If you’re looking at the online-at-Wordpress-on-your-computer-through-the-Intertubes-and-stuff version of this blog, you’ve probably already noticed that there have been some major changes. If you’re looking at the on-the-emails-digest of the blog, allow me to explain: every once in a while I remember/realize that something major has just happened, like, say, oh, my first book was published (it’s called Maleficae! From GenPop Books! You can get it here!). Then, I’ll think to myself, There are probably things I need to do because this major thing has happened. And then, a few days (let’s be honest: weeks) (okay, months) down the road, I’ll think to myself, Oh! That’s the thing I need to do because this major thing happened!
In the case of the book and the blog, I realized that I need to make the blog a little more website-y, so I can post information about the book (called Maleficae! From GenPop Books!) and readings and appearances and publications and whatnot, so I used my awesome WordPress skills (let’s be honest: rudimentary WordPress skills) (okay, seriously rudimentary WordPress skills) to make that happen (okay, okay: sort of happen). Now, on the static front page (see! I know what it’s called! SKILLS, I tell you!), you’ll find links to information about the book (Maleficae! GenPop!) and poems and essays and readings and so forth. You’ll also, of course, find a link the ye olde blogge, which is still here and all.
And I’m going to try something new with ye olde blogge, too, which you might have noticed, when you saw, like, a post about how John Stossel terrifies me mixed in with a lot of long and rambling posts about avant-garde poetry and the like.
Here’s the thing: when I taught my Creative Writing and the Web course last semester, I went against my Sarah Lawrencian training and used a textbook about blogging. The textbook said a lot of very interesting and useful things, but the two things that stuck with me most were these:
- You should blog a lot. Like, a lot. And you shouldn’t do things like, say, let your blog just totally vanish for days (weeks) (okay, months) while you’re busy putting together course proposals and attempting to correctly fill out increasingly mind-grinding travel reimbursement forms and writing poems about jellyfish and volcanoes.
- You should come up with a concept for your blog — a theme, if you will — and you should stick with it, all the time, in every single post.
The first thing makes a lot of sense to me. More and more, I’ve come to see the blog as its own form of writing, a record of a life and mind at work as it works. There is emphasis, of course, on a finished product, but more and more I’ve come to see the importance of the blog as a record of change, of a mind and a life at work as it works. If you let your blog go quiet for forever, it doesn’t work as well in that light. And the blog has an extra element of interestingness, which I’ve decided is a definitely a word, if only because it seems very much applicable to what this extra element is: it goes beyond the kind of record that one leaves in a journal because it’s a record of the part of the mind and the life that a person wants to/is willing to/can make public. I’ve decided to see what happens if I keep up with the blog more often, if only to see what evolves and what that extra element is for me. I realize this may at times bring out things that seem like total non sequiturs, which leads me to the second thing.
The second thing didn’t make as much sense to me. The thing is, a Sarah Lawrencian can only let go of their Sarah Lawrencian training to a certain extent. I mean, I was okay with using a textbook, but at this point it’s just a natural part of my thinking to question that textbook — and a healthy part, too, which I try to pass on to my students. While I do understand the benefits of theming one’s blog (making up new words and verbing nouns, I should add, also seems part and parcel of Sarah Lawrencianess), that also feels contrary to everything I just wrote above about the blog being a record of a mind and a life at work. And though I’m perfectly happy with contradictions and letting them just exist, I have to say that I’m more interested in watching them unfold. It seems to me an odd thing to say that a blog has to be one thing only: just thoughts about bicycles and their repairs, for instance, or pictures of cats, or way-too-long rants about avant-garde poetry. This seems to me an odd thing to say because it seems to say that people should be about one thing only, or they should try to be, or they should strive to only show that one thing to the world. That’s definitely not me. Some days, I feel like over-analyzing the history of the sonnet in contemporary poetics. Some days, I feel like over-analyzing the Brandi Glanville/Adrienne Maloof battle on The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills. Some days, the only thing I ever want the world to see from me are photographs of my cats being awesome.
So it goes. And so my blog goes.
I could probably set up multiple blogs for these purposes, but let’s be honest, I’m too lazy for that, and also too easily-confused, and would probably follow a five-post series on the line break since Robert Creeley with a seven-post series on Kim Richards’ obsession with turtles. So one blog it is, and that one blog shall contain multitudes, and hopefully shall contain more posts from here on out.*
*Of course, I’m writing this the day before NaPoWriMo starts and I therefore start writing a poem a day, and right before the last month of a semester, and on an Easter Sunday because it’s the only day I’m not up at the office (not because I don’t need to be in my office — I do — but because I decided to refuse to go up to the office on Easter Sunday), so we’ll have to see if how the blog goes is really how it will go …