I am grateful for the computer and the internet.
Originally, in the late 80's and the 90's, the computer was nothing but a work tool in my job at Newsboy Books and Video:
A way to keep track of video inventory, rental club members, who had what videos rented out on what day, and who was being naughty and turning them in late.
A way to sell Lotto tickets.
Then, along came the personal, desktop, home computer.
For all my adult life I was pretty much a loner, no social life to speak of, no friends, I did everything I enjoyed doing alone, from reading, walking, cycling, shopping, eating out, to going to the movies and other places of interest.
Except those times I did things with my sisters and their husbands (In the 90's, among other memorable moments, we went to a restaurant and I got drunk for the first time in my life, and we spent a day eating and drinking in Tijuana, where I drank sooo much I would have had to be carried home if it hadn't been for all the food I ate that kept me sober! (I even had an infamous "Shaker"!)
In 1998, my life changed forever:
We sold the family home; I paid off credit card debt, went
bankrupt, and moved into a 1 bedroom 20's era bungalow.
I adopted a kitten I named Nikita.
And, I got my first computer, one by Hewlett-Packard (Yeah,
I know, "Hewlett Who?”).
Once I figured out how to turn on the computer I went online and began to explore the internet, and discovered a new and wider, world. I joined an online community, at Entertainment Weekly’s website. And decided to introduce myself on my first message board, one morning, with a little creative, humorous storytelling (via the persona of my young Cat), all in response to a scary story another member wrote the evening before.
Over the next 3 years I opened up, and expanded my horizons in many personal and creative, ways:
Lunches, and dinners, with several LA area members of the message board.
My first plane trip, to Phoenix, to spend 4 days attending the wedding of 2 members of the group, and meet many more (and dance my 1st dance! A slow dance with the bride. :-D)
My 2nd plane trip, in 2001, to spend 4 days in Chicago, with group members, all but 1 in that original message board, just before 9-11.
The start of my re-birth as a creative person, by my “cat” sharing his “memoirs”, a 30 plus part series that was almost all lost when the online community was abruptly shut down by Time Online, in 2001.
I am grateful to the computer and the internet for the friendships made in another part of that community, with 5 people, 3 of whom are still alive and part of my life to this day, because they were influential in my decision to become a blogger in 2002, starting me on this amazing, life changing, journey, I am on as a writer, storyteller, poet, humorist, journalist, commentator, essayist, and photographer.
Their advice and encouragement, has enlightened and encouraged me in so many ways, through good times and bad.
Through the wonders of the internet my writing has enabled me to make many online friends, have my writing occasionally commented on, and shared, by the famous and infamous, alike (See the quotes and links, in the sidebars of my blogs), to be interviewed by newspapers, invited to special events, asked to review books and other products, and asked to speak at REI, and the Riverside Bicycle Club.
Through it all, these past 10 years as a blogger, while my audiences, on 4 blogs (2 still active - This one and Meowsings of an Opinionated Pussycat), has been miniscule, my growth as a person and a writer has been enormous. I am not the same person I was in 1997, enabling me to make career, and personal, changes that improved my life in so many ways, the latest being my recent move to Houston, Texas.
Here I sit, on a cool November morning, typing on my latest computer, a Toshiba laptop, unemployed, hoping to find work by Xmas, looking to expand my writing horizons in new, creative, ways that, before last Spring and Summer, I hadn’t really given much serious though to.
I believe I will thrive, and prosper, not giving up on my personal and creative hopes and dreams.
I believe that 2013 will be a year of blessings and a year of thriving, God willing and Buffalo Bayou doesn’t over flow, and expanding my knowledge and abilities, in using my computer and the internet, will help me make it so. :-D
****UPDATE - 10pm****
I wish to thank my friend, Amanda Socci, for contributing the 400th Comment to be left on this blog since it began in October 2007.
You can read it in the comments.
You can also read her interview with me, and essays on her thoughts about my "writing voice":
Thank you, my friend!