I don’t write to make money, and really, as someone told me, “No one asks me to do what I do every day.” Six hours of typing and researching daily in an increasingly dusty house is not done for glory. I do it because community history everywhere is dying, and I personally feel I must help it exist in some way, so people remember. Each day you can find me at my kitchen island representing my community as a Carleton Place, ON. town councillor, and documenting community history. I am not writing about those who ‘ran the world’ either. I am all about remembering Joe, Mary or Dave that were ordinary citizens who helped make our towns and cities. Those are the people I want everyone to remember.
Everyone seems to think that they can start a blog or write a book and success will be instant, even for history. Let me tell you that is not the truth. These days you don’t write to make money, and even though I have published six books about various thoughts; I know that my books aren’t really that special. I’m just happy that I have completed something in life and enjoy writing about history and whatever catches my fancy.
After my first book came out I thought I was going to be on Oprah, but I noticed that family and friends seemed to instantly disappear like rats on a sinking ship when my book was finally available. That should have been my first clue. Life is tough out there in the literary world.
It’s also a dream for most writers to ‘go viral’ and this week I did. It wasn’t the first time actually. A few years ago a photo taken by photographer John Rayner of me at a PRIDE event went viral on FLIKR. John received over 800,000 hits on that photo of me at age 68, playing an electric guitar looking something like Keith Richards. I will just leave the thoughts there about looking like Keith, because for the death of one celebrity I assume God gives Keith Richards another year of life.
This past Wednesday I woke up to emails asking for permission to use a story I did about a Pickle Cranberry Pie. A Salt Lake City FOX news station tweeted out a video “of the worst pie ever created” with the caption ‘It’s A Utah Thing’ with a photo of my blog. Mashed, a very popular culinary blog also picked it up and Food Network’s celebrity chefs Alex Guarnaschelli and Duff GoldmanTweeted their disapproval of the pie.This led to a Twitter explosion and after that, news stations were picking it up everywhere. My ‘stats’ on WordPress went through the roof for at least 4 days. It was everywhere. Some people found the recipe so disgusting they stated that: “If the US saw what the US was doing, the US would order a military intervention in the US”.
After it was all over and actor, singer Ice-T Tweeted some obscenities about the pie I wondered if it might become a possible upcoming episode on Law and Order. But, then other thoughts flooded my mind. Why don’t things like human rights, affordable housing, seniors advocacy etc. etc. go viral? Is it just because everyone wants to be entertained? Most times postings just become a sniffle, and longevity and consistency is hard. But, for the second time in my life something I did went viral, and let that be a lesson to Kim Kardashian and everyone else out there. You don’t need to be naked to go viral, sometimes an odd pie recipe works as well.