First, I screwed up. For a few hours on Sunday, I posted a mention about J.'s slideshow without including a link - and he hadn't published the pictures yet anyway! So that post wll appear for real at midnight tonight, wth the proper link.
The final letter I got was from Ed Hawco, better known in in the blogging world as Blork, and to me as a true friend, excellent photographer, and a great chef. He is the partner of Martine Pagé, who wrote earlier this week, and they are close friends of ours in Montreal, and the longest-term bloggers I know; they started more than a year before I did, and were instrumental in organizing YulBlog, Montreal's blogger group and monthly meet-up. Like Dave Bonta, Ed has several blogs: a personal one where he writes (not often enough, IMHO) on various topics, including food, plus several photography blogs and a little-known blog of "snippets" from books he reads, for he is a prodigous and eclectic reader (scroll down to the following post for his 2012 book list!) The following is cross-posted on his main blog, so you can go there and check out the others too.The noise in the blogosphere has long surpassed the signal, which may explain the decline in relevance of the “personal blog.” Where once the platform was largely about personal writing and exploration, blogging now is a vehicle for competitive foodieism, personal branding, and all forms of marketing.
This shift was inevitable, so there’s no point in complaining about it. Fortunately, many personal blogs still soldier on, including this one (although in my case “limp” would be a better choice of verb). Some toil in obscurity, others attract a bit of attention by issuing screeds and rants. And then there’s The Cassandra Pages, which celebrated its 10th anniversary last week.
The Cassandra Pages is written by Beth Adams, who I’ve been privileged to know as a friend for much of that ten years. Martine and I met Beth when she and her husband Jon showed up at a YULBlog meeting some time around 2004. (It might have been 2003, or even 2005; I have a terrible sense of time past, a gift I inherited from my father.) She and Jon were engaged in a very slow process of moving to Montreal from their home in Vermont where they’d lived together for 30 years. I was attracted to them immediately, partially because their story was so different from the others at YULBlog, but mostly because of their genuine warmth, intelligence, and curiosity.
Since then I have had the triple pleasure of knowing them as friends, seeing Jon’s photographs, and reading Beth’s blog. Don’t go there for rants or shopping advice. Turn away if you’re only interested in tech noise or social platitudes. The Cassandra Pages is a ten year (and onward) personal writing space for Beth’s experimentation and expression, and for your reading pleasure. It strikes that rare note of being a personal blog – based on a life being lived and the observations made along the way – while remaining approachable and relevant to anyone who cares to read it. As with good memoir writing, it never comes of as being “all about me.” Rather, it’s about us; the “we” that forms when a writer connects with her readers, and readers see truth and thoughtful inquiry in a writer’s impressions.
Congratulations Beth, on 10 Years of The Cassandra Pages!