Several things occurred to me as I was about to hit the 'Publish' button and release my new & improved website to the world - literally. I thought about the usual dread I feel in releasing material to friends and family and strangers and enemies (completely grateful that even my enemies take a second to read my ramblings every now and then). I thought about the crushing guilt of not having posted ANYTHING in more than two years. Jesus, where does the time go? And I thought about those slick and ever-loyal sons of bitches who will be the first people to click through all five pages of my website (pace yourselves!) and land upon Magnolia Rambling only to see the same old tired posting from March 2011- the last it appeared I gave a shit about my blog and gave my audience something to read.
Well, the jokes on you! As it were....
I've got to say that I miss this. I miss sitting on my bed, laptop perched delicately on a pillow, the fan motor blowing unbelievably hot air across my legs. I miss making things up on the fly, not really knowing what is going to come next. I miss the thought of wondering what people will think of what I've taken the time and excruciating sacrifice to tap out - keys to the mental anguish I suffer as I sip casually on a Stella Artois and marvel at how much of an a-hole I sound like. It makes me laugh.
Like the first page of the website reads, "I Write It, You Love It (and tell a friend)". I live to write and I am the first one to kick myself in the rear for not coming back to the blog and my confirmed 11 followers for such a stupid long time. I used to have a part-time job at night and I used that time to improve my mental faculties, writing about this and that to pass the time. When I left that job after six and a half years, I fully expected that my every waking moment would be fully consumed with writing. I was going to start my third novel, 'The Situation Room'. I was going to blog at least once a week until my head and my fingers hurt. I was going to contribute tirelessly (and on time) to my now second career, Managing Editor of Behavioral Sciences for Charlatan Magazine. I was going to be a super husband, a super father, a super dog owner, and everyone would love me. And then I found the sofa. Ah, the sweet, sweet, comfort of my sofa. For six months, the sofa has won. But no more.
As I created my website, courtesy of the folks at Go Daddy who must have known that I am seriously technologically-challenged, and as I decided that www.markvertreese.com should be a one-stop shop for all things written by me, I thought about this blog, and my separation anxiety from my sofa. By publishing my website, and including a link to Magnolia Rambling, I was decidedly committing myself to kicking my sofa to the curb. From the outstanding - and VERY MUCH appreciated - reviews I've received regarding my novels, I decided it was high time I got back on the horse. First step, of course, was creating the website. The second step, though not writing this blog entry, was putting on my big boy underwear, firing up the laptop and telling my 'lazy' to take a hike. I absolutely love to write. And I don't care if I'm only writing for my 11 followers, the people who continuously and very boisterously support my novels, or the international audience which subscribes to Charlatan Magazine, I'll write when and what I can - and as much as I can. I seek to entertain as much as I hope to educate, and I think I've done a pretty good job so far. Not sure when it happened, or why it chose me, but writing grabbed me and never let go.
I love it so much, in fact, I've been toying with a new tattoo. I can't wait to get it. If any of you out there are inked, you'll understand it when I say that once you get one, you want more! I was talking to my Uncle Garfield following my big brother's funeral (love you, Mike). He asked me if I'd ever thought about writing for money, for a living. I told him that I never wanted to write beyond my passion. I don't do this for a check - obviously. And I don't do it for notoriety (I will forget I ever wrote that when I'm accepting my Oscar for Best Original Screenplay). I write because it feels good. I write because I like to make people laugh and smile and think. And I write because it's one of the only things that I'm actually very, very good at. My tattoo will read: "Never Write Beyond Your Passion" - location as yet fully undecided.
Whatever you do, whether it's finding your voice as a writer, being the best parent you can be, working your ass off at your job, or being there for a sick sibling or loved one, I encourage you all to do that which makes you happy (and please make it legal). Life is too short not to follow your passion. I'm following mine, and it feels great!