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.

Mama’s new look

THE MOON gotta facelift yesterday, and you’re looking at it.

It’s not the first time she’s changed her dress since debuting in 2011, but it’s the first time in a goodly spell, long overdue. And her predecessor, The Zapata Tales (now defunct, 2005-2011) went through a few facelifts too.

I’m like a woman sometimes. I grow weary of looking at the same thing in the mirror, so I toss open the WordPress closet to see what’s new.

And free.

I like this change, but I always like the changes, or I wouldn’t make them. Some folks who write blogs wear the same outfit for years and years. I don’t know how they do it. Have they no sense of style?

Even worse is writing on Blogger when WordPress is immensely superior in every way, and switching is no big deal.

Let’s be blunt: These people are fuddy-duddies.

They should have names like Cora and Dudley.

This new outfit looks best on a PC screen or a decent-sized laptop. Quite a bit is lost on a tablet, and if you read a blog on a cell phone, there’s no hope for you.

The new comment section is quite better. With the previous style, it was often difficult to see who was responding to whom. Not anymore.

The type is larger. I’m not so fond of that, but some of you older folks can remove your glasses or pince-nez. There is nothing Mexican about the header, and there is a little mugshot of me up there, which the old look lacked.

The photo was taken a decade ago as I ate a churro in Mexican actress Margarita Gralia’s hot chocolate-and-churro joint in San Miguel de Allende.

I am fond of the photo because, although you can see me well enough, it’s not sufficiently precise to put out a hit on me.

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Note: I changed the theme yet again after writing the above, so some of the post may not make sense now.

Tenth birthday

paper

THIS WEBSITE BEGAN a decade ago this month. Not specifically this website because it has changed frocks and faces a few times, but the sole fingers on the keyboard have been mine, 10 years running.

The appearance and tone have morphed significantly — some say for the worse — reflecting the fact that my appearance and tone have done the same over the decade. Change is eternal, often downhill.

I began on Blogger.com with a theme that had the look of parchment paper. The first title was actually the address here at the Hacienda, the street and number, which was kinda dumb, but did not seem so at the time.

Those were more innocent days before the world went wild.

I soon eliminated the street number but continued with the name, Zapata Street, but later it changed to The Zapata Tales, and it was very popular, loved even by some. It got a mention in the popular People’s Guide to Mexico and a number of other more widely read places. The street name inspired my nom de plume, obviously.

The Zapata Tales was often romantic and lyrical, and its focus was living in Mexico. After six years, I wearied of it. Living in Mexico had lost its novelty, so I killed that website, and The Unseen Moon debuted in July 2011.

Fact, fiction and opinion stirred in an odd pot.

I still write about Mexican life, but I prefer to address other things, political things, especially politically incorrect things from my astute, fearless, oft-conservative viewpoint. Sometimes I write very short fiction, which is what I prefer most of all. Alas, the muse visits me infrequently, and I don’t force it.

The Zapata Tales’ run of seven-plus years inspired some interesting feedback. Here are some of my favorites:

Infectiously personal.

Pretentious dolt.

Wise, wry writing from a beautiful place.

You’re like a drunk uncle.

You’re a right-wing wacko.

God, you are hysterical.

I love the intimacy you share.

I’m proud of these and the scads more I did not include here.

* * * *

This website is for diversion. I make no money. Of course, I am dead set against Mohammedans, a recurring theme. And collectivists too, but the only harm I wish upon collectivists is that they lose elections resoundingly.

They are dreamers, sometimes dangerously so. Mohammedans are simply dangerous, period.

I also strongly oppose efforts to promote multiculturalism and diversity. Not because they are not lovely notions — they surely are — but because they run counter to human nature. Far more often that not, multicultural societies wallow in mayhem and murder. Global examples abound. Close the iPad and look around you.

Gaze no farther than within the United States these days.

* * * *

I abandoned Blogger.com in 2010 and switched to WordPress, which I find superior. And I favor a clean, simple look, which is easier to read. I prefer two- or three-line paragraphs and a space between them.

Some blogs (a dreadful word) look like someone loaded a shotgun with words, bolts, nails, scrap metal, hand grenades and paint, and fired at the computer screen. You won’t find that here.

Neither will you encounter literary allusions nor theatrical references* nor ten-dollar words few people know. And you won’t see Spanish, though I speak Spanish. I’m here to impress you, but not in those ways.

I favor simplicity and clarity. Both on The Moon and here on Earth.

The longest post, actually two tandem posts, was the report on our 10th anniversary trip to the communist horror of Cuba. That report was serialized in the fun and informative The Weekly Bulletin of Brazoria County, Texas. That the publisher is a former coworker on the Houston Chronicle is pure coincidence, of course.

My best efforts over the past decade are immortalized in a separate website, which I humbly titled The Pearls of Zapata. Two of my favorites are The Broken Staircase and Victoria and the Cowboy.

One is fiction, but the other is true.

Often I think of packing it in. But then something pops up that annoys or fascinates me, and I feel like sharing. I was 60 years old when I started this, and now I’m 70. I wonder if I’ll still be doing it at 80 … or even breathing.

* * * *

* Since I know almost nothing theatrical or literary, this is an easy vow to keep.

(Note: WordPress tells me that about 80,000 people viewed The Moon in 2014. Come again, bring your friends and neighbors, and feel at liberty to leave a comment.)

The new frock

IT’S SPRINGTIME, and a girl’s desires turn to a new frock.

The girl in question is me, stroking my feminine side, and the new frock is right here. The Moon’s new look, which I change now and then, depending on mood.

dressEverytime I don a new dress I think: This is it! This is the one! But, in time, I tire and want to move the furniture around, another way of dress-up.

It seems that every switch moves in a somewhat simpler direction. I embrace simplicity, and the name of this WordPress theme is called Zoren.

Another clean theme is Manifest, and I used that for a spell. I still use it on the related websites, Pearls of Zapata, The Old Marbol, and Dark Girl in the Blue Dress.

Yes, I am plugging myself because quite a few folks have signed on lately, and from past experience I know that few actually look at related pages, now listed up in the header.

While I’m in a plugging mood, I’ll steer you toward another website that uses the minimalist Manifest theme, and that’s Words Not on Paper. That little gem comes to you from the backwoods of Alabama, and the author, Ray Clifton, might be another William Faulkner if he didn’t have to actually work for a living.

Maybe later in life. Like me.

WordPress is a great place to start a blog, far superior to Google’s Blogger. You can change frocks fairly quickly, and its comment system is much better than Blogger’s.  You can easily substitute the Disqus comment system on a Blogger site, but lots of folks are too lazy to do that. I urge them to get off their duffs and quit annoying readers with that Captcha, plus other evil issues.

In closing, I say: I like this dress! This is the one!

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Tip: WordPress’s free themes work well while the themes you must purchase often come with bugs.