Thursday, March 27, 2008

Travails in Travel and Writing

Last night I tried starting the memoir on my time in South Korea, focusing on three women whose acquaintance I'd made. I had a bottle of ale and several shots of Dewar's, but I also had a full stomach so I wasn't as buzzed as I could have been.

I wrote, oh boy, did I write. It just wasn't going where I wanted it to. Eight pages into it I'd only covered my high school career, my time at Basic Training, AIT, and permanent party at Fort Ord, CA, right before it shut down. I had just begun to start talking about in-processing in Korea, with about two and a half pages in which to address what was supposed to be the subject of this essay. I gave up and went to bed.

Obviously this isn't the kind of thing one wants to write about on their work computer, which could possibly be monitored by a particularly savvy IT department, so I borrowed my girlfriend's laptop (you'll recall, she suggested the topic in the first place, and now I wonder if that was less to be helpful and more to find out about a lurid era of my life) and have started over. This time I did the smart thing, writing it from the inside out: I started on the topic I wanted to cover, and once I had a good bulk amassed I went back and created a beginning, and then I'll write the end. The subject has shifted from being about three women to focusing on one, as well as explaining the clubbing experience through this one club, as well as outlining the responsibilities of the mamasan and the influence of the Korean mafia. I think this will be much better.

Last night I was checking out the stats on my blog and saw the regular numbers: seven visitors, eight visitors, five visitors, no hits... and then 50, and then 322 unique page views last Monday. What the hell? I went back to see what I'd written, and it was only my grotty rundown of what graphic novels I've been reading recently. That's hardly interesting, so I traced the viewer paths and found that a number of Minneapolis-oriented blogs had posted a link to my post in which I contrasted the two "Overheard in Minneapolis" websites. A few blogs linked to that post, and I suspect their substantially larger readership followed the link to come see me. I'm sorry that the rest of my blog did not entice them to continue reading, but whatever. I'll develop style and substance later, people will come back for that. I'm pleased that, for one day, I was something like a star.

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