Thursday, December 09, 2010


In Which I Stand Naked (well, semi-clothed) Before You...

Well, that was quick, wasn’t it?

Seems like it was October just a minute ago and we were celebrating first Art Lad’s 12th birthday and then Halloween (although it’s a toss-up as to which event was scarier. I mean, my son is 12. Twelve! How did that happen?).

Now here I am, closer to Christmas than Halloween, sitting snowed in at an extended-stay hotel full of consultants and salesmen, and two guys I’m not sure about, but who might be drug dealers. And me, 16 days into my new job.

Which is going well, thanks for asking. There’s a lot to learn, a whole production process to figure out, many system passwords to juggle (and, for the most part, forget). I’m busy, but I’m happy. Just need to find a house so I can bring my family here to live and the picture will be complete.

And I have much to tell you, but for the moment, this will have to serve as a postcard confirming that I’m alive and well.

But I hate to send you out the door empty-handed, so instead I will direct you to a little piece of writing I did. I was of two minds--okay, three--to tell you about this, but the story wouldn’t have existed without this blog, so you deserve to know.

Some months ago, a long-time reader of the blog reached out to me to see if I wanted to write something for a new magazine he was in charge of. Kevin and I had traded emails a few years back--he's a magazine man himself and it’s always nice when such folks drop by to talk a little shop. But now he had an assignment to offer me, and as someone who remembered well what unemployment felt like, it was a hard thing to turn down paying work. More importantly, I liked the sound of the magazine he was working on, and it was a chance to write an essay about my life as a Dad, something I seldom get to do outside of the confines of the blog, so I jumped at it.

The story I wrote began as a couple of sentences of a post I had once tried to write for the blog, but never quite got around to fleshing out, I don’t know why. That’s how it is sometimes. You head out the door with a specific destination in mind, but you’re not quite sure which road will take you there. So I put those first few sentences away. But when I revisited that brief starting point, I realized I now knew the route, and writing the whole thing took only a few days.

The story appears in this magazine, which just hit the stands and which I’m told you can find on the rack at Borders and Barnes and Noble, although I haven’t seen a copy yet. Have a look at the Web site, though, and see if you can find an excerpt of the story I wrote. I bet it will take you, oh, about this long.

I was of three minds to mention this because one, Kevin is no longer the editor of the magazine. That’s also how it is sometimes. Editors come and go, and everyone has his reasons for staying or leaving. But even though I now don’t know anyone involved in the magazine, I figured that was no reason to keep silent. Kevin did good work while he was there, and he deserves as wide an audience as possible to see his efforts.

Two, I was hesitant to mention this because I don’t like making anyone feel that they have to go out and buy something in order to read what I wrote. But you’re big people and can make up your own minds about that. And if you want free stories, well, there are still plenty here.

Third, I’m also featured in the magazine’s contributor page which, for the first time in print, reveals my authorship of the blog. Of course, anyone who has read this thing in the past three years can figure out who I am fairly quickly, but the idea of having full disclosure on the printed page seems weird, almost contradictory to the spirit in which this place was launched. Also, it makes me feel oddly undressed before you. And trust me, the last thing anyone wants is to see me walking around in my underwear.

But what the hell. We’re all friends here. And anyway, you might like the story.

So enjoy. And try not to hold it against me that I’ve been gone so long. I’ll be back soon.

From Somewhere on the Masthead

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