Hello World

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tech  writing 

Hello world!

While this is a new site, I am not new to blogging. I’ve been blogging one way or another since 1999, give or take. I’ve had a lot of different sites over the years–from Diaryland to Greymatter to Movable Type to LiveJournal to WordPress and now I’m using Hugo because, to be quite honest, I am unhappy with the direction WordPress has taken their product–they seem to assume that everyone wants to sell something and too often what’s for sale is a piece of someone’s soul.

I have no desire to make this site generate any sort of regular source of income or to leverage it into something bigger than what it is. I’m not looking for visibility or followers or to become any sort of influencer.

I’m looking for a place to document my life and how I’m living it.

I miss writing for its own sake. There are so many things I want to write about and haven’t felt as if I can, in part because technology is getting in my way.

WordPress is an unwieldy beast and every time I log on, there’s something that needs updating. I hate that things I’d consider to be part of the core functionality of a CMS isn’t there and there’s a whole ecosystem of people making their living selling that core functionality to you–and if they run on a freemium model, the plugins call home, which is a significant privacy and security concern.

I am planning to mothball my old site and unpublishing nearly all the posts; what I’m planning on leaving behind will be converted to static site, probably using 11ty, because playing with frameworks is fun and their name makes me laugh.

Like many others, I have become increasingly disillusioned with the algorithmic web and with the centering of search engine optimization and selling when it comes to publishing online.

For example: Twitter doesn’t show me the tweets I’m interested in, instead it shows me what will make me angry or despairing. Facebook lets me know know which of my friends and family are not-so-secret bigots (I’d’ve deleted that by now except FB Messenger is the main way I talk to my sister and dad). Instagram seems to exist in order to make me feel bad about myself or to tempt me into buying things I really don’t need. None of this is good for my mental health.

I was brigaded on Twitter earlier this year for a casual, off-hand remark I made to some friends after the Hugo Awards ceremony and the ringleaders harassed me for months for no reason other that they could. And because I was not someone that the wider SFF community perceived as important, I was more or less left to deal with it alone. (Those of you who did support me, you have my 💜 forever. The rest of you? 🖕 )

So this is an attempt to get back to basics–to write a few times a week about how I’m feeling (current status: ow my pancreas), about what I’m reading, and whatever else I want. And most importantly: to work at becoming a better writer.

I want to get away from the corporatized and capitalism-focused web and back to what attracted me to the internet in the first place: finding interesting people and reading what they have to say.

I’m not planning on glossing over any of my health issues, but I’m not going to wallow in them or present myself as some sort of heroine fighting a battle with her body: my goal is to make peace with this body, as it’s the only one I get to have. And if I have to use assistive devices and medications in order to keep going, then that’s what I’m going to do. And I’m going to talk about it–there are so few of us who have survived necrotizing pancreatitis writing honestly about what it’s like that I feel I owe it to my past self to do so.

But my disability isn’t all of who I am: I am also a voracious reader and I make things with yarn. I’m also a JavaScript developer and I work for a really neat little company and it’s so good, especially when compared with my prior job, which was actively making my health worse through an abusive manager who knew how to use the corporate bureaucracy to her benefit.

I think most of you reading this have noticed that I’m not using any part of my legal name on this site, although it is not difficult to discover. I am asking that this deliberate omission be respected as much as possible. I’m respecting your privacy by not using any cookies or other tracking technologies, so please respect mine.

Finally: welcome, world. I’m glad you’re here for this journey. Let’s have some fun.