This post is what I have written for this month’s meeting of the writing group I joined last year. The prompt “Just a trifle” was really about how a detail can bring a piece of narrative to life. Considering the names of my blogs, I could not resist writing about them.
One of the piano pieces I learned to play while I was still at junior school was called “Un petit rien”. The editorial notes above the music explained that the phrase meant “A trifle”. Once I began to learn French I realised that it actually meant “A little nothing”.
My Grandad asked a riddle.
“What is smaller than nothing?”
We were puzzled.
“The dot on the middle,” he told us.
We were still puzzled.
He fetched paper and a pencil. First he drew the shape of a nought (or zero as we are learning to say.) Next he put a dot in the middle. “That’s smaller than nothing!”
So a trifle is something insignificant – or is it?
When I began my first blog in July 2012 I needed a name for it. As it was going to be about sayings and perhaps proverbs, I thought a name along those lines would be appropriate. Registering for a free WordPress blog, I needed a name, which had not already been used.
I tried “catintheadage” – it had gone. So had “consideredtrifles”. That was an abandoned blog about food. Later in the day I tried “suesconsideredtrifles”. It was mine!
After about eight months, having caught the blogging bug, I was debating whether or not to start a new blog. I decided that if I could have Sue’s Trifles, I’d definitely do so. I could and I did. Sue’s Trifles now has 500 posts. These range from craft posts to responses to blogging challenges, points of view and more besides. A blogger wrote a memorable comment on a post I published about mental health. She thanked me for tackling a not-at-all trifling subject.
Out of my 500 posts only three have been specifically about mental health, but one of those has the most votes as a 5 star post. It is in my top five most-viewed posts.
My most popular post for a long time was the first craft one I wrote. It was about a pin cushion I made at the craft group using Cathedral window patchwork. That has now been overtaken by a knitting one about enlarging the neck of a child’s sweater. Two posts linked with other sites have also been viewed more than most. One about overcoming shyness was featured on a site for bloggers over-40 and the other was the reflections post after this year’s A to Z challenge.
One of my favourite trifles is this, written in response to the prompt: Three people walked into a bar.
Three men walked into a bar. They didn’t do it on purpose.
It was a dark and stormy night. The electricity had gone off, so there were no street lights. They had been in a bar earlier and were a bit the worse for wear.
They decided to take a short cut down a side street. They were walking three abreast with their arms linked for mutual support. They didn’t see the alley gate – a red and white striped bar across the road.
Three men walked into a bar. Ouch!