Saturday, June 3, 2017

Adding old journal entries

I am still working on expanding and filling out my blog, especially the early years, where I previously failed to find relevant work. In addition to mining Facebook's On This Day posts for pithy tidbits from the past (but that only goes back to 2007), I've taken to mining my old journals too.

I think I've nearly come a full year cycle mining Facebook's On This Day posts....there are days and weeks where I missed checking to see if there was anything relevant, but I think I've mined the lionshare of potential material.

You'd think that by now I would've covered all the salvageable, or should I say mineable On This Day posts, but I haven't been diligent about it. I am still surprised by what surfaces. Take my mallard rescue story, also a recent Facebook rescue:

Hypnotizing a Wild Duck
Solstice rant after getting flame mail from a stranger (from flame mail)
Gems in the Basement
Broken Crockery

I am always interesting in salvaging original posts that led to longer stories, or poems. Some are prose poems in their own right. I've been trying to save first drafts, as it were, and then I "marry" them with finished pieces.

Picking Strawberries from the Strawberry Tree
which became
Arbutus, Madroño, or a Strawberry Tree by any other name

I've already gone through all my poetry e-files, and scanned all hard copies, so no hope there. On the years with few entries, I've only made modest gains, a piece or two per year. So, I've gone back yet again to fine-comb my journals looking for lost nuggets. Tedious work. But the end is in sight.

I've been working on 1998, which apparently was a particularly dismal year for writing. I only found 13 entries and one was a repeat poem (2 versions), and 3 were art (only nine bits of writing for an entire year?) I'm now up to 26 entries (but 3 are still fluff), and I don't know if I can squeeze much more out of that year.

But I rescued this: The Higher Functions of Lower Math (Archie Williams). And a few work-related pieces: Catering the US Open Golf Tournament which intersects with Tiger Woods' rise to fame.

The output for 1999 is equally as dismal. My goal is 52 posts per year (poetry, prose, journal, or art). On some of those lean years I'll be lucky to get 25 posts. I'll settle for 40 posts per year. But there are definitely holes.

I've taken to lifting random journal entries, that when separated from my larger tirades, document an interesting space in time. Some of it's exhausting to read, and it's just plain weird to re-enter a timeframe nearly 20 years in the past, and try to pick up where I left off and render it into something readable.

Perhaps the most surprising discoveries were my Pat Wall entries. I didn't even realize I had written them. My friend Micaela's father, Pat Wall opened the first modern art gallery on the west coast in Monterey, which was an artistic and literary intersection that included the likes Edward Weston, Ellwood Graham, Joseph Albers, Jean Varda, Robinson Jeffers, Henry Miller and John Steinbeck. Pat's avant garde gallery changed the face of art on the West Coast.

Of course, there's next to nothing on Pat or the Pat Wall Art Gallery on the internet. Something Micaela and I always meant to do was to formally collect Pat's oral history. I know Micaela did some work, but it's not readily available and I no longer remember the specific details. So it was lovely to rediscover this particular entry.

There's also a large chunk of notes on Miller and Dali that I bogged down on, so I jettisoned it. Maybe I'll get back to it later. I've only just barely scratched the surface with this material so painstakenly collected during the pre-internet days.

    Good News on the 1980s, with the exception of 1980, and 1982, I have 52 or more posts per year. Bad news, no more journals for 80 and 82. Finally got to my Hawaii notes in 1984. 

Fluffing out the blog timeline (home stretch) Has a tally (2/2017)
Scanning crusades 2014-2016, and beyond (12/2016)
Posting old Photos & Facebook Memories (4/2016)
Updating Old Poems (7/2015)
Trolling Old Journals (10/2015)
Paper Trail (10/2015)
Old work, new vision (11/2015)
Old Posts, New Posts (2/2014)
About Those First Drafts (2013)
Culling Old Files
Milestone Blogger stats
When This Blog Really Began—Aug 2008
About this collection of poems, memoir and whatnot As I opened old digital files, I noticed that some files (if I could open them), were missing chunks of text—most notably the end lines. So began the race was on to get all my digital stuff online. Most of this early stuff was posted mid-to late 2015.

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