I haven’t checked in here for a while, but I’ve got excuses.
First, obviously, I’m lazy. That’s the one trait I seem to share with many great writers. I’d write a blog post about it, but that seems like kind of a bother.
Then there were the holidays, which were great. But you don’t know the folks I saw or the folks I missed, and everyone else’s holiday stories sound alike to me, so there’s a chance mine would too. Why risk it?
Then I got the darn flu crap, despite the shot, which morphed into pneumonia, which took a long while to vanquish. I still maintain a persistent cough and will continue to use that as an excuse for as long as I can get away with it. I’ve been whining about my sickness to everyone who will listen. Turns out, beyond the folks I rely on to nurse me back to health (thank you, you know who you are) and the folks I might infect (Notice people’s reactions when you say this: “I’m pretty sure I’m not contagious at this stage…”) one’s diseases aren’t all that interesting to healthy people. Even my diseases.
Then my father died. That generated conflicted memories and a salad of emotions as well as new tasks and responsibilities for me. I may try to write something about that at some point, but not yet.
For most of January I felt too miserable to even read because I was sick. Perhaps I already mentioned that. As I started to improve, I read a couple of books about diseases (none of them my own) which led to curiosity, which led to online research about cicadas, and ebola, and finally my own crackpot theory. That will probably be a post pretty soon. It will include more science than most of my readers prefer, but a blog seems like the ideal spot to post crackpot theories. There’s nothing funny about Ebola, but cicadas are funny no matter how you describe them, so perhaps if I combine the topics there will be something for everyone.
Then I resurrected my interest in writing an ebook to go with those Irish songs I’ve been working on, a project that got interrupted by the Pond Scum project. The Irish songs led to the Tay Bridge Disaster, which led to reading another book (and posting a review of it). I won’t tell you too much about my own project so you have a reason to read the book when and if I release it.
The Tay Bridge Disaster reminded me that the house I grew up in was built by a railroad engineer about that same time. I wondered if he’d heard about that train wreck in Scotland? So I went on a little quest to learn about him. Turns out, his life could have been a movie; he was a civil engineer for the railroad, not a guy who drove the train as I’d always imagined. He worked for Buffalo Bill Cody for a while. He watched the shootout that killed famous con man and outlaw Soapy Smith. He designed a famous stretch of railroad in Alaska that was listed as one of the civil engineering wonders of the world. He built the trolly line on Colfax Ave in Denver, a street that finally achieved fame because I used it in Jumper and the Bones. In a far fetched scenario of my imagination that probably isn’t technically “history,” one of his projects may have inspired one of the best selling science fiction books of all time. So yes, I bet he knew about the Tay Bridge railroad bridge disaster. The hours I spent on him will probably be about two sentences in the Irish song book project, but I certainly know enough now to write a blog post about it. Not today, of course. See paragraph two above, referred to herein as “Laziness.”
Then my doctor told me it was time to start injecting myself with insulin. That created a whole new routine, new science to investigate, and stirred up memories of my father and other relatives who needed insulin. I confess to having a wide range of responses to this development that I have not yet sorted through. It’s not much of an excuse but hey, I embrace them all. Maybe there’s a way to make “jabbing oneself in the stomach with a needle every day while closing your eyes so you don’t faint” seem funny; if there is, I’ll sure let you know.
There’s some encouraging, if small, progress on Jumper and the Bones: the movie. But I don’t have permission to tell you anything yet.
So sure, it’s been a couple of months since I’ve been here. But, like I say, I’ve got excuses.