State of the Union
It’s been six years now since we launched Lone Star Chronicles…what some might call an odd collection of long tales and short stories, mostly about life, liberty and the pursuit of fish in the vast Texas outdoors. By most accounts, I’d say we had a good year. We caught lots of fish, had some memorable kayaking trips and we again managed to NOT get flooded off any rivers…knock on wood.
We published a total of thirty-one blog posts in 2017; of those fifteen were penned and/or photographed by myself and Dan. In addition to that, we also published fourteen stories written by guest authors (more on that below) and we had two posts that essentially listed hyperlinks to Robert Field’s Return to the Pecos video mini-series, which he produced for his YakFishTV YouTube channel. All in all, we’re calling 2017 a successful year for our “blog.” More on that later, as well.
Now, I’m not going to lie…there were times in the last six years that I didn’t think we would last this long. I can remember numerous occasions that I wanted to hang it up, shut down the blog, and maybe go fishing or something. I’d even given thought to quitting LSC altogether and writing a book instead. But we kept at it, and now as we’re entering our seventh year, it appears we still have some stories to tell and so we’re going to stick around, at least for one more year. How’s that for a bargain? More stories and no annoying ads or pop-ups on LSC, which is more than you can say for most websites or blogs today.
We don’t plan to change that in 2018, but that’s not to say that we aren’t changing some things in 2018. What changes exactly? Good question.
I’ve always referred to LSC as a blog, but it occurred to me recently that in reality, we’re not. Merriam-Webster defines a blog, in part, as “a website that contains online personal reflections, comments…provided by the writer.” That’s not really us. What we do is write, edit and publish well-crafted (generally speaking) and meaningful (hopefully) stories, usually about the Texas outdoors, but I would not describe LSC as a collection of “personal reflections and comments.” What we collect are stories. Sometimes those stories involve my personal reflection, but many times they do not. We’re more like a library, IMHO.
So, what’s changing? Well, we’re going to start behaving a little less like a library and a little more like a blog. Instead of long, somewhat polished stories every four or five weeks, we are going to start offering more frequent, but less polished offerings. Like stream of consciousness observations; reviews of books and outdoor gear; stories about our family; and perhaps an occasional piece on the state of affairs in today’s topsy-turvy world. Hell, I might even offer up an opinion piece from time to time (fact-based opinion of course), but most importantly, we’ll continue to bring you a spattering of short, and hopefully interesting, stories, some of ours for sure, and hopefully some of yours. Which brings us to our next point.
The year before last we committed to offering more stories by guest authors, and I’m happy to report that we kept that promise, publishing fourteen guest pieces in 2017, including several “Featured” stories. I won’t list them all but do feel compelled to talk about a couple of them that resonated with our readers, like Tracy Dugan’s heartfelt A Good Week, a tale of a man going through tough times and the respite he finds through the magic of kayak fishing. We also got a lot of positive feedback about Josh Neumeyer’s A Tale of Trespassing, a serious look at the state’s confusing laws regarding public versus private waterways. And then there was Padillac Jones’ Canoe Redo, a story penned by an Army captain who once graced our great state and paddled her rivers and lakes with us. He’s long since been re-assigned and moved away, but that didn’t stop him from penning a tale for our readers about a canoe restoration project, and the effect that it had on his family. Of course, we also published five installments of Darrin Collins’ The Rookie, a series in which he chronicled his first year fishing the North Texas Kayak Championship series.
These were all stories from people who started out as our readers and then submitted their ideas to us as potential stories for LSC. Here’s how it generally works: you tell us what you want to write about and then we collaborate with you on the story’s content; its length; the title; photos (sometimes yours, sometimes ours) to be used in the piece. This collaboration happens online before actually posting the story. Once you’ve written a draft, we edit your piece for things like grammar and word usage, but more importantly for flow and cohesion (the things that really make a story “pop”). And when we’re both happy with the results, it gets published.
I’m making the process sound harder than it really is, but here’s the most important thing to take away from this: if you have a story that’s begging to be told, please contact us (firstname.lastname@example.org) and let’s at least talk about it. And by the way, all our 2017 posts are linked at the bottom of this page, so check them out if you want to see some other examples from our guest authors.
One of the good things about having been around for six years is having a body of work under your belt. What that means to you is that we’re going to start dusting off some of our older stories and re-posting them in a new Throwback Thursday feature. We have a little bit bigger audience now than we did when we first started blogging in 2012, but we published some pretty good stories back then, so why not re-post them? I’m betting that many of our readers have never seen most of these earlier LSC posts, and we’re hoping that you will enjoy them. I’m guessing you will.
Our last post of 2017 was the opening chapter in a new series we’re calling the Nala Chronicles, which features stories about our dog, Nala, and her journey from ugly little pup to a loyal, if not always obedient, river dog. The transition wasn’t always easy, but she’s still alive, so there’s that, and she’s given us some great stories along the way. We think you’ll like those stories…or your money back.
Lone Star Chronicles – Life, Liberty & the Pursuit of Fish
Links to 2017 Posts: