I'm trying to warm up my writing "muscles" after a long time away. I was a reporter many years ago, then went into academics and spent too many hours at home writing my dissertation, then taught for a while. For the last several years, I've been a retail manager. I'm very good at it, but I miss reading and writing and conversation about books.

Thus, I've decided to try to spend a little time each week writing. Not for anyone else, necessarily, though, like all writers, I'm enamored of the idea of my writing being read.

One of the things that I love about blogs is that they are a democratic vehicle for writers. That's not to say that there isn't a lot of blather out there, nor to claim that I have not, or will not, contribute to the chatter.

But I do think it's fantastic that we've taken a technological apparatus - the computer - and turned it into a giant book. Each blog is a selfpublished piece of writing, often more fictional or imaginative than (whatever this is) real.

I also love that blogs try to look like books. There is a wonderful template on Live Journal that looks like an eighteenth-century manuscript, down to the parchment colored background, the flourishes in the font, and the grace of each chapter heading gently introducing the next chapter.

The most difficult element, for me, is coming up with a title. This blog will begin its life as Whimsy and Cobweb: because I believe in the mercurial, because I want to write about the fiber arts, because I was looking for a name reminiscent of the shop names in Harry Potter, because someday I hope to have my own shop. And just because I like the sound of the words. And that's what this blog will be about: finding pleasure in even the smallest elements of life.