Thursday, February 1, 2018

Happy New Year (Take Two)

The Enterprise, December 28, 1966.

Normally I’d mark the turning of a new year on January 1. But the first month of 2018 was 2017 trying to hang on for as long as possible, like the guest who refuses to acknowledge that the party’s over. For reasons I don’t feel like going into, it was a sucky month for my family. So, as the end of January neared, Louisa and I agreed we’d reset on February 1.

Among the elements of that reset: writing more instead of staring in front of the computer screen like a drooling zombie. I was inspired by a recent piece in the New Yorker which lamented the gradual disappearance of old-school blogging. Thinking about it, I realized that going back to regular entries on one of my existing blogs might help with several recent concerns.

  • Keeping in good writing practice, especially as I hunker down on a book project I’m currently working on.
  • Stress relief in a fun, easygoing way.
  • Being on social media less. My enjoyment of sites like Facebook and Twitter has waned, both from the feeling that I stare at both too much and, especially in the case of Twitter, the increasing screechiness and toxicity of the postings (which applies to all political leanings). When you reach a point when you frequently wish you could post your own material but avoid most everyone else’s to dodge the mentally-draining onslaught of opinion, there’s a problem. Writing in a freer environment may allow more time for contemplation without having to cram in thoughts, or feel obsessively compelled to see who has liked or noted your work. I want to live a real life, not a virtual/electronic one.

The Enterprise, December 28, 1966.

So, this site is being reactivated after a long slumber to see what unfolds. Not everything will go on here—longer pieces related to Toronto history will appear on Tales of Toronto (aiming to eventually make that site a mix of new material and revisited reprints), and bonus material for paid work will appear on JB’s Warehouse. But everything else will appear here—personal thoughts, roamings around the city and elsewhere, goofy research discoveries, etc. There will also be updates for my professional work, as this format seems easier than rounding that side of my life up into periodic newsletters.

No promises as to how long this effort will last. But it’s worth a shot. Enjoy the trip.

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