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Super Sunday Blizzard (Herb is back!)

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It turns out I wasn’t the only one inspired by the blizzard last Sunday.  Something about the 5th-largest snowfall in Chicagoland history also struck a cord with Herb.  You remember Herb, right?  He’s a long-time follower and sometimes contributor to The Seeker.  He’s been making a lot of poetry in the past year, and passed this piece along.  I thought it was a good thematic companion to “Lake Shore Drive, February 1” and asked him if I could put it up here.  He was cool with that.

So here ’tis.  Enjoy.

Super Sunday Blizzard by Herb Ramlose

This blizzard today
is gorgeous
and dangerous

Seductive and enticing
beautiful and sensuous

Like a woman whom
one cannot resist

But nonetheless we must avoid
‘cause she touches just to burn
but not to satisfy

A beauty exists in her enigmatic countenance
a haunting in her illusive allure
a fascination in her mesmerizing manner

Much like a Siren
to which we are drawn
but to which we cannot avoid
try as we may

The danger drags us closer and closer
to disaster
and yet we cannot care not

As there is a luxury of exquisiteness
in that allure

A treasure sought but not to be discovered
yet something keeps us searching and hoping
that like the blizzard
We will be overwhelmed
in the ecstasy
of the moment of revelation

Consumed by the luxury
wallowed in the moment
of the unimaginable beauty and power

Uniqueness and grace
and special phenomenon
before us

 

 

Written by seeker70

February 8, 2015 at 1:03 pm

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Something’s Brewing pt. 7–Herb Takes Exception

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Note:  If you’ve been reading The Seeker for the past few years, you’ve come across some of Herb’s writing.  He reflected on Michael Jackson’s death a few years ago, and last year I was honored to put up his elegy to a late friend.  Though he never comments in public (despite my requests that he do so…), he does email me frequently with reactions to whichever posts attract his attention.  A few days ago, in what I can only imagine as a spit take when he read it, Herb let me know what he thought of my assessment that the Cubs played sorta respectable baseball this year.

Herb commented:

Respectable? Most teams have at least one hitter near Ramirez’s .300.  Certainly Castro is a true find even if he throws errantly at times or spends more time spitting sunflower seed shells than watching what’s going on on the field, and hits is the only area in which he leads compared to the leaders in all other categories in the National League. Plus, the Cubbies are tied with the Pirates as of this moment with a 70-87 record, 22 games out of first and ahead of only the Astros in the central division. Only two other teams in the National League including Houston have won less games, with Colorado having lost as many. Zambrano was an embarrassment and hopefully will not dirty the Cubs’ towels again. Hendry got fired before the season ended. Their boss seems to think all will be well if he goes out to the bleachers and hands out free baseballs. Soto may have 17 homers for the second straight year but is nowhere near his Rookie of the Year status from 2008.  Quade has not been the inspirational answer the players fought for at the end of last year, and it remains to be seen what kind of refreshing new g.m. Ricketts will bring in.  So, respectable?  I think not. But as you say, that’s the beauty of the game. It’s like starting a new school year: everything is clean and shining and nice and full of promise, and then…

