Three Years In The Dream Antilles
The third anniversary of this blog, The Dream Antilles, is in three weeks, on August 3, 2008. This is the 317th post. And this is a very brief introspection on the past three years.
What began as a way to promote my vastly underselling 2005 novel, The Dream Antilles, morphed first into a lit blog, and then took on aspects of a political blog, and finally blossomed into an eccentric collection of commentaries on whatever strikes me as something I would enjoy writing about.
When I initially began, I hoped there would be tons of comments on my essays. There aren't. In fact, there are hardly any comments at all. But I know that I'm not the unheard vox clamatis in deserto because there are two web counters in the right column of the blog, and they tell me there have been about 10,000 page views in the past year. Let me put this in perspective. Some blogs receive more than 10,000 page views in an hour. Those who read this blog around the world are far, far fewer. But they are nevertheless readers to whom I owe my thanks for reading and my appreciation when they bookmark the site and when they return, even if they generally don't stop to write comments.
Because I nevertheless wanted to read comments, I wrote diaries first at daily Kos, and then I began to write at my favorite group blog, docuDharma, cross-posting from The Dream Antilles. I found docuDharmaniacs a delightful, diverse, interesting, fun group. Kossacks not so much, though I sometimes still go against my instincts and cross-post there. Many of the resulting comments are disappointing to me. Regardless, docuDharma satisfies my desire to receive (and write) comments even if this blog doesn't.
Why do I keep on writing? You could ask as well why I keep on breathing. It's something I do. Unlike many of my favorite writers, Garcia Marquez, Roberto Bolano, Ricardo Piglia, I don't live in a place where there is an established, literary cafe culture. I can't go out this evening to my favorite cafe and find the other writers with whom I've been hanging out to discuss my latest ideas. Or theirs. So in a way, The Dream Antilles is a kind of substitute for that interaction. It's something that I do even though I'm working on another novel. Blogging is like a conversation that can always be resumed.
Will I continue? Of course. Going on and on isn't something new to me. Before I blogged, I began to write a long serious of essays on the death penalty and my opposition to it. I started in March, 2002, more than 6 years ago, and there have been 186 essays. Those essays are distributed by yahoogroups to more than 120 readers, but I have written fewer and fewer of them as I began to blog. Lately, I've been taking my blog posts on that topic and sending them to the listserve.
What's my favorite part? I just loved writing the recent essay about Salicornia. Stories like that just light me up. I learn something. I get to think about something new. I get excited. I hear the inside of my head say, "Wow!" I just love it.
Thanks again for reading. And special thanks for making the 3 Year Anniversary of The Dream Antilles possible.