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Up For Air

Hi! Hi! Sorry!

I'm still here. Everything is fine. I've just been busy on this thing. And this other thing.

Here's the problem in a nutshell: I'm not one of those people who writes because he "needs to," I'm one of the people who writes because, at the end of the day, he likes having written (in the much the same way that I would love to know how to play guitar, but am not particularly interested in learning how). So if, at 8 PM, I've already cranked out 1000 words on some non-dy piece or another, I'm pretty much done for the day. Sorry NetarWeb.

The flip side is that, for five years or so, all my other projects have been getting the shaft: I'd write on defective yeti and punt on everything else, having already hit my word count quota for the day.

My New Year's Resolution for 2008 was to chip away at those projects that I have been putting off (crime stories, board game designs, etc.) This is the exact same resolution I made in 2007 and then more-or-less ignored for the subsequent 12 months. Last year I completed, like, one of my listed projects; right now I am wrapping up my third for 2008. Whether blog abstinence is contributing to my productivity or is a side-effect of it is anyone's guess, but it would appear that I can only work on one project at a time, and defective yeti qualifies as a project.

Sarah Hepola wrote eloquently (as usual) about this phenomenon in her Slate essay Why I Shut Down My Blog. Which isn't in any way to compare my ability to write to that of Sarah Hepola, only my ability to quit.

There have been some other factors keeping my out of the blogosphere as well. For one thing, the project I am currently working is about blogs, a upshot of which is that I am thoroughly sick of them. Except for yours, I mean. I still check yours twice daily.

(For the record, I am not being coy about the exact nature of this project because you'll hear about it soon and I need to keep it under wraps, but because the chances of it going anywhere are fat and slim. That said, remember this post when you start seeing ads for "Bla-La-Logs! The Musical!!" I've said too much already.)

Also, about two months ago, The Queen read the first 700 pages of The Stand and promptly came down with the superflu, so I had to spend a week spoon-feeding her chicken soup. That signaled the start of my hiatus. I had only intended to take a few days off, but then banded together with a motley crew of exhaustively described characters to walk to Las Vegas and confront the Walkin' Dude. So the whole thing took a bit longer than anticipated.

ANYway, my head is suffused with the observational detritus I have accumulated over weeks of not writing here, so I'll be back for this week at least. After that, we'll see how it goes. Cheers!

P.S. Thanks to everyone who who kept the home fires burning. It is comforting to know that, should I ever fall into a well, a crack team of blogonauts is standing by, ready to mock my absence.

P.S.S. My god, is there anything as intrinsically bloggy as a long and tedious post explaining why you haven't been blogging? Someone should start a blog that consists solely of daily, long-winded, and humorous entries purporting to explain why it hasn't been updated. Free idea. Yours for the taking.

Posted on April 07, 2008 to dy


*cough* whipped *cough*

Behold the power of Maggie.....

Posted by: Sherpa on April 7, 2008 10:32 AM

Done and done.

Contributions welcome.

Posted by: Palad on April 7, 2008 10:52 AM

Weirdly I was thinking about Defective Yeti on my way into work, and wondering what was going on with The Baldwin.
Now I know, you're being productive.

Geez, selfish.

Posted by: Jen C-B on April 7, 2008 11:17 AM

I'm not even close to being a successful blogger, nor am expecting a book deal (loved the article you linked to), but if I had known years ago what a time suck this little blogging hobby would have been, I probably never would have started.

Posted by: Kathy on April 7, 2008 11:50 AM

Thank God you are OK!

When I was discussing the whole "search and rescue" idea with my wife, she asked if you were one of the Baldwin brothers.

Posted by: Rob Cockerham on April 7, 2008 11:52 AM

Well, we're just relieved to know you're home. But next time, LEAVE A NOTE!! How hard would that have been? To let us know where you're going and who you're with.. and, and do I smell cigarette smoke!?

Posted by: Will Kucinski on April 7, 2008 12:01 PM

Free idea. Yours for the taking.

I've been working on one of these and now everyone is going to think I stole it from you when I finally have time to finish it. Jerk.

Here is how you do this kind of I'm-not-blogging-anymore post: Real life plagiarism.

Posted by: Ashley on April 7, 2008 12:03 PM

"So I had to spend a week spoon-feeding her chicken soup."

What exactly do you feed chicken soup?

