Friday, October 30, 2009

NaBloPoMo (not NaNoWriMo)

Some of you will know what that word salad up there in the title means immediately - I suspect that many people won't have a clue. It's something you tend to know about if you've been blogging or journaling (the old-school word for it) for a long time; if you're new to this, not so much. But anyway, I have signed up for NaBloPoMo, which means National Blog Posting Month - which just means that you attempt to post daily for the month of November. I most definitely did not sign up for NaNoWriMo, National Novel Writing Month, which means you are going to attempt to write an entire novel during the month of November. The latter is obviously a much bigger time commitment.

Well, anyway, I am not an aspiring novelist, so I don't have much interest in that, but I am a fairly long-time blogger, so I am doing the much-simpler "post daily" one. In years past I have done it for more than one of my blogs, but things are chaotic again this year so I'm limiting it to just this one. In December I will probably do Holidailies, which is a sort-of-similar thing that focuses on the holiday season and is run by some friends of mine - but I will probably do that on my Livejournal like I usually do, unless I do go crazy and decide to try to do both places.

I mentioned having had multiple blogs, so maybe I should expand on that. (This may involve some back history on this corner of the web in general. I hope I don't bore you to death!) Sometime around 2000 or 2001 I discovered somehow that there were all these people writing online journals - some of them had already been doing it for several years, by then. Now you have to remember that back in the day these things were hand-coded - you largely had to write the html for it yourself, or have somebody do it for you. There was no Blogger, no Typepad... although there were starting to be some things, somewhere in this period, called Diaryland and Diary-X and Livejournal, all of which would more or less function like Blogger does today, in a very rudimentary way, and Livejournal, which was even more forward-thinking, also had some sort of proto-social-media functions - you formed communities, and that kind of thing. But all of that was in the future for me. All I knew, in the beginning, was that there were these people writing about their lives, and they were pretty interesting, and I kept going back to a couple of them. This one was one of my favorites: Bad Hair Days, written by a young lawyer in Sacramento. She had a live-in boyfriend and a couple of dogs and several cats, and her journal then actually looked an awful lot like it does now, except now she is married to the boyfriend and has a young daughter, and some of the pets are sadly not with them any more. She had that same logo at the time, though - and when I met her in person a couple of years later I realized that I subconsciously expected her to look like the girl in the logo, which she doesn't.

Well, anyway, it turned out eventually that Bad Hair Days had a forum/bulletin board thingamajig attached to it. I nosed around it once or twice, and was a bit intimidated - and then right about that time they changed over to another format that was much more user-friendly, and I joined and immediately was hooked. This was in August 2001 - I remember that because while I had been talking a bit before September 11th, there were people on the board with more immediate connections to it then mine and I shut up completely for a solid two weeks. Eventually I started talking again, and one thing I quickly learned was that since it was Beth's board, and Beth was a journaller, a whole lot of the other people who hung around there were too. And a lot of them had known each other for a number of years. But I fit in tolerably well, and it became my favorite way to waste time: go find out what they were talking about today and, well, express an opinion. I think it tells you something about the closeness of the group there that in 2002 (I think it was) the whole board crashed and the members immediately chipped in several thousand dollars to buy a new server, which was christened Belinda (after Belinda Carlisle - it was some sort of running joke which I can't remember the details of right now). Belinda is still running the board from Beth and Jeremy's basement today.

So the next thing that happened was that I decided I wanted a journal too, since, y'know, all the cool kids had one. Plus there was a journaling convention in Austin later that year that I wanted to go to, that was definitely a factor. This was in 2003, and I think I fiddled around with diaryland a bit before I decided that it seemed to mostly be populated by 15-year-old girls with pictures of fairies on their front pages. (It wasn't really true but it seemed that way.) So I settled on Diary-X instead. And that went just fine until Diary-X crashed and burned a couple of years later and it turned out that there were no backups and everything was lost. So that kind of sucked. But I had a Livejournal account by that time so I just switched to blogging over there about general things.

And sometime before that (in the fall of 2004, this was - what I'm not entirely sure about is when Diary-X did its swan dive) I started a quilt blog here on Blogspot. And I did that pretty regularly for about four years. I never had a huge, huge readership (this was mostly before "followers" and such on Blogger so it's hard to have any concrete idea) but I definitely had some regular readers, anyway. It's sort of heartbreaking for me to read back over the entries there because I started that up just before my mother was diagnosed with brain cancer, and since my mother was also a quilter, I talk about her a whole lot there. And after she died in 2007 I never really quilted too much. I did do some but my life has been chaos since then - first I was busy being an executor, and then later that year we moved, and then there was the storm, as previously chronicled, and another move, and then my unexpected new life as a student. I haven't even set up the sewing machine! (I really need to do that one of these days.)

I started this blog last year - I think I partly named it thinking I would just use it to point to pretty things I found - and somehow at the time that never happened. Livejournal is getting pretty quiet - its future is sort of a subject of ongoing debate, really - but it's not dead yet and hopefully will keep limping along for a while, at the very least. Still, I think that's a factor in why I decided to pick this up again. I need a conversation! (So if you read this far, let me know, please!!)

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