Look at the date of this post. Now, look at the date of the post before it. See that lag time? That’s too fucking long. You can’t have a credible and popular blog site if you start having lag times between posts that are a month or more.
But that’s what’s started happening here at my Little Corner of the Universe.
Now, you gotta understand – the lag didn’t happen because I’ve lost enthusiasm for this particular aspect of my writing “portfolio”. Au contraire – I have ideas for posts all the time; I’m constantly thinking about writing material for you guys, my audience, the loves of my life. For instance: I have another couple of installments of A War Between States. I want to review several book offerings from my friends Collin Kelley, Jay Magidson, and Elaine Burroughs. I have heretofore unvoiced opinions on several games, several movies, and several beers. And don’t get me started on this Benghazi nonsense and Congress voting to end the 40-hour work week.
Truth be told, I don’t actually even lack new material. You can visit other places around the Web and see my presence there. Check out Scribd.com for some free story samples I posted which somehow became VERY popular. I also have a Facebook page for my novel at https://www.facebook.com/TheSurvivorOfSanGuillermo, as well as a web site for the same book. And I’m on Goodreads and Fictionaut.
Nah. The reason I’ve slacked on this web site for a couple of months is threefold, and has nothing to do with enthusiasm or lack of material.
First reason is obvious, if you know me: I don’t have enough time. Writing new material is time consuming, and I’m generating A LOT of new material these days, just not for this site. My novel, The Survivor of San Guillermo, is on the verge of getting published, and I have to work on editing it hard to make sure that happens. I also designed a board game based on a hot intellectual property, and it’s fairly text intensive. A major game publisher has agreed to take it on – IF we can score the license. Finally, fortune dictates that the economy is picking up a bit, so I have client work for the first time in months. When I started this web site about four years ago, my client work was dying off, San Guillermo was in a slough, and the board game was just an idea I had. Now, things are different. And though this web site’s content has suffered, I believe all these other changes are good.
That’s just the writing-related stuff which occupies my time. There’s also the work on my house, getting it ready to sell, and there’s dealing with the kids – they’re at an age where they require a lot of attention and help.
My next reason for not updating The Little Corner is that staying up to date with my Internet presence takes a toll. These days, unless you’re lucky – which I’m not – you have to maintain an almost constant presence on social media and among your target audience. Part of that IS this site, but it’s also Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads, and all those other places where you can find me. It’s called “micro-blogging” and I’m fairly proficient at it. But it takes time and energy.
The MAIN reason, though, that I’ve slacked with The Little Corner is way more complicated: it’s because my Wordpress overlay is out of date and I want to update it, but I’m scared to. My hosting service assures me that everything I’ve written is backed up on databases somewhere, and my web savvy friends say chances are updating the Wordpress on my site probably won’t cause any problems. But I’m not so sure. Shit’s never that easy. I have this sinking feeling that when I update Wordpress, it will create all sorts of compatibility issues, and that all that data simply won’t be readable. I envision the site coming out looking like a Microsoft Word doc that’s been opened in an incompatible word processing software – the words will be there, but so will a mish mash of odd symbols and wing dings. Things will become a jumbled mess. And I’m fairly certain several pictures will be lost.
Or not. But I’d wager on 50/50 odds.
“Well, Will,” you say. “Why don’t you just do a back-up of all your content on an external hard drive or something? Then you know you’ll still have it all.” To that I say YES!!! I believe I will! But… backing up four years of posts on a hard drive takes what, ladies and gentlemen? That’s right… time. And it’s tedious, repetitive work.
So… enough with the excuses about why my web site has been inactive. Instead, here’s where I make a transition and tell you about an exciting plan that stems from all this, and then invite you all to come back regularly to see how far my plan has gotten.
Should the Wordpress update in fact really erase my data or render it unreadable, or even if it doesn’t, I think I’m going to use the back-up as an opportunity to review and reboot my content. Here’s the thing: I have over FOUR years of material I’ve written for this site, and some of it is really great stuff. Also, over the years my audience has grown, and a lot of you simply haven’t seen some of the fantastically genius posts that appeared on The Little Corner a couple of years ago. It’s there – you can go looking right now if you want to. But with a reboot, I can bring it to the fore again, and you won’t have to work so hard.
