Three years ago today at 12:20 p.m. I hit the internet wilderness. I signed up at WordPress to write this blog.The first post was “Hello World” and it was an automatically generated post.

When I hit that enter key, I really didn’t have anything specific in mind other than the fact that I’m a writer and I need to write. It’s not one of these, “I like to write” points of view.

I’m not big on diaries, memoirs, journals and writing posts about what the family did on their summer vacation. Members of my family are usually spending time scratching their keesters, pooping on the nearest toy or they’ve decided to throw their breakfast at the wall. So you won’t see a lot of posts about my heading out to the Grand Canyon or Wally World with the kids.

It’s very simple:

I. Have. To. Write.

This is what I have to face every day:

My Friend…and sometimes nemesis.

Sometimes I’m not real thrilled about it. But I have to. To me, it’s as natural as breathing. Or eating ceviche.

I really had no idea what direction Parrot Nation (PN) was going to go. I had no idea where I was going to take it, or where it would take me.

It’s funny sometimes. I now exist online. That is indeed where a nice portion of the interesting parts of my life now exists.  I don’t mean that I spend my life online. I simply mean that my identity has been put out there. My words are there. My writing is there. So are my opinions and my ideas.

My adventures are here. Penguins. Elephants. Lemurs. And of course, parrots and occasionally people.

It got scary at times. I’d get riled up about something and post my opinion. I thought I’d get flamed or at least get a trip behind the woodshed.

Instead, these posts where I rant about something that bothers me became well-read. Responses came in. People seemed to like the posts where I am upset and honked off. I can only venture to guess that they were about as honked off as I was about the very same things. The only difference is that I wrote about it. I became their voice, the thought in their head. I suppose I validated the same damned thing they were thinking.

However, over the years, PN became more than just a blog. More than just a place where I wrote. It became a place where other people could come and voice their opinion. It became a platform for other people, other causes and ideas.

It became something else:

Parrot Nation came into its own.

I’ve written posts for Parrot Nation in hotel rooms, hotel lobbys waiting for a van to the airport, in bed, in airports, sitting in the back of a plane, even sitting in the back of a hotel room listening to a lecturer. The word multitasking took on a new meaning for me.

It’s times like that when I can make everything else go away and it’s just me and the words.

I really hadn’t hoped for anything for PN other than I wanted it to remain alive and breathing. I wanted it to take on that life and in turn, teach some people, lead others somewhere, or spark someone’s imagination. I wanted people to think.

And I didn’t want them to just think about parrots. I wanted them to expand, to grow, to imagine and to morph into something more than what they were before. And I wanted them to have fun doing it.

Somehow, I wanted to make a difference to the world.

Photo courtesy of Robert Smith- The Chart Group

I’m sure as I move on with this blog, it might change direction. It might turn into something other than what it has been. I’m hoping it becomes better; easier to navigate and more fun to interact with. I have some thoughts about adding some features and a layout that will be more in service to the viewer.

Eventually, I’m sure I’ll take it independent. I have the domain rights to the name and while going further out into the wilderness on my own is scary at best, I hope to be able to sprout some wings and head out on my own beyond the safety of WordPress. But it’s fairly snug in here and with three hundred and seven posts in three years, I’ve never had a problem.

I’m happy to have been able to keep it going for this long and hope to continue. I have a lot more adventures in the animal world planned.

I’m also going to jump into the technology of the twenty-first Century. I lug my laptop with me on trips. It’s a great laptop and I love it more than my luggage. But then there’s that little issue with my nine dollar cell phone that’s made of wood…

I’ve had enough. I’m getting an iPhone. I’m also going to work a little extra overtime, tighten my belt and spring for an iPad. I just can’t stand it any more. I’m taking the plunge because my wooden phone just isn’t making it.

Photo at “appleinsider.com.

There’s a lot more in store for PN.  Keep on eye on it, because I have lots of ideas, tons of things to write about and even more in store in the next year or so. I want to wrap this up by thanking all of my wonderful supporters. The people who subscribe and who have stuck with me through the years, left commments, offered suggestions, entered the contests and forwarded the posts they liked to other people.

You’ve kept me going and kept me writing. You made the difference to me. I deeply appreciate it. I will drink champagne and toast to all of you who have been so supportive and encouraging: The Cincinnati Zoo, Bird Talk Magazine, Best Friends, Bird Lovers Only, Hungry Bird, BeakBook, Best In Flock, Heckled By Parrots, Phoenix Landing, and all of the other blogs and websites that found my content to be of any worth. Thanks to Susan Friedman who began this “writing thing” for me, Janet and Cameron, Deb White, Irene Pepperberg and Arlene Levin, Jacque, Steve Malowski and Carol, Kent and Evelyn, Irena, Silvia, Lindalee, Shari, Nan, Bill, Lisa Licare, Jason Crean, Aminah, my editor Jessica Pineda, Beverly, David Cutler, (He’d kill me if I didn’t put his full name here…) Gio Benitez, Melissa Kowolski, Melanie Phung, Odd Todd, the “Choppettes” and the Fort Lauderdale Mafia Flight Crew. And if I forgot to mention you, I’m sorry. I’ll update the list.

As I said, I don’t know the future of it. I can tell you this: I’m unsure what PN morphs into next. But whatever it decides it’s going to become, it will always be honest.

Thank you all for the great ride. I know it’ll get even better. I’ll be celebrating today. I hope you have a wonderful weekend.

Advertisements