Tuesday, January 1, 2013

A Word of Introduction

Greetings, and welcome to my blog. Allow me to introduce myself.

My name is Leslie, and I am a writer. I love to write, and I have been considering starting a blog for some time now. What better way to start a new year than a blog, and what better day to start a blog than the first day of a new year?

Whether you came here out of curiosity or actual interest, you'll probably want to know a bit about me. Namely, the answers to questions like "Who? What? When? Where? Why?" and "How?" I'll tackle each of these one by one.

Well, you know my name, at least. You should also know that I am a Christian foremost. Hence I believe my affinity for writing has to do with my purpose in life, which is to glorify God in everything, whether directly or indirectly. Sure, not all of what I will have to say in this blog is inherently of Scriptural or spiritual significance, but I will make no secret that everything written here stems from a mind and heart firmly rooted in Jesus Christ. The blossoms on those stems may be different colors and shapes, but the root is the same.

This blog has begun during that "limbo time" between education and career. I have been writing novels and stories and poems almost non-stop for the last eight years or so,  but so far the outlet for my writing has been limited. I aim, with this blog, to broaden that sphere.

I write to you, dear reader, from my own little corner of the US. I live in a quaint tucked-in corner of the Pacific Northwest that is within 100 miles of pretty much everything one could ask for: big city, small town, rural, metropolitan, the beach, the mountains... yeah, pretty much the prettiest corner of the contiguous States.

To be fair, I phrased it as a "How" question, but it really incorporates an answer to "WHAT is this blog about?"
In answer to both, this blog will probably mostly consist of flotsam and jetsam that I have pondered in various conversations that I didn't really get the opportunity to express, or perhaps I have hit upon some interesting notion, but the subject has never been broached. I have a tendency to "psychoanalyze" things, and work well in bullet-point lists. "If Yes/No, explain Why" questions on exams have never been daunting to me. 
If you're still interested, be on the lookout for "Hit List" posts, where I will take a certain number (probably Top 10 or Top 5) of my most favorite or least favorite (depending on the category) subjects of a certain type, and explain why they are my most or least favorite.
In addition to all that, this blog will be an ongoing record of the many stories I have in development. There will be Excerpts, Character Introductions, Plot Musings, and the like. When prompted, I would very much like it if anyone reading this blog would provide feedback and critique on these things. If I want to be writing my very best, it wouldn't exactly be very productive if I were the sole judge of my own work. A writer's work is always better when the reader's side is taken into account. Please let me know how I'm doing!

Now for the question you've all been waiting for....

The title of this blog was inspired by a sermon I heard right about the time I started seriously thinking about starting a blog. The pastor compared the state of society to a dirty stream, full of the muck and garbage of deteriorating morals and an overall deficiency of character and purpose. It reminded me of studying American literature in college. I had noticed the same thing. Very few writers today carry the same idealism and thought-provoking potency that classic literature holds. I see this as a problem, and a very serious one at that. The "stream" of culture--both literary and social--has become "muddied." But how can someone affect it, make a difference? More and more people are calling today for change in our culture; "Be the change you want to see!" they cry. But what does this look like, practically?

The solution, in the case of the muddy river, is not to sit by the riverside where the bed is dirtiest and try to haul out the trash as it floats by. In order to clean the river, one must start upstream, where the water is clearer, and from there, comb out the filth.
I have sat in my little downstream eddy, frowning at the pollution, for long enough. This blog is my voyage "upstream," my endeavor to travel up the river as far as I can, to inspire other writers like myself, to "bushwhack" a trail back to the days of "clean" literature, so that we can return to the foundation laid for us as writers and (hopefully) restore at least literature to its former glory. Its the most I can do as a writer, and I aim to perform this duty as well as I am able.

That's the dream, anyway; this dream is starting as a blog. I am the Upstream Writer. Welcome, friends and readers. Thank you for joining me on this journey.