Posted by: Eric C. on April 7, 2008 12:08 PM

Please read more carefully, he wasn't feeding the chicken soup, he was feeding soup to a chicken.

Posted by: Rob Cockerham on April 7, 2008 12:38 PM

Someone should start a blog that consists solely of daily, long-winded, and humorous entries purporting to explain why it hasn't been updated.

You're right. Old Man Murray was great while it lasted.

Posted by: straight on April 7, 2008 12:56 PM

Well, thank heaven.
That's all I have to say.
Even I, over here in the lowliest end of the blog world, had heard of your absence.
So I'm glad you are well.

As you were.

Posted by: blackbird on April 7, 2008 1:21 PM

Wait, she can tolerate The Stand, but won't read The Hobbit??!

Posted by: Jonathan on April 7, 2008 1:35 PM

Well, I'm just pleased as punch (hello, Hubert!) that you're back, and not LYING IN A DITCH ON THE SIDE OF THE ROAD. (I'm such a Jewish mother.)

And while I'm sorry that productivity=no yeti, I salute your commitment to productivity. You rock. Come back when you can. We'll be here.

Posted by: Karen on April 7, 2008 3:16 PM

19 Days Without Yeti should be made into a movie starring Brad Pitt. It could also be set in Tibet.

Posted by: Laurie on April 7, 2008 3:39 PM

On my blog ( http://evk4.blogspot.com ), I refuse to acknowledge any period of non-blogging. I have always thought the last post should contain some sort of promise of a renewed emphasis on posting though. I'm off to read the "why I shut down my blog" story.

Posted by: Edward on April 7, 2008 4:37 PM

I was beginning to suspect that the "refresh" button on my browser was somehow broken in relation to only this one site.

"Yay" for you being okay, but "Damn you" for making the rest of us slackers look bad when you go, you know, achieving things while the rest of us stare at a not-updated blog page and sigh.

Posted by: Junior on April 7, 2008 5:52 PM

Welcome back! Missed you.

Posted by: Jen on April 7, 2008 6:14 PM

Welcome back!

I didn't know that the Queen had a chicken. Within the city of Seattle you can have up to three. Good source of eggs, but I think they prefer weeds and bugs over soup.

Posted by: Pat on April 7, 2008 6:31 PM

Yay! You're back. Not really? Well, you are writing and eventually we will read that writing so there is some hope.

I'm always ducking out of my blog to write. (And who lights Old Navy candles for me, huh?) I think it is great if you can use one thing to procrastinate from the other. Use writing to procrastinate from your blog. The key to structured procrastination is to create a thing you avoid while also doing something useful or good while avoiding it.


This means that the more we make you feel guilty for not posting, the more you will write! Everyone wins.

By the way, I hear that "The Shining" causes pneumonia in some people.

Posted by: ozma on April 7, 2008 8:03 PM

"The Stand" is King's most disappointing book. Came out after "The Shining," which I consider the most terrifying book ever. Much scarier than the movie. When I saw "The Stand" in the bookstore I bought it instantly, thinking it was going to be "The Shining" only three times as long and three times as good. Four times? About a hundred pages in I realized it was King unedited. Not scary. Just really, really long. I don't know if it was the first book King's publisher put out without editing it, because why spend money on editing a book when people buy a gazillion copies regardless? But it was the first King book I could barely finish. There were others. "Christine" comes to mind. "It." The one where shit plays a big part in the "scary" stuff. Anyway, "The Walking Dude" should've been accompanied by "The Erasing Dude" and "The Rewriting Dude."

Posted by: Chas on April 7, 2008 10:55 PM

I'm not going to ask you to come back - that would be too selfish.

I'm just going to say - good luck with your projects - and when you *do* return to this project you'll have someone right here who (like today) will be a little bit happier and light a little tiny candle in his heart.

Thanks for the humor dude.

Posted by: Miles Thompson on April 8, 2008 3:29 AM

The only thing bloggier than blogging about how one hasn't been blogging lately is opening comments/commenting on the blog entry about not blogging lately. I think...

Posted by: Eddie on April 8, 2008 8:44 AM

I have a category on my blog for reasons I haven't blogged for a while.

Posted by: Mark on April 9, 2008 4:34 AM

"PS" means "post script" which, I assume, you already know. So a post script to a post script would be a "post post script," PPS. Not PSS. Just a little pet peeve of mine.

Oh, and welcome back!

Posted by: Craig on April 9, 2008 11:33 AM