It was my daughter who got me started blogging. She was all 13 years old and she already knew of the whole web log phenomena which was occurring under my nose. Actually, I was a little embarrassed she knew about it as it showed how badly out of touch I was with the wired world – me who started using PC's and learning basic way back in 1980. At the time, it was impossible to hold anything like a reasonable discussion of issues in our home. Her middle brother was in the frat boy stage which he is only starting to slowly emerge from and her youngest brother was fully entrenched in the Denis the Menace syndrome. She has always been a curious soul and wanted to know what I knew, but more importantly, how I came to form the opinions I held/hold.
She introduced me to blogger and told me that if I would write, she would read and send me her comments via email. It appealed to my inner parent who sees everything as a life lesson and what better way to help her improve her reading, writing and critical thinking skills? So I wrote for her about what piqued my interest. I even named the blog after my pet name for her – The Last Amazon. What else do you call a thirteen year old girl who was an academic scholar, a championship swimmer, a designated expert marksman, and a biathlon athlete?
A funny thing happened along the way in this monologue/dialogue with my daughter. It expanded to include other people's sons, daughters, parents, grandparents and aunts and uncles. Cousins too. Eventually, she grew tired of reading my blog and moved on and I gave up blogging for a bit but the bug hit hard and I found I needed to blog for my own sake. Of course, the massive writer's block which hit when I gave up blogging helped to get me back in the cyberfray.
During the last year I have been relatively discontent with the limitations of this blog and blogger. I have toyed with getting my own website and have had offers from friends to host my own site off their domain, but I just didn't want to be a guest as it seems just to much like what I already am at blogger. No different really than just changing the equivalent of changing cyber hotels. I wanted a space to eventually expand my own place to include my fiction and paintings as well as my blogging A place to call entirely my own - a permanent residence with many rooms in what I call my exile.
Blogger's actions in taking my blog offline after I was flagged as a 'spam' site was the last straw. It was resolved relatively quickly but the irony wasn't lost on me when I have so often been the victim of spammers. I don't want to be somewhere where anyone with a mission or a grudge and a chip on their shoulder can take me offline using the handy-dandy flag tab at my blog to put me in the equivalent of cyber administrative detention. The one constant hate I have had held onto in my life is a loathing of dealing with any form of bureaucracy. I have learned the labyrinth but it still doesn't mean I derived any pleasure or enjoyment from entering to navigate the corridors.
So this my long good-bye to the Last Amazon at blogspot. Its been fun but the party is over here now at the Last Exile. Come gather or not – as the road takes you. The residence-in-exile is still rather sparse and I am on a learning curb but the walls and archives are up. I'll be spending the coming months learning the software and making changes. Until then, Shalom.