Running out of steam?

YESTERDAY, A READER from Tennessee emailed to ask if all was well on my end. The reason being that over a week has passed with nothing new under the Moon.

I rarely remain silent so long, but maybe I will in the future. Am I running out of steam? Perhaps. The older you get, the less steam you generate.

I began this writing effort 15 years ago come January. I started on the Blogger website with a different title. I believe the first post was about a lunch here at home with company, the guests being the inimitable Al Kinnison and his wife, Jean.

(Both of whom are now deceased. They were witnesses at our 2002 wedding. R.I.P.)

Al read it later and told me he liked it. That inspired me, so I soldiered on, mostly writing about my relatively new life in a startlingly different world. Often I waxed lyrical, and people praised it. The list of followers grew, and it was fun.

I permanently pasted some reader feedback on the side column of that blog. Here are just a few examples:

Infectiously personal.

You never cease to amuse and amaze me.

Pretentious dolt!

What a nice piece of heaven you share.

You’re like a drunk uncle.

You’re a right-wing wacko.

You are a treasure on the electron highway.

Dark introspection.

You are so funny. I was snorting in my atole reading this.

You disgust me. (a paraphrase)

Later, I abandoned Blogger and switched to WordPress, a far better platform, as it’s called. And by 2011, I had wearied of writing about “Life in Mexico,” which had become routine. The novelty was gone. Anyway, many Gringos here were writing about “Life in Mexico.”

They had that base covered well. One good example is Steve Cotton’s blog where he never seems to weary of writing about Mexico. I admire his stamina.

I tossed my first blog aside and started fresh with the intention of writing not about Mexico but other stuff. Enter The Unseen Moon, a title that came to me out of nowhere in the process of writing The Old Wolf. The phrase was in the final line.

Speaking of The Old Wolf, I began writing short fiction, which I’d never done before. Prior to 2005, with the birth of the first blog, in spite of being in the newspaper business for 30 years, I had never written anything but headlines and photo captions.

I was an editor, not a writer.

Most of the brief fiction is available hereabouts via links. I also jumped into politics, the good sort, the conservative kind. Leftists, being the rabid bunch they are, reacted as they do, and I had to block quite a few commenters due to rudeness and curses.

My WordPress list of blocked people is laughably long, all because of ill breeding. Sad.

So, here we are almost 15 years after the start. We’ve gone from the novelty of living in Mexico to fiction to politics, and at times it’s all combined. And I have aged. Fifteen years ago my hair was as much black as white. Now it’s all white, and I’m creaky, sometimes cranky.

Am I running out of steam? Perhaps. But not today, it seems.

See you down the line, but Lord knows when.

Do not go gentle into that good night. 

— Dylan Thomas

But why not, Dylan? One wonders.

36 thoughts on “Running out of steam?

  1. I was afraid you were sick or dead. Writing is an addiction that is hard to end. I was waiting for your words about the big shootout in Culiacan or the massacre of Mormon folks on the Sonora Chihuahua border. Also, your President AMLO wants to give pensions to old Indians just for being old Indians. I figured you would have an opinion on that. It sounds like Mexico’s take on reparations.

    Either you were sick, dead or had learned that sometimes it is best to keep your opinions to yourself. It is important to have opinions, but at the same time it is nice to stay alive.


    1. Señor Gill: I am alive and well. As for giving pensions to old Indians, our nincompoop president is handing out money left and right, i.e. buying support (votes) for the future. Alas for him, according to a poll I saw this morning, his support is slipping. Let us pray it slips into a trench where it belongs.


    1. Señor Gill: We get them every November without fail. Decades ago, I had a relatively mild case of the flu. That’s what the doc told me when I went to see him because I felt like hell. If that was a mild case, I never want to experience a full-blown case.


  2. Steam on my friend, I enjoy your musings and feel the continued kinship that we developed all those years ago.

    Your friend, Marco.


