April 11, 2003

Little Fragments Turns One

It just occurred to me that I have now been blogging for a year. Anniversaries like this usually don't slip past me without notice, but in our world, there have been a few distractions of late... I think you probably feel it too. And at this precise moment toward bedtime, in the middle of a week of floods and winds that rage while the grass grows and spring happens hidden in a cold fog, I'm thinking that maybe I've about said everything I have to say. I've told a good many of my old snake stories and veggies tales and dredged up sundry childhood memories of all kinds... silly and sad... and have evolved in this writing effort to become just unselfconscious enough to post them all... a pox on all the critics.

I've created peans to wind, wood and water. I've extolled the rain, the aromas of nature, and the sound of toads and whippoorwills. Four seasons have gone by here on the weblog, and I've attempted to bring you along with the procession with the help of a fair number of pictures... of the barn (in a variety of poses) and of this old house; of bees and wasps and butterflies, up close and personal; of wild flowers, garden vegetables, fungus and ice. You've been inside the house, up on the ridge looking down on the valley in snow and sun, and squinted as the sun glints like diamonds from the crystal surface of our little creek. You've heard tales of mysteries of unidentified things flying overhead, odd sounds in the night, creeks surging miraculously within moments; and what few real adventures or peak moments I have known since last April, you've pretty well been dragged along with me as a part of that, too. It just turns out that that is what Fragments has grown up to be, all by itself, here at its first birthday... which has coincided quite closely with my 55th.

And I wonder: what will become of this burgeoning bundle of birdcalls and bucolic banter now that it is heading into its terrible twos? I'm not setting out a plan for it. I'm just wondering how things will evolve now that you've seen and heard a good bit of what I wanted you to know about the Strange Farmer and his life on Goose Creek. Where are we going now? My own best advice to myself:

Turn off Sitemeter and ignore 'stats', and read and post more about what others are saying and doing (avoiding the geopolitical realm as much as possible). Don't be driven to post every day, but continue trying to write every day (this may be hard, to write with no audience). Be patient and see what moves you, inspires you, angers or saddens you, and see if you can do a better job of fleshing out the feel of it. Don't be constrained by the sound bite preferences of readers flitting about the blogs like honeybees on clover, or driven to say too much about too little. Don't let your writing be market-driven and ignore Blogstreet. Be a happy little Insignificant Microbe and let the punditry duke it out in the Sentient Beings parts of the blogosphere.

I came home tonight and found more than a dozen 'Happy Birthday' wishes from people I had never heard of a year ago. I must say, in lieu of warm living humans about us here, you blogger-friends have been at times the next-best thing, and I value your readership and your friendship. During the year, I've had the pleasure of having three of you come to the house for visits, and expect a couple more Fragments friends here in the coming months. The best part of blogging has been the people.

There have been some 'successes' in the writing for its own sake, which, if there was a point to starting Fragments, that was some of it. Four of the little stories I've told have ended up in broadcast essays on the radio, and this has brought new readers and new friends; one was published in a national pet magazine; one was read at the Christmas eve service at church. More than a few have been of the sort that exemplify the "how do I know what I think until I see what I say" variety. Some of these have surprised me, and some disappointed. Getting up in the early morning, sitting down at the keyboard to write has been a time of discovery and joy in what comes mysteriously from my typing fingers; a tortured time of exasperation and disgust with my inabilities to know what I feel, much less to say it well; and a time of real exchange with real people who I will never see, but remain even so, in a sense, my friends.

Happy Anniversary, Fragments. And my best to all of you who've suffered through its first year. From here on, it's terra incognita. Caveat emptor.

Posted by fred1st at April 11, 2003 06:07 AM | TrackBack

Congrats, buddy, Hope everyone up your way is staying warm and dry....

Posted by: ronbailey at April 11, 2003 06:22 AM

Geez, 2 Birthdays in a row, how lucky can a guy get?

Posted by: bogie at April 11, 2003 06:35 AM

What wonderful sentiment, Fred. I feel like blogging is another way for me to see where life might take me. It's always opening up doors and, sometimes, my mind if not eyes, with surprises here and there.

Hippo Burpday Blog!

Posted by: Alexandra at April 11, 2003 11:56 AM

One year, huh, Fred? Wow. Congratulations!

Posted by: sainteros at April 11, 2003 02:48 PM

Happy Anniversary! Been a fairly regular visitor to your site for a few months now, and I think you should just keep on doing what you're doing - looks fine to me.
Thanks for sharing.

Posted by: Woody at April 11, 2003 05:09 PM

Birthdays and Anniversaries should be celebrated wildly and profusely. I'm GLAD you were born, and GLAD you started blogging so I could get to know you.

Many happy returns of the occasion, Fred!

Posted by: Pascale Soleil at April 11, 2003 06:14 PM

when I read this entry I remembered you're old blog I forgot all about. That was back when I first started nosing around, wondering what a blog was. At that time I already was working on puting up an online journal, and found this wierd word around when I started to search out others of "blog." Sounds a bit like something from a bad sci-fi/alien movie. That was back when you called it goosecreek something or something right? It was a whole different world, very dark colors, not terribly refined design in the details, to this completely opposite bright with all kinds of fancy "" type details! I didn't realize though that it must have been only several months old when I first logged on to your old one, and then it was transferred from that advertising ridden blogspot I believe to this fancy world! Hope I do as well as you in a year! Always liked your blog, have fun.

Posted by: Josh at April 11, 2003 07:00 PM

P.S. - happy birthday!

I always remember something I forgot after I hit the post button on a blog comment!

Posted by: Josh at April 11, 2003 07:05 PM

Fred - happy birthday/anniversary. I love coming to your site - it's always a refreshing part of my day. I haven't forgotten the assignment you gave me quite a few months back - just haven't had time to compile it. Thank you for your words and pictures, sentiments, sharings and musings from the country. connie

Posted by: connie at April 11, 2003 09:00 PM

Congrats and thanks. Your "own best advice" is so good to read. Sound, practical, wise.

Posted by: boynton at April 11, 2003 10:47 PM

Happy Anniversary, Fred!

As always, you're my calm in the midst of the storm that is my life.

Posted by: Da Goddess at April 13, 2003 12:35 AM

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