In the interest of Unity, Coherence and Emphasis, the watchwords of now ancient textbooks in English composition, I sometimes worry whether these postings shouldn’t be more thematic. My concern stems from two considerations. First, would the readership tend to be more constant being a faithful drawn by a common interest? Secondly, other bloggers in fact do focus on a given area of interest be it travel, gardening, politics, art, pets, etc. much like a magazine’s department journalist.
I love Wikipedia’s description of blog as a “portmanteau word” cobbled from web and log much as smog marries smoke and fog.
But what do I actually “log” in these efforts? Sometimes I am writing from a foreign destination on tour in another region; most of the time my reflections are triggered by happenstance as close as my favorite reading chair, my morning walk route, or the neighborhood library. Of course any trigger fires through a bizarre potpourri, the myriad synaptic contacts of my memories. Then it is that blog for me really does become a suitcase, “portmanteau” in its root sense, including everything needed for a 550-word trip.
But these short trips are really installments on another journey of course. Morning walks, trips to the library and through its books, navigating a conversation or a surprise turn along worn and tired thought-paths, are all vital arteries of living. So perhaps there is a way of seeing one’s helter-skelter, connecting of dots as an attempt to log a bit of the life adventure itself. Forget the extreme case of Attention Deficit Disorder; life itself is distracting. All of us need help making something like unified sense of it all. And for me, pretending there are readers making sense of my making sense makes it worthwhile to struggle through a few hours of word wrangling. When it all works, I finally comprehend what I know I never ever successfully communicated with students. Somewhere in the neighborhood of 5oo words hang together around an idea, fit in a conceptual suitcase, and make an impression somebody might think or talk about.
Then there’s reality. Sometimes a reader writes that their browser won’t let them open my posting when I send them a link. I wonder if that browser’s filter complex suspects through my title or a tag that I’m selling something. Bingo! I am, of course. And it’s not just my take on some oddball thing I’ve recently noticed.
I would never have noticed even the existence of blogs had my editor—some 343 posts ago—not suggested it. Her idea was to create at least a sampling of personal cyber-presence that might hook a surfing potential literary agent with writing worthy of publication. Yep! She was editing what became The Circus That Ran Away With a Jesuit Priest, Memoir of a Delible Character. It took over fifty rejection letters to personal submissions, and six-months of exchanges with a self-publishing entity, but there was this entity, out twice a week reminding folks that there was a book.