Thursday, December 31, 2009

2009 Virtual Vellum Wrap-up

The ten “best” blog articles of the year

In this case, the “year” only goes back to July, since that’s when I launched Virtual Vellum. Since then, I’ve written 150 articles, not including this one, weighing in at some 120,000 words. For those of you who have read each and every one of them, no, you may not submit your therapist’s bills to me. Stop sending them.

For those of you who joined later in the game, here’s a recap of some of the articles I thought turned out best:

The Secret of Man’s Failures is in the Bathroom (August 26th) – I think this was my favorite article of the year. It’s certainly more skillfully written than most of them. If you don’t read it, you’ll never know the secret, or what I’m hoping for the bathrooms of Mars.

[Fiction] If the One Doesn’t Get You (August 10th) – this was the first (and to date only) short story I’ve published on my blog. I got a very good response to it and am still happy to read new feedback about it. Look for a second draft sometime in 2010, either after I’ve finished my novel or at some point when I need to take a break from it. It’s far from my favorite short story of those I’ve written, but it’s not terrible, either.

Mike’s Bar-B-Que Adventure (July 18th – 28th) – it sounds like the story of some guy cooking chicken on his gas grill, but it was actually so much more than that. The super-short version is that I submitted a local restaurant’s name for a contest on Good Morning America and my entry won. This meant I got to be on TV and then got a trip to visit the GMA studios and spend a weekend in Manhattan. The multi-part series covers the whole expedition in excruciating detail. I was pretty happy with how it turned out – both the contest and the blog articles.

This Ain’t Eden - Reflections on a Vegetable Garden Part 1 (July 31st) – I thought this story of how I planted my garden, and how I very nearly bought nearly twenty times as much topsoil as I actually needed, was pretty good. Part 2, where I get philosophical about how much trouble I’d be in if I relied on my farming skill wasn’t bad, either.

Building my Media Empire one Social Networking Site at a Time (August 4th) – I was pleased with my review of how social networking has grown and changed over the last ten years, to the point where I finally decided it was worth the bother of signing on myself.

A Seemingly Typical Morning (September 11th) – it’s not terribly original to write a reminiscence of the events of 9/11 on 9/11 of a later year, but I think this one’s half-decent. It’s not merely a recollection, but also an exercise (for me) in descriptive writing.

The Movie Theatre I Grew Up In (September 17th) – I spent way too much time watching movies in the local theatre when I was young. The theater is gone, now, but my memories of it remain.

Microsoft Courier - It’s not just a lousy font anymore (September 24th) – I don’t write a ton of product reviews, especially for products I’ve never actually seen, but I was pretty happy with how this one turned out, especially the subtitle.  I hope this product becomes a reality, because I think it’s very nearly the future of personal computing.

Footprints in the Digital Sand (October 20th) – I was rather taken with my analysis of how the Internet will surely change, for better or worse, the future access to our documents, great and small, by our descendants.

Bound by Strings of Steel - The Struggles and Triumphs of Two Fledgling Guitarists (October 19th) – when you start playing your first musical instrument at the age of 38, it’s easy to get philosophical about it. And so I did.

And that’s it for 2009! See you on Monday for my look at the movies, books and TV shows that I’m currently most excited about for the coming year! Happy New Year, Vellumites!


  1. Thanks, Jackk! To you as well!

  2. I've enjoyed your blog this year, Mike. Please keep it up.

  3. I'm so glad to year you liked it! I do plan to keep it going for the foreseeable future.