I’ve been wanting to start a blog for years. I love to write, but nobody ever sees my work. Which leads to me not writing much. Or at all. A blog seemed like the perfect solution. I could fling my work out into the ether, and maybe some of it would stick.
First I had to decide what to write about. Conventional wisdom says to pick a topic and stick with it. Find your niche. Build that audience. My problem with that is that there isn’t a single topic out there that I’m passionate, knowledgeable, and experienced enough about to write about every day.
Ideas percolated longer than I like to admit. (I’m not the quickest.) And then one day I said to myself, “Screw the conventional wisdom and write what you want.” For a time, I rather pretentiously referred to what I planned to write as ‘slice of life vignettes,’ but I’m over that now. Now I call it ‘shit that interests me,’ and I hope it’ll interest others, too.
Then I had to come up with a name. My brain, working hard against me, happily settled on Life, the Universe and Everything, which, of course, is very much taken.
It took me a long time to shake that idea. It was a story remembered from my childhood that finally did it. Way back when I was single digits in age, or “knee-high to a grasshopper,” as my parents used to say, my father used the phrase, “Going to hell in a handbasket” in front of me. As little kids are wont to do, I mimicked him. Only I got it wrong, instead saying, “Going to heaven in a handbasket.” I remember him roaring with laughter, calling my mother over, and getting me to repeat it.
I wasn’t allowed to swear when I was growing up. But after this, I’m assuming because it made my parents laugh, I was allowed to say, “Going to hell in a handbasket,” with impunity. So I used it. A lot at first, jamming it into every conversation I could because I was a kid and it was something naughty I could get away with. Now, 40 years later, I still use it, because I find it both a concise and evocative phrase. And it seems an appropriate title for a blog about life in general.
Are we really on the road to hell? I dunno. Some days I think we are, and others I think maybe not. Perhaps, if we hang out in this handbasket together, we might just figure it out.