You'd think taking a little bloggy break would be no problem--isn't most of the publishing industry supposed to take the month of August off? And gosh, it wasn't even that long...I posted something in August. But I found that taking a break, whatever the reason, isn't that simple. When I logged into Blogger to clear my throat and dust away the cobwebs, I found an extremely angry blog awaiting me with a pitchfork and a barrel of hot tar ready to dump on my head. A few years ago, I did an interview with my blog for its birthday, and discovered it drank Jack Daniels and smoked cigars, among other unpleasant habits. Disgusted, I've avoided discussing much of anything with it since, except to make idle threats now and then about switching to Wordpress, and how would it like that?
It turned out after delicate questioning that my absence had infuriated the blog. It reared up like Cerberus, snapping and spraying a mist of spittle.
"Where have you been?" it asked. "You don't neglect me. I will not be neglected."
"I was tired," I said. "And busy. Had a lot going on. That baby I had last year? Still not a reliable sleep-through-the-nighter. Anyway, you were fine--I checked in on you. People were still commenting on posts."
The blog pointed a spindly finger at me. "Don't presume to know how it was. I had emails from hordes of people, writing in about all kinds of things....and you just left me to deal with it all. How do you think that makes me feel? I wanted to delete myself!"
"Drama queen," I told it. "What emails did you get? Show us one."
"Here's one right here," the blog said, holding up a stained and crumpled piece of paper.
"E-mail doesn't come on stained and crumples pieces of papers," I pointed out.
"You're talking to a digital concept that you've anthropomorphized," the blog spat. "I hardly think an email on an old scrap of paper is the thing to be questioning here. Anyway, this one is asking you questions about all kinds of things--all the e-mails you got asked questions. Like, what are the best books on grammar and style that you recommend. What kinds of books or classes might a person take if they want to become a technical writer. Which fall television shows you plan to watch. What music you listen to. How your little boys are doing. How the writing is going."
"Those are a lot of questions," I said. "It will take me time to answer them all."
"Well, get on it," the blog snapped. The top came flying off a fresh bottle of Jack.
"What?" the blog asked.
"This is so ridiculous. You think people want to read this silly exchange? No one's going to sit around for this."
The blog nodded knowingly and leaned back in its massive leather executive chair. The chair swiveled back and forth a bit as the blog considered me.
"What am I here for?" it asked.
"Here we go." I sighed. "You're getting philosophical again. Last time you did this, I stayed up all night redesigning you. Honestly, I don't have the energy for that again. I'm only just starting to get full nights of sleep."
"That," the blog said, "is lunacy. How old is that baby of yours? And he still doesn't sleep through the night?"
"He does, mostly. Anyway, to answer your question, you're here to serve as a place to talk about writing. And to plug in with the writing community. And to share ideas. And to work through ideas. All of that. And, of course, you exist to amuse me."
"See that you remember it," the blog said, and faded away into a mass of CSS code, other incomprehensible characters, and the lingering fumes of Jack Daniels and cigars.