I’ve wanted to do more with the blog for a while or I’ve been wanting to do more with the blog for a while for precisely that reason. There has been a time over which I’ve wanted to do more with the blog so “I’ve been wanting” seems correct in that it conveys a continual desire over time, but it also seems clunky. “I’ve wanted” leaves it open as to whether I was occasionally hit by a passing fancy. I didn’t even attempt “I wanted.” That makes it sound like I considered and abandoned an attractive idea.
It’s a saw that you can break grammar rules when you know them and I’ve got personal experience that says the rules aren’t always the best way to precisely convey information. I bought a used copy of Warriner’s English Grammar as a refresher and we have a lot of writer on writing books at the house an a few snarky titles like The Deluxe Intransitive Vampire. I’ve wanted to do more with the blog because I think improved clarity will come as a byproduct of practice and grumbling at oddball constructions that either carry the right rhythm but also ambiguity or tell the reader exactly what I mean to say without the slightest hint of wit or character.
My composition has changed over the last year or so and I like the direction but want to keep some of my old rambling ways. I sound like C.S. Lewis’s miserable attempted Christian who makes with pieties toward giving himself to Christ but wants to hold back some remnant of his old self. I’m going to stumble a lot, but that’s okay.
I have a few ideas to play around with immediately. Book reflections are tempting. The phrase “book reflections” makes me want to vomit a little bit but “book reports” calls to mind those awful formulaic things I had to write as a kid in school: “Mr. Nabokov’s book Lolita is a very good book which addresses many issues. Among them are… I very much enjoyed this book and plan on reading it again.” “Book reviews” promises a learned assessment of a work and I’m not likely to provide that. “Reflections” will have to do for now. They’ll be about things that struck me about or while reading the book. The likelihood is that they’ll start as tangents and veer wildly off into whatever realm my mind directed me as I read or contemplated after reading but my expoundings will be generated by ideas in the book.
Loose journal entries are coming too. I do a lot of research online and otherwise in the process of putting together my weekly POETS Day posts for Ordinary Times. A lot of what I find is interesting but doesn’t make it into the article. This would be as good a place to consider stuff like that as any, and that’s what I envision the journal posts to be: a written thought process where I follow an idea or interest. I’m going to open it up to whatever strikes me.
Speaking of POETS Day, It was recently that I asked permission from the OT powers that be to repost here at TCG (I’m also going to start referring to this site by some cool shorthand so teenagers will refer to it in Instagram essays – I’m just trying on TCG right now but it’s not bad [emoji!]) and I’ve been doing so as new ones are published but I wrote almost fifty of them before that and they are mine to put up here as I please. I want to start doing a mid-week archived POETS Day post for those interested. I’m going to sort them as the moment moves me so they won’t be chronological unless that’s how the moment moves me. Big point here: No saying I’ve gotten lazy when I run out of the old ones and go back to one poet per week.
One of the skills I hope writing practice builds is a facility listing things without simple saying “And another thing,” or “I’d also like.” That gets boring. Until that develops, another thing I’d like to feature is an opinion sounding board. It helps me to work out why I believe what I do in print. I’ve done this before in notebooks and such. I don’t like to express ideas I can’t defend so I attack my own conclusions or at least lay out my reasons for reaching them in a way that can be studied and searched for flaws.
So, expect all that stuff I said. Expect a lot of posts between two and three-hundred (should that be “two- and three-hundred”?) words on really weighty issues that must be wrestled with lest our Republic or even our souls be imperiled or about why I used to have to get some shoes in one size and other shoes in another but last week when I bought three pairs of shoes for completely different foot coverage reasons I was able to get them all in 11 ½. A lot of my posts are going to seem like long form Twitter. That’s okay by me.
Recipes. I forgot about recipes. There will be those too and some other stuff I forgot about/haven’t thought of yet. See ya’round.