22 August 2009

Fall Cleaning in Blog-Land

I made my first post on this Blog in March of 2007; I already had about two years worth of “blogging experience” at another—and now to my mind completely worthless—blog service. None of that was very serious, and I’m embarrassed at much of it now (which is why that blog is completely closed down and sealed off and I’m never linking to it and we have always been at war with Eurasia). Still, that time posting away without much consideration at least gave me practice at finding out how I wanted to blog, and what I wanted to blog about. I decided to start The Realm of Ryan (known at first as “The Blog of the Realm” because it was embedded in my website “The Realm of Ryan” but has since taken on the entirety of the site and the domain name) to make a much more professional-appearing digital journal. I used what I learned and found a better focus. I aimed to make my posts as well-written and polished as I could.

Nevertheless, blogs change over time, and now over two years after I started using Blogger, I’m going over and revising some of my older posts, as well as deleting a few that no longer seem like they are part of the blog as it now exists. I’ve changed formatting to fit the style of the current reviews, and cleaned up prose and try to catching typos wherever I can. Even though I started this blog after “warming up” to the art form, the whole enterprise has grown up significantly in the last year, and cleaning those old posts makes me feel better about the entire presentation.

I’m not the only person who has done this. T. L. Bugg over at The Lightning Bug’s Lair has just celebrated his one-year anniversary of his blog—and did it by doing a new review of the first film that he featured on his site, Sleepaway Camp. I never read his first review, but Bugg’s own comment on it is that “every time I go back and check out that review, it makes me cringe.” I’m sure it wasn’t that bad, but from my own personal experience as I writer I sometimes flinch when I look at earlier things I penned, so I understand his reaction. We are our own harshest critic. Regardless, his new review is great, and is a good example of how his blog evolved over a very short period of time into a remarkable (and very busy) showcase of exploitation, horror, and unusual genre films. And even classic Hitchcock! I hopped onto his blog very early in its existence—October of last year, when I noticed a review of the film version of The Bride Wore Black (you can’t post reviews of anything based on Cornell Woolrich without it getting to my attention)—and even then it was quite an accomplished site. It’s one of my favorites now, and it influenced the way I run my own blog. It’s interesting that T. L. Bugg also feels the need to do some dustin’ up of the archives. (By the way, I know Bugg’s real name, but you can’t force it from me.)

Oh, and while I’m talking about Lightning Bug’s Lair, I just want to share something with you that he recently posted about my modest—and far less popular—blog. Normally I wouldn’t tout my good reviews… I don’t get many reviews, period… but this made me feel great when Bugg listed this corner of the Internet among his list of sites that are invaluable to him as reader:
The Realm of Ryan: Another longtime friend of the Lair, no matter if he’s talking about Robert E. Howard, history, or writing the best review I’ve seen for District 9, Ryan always delivers. He’s also one of the writers that make me feel better when he writes a review because they’re often longer than mine, and anyone who can be more verbose than me is OK in my book.
It’s terrific to know that other people don’t mind the length of what I write. Anyway, it’s sentiments like this that keep me going with this strange hobby. That and the simple fact that I love writing so much that I can’t help but blog.

Speaking of District 9, I saw it for the second time today in theaters, which is a huge tribute to how much I love it. I rarely see a film in theaters twice anymore, mostly because of ticket prices and the feeling that I should spend my time seeing as many films as possible. But District 9 was a must-see-again. It’s even more astonishing the second go-round.

Now, I’ll return to cleaning up the older posts. Thanks for stopping by for the meta-blog.