Shelter In Place

How could it have been a month since rest entry? After all, we in Minnesota are under a shelter in place order … which has almost no impact on the daily life of a writer. Ponder and tap away at the computer in splendid isolation? Check. Long walks turning over plot ideas and character flaws? Check. (Except, of course, staying at least six feet away from the other walkers and runners—and there are a lot of them. In Minnesota, it’s a triple whammy. Until the last couple of days, weather turned warm AND so many people are working from home or out of school AND many of those people have been sheltering just long enough to be stir-crazy.)

I’ve been working on continuing rewrite of the third novel, Fail Deadly. I have an excellent editor who has suggested a fairly major change, and a knowledgeable New York advisor said the first line of the story has to be much better or no agent will look beyond it.  And novel four, Fatal Cure, has been dead stopped at a plot problem. (I think I’ve solved that one.)

And then for the first week or two of the shelter order, there was the challenge for those of us over fifty to master the technology of meeting on line.  Now, that’s done. Last week, I hit four services in one day: FaceTime with family, Vidyo for a doctor appointment, Zoom for a workout session from gym, Skype for a critique group.

It will be interesting to see how the world of communication changes when we come out of the Covid19 pandemic: all of my critique groups now meet on Zoom … attendance has risen; after all, members have more time on their hands, and the barriers of travel to the meeting are non-existent.

So much for excuses. Back to the writing …

2019 … a year of surprises

Greetings! I hope your 2019 is drawing to a satisfactory close, with friends and family near.

I have been offline for about a month. I had a medical interruption in the normal flow of life, but also have been wrestling with the reality of the cyber world today. The short story is that I have had to wipe out much of my site membership. If you feel asif you’ve been excluded, please drop me a note at: jbr@johnbairdrogers.com

If anyone doubts that there is a massive effort to co-opt the cyber world we who blog and communicate via the internet live in, my story may remove some of those doubts.

I use WordPress for my blog. It is ancient by cyber world standards, having first been released in 2003. The standard install assumes that a website owner like me wants as many subscribers as possible.

About a year ago, I began to get a trickle of new users I didn’t recognize. This became a freshet, then a cascade. When I tried to track back these new users, I ran into dead ends. As of yesterday, I had just shy of 4.000 bots as members.  I have had to delete them all and make new users (subscribers) ask to join.

I will restart regular posts shortly.