Friday, July 14, 2006

Preparing to Sing (Tuning into the Sound of My Own Voice)

I spent hours Thursday afternoon skimming through a word document in which I keep drafts of all the old posts to Joystory, drafts of potential posts and a series of one or two line concepts for potential posts. The file is 148 pages long with a word count of over 70,000 and all but three pages represents posts that were published and not counting those posts that were of the ‘Blog this’ variety (commentaries or reviews of things read or saw somewhere online) as those are kept in a separate document also over a hundred pages though less than half of them were ever actually posted because they were time sensitive and I fiddled with them too long..

My purpose was to mine Joystory for themes that could be returned to in future posts and for posts that either already were or could easily be turned into polished essays or book reviews for one of my other two websites, Joywrite or Joyread. I found quite a few and I’m hoping this will encourage me to start working on those sites again. The sticking point that is hard to get past is the need to re-familiarize myself with HTML and with Selida, the free WYSIWYG that I used to create the sites. Actually the version I downloaded onto my new laptop last November was an updated version of the one I am familiar with so that has increased my proclivity to procrastinate. But I shouldn't be so leery. I learned my way around the first version I had quite easily as it has good help files and good online support. For freeware you can't ask for better. This is going to be a challenge as I have let the sites lay fallow for over a year now, ever since things started falling apart in my personal life about this time last year. And at that time I had only been working with the sites again for a few weeks after letting them sit for several months after the events following the tsunami threw me off track. So my fledgling HTML skills have all but crawled back into their egg.

While browsing those posts though, I was struck by how often the ‘gobstopper’ theme recurred in various ways in both the current events of my life and in my reflections on my past. Since I didn’t get anything else prepared and need to devote most of tonight’s session to preparations for Friday’s library trek, I thought I would direct you to one of those early posts that introduce that theme--the stifling of voice. I had tried in a very clunky way to retell the story related in Conscience vs. Consensus in an early version of Gobstoppers (see below) before I had to slice and dice it to bring the word count down from 3000 to under 1000. I must warn you that this was also a lengthy essay but if you are interested in hearing about the event that catapulted me irrevocably out of the fundamentalist mind-set, this is where I told it shortly after I started Joystory.


Teaser: It involved witnessing the disciplining of an infant for crying via a hand over the mouth on the exhales to deprive him of the ‘reward’ of hearing the sound of his own voice.

1 tell me a story:

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