Eight Is Not Enough–The Soapbox Celebrates Another Anniversary!

Posted by OrdinaryJoe - April 21, 2019 - Features, Writing - No Comments

This is a special time–it is Easter and Passover. My wife loves both holidays, and we have been quite busy cleaning the house and cooking feasts. So I want to wish a Happy Easter and Passover to my Christian and Jewish readers.

In addition, this is the eighth anniversary of this blog!

My life seems so different now than in 2011. I have moved into a new house, observed the passing of close loved ones, worked as an unpaid home health aide for my parents-in-law for the better part of three years, found a new job, and made innumerable visits to car repair shops. I have seen the election of Donald Trump as president of the United States, the legalization of gay marriage, the end of the Little Depression, and most incredibly of all, the Chicago Cubs winning the World Series.

And I have rediscovered my writing muse.

For years, I had a knack for writing. I became a 15 minute celebrity in my junior high school writing a magnificent–at least in the eyes of my teacher–haiku about the environment. I was the news editor for the high school paper, and my high school English teacher loved my essay about my tricycle that she entered in a literary competition (alas, it didn’t win anything).

In college, I wrote countless letters to the editors of local newspapers. What I didn’t know then was those letters were the forerunners of these blog posts, though nowadays I am rather ashamed of some of the political views I held during the 1980s. My senior thesis won the Best Essay Prize at the Phi Alpha Theta (the honor society for historians) Regional Convention at De Paul University in 1984. And because I was an aspiring historian, I had to write countless research papers on such captivating subjects like the early days of the Civil War, Austria-Hungary’s involvement in World War I, electric power in a small Illinois city, and the transformation of Illinois State from a teachers’ college to a “multiversity” in the early 1960s.

But after I left the hallowed halls of academe, I stopped writing for a long time. Sitting around a typewriter or a personal and trying to think decent thoughts for days and months took a tremendous physical and mental toll on my body. Because I was completely clueless about high tech equipment, I didn’t bother getting a job in technical writing. Nor did I pursue a career writing public relations memos because I didn’t have a business background.

Nearly a couple of decades ago, I did consider becoming a journalist, and I took an intensive course sponsored by a press association. But I couldn’t find a newspaper job anywhere. Even if I did, the puny salaries offered by some of the newspapers were nothing short of insulting.

Thus, my Edward R. Murrow dreams remained dreams. And once again, I stopped writing.

Then in 2011, I discovered the world of blogging. I was so captivated by the quality of blogs on the Internet that I wanted my own blog. And so, An Ordinary Joe’s Soapbox was born. I had so much fun creating this blog that I started thinking that maybe I should take a crack becoming a writer. I wrote a book about my job hunting follies that may be published in the near future. I am in process of writing a novel, and for fun, I am toying with the idea of publishing a book of limericks as well as a compilation of made up country and western song titles (some of which have already been published in this blog).

Now I have no illusions that I will become the next J.K. Rowling or John Grisham. I know there are countless talented writers who are making ends meet by working the cashiers at Wal-Mart, serving up lattes at Starbucks, or teaching freshman composition courses at the Backwater Campus of Podunk State University. Still, my writing muse has become an uncontrollable urge thanks to my blog. While other people might go to the gym or the local watering hole or a casino to get their jollies, I enjoy sitting in front of my trusty personal computer and write a few sentences of brilliance or, more often, less than brilliant bullbleep.

Happy Eighth Anniversary An Ordinary Joe’s Soapbox! Unlike the old TV series from the late 1970s, eight is definitely not enough concerning this blog.

Joe’s Maybe Memorable Quote of the Day

The difference between an anniversary and a birthday is that you usually don’t get ice cream and cake on your anniversary.

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