Tuesday, December 28, 2010

On blog stats, Dostoevsky, Mark Shea (again, sigh) and my brand new novel

It's a sad fact that just when I was really serious about being a good, consistent blogger, another huge responsibility came into my life - namely, writing a novel for Catholic teenagers. Now that that is done, I find myself in an unusual quandary. I have free time. For the first time in twelve months, I have free time. I can blog again - but about what? And who will be listening? Ah, well, such is life.
In musing on this problem, I took a look at my blog stats and found some surprises. For example, I had 25 page views from...Russia? And 15 from...the Netherlands? Wondering why. Maybe the Russkies came for this post, but I can't imagine what I wrote that drew the Danes....
Speaking of Russians - I just finished reading the Brothers Karamazov for the third time. What a magnificent novel. Long, though. May I make a suggestion if you've tried reading it and failed? Try listening to it instead. You can get an audio version for free from here, read by volunteers (if you got an iPhone, download the free audiobooks app. One insight I've had about Dostoevsky is that the power of his novels comes from those long, rambling conversations - and when you actually hear the conversations, not read them, their power increases tenfold. I was brought to tears several times.
But back to the stats - interestingly enough, I found that some people came to my blog by searching for keywords "mark shea is vicious" and "mark shea is a bully". Obviously they got to my posts here and here - and even more interestingly, this post seems to be my all time greatest hit - bigger even than my screed against the ghostly evil glop. Now, I find this kinda troubling. I never intended my blog to become some kind of "I hate Mark Shea central". Although I do hate Mark Shea. No, I don't. You know, I recently met Mark Shea, briefly, and it was an exceedingly awkward experience. I mean, what do you say to a guy that you've blasted on the internet? It's just...awkward.
Anyway, I intend to post more frequently now. You've been warned. It's enjoyable to write casually again. Writing a novel is no fun at all - speaking of which, this novel is awesome. Seriously, you should read it once it comes out - and to prepare, you should buy and read books I and II as soon as you can. I'm actually doing you a favor here. It's not like these are weighty, ponderous tomes - they're fun, light reads with a compelling story. They're funny and interesting - a pleasure to read. Come on, dude. Take the plunge and buy them! Book III, on the other hand, is a little less light - because (semi-spoiler alert) some darkness comes in at the end of Book II. Book III deals with grief and loss, and doubt. It deals with temptation, and growing up, and how friendships can blossom or wither. It also deals with murder, mayhem, and (oddly enough) Catholics vs. Protestants. In other words, it's friggin' awesome. Can't wait for the day when I can tell you the release date (or the title, which will NOT be "Protestant for the Summer.")
See you soon.


  1. Sorry it was such an awkward experience. I don't know why you hate me and I would happily have stood you a drink. I had a good visit with Regina. Hope you have a good New Year.

  2. Mark, I don't hate you!