I’ve Gotta Be Me-Ish

Does the world need a new blog? Probably not, but I do.

I’ve been hanging out for the past six and a half years in a quirky little corner of the blogosphere known as Roxie’s World, where I wrote, with great delight and satisfaction, in the voice of a bossy, opinionated wire-haired fox terrier. Why? Oh, heck, I don’t know. Why not? It started out as a lark, but I got hooked on the fun of imagining a world and bringing readers into it with me. As a scholar of American culture and writing, I was also fascinated with blogging as a social and literary form. Doing it taught me a lot about reading, writing, and the work of criticism in the 21st century.

Old dog bloggers never die — They just have longer telecommutes is the joke I came up with as a way to explain how the actual dog who inspired my blog would continue to be the narrator and presiding genius of Roxie’s World after her death. The embodied Roxie ceased to be on the penultimate day of 2009, and, true to the joke, the blog went on. It could, theoretically, keep right on going, but lately I’ve begun to feel that the experiment has run its course and perhaps it is time to make a change. I’ve found myself interested in the possibility of beginning again, taking on a new “supposed person,” as Emily Dickinson termed the identities produced through verbal performance.

So here we are. Welcome to the new blog, not quite the same as the old blog but not all that different either. If you’ve been running with the pack over in Roxie’s World for the last little while, you should feel right at home here. You can expect to encounter commentary on a similar, eclectic mix of subjects from a familiar perspective: queer, feminist, critter-affirming, with a tone that moves between and among irreverence, optimism, and righteous indignation, with occasional unapologetic lapses into sentimentality. I’ll write about higher education, middle age, new media, politics, queer stuff, books I read or teach, the stuff I watch on TV. I will rail about Excellence Without Money (which is still ™RW Enterprises LLC) and wax rhapsodic on college women’s basketball. I’ll offer glimpses of life with my new companion terrier, Ruby, and my companion human of 28+ years, the woman known on Roxie’s World as Goose. There’ll be jokes, recipes, pictures I take. Maybe even pictures I draw.

Like, you know, that one there on the left. (Pathetic, I know, but this is the kind of thing that happens when a girl gets a stylus to go with her iPad soon after finishing up Alison Bechdel’s latest book, which you should totes read, by the way.)

The idea of the Madwoman with a Laptop (ML for short!) came to me a couple of years ago when I was writing a short piece on academic feminist blogging for a collection Claire Potter (aka Tenured Radical) put together for The Journal of Women’s History. The figure was useful for thinking through questions about gender, literary history, and pseudonymity that were at the heart of that essay. It was also a satisfying way to pay tribute to the enduring influence of two of my most important teachers and mentors, Sandra Gilbert and Susan Gubar, whose monumental work of feminist criticism, The Madwoman in the Attic: The Woman Writer and the Nineteenth-Century Literary Imagination, remains a standard in the field.

I don’t know why it took me so long to realize the Madwoman with a Laptop would also be a kick-a$$ framework for a blog, but no one has ever accused me of being quick to change. I am after all an academic and thus an incrementalist at heart. I also felt great loyalty and attachment to the beloved critter who made me a dog person as well as a blogger. Ready or not, however, I’m changing now. I hope you’ll come along for the ride and take a glimpse at the world through the Madwoman’s eyes. Who knows what you will see and what we might be together? Stay tuned, my pretties.


  1. OK. Hello. I’ll come along for the ride.


  2. mnsmith says:

    And this ride will be the mystery tour of all times! Congrats on this fabulous launch, Madwoman!


  3. Hey there! It’s a new dawn! Or something. Greetings from Eldorado, land of summer thunderstorms and new kittens helping with the typing. Looking forward to the latest venture, and with many, many thanks for the years of delight, inspiration, information, and general all-round excellence (and did I mention recipes?) that Roxie so generously provided xox


  4. Dr. Crazy says:

    I couldn’t bear to remove RW from my blogroll, but ML is added!


  5. Madwoman with a Laptop says:

    You like me, you really really like me! 😉 So good to welcome old friends to a new place, and thanks for keeping RW in the blogroll, Dr. C. It’s an important archive of our blog pal-ship, after all!


  6. Fucken awesome!


  7. jgolden08 says:

    LIke Dr. Crazy, I’m leaving RW on my blogroll. It has been wonderful. Looking forward to Madwoman with a Laptop, but honestly, blogging dogs are best.


  8. Following, tweeting, fbing, liking!!! share the wealth and love the trans-formations!


  9. Love it! have shared and tweeted and all! Hooray Hooray!


  10. Helloooooo Madwoman!


  11. Well hello!


  12. What a lovely new home — I’ll miss Roxie, but I’m glad you solved what seems to be the blogging crisis of the sumer through reinvention rather than elimination! Just wrote my handler to make the adjustment. Consider this the bloggy equivalent of a casserole.


  13. Thank you for the casserole, TR! Someone left cupcakes over at the other place, so all we need is some booze to have ourselves a full-on partay. And I assume you know I made this whole move chiefly because I, too, would like to have a handler. I bow humbly before your blogospheric awesomeness.


  14. Julie R Enszer says:

    Welcome! I have all of these mixed feelings. I hate incrementalism, but I find myself sad to say goodbye to Roxie. As though this new blog is some final stake to her vampiric heart. I know it isn’t, but still I’m mourning. She seemed to be still living. Perhaps you could import all of her old posts to this new blog (it is mighty easy) and that would lessen the sting. That way you could be a sentimental incrementalist, a sencrememtalist, if you will. I’ll follow, though. And comment, especially when prodded on FB. And turnoff the mobile view of the site. I find that the mobile view on WP crashes my iPad safari browser. There is an option to turn it off in the dashboard. That is all for now since I can’t comment on being stalled mid career, since, well, not being an incrementalist, I threw away a perfectly good career to go to grad school and we see how that is turning out! Long live madwimmin! And Madwimmin Books! And Alison Bechdel! And complex relationships with mothers! And graphic comics! And Madwoman with a Laptop!


  15. Thanks for stopping by, Julie. Finally. 😉 I mourn the ending of Roxie’s long virtual run, too, but I can’t see importing the old posts over here. It feels important to let her stay in tact and in place and not incorporate her into some new entity. That would feel weird to me somehow. I will probably create a page here about Roxie’s World when I get a chance.

    Sorry you’re having difficulty with the mobile view of the site. I like it and it doesn’t crash Safari on my iPad. Perhaps you need a Christmas in July present — a new iPad! I’ll switch it back if I get other complaints.

    Long live mad readers and writers and, uh, vampires. Welcome to the party.



  1. […] less than three years after her death.  However, her typist Moose has decided bravely to carry on blogging under a human pseudonym at a new blog called The Madwoman with a […]


  2. […] less than three years after her death.  However, her typist Moose has decided bravely to carry on blogging under a human pseudonym at a new blog called The Madwoman with a […]


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