One of the two best things for me about this year of blogging – and the less expected of the two – has been the feeling that I belong to a group of congenial, bright, interesting people – friends -- who welcome and accept me, an unbounded neighborhood of thinkers and writers who come and go, stopping by to chat whenever they like, and who can agree or disagree without rancor. The stable heart of this community is a cozy “pod” of frequent commenters and fellow bloggers, but the community’s borders can expand instantly, infinitely, in any direction, through the amazing network of links that is the blogosphere. Anyone can join immediately just by appearing.
One tends to think that one’s own pod is the best – the nicest people, the most cogent commenters – just as one tends to think one’s own children are the most beautiful and gifted -- but whenever I visit other blogs I see that they have their pods too, often interlocking with mine, and those groups seem every bit as interesting and intelligent and caring as mine. And I end up wishing I belonged to all those pods, just as I sometimes wish I could experience other people’s families as fully as my own.
The other best thing about this year is that the blog turns out to have been the raw material for a book. I’ve been writing a book all this time and didn’t know it. I’ve compiled 87 of my best, most preservable posts and polished them slightly as needed, and once I get some front and back matter and jacket copy and so forth – and a title, for that matter -- I’ll take it to a publish-on-demand company so that you all (and I hope that means all!) can buy copies. It will be mostly microfiction, with small handfuls of travel pieces and personal essays and haiku and literary commentary added, because this isn’t just a short story collection, it’s a self-portrait in blog posts: something new, something I’m helping to define by doing it.
Comments won’t be included in the book, by the way – those are yours, not mine – but I hope readers of the book will be motivated to return to the blog and find the comments on pieces they like.
So thank you again, frequent readers and first-time readers, commenters named and anonymous, fellow bloggers, fellow humans met and unmet. You have enriched my year immeasurably.