I am sitting at my desk in my study, surrounded by various objects assembled with the hope that they will make my time spent here more enjoyable and productive. My goal is to spend some time each day writing. Within the past month, I completed work on a new edition, the fourth edition, of a book on the history of twentieth-century Europe. It was a joint effort by myself and Michael D. Richards, who, like myself, is a retired history professor.
I enjoy writing, but there is a difference between writing for pleasure and writing as work. Writing a history book is laborious. There is an outline to follow, deadlines to meet, editors to please, fact-checking facts, drafts and rewrites of drafts, and much more. I have always wanted to write about whatever interests me at that moment. It might be something in the news, something someone said, something I happened to read or hear, or my thoughts inspired by the beauty of a sunrise or a sunset.
The internet offers all sorts of opportunities to put one’s thoughts into words and release them in cyberspace on the chance that someone somewhere might choose to read them. In August 2010, I started a blog. It seemed like everyone had a blog, so why not I? There wasn’t any particular theme. I did not limit the blog to a specific topic such as philosophy, politics, food, or whatever. I entitled it “My thoughts and opinions on a variety of subjects, mostly history.” I chose history because that was my profession. I was a history professor and remained one until retirement in the spring of 2016.
The blog was not my first effort at writing for publication. Since my time in graduate school during the 1970s, I have written and published numerous book reviews and articles of one sort or another for journals and reference books. By 2010, I even had five books to my credit. My first venture into writing for publication was during my high school and college years. I occasionally wrote editorial-style letters to newspaper editors, sometimes using a pen name. Yes, some of my comments might have gotten me pilloried. I have a couple of “memory boxes” in which I keep newspaper clippings and other mementos from my past lives.
Recently, I took up the challenge of writing a memoir or autobiography. My better half has repeatedly encouraged me to do so for our daughters. Also, I was involved in certain events and met people who might interest local history buffs. And, who knows, maybe others from my past might choose to reflect on the time when our paths crossed.
Like everyone, I am not the same person today I was at various periods of my life. I have learned a lot about the meaning of life through past experiences. There was more than one fork in my life’s path at which I had to choose which direction to take. My choice was not always what presented itself as the best choice, but I always decided to take the path I was convinced was the right one.
I am learning how to use the Worpress, something I did not do in the past. And so, as I begin to bring my blog back to life, I plan to include “my thoughts and opinions on a variety of subjects.” I will have a home page and different “pages” to organize my various blogs, for example, fiction, history, opinion, book reviews, memoirs/autobiography, musings on the meaning of life, etc.
So, consider this the launch of my “new” blog, and if you think you might be interested, please sign up to receive email notices when I publish. Just use the “Email Subscription” form in the upper right-hand corner. And until next time, be good to all God’s creation and always live under the mercy.