I originally started Margin Notes in the summer of 2005. I posted pretty regularly for the next half year or so, then trailed off at around the same time that I matriculated in a master’s program in non-fiction writing at a local university. As I started working more seriously on some personal writing projects, I found that blogging was a distraction from the type of writing I wanted to work on then. In short, blogging was no longer filling a need.
Now I’m back. Big changes are looming in my life, as my new wife (six-year girlfriend before that, though) and I contemplate moving from Baltimore to Montana so that she can begin her first full-time job in wildlife research. She’ll leave first, in late February, while I will stay behind to (1) finish out a third year at my current job and (2) deal with whatever we end up deciding to do about our house. She’ll rejoin me in early August, when we will pack up and pull stakes for the drive west. Several factors in all of this have conspired to awaken the blogging itch: my impending solitude (through August), the upheaval, the desire to keep up with old friends and make new ones, etc.
There’s another factor, too: I want to be a student of my new home, right from the start, in a way that I never was a student of Baltimore. I’ll be a true alien in Montana, or — at least — Montana will truly be alien to me, and I want to approach my new living situation with a writer’s comprehensive curiosity. As an easterner and big-city dweller these last 8 years, and an easterner in general for most of the 25 years before that, I carry all sorts of prejudices and assumptions — suspicions, even — about “flyover country,” and I want to pay careful attention to the confrontation between these preconceptions and the truth.
And writing is the best way I know to pay attention.
Last night, I erased the old Margin Notes mySQL database from my host’s server (although of course I backed it up first).
Here’s to new beginnings.