The 700 10/26/20

Thoughts by Richard Bleil

This is an interesting post, as I’m honored to announce that I’m now a member of The 700 Cl…well, no, not really. At least not that one, which I won’t mention because I don’t want to get them mad at me. But this is, indeed, my seven hundredth blog post.

For almost two years now, I’ve tried to write a blog a day, a minimum of 750 words each. This effort was started as an attempt to do something, anything, different to help me climb out of a slump and major depression as I was living in my friend’s basement in Box Elder. That’s well over half a million words, which is a mixed honor since it’s the equivalent of between 3 and 10 novels. I have several ideas for novels, but I’m so OCD that I cannot abandon my goal of at least one 750 word blog a day.

Maybe it’s time to up my writing goal and use part of it towards new books.

In those 700 blogs, I’ve written of depression, sexuality, humor, politics, science, education and more. I’ve had more than 17,000 hits, read in over 50 countries and followed by over 140 individuals. This is very humbling to me, to think that I’ve actually touched so many people. I’m sure I’ve made enemies, and hope I’ve created some fans, but I truly hope I’ve been entertaining and given people things to think about. I especially hope I’ve helped some.

Nearly 150 people read “What About Sarah”, the story of my shameful past, and my worst professional blunder. Technically, when we first started dating, she was not my student, but she was a student at the university where I dated making our relationship, frankly, “gray scale”. There’s an old saying that if you cannot be public about your relationship, you shouldn’t be in it. I truly wish I had listened to that saying. I won’t say it was her fault (it was entirely my own), but it was because of that relationship that I eventually resigned from that tenured position and ended up homeless, broke and broken.

Almost 90 people read “Dismissed”, a blog about my own personal trigger. An entire class of students elected to basically not show up for a course where I was filling in for the regular professor. The subject for the day was just a review for an upcoming exam, and it certainly was their right to decide if they were going to show up or not, but it hit me very personally not so much because of them, but because they happened to trip one of my triggers. My entire life, I’ve felt ignored. Having grown up in an emotionally abusive environment, I was simply not permitted to have a voice, or to follow my own path. I was never taken seriously so when they elected to simply walk out it really hurt these old wounds.

One of my short stories, “The Blog”, was read by almost 70 people. This follows the genre of horror short stories, as most of my short stories are. Writing short stories has been an interesting experience. Without time to develop any sort of backstory or to have character growth, the stories all seem abrupt. Many of them are not really stories per se, but rather frightening situations. When I say they’re not stories, what I mean is that there is no explanation of how the people that are the focus of the story ended up in the situation wherein they find themselves, who the antagonist is or even if, in fact, the person is the antagonist. This style is much like “The Pit and the Pendulum” by Edgar Allen Poe and several other of his stories that are just situational terror. I have to admit, I am considering collecting these short stories, polishing them up and publishing this as a book that is simply a collection of stories.

Sixty-Five people read “Slow Descent into Oblivion.” This was a rather personal story as to how I ended up needing to rely on the kindness of my friends to keep myself from being homeless, losing my car, losing my jobs, and more. My friends are marvelous. I cannot express just how much I love them, and I’m completely humbled by the amount of love they have shown me. It’s not easy for me to ask for help, or to accept it when it is offered. I have many friends who have reached out to me and learned this the hard way. This streak of luck has taught me a lot, including that strength it takes to ask for such help and being open to accepting it.

Seven hundred posts means we are close to two years of blogging. Two years of openness, humor, tears, good, bad and ugly. I want to thank my readers for their attention. I hope you’ve gotten a lot of good out of reading these posts, and will continue to do so in the future.


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