Sunday, January 1, 2012

It's not that I didn't have anything to say -why I stopped blogging two years back, that is. No, it was a million other things. And I suppose I should get all that out of the way, before I really get back into it, so that may take a month or two.

Or I could re-start by answering the question, "Why re-start?" Or I could go into what one can expect to read on this blog. Who I am, and how I've changed, and what I see and how I see it.

But all that sounds so B O R I N G, but which, now that I think of it, was a lot of what I meant by 'The Most Significant Thing'. That all the ordinary-ness of life, all the mundane dark matter that makes up the bulk of our existence, really is significant. That the meaning is found in there, in each getting-out-of-bed and getting-to-work experience. Each person you meet, each place you go. Every small, daily act of faith that encounters every doubter's utterance calling it into question. Work. Family. Country. God... You know... The Most Significant Things.

But that's The Old And Busted. Welcome to this, The New Hotness. "The Million Word Blog," in all its depraved construct, right here on the old Blogspot.

It looks different, the Blogspot, since I last visited. And I am hoping that it's all not just a mere button re-arrangement and font-and-pixel change, but rather a sincere re-imagining of the site. Something internet-y that is dedicated to more than a 140-character profun-ditty. Because, Lord knows, if this world needs anything right now, it's more characters. Anyway, I'm going to try not to get my hopes up. And if you're reading this, I beg you to extend the same courtesy to these million words.

So, why a million words?

Because I couldn't think of anything else. Because it sounds like a nice round number. Because it sounds a bit crazy, and maybe impossible. Because a million words "of crap" is what Raymond Chandler said you had to get out of your system before you learned to write anything publishable. Not that I'm trying to get published. But I would like to get good at something. Something significant. Like, perhaps, simple literacy.

And if you've got an online journal with no clear subject matter except your own amusing/petulant observations, how do you end the thing when you get bored of it all? I figure, after a million words. I hope to do it in under 5 years. Seems plausible. Err, possible. Plausibly potentially possible, to add a few more words. I claim not that the words make sense or ever will.

WORD COUNT is the only ground rule. And "no quotes" -even though I just quoted Raymond Chandler a few sentences ago. But that was in the construct of what I'm talking about, and not just some thoughtful, daily platitude that you may be compelled to agree with only because someone famous said it once. No. These have to be my words, in order for the thing to be legitimate. And, since I'm the one making the rules, I am going to grant myself a free three-fer every day, by including the date. Hey, writing is hard. If you do it every day, you deserve a threefer.

I remember in a creative writing class in college my teacher saying that, "Well of course you must write every day! If you want to be a writer, you will write every day! Every day and all the time! You don't have a choice!" And I remember my immediate thought, which was: Shit. If that's true, I will never be a writer. Because I knew I was an undisciplined free spirit, and lamely proud of it.

That was twenty years ago. She was right. I still remember her attitude and her enthusiasm and her encouragement. And her name: Dyza Sauers. It's a good name. I don't know what happened to her, but by the end of the course I had thought, maybe I can do this...

And no cussing. Not to be confused with cursing. Cursing, it seems, is a necessary part of experiencing the indifference of life. Cussing, on the other hand, is little more than evidence of a poor vocabulary, and runs contrary to the million word objective. So I will not be using the Seven Forbidden Words on this blog.

Even though I said "shit" a few sentences ago.

But that was in reference to the old me. The new me is happily married in the suburbs with two kids, two cats, and another one on the way. (Kid, not cat. We have enough cats.) I have a picket fence and an SUV. I have chores, hobbies, a job, a mortgage, and high-speed Internet. I don't want to be a cusser anymore. And certainly not in front of the kids.

Who, by the way, have no idea of the cussing, undisciplined failure I once was. It is one of the grand blessings of life that when your children are born, you have a golden opportunity to re-invent yourself. I know nothing of my parents and who they were before I was born, and that my older siblings know a little more of my mom and dad than I do seems to detach them from me, somehow. But here we are. If I start writing now, and if I do it every day, my kids will say, "My Dad? Oh, he's a writer." And, because I am a proud and tortured and insecure soul, that is a preferable thing to: "My Dad? Oh, he builds aluminum patio covers." At which point, they embarrassedly change the subject.

So, a million words. It'll be a good start. You don't have to read them all. They might not even make sense all the time. But I do have the few minor ground rules. And the word count. In any case, I expect a million words will change a man, whether he writes them, reads them, or is brainwashed by them, so choosing significant words would be preferable, if not altogether wise.

But a million significant words? Let’s be serious.