Saturday, December 31, 2011

Oh, and one more thing, 2011 . . .

Thank you.

Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

Thank you so much.

Thanks to each of you who’s taken the time to stop in and read my blog. It means the world to me.

Of the many things that struck me following the death of Christopher Hitchens, one that stands out was why he said he was so prolific.

“Writing,” he said, “is my recreation.”

I feel that way, too.

Blogging for me is essentially like bar time without the hangover. What I write about here is exactly the same as what me and my friends talk about in The Pond, the lively little tavern that’s just beneath my feet.

We talk about family, sports, politics, oddball news and those are the exact same topics that wind up as blog fodder.

I began blogging in May 2008 and didn’t tell a soul for six months. Then I told Ron. He’s been reading ever since and I often think when considering a topic, “Hmmm, would Ron approve?”

Happily, he usually does.

One gauge of the blog’s success: I now know of eight readers named Ron. If positive readership trends continue, by June there will be 20 Ron readers.

The last year, especially the last six months, have shown sharp readership spikes.

A 2011 recap:

The three most widely read, according to the highly unreliable stats page are this straight-faced travel story about the Kinzua Skywalk, which benefitted from a friendly endorsement on a state park website, this one about the recent discovery of another Earth-like planet ripe for exploitation and, of course, this one about exotic sexual practices from the South Pacific.

Some of my favorites have included this March 10 one about how I became a prosetitute (it lead to me coining an alternative word for blogging, “auth-whore”); this one about the phone message Miss America left me; and anything that lets me bash Pat Robertson always leaves me with warm feelings.

It’s been a very difficult year with my demented mother. I’ve heard from a number of readers and friends who commiserate. I try not to write about this too much, but every time I do I’m grateful for the reaction. This one about her Kleenex obsession seemed to ring a lot of bells. And this one about how I faux-outed my friend John got a good reaction.

I wrote about my socks, the death of jukeboxes, Roberto Clemente, and what I think about when I think about Dolly Parton.

I’m grateful to, the only other site on which I simultaneously post. They promote the heck out of my stories with encouraging tweets and getting 2,000 hits a day is becoming common. And the great comments I get from so many friendly folks always gives me a lift.

I remain thrilled by the reaction to this Barbara M. Neill story in the Latrobe Bulletin. It led to scores of new readers here at home and has me hoping Barbara gets a dream job with “USA Today” in 2012 where her first assignment is to promote unheralded blogs with Amish in the title.

Since I decided five months ago to increase my output, my readership has doubled.

I ask you help continue this trend by in 2012 referring the blog to friends and sharing it on the social media whenever you find it worthy. That makes a huge difference.

All told, the blog enthusiasm and the increasing readership convinced me it’s time to put some of it all together in a themed book and release it on my own.

See, I’ve been pitching an idea to publishers for years and am always blown away by the reaction. Top editors and agents have raved about it and the writing. I know they are sincere because I’ve seen the other side of it with a handful of other proposals that are cruelly scorned.

This one they truly love. They say it’s funny, it’s touching, and they’d all leap to publish it if only . . .


“If only your last name was Kardashian.”

The book is about crayons.

More on that soon.

Traditional publishers may not believe in me, but I know a man who does.

He’s one of the most highly sought-after and influential endorsers in marketing history: Arnold Palmer.

He’s read the book, thinks it’s great, and has agreed to provide the promotional foreward.

And he doesn’t even care that my name isn’t Kardashian.

I’m starting to think you don’t either and for that . . .


And Happy New Year!

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