Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Inaugural post

I set up this blog about a year ago and am just getting around to my first post. This tells you almost all you need to know about me. Granted, I only created it so I could comment on another blog that wouldn't allow you to comment unless you were registered with Blogger. That was a few months after I had decided I better find out what all the fuss was over these blog things I'd been hearing so much about. I'd been reading Neil Gaiman's online journal for several years, but hadn't really ventured beyond that into the greater blogosphere. As you can see, I am not an early adopter. I'm more of a mid-range fosterer. I may not be the last person in the neighborhood to get on board with whatever the newest big thing is, but I definitely like to wait until I'm sure it has sticking power.

So I'm late to the game, but after months and months of lurking and occasionally commenting, I've decided I want to play. Why? Two reasons. First, as a writing exercise. I've always wanted to be a writer, specifically a fiction writer, even more specifically a speculative fiction writer. I have written some things, but I am cursed with an almost chronic lack of discipline when it comes to writing. Part of it is fear; most of it is just plain laziness. I'm looking at this blog as a way to jumpstart myself into doing some sort of writing on a regular basis.

Second, as a method to review and recommend books. The thing I enjoy most about the blogosphere is finding people that have similar taste in books. Most of the books I've read in the last year or so have been based on the recommendations of other bloggers/reviewers. Books like City of Saints and Madmen by Jeff Vandermeer, Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell and Air by Geoff Ryman. I know there is this ongoing debate over the merit of online reviews, but I honestly couldn't care less. It bothers me not at all that there are some in the print "establishment" that question the legitimacy of online reviews and reviewers. When I find someone who loves some of the same books that I love and they recommend a title, I'm going to give it a try. And if I then come to trust that person's opinion, I'm going to keep checking back for further recommendations--no matter what anyone else thinks. Frankly, I find the whole argument a bit silly--just do what you do and don't worry about what anyone else says or thinks. Yes, I know, easier said than done.

I imagine this blog will be mostly about books, but it will probably have a smattering of sports (big baseball fan) and movies and television and who knows what else. I'm not expecting anyone to actually read it, so it really is just for me, which means I can go off in any old direction I want. Which is cool.

Coming up in the not-too-distant future, I will post a review (such as it is) of The Yiddish Policemen's Union by Michael Chabon and a brief report of the one day I spent at my very first SF convention, Readercon 18, in nearby Burlington, Mass.

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