It's funny feeling that I owe an apology to a bunch of people, many if not most of whom I've never met, and none of whom is paying me in other than interest and good wishes (if that) for my efforts, but nonetheless I do feel bad when I don't keep up with the blog.
Maybe that's it: it's not so much that I'm apologizing to you, but to myself, because I'm the one who's feeling bad. I suspect that most of you out there in blogland, even if you might be mildly disappointed when day after day you check in here and there's nothing new to read, still manage to lead fulfilling and happy lives in the absence of new "content."
Whereas me, on the other hand... Well, as you probably know, I have little to live for apart from my occasional outpourings here, so you can imagine how bleak my life must have grown when you don't hear from me for weeks at a time.
Not exactly true, actually; occasionally things do happen in my life, though I'm usually hard pressed to remember exactly what they are, especially when asked point blank, as I was several times during my most recent visit to California: "So, um, what exactly do you do with yourself out there in New York?"
I suppose I could explain that I'm kept quite busy monitoring the internet for important developments, but that sounds both unconvincing and sad, and is only about half the truth anyway. One thing I can tell you is that I've embarked on a major push to get more serious about my writing. A strange approach, I can hear you surmising, to get serious about writing by not writing (sounds terribly Zen, doesn't it?), but actually, I have been writing. Unfortunately, you're not allowed to see any of it.
Yes, all right, I'll explain before you lose any remaining patience with me. See, I've been doing this program that promises to get blocked writers unblocked, and yes, I know, there are many writers whom one is tempted to say should remain permanently blocked on humanitarian grounds, but hopefully I'm not one of them. As part of this program, I'm supposed to do a few pages of writing every morning, writing that's not meant for publication or even to be shown to anyone, and writing that doesn't necessarily focus on any particular subject or purpose. Free association, more or less; even gobbledygook is acceptable as long as it flows naturally from the pen (oh yes, another stipulation: no computers; it has to be done in longhand).
Having never covered myself with glory on the self-discipline front, I had my doubts whether I'd be able to keep up a consistent regimen of daily writing, but surprisingly enough, I have, only missing one day thus far since starting the program. And I also had my doubts as to its efficacy, since I've been periodically writing gobbledygook and free association for at least 40 years now without it having turned me into any sort of highly accomplished writer.
But strangely enough, it does seem to be having an effect, a couple of effects, actually. First, I've been coming up with new ideas for the first time in a long while: at least two cracking good plots for short stories, plus I took my long-dormant concept for a novel down off the mental shelf and started outlining chapters. Second, and this was wholly unexpected: I've been having incredibly vivid dreams, some of which could also end up as short stories, but which even if they don't, are providing me with a generally entertaining and occasionally scary window into the nether realms of my soul.
Downside of all this: by the time I do my morning writing and related exercises, I don't seem to have much time or energy left over for the sort of writing I'd publish on, oh, a blog, for example. That, combined with some pretty heavy-duty stuff that's been happening in the real (or realer) world of late, has left me out of the blog loop for a month or so, something I greatly regret, but which, I guess, couldn't be helped. Never mind, I'm back now, and everything will be better. Or at least not any worse.