IN MY OPINION
Books Read in 2006
My Favorite Video Blogs
(for others, see Links page)
Battle Hymn of the Republic
Olbermann on 9/11
New on My
Support liberty and justice for all
Cost of the War in Iraq
16 September 2006
It's been a long time since I've done a collab here. It's also been several months since I actually participated in a Writing Womyn collab. Bad me. But there was a topic posted for September which I think I can address easily:
Well, I wrote my first journal entry on March 20, 2000 and, 6+ years later, this is entry #2361, so I've been doing this for a long time!
I started because I had been reading my friend Steve Schalchlin's journal for awhile (the link is to his new site, but there are links back to the beginning). Steve started keeping an on-line journal in 1996 as a way to let his friends and family know how he was doing, since he was, everybody thought, dying of AIDS. Steve was only the sixth person to ever start an online journal. (Doug of Nilknarf News, another daily journaler and also a reader of this journal, was #7, starting his journal only a week after Steve's; Jim Lawrence of Jim's Journal, another reader here, is #13, only six months after Steve and Doug).
By the time I decided that journal writing was a natural for me I'd been doing it pretty much all my life, whether an official "journal" or in letter format the whole "journal" concept had exploded and there were thousands of people around the world who had begun to put their lives on line for all the world to see. Now I'm sure that the number is in the millions.
The time was right for me to move on to journaling. I had been learning HTML and had created a web site on the Davis Community Network that had just "grown like Topsy." I had designed 40 pages and was running out of things to make web pages about, so the natural move was to a journal format. I had filled up my allotted space on DCN, so looked around for free space. (This was in the pre-Blogger days.)
I found Geocities and that worked for me. At that time, Geocities was not owned by Yahoo and it was attempting to create a real virtual "community" so when you joined, you got to choose the "neighborhood" where you wanted to settle. Then it showed you something that looked like a map, where you got to see street names and available "houses" where you could establish yourself. I don't know how long that cutesy little idea lasted, but not long.
I'm still with Geocities, though now they host my domain name, so I don't have to worry about ads and can be more creative with my page designs. I'm sure there are better options than Geocities, but I really haven't had any complaints...and everything is backed up from entry #1 forward, so if it goes belly up, I won't lose anything. It would just be a humongous pain to recreate the whole thing.
At the time I posted my first entry, Ned was working for a radio station (different one from the one he works for now) and had just moved into a playhouse on a gas station lot as a publicity stunt to raise money to buy shoes for homeless people in Sacramento. Their goal was to raise $10,000 and I think they exceeded that goal.
I was so proud of him and I really wanted the tell the world about this special thing my son was doing, so it seemed a pefect time to start a journal. I'm sure nobody here has read that entry, so here it is.
Geocities only gave you a small amount of space, something like 20 MB, which I could fill in 6 months, so when the "beverlysykes" account filled up, I opened a "bevsykes" account. By the time I got around to actually buying a domaine and going "legit," I was using a "basykes" site and had set up a "bevasykes" if I needed to move on.
Once I got started, it became something I did compulsively. No matter where I was, I found a way to post an entry every day (well...except for when we were on a boat in the middle of the Thames for a week with no electricity!)
What keeps me coming back for more? I don't know. I like the discipline of producing a daily "column." I kid myself that someday someone is going to ask me to do this for a newspaper...and baby, I'm ready! I derive some perverse pleasure from putting my life out there for all of my Estonian readers.
I know there are times when my family isn't too happy with how open I have been on these pages, but I think they've come to accept it as Mom's little quirk. I do try not to be too terribly embarrassing to anybody that I care about. And I respect it if someone says "now don't put this in your journal."
(Of course, I also realize that everybody I know has to read this to find out whether or not I'm talking about them. heh heh heh. Good way to keep an audience!)
But over and above the mechanics of writing and the satisfaction of publishing, there are the friends I've made as a result of being part of the journaling community, some of whom I've met (like Bozoette Mary, SecraTerri, and Sunshyn [now on hitatus], among others) and some of whom I will probably never meet, like Marn, Rob, Denver Doug or John Bailey).
It's also fun when people you know in real life decide to take up journaling. The latest to enter the fray is my friend back east who has just started writing the delightful JoyZeeBoy, which has great promise of being an entertaining read, if he keeps it up. I've always enjoyed the wit and wisdom in his writings.
I may also be one of the few who regularly read a journal written by an amazing couple of cats. They don't write all that often so hard to type without opposable thumbs but they do quite well for what they have created. Always a fun read.
After six years, journaling is just something that I "do." I can't imagine giving it up. Last month's "Writing Womyn" topic was to discuss the things that give you joy. This is both a joy in my life...and the monkey on my back...at the same time.
PHOTO OF THE DAY
Photo by Peggy
This is Journal entry #2361