Tuesday, June 10, 2003
posted by skobJohn |
My new blog is open for viewing. It's not much, but it'll do to get started.
Thanks for coming here for the past year. It's been fun trying to find my footing in the blogverse, figuring out what I should do next and all.
Hope to see you at the new site really soon. Don't be a stranger, ya hear.
Monday, June 09, 2003
Every so often...
posted by skobJohn |
Blogger just pisses me off something fierce.
I'm trying to get my new blog up and running, and it's one thing after another. I can't get the Mighty Super-Duper Blogger Brain to accept that this blog and my other new one belong to the same subscribe...me! I get six crappy templates to pick from with my new blog. I don't get answers back from Blogger when I ask them to help me get new templates or how to remove ads from my new blog, which I think I should be able to do, since Blogger says that if you are a subscriber, all your blogs will be ad-free or all the other bells and whistles if you set up one ad-free and sporting the aforemented noisy objects.
Now, I can't even get into my new blog to fix something or even upgrade! Argh. I just want to get this sucker off the ground and I wasted a portion of my weekend trying to do this. Damnit, this blogger crap was supposed to be freaking easy!
Every once in a while, this whole system of Web-based publishing just pisses me off.
Thursday, June 05, 2003
For What It's Worth
posted by skobJohn |
Yeah, so I'm back from Idaho, and while there I suffered a few head-on collisions with epiphanies.
The number one epiphany that'll matter to your life is the changing of this blog.
In a few days, this whole blog is changing. Somehow.
I haven't figured it out yet. Start a whole new blog or just warp this one into a new beast. Looks. Attitude. Focus. You name it. A change is coming.
Here's the deal.
I'm writing more. I don't want to stop writing fiction to come back and get all political or cultural or insightful. It takes up too much time, as I have been rambling about for the past few entries. Writing about my opinion about something is getting to be a drag. Unless the mood strikes me or I'm asked directly about it, I'm not going to write about issues anymore. The blog is filled with political assholes who apparently know, like, everything about everything. Consider me a burned out proctologist, cuz I ain't going down the asshole route again.
Again, I ranted about that, too. Check the archives for more details.
The thing is, I've been spying the Blogger traffic feature, noticing that I'm not getting a lot of eyeballs my way for my off-the-cuff political roundhousings. So, I say to myself as the sun sets in Moscow, Idaho, if I'm going to write something and no one is going to pay attention, then why don't I write about something I like, or I think is interesting. A lot less pressure on me and for you, dear reader, the content you'll get will be fresher, more alive, honest.
Yet interesting only goes so far. Interesting is subjective. Interesting is a distraction from what you should be doing. Interesting, for the reader, is a blind date. You don't know what you're gonna get. Life's full of unexpected detours and constant streams of hype that prop up a dull corpse of a product. People need things to be less ambiguous. People are busy. After all, why stop here when there are zillions of porn sites to surf?
Writing, as any schmuck will tell you, is about voice. So, let's drop the bullshit about the issues of the day. Let's delete the unending preamble we make to try to score points...as if anyone is keeping score. Let's stop kidding ourselves. Let's get down tot he risky business of stripping down a brain to its basic elements.
In short, let's have the writer give us all a tour of what it's like to write a novel. Better yet. Let's have the so-called scribe go through the miseries and mysteries of writing his first real novel, from first words to the distant finish line of getting the beast published. What's going on in the writer's head? The pretentious and the sublime. The hundred thousand neurotic land mines. The honing of clever words and the wholesale slaughter of really shitty paragraphs.
This is what this blog should have been all along, but I never got that until just recently. When I first started this blog about a year ago, I meant it to be more than alpha-release essays and political sniping. I...just...didn't...know...what.
The blog is the reality TV of the Web. Well, it's the most literate kind, if you want to get all picky here and count Webcams and instant messengers. Blogs lend themselves to being tools for authors, whether you're a pro or just an office drone on the other end of a laptop, letting people know how you feel. This place is a diary, a supplement, a shadow soul, a ideological junk drawer in the kitchen of your brain. I'm seeing that now. It's not a new concept. William Gibson is getting some miles out of his site's blog.
Yet, it's all about how you see it, how you take it and use your tools on the granite. In the coming days, I'm altering this blog. An earlier version, what you are looking at right now...maybe maybe maybe...might exist somewhere in the Internet. Explore the cyberspatial boneyard of Google...perhaps something cool might come up. But enjoy what once was because I'm altering everything. The text. The colors. The links. Everything must go. It's an iconographic fire sale.
It's marvelously terrifying in a rollercoaster sort of way. Imagine tearing off your own skin and laughing all the time, and you begin to understand the liberation and risk inherit in this. Yes, I'm making a great change on how I present myself to the Web (a big minus: I'm going to rely on yet another template), but then there's this whole outing myself: I'm writing a book. Everyone knows. Everyone is going to be asking me about it. I've put it out there. Now, I have to actually make good on my statement. True, you write for yourself, but when your family and friends know you are a writer, you either have to produce or look like a failure.
So, it's going to be a journey. A walkthrough of what I'm going through. Some days it'll be interesting. Other days, it'll be just a brief heads-up. I'm going to be adding a running total of the day's work. A body count. I'm leaning toward a public update to get people interested, and to poke myself forward.
I may...may...post rough copy up here. The novel is going to be called "Babylon By Twilight."
I may drop the whole SKOB persona, too. I'm not a superhero. I have a real name and all that. I'm into stripping all the facade away and giving you everything about my writing life. Let's get real about fiction, about the fiction writer. Again, too much ambiguity and false fronts going around. A little exposure is good for the soul. If we can have people become spokesman for fast-food chains based solely on how much weight they lost eating their product, if we can have the names of reality TV contests enter our lexicon, if we can have names and lives become brands, then it's about time I stop hiding behind an acronym. I'm going to check with my wife to see how public she would like me to go. My life is hers, too...and vice versa.
So, be on the look out. Crash, bang. The world is changing. At least mine is.
And hey, you're along for the ride.
P.S. Apropos of nothing, Bono (of U2) showed up at my office today.
I'm not kidding.