Here we are, then: the first in the series of user-generated topics. Glacial Till writes:
I think a post on your blogging history would be cool. What led you to blogging? Who are your inspirations and such.
Oh, my. Let’s see if I can remember back that far…
Got me start on LiveJournal, actually, many years ago, babbling about writing with and for some excellent writerly friends. Started me own (now-defunct) website after a bit, still writing on writing, but this was the height of the Bush regime and so some political rants crept in as my liberal tendencies were unleashed. Because friends had forced me to sign up for a MySpace account and because it was easier to blog there, I migrated for a bit – you can still see it here, if you’re that bored.
And those, you might say, are the prequels to ETEV. So why did this blog start?
Because I couldn’t take it any more.
The rampant political stupidity that made me want to howl from the rooftops. The rampant IDiots, running about mucking up biology education and making hideous movies like Expelled. Not to mention all of the other rank stupidity stampeding through the world. MySpace wasn’t a good platform for the full-throated rants necessary to counter it.
PZ’s the one who inspired me to start this blog, and to celebrate science upon it despite the fact I’m no more than an interested layperson. This post, right here, is one you should go read right now, because it explains everything this blog became.
Well, nearly. Getting adopted by the rock stars of geology set ETEV on a whole new course. Somehow, it had evolved from a foul-mouthed baby blog focused on political stupidity with a smattering of science into something that geobloggers recognized as one of their own, even if I couldn’t see that. But they inspired me to work me arse off delivering the goods. And that’s fostered my interest in science, which feeds back into my writing, and ever onward in an endless circle.
This is still very much an amateur effort. Someday, maybe even sooner than I expect, I’ll make the leap into full-time professional writing. And I’ll get there because of the bloggers like PZ and Bora who showed me the importance of this medium, and the geobloggers and other science bloggers who showed me that all it takes is hard work and passion to write something worthy of reading. But they’re only part of the equation. I’ll get there because of the inspiration provided by my favorite authors and fellow fiction writers/bloggers like Nicole.
I’ll get there because of my readers. Yes, you – the one sitting there reading this post right now. Without you, do you think any of this would be possible? Do you think I’d still be dedicating so much time and effort to these pages, if it wasn’t for you? Without you, I’d spend that time in front of the teevee, or tucked in bed with an improving book, or practicing karate with the cat, when I wasn’t struggling on alone with a very difficult fiction novel. And I’d be less of a writer because of it. Not to mention, I wouldn’t have half the motivation to go out and have adventures and take the very best pictures I can.
So, dear reader, when you ask where my inspiration comes from, the very first thing you should do is go find a mirror.
And now I shall take the opportunity to give a special shout-out to my geoblogging inspirations. I read more geoblogs than I list here, but these are the folks who, combined, form the star I revolve around. In no particular order, then:
Silver Fox at Looking for Detachment
Lockwood DeWitt at Outside the Interzone
Glacial Till at Glacial Till
Ron Schott at Geology Home Companion
Brian Romans at Clastic Detritus
Ann Jefferson and Chris Rowan at Highly Allochthonous
Dan McShane at Reading the Washington Landscape
Wayne Ranney at Earthly Musings
Elli Goeke at Life in Plane Light
I want to mention four bloggers in particular who have provided more support, encouragement, and food for thought over the years than I ever expected. They’re fantastic bloggers and even more fantastic friends:
Cujo at Slobber and Spittle
George at Decrepit Old Fool
Suzanne at Two Ton Green Blog
Woozle at The Hypertwins Memorial High-Energy Children Supercollider Laboratory and Research Center for the Inhumanities. Okay, so it’s not technically a blog, but who cares? Especially with a name like that!
A special shout-out to the man who made me believe in bloggers, and who got me thinking and writing about politics so many years ago: Steve Benen at The Washington Monthly. Before him, I didn’t really take blogs seriously. He’s an incredible talent, a wonderful human being, and still the one political blog I turn to when I haven’t got time for more.
And, finally, a very special shout-out to Karen, whose comments have so often given me that much needed prod in the arse necessary to keep me going. How I wish you’d start a blog!