 I did wrap up my very brief thoughts on the Cubs by noting that silver linings were hard to find anywhere near the corner of Sheffield and Addison, and honestly I skimmed over the crap that is that Cubs in favor of focusing on The Brewers, which is exactly how I dealt with the Cubs this year.
Truth be known, it was easy to unplug myself from the annual Northside Misery.  I still like the Cubs, but I’m tired of them.  I’m tired of the bumbling play and management.  I’m tired of the ticket scalping scene around Wrigley.  I’m tired of Zambrano.  I’m tired of the frat party atmosphere on game days.  Hell, I’m tired of being tired of it all.  Before this summer, it had been over two full seasons since I had gone to a game at Wrigley, and I didn’t miss it.  I was apathetic to the pathetic.  These feelings started to take root several years ago–last year I ran Carlos Zambrano Must Die, a serial examining the dolt’s game-by-game performance and his overall usefulness to the team.  Thankfully he short-circuited my short-sighted painfest by getting demoted to the bullpen, so I didn’t have to keep up with the serial.  Three years ago, I posted Notes on the Last Night of Misery, all about the assininity that was the Cubs playoff “run” and questioning the effectiveness of Lou Pinella.  Furthermore, at the risk of sounding heartless, I didn’t shed any tears when Ron Santo died.  While I respect his work for the Juvenile Diabetes Relief Fund and appreciate what he brought to the Cubs as a player, he was an unintelligible buffoon on the radio who all too often was out of touch with what was happening on the field and how to perform his job.  His pandering to the Hall of Fame diminished his accomplishments.  Fans ignore the fact that his fingerprints are part of an unbelievably epic collapse in the summer of 1969.  Instead, he is celebrated for being almost good enough.  Given all this, I’ll ultimately remember Ronnie as the embodiment of the most profound problem happening at the Friendly Confines:  He was all about nostalgia with no regard to excellence.
So yeah, I’m with Herb.  I guess I’m lucky in that I can unplug my Cubs feelings with relative ease when there is meaningful, well-played baseball to watch played by a nearby franchise that is finally getting things right.  And this shouldn’t be a surprise to anybody who knows me or reads this blog.  One of my first published stories, Shades of Blue, is all about how I came to my dual citizenship as a Cubs and Brewers fan.
Thanks for checking in, Herb, and setting the record straight.

Written by seeker70

September 27, 2011 at 4:44 pm

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So I Guess I Got Published?

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Longtime follower of The Seeker and former bossman Herb emailed me a few days ago to say congratulations on having “Anthropology” published.  I told him thanks for his sentiments and for the surprise–I had no idea the story was already out, and damned if I’ve seen the publication yet.  For whatever reason in my mind, I thought it’d be out in October or something.  Guess I was wrong.  Doesn’t matter.  I’m still published.

This one was more (or even the most) difficult the other stuff I’ve gotten into print.  I was trying to remember when I started it, and when I dug through old drafts on my laptop, I found a version dating back a year and a half ago.  I’m sure that’s not accurate, though, because I remember starting the story on Spring Break in 2011 when I walked into a local Starbucks and the idea for the story kinda exploded on me.  Actually, not the idea for “the story,” but intense motivation to at least write something.  I was watching and listening to the employees interact, mainly because one was carrying on like a phenomenal douchebag.  His tones of voice and high-minded thoughts and opinions cut through the pleasant pungency of coffee until they had polluted the environs entirely.  I tried to drown him out by turning up my headphones and working on whatever it was I originally went there to work on.  No dice–I was so compelled by whatever that stooge was doing that I started to document his interactions with his coworkers, and the setting details in the store, right down to the song that was playing at the time.  It turns out it was “I’ll Come Running After You” by Sam Cooke; the use of the song remained in the story throughout.

I putzed around with some stray ideas about Mr. Barrista, and ended up with six pages of a first draft in my journal.  I’m looking at them just now, and am surprised to see that I wrote the story in first-person.   I maintained that point of view for about three weeks as I revisited the story.  At one point, I tried to type it all out, and I think that was when I realized I was frustrated.  Things didn’t feel right, and I didn’t feel confident enough as a fiction writer to fix the situation.  For some reason, I didn’t crash forward heedless of roadblocks, which is what I pretty much do most of the time.  I stashed the story somewhere for a few months, and when I looked at it again, I had a good feeling.  I felt like I had been onto something, and couldn’t quite remember why I had put the story away.  I went back at it, put it down again for a short time, and resumed work after inspiration hit me via another short story I read.

It was around this time that I had the chance to take a fiction workshop at Northwestern.  I had a complete draft of “Anthropology” to submit, and it ended up being the first thing we work shopped.  I took my lumps and accolades, worked for a short time on adjusting a few things, and then got sidetracked by writing still another story.  “Anthropology” was dead–I chalked it up to experience, and didn’t regret that in the least.  Practice is important, and the experience of writing the story at least got me a little further along the way as a fiction writer.  In fact, I said herein that it’s ready for another workshop if the opportunity presents itself.

