Instant Gratification by
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Prompted By Fame

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My husband nuzzled me awake this morning and whispered, “I’m more famous than you.”

This is a good morning; sometimes we’re both in the single digits.

I grabbed my phone and sure enough, he had received 56 “notes” (likes) on his most recent Tumblr post. I had only received 34 on mine. But when I go to Instagram, I find 29 more to his meager 8 (granted, I have more followers on IG than he does because he only joined recently), so we’re almost neck and neck. This is a good morning; sometimes we’re both in the single digits.

We’re light years away from fame, but we can see the faint glimmer, like that of a distant star. We’ll never be social media “influencers” and have no desire in that regard…we just like the idea of a few people scattered across the globe laying eyes on our creative output, connecting if only for an instant.

But you never know— fame is only one letter away from that fickle finger of fate.

Profile photo of Barbara Buckles Barbara Buckles
Artist, writer, storyteller, spy. Okay, not a spy…I was just going for the rhythm.

I call myself “an inveterate dabbler.” (And my husband calls me “an invertebrate babbler.”) I just love to create one way or another. My latest passion is telling true stories live, on stage. Because it scares the hell out of me.

As a memoirist, I focus on the undercurrents. Drawing from memory, diaries, notes, letters and photographs, I never ever lie, but I do claim creative license when fleshing out actual events in order to enhance the literary quality, i.e., what I might have been wearing, what might have been on the table, what season it might have been. By virtue of its genre, memoir also adds a patina of introspection and insight that most probably did not exist in real time.

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Tags: social media, Instagram, Tumblr
Characterizations: funny, well written


  1. Betsy Pfau says:

    Thanks for letting me know who you are on IG; I just sent a request to follow you, though fame is certainly a matter of opinion, as you point out!

    I would encourage you to read my piece on Mike Wallace, though it seems to be old. I added an addendum, since a lot has happened since I first wrote the piece two years ago.

  2. Laurie Levy says:

    Barb, I will have to join Instagram now. My grandkids are on it, so I can monitor what they are up as as well.

  3. Good BB, hope you and hubby enjoy your 15 minutes of fame, but apparently the fool in the White House has you both beat, he’s very popular with lots more followers!

  4. Marian says:

    How cute, Barb, love the friendly competition between you and Garth. I guess there is no time limit on being “famous.”

  5. Suzy says:

    Since I already follow you on Instagram, I know how delightful your posts are. Will have to check out your Tumblr, if I can remember what the password is for my account! I want to help you win this competition on all platforms!

    • Aw, thanks for the support, Suzy! I guess it’s not really a competition since we work in very different genres…I’ll never be the photographer he is, that’s for sure. And don’t worry too much about Tumblr…it’s basically the same stuff I post on IG, just not as frequently as I don’t quite have the hang of that platform.

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