I have been writing since I could tell a story and hold a pencil. Some of the early stuff is stored somewhere around here. I rarely look at it, but when I do I go: “awwww, ain’t that quaint?” Slightly embarrassed - really. I wrote some novels when I was one of those teenage-things; they are filled with sex, money, murder and beautiful women with hot bodies. That was the world I really wanted to enter at the time; I had just started my subscription to Playboy Magazine, which of course explains a lot.
I remember that in the beginning I was limited to what I could write – how well or not I could express myself with the vocabulary I had available. But I kept reading about writing and continuously applied what I had learned. I still found myself limited to tell stories within certain self-inflicted borders, until one day I suddenly realized that I could go wherever I wanted to go – I could actually write whatever I wanted to write.
So I forged ahead with stories and novels and intriguing plots of all sorts, but nothing I thought feasible to publish – not even today. Sure I could do some grand rewrites, spruce it up a bit and it could be published; but that’s where the self-criticism takes over and I go: “nahhhh”… But why do I write?
I write because I couldn’t see myself not writing. Not that it is like an addiction, but it is something I feel the grandest joy doing; and something I have always done for myself only – seriously; and then things change.
Over the years I kept writing on and off. Then one day the consideration of retirement, after a life different from what I set out to do. You see, I wanted to write for movies and TV, as well as pursuing acting. So as a boy I imagined my future would involve much more creative and entertaining things. I ended up in sales, management and everything related to business. To succeed in business involved a lot of creative factors, but it was never the creativity I really wanted. In retrospect I should have been much more assertive regarding what I really wanted – perhaps I’m still a little disappointed that I did not follow what I so strongly believed in early on.
So retirement loomed and as I never felt comfortable entering and/or admitting having arrived at this “last station” in life, it was a decision I had to make. So I made a plan; I had to have something substantial to complete as an old fart, something that would give “retirement” a reason to forge ahead with a purpose.
After long times of considering, I finally felt okay entering those golden years. I would write a novel and publish it – and that I did. ONCE IN A MILLION YEARS ended up as a 500+ page novel, and I really liked the result, but more so it was a blast to write – for me. And then I decided that why not start a blog for our families and friends in Denmark and Sweden and the few friends we have here in the USA? Just stuff from my mind – in blog form…
So I published the first post May 25th, 2011 under LIFE AS IT REALLY IS. I had decided to publish a new post every Monday – and that I have done – just to communicate with families and friends – nothing else. I never advertised or promoted the blog or anything – absolutely nothing.
The first time I saw (in stats) a reader from Canada, I was flabbergasted. How did they find my blog? By mistake? I expected 10-15 readers weekly at the most – at the very most. And then it grew and grew and it reached 100 readers from 5 countries weekly and then up and up and as of this writing the blog has had over 16,000 visitors from over 115 countries. Can you please explain this, because I don’t get it – at all?
I have enjoyed writing down my thoughts for this blog; it has been a hooters, it really has. I have been in such awe of the many readers, the comments and communication I have experienced through these two years. And that is why I am a bit sad to finish writing for the blog – sad that this is the end. But I need to move on in my writing beyond this blog. Not to diminish what I learned and the faithful following I obviously have never felt I deserved, but I have projects on the table that I want to finish and I must fully concentrate all those creative juices.
Next month I will hit 67. I believe that is the official start of those golden years. I still have a lot of stuff to accomplish and on my list is finishing three books I am working on: SUNRISE-SUNSET which is 75% done (great story, if you ask me – no matter how bias I am); THE MILLERS: CASE IN POINT which is 60% done; a family business in crime-solving and a spin-off from ONCE IN A MILLION YEARS. The third novel is one I started when I was 15 – seriously. I wrote the story-line back then and it has been sitting there ever since – well, until I picked it up about 6 months ago. The working title is: HARRY BLOKE: the ultimate obituary. This is the first humorous story I have approached; writing good humor is very hard. And however pathetically silly it sounds, writing this story and all the aspects and situations into something that is (in my opinion) hilarious is, well hilarious (and funny too). We meet Harry as he just died, narrating his life-story – and his life was far from boring…
The second LIFE AS IT REALLY IS book will come out soon, so if you are interested, all 104 posts will be available in a real book format. I’ll even sign them… Oh and I also plan to learn how to play the piano – will there be enough time, huh?
So this is farewell and my deepest and most sincere thanks and appreciation for following my blog sporadically or consistently. I especially appreciate those of you who have commented on the context at times. I am in awe of the “on-line” friendships I have accumulated (and you know who you are) through these two years.
If any of my stories have touched you, inspired you or made you giggle a bit, my work is done. If you read and then went on with your everyday life a bit more encouraged that life is really rather awesome, I wish I could bottle that and sell it for huge profits. We all live busy lives and that is why I cannot fully comprehend that LIFE AS IT REALLY IS has, in my estimation, seemingly influenced some, in just the smallest of ways.
Many years ago I envisioned my tombstone would read: IF I MADE YOU LAUGH – I LIVED. If I made you giggle, I’ll be just as satisfied – really.
Peter B. Steiness
PS. I do leave the door ajar concerning publishing a few more posts, as the blog of course will continue to be on-line. This is a big IF, though there is one post I do want to add, but hopefully that will be far out in the future. Saturday May 25th 2013, I will publish the full index of all the posts – for your convenience (or not)…