Tuesday, March 6, 2012

The Prettiest Blog

Let's be honest, this isn't the prettiest blog.  I'm not going to pretend it is, or offer a conceit as to why, hypothetically, we might pretend it is, as though that could prove some larger point.  That would be a silly thing to do, and blogging is serious business.

But even so, wouldn't it be nice if it were?  Supposing I had the design sense to actually produce an appealing layout or color scheme or, God forbid, a logo?  Perhaps a more appealing default text, or a more readable flow might bring some joy to the proceedings.

Sadly, I'm not a visuals guy.  I'm more of a goofy words and sounds guy.  Strange noises get in my head, and after a fitful period of teasing and re-contextualization, they turn into blog words.  Blog words are a lot like regular words, except they echo endlessly into the meaningless void; regular words, being sounds (or physical symbols), generally drop out of existence in the lack of a physical medium.

See what I mean?  I do crazy stuff like that.

The point of all this is that my blog is not optimized for good looks.  But that doesn't mean that it couldn't be, or that I couldn't try harder.  In fact, lately I've been trying to do just that.  Months ago I made some archive pages for the top of the screen, for Essays, Reviews, Fiction and Poetry; just the other day, I finally finished putting all of the relevant items on those pages.  All it took was, like, two hours of work!  And most of that was dawdling and procrastination.  But it got done, and it helps bring the whole blog together.  Things like that just make the blog a little prettier.

And you know, there's other things I can do to make it prettier.  I could trim all of the links sections, move some templates around; hell, I could even have a guy who knows colors help me fix the visual stuff.  Because I do know a guy.  I know a couple.  And I'm sure they'd have opinions if I asked.

Oh, and also, more content.  That's kind of the whole point of all this, right?  The internet (or the Internet, as it pretentiously insists on being capitalized) hungers constantly for new content, and rewards us when it is fed.  The rewards are abstract and often of dubious value, but it's nice to feel needed.

This month will probably see a few more reviews, as there are some things I'd like to do some analysis on and spread my thoughts.  I've probably mentioned this before (I'm pretty sure I have), but writing reviews is hard.  If you like something, it's hard not to praise it to death.  If you hate it, well... genuine, juicy hatchet jobs don't always come easy to me.  And of course, the tendency toward abstraction is so overwhelming, you can end up writing sentences that only barely qualify as English.  The words are all there, but the meaning is not so very much.

I say "you" because I assume at least someone else has these difficulties, but I really mean "me."  You don't have to assume I was talking about you.  In any event, I want to get better at reviewing.  So I'm going to practice it a little bit on a couple of different things.  If I get really confident, I might try it on something I don't like!

Once I've gotten those reviews out of my system, I'll get back to generating really original content, like poetry and fiction.  That is the ostensible reason I do this, after all.  It's probably vanity and it might be a little weird, but above all else, I like the idea of having a written corpus associated with my name.  Organizing all of my work on those pages, I started realizing that I had actually produced a few things I'm genuinely proud of.  If I've got nothing else in this world, I can at least say I made some art, in my own way.  I put in a little thought and a little focus, and I made something a little good.  Maybe even a little pretty.

I think I'm mostly talking about Rabbit Bar.  What a cute little story that is!  I'm proud of that one, I don't care what anybody says.

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