Last summer, then, at another workshop, I pulled “Anthropology” out again, but only because I needed something to put in my final portfolio that showed some kind of effort and multiple drafts.  I made a switch back to the first-person point of view, and when I read my piece to the class I was stunned by their reactions.  For the first time in a year and a half of sweating over the story, I felt like I had finally achieved some kind of effect with it.  I was encouraged enough to submit it to a few places for publication.  In January, the publications editor for the Illinois Association of Teachers of English emailed me to say that if I’m willing to tone down the sex and swearing, she’d bring the story to print.  I conferred with a few trusted friends, one of whom told me to stick to my guns and don’t make edits.  The urge to be published was overpowering, though, and another friend walked me through some edits he felt would soothe the editor without savaging the writing.  He must have been right.

So the process for this story ran more like an uncomfortable train ride with a lot of long layovers.  But it’s in print.  Or at least I’ve been told it is.  Don’t know when I’ll see it, but hopefully soon.  It’s unlikely that anybody not a member of IATE will see the story, but if you want to see it, drop me a line or post a comment and I’ll send it along.  Heck, I’ll even send the version with the original sex and swearing intact!

Written by seeker70

July 22, 2013 at 12:38 pm

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New Scriptor: The New Generation

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This year’s issue of New Scriptor arrived in the mail two weeks ago.  I’ve had the good fortune to be published by them again, and the good fortune to again be included with my main man Herb.  If you’ve been following The Seeker for a while, you’ll know that New Scriptor has become a part of my annual writing habits.  They’ve become a good way to get some recognition and to support the community of writers among Illinois educators.

Here’s one of my poems they published.  The other will follow tomorrow.

The New Generation by Jeff Burd

A kitten came to my father’s patio a few

years ago, one of those supremely lithe,

devastatingly handsome bobcat look-

alikes.  His instant celebrity entitled him

to tear around the house making

demands about food and attention.  Now

he stays out until all hours without so

much as a phone call.  He leaves his kills

on the kitchen floor.  He’s allowed his

full complement of switchblades, too,

despite the shredded furniture and

scarred hands.

                                Now there

is a yellow-crested hummingbird

perched on the feeder in the backyard

every morning.  He buzzes his wings and

bobs tenaciously, shaking the entire

contraption until he gets his tumbler of

nectar.  Dad never scolds him for lack of

“please” or “thank you” and never

expects a prayer before the meal.

When he’s done, the pudgy fellow flits

off without cleaning up after himself or

asking to be excused.

I ask dad about these unexpected

creatures, and he says they are his new

generation.  I don’t ask him why he has

returned to active duty, but am terribly

curious about this unexpected laizze-

faire parenting style.  He says now he

understands the rules of engagement,

that children are wild across species–

the most he can do is be there for them

along the way and

let happen whatever will happen.

Written by seeker70

July 16, 2012 at 2:03 pm

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Re-verse Pt. 5: I Wish To Inform You

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I haven’t been blogging at all for the past few weeks due to an unusually busy schedule and a lot of traveling, but I wanted to wrap up this serial by finally posting the poem I talked about in early October.  I had the chance to polish it a bit and present it at a poetry seminar I attended on October 30.  I was able to record the reading; it is pasted below.  By the way, I was impressed by the seminar leader, Herb Guggenheim.  He made some excellent points about writing verse, and shared a number of his own poems along the way.  You can check out what he has to offer in his book, The Further Adventures of Pete Sussman:  New and Selected Poems.

I Wish To Inform You by Jeff Burd

I Wish To Inform You — audio

Say we’re in your car

tooling around my neighborhood,

or around town,

or you’re giving me a ride to work.

You’re driving                            

and I’m strapped into the passenger seat.

                              

I’m gawking at the red and white Cape Cod

with the driveway framed by rows of maples

three doors down from my condominium,

and you’re starting to think

I’m some kinda rube                            

fresh off the farm

exploring the big city.

