I was busy uploading a couple new posts and updating a couple old ones when I happened to notice the date on my first post. August 26th. Exactly one year ago today.
Time to take a quick break and reflect on how this website is evolving and to let those of you reading this get a better idea of who I am and what I’m trying to accomplish.
What I’m About
First off, my name is Mark Carlson-Ghost but you already know that because its plastered atop the home page. That’s because this website is meant to be a platform for my writing and my interests. And if you haven’t already noticed, my interests are varied. Very varied! I hope to post and ultimately to publish in a number of areas: psychology (because that’s my training), hero narratives (because I’ve loved myths and comic books all my life), history and fiction (just because)–my name is ultimately what ties this all together. But hopefully you’ll notice something else if you decide to explore the site a bit. I want more than anything to celebrate the diversity of this wonderful humanity of ours.
For me, with all my white male privilege, celebrating diversity means elevating non-dominant groups in whatever topic area I happen to be writing about. If its history, I may be highlighting interesting women iI wonder if you’ve heard about. If its comic books, I likely will be shining the spotlight on Black superheroes, or Native American ones. Yes, they do exist. Not everything I write perfectly fits that mission, but it is my passion. I am a progressive to my core AND I am also a happy warrior. You’re not going to find angry political rants here. There’s enough of that on the web. I want to shed light not heat. I’m also fascinated by alternative “apocryphal” tales within my faith tradition. And outside my faith tradition. And legendary tales that celebrate LGBT folk. Because I’m also gay. And married. Wow, how wonderful it still is to be able to write that.
My Mother’s Mantra
My mother’s faith mantra was “We are blessed to be a blessing.” I have been very blessed. I believe I have a moral obligation to share some of the the gifts I’ve been blessed with, One of these, in all modesty, I think is writing. So I am writing this blog as my best effort to be a blessing to those who read it, in whatever small or subtle way that might turn out to be. Even if it turns out to be just a smile from reading the tangled histories of comic strip heroines like Mary Worth and Winnie Winkle. Or fighting some hope in the midst of Charlottesville.
Building a Lively (and Visited) Site
I am also learning I can’t just live in my peace, love, dove space. There is that pesky detail of how to get visitors to this website in the first place. In the past year I’ve learned a lot about SEO (Search Engine Optimization). That is, how do I help Google help people like you find me and my menagerie of material.
I am also just beginning to understand the importance of using social media vehicles like Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter. Well, duh, you might be thinking, but the truth is I haven’t been a big social media person myself. I just figured out a few weeks ago to place media icons at the end of every article. You can share an article with your social media of choice by just clicking on the relevant icon. Consider doing that if you find a post helpful or meaningful. It may be interesting to a friend and frankly it helps bring more traffic to my site. If you want to support what I’m trying to do, that’s one way you can do so. You can also sign up for updates (and I promise I’ll be better at providing them!)
My Progress So Far
In the last year I’ve posted over fifty articles of various lengths. I am nearing a thousand hits. The number of visitors seems to be increasing every month. Learning about this SEO business is beginning to pay off. With a good friend of mine I have the preliminary interest of a publisher for a book proposal we’ve concocted. I continue to labor on various works of history and fiction. And luckily I find posting these articles to be fun, if a little time consuming. And finding just the right image to amplify content is especially so. Thanks to Pixabay, a website that supplied many of the public domain images that populate the website.
So that’s enough for now. Don’t be shy about sending me a note if the spirit moves you. It’s exciting to know that I have visitors from all over the world. More later. You can count on it!