All critter writers online had to have begun somewhere. For me it was 1998. I had adopted a month old kitten from the Pomona Valley Humane Society, in Pomona, Ca. and I soon bought my first computer. In the late summer of 1998 I made my first foray onto internet message boards on the Howling Wolves board at the long defunct original Entertainment Weekly message boards. This section of the community was not really film, or entertainment, related, but a group of boards for just “hanging out”. There was also Elbie’s Bar and Grill and several others including one, several members of which have remained close and important friends since the year 2000.
Nikita was 6 months old.
My first posts were memorable ones, as I wrote them personifying my young cat, under the name “Hokie”. “He” made more than 50 posts (22 of them his “memoirs”) thru spring 2000. How did it begin?
I read a scary story on the message board, that someone had written, and it inspired me to write a response, that I have long since forgotten, but that implied that the story freaked me out, and I was afraid to go to bed. In the morning I went online and, writing as my cat, told the community that “daddy was gone, and “Hokie” had awoke to discover his human was not in the house, and the sheets on the bed were messed up, and there was a small spot that looked like blood, on the pillow.”
”He” told how he freaked out, ran around the apartment looking for daddy, and not finding him, did the only thing he could think to do, tell them about it.
Since I didn’t go near my computer again until that night, after work, I was not aware of the sensation these posts had caused among the Howling Wolves. They were worried about their new member, and trying to figure out just WHAT, or WHO this “Hokie” was posting under the user name of the new member named “Sneakeasy”.
Well, the rest is history, though since the whole online community at EW was ended in early spring 2001, there is no record online that it even existed.
The most important thing I did was spend the last year and a half, writing “Hokie’s” memoirs, and sharing them with the Wolves. I didn’t think to save them on my computer, much less have someone print them out for me, and I am still kicking myself to this day.
Those many memoir entries were among the best writing I’ve ever done, and losing them put me in a very long funk. All was not completely lost, though. I had shared my last 2 chapters with family by e-mail, and so something was salvaged after all. I do still hope to somehow re-create the story from its beginning.
From that small beginning a 38 year old single guy began to come out his shell, via social media interactions that led to meeting new people online, and off, as some of us met for dinners in the Los Angeles area, spent 4 days in Phoenix at one couples wedding, and 4 days in Chicago, Labor Day weekend in 2001.
By 2002 I’d been encouraged, by one small group of online friends, to take up blogging. My creativity and writing talents, they said, were ideally suited for me to find my place in the blogosphere. I’ve come a long way since, writing 4 blogs, on 2 hosting platforms; the original Blogger, and then Typepad.
Now, as I celebrate my 53rd birthday, today, in a new city, taking my personal and creative lives in new directions, I find myself also on WordPress.