View from the end of our street, February 22nd, 2019

Monday, September 10, 2018


          I have scratched my head and puzzled over what to do with this site. Jack's Hideout was my first blog, started back in March of 2011. My first post, the mission statement, is still up and ready to read, though the link it references is long-gone. In that time, I have posted scads of articles about some of the weirdest subjects ever brought together under one roof. I made some lasting friendships in the earliest days of this blog, the crew of Nerd Lunch, my favorite pop-culture site, Australian singer-artist-book reviewer Karen Finch, and journalist and sometimes Radio personality Nicole Vulcan, who chronicled her journey as a single mom as she made the world do the right thing by sheer force of will. I also "celebrated" the loss of my best friend here. I've welcomed over 30,500 visitors to date, and had some intense and interesting conversations with many of them. But now ...

          I am first and foremost an author. For many years I struggled to make it my profession, but that outcome wasn't in the cards, so I made it my hobby. It is now one of many things I do in an atmosphere of stress-free enjoyment. It's kind of ironic, then, that having declared writing a hobby, I've set up a "professional" author site on another platform.

          I was seduced away from Blogger by Weebly, a small-press blog provider at the time, whose main attraction was "what you see it what you get." See, on Blogger, everything you type or post goes into a big square box, and you don't know what it's going to look like when you post it, so you preview and preview and preview, making adjustments until you're blue in the face until you either get it right, or throw up your hands and run with what you've got. Weebly solved that problem for a couple of years, and you can see the gap in the archives here, but then they were bought by ScribD, who replaced Weebly's Terms of Use with their own, one of which was Clause Six.  Clause Six stated that as a condition of using Weebly, ScribD could utilize anything posted on the service for any reason as if it were their own.

          As you might imagine, I couldn't clear out of there fast enough. I came back here for the occasional post, and last February, I looked into an old WordPress account I had never used because it was so user-unfriendly that I couldn't make heads nor tails of it. But when I returned, it had been simplified to the point that even I could use it, and use it I did. I set up my author site there called Riding the Blimp, and that has become my scrapbook of all things writing where I have welcomed over 2100 visitors. But I've kept this site running in the background, and now I can't let it go because it is my proof of purchase, my credentials showing that I've been at this for more than the seven months that Riding the Blimp has been in operation. But Riding the Blimp is where it all happens now.

          As a hobbyist, I've taken to giving away my stories; I've come to terms with the fact that I'm not going to be rich or famous, so I'll settle for being read. Last Saturday I posted a complete novel there, Chameleon. Fans of dangerous dames and lethal ladies will find Colleen O'Reilly to be right up their alley, so click on over and enjoy the read, and maybe leave a comment or two along the way. There are other stories there as well, some excerpts from books for sale, some complete in their own right, but all eminently readable. Consider this your invitation to come over and get acquainted. I thoroughly enjoy meeting new folks, and hearing their views on my works and everything else, so don't be a stranger. Come enjoy a read, and while you're doing that, I'll start transcribing my crime drama, Broken English; and maybe seeking out new uses for this site as well.

          Y'all have a great day, and I'll see you around the stacks!


  1. I feel your pain Jack! With all the technology and all the ways we can communicate, write, and share it still feels like GoldieLockes - without the "just right." I have a graveyard of blogs and websites lol. But I started thinking . . . maybe it's me. Maybe I like the variety and maybe I just can't help picking up any new toy I see. And now, I'm gonna go check that other website.

    1. Raymond, thanks for paying me a visit! I think in my case, I started out doing one thing, then gradually added this specialty site, and that specialty site, until I couldn't see the forest for the trees. I'm trying to get my on-line presence weeded out to where only relevant sites are being promoted. As you can see by the dates, is my main site now, and if you want to drop in from time to time, my schedule is that my long-winded rambles go up Sunday morning, and I do a page of book promos on Thursday. I'd be honored to have you. Read well, and write better!