I signed up for this domain in August and bought it in January. Now it is May. Rick is already on board to write here, and I plan to add the things Tara writes as well — somehow I’ve got to simply get over my hesitations and get going.
This Prairie Life — the logo has a period after it, because I like the idea of a full stop, not because it is a complete sentence. I’m using a lot of periods in grammatically incorrect locations, which, I admit, is not consistent with my career in editing. Never fear; I’m going to do it anyway. My space, my rules.
Before I actually decided to do a website, I always thought any blog I had would be called Internal Narrative. The logical problem with this was that if it’s on a blog, it’s no longer internal. However, in keeping with that idea, anything I write here will be under the Narrative category — at least for now. Rick’s are going to be under Stories. Tara’s will be under Essays. These more or less reflect our writing styles.
I don’t identify as a writer. Writing is hard. Thinking is not that hard. I’m keeping my expectations low and kindly request that readers do as well.
Of course, This Prairie Life is still under development — it always will be, I’m sure. My ability to stick to a plan is tenuous at best, so it’s better to have no plan. May as well plan to see things evolve.
One thing I wanted to have completed before This Prairie Life went live was a complete archive. Oh man, as it turns out, I do hate building that. I still want to eventually get all past narratives posted, but I’m releasing myself from the do-by-launch deadline, because it obviously has not functioned as a HotShot to get me to go live.
Of note, Rick has been more on top of this idea than I have for, um, two months now. Even enlisting a fellow contributor has not brought me into line on timeliness. In some areas, I am a lost cause. Tomorrow, I will post his lovely contribution.
Also a facet under development: If other people want to write, I’m completely open to that. I’ve talked to some other friends whose writing I like, so I’m hoping some of that will appear here. I’m the gatekeeper, and I’m kind of a dictatorial gatekeeper, but the gate itself is prairie. You want to write, shoot me your stuff, and if it’s prairie relevant, I’ll give it some thought and maybe make you into a category.
To be clear, I’m not paid; no one is paid; it’s just as bad as newspapers when the internet happened. Everything is free. (Newspapers totally shot themselves in the foot with that, btw.) Someday maybe we will all be paid, but today is not that day.
Feel free to have high expectations for the actual writers whose work appears here. I’m privileged to know some phenomenal writers, many of whom are former colleagues and people I really enjoy.
Another thing that’s been delaying this operation: How much do I want to veil my family for the sake of the interwebs? Jeremy and I have discussed this quite a bit. I’m sensitive to his opinion and sensitive to the privacy concerns of growing children. I’m sensitive to the usual farmer concerns — y’know, income, acres, head of cattle, landlords — there just won’t be a ton of that information, and if Jeremy has any concern, it’ll get expunged.
I am well aware that I can do not much more than delay you if you’re the kind of person who’s out to google map our house. I desperately love geography, and I love accidentally finding myself or someone I love out in a place they definitely belong when roaming StreetView. I’m not the kind of person who’s going to drive up to some house I’ve skulked around via the satellites, and I have to trust that people who read here are also not that kind of people. We can’t let the world be scary or we never get anything done, right?
Of course let me know what you think. Comments are open, though I’m the gatekeeper of those as well. Alternatively, email me — firstname.lastname@example.org.