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First Post: My history in writing on the web

A number of years ago, I used to write for a Star Wars fansite called EUCantina.net.

It started with a series of emails I wrote to a podcast I listened to back then, called The EU Review. The podcast's two hosts would sometimes discuss new Star Wars products, review them, and make recommendations on whether you should buy them.  For comic books, they would occasionally recommend waiting for the comic to be re-released in Trade Paperback format to save money.  A thought entered my head: is that really more economical?  I opened a spreadsheet and started comparing the price of hardcover, trade paperback, and omnibus format Star Wars comics vs. the price of each individual issue.

The answer was that it varied significantly, with some books collected editions being significantly cheaper on a price-per-issue basis, while others were significantly more expensive.  On average the price difference between buying issues vs. trade paperbacks was not significant (though omnibuses offered great savings).

I emailed my analysis the podcast, and they read it on the air.  I was overjoyed to hear my own writing being spread to the masses (as much as the audience of any Star Wars fan podcast can be called "the masses").

I wrote a few more emails to The EU Review, and each was read and discussed.  I decided I could do more with my fan writing, and got in touch with EUCantina.net, whose forums I had been using for some time.  They allowed me to turn my emails into a column, which I called The Star Wars Dissection.  my goal was to do two things:
  1. Analyse real-world numbers to reach conclusions about Star Wars material (price of comics, number of items released per year, book sales, etc.); and
  2. Analyse in-universe content and discuss it in extreme detail (superweapons, alien species, depictions of a specific battle, etc.)
I was particularly proud of my discussion on the evolution of different weird alien species in Star Wars.  While I regretted having to include a disclaimer noting that the article was not intended to prejudge or challenge the reader's religious beliefs (I was asked by the editors to add it, and while I think the one I included was fair and diplomatic, I would have preferred not having one t at all), I had fun thinking about whether evolution could create an alien that looked like a person, but was a reptile or a plant.

Later, my mandate expanded.  I reviewed episodes of Star Wars: The Clone Wars for a time (I think of my best works was a retro review of the Star Wars: The Clone Wars film).  I wrote about the Star Wars: The Old Republic video game.  I tried launching a book club, but that fell through.

Being the only staff writer from Canada, I did a major write-up of the Star Wars: Identities museum exhibit when it launched at the Montreal Science Centre.  This exhibit never went to the United States, and so my write-up was one of the only ways fans could see what it was about.

Figure 1: The character of Taral, developed at the Star Wars: Identities exhibit in Montreal, April 2012
Overall, I loved writing for EUCantina.  I had great support from the website staff, and the people on the forum discussed my content.  My writing allowed me to appear on some Star Wars podcasts (I appeared on several episodes of We Talk Clones, a review podcast of The Clone Wars, as well as one episode of The Star Wars Report, discussing the Identities exhibit.)

I stopped writing in 2012, mostly because of time.  I'm sure I had enough time to devote to writing, but I didn't really want to devote the time to that endeavour anymore.

I tried to use my Tumblr to get back into writing again, but again one must devote the time necessary for it to succeed.

But I want to try again.  My sister-in-law made a blog on blogspot a couple of years ago, and it inspired me to try the same.

I think thematically I will continue to write about what books and comics I'm reading, what games I'm playing, or what movies I'm watching.  The next post will go into more detail.

I hope some people find it entertaining.  At minimum, I hope writing more often will further develop my writing skills.

Best wishes,

-Andrew aka Taral

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