I first wanted to set up this website to help promote a novel I had finished. It was called Scenario, and it was about the allure of celebrity culture and its role in the decline of the American Empire. It was also a murder mystery and a love story. I thought I’d nailed it.
Then I got a phone call from a friend/mentor who was (I suspect mostly due to his generous disposition) extremely enthusiastic about my novel, yet thought it would work better as the material for two short stories. As I value his opinion above any other, this was a blow and a setback.
Until I remembered the memoir I had put aside, which now, with a year of distance between the text and myself, became my new conquest. I quickly forgot Scenario and all of my hopes and dreams for Scenario once I found I could bring fresh blood to the memoir. So much had happened! My mother had entered an Alzheimer’s facility, my father had passed away, and I was adrift in a city without any sense of where I was heading.
But then, here I had a website and a fancy picture…
I thought about writing a literary blog, in the same informal voice I had used when I wrote about Proust for a year on a blog I titled, “My Year of Turning 40: In Search of Lost Time.” I even outlined a reading list: Joyce, Cervantes, Melville and Chekov. But I wondered who would really be reading this. (And could I make it sexy enough?)
So I decided to focus on a passion of mine. Two immediately came to mind: veganism and the Middle Ages. I chose to write about being a vegan because that covered three topics that turn up my temperature: health, animal rights, and the environment. Now, I haven’t earned my spurs in any of these areas when it comes to activism and public involvement. But wouldn’t this be the perfect test? And could I write three columns a week, one on each aspect of veganism?
That’s how this blog came to life. I hope it serves as reading material for someone out there. And I think it has great potential! At least, that’s the scenario I’d like to live out…
P.S. I’ve decided to post an excerpt from the novel, as truly, I haven’t given up on it. In fact, I think my burial of it was too premature. So did a few of my friends, so please, let me relive Scenario one last time!
Why a blog? by Alison Oatman