Saturday, September 10, 2011

Should I stay, or should I go?

Wha's up, Smokey?
           The first order of business is to welcome our newest member to the hideout, someone who became an instant favorite of mine, the Muse of Doom.  I'm including her profile picture here because she is drop-dead gorgeous; in fairness, I guess that could be said of any young woman in a see-through dress...  Anyway, I exchanged a few quips with her on CT's Nerd Lunch post concerning his love of the Muppets, and instantly recognized a kindred spirit.  She left an e-mail contact on her profile, which I used for a longer introduction, she replied, and the next thing I knew, here she was on my followers' list.  I have to tell you, with her dry wit and sarcastic humor, talking with her is almost like talking to myself, except unpredictable.  She does have a name, part of which she has graciously shared with me.  I'm not going to ruin her fun; visit her site,, and maybe she'll share with you, too.  Continuing the similarities, her site itself mirrors the shades of blue and purple that I chose to use for Slayer of Darkness.  The only difference is that she used smoke for her background instead of the starfield that I went with.  She has some great material over there, especially a post called Experiment #1.1.  In fact, I only have one real problem with her site:  She hasn't posted since November of last year, so I want everyone to get over there, soak up what she has on display, and leave her lots of adoring comments.  Hopefully, this will encourage her to continue, because I seriously want to see where she goes next.  Really, if you have been enjoying what I'm doing here, I'm betting you'll enjoy what she's got over there.

          Every time I start to prepare this Interlude section, I have an internal dialogue with myself that basically goes, "Is it productive for me to keep doing this?"  Some of you are aware of this.  It stems from the fact that I feed this site, and our family blog, The Tyler Gang.  The difficulty arises because they are so similar.  They involve social commentary, humor, hobbies, travel, kids, all just so much fluff done purely for fun.  The differences are that we have agreed to keep The Tyler Gang current, so when I want to talk about my childhood as a wargamer, that doesn't fit into the box that the three of us agreed to observe over there.  Should we change the box, thereby changing the "brand" of The Tyler Gang?  The other thing is that I own this.  The only parameter a post has to meet here is that I find it interesting.  Also, I don't have to "wait my turn" to post anything; it's always my turn here.

          Okay, those look like compelling reasons to keep this site operating.  Here are the cons:  First, this dilutes my efforts.  Because of the similarities, I have to research and prepare two articles to have one ready for each site.  Oh, yes, I do research; you think this stuff falls out of the sky?  Another con is that The Tyler Gang, for reasons we don't completely understand, generates about twice as much traffic from far more places than this site does, so always at the back of my mind is the feeling that by putting a post here, I'm automatically depriving it of half of its potential audience.  And then, of course, there's the rest of my life to service.  I contribute to these two blogs.  I'm writing (and posting) a novel.  For my son's enjoyment, I'm posting another novel that I finished years ago.  I have a wife who enjoys my company, and four of my seven grandchildren live close enough that I see them almost every day.  For reasons known only to them, they like my company, and want to spend time with me.  My daughter, "Nine," who you can visit at The Tyler Gang, enjoys playing long, co-op video games with me, and as I enjoy that as well, sometimes chunks of hours disappear down that hole.  I have recently gotten a burr up my ass to learn blues harmonica.  That takes practice.  Oh, and just as an afterthought, I have a job.  It's almost to the point where something has to go, and what I'm willing to let go of comes down to this blog, the old novel, or the harmonica.  I don't know.  I welcome suggestions.  Meanwhile, I enjoy all of it, and will continue for a while longer to hammer at my schedule, trying to fit a couple of extra hours into each day...

Can this diabolical
piece of tin really
defeat the man, the
legend, the Jack?
           Okay, two days ago, we enjoyed the biggest blackout in Southern California history.  Not as many people, obviously, were affected as in the Great New York Blackout, but it was that complete.  I considered doing a post about that, but given that tomorrow is the tenth anniversary of 9/11, that's where I'm going next.  I call myself a patriot, but if I post about a lousy power outage on that anniversary, I'll have to stop doing that.  So, take two more days to offer any final thoughts you have on Word Mutation, and I'll see you all Monday.  Hopefully, I can get through this post without offending half the population...


