The Case of the Missing Blogger

“Excuse me, Sherlock, but there’s this insistent fellow from a place called ‘WordPress’ who’s been hounding me about a missing ‘blogger’.  I don’t understand what he’s talking about, but could you see to him?”

“Certainly, Watson.  The neighbors have been complaining about my violin playing anyway.  Not that that ever stopped me before. Show the bloke in. Worst case, I’ll start playing the violin again and he’ll run off to the Baskervilles.”

Watson showed in a pasty looking fellow.  Sherlock said, “What can I do for you, sir? You better not be wasting my time!”

The pasty dude said, “How do you do, Mr. Holmes.  My name is A. Follower, and I have grown concerned over a missing blogger.  He had been posting regularly, but in recent weeks we’ve seen no sign of him.”

Holmes said, “By the ink stains on your fingers I gather this ‘blogging’ and ‘posting’ has something to do with writing.  By your ashen look and bloodstained eyes, I see you spend much of your time inside, if not writing, then reading the works of others.”

“By Jove, it’s true what they say about you, Mr. Holmes. Correct on all counts.”  A. Follower continued, “Will you take this case?”

“There is no need, Mr. Follower.  It’s all quite elementary.  Tell me sir, did we not just have a holiday season?”

“Yes, of course, Mr. Holmes.  It did seem busier than usual, what with family gatherings, shopping, extra events to attend, you know how it goes.”

“I know others take part in such trivia,” said Holmes, “I prefer to attend to my studies, and to solve real crimes – not the piffle you mention.”

Watson, seeing the interview turn sour, interjected, “As a writer myself, I sometimes like to take a break from the constant pressure of cranking out the work.  While Sherlock’s cases provide much grist for my mill, of late he’s done more studying and less case solving – so there’s been less to write about.  And, unlike Sherlock, I do have a social life and know firsthand of the family business you’ve mentioned. Is it possible that your missing blogger may have similar circumstances?”

“Yes, I suppose that could all be true,” said A. Follower.  “My friends and I were beginning to worry though, he’d never abandoned us for so long before.  Let us hope that it is simply the innocuous events the two of you have mentioned, and not something more dire. Thank you, gentlemen, for your time, and I will see to my patience.” With that, A. Follower turned and left, and attended to his usual mysteries.

And Watson turned to Holmes and said, “Well done once again, Sherlock.  Piffle or not, a mystery solved is a mystery solved.”

So there you have it.  A semi-elaborate explanation of why I’ve been AWOL lately.

Like Watson, gatherings with friends and family have taken time.  Also, an urge to take a hiatus from the constant grind of blog reading and writing has set in.  While it’s enjoyable, it’s a major time suck and other things suffer.  I do apologize for not reacting to your efforts of late; I’ll be getting back into the swing of things, but I may still miss things from time to time.

Like Sherlock, I’ve been attending more to studies.  I have a ridiculous backlog of video training that became even more ridiculous last year when I subscribed to a couple of streaming services.  Both subscriptions were expiring at the end of the year so I spent extra time getting content from them.  I still have more educational content I own outright (photography and the sciences, mostly) that I’d like to spend more time with.

Also, like Sherlock and his studies vs his cases, I’ve been spending more time studying photography than practicing it.  So my backlog of pictures has dwindled.  Posting a dozen-plus pictures on a weekly basis isn’t sustainable unless you’re out there a lot.  I probably have enough for another half dozen posts, and that’ll need to suffice until spring unless I dig into the hard copy archives and the blurry memories associated with them.  So if I don’t post as often for the next few months, please bear with me.

In the meantime, an obligatory picture.  My current study is on creating artistic black and white composites. Overall the composite genre, especially the more fanciful stuff, is a bit weird for my tastes.  But you don’t grow if you don’t push your boundaries.

This picture started life as a group of kittens that were shipped to the local Humane Society (where I have a regular gig adopting out cats and kittens).  They were standing in the opening of a large cat carrier with the door just opened when I snapped off the shot.  I call it, “Hidy-Hole”.

Cat Composite-1200

I hope you all had a good 2019, and look forward to sharing new adventures with you in 2020.


