19 Sept. 2021. When I realized that I'd pretty much abandoned the blog Wine Poured, I wrung my hands, then I pulled the plug. Too many directions at once. Complicating, not simplifying. Facebook has become my day-to-day la-di-dah. But for longer thoughts, I still have good old Mad in Pursuit, my online stage since 1999.
I began thinking about these things as I anticipate needing a "launch platform" for my nonfiction novel Kitty's People. I discovered, most importantly, that writing has been good for me.
When I reviewed all my social media memberships, I remembered that I'd published several articles at Medium in 2019. I didn't set the world on fire, but apparently wound up getting over 60 followers. I decided to experiment putting my little essays there, building up a possible audience for Kitty.
There is so much wrong with Medium. Everything is behind a paywall. Writers can get paid if they get enough readers, so the platform is jam-packed with people thinking they can generate a "passive income" by spewing out an enormous amount of writing tailored to trigger the right algorithm or to click-bait people in reading their crap. Conclusion: it's no substitute for Mad in Pursuit essays directed at a specific non-paying audience.
On the other hand, I now see Medium as a writer-to-writer platform. It doesn't advertise itself as a social network, but, gosh, what a vast array of writers from all over the world struggling to make their voices heard. I love the energetic young ones. And I love the old codgers like myself, who are turning to writing in retirement. For all the crap, there is a lot of good, heartfelt writing too.
I started my writing "clean up" by making sure I had copies of all my Wine Poured entries in Word before the blog goes dark.
With that done, I began transferring out all the early Mad in Pursuit entries that have been online since 2002. Do I really need to keep that navel-gazing public? No.
But then, in a different folder I found the transcripts of every online post I made since the inception of Mad in Pursuit as an anonymous act of rebellion in July 1999.
Oh my God.
Did I need that trip down memory lane? Did I need to relive the angst of my nightsweat-soaked early fifties? Made me glad to have made it past 70--and with Jim still by my side. Our turn-of-the-century journey together was way tougher than whatever we're going through now, even with his cognitive decline.
But the amazing part to me is how I kept writing through it all. Publicly, online, with a disguised identity. My rants gradually gave way to memories of my youth, which paved the way for writing down family history.
Between 2009 and 2011, I wrote Tribe of the Breakaway Beads. Allow me now to think of that collection of stories as a banquet, made from the harvest of all those seeds planted in my early, wordy diary postings.
I'd like to figure out how to encourage others to do the same--to tell your own seed-stories in the medium of your choice, to keep at it till harvest, when you can have a grand banquet of it. Your story. Your way.
HEADLONG: Over the Edge in Pakistan and China (2018) Traveler's tale of a 1992 adventure. A poorly planned roadtrip takes long-time lovers Susan and Jim to forbidden places and lost times. Kindle.
THE SUDDEN SILENCE: A Tale of Suspense and Found Treasure (2015) Thailand: lovers of ancient treasure tangle with international black markets. Delia Rivera pulls Martin Moon back into the game and their quest turns deadly. In paperback and Kindle editions.
TRIBE OF THE BREAKAWAY BEADS: Book of Exits and Fresh Starts (2011) Time after time, Mary asks herself: Do I go or do I stay? She finds her power in her ancestors: Smart women turn discontent into action. An illustrated memoir in paperback and Kindle editions.
PASSION AND PERIL ON THE SILK ROAD: A Thriller in Pakistan and China (2008) The twin forces of revenge and redemption drive Nellie MacKenzie and Taylor Jackson on a crazed adventure into the heart of Central Asia. They grapple with issues of ethics, trust, rage, and bitter heartbreak -- as well as the intrigue of the international antiquities trade. In paperback and Kindle editions.
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