Declaring one’s intentions can be dangerous. If public announcements don’t fall prey to hollow chest-thumping, they can feel restrictive, like binding contracts incapable of being changed.
And yet I’m willing to accept these risks. I know that sharing my plans can offer some direction for this site’s development. So think of this as a provisional roadmap.
Grab a map below. Dog-ear what interests you. And plan your visits accordingly.
Editor’s Note: As of January 30, two months after this article’s publication, it’s clear that all projected projects for 2020 have been delayed. I’ve canceled the 2020 year-end podcast review and postponed several 2021 projects until 2022, including my street photography exhibit, the Discharge journal series, and the periodic music series based around non-genre-specific themes.
A Map for the Rest of 2020
First up is a long-form article I wrote earlier in the year about some of my personal and professional experiences during the 2010s, Heavy Words: Todd B. Gruel’s 2010s Reflections on a Life of Service to the Arts. The retrospective article is structured around a self-reflective narrative inspired by music albums released from each year of the decade.
Next up is an annual end-of-year review series dedicated to honoring some of my favorite music releases from each year. The lists will be structured within some fun, I hope, non-genre-specific categories that I created. In a twist to the intended norm for this series, this year’s list will feature music from the 2010s as a supplement to my 2010s retrospective article.
One of the more ambitious projects of the year is a multimedia blog series about a hiking trip to Camino de Santiago that I took during summer 2020. Even though this series is a bit delayed, and I can’t boast of hiking the entire Camino Frances route, I believe that it’s still worth commemorating that experience.
A Map for 2021
My goal for 2021 is to establish greater regularity with this website, posting on a monthly basis, ideally on the last Sunday of each month.
I’ll likely start the year by sharing my published articles. Over the past few years, I’ve had the opportunity to publish my writing in a variety of online publications. Much of my writing focuses on the arts, especially underground music. But some of my work has broader appeal, including a blog about the farm-to-table movement. Whether you find new music to listen to or a writing phrase to chew on, I’m content to showcase how one’s relationship with any discipline is developed over time with care and dedication. As always, if I can do it, you can, too.
One of the site’s wildcards is an episodic blog series promoting socially and politically conscious music from around the world. Unlike the rest of the original content that I publish on this blog, this series will be exclusively written by visitors of this site. Yes, that means you; feel free to invite your friends, neighbors, boss, even grandma. My purpose is to provide a platform for non-professional writers who have something to say about music that helps us better understand our roles as citizens of the world and stewards of the planet.
Finally, to balance the more curatorial nature of this site with something more personal, I plan on writing quarterly updates about meaningful goings-on within my life. These updates will assess the current challenges that I face along with lessons that I learn along the way. They will feature a section collecting quotes from podcasts, books, and films that engaged me during each season. I’ll reflect upon the relevance of these ideas for myself in a way that may also be helpful for others.
A Map for 2022
After I purge my reserves in 2021, I should be ready to boot up my multimedia blog, tentatively titled, Curious, The Blog, by 2022. Unlike the main blog on my site, which focuses more on my own work, this one will exclusively curate the work of others, covering subjects from astronomy to zoology, mixing literary quotes with microscopy photos, yoga videos with heavy metal documentaries. More than any other project, this blog will express the beating heart of both this website and my worldview, offering a reason for embracing the world, in face of all of its complexity and diversity, with an abounding sense of compassion and wonder.
Next up, I’d like to share some of my recent photography. Since I retired my analog camera and I’ve yet to commit to purchasing a new digital camera, I’ve been using my iPhone to shoot street photos during my first year in Spain. Working on this project has helped me appreciate how the sequencing of still images can simulate a moving image narrative similar to cinema.
I may publish a monthly series, titled Discharge, based upon my journal entries _____
I may also publish a periodic series of music lists structured by non-genre-specific categories that I created: 1) Shhh, Quiet Please!—ambient music that draws us nearer to the realm of the sacred in an increasingly commercialized world; 2) Curious and Curiouser—conceptual music that asks bold questions of art and humanity; and 3) Fuzzy Grooves—rhythmic music that makes us dance or at least sway in our chairs.
Once again, thank you for your patience. Thank you for your interest. Thank you for visiting.