Who Am I and What Am I Doing Here?!

Blogging 101 – Day One

I celebrated my first anniversary blogging this past January 2015.

At the risk of sounding immodest, I consider myself something of a renaissance man—not quite a Leonardo da Vinci (although I did build and fly my own airplane), but close enough for a country boy who grew up on a farm in Virginia.

I had many interesting experiences growing up on that farm and I wanted to pass these stories on to my daughters and grandchildren. A blog seemed the best way to accomplish this, and, consequently my first blog category is called “I Grew up on a Farm in Virginia” (26 posts to date).

I left the farm and went off to college where I majored in science with the idea of becoming a teacher, and I taught high school for several years before going into the Air Force (during the Viet Nam conflict).

Personal Background

OldDesignShop_HandHoldingPen[1]Okay, one quick personal story: When I left the Air Force, I wanted to go into photography, but also had to have a “job” to pay the bills. My Air Force experience and a G.I. Bill-funded master’s degree qualified me to teach college level courses in aviation sciences and human physiology. I spent many off hours scouring the local countryside (in New England) for interesting photographic subjects. The photos were good in terms of composition, subject matter and photographic quality. Still, it was hard to sell just photographs. So I started giving myself “assignments.” I would take photos of a subject, then write an article illustrated with my photos. The articles began to sell and both my words and photos showed up in print (and I got paid!). My focus shifted to writing. In my last year of teaching, I sold a dozen articles to nationally published magazines. I also applied to, and was hired, by a company that needed an aerospace writer/editor, and, as they say, the rest is history. Thirty years later, I retired from a major aerospace and defense contractor where I was a business and proposal writer and manager.

Before I began my blog journey, I had written a dozen or so online travel articles focusing primarily on historic sites. Travel, either across town or across the world, feeds many personal curiosities: history, nature, culture, food, etc.; and provides a grand source of photographic opportunities. I have gradually added many more destinations to visit, resulting in my second blog category, the “Renaissance Bucket List” under which I post articles associated with travel (43 posts to date).

Telling stories about my days as an Air Force Pilot led to another category, “There I Was” (8 posts).

Also, I occasionally go on a rant about some local or national political or social issue that I just cannot ignore. These articles are posted under “The View from Pelham” category (26 posts so far).

Finally, I have spent many years (that overlap with my writing) as a photographer, producing most of the photography that illustrates my articles. My most recent category is the “Photo of the Week.” Not real original I know, but it gives me a chance to share some of my favorite photos and write a short paragraph about either the subject of the photo, or how the photo was produced.

Blogging Objectives

There are three objectives for me as I continue blogging: (1) Capture and share these stories with my family, friends, and anyone else who finds them interesting, (2) continue to travel to out-of-the-way and unsung places and share these experiences, and (3) hope that some alert, enterprising editor or publisher sees something in my writing that can return me to the status of “professional” (i.e., paid) writer.

Perhaps, just as important to me is the fact that I have begun to connect with other bloggers from many disciplines including military history, photography, writing, and even natural science. Perhaps this feeds my renaissance state of mind.

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7 Responses to Who Am I and What Am I Doing Here?!

  1. Pingback: Renaissance Musings Table of Contents | Renaissance Musings

  2. lilypup says:

    This is a great and comprehensive introduction. Hope you enjoy Blogging 101! http://lilypupslife.wordpress.com/

  3. kbailey374 says:

    great job! look forward to reading more

  4. A Virginian, eh. Let’s just say takes one to know one. Wonderful blog. I hope you’ll continue and haven’t given up. I am chronically late to the party. Just now finding your blog! I’ve been blogging for several years. I still enjoy it.

    • merlinjr01 says:

      Thank you. No I haven’t given up, but I also do some contract writing for several client companies and the busier I am there the motivated I am to write on my blog. I’ll be around soon. I liked you travel blog, although I could not really tell where you were. Obviously, I did not read every word, but ….

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