Sunday, March 22, 2009

We now return to you after dropping off the face of the planet

I can't believe I have fallen so far behind on posting here.  It's not because I am quiet by nature or haven't got a thing to talk about.  Mostly, it has been a matter of trying to focus on all the stuff on my plate right now and to catch up after traveling.  First the main part of the tour, then the American Academy of Forensic Science meetings, and most recently Left Coast Crime 2009 in Hawai'i.  I've also had day-long local events, such as the fabulous ALPHA event in Fullerton yesterday.  And then there is the work I've been doing on the next Irene Kelly novel -- I'm trusting none of you will mind if I make that a bigger priority than blogging.

I do wish the elves would come to my house and prepare my taxes.  My accountant would probably feel that was an improvement, too.

My current desire to blab here comes from a response to being involuntarily silenced.  A couple of days ago, the guys repairing our roof apparently cut through the fiber optic cable that carries our telephone, television, and Internet connections.  It was like blowing the circuit breaker on our doorway to the rest of the world. 

We've definitely gone longer without television, phones, email or using the Web, but it was *planned* on those other occasions.   This time, the timing was not so hot.  If we hadn't had a pair of iPhones, we wouldn't have been able to do much business.   Since we get a crappy level of cell phone signal inside the house (I suspect our attic is lined with cell-signal-kryptonite), this meant holding some interesting conversations on the front lawn.  Our neighbors already think we're crazy, so it wasn't too big a risk.  

The one or two pressing needs (printing the directions to the event I was at on Saturday, sending an afterword to Jim Seels for ASAP Publishing's special edition of two terrific Ken Bruen short stories) were taken care of at my sister's house.

So we survived.  All of this made me think about how dependent we've become on this one cable running from a pole in the backyard to our roof. As you might expect, for the first hour or so we felt really frustrated, as we ran around and tried to figure out what had happened. But once we reached the "nothing we can do about it until Verizon repairs it" stage, we found plenty to do with our time.  After all, writing a manuscript doesn't require an Internet connection -- although this did interfere with my ability to enjoy my usual pastime of rationalized procrastination -- aka indulging in research.

It's fixed now (yes, Verizon came out here on a Sunday).  I may just plan -- I do like it so much better when it's planned -- to go for a few more stretches like that.