Well, as you no doubt know by now, Oasis is undergoing some big changes. One of those changes is that Jeff has offered me my own forum. I'm happy to accept the challenge because helping GLBT teens and young adults is something I very much want to do. I've been thinking about the best way to help, however, and I'm finding difficult to decide. On the one hand, I thought some sort of advice forum might be good, since I have been out there in the trenches for 41 years and have lots (and lots) of experience with lots (and lots) of issues. Then I thought maybe an ask Jeeves kind of thing would be good, for the same reason. I've been to many places and done many things, and the things I don't already know, I'm really good at finding out. But then I thought, well, you are a writer after all. Maybe you should have some kind of writer's forum. I tossed all three ideas around for awhile, trying to decide among them, without any success.
Then yet another idea struck me. Why pick one? Why don't I just make myself available for you guys for all of those things? It sounded way better to me than having to decide which one to do, so I think I'm gonna go with it. You need advice, or the answer to a question? I'll not only be using my own experience, I'll be consulting with other great minds as well, especially for questions specific to young women (cuz I am not, nor was I ever a young woman).
I'll also be writing about...writing, and doing some fun writing projects with you guys. Nothing as big as next year's the Samers Guild Project (see my earlier posts about that), but little exercises to give all you writers and poets some practice, criticism and insights into the craft of writing. Again, I'll be consulting other writers to give you their perspectives as well.
Now, the success of this forum will all depend on you. You are, after all, the reason I'm here. The forum will be debuting soon after Jeff finishes transforming the site. Then it's up to you to take advantage of it, and steer it in the direction you want it to go. I'll do my best to instigate projects and discussions, but ultimately, it'll be in your hands. You guys will be the driving force behind everything I do here.
I'm telling all this now not only to give you a heads up, but to give you the chance beforehand to let me know your thoughts. Does this sound good to you? Is there something else you'd like for me to consider? I know most of you know little about me, so it may be too early, but I wanted to give you a voice, even before I begin. I'll be writing an column to introduce myself and tell you all the dirt about me when I debut the forum. You'll find I'm not a person that minces words or holds back my opinions, nor do I shy away from delicate or taboo subjects. So anything is fair game as far as I'm concerned, unless and until Jeff's lawyer tells me otherwise. :-)
I think I'm going to call my forum The Clubhouse. That sounds to me like a place where you can kick back, relax and be yourself. I like being myself. From what I've already seen here, so do you.
Questions? Comments? Pessimistic Predictions? Scathing Criticism? Your two cents is both welcomed and encouraged. I'll be puttering around in here until the forum debuts, so fire away.
Pat Nelson Childs