Thursday, June 11, 2015

write up to now

So, a month and some change later, here is the end of this story... 
The Story of My Write, the 1000th post is Here...
Write On Through High School (Part Two) is Here...
Write On Through the Dry Spell (Part Three) is here...

May was so uber busy for me, much of it is a blur.  Not only did I finish up and send off about 9 families to Disney World and Universal Studios, but in the last week, I've helped 5 more families get out the door to the magic that awaits. Hence, not a single word on this blog since the end of April, which makes me sad because now May 2015 will have nothing in the "published" tab in the archives over there --->

And that's how life is, huh? 

So, at the end of the last blog published, I was finishing up the "Story of My Write", which is a history of my writing... not really for you, honestly, but for me, so when I'm 77, sitting in a wheelchair in the Sunny Meadows Nursing Home and can't remember when I last took a poopy--which will probably be while I'm thinking "when did I last take a poopy?"--Campbell, 41 years old by then, can come for his monthly visit and read to me my own life stories.  Then he can tell me my name and where I am, because I likely won't remember that either.

Let's finish this entire thing up by taking you back to spring 2005.  I had been married for just over a year, I had been involved with Valleydale Baptist Church for about 6 years, The Lovely Steph Leann and I had really become close to our new Sunday School Life Connection Life Group Sunday School class (the "NearlyWed/Newlywed Class") and our church was going to New York City for a week to do some mission work in Queens and Brooklyn.  I was all in, because having been to NYC a few years previous, I fell in love with the city and had a heart for it's people. 

In a "trip meeting", where everyone comes together for cheap pizza and Milo's sweet tea in a classroom after service to watch a video about what we'll be doing, they were looking for "online journaling people"... that is, people who will be willing to write up a daily summary to share with the group back home in Birmingham.  I raised my hand because no one else did, and my name was put down.   I was told to just write up a few paragraphs at the end of each day and email it to someone in the church, and they would post it on the church website.

Challenge accepted.

But also, I wanted more than just people in our church to know what was going on, so after Star Wars Celebration (mentioned in the previous post) and that slight experience in writing, I decided I would go to and set up an account... I did.  And when it came to a name, I thought "Well, this is only for my NYC trip, so... New York Dave?  Nah... um... Mission Trip... Nope... Broadway... I love Broadway stuff... how about...

BroadwayDave. That works."

Now, in hindsight, I would have come up with something that would make sense beyond just this trip, but I also remember not thinking much would come of this blog after the trip.  I'd write about the trip and be done with it.  Maybe save the posts into a word document onto a floppy disk for safe keeping (remember... this is 1995, and "flash drives" were not affordable and many computers didn't have USB ports anyway).

My first post was called "Less than 30 Days", and it was a quick little blurb on who was actually going on the trip, back when my audience barely eclipsed those people.  I then decided I would practice a little writing by doing another post, this time about my love of Kelly Clarkson and her new (then) song "Behind These Hazel Eyes"...

I followed it up with a few more, including the sadness of finishing a Harry Potter book, picking up "Harry Potter & the Half-Blood Prince at 1201a on release day, a take on MC Hammer and a few more random notes... then the trip began, and my first trip blog came out on July 27th, 2005, introducing everyone going on the trip--remember, I'm still writing on the premise that when this trip is over, so will my blogpage.

We were staying in Manhattan at a hostel, basically... each tiny room had a thin mattressed bunk bed, a window that barely opened, and down the hall a small bathroom with a shower--one that you had to essentially duck into, as there was a frame that held the shower door... a short frame.

And it was hot.  I mean, freakin' hot.  Like, walk outside and the cold shower you just had in the tiny community bathroom upstairs a little bit ago was now negated by the hot, humid temperature at 5am.   Ick.

The sole computer in the building was downstairs and cost $5 an hour, and was old... when you typed a sentence, the cursor wouldn't move.  Then about 20 seconds later, the cursor would fly across the screen leaving in it's wake all the letters you just typed, only missing some words, misspelling words, skipping letters, forgetting punctuation and more.  So a post that would normally take me 25 minutes took over an hour.  Still, I did it.  I posted the day's events every night.

I would also send it back to the church email address and they would post it as well... only on day three, I wrote this about my roommate Larry:

So, it was hot. It still is. Anyone who knows me knows I sweat when I think too much, so last night wasn't great... though with the fan, it wasn't that bad, honestly. Larry, sleeping in the bunk under me, had a bigger problem. Apparently his fitted sheet came off, and he stuck to the plastic mattress cover in his sleep, creating that "sscchhllllleeeepppp" sound when he moved.

Someone sent me an email a few days later (I could only check my email during this hot, late night computer time) asking for the blog address, as the church stopped posting what I had written.  I found out later they thought the idea of a "shirtless Larry" was inappropriate for publishing... to me, it was the best way to explain the heat.   Oh, there was also the story of the naked French guy...

Apparently, there is a naked french guy roaming the halls. He approached Paula in a towel, but Tim only saw him wearing the Star of David on a chain on his neck. I think his name is Jon.

That probably didn't help either.

By the 11th NYC trip blog, I had made the decision that I wanted to keep blogging, because I enjoyed it.   So I did just that.

I started writing about anything and everything... I posted recaps about American Idol episodes... I talked about my marriage and fun with The Lovely Steph Leann... reviewed movies... discussed Disney... talked about friends and family... delved into politics... pop culture and more pop culture... I even did a 100 Coolest Things of the Year for a few years running...

I go back and read some of the stuff I wrote--especially about politics--and will sometimes even wince, thinking "I could have worded that better... eh, I probably shouldn't have said that at all... yikes, that was a d-bag thing to write..."

Then again, I read some of the early posts and think, "Wow... that was really funny... could I write that kind of funny stuff again?"

Evolution of a writer, I guess you would say.  Somewhere along the way I realized that yes, people do actually read what I write, especially since I had random people at church, at work and in life just tell me, "Hey, I enjoyed your blog the other day..."  People that make you say, "You read that?"

So at the end of June, Clouds is My Coffee celebrates 10 years of existence. Not nearly as old as some online journals and blogs... but way, way older than most.

And here I am, at 250,000+ page views over the lifetime of the blog... not bad, I think.  I'd probably say 100K of them came in the last two years, so I'm on my way to a million hits.  Think about that... 1,000,000 individual page views.  Holy crap. 

I can't promise you I'll blog every week, but I will try.  I have no plans to change the content... it will still be about movies, music, pop culture, life, family, Disney, random Amy Adams (whom I'm in love with) references, random Julie Wise references (because I think its funny at this point), random Troy and Samson stories, maybe the final season of American Idol, and maybe just a little bit of politics...

Obama is a tool, incompetent, and the worst president this country has ever known.

Well, maybe not too much politics, at least until after the 2016 election.

So, thanks for reading.  Thanks for visiting the page.  Don't be afraid to check out some of the blog links I have over there ---> and give them a spin as well. 

And that... is the story of my write.