Wednesday, April 29, 2009


I spend an inordinate amount of time bumbling through a world I do not understand, have never understood, and am sure I will never understand. I take some comfort in the assumption that this is not a condition unique to me. It's all just the way things are, and that in itself is by turns sad, frustrating, and in my case occasionally perilously close to maddening. We all seem to be reaching out trying to find something to cling to; something solid.

It seems that from the age of five or so, we are increasingly swept off our feet and carried down the rapids of time. And as the world spins ever more erratically out of our control, the harder we try to find something to cling to; something solid. (Thus, to a large extend, my obsession with the past.) Increasingly, we turn to the places like Facebook and My Space and Twitter, a trend I
I find somehow both ominous and frightening. Twitter boasts that its intent is to enable us to keep in instant (???) touch with others, yet it allows us only 140 characters to do so. Surely I'm not the only one who finds this both ironic and annoying. But because others join Twitter and My Space and Facebook, I did too. I think of it as "The lemming principle".

My main goal in life, other than writing books, is to find people to read them. But not being quite sure how to obtain this goal, I bumble along, trying anything that even remotely offers the possibility of finding a new reader. And so, naturally, I turn to the internet. I join group after group, the members of which are, by and large, other writers seeking the same thing I'm seeking. I find that a great many of my fellow writers invite me to "join" them on Facebook or MySpace or various and sundry other places, and I can't help but wonder why? I already know them and see them regularly several other places. Why add another?A classic example of preaching to the choir. (So you've written a new book? That's great. Best of luck with it. Now, MY latest book.....). I am reminded too often, and too guiltily, of Ambrose Bierce's definition of a bore: "one who talks when I want him to listen."

A popular trend on the internet seems to be something called "following"---a term I find somehow slightly ominous, perhaps because of its implications of stalking. At any rate, I as usual have absolutely no idea what is supposedly involved in all this, but, hey..... I "follow" several people on Twitter primarily because I get a notice saying they are "following" me, and want to be politically correct by returning the favor. Yet after this initial exchange of announcements, I never to hear from, or hear of, them again. I have 187 "followers" on Twitter. How could I possibly keep up with all of them even if I did hear from them again, or understood what Twitter is really all about....which I don't.

And now I note that even on this blog page that there is now an option for "Followers". It suddenly appeared, from whence and why I of course hadn't a clue, and saw that I had one follower. Not having the foggiest idea of its purpose, I asked my friend Gary to sign up for it, and let me know what if anything happened as a result. The answer is "apparently nothing". And I noticed subsequently that my original "follower" dropped out. Was it something I said? Did he get bored?

I would be delighted to have you "follow" me here, and maybe you can explain to me exactly what that means. If you're kind enough to read these blogs, I assume you already are following me, but what do I know?

And so, again, I bumble along, trying to get some writing done and adapting my little dog-and-pony show in any possible way I can think of to encourage just one more reader to read my books. If you are already in the choir I give you my eternal thanks. If you have never read one of my books, well...what can I possibly do that I am not already doing to convince you? I'm open for suggestion; you can reach me on Twitter. Or Facebook. Or MySpace. Or.....(sigh).......

New entries are posted by 10 a.m. Central time every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. Please come back...and bring a friend.

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