See ya…

In a few short minutes we’ll bid a fond (and in many cases drunken) farewell to 2014 – a year mostly remarkable for the sheer volume of outright foolishness that we managed to cram into it as a species. It’s easy to assume that the whole bloody thing is going to hell in a handbag. Maybe it is. As batshit crazy as the universe seems bent on being, I still wouldn’t rather be anywhere other than right here, right now. Well, technically I suppose I’d rather be in bed, but that seems like a minor technical point. In fact I’m the only creature currently stirring in this particular house. Maggie and Winston had the good sense to go on to bed, knowing that 2015 will be here on time regardless of whether they were awake to greet it or not. In fact, following their lead seems like a better idea with each passing minute.

So before I plop down on the couch and doze off well before midnight, I’d like to wish everyone the very best in 2015. See ya bright and early tomorrow.

2014 Year in Review

Because it’s the end of the year and I’m using every tool in my arsenal to avoid actually needing to think about a post this evening, please enjoy this very special WordPress version of jeffreytharp.com’s 2014 Year in Review.

Here's an excerpt:

A New York City subway train holds 1,200 people. This blog was viewed about 6,700 times in 2014. If it were a NYC subway train, it would take about 6 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

What Jeff Likes this Week

For the final offering of this six-post series, you might think I would have planned to end on a high note. Given that the week just past featured all manner of goodness and joy in the spirit of the Christmas season, the list of likely targets is extraordinarily large. However, since this is me we’re talking about and not some nancy-boy, cry at the drop of a hat, sensitive, new age man, all I can tell you is this: What I like this week is mostly the fact that I’m back at the rental house, two dogs are happily snoring in their beds, and that I am fully in control of the television, thermostat, and meal preperation.

Be it every so humble, temporary, ill designed, and poorly insulated, there’s no place like wherever it is you happen to hang your hat. It may not be “home” but it’s at least filled will all your own stuff and sometimes that’s just as good.

Note: This is the 6th and final entry in a six-part series appearing on jeffreytharp.com by request.

That would be great…

Christmas vacation is about to get truly under way and as much as I’d like to say I’m going to spend the evening warming my toes by a roaring fire, the reality is something more like packing out an expedition from Everest base camp. Between now and the time my head hits the pillow this evening there are hundreds of pounds of equipment and material to be toted, lifted, and strategically placed in the truck to ensure proper load placement and balancing. All of these preparations must be carried out in such a way as to avoid raising the suspicions of either of my canine traveling partners – as that would lead to passing a very uncomfortable night with a dog firmly attached to each hip from fear of being left behind.

This part of the annual rites of winter is not particularly restful or relaxing. By Friday, though, the initial mayhem and chaos should have worn itself down into something a little more manageable. If not, I’m fairly sure there’s a flask or two in one of these bags that will help smooth the way.

As much as I always look forward to the trips back into the beating heart of the little piece of geography that made me, getting there from here (regardless of where in the world “here” technically is at any given moment) always boarders on exhausting. Fortunately a good night or two’s sleep will shake that off.

For all the others out there preparing to do battle with the interstate highway system, good luck and godspeed to your destination of choice… And if slower traffic could go ahead and merge to the right that would be great. Mmmmmkay? Thaaaaaanks.

Christmas Freebie…

RetributionThis will be old news for anyone following along my “official” Facebook page (because they get breaking news a day early), but in the interest of getting the word out to as broad an audience as I can muster I’m going to post my Christmas Freebie here too… mostly because it’s my blog and I can do what I want.

From now until the end of the year, you, your friends, family, father’s brother’s nephew’s cousin’s former roommate, whoever, can get your very one copy of Retribution: Chasing Hearts and Minds at absolutely no cost. Well, no cost except for the opportunity cost of the time you spend going over to Smashwords, signing in, adding the book to your cart, applying the coupon code, and then checking out. Yes, aside from that, your copy is absolutely 100% free.

Many people aren’t as familiar with Smashwords as they are Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or Apple, but I can tell you it’s a great place to find some writers who won’t get a lot of play from the big e-publishers. Think of them as the small, local coffee shop of e-book retailers. They’re doing good work and I think you should support them when you can.

In any case, to get your free e-book from yours truly, just click over to my Smashwords page, add Retribution to your cart, enter Coupon Code: KY37R when you check out, and you’ll be all set to download your copy in the reader format of your choice… and if you want to leave a review or even just a comment, feel free to go ahead and do that too.

If you’re feeling especially generous, give this post a “like” or even share it on social media… Think of it as a gift for all your friends who might enjoy a little fire and brimstone with the Christmas celebration.

What Jeff Likes this Week

This week it’s a no brainer. What I like is the Winter Solstice. More specifically what I like is that from here on through mid-June the days are going to get longer. Even though Winter is just officially starting, the solstice comes with the promise that at some point in the fairly near future I’ll get to feel the sun on my skin on a weekday rather than just being able to looking at it through a tinted glass office window.

This might be a bit presumptive since this evening is technically the longest night of the year, but that’s just a bit of technicality. What’s more important is what comes after – the longer days, the warmer weather (eventually), the growing grass, and abundant critters. There’s still a long slog through the coldest months of the year, but the solstice reminds us that even in its depths, winter won’t last forever. The sun will rise, push back the darkness, and bathe the world in its glory again.

Hummm… I wonder if there isn’t a metaphor in there somewhere. I’m sure it’s just a coincidence that so many of the religions founded in the northern hemisphere have some sort of traditional celebration this time of year.

Note: This is the 5th entry in a six-part series appearing on jeffreytharp.com by request.