This is a really tough post. Tish tagged me to come up with a brief story of how my blog came to be, and how it evolved to this point. The trick is we have to use five posts from throughout the site to illustrate the changes here and with me along the way...
Sometime around 2001 or 2002, I participated in a Yahoo! Group called "K2K" which may or may not be still around. It was a discussion forum for Knoxville/Knox County issue. and a number of regular folks and politicians alike took part in rolling conversations of the local issues of the day. This was just before blogs started coming on, and as time went on several of the participants starting building their own sites to chronicle their own lives and experiences. Randy Neal, aka "SouthKnoxBubba", was a heavy participant in K2K and also created probably the first blog I ever saw. After a few months of commenting on his and others' sites, in January 2003 I decided to create my own and relate my experiences online. I wasn't really sure what I wanted to write about, so one of my first posts outlined my search for an online identity: Who am I? Who am I? I'm Jean Valjean!.
To be honest, and compared to Tish's evolution, not much has changed in my home life really in the almost 5 years I've been blogging. My kids have grown from 6 and 3 to 11 and 8, undergone a couple of name changes. I decided early on to keep them anonymous so they were BrainyBoy and GiggleGirl (who eventually became Tink). I still have the same job, same house, my wife also has the same job, we go to the same church and we all still have the same problems any normal family does. I did get mentioned in the News Sentinel for one of my posts (A Round Dog Day) so I started getting some exposure fairly soon. I was also one of the first to join the Rocky Top Brigade, which was the group of Tennessee bloggers who helped each other by commenting and linking to each other.
I had a lot of fun posting about my 20th High School Reunion in 2004 (Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3) that was a source of a lot of introspection for me. At that point I realized it was kind of ok to be in your late 30's...
In early 2005 I posted what would be the most popular post I've written, the one that still gets lots of Google hits today: "Faerie's Aire and Death Waltz" - The Unplayable Symphony - this sheet music is a mess, and hilarious for anyone who's ever played (or tried to play) in an orchestra. Folks continue to return and return to the site to download the music sheets.
In June of that year I posted my experiences on trips to both Virginia/Washington DC and Orlando (both links are beginnings of several posts - just read the whole month to be safe). I love to travel, and I love to write about the interesting things that happen when I go to new places with family and friends.
That fall I also get back into what would begin to be a good productive theatrical streak for me, Diary of a Musical Director (Part 1) where I write over the next month and a half about my experiences as the Musical Director for "Annie" at the Oak Ridge Playhouse. I was able to break a long dry spell with that production and proceed to do about 5 more shows over the next couple years, culminating with "The King and I" last fall. I'm taking a break right now but will be Musical Director for "Grease" next spring in Oak Ridge.
To be honest, other than my big Blogging From Orlando (keep scrolling) series I did last month, my blogging hasn't been terribly meaningful or prolific in the past year or so. I attribute that to nothing really more than my own continuing flat attitude toward the outside world and my own contribution to life and the blogging community. I'm hoping things will pick back up soon, but thank all of you for reading this far.
And thanks, Tish, for pointing this way. I hope you enjoy a walk through the Inn of the Last Home.
Oh, I think I'll tag some of my long-time blogger friends: Michael, Rich, SayUncle, Logtar and The Beast.