Oysterville Daybook

The First Daybook Entry - 2010

The First Daybook Entry – 2010

I began my blog, the Oysterville Daybook on March 30, 2010.  I thought I might be able to write a daily entry for a year or two about life in this tiny hamlet on the bay.  It would interlace the past with the present, my family with the neighbors, and take a look at the greater community now and then.

My purpose was straightforward: to sell more books.  “Raise your profile,” advised my webmaster.  “Try blogging.”  I don’t think I was even very clear about what a blog was exactly.  Certainly I had no idea what I could write about.  “Write what you know,” advised my inner voice said.  (Actually, it was the voice of my eighth grade teacher Mrs. Barnes, I think.)

2,331 blogs later, I don’t know if my purpose has been accomplished.  It’s hard to quantify book sales.  But it’s the other things that have happened along the way that have kept me going –the people I’ve ‘met’ through their comments and questions; the blog fans who have come to the house to introduce themselves; the bits and pieces of history I’ve learned along the way.  The Daybook has definitely taken on a life of its own.

Apple Harvest -2015

Apple Harvest -2015

Yesterday, I began the process of culling through those several thousand blogs with another book in mind.  At the urging of my readers, I’m trying to figure out if I can “cherry pick” through all those entries and do a composite year-long Oysterville Daybook.  I’m quite sure the material is there.  Farmer Nyel and the chicken blogs alone are a no-brainer.  And there are dozens of stories and anecdotes about Oysterville past and present.  Plus the stories about people – their contributions, their idiosyncrasies and the ways in which they enrich village life.

Yes – tons of material, some of it fairly well written, too.  But, how to put it together?  What does a composite year look like?   Do I use the actual day/month that things happened but jump around year-wise– February 28 (2013) followed by February 29 (2016) and March 1 (2010)?  Or just use days and months and never mind if those are really when stuff happened – Monday, February 28; Tuesday, February 29th etc. and put the actual date at the foot of each blog.

Chicken Production - 3013

Chicken Production – 3013

And what about sequencing the events themselves? Or the dates that seem to be more ‘popular’?  January 11th for instance had great entries in 2012, 2014, and 2016.  And August 27th 2011 and 2015 are keepers. How to choose?  Or do I fake it with a disclaimer in the foreword?

So far, a composite Daybook is a logistics challenge for sure.  Maybe it will come together; maybe not.  Meanwhile, it’s a good trip down memory lane.  And, besides, the two other books that have been on my back burner were sent off to potential publishers on Wednesday.  Woot!  Woot!

6 Responses to “Oysterville Daybook”

  1. Stephanie Frieze says:

    Outstanding idea!

  2. My blog is older by 7 days. How funny that we both started about the same time, for the same reason and chose the daily format (though unlike you, I do take off weekends.) Friends have also suggested a collection of my mini essays and I, too, find the prospect daunting. I think it’s amazing that you and I have had the stamina to keep at it so long and still squeeze out other writings because these daily essays do take on a life of their own.

    As for organizational structure, I’ve looked hard at the thematic approach in Anne Lindbergh’s “Gift from the Sea.” You might consider something similar. Best of luck to you.

  3. Tracy Richards says:

    It would be a best seller!

  4. Kevin Berry says:

    Hi Sydney. What s great idea. Here is a thought–did you ever read Nixon’s books? They were fascinating. He often organized them by topic, not chronology. He would write about tricks to remember names(and how he used them), speeches he store and the process, trips he took, the writing of books. It was all very interesting, and they were educational and informative. Do write a chapter (compilation) on the chickens, write a chapter on your books and book writing, write a chapter on your neighbors, write a chapter on ghosts, write a chapter on your family, or visiting in the early years. Oh, you gave to do one on vespers and your house concerts. You have already done all the work–just edit!! I’ll buy the book for sure. Kevin

  5. sydney says:

    Thanks for the encouragement, Kevin! I like the idea of a non-chronological format. That would solve a number of problems…

  6. sydney says:

    Thanks for reminding me about “Gift from the Sea,” Caroline. Other folks have also suggested non-chronolical formats. It could be an interesting summer of research ahead!

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