Saturday, May 14, 2016

Gravetapping at 10 - An Anniversary Thing

Pete, the once and always mascot of Gravetapping
This post has been a long time coming. Every year when it gets close to Gravetapping’s anniversary – May 14, if you care – I go through the following thought process:

I should write an anniversary post extolling the virtues of Gravetapping and all my hard work to keep it going, which is immediately followed by—

That sounds like work and my 1.57 regular readers will think I’m a pompous jackass with nothing better to do than talk about myself, which is followed shortly by—

Maybe next year.  

Well, this is the year. Why this year and not last year, or next year? The reason is because this is Gravetapping’s tenth year of operation and if I’m going to tell you how awesome I am it seems more forgivable on a big anniversary than a small one.

When I started Gravetapping, a poorly devised Sunday afternoon activity in 2006, it was going to be a place where I reviewed mostly horror fiction, which explains the blog’s creepy name. But as it turned out my fancy for horror faded, without disappearing, and I started reviewing nearly everything genre—crime, mystery, suspense, western, horror, science fiction. At the time I thought it was a passing fancy with a built in excuse to read and study other writers’ work to improve my own. As it turned out I’ve kept at it pretty consistently over the years with only one significant hiatus—okay, it was all of 2011—and an ill-advised move from Gravetapping to a blog no one, not even my 1.57 regular readers, visited called Dark City Underground in 2010.

My blogging experience has been a good one. Sure, there have been moments when I wondered what I was doing, and others when I felt pretty good about what I was doing. I’ve kept blogging because I want to blog, write reviews, think about books, and in my own small way help the literary community as best I can. And believe me, any help I’ve provided has been immeasurably tiny. The emails I’ve received from readers and writers over the years, every one of them positive, have helped me gear up for one more post more times than I can count.

My first post was published May 14, 2006—titled simply “Grave Tapping”—and the most recent, this one, May 14, 2016. Ten years that have been good to me, my family, and I hope yours. Ten years that have seen an unknown number of posts at Gravetapping; unknown because I have a habit of deleting older posts I don’t like, or have been replaced by newer better posts, or are no longer relevant.
I do have a count of the reviews I’ve written expressly for Gravetapping, which is 240 and counting. It has also led me to new opportunities and venues for my writing. I regularly write reviews for Mystery Scene Magazine. I have written a couple introductions for Stark House Press, and I have a project brewing that I dare not speak of since it may jinx the whole deal. And it is all due to Gravetapping.

Happy birthday Gravetapping! Thanks for the good times and, while I can’t guarantee another ten years, here is to the future.

Thanks for reading.

7 comments:

Bill Crider said...

A significant milestone. Congratulations!

Richard S. Wheeler said...

Ben,

You have made a major contribution to the evaluation and assessment of stories in more than one genre over the past decade, and I thank and honor you. Blogs come and go, but you have stayed the course, offering rich insights to your readers. I note that you are frequently reprinted and quoted, which says a great deal. In this time of a flood of obscure books, some excellent, some shabby quickies produced by inexpert writers, you have helped your readers sort through the quagmire, find the gems, and avoid those titles that are a waste of time. You bring a unique understanding to your work; know what you like, and why, and tell us about it with great lucidity.

With admiration,

Richard

J. Kingston Pierce said...

Congratulations, Ben! It's hard work to keep a blog going for 10 years (consider all of those competitors that have come and gone during the same period), and you deserve significant credit for such an accomplishment. That you've maintained a high level of quality with Gravetapping over all that time is even more important.

Cheers,
Jeff

Kevin R. Tipple said...

I am late to the party only having found you in recent months. Very glad I did. Congrats on the anniversary!

Prashant C. Trikannad said...

Many congratulations, Ben! Here's to another ten years and more! I like the authors and books you read and review and I particularly like your writing style — full of substance and rich insight.

michael said...

Thank you Ben; you can count me firmly amongst your 1.57 regulars! Your blog has taken me to many a good Reading place. Long May it continue.
P.S. I love to ré-visit your old Western blog (Saddlebums) too from time to time.
Best wishes

Mathew Paust said...

Hearty congrats, Ben. I'm rather new to your blog, as well, having learned of it from Ed Gorman on his blog. May Gravetapping tap onward another decade, and another, and... Yours is most definitely a keeper.