On June 1, 2020, almost thirteen years to the day since it began, this blog will disappear. My hosting service is shutting down, and I don’t have time right now to find an orderly home for hundreds of old posts.
In truth, this blog has been held together by pipe cleaners and putty for years. I grappled with outdated PHP, hopeless security issues, and chunks of code I cobbled together myself. The site crashed every time I uploaded a tiny image. Line spacing and photo placement were never right. Vital plug-ins were incompatible with each other. A database with a will of its own made it impossible for me to write and post when I wanted.
Yet it’s been fun. People are surprised when I say that much of my favorite writing is on this rickety site, even though some of it may be outdated, indulgent, or regrettable. Several posts still get quite a few hits per day from people looking for subjects they’ll only find here. Over the years, those posts have drawn more eyeballs, and sometimes better feedback, than books and articles I’ve written that carry the supposed prestige of someone else having published them.
When I started “Quid Plura?” in 2007, I had just written a book about Charlemagne, and I was still in my ten-year run of teaching medieval literature. Everything has changed since then—where I live, how I live, and even what I research and write. For the past year and a half, I’ve been collaborating with the descendants of the founders of a local town to tell their long-awaited story. As far as we can tell, the book we’ll publish this summer will be the first full-length history of a Reconstruction-era African American town in Maryland. If you’d like to learn more about our project, check out this video presentation, which will be viewable online through May 11.
Later this year, I’ll probably re-establish this blog with a new host. I like having my own little corner of the Internet. Blogs, however unfashionable, foster independent speech, the most potentially measured exchanges, and long-form writing on topics for which there aren’t paying markets.
In the meantime, if you need to find me, I’m available by email (jeffsypeck –at- gmail –dot- com), I check Twitter occasionally, and I have a new website to show off my professional writing. In the past thirteen years, this blog has brought me new real-world friends and many faithful long-term correspondents. People who still read blogs are the best kind of weird. They find, as I do, that corporate social media reins in discourse and smothers thought. If you’re one of those readers, thank you! Blogs give us room to breathe. That’s why I can’t imagine “Quid Plura?” not returning when the time is right. There’s always more to say.