Saturday, November 10, 2012

With Stormy Apologies to Shakespeare

I quit, I surrender.  First Superstorm Sandy, now Nor’Easter Athena.  And I take no consolation whatsoever in this latest assault on my farm coming from a natural disaster named after a Greek god (That’s the little lady’s satellite photo above). 

The new storm is predicted to bring on a heavy wet snow, perfect for bringing down additional trees and power lines and extending the current power outage in my rural, northwestern corner of New Jersey for another two weeks.  To make matters worse, my trusty chainsaw is broken.  God knows how I’ll end up clearing the road of fallen trees so that the propane truck can make deliveries needed to fuel my generator.

Elmer Fudd at work.
All of which is my way of saying that for the time being my mind is consumed with the non-writing aspects of life.  Even the edits to my new book are taking a back seat to Athena.

But there is a bizarre serendipity to it all:  In thinking about this week’s blog I remembered something I’d written as a lark about a year ago about why to write a blog, never thinking I’d “publish” it.  It’s a parody of Hamlet’s self-questioning To be, or not to be soliloquy that asks his famous “whether” question in its second line.  Ironic, I thought, how my weather had me thinking about his.
Laurence Olivier as Hamlet, with friend

Whether/weather everywhere and not a stop to think. [Sorry, Sammy, but I just couldn’t pass up that line.] 

Yes, folks, cabin fever has set in.  Now suffer along with me if you dare…

JEFFREY: To blog, or not to blog--that is the question:
Whether 'tis nobler in the mind to suffer
In despair at most blogs’ outrageous fortune
Or to take pens against our shared troubles
And by exposing end them. To fly, to leap--
To soar—or do we creep away to end
The headache, and the thousand natural blocks
That publish is heir to. 'Tis a consternation
Devoutly to be wished on others.  Weep--
Perchance even scream: But at the very nub
Of a possible death to the dream of some
Is why we suffer at this mortal toil.
Let us pause. There's the respect
That is the balm to a long writing life.
For who would bear the ups and downs of time,
Th' reviewer's wrong and downright contumely,
The pangs of edited work, the pub delay,
The insolence of the press, and its spurns
Showing patient merit worthy of a saint,
When he or she might quiet exit take
To make a living?  Who would deadlines bear,
To grunt and sweat a solitary life,
But that the dread of giving no more breadth
To all those undiscovered thoughts that churn
Our traveling minds, and puzzle our will,
Would make us far more ill by half
Than denying readers what they know not of?
Dedication makes writers of us all,
And a simpler life of remuneration
Is sacrificed to one of words and thought.
Any enterprise giving pitch and moment
To our words, even if currently awry,
We can’t lose in the name of no action.  
So now fair Colleagues, bring on opinions
That our blog be long remembered.



  1. I love it, Jeff! Brilliant! And it's wonderful you still have your sense of humor after all this bad whether!

    1. Thanks, Michael, and soon I may even regain my sense of spelling "stormy":)

  2. Jeff, brilliant indeed. As a long-time bardolotor, I have just become a jeffdolotor. Your soliloquy made me think that for me, a quick blog, when I am happy with what I have written gives me a tiny jolt of satisfaction, while I push along the long, long road to the novel's end. I like clicking "publish" all on my own. Which I will do right now in praise of you, fair friend. If I can read those awful squiggles and type them in correctly, you see what I have said!

  3. Wow, Annamaria, you're my very first "dolotor." I'm truly honored! And I share your sense of how the blogging process brings immediate rewards of satisfaction as we drag on toward "the novel's end." By the way, I liked your poetic close, reminiscent of your Bard's Sonnets "in praise of you, fair friend." Always knew you were a natural:)

  4. I'll dolate for you any time, Jeff. Maybe in private, though. Sorry about the weather. Nice and warm here in Bangkok.

  5. Wow, Tim Hallinan as my own "Private Dolator." Eat your heart out Tina Turner fans. Enjoy Bangkok, but the USofA definitely is not the same without you.

  6. I love that! In fact, may print it out and hang it above the computer. . .I've been pondering the question of 'to blog or not to blog' of late. Sorry about the weather back there - hope the goddess didn't strike as severely as they thought she would.

  7. Hey Jeff,
    Really enjoyed seeing you today, and as you can see, I did try downloading Google Chrome to try and view your blog entries. Worked like a charm, so I'm back in the know, ya know? BTW, love the Kinky Boots. That'll scare away the bears from the farm!

  8. I'm beginning to question of the wisdom of my advice to you, Jody:) Okay, welcome back.