Monday, July 31, 2006

On hiatus

Who uses it: Network television executives
What it means: Suspending production of a TV show for some period of time. "Indefinite hiatus" usually means a show will be cancelled.
How you can use it: See you in September.

It's the last day of July, and the last day of the "Terms of Art" blog. This version of the blog has been less successful than "You Talking to Me?", I think, for a couple of reasons: I didn't feel as inspired by the theme, and I lost my best audience halfway through. But thanks to everybody for hanging in there with me, and thanks especially to all the people I don't even know personally who have checked in here over the past 11 months.

My pal Scott Phillips applauded when I said the blog might not come back in September, because he says blogging is a waste of time for serious writers. He's probably right about that; it is far from clear, however, that I am a serious writer. I am a serious reader, which I think is an underrated skill, and I am useful to several serious writers, which pleases me. It remains to be seen whether I have anything of my own to say, but that's one of the things I'll be spending August on.

I'm not going to discontinue the blog, though, because it provides some welcome structure in a life that doesn't have much. I might not post daily, but in the interest of that structure, I will try to keep to a predictable schedule. We'll see how things look in September.

The next incarnation of the blog, when it returns on September 1, will be Answers. People ask me all kinds of questions every day, both personal and professional -- everything from, "How long did it take to travel from Virginia to California in 1849?" to "Is that what you're wearing?" (The latter question came last week from five-year-old Grace Lechner, as I was about to go out shopping with her mother. I was mortified, but it turned out that she just objects to the color pink, which I wear a lot of.)

Anyway, every day I'll post a question I got the day before, with the answer. Feel free to send in questions of your own. I will not be answering questions that are too personal or hurtful (e.g., "Why aren't you married?" "Why did you date that guy?" "Don't you think X is a jerk?")

I'm in Freeport with Grace this morning, and will probably be posting to the Lechner family blog later this week, after we visit the Desert of Maine. I might post a reading list or two here between now and September 1, but other than that, I'm outta here.

Happy August.


Tom Ehrenfeld said...

Great post.

I can't wait for the next incarnation of the blog. I've enjoyed this one, especially on the days where the terms surprised me (which is most of the time.) I also agree that people tend to underemphasize the importance of great readers.

But don't sell yourself short. I'd be checking in on the blog even if the daily theme were a soup recipe (pie would be better), or just portions of the shipping manifest from a huge freight delivery.

At any rate, thanks for giving me something to read every day, and enjoy August.

Anonymous said...

Who uses it: Internet chatters and Luddites or aggrieved grammarians trying to be ironic
What it means: Ta-ta for now
How you can use it: When putting your blog on hiatus for the month of August

I heartily second everything Tom wrote and add that reading your posting every day has been a most-needed break from all the horrible prose I have to slog through to make my living.

The first question you could answer when you start posting again in September is "How did you spend your summer vacation?"


Anonymous said...

I surely will miss keeping up with you. Reading your blog is one of my highlights other than taking care of my Gracie.
Ed, that was my all time favorite question. NOT

Madley said...

Funny how I feel DESERTED by my therapist in August, but am HAPPY for you to go on hiatus! I'll be having questions by then, I'm sure...

Looking forward to September -- have a great one!

Anna said...

Katy asked me today how they made sprinkles. So, AnswerGirl, how do they made sprinkles?!?!

AnswerGirl said...

Sprinkles are basically gum paste (modeling clay made with corn syrup, powdered sugar and gum tragacanth), extruded and cut through a machine that resembles a giant pasta maker (or the Fuzzy Pumper Barber Shop, depending on your frame of reference).

I have a recipe for gum paste, though I've never tried to make it. We can experiment with your pasta machine!

Michael Wicinski said...

DAng! I just found you last week and now you're taking your hiney on hiatus. I think my dad had one of them in the form of a hernia. Well, you've got many archives that I can peruse while you're hiatizing. Just so you'll have fodder when you crank back up, here's my question:

What happens when an unstoppable force hits an immoveable object?

Please excuse any spelling errors as English wasn't of great importance during my high school tenure back in the early 70's.

Take care of yourself and have a great time off!

Paul Tomme said...


Who uses it: doctors

What it means: the feeling amputees have that the severed limb is still with them.

How you can use it: to remind yourself to stop looking for something that is no longer there.