I really have nothing to say

HeadacheSome time ago, I don’t quite remember when, I told you that my output was slow because I was adjusting to a new medicine for controlling my migraines.  Fortunately, not only did the medicine work against the headaches, I also got used to it sufficiently to get my old brain back.  Sadly, though, as is often the case with these medicines, it suddenly stopped doing its job.

Since life with migraines isn’t much to celebrate, I contacted my neurologist, who has put me on a new medicine to control migraines.  I’ve been on the medicine for three days now, and have been migraine-free for the second and third day, so that’s a good sign.

The down side of this experiment is that, as happened with the last go-round of migraine medicines, the creative, analytical part of my brain has shut down.  I usually see words and ideas in these layered, interlocking dimensions.  Ideas for posts explode in my head and the posts pretty much write themselves (for better or worse, as the case may be).

Today, however, with the new medicine doing its anti-migraine magic, I can barely think in one dimension, let alone multiple, interlocking layers.  Ideas float vaguely through my head — e.g., “Obama = hubris = ancient Greeks = new concept in America, which hasn’t ever had rule by an unfettered monarch” — only to lie there.  I can’t build them into anything.

I anticipate that, as happened the last time around, my brain will adjust and I’ll start being able to write with fluidity and verve again (for better or worse, as the case may be).  Until then, I hope you’ll bear with me if my blogging is a little weary, stale, flat, and unprofitable.

In the meantime, if you’re desperate for Bookworm prose with some life behind it, feel free to check out my latest collection, The Bookworm Returns : Life in Obama’s America. Moreover, if you read it, and if you like it, and if you feel in the mood to do a little writing yourself, please don’t hesitate to leave a review at the Amazon page. (Will you think me weak and hypocritical if I don’t suggest that those who dislike it leave reviews as well?)

We’ve got friends in high places

We all met Navy One when he was just one of us — a guy who wrote delightful, interesting comments on my blog.  When Navy One decided to try his hand at blogging, he took that same charm and . . . well, the rest is history, as The Mellow Jihadi, launched just this spring, is now one of John Hawkins’ top 40 conservative blogs.  (And keep in mind that Navy One, who is active duty, keeps his blog assiduously apolitical and non-partisan.  The conservativism comes about because he espouses ordinary values, decency and common sense, not because he actually writes about things political.)

Join me in offering Navy One a big huzzah!!!

(P.S.  Others of you are equally good writers.  I’m so glad you come here and comment but I would be remiss if I didn’t say that you might also want to try flapping your wings by setting up your own sites.  Cream does rise to the top.)

What a day this has been….

I love the old Lerner and Lowe song:

What a day this has been,
What a rare mood I’m in,
Why, it’s almost like being in love….

As I get older, though, the song has become somewhat bittersweet. One of the shames about growing older is that emotions don’t feel as strong. It’s nice that I don’t cry as much, but I don’t laugh as much either.  My intensity is simply reduced.  Sometimes, though, something will happen that punches through the emotional carapace age has created.  (For those who don’t know me, I’m not that old.  Haven’t hit 50 yet, but it’s in striking distance.)  If you’re unlucky, the emotional punch is something rotten, such as the death of someone close to you.  On a lucky day, though, that moment comes when two thinkers you admire tremendously give you an accolade on the same day.

I woke up this morning to discover that my post about Rush Limbaugh had been Instalanched.  I was thrilled.  A nod from Glenn Reynolds has two pleasures:  someone whose intelligence and world view I admire has looked approvingly on my work and I get lots of hits.  I may blog obsessively (that is, I’d write even if no one reads), but I’d be a liar if I denied the pleasure I get from traffic. As far as I was concerned, my day was already off to a healthy start.

And then, just as I was about to leave to take my Mom to an appointment, I suddenly got a slew of emails from the many wonderful friends I’ve made since I’ve started blogging, and all said the same thing:  Rush is talking about your post.  “Oh, my God,” I thought, “they’re kidding.”  Higher rational brain kicked in.  Twenty different people who have no connection to each other cannot be kidding.  “Oh, my God!  Oh, my God!  Oh, my God!”

And — here’s the bad part — I can’t do anything about it.  Because I’ve got to go, I can’t sign into my blog, which has crashed anyway.  And because my mother needs my undivided attention, I can’t listen to Rush on the radio, nor will I have access to the KSFO archives on which I rely so heavily.  I’ve had my biggest moment ever as a blogger, and I’m completely paralyzed.

But there is a good side to that.  Had I instantly gone on line and instantly been able to participate fully in my own exciting moment, the thrill would have been over as quickly.  As it was, while driving and sitting with my mom (very pleasant experiences on their own merits), I was also able to nurse a little excitement.  I knew something big was out there, but I just had to wait patiently, take care of things, run errands, etc.

So here I am at home, almost four hours after this whole thing started, and I’ve finally heard Rush reading from my post.   And I’m excited all over again.  I wasn’t kidding in my post when I said those nice things about Rush (i.e., it wasn’t just a publicity stunt).  I’ve come to believe that Rush is one of the most brilliant conservative commentators on the scene.  I trust my analysis about Rush’s ability precisely for the reasons I mentioned when I opened this post:  I’m not young anymore, and I don’t rock ‘n roll purely with my emotions.  I’m an analytical person who avoids the highs and the lows.  I hear Rush with my brain, not my heart, and my brain tells me something very good is going on there.

Given the respect I feel for Rush, you can imagine how utterly delighted I was to hear him read the words I wrote, and say my blog name aloud.  He may not know me, but I’ve spent enough hours in his company to know him, and I am mighty flattered.  As they said in the old days, and don’t say much anymore (shame, too, ’cause it’s a great expression), “Praise from Caesar is praise indeed.”

UPDATE:  Two post scripts I want to add here.

First, I cannot thank enough those of you who sent me your congratulations and your kind words.  For the last six years, I’ve lived in two different worlds simultaneously:  the corporeal world, which is made up of family, work and friends; and the cyberworld, which is made up of politics and those friends I’ve made through my blog.  Although I’ve met very few of my cyberfriends face-to-face, I value these friendships every bit as much as I do the corporeal friends I meet and greet on the street.  (Whoo, and she’s a poet too.)  That means that, when you write to me to congratulate me, or to say nice things about me, I value those words as much as I would if I were in the room with you.  So thank you, and many cyberhugs (which you should really appreciate, because I am so not a huggy kind of person).

Second, since I’ve had this launch, please believe me that I will take seriously this opportunity to write more thoughtful posts, and not just ruminate about the wonders of Las Vegas, as I did all last week.  But really, I do think Las Vegas was deserving of some posts.  Barack Hussein Obama may diss it, but I think it’s an awesome place, one that has something for everyone, even a tee-totalling, non-gambling, non-smoking mom with two kids in tow.

Blogging 101

There are a fair number of resources that describe how to go about blogging. Sometimes, though, what’s needed is tough love. That’s what John Hawkins provides at Right Wing News, in an article descriptively entitled “The Top 10 Reasons Bloggers Don’t Succeed.”  Some fall in the category of “maybe the blogger can’t help himself,” such as a blog that’s just not very good.  But a lot are practical:  network, promote your quality work, link to other sites, and blog often.  If you’re a blogger, and would like some practical advice about increasing your traffic, I’d recommend that you check this one out.