  3. Glad your doing okay. I’d nominate you for blogger of the year and a shoo-in for the Blogging Hall of Fame if either existed.


  4. I am glad you have kept up a full head of steam. If you put down your pen, I might be tempted to do the same.

    I will hit the twelve-year mark in just under a month. My first post was an incredibly wordy piece about my scouting trip to this part of Mexico. Who knew I would hang on this long — writing in the Mexican tropics. Writing helps me see Mexico with a differenent perspective. I think it does the same for you.

    Keep up the good work.


    1. Señor Cotton: I recall you did swear it all off once in a moment of stress, but then you calmed down and all was well.

      As for here, who knows? Maybe just less often. Or maybe it will be the same.


  5. Here’s a thought: Come on up here to the Northland for a few weeks (days even). Your brain will be rejuvenated with enough momentum to carry you through at least another decade. The tension in your old country is thick enough to cut it with a dull knife.

    The excuse for that is politics, I’m not so sure that’s all it is.


    1. Ricardo: My wife would love nothing more than to visit above the Rio Bravo again. I don’t see it, however. Too dangerous up there.

      As for your nation’s excuse for tension being politics, keep in mind that many, many things fall into that category these days.


  6. I enjoy your libertarian bent and hope you keep writing about American (and Mexican) politics. It’s much more interesting than Canadian politics. But only write when you feel like it. There are no deadlines and this isn’t a test. All the best…


  7. I for one, do not care what you write about. To me, it’s usually more about the passion or humor in a subject. I’ve stopped reading bloggers that obviously, just keep plugging along because they don’t want to lose readers.

    Quality beats quantity.


  8. I read somewhere that a very high percentage of would-be bloggers, swoon and quit after a few months. People don’t realize that writing posts require thought and effort, particularly if they are as well crafted as yours (despite your occasional off-the-rails political rants). So if you want to take a breather, do so. Don’t worry, be happy.



    1. Señor Lanier: Off-the-rails political rants? You’re a funny fellow. I don’t rant. It’s an occasional and baseless accusation I laid to rest way back in 2012. See the link:

      You, on the other hand, actually do rant as your occasional frothing-at-the-mouth references to President Trump clearly demonstrate. They are not polemics, as are mine. They are rants. But I trust that one day you will come to your senses, but you’ll need to stop reading and citing the New York Times first.

      I pray for you. To the Goddess.


  9. Funny, re, Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night: I was thinking about this poem the other day — it was one that I loved very much in my teens and twenties — and wondered what Dylan would have written had he lived into his 70s or 80s. I suspect his answer would be different.


    1. MCM: I suspect you are right. That poem sticks in my mind today for one reason. My father, before he stopped drinking and just after he and my mother — and me tagging along for the ride for lack of any better plan at age 20 — moved to New Orleans in 1964, often sat in a dark living room in his cups and listened to a recording of Thomas reciting that poem. My father was 49 at the time.

      Had Thomas lived longer, his attitudes on many things would have changed, I imagine. It’s what aging does to even the best of us.


  10. As someone who seems to have suffered blog death (despite the best of recurring intentions), I can identify with your plight. At the same time, you have a wonderful way with words and for the sake of your audience, I hope you keep it up. Just pay Abel more, and that’ll leave you more energy for what only you can do.


    Kim G
    Boston, MA
    Where we keep thinking about writing a post, but don’t. Sad!


  11. I literally had withdrawals when you stopped writing The Z Tales. I remain hopeful that you will reconsider and bring them back. Please.


    1. Connie: The Zapata Tales still lives online. I just have it where no one can see it. I mine it now and then. I had another you may recall, The Bierce Report, or Bierce something-or-other. I can’t recall. I stupidly deleted it altogether, losing some good stuff. I regret that a lot. It was the dark side of the Zapata Tales, which I tried to keep upbeat. As for bringing back the Tales, nah. I have lost the cheery optimism of my initial decade down here. I am sorry I caused you grief.


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