For “old-timers”, it’ll be like visiting friends you haven’t seen in a while. You’ll be able to sit back and say, “Oh yeah. I remember that nonsense. Will Kenyon is a big dork.”
Of course I’ll write new posts, but by reusing some older ones, some of the pressure I put on myself every week to “write something” will be lifted. I see it as a win-win for all of us.
I’ll likely start the back-up next week. When THAT’S done, I’ll install the Wordpress update. Then we shall see.
Keep coming back. Don’t miss anything. M’kay?
Okey-dokey. Another year gone by and nothing much has changed here at my web site. Hits and visitors have leveled off a bit, but are still rising ever-so-slightly. I still try to post at least once a week or more, on topics ranging from beer to politics to religion to philosophy to games to literature. A War Between States is still trickling in. Etc.
The things that have changed for me this year have been things APART from this site, so although they affect what kind of thing I do here somewhat, they haven’t impacted The Little Corner of the Universe’s purpose - which is to give you periodic pieces of my mind, where I try to impress you with my wit and wisdom. Where I try to be funny and cerebral at the same time (doesn’t always compute, since the scat humor I sometimes digress into can hardly be called cerebral). Where I try to convince you that I’m pretty much correct pretty much all the time.
If you’re new here, thanks for coming to the site’s third birthday "party." If you’re an old friend, thanks AGAIN for helping me stay afloat and encouraged. Thank you thank you thank you.
And keep coming back.
Now, I’d sell myself short if I didn’t point out the ONE thing that’s changed here - and that’s my side navigation over there ->
You’ll see there a link to the two collections of short stories I had published last year. One set I self-published, after a bunch of soul-searching whether it was the right thing to do (I maintain that it was). The other set got published by Hallowed Waste, a small, newly established "press" run by a friend of mine who took an interest in me and a couple of other folks, and was willing to back us. Those stories represent an endeavor that I’d like to see be as successful as this site has been. Or more so.
So, while you’re here, I now encourage you to do TWO things. Take a little while to look around The Little Corner - check out some of my past rants and raves. AND, take a minute to go to whichever point of sale floats your boat, and then fork over the .99 cents it takes (I know, right? Only .99 cents!) to get your hands on my stories.
I think that, after you do, you’ll become a regular. I aim to please.
I’ve read in a couple of places that blog readership has declined somewhat over the last year or so, as social media outlets like Facebook and Twitter allow us to “microblog”, and we’re more likely to follow tiny posts than invest the energy and attention in longer ones.
If that’s the case, I’ve seen no indication of it with the numbers for my site. Now granted, I’m no Charlie Sheen, with the whole world following my steady burn, but I’m doing okay. Hits and visitors have steadily increased over the past months (and my tracking software SUPPOSEDLY identifies bots and spiders, so my numbers are more or less clean). This past January was an absolute blowout.
I don’t know how many of you have been watching this space the whole time it’s been here, but I’d really love to thank you. You’ve made me want to continue slogging away with this site, trying to entertain, inspire, and inform you on all the little things I like to talk about. At this point, I’ve been doing it for TWO WHOLE YEARS! And for those of you who are relatively new to willkenyon.com, thank YOU for stopping by, and please come back. Again and again.
Recently, I did a little housekeeping, and started a couple of new side navs, which are over there to the right. The purpose of them is twofold: First, to provide newcomers access to some popular older posts, and to some of my more creative endeavors. Second, to provide “old-timers” quick delivery of some of the items that they liked from the past. With two years of posts, it can be a little daunting to wade through all the stuff I’ve written in order to find the gems. Also, if you happen to visit here and you think the stuff currently on the front page is crap, you can click through and be reminded of why you came here before.
So check them out. Check out the Greatest Hits link, and check out the Short Stories and Poems link. Go ahead. I’ll be here when you get back.
Finally, come back to THIS page sometime in the next few days, and I’ll tell you about something exciting (at least to me, and hopefully to you) that’s in the pipeline.
