Monday, July 04, 2005

stories worth a thousand words the stories so far


When my grandfather passed away last August I realized how much I regretted never getting to know him properly, a feeling no doubt many people experience at some point in their lives. Since at the time I was trying to explore my abilities as a writer, I thought it would at least be productive to try and write down my own stories in case one day my own kids have the same curiosity.

I thus gave myself a target of having 50 essays on various topics written by New Year’s Day 2005, and I devised 50 headings which would cover the years from 1969 to the present day. I also decided to factor in a level of nerdiness as befits my character when I made the stipulation that every chapter had to be EXACTLY one thousand words, or at least according to Microsoft Word’s word-count function.

And so I achieved my goal, and although the chapters were not written in sequence, when put together it seemed to come out the way I intended. I was amazed at how much I learned about myself with the experience; maybe it is even more than my kids will when they are old enough to understand it. I thoroughly recommend it.

Although I started this blog back in September of last year, it wasn’t until around February 2005 that I was able to set a pattern to my posting. My first contribution went the way most do on blogs, with something like “Well, here I am, starting my own blog, yaddya yaddya…”

Eventually I realized that I didn’t have to enter on my experiences of that day, and from browsing a selection of excellent offerings from others, I began to develop my own style, and telling stories about amusing incidents from the past proved to be the most rewarding practise, at least judging by the feedback.

Of course, stories eventually run out, unless of course you venture into fiction, and who knows, maybe one day I will. But for the meantime, I realized that I actually had 50 ready-made posts for this blog, ones that would keep it ticking over when my well of inspiration ran dry. And so I kicked off on March 6, 2005 with the intention of posting one chapter every week, but being impatient as I am, I quickly decided to up the pace to one post every 5 days.

And so by now I am nearly half-way, having posted 24 of the 50, and so far with stories on topics like Introductions, My Grandfather, The Lee Household, Imaginary Friends, My Mother - Years of Admiration, Live Aid and The College Years, I have covered the time span from around the time of my birth to the time I was married. The stories to come will demonstrate the process whereby I slowly but surely realized that life is not as plain sailing as I had reckoned it to be.

There are far more posts in the second half which justify the tagline “warts ‘n all”, in particular stories on The Airport Incident, The Demon Drink and The Hash Years. There is also a lot more ranting, on subjects like Money And Stuff, Human Rights, Bleeding Heart Liberals, plus my two favourite countries, The Republic of Ireland and the USA. Next up will be a post with more of my lyrics for the various songs I have written over the years, from the 90s which was my most productive phase.

It’s great to have this blog as an opportunity to finally release this stuff from the confines of my skull.

Thank you all for your continued logging and commenting.



Michèle said...

Thank YOU for YOUR continued blogging. You write some great stuff! Thanks for sharing!

Heidi said...

JL~I think your "1000 Words On" posts are excellent, and I have been enjoying your blog for awhile now. Thanks for sharing your stories with blogland! Already looking forward to the next post...

shandi said...

Ohhh man, I think I actually missed a couple of those 1000 word essays. Thanks for the internal links, I'll check them out. I'm really looking forward to reading the new stuff..warts and all.