Welcome to the first of the "3 Most Influential Blogs in the Evolution of TNB" series. I'm finding that "Influential" doesn't make it hard to determine my top three, but it does make it hard to determine the order they should go in. That being said, it's not my intent to offend anyone that I didn't include in my list, and it's not my intent to offend anyone with the order I've placed them in.
Most of you will disagree with #3. Not because of who it is but because it's #3 and not #1. I'm not attempting to run a popularity contest with these posts and as I mentioned previously, these may not necessarily be the three I would pick or the order I would place them if it were my "favorites" or my opinion of the "best". These are simply the three that have inspired me, changed me, or made me and/or my blog what it is today.
Anyone that has spent any amount of time knows my back story. You mostly know where I came from and how I ended up becoming a part of our outstanding league of Sports Card writers. You all pretty much know about my late night find of Mario Alejandro and WaxHeaven on Sports Collecting Radio earlier this year.
Most of you don't know, however, about the lonely nights that I spent as a teenager, pining over the unrequited love of a high school crush, at Ballard Park in Tupelo, MS. I've never told you guys about the journal I began on December 23, 1997, the unaddressed love letter to the above mentioned crush that I took with me to school everyday in hopes that she would read it and know my true feelings.
I would write in this journal the things I couldn't say, things I couldn't express, and then I would leave it out in the open completely exposed. This was one of my first forays into writing and after 9 months of the "same ol' same ol'" the writing style stuck. My 4 years of persistence paid off and I finally got the girl after I graduated high school. But, it was only after I let her read that journal. We dated for almost a year and then it was over before it began. But, for some reason, the writing style stuck.
I found a sense of completion in getting my thoughts down on paper. With the exception of Mr. Garfunkel, it's the only art that I know (God, that was corny...sorry.) It led to a failed attempt at writing a novel in my early 20's. Although there are some outstanding passages in the work that I did and although I considered it my masterpiece of sorts, there was something missing and no matter how much of myself I poured into it, it wasn't complete. At the time I didn't know what it was that I was lacking. Since starting this blog, I found the answer.
I named this blog after a particular line from that novel. "I feel I'm searching for roses never planted...Treasure never buried..." I was missing an audience.
I can explain how I got to where I am. Hell, with all of the journals, I even have documentation. I can explain the process that led to me eventually finding my way to creating this blog and having written some things that will forever be a part of my life, my family's life, and hopefully some things that will forever be a part or your lives. That is my hope, anyway.
The first of my three posts is dedicated to Mario for making everything that I'm doing here possible. I read the posts at other blogs that make comments like, "Well, for the 3 people that actually read this blog..." and then they disappear without warning one day. I could have easily began a blog of my own accord, without any acknowledgment and then just hoped for the best. And to the credit of most authors, that's what they've had to do.
I was fortunate enough to have the best in the business say, "go read this guy". I had the good fortune of being linked to from his top 7 since day one. Not everyone can say that. That doesn't make me cocky, I assure you. It makes me feel very humbled. Very appreciative.
I've often told you guys that I've had one goal my entire life, to be a father. It's true and false at the same time. It is false because in the back of mind, I've always wanted to be a writer, too. I've always felt that I AM a writer, just that I'm not practicing. The statement is also false because I've never wanted it so bad as to pursue it. It's never been a goal. It's always been a desire.
Mario made the comment one day that he thinks I'll be the first in the blogosphere to secure a book deal. Maybe. Maybe not. I can tell you that it is my intent to do so.
I've always been a writer but I had lost faith in my ability. I felt incomplete because there was something truly missing.
To quote our illustriously eloquent President, Mr. George W. Bush...
"Where wings take dreams..."
I can honestly say I've finally been given the opportunity pursue something that I've always wanted to do and it's all because you took the time to recognize me and have faith in my work.
Mario, thank you for giving me an audience...