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Yeah, I guess so. Thanks to the world’s longest-running respiratory crap, the death of our beloved dachshund, Riley, and a generally bad attitude, I’ve left you all unburdened by my jaundiced point of view for far too many months.

DCIM100SPORT Riley the WonderDog

“Self,” I said to the blurry shape in the mirror this morning, “it’s time to climb back onto the horse.”

“Trite,” whispered Self.

“Self-righteous, critical bitch,” I muttered.

“I’m more of a pedant.” Self wrinkled her nose at me as I switched off the bathroom light.

Here’s the problem: My imagination has been lying in a bone-dry arroyo at the edge of a desert for a while now. Not even vultures fly over the spot anymore. But, I keep having these bizarre dreams and my long-suffering husband has described some of the things I’ve been saying while I sleep. The least embarrassing was my rendition of “My Country ‘Tis of Thee” at about three in the morning. (I got all the words right.) You can take the creativity out of the writer but you can’t take the patriotism–oh, never mind.

The upshot of this situation is, I have to write whatever comes to mind, as sparse as that might be, until I stop these serenades. It’s too unsettling to think of some of the things I might say while under the influence of sleep. Hmmm, there’s the germ of a plot idea in that. Okay, I might give that some thought.

I hope all of you–the eight regulars who breathlessly await my ponderous insights–have launched upon a shiny new year. Really, I do. I’ve been in a funk long enough not to expect that for myself, but I genuinely hope you are finding life fruitful and absorbing. I hope the writers among you are producing vast quantities of clever words and compelling ideas. I hope kindness and reason fill the spaces among our thoughts so we might foster creative ideas.

My sentiments may be overdue, but they are, nonetheless, heartfelt: Happy New Year.