Greetings fellow pipers, and a hearty new year to you.
First, I wanted to give an update, as it’s been some time since I’ve posted an article. Don’t worry, I haven’t given up on blogging. The reason for the silence is that during the month of November, I participated in National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo). Every November, writers all around the world spend the month working on a new novel, with the goal of reaching 50,000 words written before the end of November.
Ever since I became serious in my writing endeavors, I’ve wanted to participate in NaNoWriMo, but every year, I’d find a reason to wait until next year. After six years of excuses, I put my foot down and forced myself to participate. With my new job, and travelling for the Thanksgiving holiday, I knew it was unlikely I’d hit the 50,000 word goal. So I went in with the mindset that whatever word count I reached was better than not participating at all.
So for November, I put the blog on the back burner and focused all my efforts to get as far as I could in my project. I hunkered down in my garage, smoked my pipes, and typed away, letting my imagination run loose. In the end, I managed to hit 25,000 words, which I’m happy with considering the circumstances. In December, I worked on a Wind in the Willows-esque that I’ve had simmering in my mind. I’m still working on it for another chapter before I return to my NaNoWriMo project.
Since I’m mostly done with deadlines for now, I’m back to focusing on the blog and coming up with topics to talk about. My goal this year is to write at least one article on the blog a month, and hopefully expand into some pipe related short stories. I’d also like to revamp my blog and make it a bit more presentable. I confess that I’m not very savvy when it comes to webpage design. My gift is working with words, not web design! So will be a work in progress.
So let me ask this, what would you like to see me talk about over the next year? A blog lives and dies by its audience, and I love interacting with my readers and fellow pipers. I truly appreciate every person who visits my little blog, and thank you for reading. Are there any pipe topics that you would like me to explore? Let me know in the comment section.
Finally, I wanted to take a moment to pay my respects to a fellow piper that recently passed away. As some of you know, I began my pipe journey by visiting the Christian Pipe Smokers forums, which helped answer some nagging questions I had about taking up the pipe.
One of the most prolific posters on the forum was a Canadian user by the name of Rusty. Rusty was an atheist, yet he found a digital home on the CPS board, sharing his vast wealth of pipe knowledge while playfully poking and prodding the other forum members. Though he rarely agreed with the faith background of the majority of the forum users, there discussions were always respectful and lively.
When I say Rusty had a vast wealth of knowledge of pipe lore, I mean he was a living embodiment of pipedia. If there was a thread on Erinmore flake, Rusty would prattle off the entire history of Erinmore, and when they precisely changed their blending methods. If you had a question about Dunhill pipes, Rusty knew the answer, and he wasn’t afraid to share it.
I didn’t post all that much on CPS (and for some reason, I can’t seem to log in anymore), but I did have the chance to interact with him on one occasion. I was preparing to go to Ireland, and I wasn’t sure how much pipe tobacco I could bring back without paying extra fees. Rusty popped in and gave me the answer in his jovial manner, chiding me for not knowing how to do a proper Google search before answering my question. I thanked him for his help, and soon after stopped posting. It wasn’t that I didn’t enjoy the community, considering I still lurk there. I’m just naturally shy, and find it hard to acclimate into a well-established forum.
Rusty passed away over Christmas, and I was shocked to read the news today as I checked the forum. In the thread announcing his passing, the entirety of CPS poured out their love and appreciation for a man that gave the community so much of his knowledge. He left a lasting impact on many of us, and I know they had an impact on him as well.
If you have some spare time, I highly suggest going over to the forum and reading his posts in the pipes and tobacco forums. There’s a good chance you’ll learn something new from a man that knew pipes better than most seasoned pipe smokers.
Rest in Peace Rusty, you will be missed.