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When Blogs Become BLOGS

I've been reading my cousin Cameron's blog this morning: http://cameronkopf.blogspot.com/. He's a French horn player who toured with the Phantom road show for many years and has now settled into rural living in Northern California with his partner, James. Cameron is a loquacious, dynamic story-teller --very active on Facebook when he's not writing a novel in thirty days. On November 1, he wrote this email: "Today was Day #1 of the http://NaNoWriMo.org novel writing contest which goes on all through the month of November (50,000 words to win), and I surpassed the daily minimum word output (1660) and managed to write 2727 words today! Not that I'm counting or anything."

Needless to say, he went a bit quiet during the month of November and I've missed him. So I checked his blog this morning. I'd always thought the blog was special and not only because I'm crazy about Cameron. He writes from an awareness of the beauty of his surroundings and the interconnections of his physical presence in the world and his interior life. It has not been a life without struggle, a struggle transformed into art and an artful rendering of his days. Musicians are disciplined creatures and even Cameron's blog inspires discipline. It's regular, devoted, and careful while, at the same time, engaging to read.

Cameron is also a collector: old typewriters, a rather quaint hobby these days. And his blog is written on a typewriter--he alternates--and then scanned into the computer, a perfect combination of old and new technologies.

Day after day, the blog is written, and accumulates into a body of work, a collection of gestures and experiences. Always, it begins modestly, tentatively, and then it grows exponentially and becomes a project. Some become books or columns in online magazines, such as readallday.com by Nina Sankovich. She writes: "From October 2008 through October 2009, I read a book a day and wrote a review of each book here on Read All Day. I began my year in an effort to come to terms with the tragic death of my oldest sister, Anne-Marie, and to find purpose and meaning in my life. I called my year of reading The 365 Project."

Nina's blog was picked up by the Huffington Post and then it became a book: "Tolstoy and the Purple Chair." Both the blog and the book are must-reads.

That all said, some blogs just remain blogs and that's fine, too. It's good writing practice. It's writing.

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