For the past three years and then some, I've been pasting little bits and pieces of my life -- and the lives of my family -- here in the vast bloggesphere.
Ittybits and Pieces began the way most baby books get their start: I wanted to keep the memories of my children alive in words and pictures, and in a place I would always know where to retrieve them. I wanted my children to be able to find them, too, one day if and when they are interested.
Although I write hoping to be read -- because I am a writer and that's what writers do -- I also continually reevaluate how I'm meeting that mission. I am constantly holding myself back, chastising myself for going outside the lines. But I know this business of living and writing and recordkeeping is messy stuff. I trust time to sort it out.
However, in October of last year, the people who pay me to sit behind a computer terminal in a newsroom and design pages, proof copy, write a couple of columns and do whatever else has needed doing (dependent on the day) asked me to link my blog to their Web site.
Newspapers, as you know, are struggling. And they’re looking for new ways to get readers and revenue. Blogs are in demand. (Maybe not mine so much, but you see my point).
I was hesitant. ... Another reevaluation. Would it change my mission, which has always been intensely personal, intensely focused on putting MYSELF on the page in a way that my children might one day be able to discover me as the woman I think I am? Would it get messy? Sure it's my blog but it's their dime.
I could see a time when ownership of the words became an issue.
Already there had been overlap. The blog I was producing personally had proved invaluable to informing the column I write professionally.
Yet, like the clutter that piles up in our real lives, there IS so much on the periphery of this blogspot room -- namely the ads, and bells and whistles and gizmos piling up (which is also a part of me ... you should see the contents of my CAR!) -- that it becomes difficult to parse "readerships" and "ownerships" and who's paying whom and who owns what and on and on and on.
You see the dilemma. My blog preceded the business, but the business pays the bills.
And yet, aside from all of that, I’ve come to believe that by inviting the newspaper's readership to join me three-quarters of the way through the party (so to speak) they may have gotten lost and overwhelmed by the weight of the past.
You see, they've known my children for the past three years only as "Ittybit" and "The Champ" (formerly "Thing 2") as they sat down with their Sunday papers and thumbed their way to the back to follow our pursuits.
So I think now is the time to open the windows and clear the air, which is why I've decided to start a mirror image of Ittybits and Pieces for the newspaper.
Ittybits & Pieces will always be my baby, and it's not going away. But Tiny Babel will be here, too.
And for those readers from The Record who really haven't been properly introduced to my children ... Please allow me to rectify that:
Please meet Annabel and Silas.
Ittybit and Champ.