Author: Dave Ply


60 thoughts on “The Case of the Missing Blogger”

  1. I get it, Dave. I think there have been quite a few of us that can relate to your post, for the reasons you mention and others. I hope to read more about your Video Training, and any possible gems? I love your artistic black and white photo. Thank you for sharing a witty post. Welcome Back and Happy New Year!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Erica. I suspect my “story” is not all that uncommon – that’s why it was barely worth Sherlock’s attention. As for gems, I suspect one woman’s gem is another’s costume jewelry, you’d have to decide what’s a gem for yourself. Here are a few sites that might be worth looking into: – a fair amount of variety for low prices; – a little more pricey, but considerably more in depth. Think high school/college level courses. ; – maybe a cross between the two. Some of these will offer subscriptions to the entire libraries in addition to ala carte offerings. There are other sites out there too, I guess it comes down to what you’re interested in.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Dave, I greatly appreciate you taking the time to share these websites with me. I glanced at each one and I can already see how certain courses would apply to my interests. So many interests, so little time. I appreciate having these options.


  2. See you at dawn, private, we shoot deserters around here, and…wait a minute, this isn’t compulsory, so you’re not even AWOL, we’re allowed breaks! Until yesterday I hadn’t posted anything since Halloween. Just circulate a memo that you’ve “recognized the benefits of a hiatus to refresh your mind & soul” or “taken a sabbatical to pursue an exciting research initiative,” etc. and post when the spirit moves you. 🙂
    And I like this hidy-hole shot a lot, those three look like bundle of curiosity about to go exploring.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Robert, that makes me feel less guilty. Guess I’ll need to find a video on how to do academic-speak, although I’ve encountered similar dialects. BTW, are you related to that Peter Parker dude, I’d hate to see what he’d shoot me with. It’d be a sticky situation one way or the other.

      I was thinking of doing a post about the Humane Society and had taken a few shots with that in mind, but it never got off the ground. Still, I didn’t want to waste a good “awww” shot, and this b/w compositing thing was a good excuse. I’ll be curious to see if I take it and further.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. If you’re coming back from a somewhat prolonged absence, what better clickbait than kitties? 😉 I think moving forward I’d like to find a better balance between blogging and other stuff. (Like doing more traveling and less blogging about it…)

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I fit your description almost to a T Dave. Traveling 5,000 miles by train, spending three weeks with our kids back east, and getting one of those colds that keeps you awake all night coughing has taking me away from blogging for almost a month. What should the first post I looked at be but yours on a missing blogger. 🙂 Feeling guilty myself, I shall get right back to work. Thanks for the jogging blogging. –Curt

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Interesting how fate works out that way, isn’t it? I had noticed, to a limited degree since I haven’t been reading as regularly, that you’d been missing. Welcome back.

      PS: I’ve been fighting a vicious cold for about a week now – hopefully I’ll get the upper hand one of these days…


    1. Thanks, Jane. I suspect it’s a standard blogger’s lament, especially for those of us who don’t do it for a living. I suppose finding balance could be considered a resolution…

      Have a great year, Jane. I look forward to what you come up with. (But don’t spend all your spare time blogging about it. 😉 )

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Yes indeed Dave, bloggers go missing all the time. Some take breaks and reappear; some disappear without a trace, sometimes taking their blogs with them. And you’re right – writing one’s own blog and keeping up with others’ can become an overwhelming task, particularly when there’s a lot of other stuff going on in your life. I’ve been a bad blog-neighbour lately, and haven’t been visiting the blogs of others much at all. However, I’ll certainly have more time to do that in the future, now that my own blog has almost run its course!
    Wonderful photo of the kitlings, by the way. I like black-and-white photography very much.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’d guess bloggers going missing, especially those who’ve been at it less than six months, is more the rule than the exception. That’s why it’s a little shocking when one that’s been around for a while ends. I think we started about the same time, so yours ending feels like the end of an era. 200 posts is a good run, especially when it calls for as much research as yours did.

      I hope to see you around in the comments.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thanks, Dave. I’ve noticed that a number of the bloggers who started around the same time as we did have gone. I read somewhere that the average life-span of a personal blog is about 6 months!

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Ha, ha I enjoyed this post and your take on the old great Holmes…

    I wish I could say that I’ve been AWOL or taking a little break. On the contrary Watson, I’ve just churned out 15 posts to schedule one each week until 1st week in May as I’m on the road again and won’t have so much time. Over 20,000 words – not blowing my own trumpet but just saying, there’s not rest for the wicked – it’s relentless!

    On top of this, I’m connecting a WooCommerce cart to my photography site so maybe people will buy my photos one day – this is challenging. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That is a pretty long hiatus. But then I vaguely remember you were working on a book, or something like that. I suspect it’ll be interesting, whatever it is.

      Happy New Year!


