State of the Blogger Adress, Part III

Posted: December 2, 2014 in Guest Blogged!
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Matt the Firsty, here once more.  While Emily is recovering in the hospital with little Piper, I thought I would finally finish my state of the blogger address.  When I started the state of the blogger address, I wanted to cover two points.  I covered the first in Part I, where I talked about what was new in my life: home-ownership and impending fatherhood.  I got distracted in Part II, and talked about the reasons to continue or discontinue blogging, concluding if I logically don’t have time to blog, I will just declare “screw logic” and do my best to carry on.  Here in Part III- and I really hope Part Final- I want to cover the second point, how Emily’s life is continuing to evolve.

In my future… fewer party looks like this one...

In my future… fewer party looks like this one…

Evolution is the best term for how Emily continues to change, and hopefully the evolution represents progress.  I’ve explained elsewhere, if you dig deep enough into the archives, that the initial seeds of Emily predate any involvement I had with Second Life, a rough proto-character I wanted to use in some ideas I had in the urban fantasy sub-genre.  A woman in her twenties who looked younger, a tomboy whose mother abandoned her when she was nine, leaving her to be raised by an emotionally shattered cop father, with a psychic/mystic talent for dousing that she inherited from her mother.  Experts advise writing from experience, so I figured Emily would draw upon my time as a server and commuter college student.  I didn’t really know what she looked like or too much about her personality.

Even from the beginning, however, Firsty knew I didn't look like this...

Even from the beginning, however, Firsty knew I didn’t look like this

For a while I was content to explore Second Life, take part in hunts, do the newbie thing and use my avatar for interactive digital porn.  Even during this shallow stage, Emily’s personality and style began to gel.  I initially planned to change Emily’s race and species and gender and name frequently, explore lots of different roles, and eventually find myself a role-playing group to settle into.  Instead I found myself making smaller and more cosmetic changes, and treating the mental picture I had begun to form of Emily the fictional-character as my baseline for Emily the avatar.  I drifted away from Second Life.  Porn, even interactive digital porn, eventually pales.  I liked hunts, but didn’t necessarily have the patience to work through an entire hunt in the available time, particularly when my particular shade of ADD is unwilling to work a hunt out of order.  My schedule was too erratic for role-playing which, even over the computer, is a social interaction requiring regular partners, or even for regularly attending club and dance events.

The idea of blogging and writing brought me back to Second Life.  Emily’s next incarnation was the birth of this blog.  Initially, I was going to play Second Life for x hours a week, and then spend another y hours a week keeping a journal of what (and sometimes who) Emily did in-world and what she wore while doing it.  I decided/discovered that Emily also liked playing computer games, and I was amused by the conceit that while I thought of Emily as my avatar in the game of Second Life, she thought of me as her avatar in the game of First Life, thereby giving birth to the nickname ‘Firsty’.  The time crunch I always whine about forced the next evolution in Emily, which was also an evolution of this blog.  I didn’t have x + y hours to put into Second Life, and the y hours I spent writing were more important to me than the x hours I spent playing so I would have something to write about.  So gradually what I journaled became less about what Emily had done and more whatever I was thinking about at the time.  Last year when researching something Emily was going to write triggered the whole, “oh, wow, I have ADD” discovery, Emily became intimately entwined with ADD, and this blog truly became primarily focused about my thoughts and philosophy and interests.  The blog was no longer about Emily… It had become about me, Matt, but using Emily as the filter.  The last few months, after I worked out a privacy policy in my own head, this has become even more pronounced.  Rather than abstractions, I’ve shared real, true anecdotes that really happened, although only after ‘filtering’ them.  Originally, I would filter by being vague, just referring to ‘the restaurant where I work’.  Now I cheerfully set and recast anecdotes from either restaurant where I, Matt, work into Giovanni’s, the totally fictional restaurant where Emily works.  I’ve enjoyed the challenge of keeping the essence of a story while changing details that could confirm or deny my identity.

Someday I may tell you the embarrassing story of my senior prom...

