Monday Ask Marsha: Assorted Questions

Do you hide your journal in the closet and bring it out in the middle of the night?  That’s what I used to do.  It had everything in it.  My gripes of the day, poems, pictures I drew of my guinea pigs, lesson plans, goals, prayer requests for people I couldn’t even remember, heartaches, books I read, and on and on.  I actually loved my yellowing journals which I kept for nearly 20 years.  When I married my current husband, I reread some of my entries, and thought, “What a whiney individual you are, Marsha Lee.   Someone (Vince’s son) is going to find this after you die, and think you are a shallow woman.”  That did it.  I shred those puppies.  And I cried.  I missed them.  But I was no longer shallow!  (hahaha)  You can’t prove it anyway!  🙂

This is a journal I didn't shred.
One of my journals – NO I didn’t quit my day job to become an artist!  hahaha

My new friend Andrea and I discussed journals and blogging, and the similarities and differences.  We both have destroyed paper journals along the way of life.  Anyway blogging is sort of like a journal on steroids.  You write, and people actually listen and respond.  It’s amazing.  But what if you want to write something just because you’re a graphomanic?  What if you have secrets that you need to confess.  God listens, and I believe he even forgives, but after you’ve confessed for the 1,000th time, maybe you’d better write it down so you know you’re forgiven.  Maybe you want to remember some juicy gossip about the neighbor (husband, wife, boss …) – just in case.  Maybe bits of conversation that may show up in your next best-selling novel should be recorded in a journal, but not on your blog.  I don’t know why people need to write journals, but some of us do.  What do you do to keep them safe from prying eyes – your mother-in-law, your teenaged kids, your dad?  hmmm

I have two secret stashes.  One is Google Drive, and the other is a private blog that I’ve shared with just a few trusted friends because the work is SO unfinished.  I also use Dropbox a lot, but not for my journal.  I can get that on my phone and my computer without signing in, and so that is not secret enough for my deepest, most sordid tales.

What about you?


An other question came from one of my favorite new blogging friends, JT Weaver.  He asked me if I was Marsha Lee or Marsha Ingrao.  A lady at work asked me the same thing when I first started my blog.  She thought I’d gotten a divorce.  Sorry all you handsome 80 + year old men who think I still look young at 61. (Actually my mom’s 88 year old cousin would rather have a 20 year old – go figure!) But, no, Jane and JT, I’m still married.

Lee is my middle name, and I hated it most of my life.  Then my friend, Anna León, who was also my boss at the time, started calling me Mar’cha Lee’, and I loved it.  After that, I used my name with pride.  When I started this blog, I was nervous about telling anyone who I REALLY was – (like I was famous or something!!! hahaha).  So I used Marsha Lee to throw people off!  I actually thought it sounded kind of cool.  Maybe I’m Chinese???  Sordid fact:  I almost dated someone named Mark Lee once, and decided 1) he was kind of weird, and 2) I didn’t want to be Marsha Lee Lee.

I still think Marsha Lee sounds kind of cool, so I keep it.  That’s who I am now.  I’m still a little nervous about being Marsha Ingrao online, but Dianne is Dianne Gray, and Maddie is Maddie Cochere.  I guess I can be Marsha Ingrao.  But I like Marsha Lee, too.  🙂

Send me your questions – anything.  I’ll see what I can do with answer them as best I can.

I’m excited! The Eternal Traveler asked me to do a guest blog post for her blog.  It will be coming out sometime next week, I think.  In the meantime, if you don’t already, check out her site.

Author: Marsha

Hi, I'm Marsha Ingrao, author, blogger and retired teacher/consultant. Read more about me here.

33 thoughts on “Monday Ask Marsha: Assorted Questions”

  1. So amazing, Marsha! The things I learn about you each time I visit!
    I also use my middle name as my last when out in the cyber world. I like it better and I feel like it’s making use of that old dusty middle name I’ve rarely mentioned my entire life. 🙂
    I love thinking about hidden journals. I used to buy the ones with a lock when I was really young. Needless to say all of those ‘models’ would eventually have the lock ripped off as I’d inevitably lose the key!
    These day I’m in love with the ‘head in the clouds’ journal as you call it ~ that was an absolutely brilliant idea!
    Andrea Nicole <- middle name as last <3~


  2. I’ve almost gotten rid of all my old journals. It’s funny to see what I wrote about years ago. I also keep two blogs. I have my public one and I have a private family journal on that emails monthly updates to family. I’ll let you in on a secret though, I use my middle name online too! It feels good to finally confess that. Marie is my middle name and I keep my real first name private, as well as my husband and son’s names. I don’t feel guilty revealing that like I thought I would. I envisioned that I was some how being deceptive since is not my real first name, but everything I write is genuine and it is one of my names. Well, I’ve rambled enough on to you now 😉 Have a great day!


