Ten-Year Milestones

On May 30, 2009, I posted my first blog entry (note: the link on that page no longer works). Back then, I was writing on blogger, living with my parents (to be fair, I had lived in Japan for three years prior to returning home), and unemployed. None of those things are true now. Nor is it true that blogs are a major “thing” anymore. Several of the people whose blogs I used to follow have gravitated to other platforms or vanished altogether, while a select few still write as regularly as they did in the blog heyday. As for me, I’m somewhere in the middle. If you look at my blog posts, you’ll see that I never published regularly. Some months I posted like a madman, others I wrote nothing. Still, I used to write more, and only recently have I started posting as regularly as I used to.

I passed another milestone on October 22 of this year, which is the day, ten years ago, that I moved to Seattle. I originally stayed with friends for a couple months. I’ve since moved three times. The first two places were houses, the second two were apartments. When I moved here, I was 30, single, and unemployed. Now I’m 40, in a long-term relationship, and a lead at work. We also have a cat.

Some things remain the same. I still haven’t finished the novel I started writing back in 2002 (it changes more than a chameleon changes its colors), and now I’ve started a second one. I’ve been collecting together my best poems for a poetry collection, but so far there’s only the one that I’ve published. I still cover the Seattle International Film Festival (and just celebrated my 10th festival this year).

Anniversaries like these make me reflective of all that has happened in between. It’s amazing to think I have over ten years of memories to sift through for both of these milestones. And how I wouldn’t be speaking of these milestones if I’d lived my life differently, ten years ago.

The State of Things

If you’re a longtime follower of this blog, you’ve probably noticed that I don’t write as much on here as I used to. I’ve heard that blogs have about a three-year life span, and that seems to be accurate when looking at Dreams of Literary Grandeur‘s most productive years.

Three things happened that cut into my productivity. The first was the launch of my other blog, Murmurs from the Balcony, in August of 2012 (earlier posts were originally written on this blog, either with Blogger or WordPress). If you check out that blog, you’ll see that I’m continuing to write over there on events like Sakura-Con and SIFF. The second was the death of Roger Ebert, in April 2013. He wasn’t my only reason for writing as much as I did (I started the blog before he started following me), but when someone that big leaves this earth, the void they leave behind takes on the properties of a black hole. And the third was focusing more of my writing time on my novel and short stories, only recently realizing that making time to write posts here would only help, not hinder, my literary efforts.

I could add a fourth thing, which is that life happened. More of my free time has been spent watching movies, or mindlessly reading tweets on my phone, or trying to secure more hours at work, or dealing with personal crises, or dealing with other people’s personal crises. And, considering the type of people who have ruled from on high in America this past year-and-a-half, more crises seem to appear every day.

Stability has also been lacking, which I used to think I needed to write. Now I see that writing creates its own stability. If anything, the inverse is true: the more chaotic my life feels, the more I feel I need to write.

The irony is that this blog was supposed to be the one I steadily wrote posts for, while my other blog was for the occasional special event and review. In truth, writing is writing, and while I could put it all on one blog (as I used to), it helps separates, for me, the public from the private sphere. If my posts on Murmurs from the Balcony are written for others, the posts on Dreams of Literary Grandeur are written for me.

So, with that distinction in mind, welcome to the rebirth of Dreams of Literary Grandeur.

Changes to My Blog — The 2016 “Sidebar” Edition

I haven’t written on here since my move, which occurred back in August (the blog post appeared in September). I could argue I’ve been busy adjusting to my new place, but that’s not true. I could declare I’ve been too busy with other types of writing, but that is also not true. Finally, I could say I’ve been busy, and while I have been busy, I make time to breathe, and so I could’ve made time to write.

Therefore, I’ll be carving out more time for writing in 2016, which means less time for other pursuits, like including every single book I’ve read on my sidebar, particularly since they also can be found on my Goodreads page — go there if you’d like to know what I’m reading, what I’ve finished, and what I hope to read in the future. I even critique them…if I have time. That also means the Books I’ve Read Since 2013 tab will go away, once I’ve transferred those books to my “read” shelf on Goodreads.

Another sidebar feature that will go bye-bye is the “Featured Dreamscapes.” Right now, it includes a list of great blogs that I no longer read. It’s not their fault; their blogs are probably better now than when I read them, but how many of you read one of my posts, thought it was great, and then checked out one of these blogs? You might’ve done that when you started blogging (as did I, with help from Roger Ebert), but now?

Finally, I’m giving the axe to the “Currently Working On” section. There’s two reasons for this: 1. At any one time, I may be working on multiple things, 2. My “final revisions” for my novel have been posted under there for two years. They’re about as final as the next Final Fantasy.