Monday, November 29, 2010

Urf! Redux

I've been toying for some time now with starting a new blog. I thought I'd like a place to talk about, well, me. Not what I'm wearing or might be eating for lunch, but about what I'm working on and thinking.

I talk to a lot of people during the course of a day, and write a fair amount of stories for various publications, and there are bits that won't fit into those stories - details and conversations and back stories. These bits are, invariably, what I tell friends when I'm discussing what I did that day. These bits need a home.

I'm also writing a lot of fiction and I'd like to discuss some of it, if not for you, then for posterity's sake for me. I won't talk specifically about plot or character, because those things shouldn't be discussed, rather, I'd like a place to talk about the process and how it works (or doesn't).

The main impediment to starting a new blog, it seems, has been the naming of that blog. There is a lot in a name, or should be. Urf! has been a great package, the perfect masthead under which to write about raising a family of four kids, and it has served me very well for many years. Urf! has been the place to document the fun and frustrations of fatherhood. But what to call a blog about the frustrations of writing and attempting to be published, all while still raising a family with four children in a house with three adults and six kids; the long-shot dreams of a career made in solitary among so much ... distraction?

And then it came to me: Urf! It's a word my daughter used to say when she was first attempting the childhood hurdles of shoe tying, sweater buttoning or toothpaste tube squeezing. At those times, when the want and need became more than she could bear, it was all she could muster. And it has become part of the lexicon around our home and, especially, at my desk. How often do I find myself searching for the perfect lede to a story or a metaphor or, simply, the right word, only to come up with urf.

So Urf! it has been and Urf! it shall remain. But be warned, Urf! has grown up. The themes here, the topics and the very language will be different. There will still be stories about the kids, I hope, but there will also be those bits from outside these walls, bits I bring in from the real world. If you've read in the past solely for funny stories about C, JP, S and GK, then I thank you. With all my heart I thank you. And if you don't think you want to hang around for what's next, then I understand. If you do, then I thank you even more, and promise to try and be as entertaining as possible.