The OF Blog: October 2016

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

It's been a bit quiet here lately, I suppose...

It's been almost two months since my last post here, so I suppose I should provide a little update for those who might be wondering if I have abandoned this blog for good.  No, I still plan on blogging here whenever I get the chance, but the past few months haven't been all that conducive for writing reviews.  Not that all of the reasons for that are bad, per se, but they do hamper my ability/desire to type a thousand words or so on whatever comes to mind.

Foremost, I have been recovering from what is likely a torn ligament in my right ring finger that I suffered during a fall in a creek during a six mile trail race back on my birthday in mid-July.  I reaggravated that injury back in late August when I had to block a teen with autism from attacking me.  Lately, I have very little pain in it, only when I have to have a prolonged grip on heavy items, but I did have to avoid using it whenever possible, since my hand would cramp up faster than usual due to avoiding putting any weight-bearing pressure on it.  I am optimistic that I'll be able to resume heavier weight-lifting in the next few weeks, but first it seems I'll have to re-teach myself how to type with all ten digits, as I seem to be missing typing a few letters that I used to type with that finger.

I'm still very busy with run training.  I have 3-5 more races to run this year, including a possible 12K (7.4 mile) race in early December, before I begin training in earnest for running 2-3 half-marathons in 2017 (and a hopeful marathon and 50K in 2018).  This takes a lot of my free time, especially on weekends, so it's difficult to maintain the required focus necessary for me to read and write reviews and columns (trust me, if I had the time, I would have written a lengthy piece on my thoughts on Bob Dylan winning the Nobel Prize in Literature, but I just didn't have it in me this weekend), but at least I'm happy with training so far, even if it means a reduction in the pace of weight loss compared to last year or earlier this year (I have to eat more in order to fuel my body properly for these sessions; I've also had to add more muscle mass for greater endurance).

But there's another reason behind my recent semi-silence:  the current moods I see on social media exhaust me.  I've largely abandoned Twitter this year (reading it maybe 1-2 times a week for 5-10 minutes without responding for 1-3 months at a time) because the "book" conversations were so little about the books themselves and much more about the controversies du jour that I just found myself struggling to find a reason for even reading anything at all.  Might explain in part why for the past year I've read little but histories and other primary source material (largely drawn from my nearly 200 volumes of Library of America books), because there isn't the "noise" associated with those works that are associated with certain recent releases.  I hope to read more recent releases by year's end or early 2017, but I first need to achieve a greater, more proper distance between the work and whatever other people might be saying around, behind, and under the books themselves.

I must admit that it might be a blessing to have shed 90% of my former readership over the past six years.  There is that sense of greater freedom in being able to write about whatever might please me without having to worry or becoming annoyed at others who want to interject tangential opinions.  So if I don't feel like weighing in on whatever supposedly asinine and/or hurtful thing an author or "fan" wrote, I don't have to, since there should be no expectation of me "taking sides" if I consistently remain silent on such matters.  Instead, I might just write about the American Revolution, the War of 1812, and the writings of three American Presidents (and Franklin and Hamilton).  That is what interests me now. 

But until I do, I think I'll just maintain mostly radio silence until I have the time, energy, and desire to write on those matters that interest me first and foremost.
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