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February 06, 2009

Glitches? Oy, Boy. . . .

[Note from Jonni: This entry was originally posted in a different format, through an online blog service. That service has been discontinued, but all of the posts on that service are now archived here.]

Well, I mentioned the possibility of glitches showing up here and there as I attempt to modernize this blog, and guess what. I’ve got glitches you wouldn’t believe.

The most infuriating one is that which lurks in my own head. I’ve got all this marvelous technology standing by, ready to connect me with all you fine folk via a flick of a finger; I’ve got the creme de la creme of equipment and software; I am filled with ideas and good intentions.

But I can’t remember how to sign on.

I can’t remember which finger and where to flick it.

I like to think that my normal incompetency with machinery has been exacerbated — no, make that hugely magnified — by my faltering health rather than by my increasing stupidity. It’s easier to blame my sign-on difficulties on the fact that a key requirement in the treatment of my many ailments is that, for 24/7, I must keep my feet elevated so that they are higher above the floor than my heart is. (Gravity, blood flow — that kind of thing.) Which is to say that I must arise from my recliner in the morning, do my ablutions, get dressed, go to the kitchen and pop a bottle of Boost, then cross to my office, get all the lights and other electricals into play, settle into my chair, confront my computer, and wade into the Internet — all while keeping my feet high over my head.

Despite such inconveniences, I am here again to greet you all and thank you for the many touching get-well messages and commentaries on my various activities. As the advisory note advises, the blog will now be an ongoing, always available, frequently changing round-table kind of thing, no longer using Saturday morning as the sole moment of change. As always, your personal views, thoughts, essays, or any other form of written communication are most welcome, and they can be plunked down at the very end of whatever comment I’ve just made. No more going to a special link to get in a word edgewise.

Meanwhile, all this having been said, I’m considering a lot of options. To be blunt: I want to use my poor health and advancing age as an excuse again — but this time as the explanation, as the justification, as the rationale for getting my own word in edgewise on a world that seems to have gone nuts. No politics, mind you; there are zillions of blogs devoted to politics, a subject I’ve come to deplore, and I don’t want in any way to add to the cacaphony. However, this same crazy world still teems with straight-shooters, honest, wise, yet fun-filled men and women who enjoy a good read and love to exchange opinions and observations. And it’s this bunch — including you and you and you — I want to spend my heels-over-head time with.

I’ll be writing about writing. I’ll be reviewing movies and books. I’ll be reminiscing. My adventures as a kid, a collitch boy, a soldat, a newspaper reporter and rewrite man, a self-taught piannah player and watercolorist, a corporate nerd, and a husband and daddy. There’s so much more I want to say and do about all of it.

Time’s up. My feet are sinking lower than my head. So I’ll be back as soon as the new day gets under way.

* * *

The Grabber Contest

It’s that time. We have a winner in the ongoing Grabber Contest established a few weeks ago on my Old Blog, with the winner awarded an autographed copy of The Ace.

Today’s winner, the first ever, submitted by Lila Hemlin:

He slid into the back pew, his eyes scanning the empty church, coming at last to rest on the crucifix behind the altar. He wondered, “Can this Jesus person really care, considering who I am and where I’ve been.”

Jack’s comment: Lila’s grabber does a lot of things in a very few words. First, with the word “slid,” we get a sense of furtiveness, a man hiding from something. or someone — likely himself. Then a mood of insularity, loneliness, is established thanks to the word “empty.” And finally, his contemplation of the crucifix and his dismissal of Jesus as a mere person carry a tone of challenge, even scorn, hinting that he’s hardly what could be called a religionist. But the grabber really grabs by making the reader want to find out “Just who is this guy, and just where has he been?”

Nice going, Lila. Your book is on its way.


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