 

You’re shaking your head

and muttering

What the hell…???

as I’m wowing about the hedgerow

along the sidewalk that leads to the park

two blocks over

because somehow

I had never noticed it before.

 

But wait, there’s more!  I’m tilting my seat

and gazing through your sunroof

in heavenly wonder at the sky and clouds

and expounding upon their shapes and sizes!

 

By now you’re wondering aloud

that it’s no surprise I’m single

because how in the world

do you sell someone

on the notion

that what I’m doing

is normal

for anybody,

much less a forty-year old man?

 

Then I’m informing you that you’re not seeing

the disease, just a symptom of it.

See, for all these years I’ve had to focus on

getting myself where I’m going and haven’t

much been able to notice how I get there,

so going somewhere—anywhere—and appreciating

the journey is a luxury

because for once I don’t have to

worry about watching out for myself.

Written by seeker70

November 8, 2010 at 9:16 pm

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New Scriptor; Unsafe…

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When I checked the mail last Friday afternoon, I found a package that contained two copies of New ScriptorNew Scriptor is an annual literary publication exclusive to writing submitted by Illinois educators.  They accept all genres, plus art and photography.  It is edited and printed out of Adlai E. Stevenson High School in Lincolnshire.  The editors accepted each of the 3 pieces I submitted, and a few weeks ago announced that I was the featured writer for the year.  I found out, too, that I was in good company:  The publication also contains the poem “I Wish to Squander My Future,” written by a sometimes-contributor to The Seeker, Herb Ramlose (July 2009, March 2010).

My poem that was selected is below; I will publish the short story over the next two days.  As for the piece of nonfiction, you’ll have to wait.  I have further plans for it.

It’s a banner day in my life as a writer!

Unsafe at any Speed by Jeff Burd

Given that Rhinocerotidae can weigh four tons and

has been clocked at thirty mile per hour even though

he can only see thirty feet in front of himself, it makes sense

why some linguistically-inclined zoologist

          (or some zoologically-gifted linguist)

decided to call a group of rhinoceros a “crash,”

          – a crash of rhinoceri.  It was to

warn against that which is

inevitable

when they are stampeding southbound on the Serengeti and

some Impala crosses in front of them just south of Tanzania.

Written by seeker70

June 6, 2010 at 11:14 pm

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An Elegy

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Editor’s Note:  Welcome back to The Seeker, Herb Ramlose.  Herb last posted on The Seeker in the summer of 2009 when he ruminated on the death of Michael JacksonHe emailed me earlier this week to inform me of the passing of an old college chum.  He was kind enough to share a poem he wrote for the occassion, and consented to having it published here.  Thank you, sir.  I appreciate your contributions.

Where Art Thou, Dear Jimbo

Thus it begins
           that call one gets from a friend
                      “I have bad news”
Today
           the first day of spring
                      with snow falling
           the first has fallen
                      Jimbo is dead
Old college chum
           A North Parker
                       bigger than life

Viet Nam vet
retired postal worker
collector and curator
           of all things musical and vintage
           jazz and Flash Gordon
           Three Stooges and the Marx Brothers
           TV series and old movies
           sports and trivia
           a monumental mind
Cubs fan
           quick of wit
                      easy of temperament
                                 heart of gold

Died alone
            found alone
                       simply alone
            a fierce heart dead
                       a fierce spirit dead
                                  a fierce and loyal friend
lost to the world
Jimbo
           Jimbo
                       Jimbo
Where art thou, dear Jimbo

And where will we be
without you anymore
dear Jimbo

Written by seeker70

March 26, 2010 at 12:00 pm

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Itchin’ for some Fiction pt.1

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It’s a funny thing, writing.

Like I need to remind myself.  Or you.

