My morning has not followed its usual pattern. For one thing, I got up early this morning and…, wait, let me rephrase that. I got up at the same time, but I left the house much earlier than I usually do. Diana and I are making one of our semi-annual trips to Florida this weekend and the car needed to be serviced and inspected, necessitating the early departure. While that’s going on, I’m sitting in a coffee shop, writing; which is something I rarely do. The change of scenery is somewhat stimulating, but I have also seen the downside to writing in public: old men with voices that carry like you wouldn’t believe. Seriously, this dude isin another room and I can hear him over the music that’s practically blasting through my headphones. Fortunately, it’s nothing that good coffee, patience and some Los Lobos won’t fix. And, to top it all off, I’m writing the first post for my new blog.
If you’re a fan or (even better) a follower of my other little corner of the web, But Not Yet, you’re probably wondering what the hell is going on, because this is not where you usually find me. I guess a little explanation is in order. Four years ago, when I started this blogging thing, I was beginning to change the way I approached my faith and needed a way to get my thoughts in order. Flannery O’Connor once said “I write because I don’t know what I think until I read what I say” and, like a lot of writers, I find that to be true. Now, you’re probably thinking that a personal journal would take care of that and, you’d be right. But I’m just vain enough to believe others might like to hear what I have to say. That meant that a blog was the way to go. I started out with a free site on Google’s Blogger and titled “But Not Yet” because it was part of a quote by St. Augustine that I thought was catchy. I stuck with it for a couple of iterations of my site, but I’m realizing it doesn’t work anymore. Especially since, a couple of years ago, I decided to chase a dream I’ve had for almost as long as I can remember: to make a living as an author. And, while But Not Yet provided a cool tagline, it didn’t really say anything about what I’m trying to do here. Hence, the change.
So, I’ve explained the reason for the change, but not what I changed it to. First, the address. Every blogging guru I’ve ever read says your name (or the name of your business) should figure prominently in your URL. Now, I’ve tried a lot of stuff recommended by said gurus without a lot of success, so a part of me wonders why I’m doing this. But, hey, maybe (thirty)third time’s the charm.
The name of the new blog, The Progressive Redneck, comes to us courtesy of Hugh Hollowell who is the closest thing I have to a mentor in all this craziness. It refers to the fact that, while I am pretty progressive, I still have a few redneck tendencies (something I’ll detail in another post). It’s also a play on words and a back-handed tribute to my grandfather, James Ronald Steele (one of the magazines he read on a regular basis was The Progressive Farmer). While he might not agree with some of the things I say here, Grandpa was a good man and had a huge hand in who I’ve become. I’d like to think he’d be proud even if he thought I was wrong.
So, there you have it. I’ve moved and I’m praying it brings about the desired outcome: a following crazy enough to spend money on whatever ridiculous ideas fall out of my head. Will it? Only time will tell. But, you have a hand in that, dear reader. If you liked the old blog enough to subscribe, please do the same here. If you’ve never read my blog and like what you see, do the same. And, all you guys, please share this with anyone you can think of. I’ll end by saying that I love each and everyone one of you, whether you follow me or not. Although, I’ll probably love you a lot more if you do.