Just as Gregor begins to feel as if his condition is not a completely cursed one, his mother walks into his room, catching the humansect unawares. She faints, he cowers and then is attacked by his father who throws apples at the insect's fragile exoskeleton. He is wounded, but recovers. Gregor's family, over time, begins to neglect him. He, in turn, ceases eating and moving all together. Time passes and the family begins to take in overnight guests as a way to supplement their depreciating income. During one such visit, a group of lodgers comes to stay. Gregor's sister entertains the gadabouts with her violin which draws Gregor from his self-inflicted confinement. The story, obviously, goes down-hill from there. Gregor spooks the lodgers, scars his family, and ultimately ends, dying of his own accord from love of his family, or, more likely, a broken spirit.
A year ago on October 4th, I began this blog. A year ago, I did not have my voice, nor did I have a great community of hunters, supporters, and friends. I thought Twitter to be beneath me, a simple soundboard for the boring, uninteresting persons with an obscene amount of time on their hands. After two lost jobs and two consecutive fails at blogging I believed myself a failed writer. I stopped writing because my life did not warrant any type of special consideration, especially by way of the written word. Like Gregor, my creative life became threadbare. While the rest of my life soared, changed, and exploded in possibility, my writing fell by the wayside; a forgotten earring, left on a patch of concrete, a crumpled up poem, never read.
There were days in college that I never stopped writing, it being the sole lifeblood of my scholastic career. I wrote about sodium rivers running through the plentiful snow on campus, the sad life story of a rubber duck named "Mustard Quackington", Shakespeare's unabashed use of Petrarchan cliche, and of an appreciation of Walden Pond through Fourth Lake. Once I graduated, I slowly began to live absent of the written word. I experienced a Gregor-esque sense of work, the way it began to overpower every facet of my life, a bulldozer of creative thought. Then came that fateful October day
I remember telling DU that my fingers were tingling all the time, a surefire sign that writing needed to be done. When he asked what I wanted to write about, my answer was simple but still rings true today, "hunting". I wanted to write about my life as a huntress, but not in the way that I have seen done before. I did not yearn to write about where we set up the blinds, who came to hunt or the exact number of animals harvested in a season. I did not want to write about what everyone already knows or even expects of a huntress in North Carolina. I wanted to write how I write, a curving type of writing which begins at point A, jumps to point M, then returns to tell of some lesson back at point A. I wanted to use metaphor, analogy, simile, and irony in a way that compliments not only my craft but my passion as well. I started out humbly enough, amassing 110 views my first month which sent me into a flurry of excitement, so much so that DU and I went out to dinner to celebrate.
A year has passed, my thesaurus has worn thin, my ideas reaching stranger by the day and yet, my views climb. Maybe CNN had something to do with it, or that I may be the only person on earth to blog about my obsessive (read: mythical and insane) Jackalope hunting, but my blog continues to peak an interest, which baffles me to no end. I feel like the gigantic dung beetle who discovers the rapture that comes along with climbing ceilings, scaling walls, and watching the hubbub of life below a windowsill. I am being myself, my weird, off putting, random, iconoclastic self, climbing up the walls of traditional outdoor writing and tearing them to pieces. And, for the first time in my life, I would not have it any other way.
I could give you all the facts and figures of my first year, but I wanted to pick out some of my own favorites from this year, pieces that I am drawn to like a dung beetle to a violin, to show how far my creative life has blossomed in three hundred and sixty-five beautiful days. Before we really get into that, I want to thank you all for your continued patronage. Without your views and comments, this blog would be nothing and I, a sad beetle, surrounded by discarded furniture, dying of a broken artistic spirit. I am humbled by each glance, each thought, and each of you. So, again, thank you, to the ends of the earth and back, thank you.
Posts who are are the apple of my eye and some who aren't;
A year of posts, in review.*
1. I hate this post. Granted, it was my first and I had a lot to learn but I still hate it. After months of contemplating if I was going to take it down or not, it's still there, a testimony to how far I have come.
2. A post that garnered practically no views but I love it for the day it was, when we slept in but didn't really care.
3. This was the one that started it all. The post that Albert Rasch highlighted in his blog, a mention that without which, I may not be still writing today.
4. I adore this post because 100% of it happened exactly as I recreated it. That, and it was, at least to me, my introduction to the hunting world.
5. This post sucks. It just does. It's short, has no real literary content and is not me at all. I think I wrote this because I wanted to write something about tacos but couldn't really tie it in with anything else. Oh and the pictures are terrible too.
6. This one isn't really good either. Conceptually, it was a home run but practically, it just didn't work. I hated it while I was writing it but I figured I'd post it anyway, just for an occasion such as this!
7. I had just taken a bunch of pictures that I really dug and wanted to put them in a post. Then this happened and I loved it. One of my absolute favorites.
8. It was on CNN and Sarah Palin looked like an idiot. I guess if you combine those two factors, I should love it but I don't.
9. LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE this post. Really. It is in the top three for me not only because it happened but it rings so true with any hunter who has a job they hate.
10. This is also in the top three. It made me laugh as I was writing it and, again, it was 100% true, from the Chuck Norris jokes to the drug dealing neighbors.
11. I cry every time I read this one. Every time. My granddad was such a great man. I really cannot wait to hear what he has to say about my lost deer..
12. I mention people killing one another over excessive adoration, which means I really liked this post. This one came out of nowhere but I loved where it ended up.
13. This one is pretty terrible. My message and my wordage conflicted, so what I meant to say didn't really pan out which made readers confused. Hence, not good.
14. Poetry isn't fun and it doesn't really belong here but it's here anyway. I don't hate it, but I don't like it either. So I'm Sweden on this one, nice and neutral.
15. If I read something and it tugs at my heartstrings, even though I was the author, then it must be a nugget of genius. Which this post is, funnily enough.
16. The South is a weird place. Very weird. So weird that I needed to write about it, a post that I love because it is so, insanely enough, true.
17. The introduction for this video is great because I bodily threaten my readers. I think this is funny so I love this post, the video is pretty good too.
18. I didn't like this post until my dad asked me which TV channel my fictitious show was going to air. I found this amazing as my rhetorical prowess must have reached its zenith without me even knowing it.
19. This day will live in my mind forever. I wrote this post moments after getting home from the hunt which made it raw and extremely real.
20. This post didn't really get the love I thought it would but it didn't really matter to me. Tree stand days are the best days that exist, which I had forgotten about until sitting down to craft this post. It is in these small realizations and remembrances that I come to adopt the ability to hug my own writing. Years will pass, things will change but I will always be able to look back on this year because my creative spirit awoke, not as a beetle, but as a writer.
* Please note: I included just a small collection of those writings I like, there are more that I abhor and adore but I figured twenty was a good, clean number which would keep you interested. This is not my attempt to toot my own horn (I still love this awkward saying) but to simply share with you my year in the only way I know how. Cheers!