I got to writing a story 2 weeks ago, and got so absorbed in it that I forgot the primary purpose behind this blog…  which is to serve as a metacognitive journal for my writing.  Plus other stuff.  So I’ve been heavy on the “other stuff” for a while now.  So heavy, in fact, that I’ve ignored the metacognitive part.  Until now, when I suddenly remember that I can talk out a few things here and settle some issues with my story.

The funny thing about this new story is that it is fiction.  Fiction.  The “F” word in my writing vocabulary.  I don’t write fiction.  I don’t like fiction.  Fiction is too structured.  Fiction is too vague.  Fiction is too ordinary.  Fiction is too unbelievably extraordinary.  Fiction is too hard.  Fiction is too stuck-up.  Fiction curries too much favor from the academically elite minds that dominate the craft of writing, which in turn enables fiction to make my beloved Creative Non-fiction its literary bitch.

I’ll credit two sources for this sudden shifting of gears.  One would be my friend Nath Jones, who recently joined a writer’s group that I’ve been part of for two years.  She’s the first fiction writer to join us, and it must be something about her psychic waves lapping at the shores of my mind (I’m not the only one…  Matt Wood, another CNF writer in our group, just gave us a piece of fiction he wrote).  My second source would have to be David Foster Wallace and a piece he had in The New Yorker a few weeks back.  It got me to thinking about how fiction writers can create and use Allegory to broaden their themes (I did a little digging to be sure I was using the correct term…  A Handbook to Literature told me that allegory is a form of extended metaphor in which objects and persons in a narrative are equated with meanings that lie outside the narrative itself…  Thus it represents one thing in the guise of another [another special shout-out to my man Herb, who gave me AHL when he retired]).  Check out “All That” to see how Wallace does it.
So I got to thinking about how I can work to add a skill like that to my writing repertoire.  I must have just needed to announce to myself that I was interested in that, because about 3 days later, in the midst of some cognitive processing, I was blindsided by something.  And it wasn’t my usual CNF impulse, which usually feeds me parts of stories.  This sucker came to me in its entirety– the whole thing dropped into my lap.  So now I am tasked with chiseling and shaping it until I get the story in the best form I know how.  But I’m not dealing with allegory in my story…  more like it’s kid brother Symbolism.  Still, it’s a step in a new direction.

I’ve touched upon a significant difference between fiction and non-fiction.  Fiction writers intentionally create symbols and allegories to further their themes.  The fiction writer doesn’t announce those meanings; he implies them and leaves the rest to the reader.  A simple example of this is the titular mockingbird of To Kill a Mockingbird.  But allegory and symbolism aren’t indigenous to the CNF ecosystem, because CNF deals with real life.  In real life, man makes symbols intentionally, and is intentional with their meanings.  A simple example of this is my friend Jim’s 1990 Indiana State Football Championship ring.  It was intentionally designed to symbolize everything about that season, his school, his team, his work ethic… 

Written by seeker70

January 9, 2010 at 7:58 pm

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A Culture of Deception

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Faithful reader(s)– here’s how it should have been earlier this week. It took some digging, but I found a copy of the post the way it should have appeared to you. A special shout-out to my man Herb, who recovered the post in his email and sent it back to me. You remember Herb, right? If not, check out his take on Michael Jackson’s death last summer.
— Jeff

Warren Township High School got caught cheating on last spring’s Prairie State Assessment Exams. Warren is my local school district; so local, in fact, that from where I’m sitting right now I could practically hit the junior/senior building with a rock. An article was published in the local paper last week that detailed what happened.

For years before tighter regulation (NCLB), a lot of districts played fast and loose with testing requirements. A popular ploy used by many high-scoring districts was to keep their lowest-scoring students out of the building during the testing. Sometimes it was a field trip, sometimes they were told to stay home. For some, I’m certain, it was suspension because of issues not related to the tests. So, when you’re most at-risk students weren’t there to drag down overall test scores, then the overall test scores looked pretty good. The message sent to the public, then, was that everything was fine and look how good our students do. Just not all the students. NCLB counteracted a lot of those ploys with legislation, but that wasn’t enough to keep my local school board from inventing new ways to cheat.

