[(sound of radio hum and persistent static) We interrupt our regularly scheduled programming to bring you this Special Announcement. Please do not attempt to adjust your screens. The problem is not with your monitor.]
A Big Announcement
First – the BIG Announcement: Today’s entry marks post number – wait for it – 1,000 here at the Middle Zone! (sound of vast crowd cheering enthusiastically; roll out the proverbial red carpet; cue the band; cue the fireworks)
I mean, who woulda thunk it? Not me, that’s for sure!
To be honest (something we always strive for here at the Zone), I really had no lifelong aspirations to become a world-famous millionaire blogger/writer, I’ll tell ya. That’s right: zip, zero, nada. In fact, ‘way back in June of ’06 (practically pre-historic days in Internet time) when I posted my first profound thoughts measly chicken-scratchings, the ONLY reason I did it at all was simply to “try this weird, crazy bloggin’ thang out”, if you get my meanin’.
(Er, as to that “world-famous millionaire blogger/writer” bit… I think I can say with confidence that over the last 4.5193 years of blood, sweat and tears, working my fingers to the bone and the little ol’ gray cells into exhaustion, I’ve managed to achieve at least two out of those three descriptives. It should be obvious to all exactly which two have been accomplished.)
So how does one celebrate 1,000 posts, anyway? Why, by doing something special of course!
Now for me, “something special” usually involves, well, pie – preferably with a big ol’ scoop of Blue Bell Homemade Vanilla Ice Cream right up there on top. However, today I decided to do something completely different (miraculously involving no calories whatsoever) and submit an entry for Joanna Patterson’s group writing project instead. All month she’s been running her “The Gift of Blogging Confidence” group writing project over at Confident Writing. Since I haven’t participated in a GWP in quite some time, I thought this would be a great opportunity to jump back into the fray.
[We now return you to our regularly scheduled programming. (sound of static fades away) And what the hey; why don’cha go have yourself a Slurpee?]
Look, Ma; I’m A Writer!
Well, I’ll tell ya; blogging over the years has certainly been the source of some surprising turns of events. I’ve had the opportunity to meet some really fantastic folks, read great thoughts on practically anything you care to name (and let’s face it; “one or two” not-so-great thoughts, too), and gained exposure to some truly amazing, well, stuff. I mean, there’s practically no end to the things there are to learn “out there” these days, is there? You know.
As for yours truly, well, blogging has given me a remarkable measure of confidence I never knew I had. After all, when it comes to recording your own thoughts and sending them out to the world… well, it takes a certain level of chutzpah, don’cha think? Why, the very idea that someone else out there would conceivably care what I think – about anything – I mean, sheesh, who knew?
The thing is, writing is something I always thought I’d be good at, even back when I was a kid. It’s just that, up until a few years ago, I simply didn’t actually, y’know, do it on a regular basis. Howsomever, once I began writing more-or-less regular-like here at the Zone, well, the rest is, as they say, history.
But if there’s one gift blogging has given me – and believe me when I say it’s one I never saw comin’ – well, that would have to be (sound of drumroll and rimshot) poetry.
Look Ma; Now I’m a Poet, Too!
Yep, now I’m not only a writer – I’m a poet, too; a statement to which my mind can’t help but respond: Uh, now how heck did that happen? Truth be told, I can barely even relate to most poetry out there. So why on earth would I start writing any of my own, much less publishing it “out there” for anyone to see and (sound of terrified scream) critique?
Not to mention, as this photo illustrates, the sheer, unmitigated agony of the bane of existence of poets everywhere: “the search for the perfect word”. (With apologies to Joyce Kilmer. – Ed.)
So how did it happen, you ask? Well, in a word – confidence! Yep, it’s that confidence I picked up from practicing what I normally do. And after doing it long enough, I finally began to think outside the box and try something different.
Oh, don’t get me wrong – I very carefully make no claims to bein’ a good poet. But I honestly think I’m learnin’ a thing or two every time one falls out onto the screen. Hey, who knows; maybe my feet really do show it? *
Poetic Moments at the Middle Zone
So for your reading pleasure torture edification whatever, here are the links to all my (insert appropriate descriptive here) poetry posts that appear here in the Middle Zone. Feel free to leave a comment and let me know how you liked them. I’d truly like to know!
First of all, here are five very short poems (written in *ahem* free verse – which, let’s be honest, is just a fancified way of sayin’ “Hey, there ain’t no rhyme or reason to this stuff!”) for a writing project sponsored by the inimitable Liz Strauss wherin each entry is limited to exactly 25 words:
Then, since it’s poetry after all, I decided to try my hand at, y’know, actually rhyming something. (Yes, I know all poetry doesn’t have to rhyme. Still have trouble thinking that way. Just sayin’.) Interestingly enough, it seems my own photos turned out to be my greatest resource when it comes to the ol’ Muse’s poetic ramblings. Thus, my photo of a pair of spiky sycamore tree seed pods inspired this poem about my childhood days:
Oddly enough, my two latest poems were inspired by photos of the same subject: the morning dew:
So what’s next, you ask? The Great American Novel? A Nobel-Prize-worthy essay? The next volume of The Toilet Time Reader? Heck, who knows? My advice is (for you and for me), let’s make sure to remain open to the possibilities. Hey, you never know what surprising little gift might next come down the pike!
[* By the way, on the remote chance you have no idea what that sentence refers to, it’s a little rhyme I learned years ago (and therefore assume most folks have heard in one form or another), to wit: “Hey, he’s a poet! He didn’t know it; but his feet show it – they’re Longfellows!” (sound of rimshot)]