  1. I'm all for seeing whatever you can post here, even if it is not as frequent as in the past. You could always take a break from here for a while and come back and post if you have something compelling that you don't want to post elsewhere.

  2. Hey, Bob -

    Using this blog for "special" stuff is a solution I need to consider. How often does that come up, though? My concern with that is that if I don't post here to a reasonable schedule, the site goes stagnant, and the readers give up; look at some of the sites in my "Collected on my Travels" section that haven't posted for months. These are fun places that I want to support, but even I only visit those once a week or so on the off chance someone has left a new comment.

    This may solve itself if this harmonica thing turns out to be a passing fad. That would free up a lot. Right now, the best solution I can see is to slow down on the new book - the old one is already written. That's just retyping, but if I transfer some of my time from working on the new one to working on the blogs, that could work. Next, I'll be on here complaining that I keep losing my train of creativity on the book...

    Thanks for your input, though. Every bit is appreciated, and who can say what might spark that "Aha!" moment. Keep them coming!

  3. I think Bob hit the nail on the head. You should keep this one open for "special" things that interest you, even if it's not as often as you post to the Tyler Gang. And you should definitely keep up your harmonica practice. That will turn into something that you will enjoy more than you think. You can express things you feel in your soul with the harmonica, that words cannot convey. It's relaxing and as someone who played the harmonica in a school band, I really enjoy hearing you play. You will get better and better the more you practice. The more you write, and the more you stretch your abilities, the more you will be able to do. It's like exercise. The more you do it, the easier it gets and the more you grow those muscles. I enjoy reading your blogs, even if it's something I am not into. It gives me insight into you and what you think about during the times we aren't conversing. You can always leave a note for your readers to indicate when you will post to Jacks Hideout next, and a general idea as to what it will be about. You have a lot of interests. Keep a list of things that pop into your head in a days time that might be interesting to write about. I know when I post, even to my own private journal, I get ideas about things to post on my own little blog. It doesn't seem like I ever get any readers, but I do it because it is a means of expressing things in my head, or heart that otherwise get lost.

  4. know me, I have to be "different" (like someone else I know). I'm of the opinion that, if you have to let something go, it should be Temple. That might be surprising, since it's my favorite book that you've completed, but it's complete. Has been complete for years. As you sometimes say, it is a "slog" typing it up for hours at a time. I enjoyed the story, I know Alex enjoyed it as well, and it's possible that new readers could come along at some point and be enthralled as well, BUT you have to consider yourself as well. If it always feels like a "slog" (I've never heard you refer to it any other way) then maybe you should consider letting it slide. It doesn't have to disappear altogether, but it doesn't necessarily have to be consistent either. A story that good could keep them coming back for more even if they have to wait a while. Just my two cents here, but you shouldn't give up your voice. Ever.

  5. Sep. 10th is my birthday. I guess this was for me.

    I use my main blog for anything that I feel like expounding about, about life OR writing.

    I've promised to keep the book's blog relatively clean and concerned with just the book, sales, etc.

    And I just found a new toy: I started a Patreon for the posting of the second book in the PC trilogy AS I write it, and I will be talking an awful lot about me, me, me and how I write and plot and... there. I've always wanted a place for true fans - now I have #1 patron, and hope to get more. Because that is really important to me, and every single thing in PC has to be right. I'll see.

    But, different places to put different things (before enthusiasm got away with me in the previous paragraph).

    I still can't believe I have over 500 posts on my main blog. Blimey. When did that happen? I definitely write too much, and external storage is often my only storage - the brain's a bit wonky - so I go back sometimes because I need to read what I wrote.

    Do what works for you, is what I say.