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A Milestone Rite of Passage
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During my younger son's graduation from college--during the long three hour ceremony when we listened to an amazing stream of names--my fiancé and I argued about the difference between milestones and rites of passage.  He thought that events such as Bar Mitzvahs and graduations were milestones.  I saw them both as rites of passages, places when you walk up as one thing and walk down as another.  Thirteen-year-old boy and then a man.  College student and then college graduate.  I see this as a transformation, and there are rites that go along with this transformation.

I can't remember who won this argument.  More than likely, the discussion drifted off as we found something other to engage us, like a sandwich.

This weekend upon my return home, I realized that my blog was going through a rite of passage (or was it a milestone?).  Since starting up in January of 2008, I have now had over 500,000 hits here.  I've crested over this seminal number as of yesterday, and now I feel well, not too much.  It's pretty exciting that 500,000 times people have looked in to see what I've had to say or gaze at my book covers or watched my pretty cheesy romance movies.  But what does it exactly mean?  And is it a rite of passage or a milestone?

Milestone, I think.

So what does this sign in the journey signify?  Maybe that I've found a small audience who comes back to read me.  Maybe that I'm blogging too much in general.  Maybe that my mother is at home clicking away because she loves me.  Maybe that redroom has devoted followers who read around the blogs.

I'm not sure, but what I do know is that this daily experience is, for me, a rite.  I wake up, drink enough caffeine to become conscious, and I blog.  I write about what is happening in my life, the world, the writing and publishing communities I'm familiar with.  I bitch, I moan, I discuss, I explain.  Sometimes when I'm lucky, people write back. 

And then, I click off, and the day goes on, full of teaching and more writing and hopefully something good to eat.  The point is--this has become a part of my life.  Some of these blogs have morphed into essays and been published.  Some have moved to other venues, becoming more of what they are, finer, more pointed, more precise.  Some I've been able to use in my teaching--my sex scene writing blog has been very useful!  As a fiction writer, the essay has not been my tool of choice, but now, it has become so.  It's something else I've learned to use, and all these days of writing has led me to a place in January 2008 I didn't think I'd be.

I'm happy that as I've been practicing and writing folks have read along with me.  Thank you, as the intrusive narrator always says--thank you, dear reader.  Here's to 500,000 more.

Jessica