On Blogging

Steampunk TypewriterThese are excerpts from some frequently asked questions and an interview I did a while back on my writing and blogging.

I started blogging in 2005, but I’ve been involved in the Internet and online publishing for right at 20 years. Blogging came later and suddenly it was the thing, I started my first blog to provide a discussion area for Magic Stream, my first web site, which is a self-help and holistic wellness literary zine.

I’m a word smyth. I like reading and writing and I have been a writer in some way all of my adult life. Actually, I started writing for serious in high school. I wrote for the school paper and I helped Daddy write sermon outlines. Since then, I’ve written articles, poetry, web sites, news reports, political analysis, technical papers, etc., it’s a long list. I’ve covered everything from social issues to rocket science. Blogging also has its own style though and it lends to more personal discussion of everyday life than some of the other writing styles. That is what I love about blogging, as both a reader and a writer both, I like the more personal aspects of blogging, the connectedness in the writing that makes us all human.

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Why blog?

I had been involved with online publishing for a while when the blogging craze hit, I hate to say I jumped in because everybody else was doing it, but I jumped in because everybody else was doing it. Not to be flip, but if you are active at all in publishing, any kind of publishing, you have to keep up with the trends and what is going on in the industry.  Things change so fast, if you work online and you spend too much time blinking your eye, you are left behind in the dust before you know what hit you. Since then though, blogging has been a whole lot more than just a chore on a list that I need to get done. Blogging is here to stay. It fills a need for readers and writers both.

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My first website

My website, Magic Stream, has been in publication right at twenty years as of this past spring. I am pretty happy with that. Early on, I was aware that a lot of people got rich and famous online while I was off building what amounted to a mission, providing self-help information. I don’t have a clue how many times I started to just fold it up because I never made anything on it, and it was a lot of work to boot, but people were still coming, and how do you build a mission and lock the door while people are standing there. So I keep it up. I feel like in some way, I was supposed to do that and I am glad I did and I still maintain it. At its most basic it is part of who I am and what I believe in.FBLogo4Whatever we do in life, I think it is important to give something back to the community, as we are able and whatever our talents. We are all different and we do different things. Magic Stream is my contribution.  People go there for information on addictions, mental health, various emotional issues, how to help somebody who is suicidal, aging, depression, end of life issues and the list goes on. If it has to do with some kind of emotional or mental health issue, I have probably either covered it on Magic Stream or I can refer you to somebody who has.

On a personal note, I probably spent more time denying the spirituality of it all than I want to admit. But it’s been a part of it all along and this past summer I enrolled in my first seminary class, an inter-faith curriculum, which is in line with much of what I already do. I am not looking to pastor a church, but I am looking to bring more of the spirituality that was there all along out of the proverbial closet.

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What inspires me?

Talk about inspiration. People inspire me, everyday people. Friends and family. I love to see what people do and hear the stories of their life. Their families, their dreams, their work, things they do, their projects, and their pets, their kids. Their ailments. Dealing with their ailments. Life is not easy for much of anybody, but the sharing of the journey is awesome. I love it all.

Politics inspire me too. A lot of people love to declare their hate for politics, but for me, politics are a necessary part of a democracy and I do believe in democracy. Democracy is not magic and sometimes it gets dirty and it takes work, every single generation along the way doing their part to leave things just a little better for those who come after. I love getting out there and trying to work toward making things better.

Over the years, I have done a pretty fair amount of editorial work dealing with politics, as a writer and editor both. Odd though, early on, it was more on a national level, somehow I felt like the national politics were more important than the state, now I am not so sure about that at all. In fact, I am pretty sure I was wrong about that one. In the scheme of things, I am pretty green when it comes to Alabama politics. Big mistake, live and learn, but I’m on it now. Sometimes I do get political.

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My work

I am a word smyth and I love my work. I write and edit both. I’ve been writing long enough and have enough bylines, I love helping others along to their writing dreams and ambitions just as much as I do fulfilling my own. Sometimes I think if I had it to do over, I might do something else, maybe pick some form of aerospace focused mechanical engineering, I seriously love rocket science, or maybe I’d just go straight into politics. Who knows. The thing is, I am doing the work that I love now and it allows me the opportunity to support causes and efforts that I think are important and at the end of the day, I can write about them all and sometimes I do.

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Lifelong learning

Word smyths never stop learning. The hardest part about college was I wanted to take everything and learn everything. I love that about my work, especially with my editing, I work with a lot of different people in a whole lot of different fields, learning about their work while I help them with their editorial needs, like even when I was over at NASA writing, I got to learn about rocket science, now that is something, I totally loved that experience.

My editorial work has given me the opportunity to learn a lot of different things that I would have not been exposed to and learn otherwise. And I love to learn. It gives me a good solid background in knowing what is going on in the world around me too,  but I have a good time too. I also take an occasional creative binge, and that too is part of the word smyth business.

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The creative side

I always have something creative I am working on too. Sometimes I like to push on the creative edges. But of all the writers I know, it probably took me the longest to finally come out with a book, and I’ve been writing all my life.  I am on it now though. Last year, I debuted my first fiction on Amazon Kindle. It is part of a series of short, stand along stories, like the saying “art for art’s sake.” They are all very different in genre, mood, and style, a painting if you will in words. Journey: A Short Fiction (The Lost Writing Series Book 1), the first one, is a mashup, a romantic surrealistic excursion into madness. Everybody who reads it comes away with a little something different, reads it different, kind of like an abstract painting. What do you see in it? Every answer is different. Journey
is available on Amazon.

Journey is available for Kindle on Amazon.

Journey is available for Kindle on Amazon.

BlueLine-SmallMy next upcoming is back to my Southern hill country roots, Moonshine Revival or Justice in Possum Tree Gulch. What could be better than a good strong drink on a hot summer night? It will be my next fiction out.

For now, it’s a revamp on the blog.

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My writer connections:

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