How I Spent My Summer (OK, Year-and-a-Half) Vacation

A vacation is what you take when you can no longer take what you’ve been taking. –Earl Wilson
Read more at BrainyQuote

One big problem with maintaining a blog about–well, about anything–is that you set yourself up with certain expectations about your productivity. Usually it starts with a stream of consciousness daydream that ultimately leads to this revelation: “Hey, I should write that down!”

Then you start thinking “Hey, I’ve got more stuff I think about that I should write down.”

And so you do. For a while. You spend days or weeks putting fingers to keyboard, trying to be clever, crowing a little and maybe even eating a little crow. All to the good.

Then life creeps in. Suddenly you find yourself thinking, “Ok, I really don’t have time to come up with another blog idea this week, so I’ll skip this week and put something up next week. Only two or three people read this thing and it’s mostly for me anyway.”

Then next week comes. And the next. And the next. Before you know it, July 2012 is long in the past and you begin to wonder what happened to the dude with all the ideas he wanted to post about. Where did all that energy go? You discover that you’ve taken a year-and-a-half unintended vacation from your blogging, so as far as the Interwebs is concerned, you might as well have died.

Fact is, I can’t really account for where it all went. One minute I was thinking about posting here. The next I’d forgotten all about it and was well into some other project or mundane task. However, I do take some solace in the fact that I have not been goofing off all this time. In fact, I’ve been quite busy. Here are a few things that have happened in the past year:

WordPress Plugins

I updated both my WordPress plugins (ScrapeAZon and GoodReviews) with some new features and fixes. As of this writing, I’m testing the latest versions in WordPress 3.8.

Ebook Publishing

I played a small part in ushering some writer friends (one known and one unknown) into the age of ebooks by performing some of the development end tasks for them.


I wrote a buncha entries for Boson Software’s IT blog. I also worked on a few of my own short stories, a novella, and a little bit on a novel.

General Handiness

I finally finished building that entertainment center I’ve been wanting to finish for three years.

Mostly, I’ve been working my day job and being a family man. And that last is what matters most.

In light of my revelation that I will never, ever post to this blog more than weekly (if that), I’ve decided to make myself this promise: I will continue to blog here when it strikes me. It might not be weekly. It might not even be monthly or semi-annually. But occasionally a man needs a place to dump his head. It might as well be here. And I do plan on it not being an entire year before I blog again.


Refreshment is Served

Unless you’re one of those people who collapses in a heap and writhes uncontrollably on the floor because someone moved the television remote, a little change is a good thing. Sometimes you just need to reboot.

We all struggle with change, of course. It interrupts the comfortable flow of our day. Last month, it even interrupted the flow of my semi-regular, sort of habitual blog posts. Six weeks is a long time to go between postings, but I have some very good reasons. March was a terrible month in many ways. In spite of that, I did manage to see a few bright spots:

  1. I finished a mammoth editing job on another writer’s excellent stab at an epic historical romance.
  2. I finished editing and paring down the utterly absurd and gross short piece I mentioned in my last post.
  3. I completely reinvented this blog on a new platform.

If your brain isn’t reeling and your eyes aren’t bleeding yet, you might notice that the look of the blog itself has changed dramatically. There’s a new menu system, a new design, and new functionality that comes as a result of having ported the blog from a CMS platform that is designed to be a CMS platform to a CMS/blog platform that is designed to be a blog platform. I won’t go into all the nuts and bolts of the new features here. I’m sure you’ll discover them if you need them. However, I would like to point out a couple of things. Because change is overwhelming, I’ll step through it slowly for you.

If you hover over the Plugins menu, you’ll see that I’ve added information about a brand new WordPress plugin: GoodReviews. It’s not available for download yet, but should be soon. It’s intended to allow authors and booksellers to use the API to showcase book information on their own WordPress sites.

Still conscious? Good.

If you hover over the Publishing menu, you’ll see that I’ve highlighted some of my previous writing and editing work. I also plan to add an information technology section to this site as time goes on, because IT is so much a part of me.

More posts are on the way soon. I’ll also be guest-blogging on another site next week. Links to that post will appear here when it’s live.

Changes complete. Now, breathe.