What have I been up to in that time? Many things. Many exciting things. Many less-than-exciting things. Many things that defy all description. Much of which will unfold here in the days ahead.
Yes, I am once again making a valiant effort to blog on a more regular basis. Why am I doing this? I could tell you that it fulfills a deep and compelling need to share my stories with the reading public. But that would be a crock. No, like everything I do, the amped-up blog posts fulfill the deep and compelling needs of my mercenary soul. In the 18 months that I have been absent from here, this blog has somehow managed to rack up a whopping $163.42 worth of AdSense clicks or whatever you call it when money goes into my account because people have dropped by Surrounded on Three Sides and seen the annoying ads that are posted here and over which I have no real control.
Here's what that tells me: If I made a concerted effort to steer people this way, then it might result in a meaningful cash flow, at least enough to allow me to upgrade to the kinds of wines that don't reside on the bottom shelf at ABC.
Here's what else this tells me: This economy of ours is truly screwed up if I can earn $163.42 by being a cyber slacker.
Still, I intend to spend that money in frivolous yet uplifting fashion. And I am going to spend part of it right away by heading today to FEAST, the monthly (or thereabouts) local food extravaganza at Washburn Imports in Orlando. For $25 you get a heaping plateful of food (there will be grouper and blue crab and Florida lobster) and you get to eat it with some congenial souls in the company of good beer.
In the coming days, Surrounded on Three Sides will get a minor facelift. For one thing, I will finally get around to updating my book list (see that channel on your right.) It doesn't even include my two previous books (A Deadly Silver Sea and Baja Florida), more evidence of my slack nature. In addition to info about those stellar tomes, the blog will soon unveil news about the five -- yes, FIVE! -- e-books that I'll be releasing in the next couple of weeks. These are collections of essays I've written over the years, along with some brand-new stuff to fill in the gaps. Here's the lineup:
* GUT CHECK: Adventures in Eating, Drinking, and Wretched Excess
* ALL OVER THE MAP: Getting Lost in Good Places
* THE WHOLE SHEBANG: Love & Lust & Kids & Chaos
* THE MAN WITH THE FISH ON HIS FOOT: Tales from a Peculiar Peninsula
* SHORT ROAD TO HELL: Stories of Chronic Misbehavior, Mostly Mine
And here's today's Surrounded on Three Sides Premium Giveaway: Take a good long look at that photo above. OK, now that you've recovered, tell me this: Where was it shot? And exactly what the heck is going on? The first person who posts here with the correct answers (both of them) gets a FREE PRIZE! I'm still deciding what that prize will be, but it will be something valuable and memorable and you will surely treasure it forever. It might involve rum. Or it might involve a free copy of one of my books. Or it might involve food. Or, it might involve all of those things. Stay tuned for details.
Now, hit me with your best shots. And those of you who I've spoken to recently and who know what I've been up to (especially regarding the details of this photograph) you are forbidden to spill the beans here. If you do I will hunt you down and, uh, do something bad. And by that I mean, badder than normal.