Today has been what Pam, my darling wife, terms a kitty cat day. I got up later than usual and took my time with my morning routine. I sat drinking coffee and talking with Pam. I was telling her about my burst of writing since I started blogging again and she showed me a piece of mail that she had received from the Wider Quaker Fellowship.
It was a pamphlet written in memory of Tom Fox, a volunteer in Iraq with Christian Peace Team. He recorded his experiences, before he was kidnapped and subsequently killed, on a blog titled Waiting in the Light. His life was inspirational, but the reaction to his death was even more so. He didn’t want to sacrifice himself but he was prepared to do what ever was necessary to follow his calling to help the people of Iraq.
I felt compelled to read the memorial portion of the pamphlet out loud but when I got to the portion about his memorial service, I got choked up. It was a very touching story. I recommend reading some of the posts in his blog. He was a great and courageous man.
Don’t get your hopes up. I’m not sure this will last. I think it’s more a symptom of the novelty of being back online combined with a particularly slack time at work. I probably won’t be able to keep up the pace of posting daily but we’ll see.
I don’t plan to allow comments for a while. I will probably loosen up later but the only comments that I got before were all spam. That, I can live without. Maybe having been offline for so long will lessen the amount of comment spam attempts that I get.
I guess I should tell anyone that bothers to read this blog, I’m writing this for me. If it is interesting and you want to read it, that’s fine with me. If it’s not interesting and you don’t read it, that’s fine too. I have this enduring belief that, the more you do something, the better you become at it. I also think that if you know that someone may be watching you, you behave differently than if you know that you are totally alone. Consequently, by posting this on the web where anyone can read it, I’m forcing myself to take a bit more care with my writing.
Postscript: After writing and posting this entry I found a post on Jeff Atwood’s Coding Horror that essentially said the same thing that I said above about practicing writing by blogging. It’s nice to find people that you don’t even know that support what you say :-).
I was reading one of Paul Graham’s essays yesterday. He was distinguishing between writing essays where you polish the ideas for several weeks and the various types of ad-hoc writing like journals, diaries and blogs. Diaries are impromptu personal impressions. Journals are a little more subjective records of daily occurences.
Blogs, on the other hand cover a bit more territory. There is the clip blog that consists of short paragraphs that contain links to cool sites that the blogger has encountered while surfing.
Then there is the episodic blog that is more like a journal or diary. The entries are usually several paragraphs long. Beyond that, there is a lot of variation in content. Some are very personal and others or more like journals.
The third type of blogs are what I’ll call essay blogs. Essay bloggers often post much less frequently than the other types of bloggers but they typically have more to say. And what they say is much better thought out and expressed. Some essay bloggers probably rip an entry off like a long email but I suspect that most work on it for several days or more.
So, what’s the point of this ramble, you ask? I have been trying to decide what kind of blog this is going to be. I have pretty much totally rejected the idea of making it a clip blog. If you want to see what I’m reading go to my del.icio.us page. I’m pretty good about posting the cool things I read there. I’ll even try to beef up my descriptions a little bit.
I think the posts here will vary between being episodic and essay like, probably with the emphasis on the former. I rarely take the time to work on a piece enough to call it an essay. When I spend that much time writing something, it’s usually fiction. More on that later.
I got hacked. It was pointless and ugly. I screwed up my database before I thought to back it up. Restoring it was more hassle than I cared to endure for the blog anyway. I hope WordPress 2.0 is more secure. I do plan to back this one up.
I feel kind of like someone had spray painted the front of my house for no good reason. At least repairing this damage is less expensive than getting rid of graffiti.