Sunday, September 18, 2011

What's going on with me?

I seem to be regularly missing or skimming over the Friday Hometown Shootout and the Monday Poetry Jam -- and since I wasn't blogging a lot in between...

Worse, I am following the people I regularly follow with less regularity.  (A bit of a tongue twister, that).

What's going on with me?  I'm sure people are anxious to know.   I haven't a clue why I assume that.  I  know that we all develop relationships and friendships and intimacies on blogspot.  We celebrate births, holidays, new jobs, vacations together.  We share the pain of illnesses, deaths (I still miss Barry), lost jobs, and simple funks together.   But we don't take attendance.  If someone drops off the map, somewhere along the line we will notice it and wonder.  But when I read a blog that starts off "I'm glad to be back blogging again after my long absence," I'm always glad to see that person back but usually I admit with a little shame that I hadn't realized they had been missing. 

Maybe the person who is anxious to know what is going on with me is actually me.

Since May when I retired, I've reveled in having long leisurely mornings to read blogs, write blogs, fiddle with photography, watch the sturm und drang of Wall Street unfolding in lines on a blue screen...but lately it has begun to seem, oddly, like work.  

The unthinkable (at least to me) has begun to happen.  I sometimes find myself hurrying to get the  computer stuff out of the way so I can go outside and do yardwork.  People who know me would find that statement to be completely absurd since, for decades, it has been the reverse. 

I find myself wondering, what next. 

Some of the answers are being given to me by the Universe itself, which I choose to call God.  We have a new granddaughter, Kay, who is still in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit but doing well and due home in a month.  Brian and Melody are making plans to buy a trailer about 45 miles from here and move out.  Karen and I are now thinking of downsizing and buying a smaller house closer to where the kids and grandkids are moving. 

And despite the fact that I have been trying desperately to dig in my heels and avoid it, there is an idea I've had for a long long time for a novel that is forcing me (like constipation) to write it.   While I continue to refuse to commit myself to actually finishing it, I can't help thinking about it when I go to sleep and writing on it for a few hours every morning during my usual blog time.  

Even weirder, the novel is not a collection of humorous essays but a kind of combination murder mystery and Stephen King-like horror thriller.  Weird because I hate horror movies and will not watch them.   

And Butler and Bagman seem to be on vacation.   Or at least they don't seem quite as real to me these days as Sandy O'Neal, a 16-year-old girl who has discovered that, through some quirk of Wi-Fi frequency, the dead have been establishing a presence on Facebook. 


Anyhow, I will check in from time to time but maybe not quite so often.

BAGMAN:  "Yeah.  Right.  You know, Mark, that every time you write a blog that explains why you won't be around, you then enter a phase where you blog more than ever!"

"Where'd you come from?  I thought you were on vacation?"

BAGMAN: "Forgot my bag and had to come back to grab it.  See you later.  Have fun with Sandy.  Just don't forget that her father is the police chief."


  1. I have seen them come, and I have seen them go. Wait. I am not talking about my love life over the years, I am talking about bloggers.

    I also miss Barry, and another guy Opinions and Rectums, We All Got'em, Richard he was a funny guy and a good cook. At least his son told us all what happened.

    I'm not in the yard, just don't feel like coming on here the past six months. I write for myself, you should see my back log of drafts. Kind of like a counselor told me once, write the damn letters, just don't send them. You'll feel better. blah blah blah

    Okay, I enjoy your stuff, but do what'cha gotta do, or as we used to say Keep on keepin on...

    But can you do one last thing for me, explain why people do not keep commitments like they used to do, or why can't anyone tell the truth to your face, or why is the grass green...

  2. Mark I have been remiss in visiting your blog for months. Then I come here today and find this gem!
    I love reading your words, you always make me smile.

    When we first start out blogging, it totally consumes us, especially making new friends, who we know we will probably never meet. Then like life we sometimes change directions and blogging isn't as important as it used to be.

    But what a fantastic ride it has been!

    All the best in finishing your novel or at least working on it.

    So keep shining friend and take care.
    Peggy xxxxxx

  3. Things and activities have a tendency to have life cycles, or, rather, spirals, and sometimes you just disappear round the bend for a bit and then are back in full swing for the next round. It's a bit like orbiting.
    For me, at the moment, playing my favourite computer game is further up my personal billboard of things I like to do, but I have a feeling that it will soon be replaced again by going out to meet friends. And eventually, the urge to write will grow enough to finally make me blog about all the things I wanted to blog about already last month.

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  5. Hey, I've been a bit absent-minded myself lately but I did notice you missing from FMTSO... One does sometimes get a bit torn between the on-line and the off-line worlds; the thing is they both demand use of the same amount ot time, which is still limited to 24 h/day. Good luck with your book!

  6. I really love how you write. And I do miss you when you don't blog. But WRITE THE BOOK!!! Ooh - I'm all excited just hearing about the possibility. I'm more of a Dean Koontz fan than Stephen King, but with you as the writer I would even read a vampire novel. Really!

  7. Sounds alot like my blogging absences in some ways! For me the weekly theme posts just can't be every week. I get tired of it, or I'm busy and the post is a last-minute fix with no inspiration... and this even for the Jam, which I administer!
    And then there's the quirky personality thing where we have our unique personas to set on stage. I had an absolute ball with Maurice for a year, and now I have to remind myself it's been an entire month since the last post - better come up with something. These things just run their course, perhaps.
    The hardest thing is to realize that I too am just not visiting the other blogs I used to go right to every morning. The writers have become friends, and now I tell myself I'll read that post "later", and later is always later.
    Our lives change, and interests too (and your life has changed a LOT this year). It's great you're writing a book, whatever it's about. Let me know when it's done - I'd love to read it!

  8. I think it's time for Arygog to pay you another visit--that will inspire you to write! Hope B and B return soon.

  9. So, Butler, there'll be less of you in future? Interesting, seeing that I've seen very little of you and you of me.

    Blogging can be a tyranny, I try to visit the blog of every commenter, which leaves me short of time for many other things `i'd love to do. There's this guilt feeling though, if I don't.

    Lots of people take time off to write or garden or go on holiday; it's nice to see them back, but , as you said, the gap was soon filled by another blogger.

    Maybe we see ourselves as indispensable; a little humility even in blogland doesn't come amiss.

    Hope to see you sooner than in another six months or so.

  10. THAT'S what I missed while on vacation - the banter between Bagman and Butler! For some strange reaason I can't seem to comment with my Google ID on your blog today - sheesh! Loved the two shots with the mysterious hints of colour. Have a great weekend! Elaine (A Scattering)