    1. Hello ___ Marie, So nice to know that you are using your middle name! I was much more nervous about calling Vince by his real name as well. I just called him V for the first year. So we were/are not being deceptive, just playing it safe! 🙂


  3. Wonder of wonders, I seem to have voted with the majority in the poll. But what could be behind my not journalling my deepest agonies? It cannot be “Ok as it is…. ” So what is it really?



  4. Interesting read. I only kept a journal for a couple of years (post divorce – trying to find myself). Just today I read through all those pages and shredded every page! Didn’t want my kids reading it after I’m gone! I think I might try the middle name thing – how does Esther Louise sound??


    1. There you go! Louise doesn’t sound like a last name, though, if that’s what you are looking for. How interesting that you just shredded them today. After reading my blog, or before??? Coincidence if you did it before! 🙂 I just found one paper that I kept of my mom’s that she wrote after Dad died. They had been divorced for years. She had already shared the thoughts behind the writing, by I saved the scap of paper. I have my dad’s “diary,” Even the lawyer who dispersed everything got a laugh out of his diary! We spent most of our time with him laughing at some of the entries. He was quite a hypochondriac, and went to great lengths to inform HIMSELF of what to avoid! 🙂 Shredding may be a very good idea! 🙂


  5. Great post Marsha, I had some journals from when I was a teenager and then some one I knew threatened to read them so I ripped them up, I have regretted doing that so many times. Too late now, they are gone.


  6. Excellent post dear lass. My mum obtained a journal for me when I was wee and explained what was to be done with journals. I did not touch it for a long time, and then one day began writing little illustrated comical stories in it. I still have it. I just adored having Sir read them aloud with voice. As far as writing a journal for personal feelings and secrets, I’ve never managed to get meself to do it.

    I love the photo of your journal pages, too groovy! And Congrats on the guest blog for Eternal Traveler, too brilliant!!

    Myriad cheers,

    Autumn Jade


    1. Did you notice my beautiful drawings of my guinea pigs in my journal? I made up worksheet pages from those for my fourth graders. We did activities like measure our guinea pig pups, and race them, and I forget what else, but it’s all in the journal. The kids loved it. Then at the end of the unit a few kids earned the right to become proud parents of a young guinea pig. 🙂


        1. Awww, you are so kind! Ooops, I meant sweet! 🙂 I did have fun drawing even if I’m bad at it. 🙂 When I drew on the board, the kids couldn’t even tell what I was drawing. I have to really work at it! 🙂


          1. I think your art is absolutely brilliant- a very unique and intriguing style. I could tell right away what you were depicting. And I just love that portrait you did of V. That is TOO darling!


          2. Send me your picture, and I’ll do one of you! I don’t do very many, only my favorite people. It takes me several hours to do one picture, and they are not guaranteed to be good. But who better to do than my most effusive commenter? Or I could do your gravitar, but that is no challenge – take that back. It is a BIG challenge, just that I find faces more interesting to try to draw. Whichever I guarantee it WOULD be Unique! 🙂 🙂


      1. P.S. Sir and I were just loitering about with some guineas this evening whilst we were obtaining some crickets for the three toadies that seem to be living with us for a wee stint. I just love the noises they make. I also kissed some hamsters whilst a girl bugled at me, “They’re CUTE!” and nearly bowled me over to get to them. The hamsters were swirling all over the place, it was blasted fantastic. Hum. I see my wordpress is set in Spanish. Hmm I rather like that. Cheers!


    1. Awww, so sad. I love it when I see benzeknees has been to my site, no matter what you call yourself on your legal documents. I have a lisp, so Marsha was a cruel name for me, but I just enunciate my name if someone calls me Martha the first time. My last name had an s in it as well. How fair is that???? 🙂 Lee actually was the easiest of the three to say. 🙂


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