What was, is, and will most likely be

I'll admit, I've never been a big fan of New Year's resolutions. It isn't that I don't like setting goals... but vowing to make a major lifestyle change with a time limit does seem to be asking for trouble. After all, there will always be a touch of chaos. With that in mind, I actually made a resolution last year, and more astonishingly, kept it. In fact, you're looking at it... this blog.

Chaotic Utopia was around before 2006, but rarely seen. I had a collection of essays, stories, poems, doodles, and ideas that (to me) seemed rather important (though I wasn't completely sure why) stored on a web site. No one visited, no one linked in... it was like having extra hard drive space. Yet, the idea of the internet itself seemed to fit in there somewhere... as if it were a part of one of the stories or poems. So I kept the site up. Until late 2005, anyways. Then it crashed, and didn't return.

Around the same time, I discovered a handful of science blogs. I'd seen blogs before, mostly about politics or computer programming, which never held my interest. These were different. I've always read through science news like it was candy, trying to fit things in to my own image of the way things worked. In the science blogosphere, I saw others who were pouring through the news and offering up their thoughts... It was a beautiful thing.

i-6d0945c082992070e8b095e644d7cb52-cu1.jpgSo, that's how I came to make last year's New Year's resolution. I had this pile of stuff, which seemed important, and needed to get back online. Blogs were the growing in popularity. The answer was clear... bring "Chaotic Utopia" back as a blog. Perhaps the timing was convenient. I had ideas for the blog well before the New Year. But, it was one resolution I kept. On January 6, 2006, I officially began blogging. Naturally, there was a touch of chaos. (As I said above, there always is.)

Here it is, a year later, a period of time which seemed to flitter past like the wing of a butterfly. Yet, while time flew by so quickly, it disturbed the slow dust of my thoughts in its wake, and set off a cascade of turbulent changes, turning my world upside down.

Blogging did a few things for me, which I'd never expected. Public response was almost overwhelming... when I first realized people were reading my stuff, I was floored. Then I had the opportunity to get to know some of my readers, through their comments on my work or visiting their blogs. I discovered how others have asked similar questions, or shared similar interests to mine, and yet offer unique, insightful perspectives. My readers began to subtly influence my work, both in what I decided to write about or publish, and also my private thoughts, where I tried to fit things together, to discover purpose and meaning in my own life. This effect was multiplied when I moved here, to ScienceBlogs, in June. Talk about adding in a little chaos.

A funny thing happens when you add a little chaos. Emergence. On my first day as a blogger, I was trying to get a clutter of information back on the internet where it seemed to belong. Over time, public feedback gave a new edge to that information, and new connections developed. So, a year later, my perspective is completely different. I still don't like making resolutions, but I know, rather clearly, what I intend to do.

Keep blogging, for one. While I'll never be able to keep up with some of my rapid-fire SciBlings, I like to think that I come up with the occasional gem. This week, I'll look back at some of my favorites from my first year of blogging, from science posts, to off-the-wall oddities, fiction and fractals. Those Friday Fractals have become an almost familiar habit, often the highlight of my week. I've collected enough exemplary pieces that I'm considering putting together a coffee table book of fractal art. (I never thought my first book would be about art!)

Books are at the heart of my plans for this year. That once-cluttered mass of information, now enhanced with a new perspective, has turned into the outline for a book, which I've already begun working on. (I'll share more details on that, soon.) Between my new book, the fractal art volume, and my novel/history book on the urban development of Church Ranch, I have plenty of work to do. Writing them will be easy. Trying not to be intimidated by the publishing industry... well, that's another story. Add returning to school after a semester off, and the usual joys of parenting, womanhood, and life in general, and I predict there will be a little bit of chaos in the next year.

Bring it on, 2007! Whatever you've got, I've resolved to battle or ride the waves.

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Humbly propose that this year be referred to as '007, a la James Bond. We can only do this once every 1000 years, and it distinguishes this year from 1907 or 2107.

Love it, Louise...

Karmen, you've got so much great stuff to say, and it's beautiful to see it coming forth. I've really enjoyed reading your posts this last year!

'007 is great... I'll definitely try to use it. Thanks, Louise!

Donna, thanks to you as well... you were really the first person to link to me, and I've been inspired by your blog many times, since.