WHAT IS THE EDITORIAL POLICY OF THIS WEBSITE?
Are you kidding? Why should I have an editorial policy? This website has no editorial policy to speak of. I try to write responsibly and truthfully. I try to take care to respect the intellectual property of other writers and photographers, whose work I sometimes reference. If I screw up, let me know and I'll do what I reasonably can to set things right. That's about it.
YOUR WEBSITE WOULD LOOK MORE PROFESSIONAL IF YOU USED (X) FEATURES
As for suggestions that I make more use of textured backgrounds, animations, image maps, buttons, sound files and all the other features supported by today's browsers...naaaah. Here's why: I find nothing more annoying than downloading a beautifully rendered web page only to discover that it is essentially a table of contents. Then I click on one of the objects on the page and that starts another three-minute download which is yet another index. I find it frustrating to go through several minutes of downloading beautiful page after beautiful page of material which contains essentially no information. To save you that kind of inconvenience, I try to keep things as simple as possible.
I'M GOING TO BE PASSING THROUGH ARKANSAS ON THE INTERSTATE AND I WANT TO SEE SOME INTERESTING STUFF DURING REST STOPS. CAN YOU GIVE ME A SHORT LIST?
If you don't get off the interstate you'll never see the real Arkansas. But here goes anyway, traveling west to east along I-40:
And now on I-30 heading Southwest to Northeast:
WHY ARE YOUR STORIES SO WEIRD? CONCENTRATING ON THIS ECCENTRIC STUFF REFLECTS BADLY ON ARKANSAS.
Oh, it does not. Arkansas has a lot of big, conventional entertainments, repertory companies, a thoroughbred track, symphony orchestras, art museums and so on. First, I figure all that conventional stuff is covered by lots of other sources. Second, I find (for example) the worlds largest minnow ranch to be more interesting than a symphony orchestra. It's easy to understand why somebody puts together a symphony orchestra; but what motivates somebody to be the king of the minnows? And I suspect that the effect, either good or ill, this website has on the national perception of Arkansas is minimal.
A LOT OF YOUR STORIES FEATURE YOU CALLING SOMEBODY A LIAR
That's not quite true. I pretty much always stop short of directly accusing somebody of lying. There's a surprising amount of bad information out there just floating around, repeated generation after generation, passing as fact; and sometimes people will just make stuff up for fun to see if they can get you to believe it. After all, the "tall tale" is a southern tradition, right? I check things out whenever it's convenient, and if the facts don't match the stories I've been told, then I might point that out. Also, I've got a lot of stories about checking into the facts surrounding various Arkansas myths and folklore, and that might create the impression you get. I usually find that the true stories are more interesting than the invented ones, anyway. Makes me wonder why people make stuff up.
SOME OF YOUR "PLANNED FEATURES" NEVER SEEM TO GET POSTED. WHAT GIVES?
Sometimes some little fragment of an article gets put on hold and I'm waiting for some missing piece so I can post a complete story. For instance, I missed this year's David O. Dodd observance, so I didn't get the picture of the Confederate reenactors' honor guard at Dodd's grave that would really make the story. Maybe I'll wait a year for the picture or maybe I'll just go with a picture of the grave. All those stories that seem to be promised but never delivered are reminders to me that I've got a handful of stories just lacking one or two little elements.
WANT TO TRADE LINKS?
Not really. If you want to link to my website, go ahead. If you want me to link to yours, leave me your URL by e-mail at Traveler. No reciprocal agreements. All voluntary. No deals.
If you are with some Arkansas school district or Arkansas town chamber of commerce or Arkansas tourist destination and you're trying to establish an internet presence, there's an internet provider in Little Rock that maintains an extensive list of such links. The domain name is www.aristotle.net. Rather than maintain such a list of Arkansas links myself, I just link to them from my home page, and maybe that's a more appropriate place for your link.
HOW MANY HITS DO YOU GET A DAY, WEEK, MONTH...
Don't know. Don't care.
WHAT'S YOUR I.Q?
HOW DO YOU MAKE A LIVING?
I'm a country line adagio dance instructor.
WHO DA MAN?
You da man.
ARE TECHNOLOGICALLY ADVANCED EXTRATERRESTRIALS VISITING THE EARTH?
EVER THOUGHT OF DOING THIS PROFESSIONALLY, WRITING FOR THE LOCAL PAPER OR SOMETHING?
Yes I have considered it, but I spend anywhere from 20 to 50 hours on a story (researching, writing and photographing), and the Arkansas Democrat/Gazette only pays something like $35 plus gas for a travel/culture story. To make any money I'd have to make a story in three to five hours. It would suck and it would be superficial and full of errors and it might take more than five hours to discover something interesting about a subject (the Sugarloaf Crescent, for instance). Plus, for $35 the editor is going to tell me WHAT to write, WHEN to write it and HOW many words it shall require; and he only pays me if he actually uses the story. And then for $35 he feels justified in crawling up my ass every time I want to spend an extra hour getting a paragraph just right. Damn!
I can think of some good reasons to put up with that kind of foolishness, but a $35 check won't do the trick. Now I understand a newspaper is a business and they have their schedules and timetables and they have their bottom line to think about. They can't can't afford to pay me what my time is worth and I don't want to work on their terms, so I self-publish on the internet. Better for them, better for me.
WHERE DO YOU GET YOUR IDEAS FOR STORIES?
Tips from readers. I also parasitize other travelogues and guidebooks as they parasitize me. The difference between me and them is that I don't let my fingers do the walking so much. Official resources like parks and museums and visitor bureaus give me plenty of good leads. Sometimes I'll go to the library or the history commission and just start leafing through the catalog or browsing the county historical quarterlies. I've got several sets of topographic maps of the state in various scales. Sometimes I browse through them looking for interesting placenames or features. Sometimes I'm going to or from a fishing hole when something distracts me. I'll pull over and take a picture and ask some questions. I'm almost never the first to do that, though. I discovered all this stuff myself in the same way Columbus "discovered" America. He "discovered" it from his own point of view only.