Everything In Its Place

The way I see it, there’s really no point to owning a Web domain name if you’re not going to use it. I own four domain names at present—That Little Bastad, Clarkwoods, Geek Force Five, and E Christopher Clark, all of them dot coms—but I’m only doing something with one of them. That, my friends, has got to change.

So, beginning next month, you’re going to get four times the ChrisClark that you’re getting now. Here’s how things are going to go down:

  • Clarkwoods will return as the home of my Letters to Kaylee. The letters to Kaylee about her own life will continue on a semi-regular basis, but the greater portion of the blog will be dedicated to letters about famous (or infamous) figures from our family’s past. Way back in 2000, Clarkwoods began as a site dedicated to the then forthcoming marriage of me and my wife. It’s time that it got back to those roots.
  • E. Christopher Clark will launch as site dedicated to my c.v. and my writing, in general. I plan to start a video blog there, which will feature a behind the scenes look at how I’m working to finish my first novel.
  • That Little Bastad will reopen under the direction of my long-lost Swedish cousin Viggo Olafson. Viggo has decided that the world has lived without my old-school rants for long enough. Entry-by-entry, he’ll be bringing back the blog that I kept from 1999 through 2007, the one that started on Geocities, moved to the Bastad, and was last seen at Clarkwoods.com/Chris. As diehard fan of the old site, his plan is to provide some commentary on each entry as he posts it, to provide the proper context for new readers, and all that jazz.

To keep my sanity, I’m going to launch all of these sites with one unified look and feel, and very similar site structures, varying only the logos and accent colors. Geek Force Five’s look and feel will be adjusted accordingly.

And, well, there’s a lot more. But before I go any further, let’s just pause a moment to talk about why I’m doing this.

Earlier this year, I shut down The Intersection at Clarkwoods because I didn’t feel like it was a project that my heart was in. I closed down the personal blog I’d been running at That Little Bastad and at Clarkwoods.com/Chris because I was “embarrassed” by the content. I decided to take a little while off and then relaunch myself online with Geek Force Five. GF5 was an attempt to see if blogging could be fun for me again. If I focused on the five things that I enjoyed talking about the most, how would it work? As it turned out, it’s worked out very, very well. Traffic hasn’t been stellar, but we’re growing an audience, little by little, and I’m enjoying myself, which is what I was after all along.

I started to think about the other things that I liked to write about, though, things that didn’t necessarily fit under the GF5 umbrella. I love genealogy and family history. I love writing things to my daughter for her to read somewhere down the line. And I loved the nostalgic feeling I used to get when I looked back at nearly a decade’s worth of my online ramblings.

That’s what brought me to this point. I want more outlets. I have so much to share, and I need some more room to share it.

I remember a lecture from back in my Bradford College days, a talk given by a playwright whose play was being premiered by our campus theater department. I was in love with this guy’s writing, and I hung on his every word. When asked about his writing process, he talked about having all sorts of different writing “buckets” (at least I think that was the metaphor he used). When he had a short story idea, he put it in that bucket. When he wanted to write a play, it went in the play bucket. To put it simply: he didn’t limit himself. He wrote whatever came to him. He let himself try new things. And, most of all, he didn’t seem at all embarassed by who he was, by what kind of writer he was.

If I’ve learned anything over the past few months, it’s that I need not only to be true to myself, but to go easy on myself. Loving who I am, embracing the quirks of my style, of my delivery—those things are actually part of being true to myself.

So, get ready. Buckle your clichés, and all that jazz. It’s the year of the Clark.

NewsE. Christopher Clark