I’m Not Stopping At 100

I wanted to step over to the side of the road and reflect on this journey through the thickets and meadows of my memory, enthusiasms and yearning.

I’ve written a hundred posts now (this is the 101st) since I started with this personal experiment over two years ago.

I’ve struggled with writing for most of my life. But I’ve become addicted to blogging now, at least in the intermittent way I do it. I want to feel something when I write (this is where part of the yearning is), so I must explore topics in enough detail to come across some shred of that. I have the freedom to do that here, and I can’t attribute the failures to a lack of opportunity.

TheCabinIn one place many years ago where I was a small-town reporter and photographer, the publisher wanted his editorial staff of two to each write a weekly column on whatever we liked. (He was generous and supportive of these efforts, an outlet beyond the mundane he provided for us poor reporters.) In a way, that’s where I started blogging.

There were the constraints, of course, of writing in a small town where you are known to all as the guy who takes photos of the Rotary Club donation to a worthy charity or the winning highschool basketball team or who writes the court report about the same drunk drivers showing up every month. I have more freedom to write what I really think now. And the rate of pay is not that different…

People who write want to be read, of course, by someone. The trickle of brave souls who occasionally find their way here on purpose or by chance and appear to struggle through some of my more convoluted sentences can only be saluted for their fortitude. That imagined presence helps me to write, although what I say may be only, finally, decipherable to myself. But I always hope it’s better than that…

rainbowTerraceLooking back at what I’ve posted so far, some themes emerge. I’ve written a lot about writing itself. I will be doing more of that as it is always good substitution for actually doing writing (novels, etc.)

Although I rarely write about it directly, our culture is implied in much of what gets me interested. By “culture”, I mean North American civilization and its disrepair. And also its amenities, especially music and art.

And then there’s the act of remembering, the memories of my childhood and young manhood in northern British Columbia and across North America. That phenomenon of more expansive details opening up as one struggles to recall, say, the taste of a dusty Saskatoon berry is now familiar. This remembering has become a kind of episodic memoir.

The three most popular posts written since I’ve started are: The Search For the Perfect Writing Tool, Indian Clubs: The Next Fitness Craze?, and, a little surprisingly, Atomic Bomb Stories.

In a more recent time frame, The Meaning of Animals, or, Two Chickens Breaking Up a Rabbit Fight, and 27 Albanian Words for Mustache have also been of interest, for some reason.

200px-RWEmersonBut I want to mention my own favorites of what I’ve done, ones that mean something more to me, and that may have passed under the radar.

Chant the Beauty of the Good is a post where I visit Emerson and pay my respects.

The Welcomer of Deep Creek is about my mother and the life we led when I was a boy and young man.

My Father the Alchemist is about the mystery of my father, as all fathers are finally mysterious to their children.

Currents of the River is about Hemingway, aimless writing, and home.

I wrote about growing up in northern British Columbia and a childhood friend in My Friend Ray.

In Every Boy Should Have a Creek, I explored the boyhood creek of my memory.

It’s fitting to end with this quote by Thoreau that I first referred to many posts ago. It remains ambitious and pretentious and well meaning, all at once:

“I desire to speak somewhere without bounds; like a man in a waking moment, to men in their waking moments; for I am convinced that I cannot exaggerate enough even to lay the foundation of true expression.”

Thank you, kind reader, for stopping by.

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12 Comments on “I’m Not Stopping At 100”


  1. Glad you’re not stopping :-) When I first stumbled on, I scoured the archives and fell in love with Chant the Beauty of the Good. That post became my invitation back again and again. Thanks for that. Write on.

    Best,
    Mary

  2. fencer Says:

    Hi Mary,

    Hey, glad you liked that one…

    I’ve been checking your blog from time to time, but (hint, hint, nudge…)

    Regards


  3. Congratulations on your 100th post, and now plus one. You are a most readable writer and I enjoy cruising your thoughtful posts. Please keep writing,
    K

  4. fencer Says:

    Hi lookingforbeauty,

    Thanks a lot for your kind words…

    Regards

  5. Eliza Says:

    Hey there, Fencer. Congratulations on your 100th post. Your level of research per post is astounding. I’ve been a regular visitor and I really enjoyed your tales of childhood, perhaps because they provide a glimpse into a life in another continent; there are differences and similarities to appreciate. I look forward to reading more.

  6. fencer Says:

    Thanks, Eliza. I always appreciate the opportunity to read your blog as well… somebody articulate and thoughtful, and in a whole different cultural milieu. The wonders of the internet!

    Regards

  7. forestrat Says:

    One hundred, eh? I really need to find time to browse the archives. Keep up the good work.

    MDW

  8. fencer Says:

    Hi forestrat,

    Thanks for coming by… and for the encouragement!

    Regards

  9. bloglily Says:

    100! Woot!!

    And what a lovely post to celebrate this milestone with — it’s great to have these links, because there is so much good stuff here. I like having a guide. You rock Mike, as we say around my house about those who, you know, rock! xo, L

  10. fencer Says:

    Hi Lily,

    As one who was around shortly after I started writing here, and who was most encouraging, it’s great to hear from you especially on this post.

    Congratulations by the way, on all you’re doing, and accomplishing, with your writing… very impressive!

    Regards

  11. qazse Says:

    fencemeister! Congratulations! Your posts are always rewarding in so many ways. I have been introduced to myriad concepts, places, and resources. I have been uplifted by your insights and disclosures. You are a gifted writer. I thank you for your blog. Best.

  12. fencer Says:

    Thanks so much, qazse! You’re one of my early fellow bloggers as well, and I get a lot out of your posts too.

    And you know, you just can’t say I’m a gifted writer too much… Like my wife says, this is always extremely tonifying!

    Regards


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