If we mark the birth of this site as the date and time of the first posting, then at 22:37:55 on May 5th, “Drivel by Dave” will officially be one year old.
How best to commemorate this momentous event? My first thought was to go Hollywood and hold a glamorous award show. I bought some red carpet and a stunning, low cut gown (not unlike the one Angelina Jolie wore at the Oscars this year) designed by Armani (or by an Armenian, the label was faded). I spread the carpet down my driveway, put the evening gown on, and no sooner had I started my stroll through the paparazzi that the Police showed up. They had received two calls, one from one of my unenlightened neighbors who called to complain that there was a bald headed man in the street wearing an evening gown, and one from an Armenian who called to complain that there was a bald headed man in the street wearing an evening gown that he had designed.
Here are some of the vital statistics from my first year:
4,223 page views
47 different countries
389 views on my busiest day (February 26, 2012)
The 5 Most Viewed Posts:
1. “Bring on Your Wrecking Ball” (Springsteen fans are scary – I thought I was a fanatic!)
2. “Clint Eastwood and the Mythology of the American West” (This one keeps being googled by what appears to be students writing term papers – if they are citing my essay, I would sure hate to see what kind of grades they get!)
3. “The Mathematics of Loss” (A tribute to how well liked my Dad was, and how many lives he touched)
4. “Parkinson’s and Grief vs Self Pity” (I hope this was helpful in some way to some people)
5. “It Was Thirty Years Ago Today” (Probably people who know my wife and are still wondering, all these years later, just what in the Hell does she see in him?)
I’ve posted 77 pieces in 52 weeks, or an average of about 1.5 per week. If you’re into quantity, you might think that is a pretty impressive pace. If you are into quality, then that pace may explain a lot. The subject matter has varied, the amount of effort put into the posts has been inconsistent. My goals remain the same: for the reader, not to waste too much of the your time and maybe even entertain you a little bit, for me, to keep me writing and to help me continue learning and polishing craft. I think I did pretty good in following my rules of 1) avoiding politics and 2) being as honest as I can.
All told, after a year of doing this, I think I have a little bit better idea of who I am (and who I am not)
I’d be interested in whatever comments anybody might have, likes or dislikes, things I might want to do differently, plastic surgery I may want to consider, whatever comes to mind.
Now, drum roll please, the moment you’ve all been waiting for: The first annual Drivvies, where I pick my favorite posting in each category. I’d be interested in what you, all three of my dedicated readers, have to say:
Favorite Fiction – “That Would Be Nice”
This is probably the weakest category, and paradoxically, the one I am currently spending almost all of my time in (after several starts and stops, I’m hard at work on a novel these days). I still have a tremendous amount to learn about fiction writing, and feel that I am just now really learning how to tell a story. The fiction I’ve posted so far is weak on story development (among other things) – a perfect example being “That Would Be Nice”, which is really a character sketch and not so much a “story.” As such, it’s probably a little bit better and more efficiently written than the other postings in this category.
Favorite General Essays – “Vulture”
This is another weak category, and I lumped a whole lot of crap into it. I am going to pick “Vulture” because I think it is pretty tight and honest.
Favorite Humor – “My New Year’s Resolutions for 2012”
If only because number 3 (“Learn the proper way to fold a map of the cities Portland and Eugene and their surrounding areas (also known as the art of “Oregoni”)”) and numbers 17 (“Remember to always go the extra mile”) and 18 (“(Related to #17) Always carry a GPS with me, so I can find my way back after going the extra mile”) for some reason still make me laugh
Favorite Memoir – “The Mathematics of Loss”
Some of my best writing has been about my Dad, because he was such a wonderful man, and I always loved him so. I still can’t believe that the day he died, I went home and wrote this one. There isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t think of him.
Favorite Parkinson’s Disease essay – “Parkinson’s and Grief vs. Self Pity”
It was between this one and “Heaven and Hell.” I chose this one because I think it pretty accurately sums up my experiences in the early phases of the disease, when the emotional and psychological aspects of knowing there is something wrong with you are more prevalent than any physical challenge.
Favorite Review – “My Favorite Movie”
Much of what I put in this category aren’t really reviews, but just lists of things that have had an effect on me. “My Favorite Movie” is probably as close to a real review as I’ve posted, so it gets my vote.
The DBD Lifetime Achievement Award for Most Dedicated Devotee to Drivel:
Who else but my Aunt, Phyllis Mae Stevenson, the retired school teacher who I can always depend upon for a comment, and who has been unwavering in her support. All the more impressive when take into consideration the fact that I have always been her least favorite nephew.