Monday, March 9, 2009

Blogia Apologia

I’ll admit it.

This whole blog business still feels a little strange to me, and not simply because it took me three days to select an actual photograph of my head, and then expand my head so that it fits in a slightly more visible space above the shamelessly promotional “ABOUT ME” sidebar. (Don’t laugh – the photograph selection process is harder than it looks. If you choose to go with the default photo size, you will appear roughly the size of a pocket gopher. Fine if you’re not Heidi Klum, right? Problem is, if someone should dare click on gopher you to expand the photo, something out of The Ring happens to your face, and you become blurred, demonically distorted, and new, unfortunate moles appear on your face. To avoid this depressing turn of events, you can post an enlarged photograph of yourself.) Sans a glamour shot by a professional photographer, you’ll have to go it alone and seek out something where you’re centered, all parts are represented – it’s amazing how many Hannibal top-head-sheared-off pictures exist of me – and where you don’t have, at least in my case, an angry smirk. Which is, if you must know, my “resting face.” At present, I exist in a somewhat washed-out looking state, but I figure that’s okay, since I’m currently an Oregonian. It goes along with the nougat and the hemp pants.

Once you deal with your mug, it’s on to the blogging, wherein you do your best to strike the right tone of geniality and humor, intelligence and wit. Or none of the above. In a futile effort to learn exactly how to blog, I consulted the blogs of several writers I admire, only to learn that A) none of them actually had blogs, B) they considered blogging the direct antecedent of the recession and/or subsequent death of professional journalism, and C) the ones who do blog do so with a snarky, venomous vigor that single-handedly defines and deconstructs the zeitgeist, and basically scares the crap out of me.

How did I get here? Why am I doing it? Can I say “crap”? Does anyone, save my friends and family, even read this thing? More importantly, can Oprah sue me for the Favorite Things/sex toy analogy?

I don’t know the answers to any of these questions, but I do know this: When my editor tells me it’s in my best interest to start blogging, to introduce America to my voice and my wheat-colored head, I say how much, how loud, and yikes, maybe I should get a haircut. When she tells me to build my brand, I pump a fist into the air and shout “Yes!” while wondering how exactly Nike is going to fit my head on the side of a tennis shoe. I’m still struggling to find my voice, to not get sued, and to find a way, in the end, to make people excited to read Bone Worship. I hope I don’t offend sensitive bookstore conglomerates’ collective eyes with my blogbastic ramblings. I hope no one holds this thing against me when it comes time to throw out some names for the Dylan Thomas Prize. Ultimately, to quote Stefan from Top Chef – and probably some well respected, albeit severe German philosopher whom he’s paraphrasing – “It is what it is.” It’ll have to do.

At least until the website. ;)

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