Should auld acquaintance be forgot
And never brought to mind?
Should auld acquaintance be forgot
And days of auld lang syne?
For auld lang syne, my dear,
For auld lang syne,
We’ll take a cup of kindness yet,
For auld lang syne. - Robert Burns
Well, here we are on the 7th day of Christmas and the last of the year. I started this blog back in July because I’ve been wanting to write a book about this subject since 2004 but could never make myself sit down to write it. See, if writing were running, I’d be a sprinter; I come on very strong for a short period of time and then wind down, so while I do quite well with essays and tolerably well with short stories, books and novels are quite beyond my ability. Now, don’t say “Oh, that’s not true!” because it is; knowing one’s limitations is not defeatism, it’s simply realism. My style of composition is wholly feminine; what I mean by that is, women tend to see things as unified wholes while men tend to see them as collections of attributes. The masculine viewpoint is very helpful when writing long works; each portion of the book can be considered separately and then combined into one long work. This is not to say women cannot write like this; of course they can, and many do it very well, but I’m not among them. Try as I might, I’ve never been able to construct stories or articles; each work forms as an organic whole in my mind, which as you might expect limits me to a few hundred words at a time. Ever notice that a couple of times a month I write a column which sort of rambles? Those are the ones which did not form whole, and I’m usually less than satisfied with the results. And a novel written that way would be a shambles.
But then early last spring my husband pointed out that I actually can write very long works as long as the whole is composed of small, independent parts. And that gave me the idea to do a blog; one essay a day, each one a distinct small unit, with a single underlying theme but no overarching plan. Each day’s column is a thing unto itself and can be read in isolation, so though the whole amount of text here is more than enough for a book I only had to think of it, plan it and write it one short essay at a time. If I ever get a book offer, it’ll consist of a series of essays (either selections from the blog or articles of the same type) rather than one unified whole. Anyhow, once I came up with the idea I was still paralyzed for a while; I had no idea how to go about it, nor what it would cost. Then early in July I followed a link from a message board discussion on Wonder Woman (yes, I’m a fan) to this post on the Human Scorch’s blog; I was impressed with the way it looked and since I knew Scorch from another board I timidly asked him how I could start one of my own. He gave me a link to WordPress and I found it spectacularly easy to use…and the rest, as they say, is history. Scorch, have I ever adequately thanked you for the tip and the design pointers? If not, THANK YOU!!!
I was asked a few months ago how I manage to write a coherent column every single day, and I replied that a lot of this stuff has been bouncing around in my head for years. Most of my early columns were adapted from chapters of my aborted book, the ever-popular essay “Modern Marriage” was edited down from a longer one written in 1997, and “Painted Devil” was an idea which first came to me over 20 years ago but never quite gelled until I realized the heroine needed to be a courtesan. Since I arrived fairly late to this whole blog scene I felt it was important to get a lot of material in place in a relatively short period of time, and since my husband travels a great deal for his job I have a lot of time to kill when he isn’t home; I therefore had both the time I needed and the drive to do it, though frankly I’m surprised that I’ve actually managed to publish a column every single day without fail since the beginning. There were a few times when I honestly thought I would be caught flatfooted, but all I had to do was visit the websites linked in the right column there and I would always find a subject on which to write.
Sooner or later, though, I’ve got to run out of steam, and since my husband’s travel schedule is much heavier in the second half of the year than in the first I won’t have as much free time for the next six months as I did for the last. I’m therefore allowing myself a couple of days off per week from here on out; I’m not sure exactly how I’m going to do it yet but I promise the off-days won’t be back to back so those who like to read every day will only be disappointed for one day at a time. Since I write most of my columns in advance (this one was written on Monday) I can take both Saturday and Sunday off and still publish prewritten columns on those days, so I’ll probably end up skipping Sunday and Wednesday or something like that, but we’ll see. Don’t worry, I’m not quitting! In fact, by lightening my work load a bit I hope to prevent future burnout. And though my husband has been extremely supportive of this venture and reads every column (though not always right away if he’s on the road), I have no intention of neglecting him to keep up my present daily pace.
What a year it’s been! Just in the six months I’ve been writing we’ve seen the first two inductees to my Hall of Shame, the suicide of the “Craigslist Killer”and the subsequent censorship of Craigslist, the invalidation of prohibitionist laws by the Supreme Court of Ontario, the Melissa Petro scandal, sleazy schemes by the American government to censor the internet and divert federal funds to persecute voluntary adult prostitutes, the presentation of a report condemning U.S. abuses of prostitutes to the U.N. Human Rights Council, the infiltration of the morally reprehensible “Swedish Model” into American police department rhetoric, the exposure of a sexual predator masquerading as an escort blogger, repeated attacks against the porn industry by condom fetishists, numerous incidents of violence against whores, the rather suspicious persecution of Wikileaks founder Julian Assange and the discovery of a potential cure for HIV. And while trafficking rhetoric has become increasingly popular with governments, public sentiment has largely turned to decriminalization. And though I haven’t said anything directly about the new TSA molestation procedures at airports, I think most of you can probably guess where I stand on the issue.
I wish all of my readers a Happy New Year, and I hope to continue providing you with interesting reading for a very long time to come!