Best Blog Party Party 2K5

On October 13th, 2004 at 10:20 PM EST, a Mysterious Cloaked Figure entered the blogosphere. Since then, no matter what, I've written something every single day. It's been an amazing experience, and one I had been considering for some time. Curt, a friend from my office, had already established himself with a popular blog celebrating marriage in general, as well as his own. He had built a significant community of strangers with common interests and beliefs, and the world was a little smaller and closer because of it. Rey, another coworker, and an old college buddy, had long devoted his time to an online bible resource, which over time became a hybrid of bible study and blogging. And when a third coworker, Jerry, joined their ranks, I now had three places to “visit” online.

I was no stranger to the internet. Certainly I'd played various games, surfed for information about movies and video games, and spent time on message boards. For a time, message board posting evolved into a sort of complex role playing game, an interactive collection of fan fiction in which writers played off one another's stories. My drawings might say otherwise, but I studied art in college. Yet I always enjoyed writing, especially creative writing assignments, and it was fun to see how well a former art major could do stringing words together into cohesive thoughts. Eventually the RPG faded out as people's lives and studies took inevitable precedence, and for a time I enjoyed a break since I inherited many story threads and soon found myself burned out. It didn't last. I found that I missed writing, and needed another outlet. I thought about what all the “cool kids” my age must be doing and then, as I've done for nearly thirty-one years, I did the exact OPPOSITE. I joined my three coworkers in the blogosphere and the rest is history.

I put links to my friends’ sites in the sidebar, and set about writing about the improbable events of my life, as well as my interests. Occasionally I'd get a comment or two, but I didn't have many readers. Sometimes I wondered why I was doing this, but a phrase that came up in a conversation with Rey earlier today sums it up: this is “gym for my brain”. Organizing my thoughts at a keyboard restores a clarity that's lost after nine or ten hours in a gray cubicle. Still, it would have been nice if more people were reading. Then a strange thing happened. People I didn't know began to link to me and comment. The Bayers. AverageJoe. The Film Geeks. Below the links to my pals from the office, an alphabetical list grew of people whose lives and thoughts were interesting to me and, shockingly enough, who were interested in what I had to say.

The real boom came on February 21, 2005. When I invited people to a “blog party”, I had no idea so many would show up. Many have stayed. I would throw five more over the course of the year, and many fellow writers would throw virtual parties of their own. If I had to pick a favorite, I'd definitely go with Lorna's 15 Words Party. It was an exercise that stretched my unused creative writing muscles, and differed from the standard “list of things” format established by my parties. Film Geeks Favorite Movies Party was also a fun one. Probably the most creative individual entry in my opinion would be FawnDoo's Favorite Heroes entry. He approached the list in a story form that raised the bar and challenged me to write better, and he continued the standard with future entries as well as his own parties. I also got a kick out of Darrell's Five Favorite Places.

Of course, I did recuse myself from the official voting when I announced CloakFest 2K5 last month and asked for your votes. I think I've rambled FAR too long tonight, but then that's something of a tradition. So without further adieu, here are YOUR results:

Favorite Party:
2 Lorna's 15 Words Party
2 Femme Fatales
1 Top Five Heroes
1 Five Favorite Places

Favorite Guest:
1 Jerry's Top Five Villains
1 Darrell's Five Favorite Places
1 FawnDoo's Favorite Heroes
1 FawnDoo's entry to his own Old Coot Party
1 Curt's Top Five Villains
1 Afterparty of Estrogen (technically a summary and not an individual contribution, but it got a vote)

Favorite Cereal:
1 Cap'n Crunch's Peanut Butter Crunch
1 Raisin Nut Bran or Cracklin' Oat Bran

* * *

There you have it! Best Party is tied between Femme Fatales and 15 Words. You were split on guests, resulting in a six-way tie, and then there were those baffling cereal votes.

Thank you all for voting, and thanks to everyone who has commented, participated in a party, or linked to me in the past year. You've all made this experience worth the time I invest in it, and I feel like I‘ve made some friends beyond this small little island I call home. The 2K4-2K5 season was great because of YOU, and who knows what 2K5-2K6 will bring? If this was the year of the Blog Party, then who knows what this next year will bring?

Stay tuned...

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Blogger Lorna said...

I missed your pictures yesterday because I was having a sleepover with my granddaughter that put me to bed about 9:30 totally exhausted, but it was worth the wait.

You and a lot of the people whose comments I read on your site are as essesntial to my day as my first cup of coffee. thanks a lot.

10/13/2005 11:55 PM  
Blogger Wendy said...

Woo Hoo! Go Cracklin Oat Bran! LOL I can't believe you put that up.

10/14/2005 7:40 AM  
Blogger Darrell said...

Congrats on keeping it going for a year. Too many bloggers start blogging and then lose interest and just never blog again. That sucks the most when the blogger in question is a good writer. The Nexus is one of my favorite blogs, and I look forward to more. You get big props from me for not only blogging pretty much every day, but actually keeping the content fresh and interesting and fun. That, to me, is no small wonder. Kudos!

10/14/2005 9:13 PM  

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