“Blogging isn’t writing. It’s graffiti with punctuation.”

I used to believe this. I guess I still do–from a certain point of view. After all, if I’m wasting my time blogging, I could be working on my next novel or (joy of joys) writing free curriculum for the high school or playing Don’t Break the Ice with my kids.

Ki: (hands me the mallet) Here you go, Daddy! It’s your turn to sink the polar bear and be the scapegoat for global warming!

Me: (gulps) Okay, Ki-bi. Listen, I haven’t cleaned out the garage in awhile. You don’t happen to have a secret lab hidden under the garage or anything, do you?

Aurie: If you do, Kiera, Santa knows about it. And Easter Bunny won’t come. And Thor will punish you with all the might of Asgard!

Me: (tries to hand Aurie the mallet) Hey, do you want to demonstrate what Thor’s hammer–

Aurie: Mjolnir.

Me: Right. What Mjolnir could do to a hollow block of plastic ice?

Ki: (throws up her hands) Quit stalling, Daddy!

Yeah. I could be doing that. Or, I could be ranting about the kinds of stuff I can’t talk about in front of my kids, who are five and eight respectively, on a public website.

I had considered starting a blog a few times in the past. There was the time when I was fed up with my teaching gig and thought it might be entertaining to post some of the antics that occur within these hallowed halls of higher learning I so devoutly serve.

Student: (flailing her hand spasmodically) Pike, Pike! (I hold a master’s degree, but somehow I don’t warrant a ‘mister’.) I know a better way them dog thieves coulda handled Buck!

Me: Enlighten me, ye child of Florence who dost doubtless fathom more than did Jack London.

Student: Daddy had a problem with our dog gettin’ inta the neighbor’s property and chasin’ ‘is chickens cause there was kinda this hole in our fence…

(At this point, I already know that said rustic parental unit did not do the sensible thing and just patch the fence, but I’m expecting to hear that he chained the dog to a post or paid more for one of those choker collars than he would for a bundle of chicken wire.)

Student: …so Daddy jes’ beat the dog with a chicken to learn him not to chase chickens no more!

Me: He beat the dog…?

Student: (nodding eagerly) With a chicken!

Me: Was this chicken alive or dead?

Student: Dead.

Me: Before or after he beat the dog with it?

Student: I’m not sure…

Too much more of this, and I risk offending one of the most venerable families in Florence, AZ…

There was also the time I tried to be a Vegan. I watched a documentary wherein stressed, overweight men quit their jobs and drank their meals out of a juicer until they were healthy again. My conversion went well at first. I lost 25 pounds in less than three weeks. I was going to adopt the title “The Green Knight” and blog about my life changing experience so that others could benefit from my newfound wisdom.

Then I started having these vivid dreams about being a caveman and slaying a mastodon with a crudely wrought spear. In later versions, I devoured the sucker raw and on the spot, hair and bones and all. Needless to say, my primal urges got the better of me in the end.

M-E-A-T.

Emily and I also conspired to start a blog for parents regarding the dearth of quality children’s programming on cable and Netflix, but we never got around to it. We’re both curious as to why our kids’  favorite shows feature a cool babysitter/sibling figure who replaces the pivotal role that parents should play in the main characters’ lives. Where the hell are Ruby and Max’s parents? Why did Carli’s parents leave her in the care of her mentally challenged brother and under the influence of a best friend who is a con in the making? Do Dora’s parents allow her to go exploring in the jungle because her head looks like a caricature of Vader’s helmet in silhouette and they secretly hope she’ll be devoured by a curmudgeony leopard before those awkward teenage years set in? And what the hell is up with Hey Jes-SAY!?

You can see where something like that would have gone.

So why the blog now? Well…

Emily: Did you see the new stuff Patrick Rothfuss posted to his blog?

Me: Another stocky, big-bearded man is more interesting to Emily than I? Sacrilege!

Amazon.com: You’re a fledgling author without a blog? Are you powering your computer by banging two stones together? Do you shave with a broken sliver of shale? Have you considered the shipping costs of the stone tablets on which you probably write?

Me: You mean a book doesn’t market itself? Madness!

Crow: (http://domesticrow.wordpress.com) Dude, you should have a blog. It would be EXTREME.

Me: But I was just messing around… You thought that was writing? (pauses to consider)

Professor of Great Renown: Dan, some of these comments in Manifesto sound like they belong in a blog as opposed to a novel. You’re already at 120,000 words. Cut some of the fat and save it for something else.

Me: Yeah, I’ll just stick these in a .doc file somewhere… We’ll call them “the lost pages”.

–3 Months Later–

Me: Emily? Emily! What the hell did I do with the lost pages?

Em: (smirking) Well, Dan, the lost pages by definition…

Me: (lying) Never mind. Found ’em.

…but I did find them. They were stashed in my Yahoo! Mail account that I’ve had since 1997, and now some poor bastard is going to have to read them.

That poor bastard might be you.

8 Comments

Filed under Rants

8 responses to ““Blogging isn’t writing. It’s graffiti with punctuation.”

  1. Miranda Lee

    It’s about damn time Mr. Pike 🙂 I can’t wait to stalk your progress!!!

    Like

  2. Hello Pikeknight loved the blog. I would be interested to read some excerpts from ‘Manifesto’. Are you going to put anything up here? I have just started my own blog for the practise and the feedback since I don’t belong to a writing circle as I am too unreliable to make the regular meetings, so it’s good to see someone else’s blog from the start. You sound like you have been doing this for years.

    Like

    • I miss the creative writing courses I took in college because they involuntarily included us in writing circles and imposed deadlines on us. The idea of starting one on WordPress is tempting, but there are certain publishers that won’t look at anything that is available for free on the Internet (and others that practically farm blogs).

      As for Manifesto–yes, I plan on posting some excerpts that I’ve cut, but I’m undecided as to whether or not I will post any teasers from the book because it’s currently on submission. I need to do a bit more research into how writers who have been blogging for awhile handle situations like these. (I doubt I can post anything from “The Wolf of Descarta”, for example, because it’s already under contract to appear in an anthology.)

      And yes, I’ve been at this for more than I would care to admit. -.-

      Like

  3. Hmm it appears like your blog ate my first comment (it was super
    long) so I guess I’ll just sum it up what I had written and say, I’m thoroughly enjoying your blog.
    I as well am an aspiring blog blogger but I’m still new to the whole thing.
    Do you have any recommendations for novice blog writers? I’d genuinely appreciate it.

    Like

    • Hi Doreen:

      I’m probably not the best blogger from which to take advice because I break the first rule of blogging–I write about whatever suits my fancy at the moment. Most blogs have recurring topics, themes, or target audiences. I write about Sci-Fi and Fantasy books because I’m a novelist, my kids because I’m a dad, video games because I’m a geek, literature because I’m an English teacher, and sometimes just go off on tangents. I also review things when I feel like it. The only real link here is my opinion. It’s a good thing I’m so opinionated, I guess.

      Like

  4. Have you ever considered about adding a little bit more than just your articles?
    I mean, what you say is fundamental and all. However think about if you added some great visuals or videos to give your posts
    more, “pop”! Your content is excellent but with pics and videos, this website could undeniably be one
    of the most beneficial in its niche. Good blog!

    Like

  5. Spot on with this write-up, I honestly think this website needs
    far more attention. I’ll probably be back again to read through more, thanks for the advice!

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s