The Third Anniversary

“Three years…It’s a long time.”
Even though Andre The Giant was talking about coveting best friend Hulk Hogan’s WWF championship belt in 1987, he could’ve easily been referring to this website. 
It was February 19, 2006 that The Writings Of Dennis Earl quietly began on what used to be known as MSN Spaces (now Windows Live Spaces).  There was some hesitation, even a little trepidation, but ultimately, a determination to write more often in a public forum.  Any concerns I had about pursuing this quickly disappeared.
My ambitions were modest:
Unfortunately, I was a little confused about something.  In that very first entry, Let Me Introduce Myself, I wrote about the types of writing I wanted to post on my new site:
“This website will feature my poetry, reviews, commentary and writing from a historical perspective.”
But then, I wrote this:
“Besides all of that, I will write in my brand new blog, a first for me and an exciting new way to get people interested in reading my thoughts.”
This is a minor quibble but I was under the mistaken impression that the blog would feature nothing but new pieces and the older stuff would somehow be featured in a different area of the site, separate from the blog.  I didn’t realize that all of my writing would be lumped together in one place.  I ended up writing introductions for the old stuff to make them distinctive from the original blog material, so it turned out ok.
In that same piece, I announced my intention not to curse thinking it would get me into considerable trouble with Microsoft.  (I got a little freaked out while reading their Terms Of Service.)  After honouring that commitment for quite a while, I decided to drop it altogether.  I’m not Andrew Dice Clay or anything but it’s nice to not hold back anymore when you feel the need to be more blunt.
In its three years of existence, The Writings Of Dennis Earl has evolved from being a showcase for mostly old reviews, rejected newspaper articles, previously published newspaper articles, poetry and material generated for high school and college to a forum of public criticism regarding the enveloping sadness surrounding Quebecor’s newspaper and TV properties to occasional prognosticating, historical pieces, the odd news story and even personal memories of my own life.  In the beginning, there were a plethora of ideas to explore both old and new.  Now, things have slowed down considerably to an uncomfortable crawl.  Personal distractions are to blame.  Nonetheless, there are currently close to 400 entries with overall hits approaching 27000.  Old items continually pop up in searches on various engines like Dogpile and Google.  Various entries receive feedback either through email or direct comments.  (For instance, a number of professional journalists, mostly from Sun Media, have taken the time to contact me which is flattering beyond words.)  And, best of all, material first posted here sometimes get picked up by other sites.
The Toronto Sun Family Blog and Fading To Black have both kindly singled out my Sun Media stuff over the years.  (I later blogged for FTB directly between April 2007 and January 2008.)   In 2007, when I published Bill Brioux’s personal email, it was picked up by five different blogs including TSF.  And last year, the site was given a positive review by while one of my U2 pieces was selected as a Yahoo! Answer.  I might not be as widely read as The Huffington Post or any other high profile website you can think of, but I consider all of these developments to be quite positive and encouraging, as well.  Progress is slow but there is still progress. 
And now, the site has its own Facebook page.  Click here and become a fan.  Convince your friends to join, too.  Feel free to post comments on the wall there or send me a message.  As always, you can email me at, leave comments on the entries (no spam please), sign my guestbook or send me a message through Windows Live.  I read everything I’m sent and respond where appropriate.  Whenever a new entry is posted, it’ll be linked and noted on Facebook so you’ll never miss it.
Starting this website has been one of the great joys of my life.  It helped me rekindle long lost friendships and begin new ones, it motivated me to refocus on my first love:  writing, it has allowed me the opportunity to establish an online identity and reputation, and, most importantly, it has been a comfortable forum for me to express myself in so many different ways both positive and negative.  I never intended to reveal so much of who I am through writing.  I always preferred mystery.  But after purging myself of the long resented disaster that was my brief stint as the Student Council President in my high school, there was a breakthrough.
I haven’t been the same since.  And that’s a good thing.
Dennis Earl
Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
Thursday, Februrary 19, 2009
6:39 p.m.
Published in: on February 19, 2009 at 6:39 pm  Comments (5)  

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5 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Congratulations on your three-year anniversary Dennis! Thanks for choosing MSN Spaces / Windows Live.

  2. Thank you, Rob.

  3. Eff’ Microsoft and their “Terms of Service”! Happy anniversary, buddy! 🙂

  4. Congratulations!

  5. Thanks, Edward. Dave, special thanks for all the kind comments.

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