American Griper


As you may remember it’s about this time of year that the previous year’s blogs get bound and published and I offer you, my readers, a tidy stipend to take them off my hands.  But because of the contretemps between Amazon and Hatchette along with a number of other publishers, it appears that there’s going to be a bit of a delay.  Just a heads up so you can plan your budgets accordingly.

I am now entering the seventh year of the blog adventure and I thought it would be a good time to answer all the questions that no one seems to be interested in asking.  So I’ll pick up the slack and conduct my own interview.

Question: Has your blog experience been what you expected?

Answer:  Actually, I’ve been fairly disappointed that it hasn’t been more popular than it is.  Probably I’ve relied too much  on pals like you to spread the word.  Or maybe, I’m  just one of those artists whose work gains popularity after they’re gone.  For example, I just saw (part of) a documentary about the life of a very nondescript woman who, unknown to almost everyone in her sphere, had been taking tons of photographs for decades.  After she died (alone), someone came across a cache of tens of thousands of her photos . . . and lo and behold, three or four of them were terrific.  So maybe, I’ll just go for greater quantity and let quality fight its own battle.images

Q:  Why exactly do you do this?

A:  I’m a narcissist.  Next question.

Q:  You seem to know something about this, so can you tell me (us) the difference between a narcissist, an egoist, an egotist and a solipsist?

A:  I’ve thought about this.  The only distinction that I can make out is that they each have a different number of letters.

Q:  Your blogs seem to be of a particular length.  Is that by design or just happenstance.

A:  Very perceptive.  Yes, I’ve found that it’s best not to drag these things out.  About 633 words is the “sweet spot” that I aim for.  I’ve found that when I’m reading another writer’s blog, I lose interest at about the 640th word.  Any more than that feels like that situation at a party (or tennis club) where you start to have a conversation with someone and realize after a few sentences,  that this is not where you want to be. In those situations, it’s really hard to just turn and walk away.  But at least,  when I’ve lost interest in reading something, I can just put it down.  This is as good a reason that I know not to leave the house.

Q:  You seem to be fairly mild and easygoing;  does anything upset you?

A:  Everything upsets me.

Q:  Is your blog the only writing that you do.

A:  That’s so funny you should ask.  I do write other stuff.  In fact, I just had an essay published in an on-line journal.  In case I don’t make it to 633 words and you’re still hankering for more, here’s the link to it:

Q:  What’s the hardest part of writing each blog.

A:  A more interesting question might have been, what’s the hardest part and what is the easiest part of writing it.  I’ll allow that you’re new at this so I’ll answer the amended question.  The easiest part is coming up with something to write about.  It can be any cockamamie thing. (Witness this.)  There used to be two equally difficult areas of writing a blog post for me; coming up with a title and figuring out how to end the damn thing.  But since I’ve instituted my new protocol of occasionally dissociating the title and content (witness this), the only really hard part is writing an ending.  Ideally, the little essay should come to a bit of a conclusion . . . or have an arc . . .or at least a slight bend.  Otherwise, the thing ends so abruptly that the reader doesn’t know she’s done.

See what I mean?


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