Thanks again, everybody. Here’s to another great year.
Earlier this week, my wife’s Aunt Paula brought over a recent Time magazine - the one with novelist Jonathan Franzen on the cover. She thought the article about him and the current crop of literary novelists would give me some insight, and I’d be a liar if I said that it didn’t. It was interesting to read that article while I’m simultaneously reading last year’s Pulitzer Prize winner - Paul Harding’s Tinkers - and last year’s National Book Review winner - Colum McCann’s Let The Great World Spin - is sitting on my nightstand, next in the queue.
But that’s not what this post is about.
Instead, it’s sort of about two other articles in that particular issue of Time, both op-ed pieces toward the back of the magazine that I read after I read the cover story Paula wanted me to read. The first was an analysis by James Poniewozik about the increasingly small regard we have in our society for facts. You know, those things that are pretty much documented and undeniable, but which somehow get denied when they go against what we WANT to believe. The second was Joel Stein’s take on our increasing insistence in America on mediocrity. You know, that false ideal which so many of us have: that we all should have an equal chance at something, when in fact, we all shouldn’t. Not unless we work for it, maybe have a talent for it, maybe get a little lucky. I will never have a good jump shot, so why would I deserve a shot at an NBA team? Or as Stein pointed out: I didn’t go to Yale or Harvard, so how could I ever expect a Supreme Court nomination? Stein’s main point is that, if you want something done, you want the best you can get to do it, right? You want your brain surgeon, your plumber, your babysitter, to be competent at the bare minimum, and at best highly skilled. So why are we settling for less than that so often in America?
The reason these two articles struck me was because they echoed trains of thought that I myself have had in the past several months. I’ve been frustrated watching people I regard as intelligent and well-read deny things that are blatantly true. And I’ve watched mediocre people function (poorly) in certain jobs while more skilled people languish in unemployment. And as I witnessed both circumstances, I began to ruminate and ruminate and ruminate over them.
Now, look at this page. Check out this blog. Flip through a few older posts. Did I WRITE ABOUT these things which I have been ruminating over? No. I left that to James Poniewozik and Joel Stein. But check this bit of irony: for the past several days, I’ve been flailing around in my head, trying to figure out what I was going to write about for my next post.
I didn’t want to follow on a novel podcast too closely. I didn’t think the details of my trip to Disney World would interest any of you. And while I may be obsessing about this whole P90X thing I’m doing, writing an entire blog post about it just seemed boring and redundant. Meanwhile, as I am considering THESE things for a potential post - and rejecting them - I’m THINKING ABOUT the same things as Poniewozik and Stein. The difference is, they’re writing about them and I’m not.
I’m just not. And I could be. I have this forum, and even though it isn’t Time magazine, it’ll do for putting down thoughts like Poniewozik’s, Stein’s, and mine. You know, for whomever wants to read them to read them.
So here I have another post, and really I have no point to it, other than to say: look at me, thinking big thoughts and spinning my wheels not putting them down for posterity.
Why am I doing (or rather, NOT doing) that?
That’s right. One year ago TODAY, I posted my first blog post at this URL - after years of altogether resisting the idea of blogging. Don’t ask me why I resisted - I know why, but that’s a story for another day. Just suffice it to say that, despite my initial resistance, I have not regretted a single moment that I’ve spent writing and sharing with my readers over the past year.
Which brings me in short order to YOU. After a year, all I can express is a genuine heartfelt gratitude to every one who comes to this site, especially those who come on a regular basis. Over the past year, the traffic at www.willkenyon.com has steadily increased. I have more and more unique visitors, more and more page views, more and more hits. And my SEO/tracking software does a good job of weeding out the bots and spiders, so I know that most of the traffic is real people.
Thank you, real person, for making my site the (qualified) success that it is.
A couple more things and then we’re finished for the day (and again, thanks for stopping by). First, allow me to briefly wax philosophical about writing….
In the many years since I decided that my calling was to write words, I have realized that writing is, in fact, TWO things. By turns, it morphs from the one into the other and back again - and my (qualified) success has increased as I came to this realization.
