Before Blork there was Raggafragga. Raggafragga.com was my first registered URL; it was intended to be a hub, or portal, for all of my publishing activities (oh, those heady days of 1999). There was going to be Raggafragga Tech (my freelance technical writing service), Raggafragga Online (which I described as “an online journal dedicated to literary writing in English about Montreal”), and most importantly, Raggafragga Press.
That’s right; Raggafragga Press. I was going to publish literary books about Montreal. The nascent raggafragga.com web site described this enterprise as “a small speck of a literary press, using gleanings from Raggafragga Online plus unique material, Raggafragga Press is dedicated to printing anthologies and thematic collections of original material about Montreal.” I was going to start small, with chap books and short fiction from any local writer foolish enough to hand over their work, and if those birdies flew I would have moved on to larger books with higher stakes.
As you can probably infer, none of this happened. To be clear, I never really got to the point of properly planning any of these activities. It was really more a matter of wishful thinking, conjured up over a few feverish days, then quickly consigned to the procrastination bin.
That’s not to say that Raggafragga.com has been entirely latent. This blog’s first URL was http://www.raggafragga.com/blork. Plus, I donated some Raggafragga space to make a web site (my first) for Nana, George & Me, a film by my friend Joe Balass. (That very dated site still exists, although it has moved to blork.org.) I also used firstname.lastname@example.org as my primary email address for quite a while, which might explain why I got so little email then. (“Huh? Fragyerrag? Raggarag? Fraggyraggy? What?”)
But as of tomorrow, Raggafragga.com will be dead. My claim on the domain expires December 23, and I’m letting it go. There’s no point in keeping it as the whole literary press thing simply isn’t going to happen — and even if I were to resurrect the idea I would do it under a different name (one that’s easier to spell).
In case you’re wondering, “raggafragga” is an onomatopoeia, coined by myself, that comes from The Flintstones. When Fred Flintstone is really, really pissed off and supposed to be swearing he makes sounds along the lines of “RrrRROWWrrrr, ragga fragga fragga ragga!” At least that’s how I heard it. Raggafragga.com was going to be a place where I could play the role of the grumpy, caveman-like editor.
Raggafragga.com wore a few faces over the years, such as the early one, below, in which I saw it as my personal rabbit hole. (The red link went to my blog; the blue link went to an area called the “World Wide Ed,” where I kept a bunch of other stuff.)
Since about 2003, however, raggafragga has essentially been in a coma. For a while, the landing page said simply “someday there will be a raggafragga.com.” A few years ago I changed it to the following:
It’s time to say goodnight to Raggafragga.com.