About This Site

Writing

I’ve always loved writing, but it wasn’t until about 2009 that I really became confident in my writing. Being such a critical person I was even more critical of my writing than other peoples’, so I often had problems with self-confidence.

I’ve always enjoyed writing. It not only helps me focus, but it forces me to slow down and pay attention to details that I’d otherwise speed past.  I’ve also been writing family history for at least a decade now, and that process really opened up the excitement of story-telling to me.

Yes, writing takes time, but the perspective and knowledge I gain from stopping to smell the roses is well worth it.  I think I’m confident, and focused, enough now to dive completely into this new world that I’ve always admired but never felt a part of.

“The times, they are a-changin’.” – Bob Dylan

Blogging

I’ve tried, off and on, since 2005 to keep a steady blog. I’m naturally incapable of focusing in one thing at a time when there are so many amazing things in this world and I couldn’t focus on a single topic to base a blog from. At least until I started John’s Beer Guide.  Writing reviews of beers finally got me comfortable with the format and the act of writing habitually.

My awkward use of Facebook over the years has really helped me identify both things that I want to externalize, what share with the world (something I’ve never been good at doing), and/or what happens in my life that would make for a good story.  Facebook has its limits, though, especially for an introvert like me.  I exist so much better in a world that I create rather than in a chaotic, unpredictable environment.  Such a forum is great for gathering views of other people, though, and I have found myself using Facebook for that reason frequently.

Citizen Reporters

I had a dream back in 1999 about citizen reporters.  It wasn’t the media conglomerates that were reporting the real news.  It was the everyday person.  People took turns being spotlight reporters.  My dream was based around a capital city that had descended into a military-controlled state.  It had closed its borders, and people were not allowed to come or go, but people could communicate via electronic stories.  This was well before  blogs were popularized, and I’m not sure that I even knew what a blog was back then.

The Grand Editor

In the Stars?

“You have some very strong gifts. They give you something to do and you figure it out. You’re very good at figuring things out. You’re very good at putting the material world in order… The question: How will I best use these gifts? How do I become critical of things and not of people, for example? How do I feel critical of the correct faults in myself? Maybe you could be a little more relaxed? You could be critical about your critical nature.

“You could be a good writer, and you could maybe even write for children. That’s interesting. You probably won’t need an editor ever. You would actually make a good editor, but you wouldn’t be an editor because there’s a very creative part of yourself. You do like to take inordinate information and reorganize it, and then represent it. That, in a way, is editorial, a manipulation of information. For example, to tell the story of the past in the present.” – Mehtab

So, is blogging the answer?  Writing certainly is, but to find the format, vehicle, and topic is the real challenge.

I don’t trust computers, and I feel that a blog or website is too sensitive to unauthorized change and data loss.  I want what I write to be on paper, but it just so happens that this forum appears to be the most flexible, robust, and easiest ways to organize and prepare what will eventually go onto paper.  It even supports version control, something that our grandfathers never had on a typewriter.

Why is it so important?

Writing, especially in this format, really allows me to organize my thoughts.  As I research family history the best way I’ve found to keep track of the minutia of the lives and stories of my ancestors is to write about their lives in story form.  Most people keep family trees and use software to keep track of a person’s metadata, but I’ve found that doing that really doesn’t help me understand their lives at all.  It’s like a history teacher that only teaches in terms of facts and figures instead of telling the story, and having those facts in figures as supplements to the real history.  I need those stories to help me understand and remember what’s actually happening.  The stories on this site help me in the same way.  They help me understand my own thoughts, as unorganized as it is in my head, and present it in a manner that’s even more understandable than it was in my head.  And it’s alleviating.

It almost feels like I can let loose a little, make room for other thoughts, like being pregnant, I can give birth to a thought, raise it in writing, then release it to the world so I can conceive another.  It’s not healthy for me to keep too many thoughts pent up inside this head, especially as I get older. I have always felt stressed in my mental abilities when things are organized or when I can’t wrap my mind around something.  Writing and putting things “onto paper,” as they say, is almost like opening the curtains for me. Getting these thoughts out of my head really clears out the clouds that roll in when my mind gets too cluttered.

This site is not as much about my experiences, views, or beliefs themselves, but rather about what I’ve learned from having experiences, observations, or thoughts.