Federal law states that all high school juniors must take the PSAE. Across the state of Illinios, for the most part, a junior is a student who has earned 11 credits. School districts cling tightly to that determination, so even if a student has attended high school for 3 or more years, he most likely won’t take the tests unless he has earned 11 credits. Warren’s school board tweaked the 11 credits requirement to include 2 full years of English, Science, and Math. They can’t do that.

The article points out some interesting statistics as far as who was excluded: a quarter of the black students at the junior level, and about a third of Hispanics, low-income, and special education students. Guess who traditionally scores the lowest nationally on standardized tests? Minorities, students from low-income families, and, of course, students with learning disabilities. What would Warren’s scores look like if they hadn’t cheated? It’s hard to say exactly, but the recalculated scores show that Warren failed.

So who cares? Lots of people, especially residents in neighboring districts who have lower (and even declining) property values. Property value is determined by the standardized test scores of the local school districts, so I’d say those people have good cause to care about who is cheating. Three of Warren’s surrounding districts not only have lower property value, but have significant numbers of minorities and low-income families.

It’s hard for me to say, however, that the people in Gurnee care. They seem oblivious to what is happening in the local schools, so long as the test scores keep climbing. That implies tacit consent for achievement at all costs, even if that means cheating. The cheating issue is but one serious problem my local district has had recently. A short list includes a gun in school earlier this year, a teacher-student sex scandal a few years ago, and an issue with a principal that used district funds to pay for personal items such as ties and phone sex.

It’s interesting to note that when I researched and fact-checked the phone sex issue, the name of a whistle-blower came up; it was the same person who blew the whistle on the standardized test deception– a retired teacher from the district who appears to know things from the inside. I have to admire his ongoing commitment to keeping things on the up and up at his old job. I also have to smile, knowing that the district can’t touch him.If you read the article, scroll down to the online comments posted by readers. One reader advised the whistleblower to mind his own business, and even inquired as to who among the excluded students asked the whistleblower to speak for them. This to me points to the great disparity among races and socio-economic classes in Gurnee, and a prevailing intolerance for minorities and the poor. That reader was probably one of the people who is in favor of splitting Warren so that each building is 9-12 (the current set-up has frosh/soph on the east side of town; juniors and seniors on the west). The problem is that the east side of Gurnee, where it borders Waukegan, is where the poor and minorities mostly live. People who favor the split would have no problem creating a ghetto school, so long as their children don’t have to deal with different skin colors and smaller wallet sizes as they pursue their education. It’s easy for me to think that from there, the elitists would push for two entirely different districts altogether, so that westside money isn’t wasted on trying to educate eastside savages.

I’m glad Warren got caught. I was happy when I read the article. It puts more pressure on the community to pay attention to what is really happening on campus, and hopefully to push for reform. That reform needs to start with the school board members who approved such a short-sighted policy, obviously with the intention to cover the shortcomings of the school and to lure more money into the district from taxpayers and the state. As a teacher who works in a neighboring district that Gurnee residents generally feel pales in comparison to Warren, I feel an ounce of vindication. At least we don’t cheat.

Written by seeker70

December 31, 2009 at 8:08 pm

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The Seeker is One Year Old!

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Happy Birthday!

It was a year ago today that I sat in my friend Scott Webb’s basement garage while on vacation in Nashville and finally set up the blog I had been considering for a year or two. Since then, I’ve written or edited 67 entries, hosted 5 different guest bloggers, and seriously pissed off at least one reader who didn’t leave his name (it turns out he took real exception to my Sam’s Club rant on February 3; his comments were so abusive and poorly written that I deleted them).