Someday I may tell you the embarrassing story of Firsty’s senior prom…

Which brings about the next evolution.  Although I use Emily to tell filtered versions of stories that matter to me, the differences between us continue to accumulate.  Until now, work has been my primary source of anecdotes and stories.  Hardly surprising.  Fifty-plus hour work weeks mean both that I get plenty of restaurant stories and that I have a shortage of opportunities for non-restaurant stories.  In addition, as they say, you are what you do.  A major portion of my self-identity is the fact that I’m a server, and, given that I’m kind of an over-competitive twitch, that I have a need, generally realized, to be a better server than the coworkers around me.   Not a bad thing, but something that again kept me focused on restaurants and stories about interesting customers and coworkers.

Now I have another big source of anecdotes and stories: as I mentioned at the end of Part II, Firsty Jr arrived.  I’m no longer laboring under the shadow of imminent fatherhood, I am a father.  As a husband, a sibling, an uncle, I was already a doting relative, having to monitor my own impulses to bore you to tears with stories about my family.  Now that I have a little tiny mini-me, I expect those impulses to only grow stronger.  Only there is no convenient way for Emily to tell stories about ‘Firsty, jr’ as often as I suspect I will have baby and eventually toddler and child stories that I want to tell… so Emily needed a mini-me of her own.  I won’t lie.  When I initially decided to make Emily pregnant, I had no plan for Emily to have or keep the child.  I just was so excited about the fact my wife was pregnant that the whim to make Emily pregnant seemed right.  When I posted ‘If you poke me again, I will make you BLEED’, over a month ago, it instantly became one of my favorite blogs ever.  The story never actually happened- my wife, also a waitress, did get poked once or twice during her pregnancy, but it was no big deal.  I was more upset on her behalf when she told me about it than she ever was.  However, in my blog, I blended her physical discomforts, my mental quirks (the ADD and my extended personal space), and Emily’s perspective into an account that totally made Emily’s pregnancy real for me.  I think that was also the first, or nearly first, time I gave Piper a name.  It still wasn’t quite a conscious plan, but my subconscious realized that it would be good for the blog to have baby Piper around.

Yeah, I could get used to having this little one around...

Yeah, I could get used to having this little one around…

My subconscious gave me another piece of the puzzle while I was writing the Emoji post.  I quickly created an ex-boyfriend, former coworker named Jeremy, to hold some of my real life attitudes that contradict Emily’s attitudes.  My sense of irony helped me realize why they broke up: Emily was scared off by Jeremy’s assumption they would start a family together when she hadn’t decided if she even wanted to have children.  So she let a good catch, someone who she loved and who wanted to be a father, get away, and now she has a daughter with no father.  Emily needs a love life, and it needs to be based in the needs of a good story, not in shallow cyber-flings or trying to translate my very different relationship.

Well, no more time for horsing around...

Well, no more time for horsing around…

So where do Emily and I go from here?  More pseudo-biographical posts, but with a greater mix of fiction in with the true anecdotes.  (My last post, about Emily’s panicky labor and emergency C-section, is an example of where I want to go.  For the record, little Firsty jr. was also an emergency c-section, but a very different one- there was no water breaking in a restaurant, the baby’s father was there, etc. etc.)  Possibly send Emily on some dates, exploring the difficulties a working single mom has in finding a relationship.  Possibly re-connect with Jeremy, but if so there will be real obstacles- Jeremy may have found someone else, plus I’m not sure how he would feel about Piper, both the fact that she isn’t his child, and the fact that Emily had an out-of-wedlock child after she broke up with him over children.  Less concern about putting together a different look with a different shape and skin for every post, less trying to make sure I include neko, and alien, and big-boob looks from post to post.  I’m sure I still will from time to time- both because I am fickle and enjoy putting Emily into various different looks, and because Emily’s desire to be a writer will keep her doing posts for Grumble and possibly looking for one or two other sponsors.  Still, I want to set up a side page with info and links for Emily’s fashion, so I can ease up on putting a style card in every single post.  Second Life and fashion is still going to be a factor in this blog.  My life and my whimseys are still going to be a factor as well.  But I would hope as I move forward that the biggest focus is going to be Emily’s story.


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