by justcallmeraegen

The title of this lovely blog design is called “Manifest,” but it seemed to me, given my personality (or multiple personalities, depending on whom you ask), that the word was missing the O. For those of you who know me — especially as a writer — you know I can rarely leave well enough alone with things as they appear the first go-round. For those of you who don’t, welcome to the insanity.

This brings me to the purpose of this blog. Why, after several years of blogging on Myspace, then several years of not blogging at all, have I returned to it? You people won’t stop nagging me about it. And by “you people,” I’m of course referring to my wonderful friends who — masochists that they are — actually tolerate me saying such things about them. The most recent request, made in a freezing car when I was back visiting my hometown, Chicago, was direct and to the point: “Y-y-you should start w-w-writing those b-b-blogs again. They m-m-made me laugh.”

So Goal 1: Make people laugh.

This then brings us to the mechanics of how laughter occurs. I’m not talking about the actual physical responses of the body, but what it takes to make people laugh from a communications perspective. It’s crazy, really, when you think about how little, oddly shaped symbols can actually invoke bodily reactions.

… … …

Of course, most often, we think of how words can in fact hurt us — sometimes more than sticks and stones. And perhaps somewhere down the line in my rantings, you may find that I have accomplished that too. This is not my goal, however, and if it does happen, it will most likely be a result of my bringing to your attention a simple disagreement we may have about how to live life.

This brings me to the subhead of this blog: “Stupid, meaningless lives unite to discuss unpopular opinions.” The first part I stole from one of my friend’s old Myspace page because it’s genius and she’s not a writer, so she won’t sue me for it. Do I really think your life is stupid and meaningless? No more so than my own or anyone else’s; you can decide for yourself what that means. Which brings us to why we will be discussing unpopular opinions. In the age of reality TV, where anyone — regardless of talent and IQ — can be a star, I’m here to remind us there once was a time in which people had to at least do something, however minimal, to earn the fortune and fame they later enjoyed.

This brings me to what my blog will not be: A constant and shameless self-promotion of my work. It doesn’t nourish me, and it doesn’t entertain you. Yes, I am a published poet with a first full-length manuscript in the works, and I may occasionally drop a line about an acceptance here or there — likely because I’ve tended to be so private about it, a few of you have actually wondered aloud to me and/or the Internet world what this alleged poetry of mine might be like, if it really exists, and if it will continue to be produced. Yes, I am an associate editor and staff writer for both a monthly and quarterly publication, and I may show links to that work if it seems relevant to what I’m ranting about at the time. Yes, I read books that I love and will mention — but it will not be for the purposes of getting that author to follow my blog, like me on Facebook, etc., etc., to promote that career. If I like your work, great; if I don’t, whatever; but you’ll never see a review of someone or something on this site that I’m not passionate about just because someone has a big name in the creative writing world and I think they might somehow do something for me (which, if you’re in the creative writing world, should’ve made you chuckle, because seriously, “big name” in creative writing? Really? REALLY?)

Ideally, this blog will be an outlet for me and entertainment for you, then an outlet for you and entertainment for me. Ideally, it will be a discussion among us, because I happen to believe my friends are among the most intelligent, opinionated, and hilarious radicals on the planet right now — even if they wouldn’t categorize themselves as radicals (note I left out intelligent, opinionated, and hilarious — wink, wink). In my opinion, if you use your brain these days, you qualify as both a minority and a radical, and that’s all I have to say about that for the time being.

If you actually take the time to read something that’s longer than 500 words, this also qualifies you as a minority and a radical, and I salute you for being interested in doing so. Few things upset me more than the instant-gratification/attention-span-of-a-goldfish mentality so many seem to have these days… but you’ll find out about all those wonderful things down the line.

I always said if I could just find a way to get paid to think all the bizarre thoughts I was already thinking anyway, I’d have it made. Well, I’ve found that in writing. My only hope is that, down the line, this blog will continue to engage you. I’m shooting for at least one post a week because I still have to make time for my beloved oetry-pay. If you have topics you’d like to discuss — either through your own blog or through mine — you have an audience in me, so tell me about it! I hope to create a place that nurtures you souls in the world who still dare to read, think, and speak your mind.

Gift to self — done. Happy birthday to me!