I’m in a bit of a reflective mood this evening, albeit not a melancholy one, so there’s no need to flee in terror that I might be sharing one of those sad stories where I was really sad during sad times. [Insert sad emoji.] This is more a ponderance on how my writing is going, where I plan to go with it from here, and what impact social media has had on said writing. It sounds rather clinical and drab, but stick with me. This is Bonnywood. Even I don’t where this story is going. It will tell itself, as it usually does.
In the last week, this blog managed to pass the 5,000 mark in the number of followers. (I fully expected a clever little message to arrive from the WordPress Gods, acknowledging my ascension into a moderately-special level in the pyramid scheme. This did not happen. The number clicked over with no fanfare, whatsoever. I was at my high-shool senior prom with no date, that sort of thing.)
I realize that follower stats are, to a large degree, meaningless. The vast majority of folks who follow this blog (and any blog, really) only dropped by one time, hit the follow button and then ran for the hills, never looking back. That’s the nature of the yeast, here on WordPress. The bread bakes in mysterious ways.
There’s a second subset of followers, wherein folks hang around for a while, cultivating a friendship that is really genuine. We laugh together, we cry together, we do each other’s hair at virtual slumber parties. Then, one day, the doorbell stops ringing. I do wonder what happened, but I know that the answer can be anything from I pissed them off with a certain post to life intervened in some way and our anchors unmoored. Something went awry. But the friendship is still there, still warm, never fully fading, and I will answer the door if it rings again.
The third subset? Well, that would be the folks who walked in the door and made themselves at home and have been with me ever since. I don’t care about the numbers. I care about these people, the people who stay. Everything I scribble or re-scribble at Bonnywood is for you. I don’t dare try to list any names, for fear of leaving someone critical out, but I hope each of you realize that you will always have a chair on the Bonnywood patio, wherein we sip the wine and nibble the bits and share the stories.
[Sounds of notecard shuffling.]
An hour or so ago, I posted my 10,000th tweet on Twitter.
This astounds me. Not due to any admirable productivity on my part, but because I still don’t understand how that mess works. I have never been a hashtag afficionado, nor have I grasped how to capitalize on what might be trending at the time. I simply share things that I find interesting, end of story. I just didn’t realize that I was sharing that much, until I happened to check the stats, which I rarely do. Apparently, I am.
So, I feel compelled to say this: I hope some of you are aware that the majority of my tweets are shares of the stories on your own blogs. I’m not stating that to garner any praise. I just want you to know that somebody out there appreciates your efforts and is doing his small part to maybe, possibly, get a tiny bit of attention in your direction. We independent writers and artists are all in this together, and you never know when one little click might tilt the scales.
And, just so I don’t ruffle any feathers, some of you on Twitter have been very gracious with your acknowledgements of my subtle cheerleading. Thank you for that. I may not always reply, but I click the hell out of that “heart” button.
Finally, The Writing.
As I often babble, I am always working on multiple books at the same time. This lack of focus is a major reason why I haven’t published anything for six years. I hopscotch and I piddle. That’s the roadmap of the neural pathways in my brain. But I need to get serious. Hell, I’m 55. My knees can’t hopscotch like they used to, with ligaments snapping hither and yon. So, these are the four crop-projects that I am determined to harvest in the next year or so:
“Peppered Fruit” – A collection of short stories I have shared in the past. I already have them picked out and aligned, save for three slots where I plan to insert fresh musings. All of the stories are from my formative years, so “nostalgia” is definitely an over-riding thread. There’s no reason why I don’t have this finalized. Well, except for the non-focus angle.
“Cruise Control” – A double tale, weaving the stories of a family cruise with a murder mystery investigation. I have shared many bits from this one on Bonnywood over the years, so it might ring a slight bell. Trouble is, the draft is over 500 pages at this point, and I haven’t even finished either side of the double. Weed-whacking is imminent at some point.
“Oak Cliff Confidential” – A murder comedy set in a suburb of Dallas, playing out over several decades. The draft on this one is also huge. I obviously need an editor. I just can’t afford one.
“Murder Cabin” – Okay, I’m not even going to give a plot synopsis on this one (suffice it say that it’s also a comedy) because I just realized how often I have typed the word “murder” in this post. Damn. It’s possible that I might have an issue. I think my guidance counselor in the third grade might have been spot-on when she asked “Do you have anything you need to talk about?” I don’t remember how I responded. I do remember that she had strawberries painted on her fingernails. I think that says everything you need to know about my psyche.
Alright, let’s wrap this up. It’s two in the morning and Cleo the Cat has just informed me that I need to cease and desist or there will be vengeful shredding of important pieces of furniture.
Thank you for listening. And I hear you just as well.
Thank you for coming back when so many haven’t, despite my wildly-varied posts that often have me waking up in the morning and wondering what the hell was wrong with me for posting what I did last night.
Thank you for your patience and understanding as I fumble my way towards another mild stone, whatever that may be.
Note: I’ve used this photo many times over the years and, just being honest, it’s basically how I look every day, which makes it a bit difficult to gage my current emotion. But in this case? I’m happy. Very happy. Even if I look like the FBI should be bugging my house…
Categories: The Journey