Sunday, April 1, 2012

The Busiest March

Yes, ladies and gentlemen, that was the most productive March in the history of The Wave Function Junction.  In fact, it was the second most productive of all months, by number of posts.  How I managed to make fourteen posts back in May 2009 is something of a mystery, given the rarity of updates in general around here.  I usually consider a month with five updates to be some kind of crazy, obsessive posting bender.  Eleven has got to be a symptom of something.

And truth be told, I actually meant to make one more.  The last post of the month was supposed to be another book review, of Barack Obama's Dreams from My Father.  Unfortunately, a number of factors prevented this post from being made.  Mostly, I didn't finish the book (about a hundred and forty more pages to go, actually), and I don't generally like to write about things I haven't finished.  Then there was the EMP, and I had to write about that, and The Big Lebowski, and between all the things I was doing with friends in and around Seattle, I figured the President could wait.  It's not like I haven't been boosting him around here.

So apart from that, I think the review train is going to come to a slow around here.  It's not that I'm done with them entirely, but my little experiment has run its course.  I got to practice my review writing, and hopefully enriched the blog experience.  Like all good experiments, the results taught me things I didn't know, things that will be useful in the future.

So what did I learn from the experience?  For one thing, I learned that when you post an article about a phenomenally popular book within a stone's throw of its release as a major motion picture, this happens to your page view ratings:
Yes, the effect was highly temporary, and page views don't really matter, but it's kind of interesting to see what a difference it makes just to mention The Hunger Games at an opportune time.

(Hunger Games Hunger Games Hunger Games Hunger Games Hunger Games!)

Sorry about that.  Page views feed my ego, and my ego is hungry.

I also learned what a valuable source of input and feedback my girlfriend can be.  At least three of the items I reviewed last month (including The Hunger Games) were things I experienced either with her or at her insistence.  I keep thanking her in public and in private, and it's probably getting a little annoying at this point.  But you know what?  It's still pretty damn awesome.  So thanks to her again!

As far as the writing goes, several substantive points emerged for me.  I tried approaching most of these posts from a different angle of attack, so hopefully a couple of different stylistic effects were apparent to the average reader who wandered by.  But I think the biggest divide came between subjects I already knew a lot about (such as Pet Sounds or The Legend of Zelda) and things I came to as a relative newbie (Einstein on the Beach).  I want to say that background knowledge makes for better reviews, since I was able to approach them more confidently, but I also tend to think the Einstein review was probably the best-written thing I did the whole month.  That might not be the consensus opinion, but it feels that way to me.

I also relearned that, while posting grainy pictures of famous things from museums with commentary may be an easy way to rack up page views (the one I did about the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art a year ago is currently my most viewed post of all time by a wide margin), it doesn't actually lead to good writing on my part.  So unless I actually get some vocal feedback one way or another on those, I probably won't do many more of them.  Unless I really want to.

So, what's next for this blog?  Well, that Dreams from My Father post needs to be written (which means the book needs to be read), so that'll probably go up soon.  I also had an idea for an essay about different ways of perceiving truth; sounds boring and abstract, I know, but I really want to write it and you can't stop me, dammit.  The question of whether humans are essentially intellectual or emotional creatures was recently raised by a friend of mine, and I feel as though an essay on this blog is probably the best place to sort out my thoughts on the issue.

In addition to those things, I have a pile of poems that should probably be read sooner or later, so why not sooner?  I've also got some new ideas for fiction that need writing, so expect a short story or two in the near future.  If you expect anything at all, anyway.

Anyway, that's roughly the state of the blog these days.  Thank you all, dear readers, for making this the best month in WFJ history.  Have a lovely day.

Hunger Games.

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