Outside of the blog, it has been a busy year in writing. I’ve had three stories published and written a thesis to exit the writing program at Northwestern. I’ve been happy living like a writer, and the blog has only added to that. I’ve learned quite a bit along the way, too. First, when I look at my writing patterns, I obviously like to write about movies. I have a couple of movie reviews from throughout the year, and at least one other entry heavily based on film. I’ve always loved film, studying film, researching individual movies, and going to movies, so it’s only natural that would translate to blog content. I also have a few “corporate rants.” Again, that’s a passion of mine seeping through. I’m not a big fan of corporate America, and all too often find fault in what they do and how they handle themselves. On a few occassions this year, I’ve been able to capitalize on that and produce some quality blog entries. My rant against the inept Panera manager last spring received a number of comments from readers who, like me, are fed up with buffoonery.

I’d have to say that I’ve learned a lot about the editing process, too. I’ve handled writing from writers who have little or no experience all the way through to well-seasoned poets. It has been a challenge regardless of who wrote any particular piece, but I’ve welcomed that challenge. The Sgt. Danger episodes in particular have taught me a lot about preserving a writer’s voice while still pushing for quality content. I’m thankful that Nathan has agreed to become serialized and has been a frequent contributor. Don’t be surprised if you hear more from him in the future as he considers his writing options and works on a few manuscripts he has in the works. I’ll be proud to say The Seeker published him first!

Speaking of becoming serialized, I found out early on that this blog works best when it is episodic in nature. That was a bit by accident, really. I was contemplating my thesis last November when the idea hit me. I went on to write 19 episodes about the thesis, and it’s hard to tell who was served more by them: interested readers, or me. They were an excellent way for me to process my thoughts (hence the “metacognitive” part of this blog), and an excellent way to keep people up to date on things. I think a lot of readers, too, were interested in the thought processes of a writer, so I was glad to talk about that. Many great writers kept journals or wrote letters to editors about their writing processes, so I’m glad to imitate that great tradition and use it to serve my own writing. The whole thing worked a second time when I started writing the story about Earl Weaver earlier this summer, and I’m sure it’s going to work a third and fourth and fifth and sixth time in the future.

One thing I haven’t done is recycle. I thought at first that this blog would be a great way to recycle things I wrote while at Northwestern, but I haven’t done that. All the content has been fresh and pretty original, which I think says a lot for 67 entries. But that is all about to end. My recent rant about K-Mart has unintentionally opened a door for me to recycle a piece I wrote about working at K-Mart, so it is due to make a serialized appearance over the next few weeks. Though it works in this context, I don’t foresee a lot of recycling for purposes of providing content for the blog. But I’m also not going to rule it out if something fits and bears revisiting.

I have a couple of ideas that never fully materialized. One was a dissertation about how I would zombie-proof my condo. I put a lot of time into the prewriting process with that one, but never got around to it. Another idea was a list of why teachers hate films about teachers. Again… some time spent in the prewriting stage, but nothing after that. I tried to start a serial by guest bloggers about high school cross country experiences, but couldn’t seem to gather much interest. One thing I’ve meant to do all along is to write more about my job– I have but one entry that deals directly with teaching and education– but maybe what I’ve learned is that at the end of the day I’d rather put my career aside and focus on another great passion of mine. But I think there can still be a happy intersection with my writing and my teaching, and it seems I have more time to find it, so maybe I will. Also, my thesis was almost entirely about my career, so I was writing about it there instead of here.

As I blow out my birthday candle on this cyber cake, I’ll make a few wishes. One is for more guest bloggers. Editing their writing is always worthwhile, and I’ve even opened myself to writing that goes against my personal beliefs (don’t believe me? check out this one! ). If you’re interested, give it a shot. I’m open to all kinds of ideas, and try to keep myself open when it comes to editing (but I will warn you that editing serves the piece of writing, not the writer). If I can’t get more guest bloggers, I would like more commentors any particular blog entry. I have one subscriber who emails be directly on lots of my entries, but doesn’t particularly care to post comments. What’s up with that, Herb?! Also, I’d love to consider suggestions for content. I don’t mind collecting a writing assignment from a reader. As it stands now, content is dictated rather capriciously.

Finally, thanks to those who have been faithful followers for the past year. I’m continually surprised how many people read and enjoy The Seeker!

Jeff Burd

Written by seeker70

August 10, 2009 at 11:07 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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