Wednesday, 11 September 2013

One-year anniversary of RobVogt80s

There is less than an hour left in September 11, 2013, the one-year anniversary of the launch of this blog. It has been an amazing experience, mostly of self-discovery. Songs, movies, and TV shows have awakened memories of long ago, which was what I had hoped would happen. The power of the Internet, especially YouTube and Wikipedia have been felt, because they have allowed me to verify a lot of the things with the touch of a Google search. It also provides inspiration, and the best entries are the ones where I toggle back and forth between Google and Blogger.

I also wanted to share some of the things I have learned over the past year.

Don't rely on the Internet for everything, because there are gaps
When I was looking for a copy of "Time and Place" by Andrew Cash on YouTube, there was none. There was actually very little information at all on the song, and not that much more on Cash himself, from his days in the '80s as a musician. Obviously, there is quite a bit of current information on him because he is an NDP member of parliament from Ontario.

The same holds true for a lot of sports information. When I was looking for particular game information, especially line and box scores, it was difficult to find. In some cases, such as the Boston Bruins-Edmonton Oilers game I wrote about, and even the 1987 CFL West Division Semi-final, there was little information. Eventually, I am going to have to go back to the microfiche of a daily newspaper like "The Lethbridge Herald" or "The Edmonton Journal".

Wikipedia can be wrong
Information is only as good as the people who put it on the Internet. Sites such as Wikipedia freely admit they may need clarification or proper sources. When I was writing about Dan Pastorini's acting career, there was a post on a website that said he played a gladiator in an episode of "Fantasy Island". That was not correct. He did play a gladiator on "Voyagers", and a struggling quarterback in an episode on "Fantasy Island". That was all corroborated by other sites and my own actual memories, which led me to look to other sources.

Posts can take on a life of their own
Sometimes a post, such as my treatments of Jack Klugman and Chris DeBurgh, begin to spiral in all directions because they conjure up so many different memories. In the case of Jack Klugman, it started with "Quincy", then "The Odd Couple", "You Again", and "12 Angry Men". This brings me to my other point.

It is okay to keep it simple and break a subject into parts
When something begins to develop multiple parts, it's easier to break into more than one blog post. I found that right from the beginning with my musings on peasant vision. The same thing happened with my postings on J.C. Watts and "Star Trek", as well as Jack Klugman and Chris DeBurgh. In the case of DeBurgh, the stories did not really go together, and were better suited in separated entries. Breaking up the topic also makes it easier to read, and allows me to give it more detail, care, and attention.

It is difficult to write every day
This is not so much about the art or craft of writing, but the quantity. Twice now I have tried to write every day, and it is extremely difficult. Most days it is not hard to come up with a topic, but sometimes energy, motivation, and inspiration are hard to come by. The result is the beginning of a post that never gets finished, to be left for another day. When I do that regularly, I end up in the situation I am in now, where I have more than a dozen half-finished entries. The flip side is that I may never have started many of these entries without a looming daily deadline.

There is so much more, I am sure. The best part is that this blog has become a great place to recount the pieces of my past that I, some day, will knit into a memoir or autobiography. Without starting this blog, I would still just be musing about some day writing a book about my life growing up in the '80s.

Now, I muse no more.

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