Pay No Mind

I’m often at a loss about this whole Blog thing. I mean, I read a lot of blogs and they all seem much more interesting than this one, and I sit there burning with envy and rage, wondering why I can’t be that interesting. This leads to some serious and seriously uncomfortable soul-searching, terminating in the drunken determination to kidnap John Scalzi and force him to blog under my name. Luckily I rarely get further than the car before passing out, usually stalling in the middle of the street and rolling into a nearby tree; my neighbors, bless them, are used to being woken by the impact and come out in the pitch darkness to push my car back into its parking space, where I wake up the next day.

But I digress.

The problem with me blogging, of course, is that I am completely unsuitable for the activity. I think I can bang out a pretty decent story, and the zine, while a kissing cousin to the whole blog thing, is different in its inception and creation in just about every aspect. There are plenty of reasons I’m no good at this, and I can only pray that these reasons, when blended together by my personal spiritual glue of alcohol, despair, and irritation, become something vaguely entertaining.

1. I’m a moron. No, really. The vast, uncharted wilderness of Things I Do Not Know is. . .well, vast. I can’t speak authoritatively on much of anything, which leaves only the role of Internet Blowhard available to a man of my slim skills. This doesn’t appeal to me because of the torrents of abuse I’d have to withstand. I’m not a strong man. I can’t take the abuse.

2. I’m boring. If you can’t be the go-to expert on something, you can try to be everyone’s vicarious life. Unfortunately, here’s a typical day at the Somers Compound:

  1. Wake up. Doze off again for five minutes. Wake up.
  2. Drink coffee.
  3. Sit at my desk for roughly sixteen years, working.
  4. Make dinner.
  5. Check on the prisoners in the basement. If necessary, pick one to set free so they can tell the world what they’ve seen.

See? Nothing very exciting. I don’t hang out with celebrities or do particularly extreme things. My wife will tell you it’s hard to get me to simply leave the house. I suppose I could exploit the glamour of my debilitating drinking, but that ends in tears a lot more than you might suspect.

3.  I’m lazy. The Golden Rule for blogs is you have to post every day. You have to give folks a reason to surf over to you every day. Even if you’re not selling ads, it makes sense: If your page remains static all the time people get out of the habit of checking your site, and after a while forget you exist. If you’re putting up exciting information all the time, people will check you several times a day and your empire of thoughtspace will grow to Darth Vader proportions.

Sadly, I am a lazy, lazy man. Almost all of my interesting news, weird web sites, or cool tidbits comes from other, more dedicated bloggers, and even if I was willing to simply regurgitate their efforts here, it all seems like work, somehow. Work gives me hives.

4. I’m private. Or shy. I don’t want to post about what I did last night, or what I made for dinner, or what my wife and I talk about.  That leaves posting about writing or posting about my cats, of which I have more than you might suspect. Now I am sure there are folks who wouldn’t mind reading about my cats and their zany misadventures (possible blog post title: Kitten Spartacus Thinks He Is Big Enough to Eat 4-Year-Old Pierre and I Encourage Him in This Belief), but I’m not sure their numbers are that large. I could, I suppose, post about the craft and business of writing, and probably will do so a little more in coming months, since folks seem interested – and I know I eat up such posts on other blogs – but that’s a limited topic, I think. Besides, my craft advice boils down to: read a lot, write a lot, don’t be afraid to do stuff you’re not supposed to (curse, have dead folks narrate events, have everyone die in a plane crash at the end – hell, have fun with it). Everything else either comes naturally or isn’t there to begin with.

So, where does that leave me? Pretty much using this blog as a promotional tool, announcing things where my name or book title (or, in a holy convergance that makes me happy for one brief, shining moment, both at the same time) is mentioned, or where I will be appearing in public, shouting my name and book title over and over again (folks who live in Hoboken know you can witness this just about every night in Church Square Park, where the cops know me and gently lead me home after administering a breathalyzer). This is all well and good except, of course, that folks who read this blog regular-like generally already like my writing and thus are paying attention, so it’s kind of redundant.

Oh well. Look – I just constructed an entire post from the cobwebs and dead spiders littering the attic of my brain. This is, I submit, a form of genius, albeit unrecognized.


  1. Craig

    Dude, consider this… you said: “Oh well. Look – I just constructed an entire post from the cobwebs and dead spiders littering the attic of my brain. This is, I submit, a form of genius, albeit unrecognized.”

    I agree. Totally agree. Unrecognized genius. For if you had recognized it in time, you’d have made THAT post a week’s worth of blog fodder instead of just a day!

    See you tomorrow for something NEW. LOL!

  2. jsomers (Post author)

    Ah, Craig, you are too kind. But thanks! I’ll figure something out for tomorrow. Cat stories, anyone?

    Gotta feed the prisoners.


  3. Jennifer Rardin


    Just finished The Electric Church and really enjoyed it! Now my son’s got it. (Actually he started it while I was reading it and I had to tear it out of his grubby, grasping fingers so I could find out how it ended.) Sorry it took me so long to get to it, but I’ve turned into a taffy reader now that I spend so much time at the laptop. Looking forward to the sequel!


  4. jsomers (Post author)

    Thanks, Jennifer! It’s okay to lightly beat your children when my books are involved, remember.

    You done good in the SFX book special, BTW–loved your bit!


  5. Jennifer Rardin

    Thanks, but Dude, how did you get a whole copy? All they sent me was the page of my interview. I wanna see yours. Your sample was freaking hilarious!

  6. jsomers (Post author)


    Someone sent it to me from Little Brown–I figured everyone got one! If you want, I could scan the whole section for you and send it to you as a PDF.


  7. Jennifer Rardin

    Naw, don’t worry about it. I think I’ll just nag them till they send me a copy. Thanks!

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