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    The author explains where’s he’s been, and shares his reflections on a blogging life mis-spent.

Start: I‘d like to apologize.

I’ve been blogging off and on since October of 2006. The handful who have followed me through all that saw I went through a number of phases, and went through a number of dry times.

I knew where I needed to go, but for reasons that escape me I kept going the wrong direction. There’s a phrase used in physics, a “Drunkard’s Walk” — a term to describe the random motion of particles suspended in some gas or fluid. Moving, but ultimately going nowhere.

The reason I started blogging to begin with was that I saw it as a means to an end. I’m a writer. A writer of fiction. Honestly, a frustrated writer of fiction. I spent many years in the Kafkaesque exercise of beating my head against the iron door to the gatekeepers of the publishing industry, and finally reached a point where it really was just plain meaningless.

Then I ran across a book from 2004 by Biz Stone, one of the founders of Twitter, called Who Let the Blogs Out? One chapter in particular jumped out at me: one that described the experience of bloggers who had used their blogs as a way to gain the attention of the publishing industry, or even one case where a writer had been approached by a publishing company to repackage her blog material into a book.

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In which the author shares the inspiration, the original story, and final “working script” of his winning contest speech, and some thoughts on how this made him a better writer.

Ordeal of the FishStart: I‘ve been writing about a prize-winning Toastmaster contest speech of mine for nearly two weeks now, but I haven’t really told you anything about the speech.

If you’ve viewed the video file provided to me by Jackpot Speakers founder Narayanan Doraswamy, you’ve seen the finished product. I posted the embedded Google Video on my last post, and if you missed it there (you deprived creature) here’s another chance:

And now … you are about to learn more about this speech than you probably ever would want to know.

The Story of the Story

“The Ordeal of the Fish” is a whimsical, slightly jaded idyll of a story about a talking fish that was caught in a flash drought (Arizona and Nevada are prone to those) and was forced to come into my neighborhood — on fin — to find water.

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