I was really saddened recently when the Grumpy Old Bookman announced that in future he would only be blogging on an irregular basis. He is one of my blogging heroes, consistently informative and entertaining. I've mentioned before how much I admire the amount of work he puts into his blog - and how it shows. Last year I had a running joke about how I was trying unsuccessfully to get him to link to me. Well, while I was away on holiday to NZ, he finally put up a link. Thanks, Grumpy, for everything.
Actually, links are important to me. Like most people, I imagine, if I make the effort to blog I want to be as widely read as possible. Linking is a good way of spreading the word and building up readership. It's also very satisfying to find that someone thinks enough of your efforts to put up a link. On reflection, it's an area where I've been somewhat remiss in the past, so if you want a link on my blog drop me an e-mail and I'll be glad to oblige.
Another area where I am remiss to the point of rudeness is in responding to Comments (and even e-mails). Let me say right out that I love it when people comment on this blog. In fact, the comments are frequently the best bits of the whole damn thing. The 100+ comments made on one post while I was away were hilarious and deeply gratifying. Now, you may have noticed that I rarely respond. I'm not trying to excuse this rude behaviour but I will try and explain it. There are basically three reasons for my silence. Firstly, many of your comments are so intelligent - and frequently witty - that there's no way I can respond at the same level. I'm just not that clever. Secondly, I guess I'm a little scared of building up too personal a relationship with my readers. Don't take that the wrong way - I love you all. It's just that if I'm going to have the freedom to say exactly what I think on this blog without worrying too much about hurting anyone's feelings I need to keep a certain distance between me and my readers. The final reason is...damn, I've forgotten what the final reason is, but I'm certain that if you'd read it you would find it in your heart to forgive me. Just rest assured that I read every comment and I'd be heartbroken if you guys stopped butting in.
If the GOB's semi-retirement was a downer the launch of John Ahearn's blog Wordcarving was the very opposite. I've admired John's poems for a long time now and previously published a number of them on this blog. If you haven't already done so go take a look at his latest efforts. If this guy isn't a poetic genius, I'll eat my hat.
Finally, I'm continually surprised and delighted at the kindness of strangers. Susan Abraham, over on her blog Writing Passions, has put up a link to my online novel A Half Life of One, together with a very kind description. Thanks, Susan, that act of kindness really made my day.