I never really liked the name of my blog. And since one of the great things about the web is its malleability—nothing is permanent as it is in print—I can change it anytime I like.
So it struck me that lately I’ve only had time and ideas enough to post on Saturday mornings, when I have a little time to think, and I’m not quite ready to get into the real duties of writing: editing, submitting, revising, reading, critiquing, social media, and, oh yeah, writing.
I’m a bit of a history buff, and the Saturday morning schedule strummed a memory chord. The Saturday Evening Post was once America’s most popular magazine. It was founded in 1821, and circulated weekly from 1897 to 1969. It’s actually still around, publishing bimonthly, although circulation has gone from a high of 3 million to about 350,000 now.
The Post was famous for its literature, and regularly published fiction by mainstream writers like Bradbury, Faulkner, Fitzgerald, Heinlein, Vonnegut, Saroyan, and Steinbeck, and poetry by Sandburg, Nash, Parker, and others. By the late 1950s, however, its popularity began to decline, attributed to its inability to keep up with the reading public’s changing tastes and competition for advertising from TV.
Today’s SEP is a mix of nostalgia and pop culture. The web site and current issue feature a retrospective of Norman Rockwell art (he painted more than 300 of the magazine’s covers between 1916 and 1966), a profile of Danica Patrick and a report on a woman who makes a pilgrimage to the sacred grotto at Lourdes.
You won’t get that kind of fluff here, but it seems like a nice touch to connect publishing’s past with its ubiquitous present and undeniable future. Plus, I’m a sucker for wordplay, however weak.
It’s Saturday morning, and I’m posting.
Next week: I’ll be reporting from AWP in Chicago. It’s the biggest writer/publishing convention in the country, featuring 500 displays, 400 sessions, and dozens of offsite activities. Last year, while sitting outside the hotel coffee shop, watching some of the thousands of attendees on their way to events, I was so inspired that I started a story that won a contest. Let’s hope I’m as fortunate this year—the idea well has been pretty dry lately.