What I’m doing here … I think.

20 11 2008

I’m not entirely clear on what exactly a blog is, and what I’m supposed to be doing with it.

Yes, I understand the etymology of the whole thing. I grew up without the internet, I was there when all of this whacky “world wide web” stuff started. I like to say (or at least, I say it) that I recall the days when people like Al Gore described the coming “information super highway.” Most of the time when I say this, incidentally, people smile knowingly and nod, letting me know they have never heard that before.

Anyway, in an effort to figure out what I’m supposed to be doing here, I read through a few other blogs. Just to get my bearings, you understand. I read blogs about yoga, blogs about pudding, blogs about book clubs, budding novelists, blogs by politically-active IT workers and grad students with families. Here’s a few things I gleaned from this research:

  1. I do not understand the attraction to book clubs.
  2. Other writers are both less ambitious and more productive than I, simultaneously.
  3. Profanity sounds funny in monologues and reads angry in weblogs.
  4. Some people have amazingly depressing lives.

What I’ve come down to is that I can’t see why writing about everything I did (or in most cases, did not) do today seems a bit narcissistic at best and at worst, dull for everyone else to read. So unless I’m consistently working on something, I’ll probably only write if I can think of something work saying. I’m not providing a warranty that everything I write will actually be worth saying, but that’s what I’m aiming for, just so you’re informed.

Most of my recent stories are sitting where their brethren are: in various notebooks and well-organized computer files representing a wide variety in terms of handwriting styles, word processing and graphic design software. I also have a good sampling of both the “lined” and “unlined” notebook camps. Exchanges between the two can become heated and it’s best not to spread that to the peaceful waters of the internet, so we’ll let that one be.

The writing has taken a backseat to a number of things, not the least of which is the daily if pesky business of survival, and more recently, painting. I got truly serious about watercolors about a year ago and haven’t put them down since. In addition, I found a few ideas that I didn’t know how to express in watercolors (a frequent problem). That necessitated an investment in new acrylics and the realization of a childhood dream born on rainy afternoons in Massachusetts watching Bob Ross paint happy little trees: painting with palette knives. And 20 years later, I can honestly say it was as rewarding as he made it look. There’s something visceral about pushing buttery paint around with a knife and watching those textures form… I don’t want to make this R-rated, but you painters out there know what I’m talking about.

At any rate, that’s where the writing is these days. We’ll see if that changes as winter picks up and becomes dark too early to paint in the afternoon.

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