I've not done a very good job of keeping this section of the blog current. It is my goal to update the Forward Path at least monthly, so consider that one of my New Year's resolutions.
I'm just going to briefly summarize the accomplishments of 2011 in a basic, nuts-and-bolts fashion. This is more for record-keeping purposes than to serve as an entertaining read, so be warned.
The main accomplishment for my writing this year is the creation of the blog itself. thunderstrokes came into being halfway through the year, at the beginning of July. Over the last six months of the year, I published 68 entries on the blog. I have been surprised both by the quantity, as well as the quality of the things I've posted. I tend not to write short posts, as any TBF will attest, and I must have exceeded 100,000 words in those 68 posts. The Uncle Day Weekend series of 8 posts contained more than 23,000 words in total. Where all those words came from, I have no idea. Not that word count in itself means anything, it's just been a surprising part of this experience so far. By the end of 2011, I had accumulated about 4,200 page views, which is noted not because it's good or bad, but primarily to serve as a baseline to measure future growth.
Because of the blog, I've been in contact with several people whose work I admire in 2011: first among them is Jon Talton, the former Republic columnist, now in Seattle, and MV Moorhead, a former New Times film columnist. Already in early 2012, I've made contact with another writer whose work I respect immensely, a man who goes by the name Kid, and writes a blog called Kidinthefrontrow.
The blog also directly led to my first successes in having my writing appear in print in 2011, in this case through the good graces of the Arizona Republic's West Valley Editor, Ms. Dokes. She liked some of my blog posts enough to run them as guest columns. There were three that appeared this way: the Glendale Beet Sugar post, Glendale High School's centennial celebration, and the Veteran's Day Parade. The Veteran's Day Parade article was picked up by the Phoenix edition, and the Arizona Republic proper published a brief tribute I wrote in honor of 9/11 and the Flight 93 memorial. Interestingly, the Veteran's Day article generated more buzz than anything I've done so far. It was referred to in a complimentary way in the VA's local newsletter (as I found out from a sister who works there). The incoming chair for the parade foundation and former county attorney, Rick Romley, and his wife asked for permission to use the article to help attract sponsors and for fundraising purposes (permission granted). Boy, it just goes to show that you never know what is going to lead to what, so just write the best you can about whatever interests you most, and get it out there!
Looking forward, my goals for 2012 are to continue writing stuff for the blog that makes me happy, continue to connect and build relationships with other writers, grow the number and variety of publishing contacts and sources, and bring in more readers.
Also, I have begun writing my first novel, a modern version of Hercules and the Twelve Labors. Don't be surprised if I drop little chunks of it out on the blog so people can get a sense for what I'm doing with it. I'm not sure whether, or how much, it may affect my blog productivity. A lot of that will probably depend on whether we can afford to have Maria in preschool, and if, when, and to what extent I'll need to return to a paying job. Regardless, I am resolved to complete the first book by the end of this year.
So, it's been an amazing 20111, and has all the makings of an even more amazing year ahead. I hope you'll stay with me to find out just where this all is going. The suspense is killing me!
The Forward Path - 28 January 2012
If you’ve been following my jaunt down the Forward Path, you probably already know that a year ago I was teaching high school English. What I haven’t said much about, however, is the trip that triggered my decision to give up teaching.
You may think that an odd choice for a Christmas gift from someone who claims to love another person, but it turned out to be the perfect thing to do. It was ostensibly a trip to visit
|Or, see yourself...|
The Forward Path - 11 September 2011
Just a notation here to let readers know that an extremely brief commentary I wrote about the Flight 93 Memorial was published by the Arizona Republic today. It appears in the Letters to the Editor under the title "A ray of sunshine in the dark." It can be seen online here.
It is noteworthy primarily because it marks the second time anything I've written has been published in print, and the first time something I've written appears in the full circulation of the newspaper.
Have a great day, and a reflective 9/11.
The Forward Path - 24 August 2011
Where things stand
The Forward Path - 13 August 2011
God have mercy on the man/Who doubts what he's sure of.
- Bruce Springsteen
The Forward Path - 7 August 2011
6 August 2011 - Career Update!
The Forward Path – 3 August 2011
The Forward Path – 2 August 2011