Apple-Obsessed Author Fella

Happy Blogrthday, Terribleminds

So, here’s a thing that happened:

This blog turned 15 years old this month. On October 19th, actually.

Blink, blink.

Holy crap, this blog is old. It’s a surly teenager now. It’s slamming doors and stealing my whiskey. It just ran up the stairs and yelled down at me, YOU’RE NOT MY REAL DAD.

Oh, but I am, blog. I am.

If you’ll take a momentary trip with me in the Wayback Machine, you will discover that once upon a time, when Cavepeople rode to work on Pteranodons, I ran a BBS — a bulletin board system. (I had various names for said BBS: BizarroWorld, ShadowLands, UnReality.) It was like the Internet before there was an Internet, except my fucking shitty 486 computer ran it and you had to use a screamy dial-up modem to connect to my house. And there online I offered networked forums and games and warez and ASCII art and all those Cool Jamz, and I had a little writing group called WAR (Writers Against Reality, a weaksauce title but shut up, I was a teenager). I’m not even sure my parents knew I ran the thing? And one time, Bruce Campbell dialed in? Whatever.

When it came time to establish an online presence post-college and in the dawning era of the Intertubes, I decided that I needed a BLOG — which as I have noted before is like, the worst name for anything ever. Blog sounds like the onomatopoeia of my dog horking up a wad of ill-eaten grass. (Actually, vlog may be worse than blog, because vlog sounds like Dracula’s idiot relative. “Hi, I’m Vlad the Impaler, and this is my little cousin, Vlog the Inn Tailor.”) My initial plan when it came time to plan out this blog was that I wanted to have it serve as an online writer’s community, much as I did back when I was a SysOp running a BBS. Thus the name terribleminds — it was meant to evoke that feeling of, blah blah blah, a bunch of gloriously terrible creative minds getting together and shooting the shit about wordsmithy.

Except, that sounded like a lot of work and I also didn’t like people at that time so instead I said, “Fuck that shit, George,” and then I decided instead to just do a blog about me, me, me.


As such, my programmer roommate at the time did a static HTML page — she did a cracking good job and set me up with rudimentary HTML skillz and an FTP client and I did all my updating the old fashioned way — by yelling code into a donkey who carried the blog up a mountain to the Internet.

And it was fine and nice and it was me yelling at me about me. Often about writing, sometimes about other rantylicious topics. But it had no metrics. It had no comments.

I had no idea who was listening.

Around 2009, Will Hindmarch suggested I be a big boy and actually get a WordPress installation, and I nodded and smiled and pretended I knew what he was talking about. Thankfully, he coached me through it, and next thing the world knew, I had metrics, and comments, and sweet hot hell people were actually reading this blog. It was like opening the curtain to your front windows and finding a bunch of people staring in through the glass.

The blog numbers have gone up considerably over the last several years, too.

2009: 35,000 views.

2010: 435,000 views.

2011: 1.5 million.

2012: 2.7 million.

2013: 3.2 million.

2014: 3.6 million.

And this year we’re on target to match 2014, with the added bonus of having daily subscribers — over 8,000 people who get these blog posts in their mailboxes, daily.

All the while, I’ve done it without soliciting money or posting advertising or any of that. I fuel the existence of the blog with the money I (ideally) make with my writing.

(Oh, I’m told blogs are dead now. But terribleminds will keep on, zombie-like. /braaaaains)

It’s been an amazing journey, and while I still hew roughly to the same style of blogging I did way back when (yelling at myself about myself), the original and seemingly forgotten goal of terribleminds actually circled back around and became a true thing: this really is, I feel, a community of and for writers. It exists because of all of you, so thanks for being here and being awesome. It’s mind-boggling that so many of you care to listen to the froth-mouthed gabbling of a freakshow like myself, but I really, really appreciate it.

AS SUCH, it is time to do a giveaway.

I initially though I’d give away my books, but meh, who wants that?

Then I thought, maybe I’ll give something bookish — a Kindle or what-not.

Even then, I feel like that runs counter to the spirit of the weirdness that is this blog.

So! Instead, I’m going to giveaway something TOTALLY RANDOM. Unexpected. A bizarre-o care package sent to one lucky commenter. Here’s all you gotta do:

Go leave a comment beneath this post.

Oh, and be from the U.S. — I know, that sucks, but international shipping is a terrible thing.

Then, on Thursday, I’ll pick one of you randos to receive MYSTERIOUS GIFTNESS.


EDIT: We Have A Winner

The winner of the birthday fun is:


Someone named Jen, no last name!

Jen, who wrote the comment, “Happy happy!”

Jen, I’ve got an email address for you, so I’ll try it, but if the one you signed in with is incorrect, ping me at terribleminds at gmail dot com so I can get a mailing address from you.