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I began this blog in April of 2006 when I tried to comment on the new blog of an old friend and somehow didn't see how to do it without creating a Blogger account. This was, clearly, back before Google owned Blogger. I saw later how to just comment, but I'd already taken the plunge.
My blog was never meant to be an actual journal of daily life, never really a way for friends and family to keep track of us. I wasn't interested in that. I wanted only to write.
A few years before I made a list of things from my childhood that I wanted to write about. I think I wrote two essays. I emailed them to my dad (and probably also my mom) to read. He's not an easy critic, and he was impressed. But I never did more. So I saw this as an opportunity to continue with these stories. I'm not sure that I've actually blogged anything off of that list, but I've been inspired by my thoughts and feelings and other memories that have arisen as I went.
I used to post about twice a month. That was my goal, at any rate. But sometimes it was less. My audience of 6 consisted of my dad, my mom, my college roommate Jenny, sometimes my HS best bud Kelly, a dear friend from forever Laura, and the occasional person who actually followed the link that is at the bottom of all of my emails. Jenny used to comment on each post. Sometimes I'd get an email from my mom or Laura about a post. Once my dad emailed me that he thought I should have a much broader readership than I did. Laura emailed me that she thought I could write a column. But really, it never mattered much to me. I was writing for myself. And I read my posts much more frequently than I wrote them.
Then this summer I moved to Idaho after 14 years in Southern California. And I am glad, but I have felt very displaced. For some reason, at this same time, one of my sometimes-readers who many of you know as Clan of the Cave Hair seemed to be visiting my blog a little more frequently and I was checking out hers more in return. I was impressed with all of her readers, all of these friends that she had in the blogging world. For a while I really assumed that these were all people she knew in real life who happened to blog. I'd been "blogging" for two years, but had never really entered any portion of the blogging community and did not understand how it ticked.
So, being lonely, I started peeking in on some of these blogs of gals who commented on Lisa's posts. But I would never presume to comment. These people didn't know me and would probably be annoyed that I was invading their privacy. But then on Brittany's blog (an author, WOW) there was a post or two about a meet and greet. After a couple of readings I realized that everyone was meeting each other. Like, for the first time. I think Brittany was the first person who's blog I commented on. She loves Jane Austen books, and so do I, and I thought that might give me an in. She didn't seem to mind, so I continued.
I can't remember all the details of how this blogging experience blossomed for me, but it gradually did. And I came to understand that most of these girls (and men, Ca-Joh) were a lot like me. Not the kids at the cool table, as I'd originally assumed, but misfit kids and insecure ones and funny ones and sweet ones and neurotic ones and pretty normal ones. I found that I could make friends. Not fake friends. Real friends. Just on-line.
I also realized that I'd need to post more often than twice a month to keep an audience. Figuring out just how to do that continues to be a challenge for me. I don't want tons of fluff on here. I don't mind and even quite enjoy reading it other places, but I want to keep the purpose of this blog largely in tact as a place for me to write.
That is not why I want begin to post the occasional "Friday Flashback." I want to do it because I've written some pretty good stuff in the past nearly three years, if I do say so myself, and I'd love to have more than 6 people read it. (I may even get 12 people to read it now!) Look for my first flashback on the 16th. I'll pick a good 'un.