomparable Dooce and the entertaining Go Fug Yourself are up against three others, two of whom identify themselves first and foremost as writers. "My name is Alice Bradley… I am a writer," says the author of Finslippy while Mimi in New York is an Englishwoman, a Cambridge graduate who wanted to be a journalist in America but ended up as a stripper. She ran into visa problems, she says. But while that put her journalism dreams on hold, that didn’t stop her from writing. And she is doing good, or she wouldn’t be up for that particular award. Mimi’s colourful background adds spice to her blog, but Finslippy is good reading for just the opposite reason. She writes about her little boy and her husband in New York, but the way she writes, it’s like scenes from a movie. She describes the scene and quotes the words used. And because she writes about her little boy, that makes it all the more charming. A bit like Dooce? There are differences.
But what is it that makes writing about children so readable? Some of the writing I have most enjoyed reading in Singapore newspapers has been about children — parents writing about children. When you write about someone you love, you try to describe him or her as best as you can, and parents writing about kids, of course, show all that’s funny, touching and adorable about them.