It's hard to believe that six years have passed since I joined this place and posted my first writeup.
Almost a decade ago I found a neat website by random chance—it was like an online encyclopedia, but with well-crafted opinion, essay, poetry, fiction, experimental pieces and more. The mission statement was right in the name: it was a site about everything. This strange little site even encouraged people to sign up and add thier voices to the so-called nodegel. I was tempted, but far too intimidated at the time.
I'd come by E2 from time to time to read the latest writings, or look up odd facts. Much of the writing was good, and a few writeups were exceptional. More than once I thought, "I bet I could do this."
In late 2004, my mother died. I found myself in need of something to expand my horizons, to challenge me—I needed to do something different. I decided to sign up for an Everything2 account.
Those early days were so heady! I hurled myself headlong into research and writing, I had help from such luminaries as JohnnyGoodyear, Wertperch, and Rootbeer277, among many others. I spent hours at the library, researching the minutiae of everything I wrote. Still, there was that thrill of trepidation every time I hit "submit."
Never in my life had I been so inspired to write. Praise, criticisms, reflections, and other commentary flowed in—it was amazing! I watched my node count increase and got to know a number of the regulars around the place. I noded what I knew: my job, my hobbies, and my interests. Sometimes I noded what I didn't know, but wanted to learn about.
The grains of sand flowed through the big hourglass and many things came to pass. I went to several nodermeets, and I met some amazing people. I got into a squabble or two and feelings were hurt here and there. My writing improved more than I ever suspected it could. I met someone. I mentored a handful of beginning noders. I tried to help one person with what may have been schizophrenia, another with alcoholism—one of those turned out happily, the other...I will never know. There were triumphs and disappointments all along the way.
I spent outrageous hours writing about esoterica like trypanosomiasis, quinine, Goth music, and many others. I decided to write about my profession and that, with generous guidance from a great noder made for my highest-reputation node of all time. A video tape of old cereal commercials inspired me to piece together a biography of Cap'n Crunch, which in turn inspired me to invent one for Mr. Peanut. I read a biography of Jay Ward, the Rocky and Bullwinkle guy (inventor of the wacky Can'n Crunch mythos) and wrote a node about him. I saw an enchanting young Dorothy Dandridge play a bit part in a Marx Brothers film and did the same for her.
One of my pieces got into a real book. Another got re-written for another real book. The piece on breast massage found its way onto about a dozen women's health blogs and websites, and another node got used by permission on a guy's blog. I participated in some quests and developed a secondary personality for my other work. I participated in several Secret Santa exchanges. I had a lot of fun all the while.
Always a ham, I lent my voice to a few podcasts, then a few more. When the new generation of podcasts came around, we set up a group called podpeople, with yours truly as one of the people in charge. The results, while not frequent, have been quite enjoyable and, I believe, of very high quality. I even got to be an editor for a while, a position of which I was quite proud and defended in an editorial I called Real Editor Editorial
But alas, real world commitments and responsibilities sometimes take us far from the things we'd rather be doing. As my noding and my time on here has fallen, I set aside the mantle of editor and my output has decreased significantly. Other hobbies, like reading have also suffered, sad to say. But I often think about my strange little corner of the web, and I come back here to read, to see who the new faces are, or what old faces have reappeared.
Six years...really? Now I'm feeling a bit inspired. I still have that series I'd wanted to do about early animated cartoon pioneers. It won't make me an Iron Noder...but I think it's time to get back at it.
*raises his glass* Here's to many more years to come.