  6. Dave, I have read and written quite a few explanations and excuses on a temporary break from blogging, but yours tops them all as the longest, most elaborate and creative of them all. Hope to see you back soon.Peter

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The funny thing is, I had no idea it was going to be a Holmes/Watson theme until I started writing it. All I had was a title and a notion I should check-in and let folks know I was still alive and kicking. I rarely write dialog, so the way this one evolved surprised me.

      I should be posting periodically for the next few months, but probably not weekly.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Sometimes blogging really does take too much time, and can even be stressful when we’re constantly thinking, “we really should be reading all those blogs we follow, and answering the comments on our blog,” etc. And when we feel that way, it is absolutely time for a little break! I do it from time to time, and it really helps!
    I hope you enjoyed your holidays, I hope you were able to get caught up on your studying and other interests, and I’m glad you’re back in the blogging world….on your own terms, always.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I suppose that’s one disadvantage to being involved in the community for a few years – you eventually discover a lot of blogs that interest you while trying to drum up interest in your own blog. It’s tough to keep up. For my blog, it usually takes a couple days to select and edit photos and a couple more to write and finesse a post. It’s not a full-time job, but still, it sucks up the time.

      We did have a nice holiday season; I hope yours were nice as well. As for being caught up on studying – not even close. I’d need to take a year off, not five weeks. I suspect it’ll be like that stack of books I mean to read…

      Liked by 1 person

  8. For a moment there, I thought you were writing my biography! 🙂 Welcome back! It seems more than a few of us bloggers have been away, tending to life throughout 2019. But isn’t it always great to return to this group of writers and readers? Happy New Year!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I imagine a lot of bloggers could relate to this. My hiatus was certainly shorter than some, and longer than others. I have noticed though, once we get a good group of followers we tend to keep them regardless of how long we may be gone, unless life has taken them in other directions. It is nice to be back, and chatting again with what are becoming old friends.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Taking a break is a good idea…just don’t make a habit of it. 🙂 Blogging is a bit demanding and as you get more followers and return the favor the sense of needing to reply and comment grows. Glad that you are back and looking forward to being entertained by more of your writing wit and images.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. I’m glad to see you back. I never mind a blogger taking a break, but I will say I appreciate it when there’s a note about it ahead of time. That’s partly because of an experience with the sudden absence of a prolific, and quite well known, blogger who seemingly vanished from the face of the earth. She even worked in the WordPress forums as a volunteer, and had for years — and no one knew where she’d gone. Eventually, we found out: she had been living in her car, and finally died in a shelter. It was awful, and every time someone whose blog is important to me just vanishes, I’m always nervous until they’re back, one way or another. So — welcome back!

    You know, when I started blogging, I got to know a young Danish woman who was a graphics artist, among other things. The tagline on her blog was, “If I Don’t Have Anything to Say, I Won’t Say It.” That’s a good motto, right there.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah, that sort of thing was why I was starting to feel guilty about ghosting everybody. Hopefully, when the day comes I do choose to retire entirely from blogging, I’ll have the capacity to let everyone know.

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Clever return from your hiatus — hats off! Now.. do you want to come up with something for me? 😉
    I wasn’t planning on taking this long of a holiday break, but like you, finding the time to write something isn’t easy. Especially when you have other interests.
    On the plus side, I didn’t create a backlog of posts for you to read. (You can thank me later.)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. What? You have other interests beyond blogging? [End facetious font.] It does seem difficult balancing a successful blog (success being relative) with having a life of multiple interests. The irony being, you almost have to have multiple interests to keep a successful blog interesting. Otherwise what would you blog about?

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Since I’d been posting every 7-10 days for quite a while, I figured some folks might wonder after I hadn’t made an appearance for 5 weeks.

      But then, maybe not. 😉


  12. Long breaks are required to keep those creative juices flowing. This post’s such an interesting read and I can totally relate to it. Blogging can eat into a lot of other time. Learning Korean has made it harder for me to blog and engage with other bloggers at the same time. My brain is a muddle of different scripts. Enjoy your hiatus and hope to see you back soon. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I suspect a lot of bloggers can relate to it. I suppose the trap is getting too comfortable with not posting, what with all the other things that are out there. It’s just that most of those other things don’t have this community – I suppose part of my social life is invested in this blogging thing.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m not sure what motivated me to write something dialog based – that’s not usually my thing. I guess experimentation is a fundamental for creativity. I’m glad you enjoyed it, it turned out to be one of my more popular posts.

      Liked by 1 person

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