Scene: Dark-haired woman in front of a microphone, facing a desktop computer.
Action: Woman Tap-Tap-Tapping the microphone.
Dialogue: “Is this thing on? Oh. It Is. Good, then.”
<Sound of her clearing her throat. She begins.>
To paraphrase Joan Didion, what’s so hard about a name is that you’re stuck with it. Well, that might be true, however, in the interest of never being stuck with anything, today I am announcing that I am changing the name of this blog to This about That to more accurately reflect what this blog has evolved into.
The previous name, EspressoSwirl, fit at first and then it didn’t. And since the world changes every day and life changes every day, and everything changes every day, every hour, every nanosecond, why be stuck with the name of something that doesn’t fit any longer?
Oh, I know: all the experts say be consistent, and branding experts say the brand is important, and the blogging experts say don’t go fussing and changing too much or you’ll lose people because they’ll think you don’t know what you’re doing, and that you don’t have a focus and they won’t come back. Since I am not a MacDonald’s or Starbucks franchise designed to make North Americans touring the UK or Europe feel there’s a slice of home, I am not sure that’s entirely relevant.
The experts say know what you’re doing. Have a goal. Set focus. Put out your angel cards and believe with all of your might and you too can have whatever it is that you put your mind to, and here are the steps to do it, just like they did.
Well, not exactly.
There’s a great deal of science behind the voodoo magic of experts. The science found that so-called experts often are simply the most visible and often-quoted priests of the ways to success and best practice religions that people adopt every week. So I’m ignoring experts. Who needs snake oil when I have a olive oil? I have decided to throw caution to the wind and rename my blog because guess what? It’s time.
Blogging or Writing?
I don’t know what I’m doing with this blog and I never did and I tried it because I am a writer. It never had a strong subject matter focus except for thoughts that I wrote about.
I wasn’t looking for thousands of readers for this blog or my other blog (although it would be great for my third blog). I also don’t wish to monetize anything of my personhood online, so clearly, I don’t know what I’m doing. Not only that, but according to all the experts, I’m doing it all wrong.
What I do know is that every so often I write about things that I think about and over the past nearly two years, some of that writing has landed here in this blog, and because of that, five of my family and friends and one person I do not know are generous enough with their time to read what I write. It’s kind of fun.
But things change in ways we can’t predict. For some reason, the name of this blog started to strike me as confining and demanding. It could have been the messages from WordPress pointing out how low the traffic to my site is and that if I wanted more traffic (readers) to the site, an offer to hook me up with $99 SEO resources.
Um, no. Instead, I opened that part of my brain to come up with a next step for me with this blog — the back burner brain of pondering. As I pondered what to do with the blog — change the name, close it for good — life continued doing what life does, and did it for a whole month until I came to a decision.
That Life thing included exploring changing areas of the city, and meeting real life writing deadlines and visiting some cool new cafes and mourning the loss of one of my favourite little west end cafes, The Communal Mule.
That life thing included other loss: six dogs I know left the planet to cavort near the Rainbow Bridge with my beloved little red poodle, Allie, and my eternally adored lilac-point Siamese cat, Miso, breaking many human and animal hearts with their deaths.
In other animal news over the month, a mouse has found its way inside — again, and I don’t know if I’ll write about it: depends on what happens this time. Squirrels are crazy busy getting ready for winter. So crazy, that they are everywhere on the streets and roads. Some of them are not making it back to their trees and I have become incredibly inventive at driving my car with tears in my eyes while avoiding looking at dead creatures on the road. Raccoons are getting aggressive with the green bins of organic waste. Unintended consequences: green bins to collect organic waste have made Toronto the raccoon capital of North America. Then, I got the weirdest editing job I have ever had. (Yes, some clients are a special breed of animal unto themselves.) And today, the drop in temperature is a reminder of that the season change is real and it’s coming.
So it’s that change thing. Change is as pervasive as air, change is, from the time and space that didn’t exist before the big bang, to the time and space that doesn’t exist now or tomorrow. Nothing, nothing is ever static unless you forget to put something in the dryer. We might think that life is a straight line, and some of us work very hard to make sure that’s what it remains, but it isn’t really. Every decision is a hold steady course, a course correction or a deliberate veering off course, even if we are unaware of that fact.
What’s in a name?
But back to the name change. My love of espresso and hunting cafes is no big secret. I didn’t write a lot about coffee or cafes for that matter. The blog, EspressoSwirl evolved into something that talked about the mix of perfect ingredients that generated a thought or feeling that resulted in me writing about it.
And so it seems to me that I can change the name of this blog to something more appropriate to this season of change, to a time of no focus for writing except what strikes my fancy, and wherever the solar winds of life take my puddle-jumping, writing/blogging self for the next little while. My new name for the old blog, This about That, just about covers it.
Action: Microphone dismantled, computer turned off, woman heads out into the day.
Scene: Darkened room. A mouse scampers up and finally lands on the desk, and sits on its haunches pondering the superslim MAC keyboard, recalling an early 20th-century myth about a cockroach who wrote poetry using a journalist’s typerwriter.