Foremost, writing is an art - a high art. (Duh. Right?) I think the only art which is higher is music. (And I believe THAT because I believe Kurt Vonnegut’s quote regarding his epitaph: “If I should ever die, God forbid, let this be my epitaph: THE ONLY PROOF HE NEEDED FOR THE EXISTENCE OF GOD WAS MUSIC”.) As noble callings go, I’m proud that I chose this one and that I’ve been able to do it for several years. I am an artist, thank God.
Secondly, though, writing is a product. OK - not all of it. Some of it is personal and - as good as it might be - not meant for general consumption. But for many of us who decided to follow this particular Muse, our writing IS a product, meant for consumption by as many people as will consume it. To that end, we must create work which will attract readership. It must be entertaining and provocative, engaging and meaningful - or at least approach those things. And to continue gaining readership, we must continue to produce. Writing more material not only makes us better writers, it also gives us more product for you, the reader, to enjoy.
I hope my “product” is enjoyable. It must be to somebody, or I’d have hung up my hat a while back. On this site as well as my career….
OK. Enough philosophy. Let me now share with you some choice offerings from this site. MANY of you are relatively new to it, so you might have missed a few of my “greatest hits” - and some of you old hands might have forgotten or missed a certain post way back when. So here are some highlights - ten of them (ten’s always a good number, eh?) for your (hopeful) enjoyment.
FYI, I compiled this list by looking at the hits and page views on or around the date I posted each post. I “tweaked” the list by trying to spread the high points over time (naturally, newer posts will by default have higher numbers than older because of the increase in traffic, but I wanted to be fair to some of those older posts). Here goes:
Not A Christian Nation. Never Were. (wherein Will puts a quote from his President back into context)
Creeps and Assholes (wherein Will takes a look at the two kinds of people in the world)
Will’s Mini Beerfest (William likey the beer)
Advances In Technology (acknowledging the power of communications technology in my life as well as my business)
Zombies of South Beach (scary!!!)
Conquering Venus by Collin Kelley - A Podcast Interview with the Author (thank you, Collin!)
Defining Moments from High School (wherein Will tells you a little bit about himself)
Where Do Poems Come From? (etiology of a poem and a bonus piece of poetry!)
A War Between States: Novel Podcasts (I wasn’t sure how this podcast thing was faring, but hits and visits seem to slide upward around each podcast. This link will take you to the latest compilation of all the podcasts.)
Ah, Hypocrisy (wherein Will pisses off half of South Alabama)
I haven’t had anything lengthy to say for a few days. But as we all do, I have been thinking random stuff for a while, and now that I have a blog in which to voice some of these random thoughts, well…. Here are some things I have contemplated of late. No particular order or reason. And I’m perfectly sober right now, so there’s that.
- People who ask “What, are you high?” usually have no idea what being high is like.
- Who was the better father - George Jetson or Fred Flintstone?
- When I finally had sex for the first time, I stopped bragging about it. Until a few years ago.
- The perfect woman for me would probably be a cross between Daphne and Velma. The perfect man would NOT be a cross between Fred and Shaggy. I don’t like dogs, so there is no perfect dog as far as I’m concerned. Sorry, Scooby.
- Can earwigs really lay eggs in your ear like in that movie I saw?
- I’m not sure I understand people who write computer viruses. There seem to be a lot of them. Unless… do you think maybe they get kickbacks from people who make anti-virus software?
- I think gaming will keep me from getting Alzheimer’s or some other form of dementia when I get older.
- I wish I would have taken better care of my Chevy Nova in high school. Turns out, it could have been a really cool car.
- Going to hell would suck.
- I despised the Bush Administration, but I will say this: I don’t think a single person in Georgie’s offices was as big of a hypocrite as Newt Gingrich.
- Trolls in AD&D weren’t nearly the cowards that Internet trolls are.
- My house alarm monitoring company sent me a letter telling me they were gonna raise my monthly rate by roughly $2. I own my alarm system - they just monitor for me. So I called them up and told them I didn’t want them to raise my rate, and they said OK. They know I can leave them for another company. And THAT is capitalism at work.
