Saturday, December 17, 2005

Add Another Yuletide Blog to the Fire

I feel I must apologize for this blog's erratic appearances this week. Clearly, my originally stated plan to post something daily isn't going to work out, because I find myself applying more time and energy to this blog than I can reasonably sustain on a daily basis. I thought I could use this blog to file short reports, popcorn items, and that sort of stuff, but instead, I've been writing fairly polished essays of considerable (or, as some might say, not inconsiderable) length. It seems I take this blog as seriously as any other writing commitment -- perhaps even more seriously because it's a daily concern -- but if it's going to continue, I'll need to keep it more in perspective. It must come second or third on my list of writing duties, following writing professionally and writing toward my future, both of which take time and energy and focus.

I mentioned some blogs ago that I have gone back to polish an unfinished novel. This effort worked out fine for the first 300 pages or so, then I hit a sort of wall. It seems to me that what might best serve the novel is to scrap the last 80 pages, at least most of them, and write a new third act that follows the same basic synopsis. It's too hard to look at what's there and try to rearrange it all into something that works; it might be easier to recreate it from scratch. All of this takes immense concentration and it's sometimes hard to concentrate knowing that people out there are awaiting a new blog that hasn't been written yet.

No one's complaining about the irregularities of this blog but me, but the site meter shows me how many people are visiting daily, and just as it's gratifying to please those numbers with a flow of new material, it's even more disappointing to disappoint them. Friends, including other bloggers, tell me to forget the numbers and only post when I'm able and have something to say. This isn't a paying gig and I should be free to blog by my own rules. So if you should come here and not find something new to read, you can assume that it's because my concentration is fully engaged elsewhere. You can also assume I won't be away for long.

Oh my, only eight days till Christmas. Fortunately, all my holiday shopping is done, our cards are sent, the new issue has been mailed to our subscribers and distributors. (Please write and let us know what you think of it.) For the second year in a row, Donna and I have opted not to put up a tree. We have a young cat in the family (named Elvis for the way he shakes his hips when he's excited, but variously called Pipsqueak or Pippy or Elvy) who would only try to climb it and thus knock it over or break precious heirloom ornaments. Besides, neither of us has the time to want to put it up and decorate it, or take the bloody thing apart and down. We find a mantlepiece covered with Christmas cards from well-wishers, and a couple of stockings hung by the chimney with care, are enough to Christmasize our house. We get enough tree when we spent Christmas Eve with Donna's family, but I must admit one does miss something by not having a tree of one's own. What I miss most about Christmas is being able to think of it as a day to look forward to, rather than a day one must start preparing for at least a month in advance.

Despite the unusual number of orders I've been placing at Amazon.com, I haven't quite caught the Christmas spirit yet. I think it's time to start putting some Christmas music in heavy rotation and maybe quaff some egg blog... er, nog.

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