February is an interesting month this year. This first weekend coincides with Blog Amnesty Day, where bloggers link to off-the-beaten-path blogs and spread the linky love to encourage each other, get to know writers they wouldn't have known about, and keep the blogosphere from becoming 'corporatized' - dominated by a few huge blogs and off-limits for all practical purposes to the lesser-known or smaller blogs, like what has happened to our national media. And we see what happens, at least in the political arena, when media consolidates. I do read a few large blogs, and some of them, like Mike Finnigan at Crooks and Liars, make a point of calling attention to a few smaller blogs every day. They've been nice enough to give me a shout-out every once in a while, and it means a whole new bunch of people who have never read my stuff before. Of course, then it's up to me to give them a reason to come back.
But, in all honesty, I do like having a small blog. The main reason is that I can get to know every commenter that drops by for a visit, and I like the sense of community that it brings. I don't get troll-bombed. I don't get into flame wars. I can keep my place the way I like it - friendly, supportive, passionate about the issues I care about, snarky and fun sometimes - and I don't have to worry about pleasing (or pissing off) a bunch of different people or jumping through hoops to get my 'stats' up. I can curse if I need to - or not. I'm not looking for confrontation. And the readers and commenters I do have I consider friends. There are other blogs that thrive on the rough-and-tumble of battling ideas, but that's not my thing. Of course, I'm interested in other points of view than my own - I'm just not looking for drama. In the wide, wide world o' blogs, there's something for everyone and you can find a fight if you're looking for one, but that's not how I roll. I take my fights where they'll make a difference - in the real world. As Digby says, if you don't like what you read, you're free to go elsewhere.
*So What's Up With the Book?*
About my book - right now, it's being edited - that's all the news I have. It's a strange feeling to have finished with a year and a half of work, and then be in limbo - my part is done for now, and I'm not sure what to expect next. I still have this nagging feeling that I should be working on it - force of habit, I guess. And something about not working on it makes it feel as if it no longer exists. When I have any more news about it you all will be the first to know. Right now, it's available for pre-order on Amazon, and I keep going there to look at it and say to myself, "I have a book! I have a book!" I may just faint when I have it in my hands for real.
February is also Black History Month, Valentine's Day, President's Day. There's a meeting on the 7th for the San Fernando Valley chapter of Americans United for Separation of Church and State, if any locals would be interested in checking out this fine organization. Email me for info.
* Gig Alert * Gig Alert * Gig Alert *
Gig alert! On February 10, I've been invited to participate in a Songwriter's Night at Cozy's in Sherman Oaks, for a great organization called Livin' the Music. They raise funds and awareness for a charity called the Lili Claire Foundation, which helps children with neuro-development conditions. The $5 cover goes directly to the Lili Claire Foundation. I hope to see some of you there - it's a little more notice than the last gig!
You can find out more at www.liliclairefoundation.org and myspace.com/livethemusictoday.
And of course, can't forget Super Tuesday. I was working at the Musicians Institute the day of the Democratic debate in Hollywood at the Kodak Theater - one block from my school. They had Hollywood Blvd. cordoned off and choked with satellite trucks - then across the street from us they were giving Suzanne Pleshette a posthumous star, which is always a major clusterf***. Sucked to be you if you were driving in Hollywood that day. I didn't really want to go to the debate anyway because it's still too soon after Edwards suspended his campaign for me to be interested in another Thrilla in Manila. But I'll be voting Tuesday and then after work heading on over to my local Drinking Liberally to hang out with my liberal buds and holler at the big-screen TV.
So, in conclusion - have a great February! Vote early and often! Come out to see me at Cozy's! Link to some bloggers that could use a boost if you blog. Support the Constitution - call your Congresscritters and don't let them roll over for telecom immunity. Show your love on V-Day - if you don't have a valentine, take yourself out and be sweet to you! Stand up and be somebody!
Or something like that.