It must have been the bracing experience of my conversation last Saturday with Patrick Kurp, dubbed by some (i.e., me) "America's best blogger," that got me thinking about my own blog, neglected for many months in favor of the flashy meretriciousness of Facebook and Twitter. A blog is so much more than either of those: it can be a journal, a commonplace-book, a collection of aphorisms, a poetry page, and/or a sermon, all rolled into one. It can be superficial and preening, like so many, or deeply literate and as simultaneously evanescent and eternal as a page from Pepys's diary. In returning to blogging, I intend to aim for somewhere in between. (Preening yet eternal?)
I also intend to start making time in my freelance schedule--which is now, for financial reasons, mostly devoted to ghost-writing a book about a Texas construction company--for my long-dormant ambition to write the definitive novel about the Ney mystery, chronicled here last year. The mystery is this: Was the North Carolina schoolmaster Peter Stuart Ney, an expert equestrian, swordsman, and draughtsman and fluent in French and German, really Napoleon's great Marshal Michel Ney, whom Peter resembled physically as one brother resembles another? I've been rummaging through the dispatch cases and steamer trunks of my mental attic for quite a while already. I'm ready, but I'm not sure the muse is. Get ready, muse.