Monday, October 13, 2008

Channel J, The Best Public Access Channel Ever!

How many of you out there have good memories? I'm not talking about remembering things from a couple of weeks ago or even months ago, but years/decades ago? Be honest now.

I thought so.

I've been blessed/cursed with partial recall when comes to remembering things. One place that it has reared it's ugly head is here, because you'll find a lot of my posts peppered with one or two obscure reference points, pop culture or otherwise. Example, in my last two posts, I quoted a song from a now defunct college radio program that ended in 1999 and I quoted the opening lyric from a Tubes album that came out in 1983.

Another prime example is the title of this post. Channel J is a public access channel located in New York, specifically somewhere in the five boroughs (I'm sure someone from NY will be kind enough to correct me on what I'm about to say). From what I remembered, this channel is one of the raunchiest and nastiest things on the air today, and has been involved with battles over censorship and free speech.

Now I'm sure you're thinking, "what does a person from CT know about this station?" Well nothing really, other than seeing a very tiny ad for it, buried deep in the entertainment section of the New York Post, a paper that I haven't read since 2004.

One last example: Back in 2004, I had designed and created an Excel database for inactive employees at the previous stop in my state career. Suffice to say, this thing was labor intensive (took about six months to create), information overload of the highest caliber and easy to use, which meant that no one used it. Why? Because people found it easier to ask the person who created it (me), who knew of where every single stupid inactive employee was located, two years running.

I'm sure you're also asking yourself, especially after reading the tags at the end of this post, "What does all this have to do with writing?"

Simple really.

Memories are what shapes our outlook and what makes us who we are. As a fiction writer, memories help shape what you create. They provide a never-ending source of amusement, wit, emotion and ideas to use.

For me, some of my memories have shaped and sharpened my writing. My upcoming novel is based in CT and use places that I've come across and events that I've experienced. Even the story I'm currently re-writing is based in CT, as it uses familiar landmarks and towns to make it come truly alive.

Even for something as simple as blogging or posting in chat rooms, memories can shape your outlook. I got the idea for this post after being ask a simple question over the weekend in two different ways. From one person it was asked derisively, as if somehow remember an incident from Easter 2007 was a bad thing. For him, memories are nothing and it showed as the other person I was talking to, somehow remembered me from last year. Thus, war of attrition between this person and myself died down, as we updated each other on what we were doing.

Note: One cannot change one's writing style, no matter where you're doing it. A person's writing style is like a fingerprint, it's unique as no two are alike.

For the other person, it was asked as a serious question, because they were trying to learn something new. I gave her two examples of what I thought were my best insults along with the appropriate background info, and hopefully, it will lead to further questions and pleasant conversations.

I believe that memories are a good thing, as they have heavily influenced my writing, here in my blog and with the stories that I'm either currently writing, re-writing or soon to be writing.

My question for everyone then is this: how does your memories help shape you as a writer/blogger?


  1. I draw on my memories often though I am sure they are often skewed.

  2. Skewed is a good thing.

    Shiskabobed may be even better.

  3. I wouldnt say memories are drawn upon to create my posts. I look at what is happening in the now and then go from there.

  4. But sometimes, memories are the best thing that you can play with.

    It gives you fodder for every that you create in your writings.

  5. I know you didn't ask this but since I read this I can't stop thinking about the reverse of this! I think my writing has helped shape my memories. Ive been blogging for slightly over two years now and I have this awesome record of things Im sure I would have forgotten had I not blogged about them. Thanks for reminding me exactly who I blog for (me!)

  6. Oh I see crseum. It is all about you isnt it. What about my womanly needs? OK, so I am a hetrosexual 33 year old man, but hell..I never get to say that line so I figured I could make use of it here!

    I have often put little things about my past in posts (a little ex-bashing, my daughter), but for the most part I do tend to keep my past to myself. It isnt that I am a private person particularly. I have said where I work in some posts, given my real name out in response to a comment asking etc, but I do like to keep the past where it is and look forward. Although if I was to say too much of my past, people would think I was nuttier then squirrel poo...

  7. Sy: I can understand wanting to keep certain parts of your life private. Some of the people who do know me and of me, know what I really do for a living and what my real name is (the job I've mentioned numerous times in the chat rooms, the name, different story), so my life has been pretty much an open book, at least online.

    crseum: I'm glad I was able to remind you of who you really write the blog for. It's what really makes us special out here. We are sharing our memories and our experiences with complete strangers, and not too many people can comfortably do that. All of the people who I've come to know and respect in the blog world, have that certain gift, and it's a wonderful thing to share with everyone.

  8. I do have the odd email conversation or 200 with a couple of my readers who get to know the "real" me, but they still come back so all must be good! I am not sure why it is. Being that an email can be put on the net in a short copy/paste but I think it is because when I have spoken to them on email, you build a closer, more trusting relationship with them. That is why I have in the past told people to email me, and have now got my facebook profile up so anyone can drop by and have a proper chat.

  9. I've had a couple of e-mail conversations with people I've met through my blog too. A bit odd, but it has been good so far. And yes, you can build a trusting relationship via the e-mail.

    Just make sure it never comes back to bite you in the ass, like it did me. Because of that, I was gun-shy for about several months in striking up conversations via the e-mail.

    Not sure if I want to go as far as throwing something up on Facebook, but that's just me.


Go on, give me your best shot. I can take it. If I couldn't, I wouldn't have created this wonderful little blog that you decided to grace with your presence today.

About that comment moderation thingy: While yes, it does say up above I can take it, I only use it to prevent the occasional miscreant from leaving thoughtless and/or clueless comments.

So remember, all of your comments are greatly appreciated and all answers will be given that personal touch that you come to expect and enjoy.

G. B. Miller

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