Are you the writer you were in 2011?

Today’s post is inspired by an email, reminding me of a writer I used to be.

Monday morning. Coffee. Egg sandwich. “Where are you now?” hour on NJ 101.5 streaming on my app. Empty planner pages with two appointments written lightly in pencil. Laptop asleep. I wish I was.

Open email, first time since last week. Perfect timing. This email from yesterday, Sunday:

> From:
> Sent: Sun, Sep 20, 2020 9:46 pm
> Subject: Your membership at ATCs For All – PLEASE READ
> Hi ScrapPea
> You haven’t visited the ATCs for All Forums in a year. Hope you are
> well and everything in your real life is OK.
> As soon as you are able, please log in/visit AFA, to keep your
> account intact.
> If you don’t have time to stay and play, that’s OK…just log in!
> We are in the process of updating the members list and anyone who
> hasn’t logged in for 365 days will be removed. If you are
> interested in keeping your membership intact please log in soon.
> Your Gallery and iTrader will also be removed at that time. We are
> not keeping a record of ratings. So if you wish to keep them intact
> please log in/visit as soon as possible.
> Thanks,
> Staff of ATCs For All

It’s been a year since I rejoined?!?

It’s been one year?

It’s been one year.

Once again, I felt the thrill, and the guilt, of the similar email I received one year ago.  At that time, I was reminded of the vibrant artist trading card (ATC) community in Michigan. Those who played with paper there connected me to online outlets, feeding my addiction to this tiny art.  I lost both my in-person and virtual interactions when I moved back to New Jersey.  I didn’t realize how much I missed it until one year ago, the memories resurfaced:

> From:
> Sent: Sun, Sep 29, 2019 3:47 pm
> Subject: ATCs for All needs your help…
> Hello,
> You may or may not be aware that our Site’s server fee is paid for
> by our generous members who have a paid subscription.
> The fee for our server is $449 a month.
> As of today’s date we have enough to pay for the October server fee.
> After that it will depend on, if we get enough donations to keep the
> site running.
> Please consider becoming an AFA Friend or renewing a lapsed
> subscription as soon as you can.
> You can find out how to here:
> If you have any questions, please let me know.
> The future of our Site depends on the generosity of our members….
> Thank you,
> Carole Cadek

I renewed immediately.  I am going to play with paper.  What’s new there? What’s familiar? Did these folks miss me?  I can’t wait to find out. I bookmarked the website on my phone.

Then I forgot about it for one year. Which brings us to today.

My ATC artwork was published last week in Issue 3 of Molecule.  Creating that artwork was the first time I picked up paper and glue in at least one year. A deep thrill creating the art, each detail planned to look accidental yet was exact to precise detail.

I want to do more of this, I told myself. Now I have an excuse: keep my account and my interactions alive.

I’m in, roaming the site, looking at new ATC swaps, familiar names and avatars.

What’s my avatar?  I have no idea.

Hey, I changed my password. Do I need to change anything else?

Oh, yes I do.  My profile. 

What I wrote and the way I wrote it…. The past me is not today’s me. I looked back and saw myself as the newbie on March 5, 2011. It’s a fascinating, quirky and embarrassing User Profile.

~ To be Continued ~

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