- Would you hire a company called “Catastrophe Roofing”?
- Speed traps are NOT done in effort to make the highways safe. They are done to collect revenue.
- Apparently, one should not fuck with gypsies.
- I don’t trust the motives of any politician whose cause would make me either buy a product or subscribe to a service. I’d be willing to bet that politician has invested in the company that provides said good or service.
- There are many, many beautiful women in the world. Most DO NOT live in L.A.
Years ago when I lived in New York, there was this guy I worked with named Will Levin. He was this shortish, very handsome, cuddly guy who made sly jokes and liked to draw and play 9-ball in his spare time. I don’t know if he still plays 9-ball, but I know he’s not really any taller, he’s still handsome and cuddly, he still makes jokes when I talk to him, and he’s parlayed his love for drawing into a successful animation career.
Check out his latest, a parody of one of last year’s best films, Wall-E, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ufYAiGF1UwM, made for the Ignite Film Festival.
I think the thing that really makes the short is the fact that everything is his voice - even the Peter Gabriel send-up in the credits.
And just so Will gets as much attention as possible, let me direct you to his various web sites, where you can see even MORE of his animation:
And yeah, he’s Jewish. NTTAWWT.
I resisted the idea of blogging for over three years. Somehow, I came to believe that blogging was the simple act of taking the personal and self-centered musings that most people confined to their diaries and airing it, warts and all, in a public forum in the hopes that someone would come along, pat you on the back, and say something that would justify the way you felt.
And I felt like most people simply wouldn’t give a shit about hearing EVEN MORE self-important diatribes from an idiot like me. If I blogged, I would become yet another whiny voice in a sea of cacophonous whine.
Then I started noticing that, though a LOT of blogs out there were exactly what I’d assumed they would be, there was also a lot of insight, objectivity, and usefulness in what some people wrote.
And some of them were really fucking funny, too.
Finally, I caved, and the result is this… thing.
So what is this thing? What do I want to do with it?
Well, one thing I don’t want to do is rant and whine about the shit that pisses me off.
Ok, I DO want to do that, but not so much that THAT is what you come to expect from me. I guess you can expect an occasional off the handle diatribe from this particular idiot, but I’d also like to be positive and supportive of all the things I do like. And there’s a lot of stuff like that out there. For instance, if you read my last post, you’ll know that music will be a topic that will come up quite often.
I’ll also talk about:
- Fatherhood (Because it’s pertinent, interesting, and has the potential of giving me absolutely hilarious material to work with – it’s not all masturbation jokes with me, folks, contrary to what you may come to think.)
- Games (I love board games and card games, and I love gamers – even the ones that stink and masturbate a lot.)
- Atlanta (Here is where many of my diatribes will no doubt come from – I don’t really like Atlanta, even though I’ve lived here for 10 years.)
- Writing (Because that is an essential part of my soul’s well-being. And I think it’s vital to YOUR soul’s well-being as well.)
- Movies (I’m not an expert on them, like some of my “associates” purport to be, but I think I know what’s good.)
- Politics (I’m excited at the prospects in America right now, although the moment to moment still fills me with frustration as well as amazement at how low some of these assholes will go.)
- Alcohol (I’m a beer geek, and I write about bars for Examiner.com, so it’s inevitable, right?)
My goal is to give you a piece of my mind about three times a week. Also, I’m gonna start self-publishing one of my novels here, one chapter at a time, maybe once or twice a week. Hell, I’ve got a few of them lying around. So I’ll give you one now, little by little, and try to get the others published through conventional avenues in the meantime.
Do I require anything from you? I just KNOW you’re wondering that.
The answer is yes: Come visit me often. Try to enjoy these personal and self-centered musings that ought to be confined to a diary. If something inspires you, positively or even negatively, to respond, then speak up. Contrary to how my wife sometimes feels, I do tend to listen.
Although I must say this: I will not tolerate language rougher than what I use – which I guess actually gives you a lot of leeway. And I don’t suffer idiots lightly. Unless you’re a useful idiot.
Which I intend to be.