I’m sorry, where were we..?

Sooo where were we..? Let’s see, last time we talked I had dark hair. And was flexible enough to sit headfirst on an ergonomic chair. That’s not so say I couldn’t do it now. It’s just that I’d need to see a chiropractor or, preferably, have one standing by after being dislodged using the jaws of life. I’ve lost some weight, gained a future son-in-law, slowed down life in general while speeding up my road to retirement.

I’m also sporting some ink in tribute to my friend Jason, shaved my beard, celebrated five more wonderful years with my amazing wife, finally got a Harley, survived a pandemic…

Let’s see… what else… what else…

I know I’m forgetting something…

OH YA! I retired from the Siuslaw News a little over a year ago.

It’s hard to believe my first blog post was 10 years ago last January — and equally hard to believe my last post was 5 YEARS ago this past June. Since then, there are folks who began following this blog who haven’t seen a new post since I was in a red thong. That seems particularly cruel. Sort of like witnessing something horrible — like a Tofurkey dinner — moments before losing your sight. I’m sure somewhere out there is a class-action lawsuit waiting for me…

From: Bill Schlependorf, Attorney at Law

Have you lost your sight since seeing this man in a red thong? Do you suffer from any of the following: Nightmares, anxiety, vomiting, loss of appetite, memory loss, diarrhea, acid reflux or erectile dysfunction (we’ve included those last three just to cover all the bases.) Then you may be entitled to monetary compensation! Or at least a bag of Flaming Hot Cheetos for your pain and suffering…

So what brings me back (fully clothed)? I think I should probably explain why I left in the first place. It wasn’t you; it was me. After becoming editor-in-chief at our local newspaper in 2016, I felt it was important that I give myself completely to the position. I had a responsibility to focus on what was happening in our community and to assure our paper was a non-biased voice offering honest, neutral truth during a time politics was creating division like I’d never seen before. To do that meant putting aside a part of myself in order to be taken seriously in the editor’s seat. It’s hard to do that while writing a syndicated humor column that talks about things like glow-in-the-dark mice and how the Oscar Meyer Weiner Mobile left me feeling inadequate.

I made the decision to end my column and, ultimately, put the blog on hiatus. I had always intended to come back; I just wasn’t sure when. In the meantime, I served as editor for five years during a turbulent period that included the 2018 mid-term elections, 2020 presidential election and the pandemic. I’m proud to say our coverage won multiple awards, including “Best Editorial” in 2020. In May of 2021, after 23 years at Siuslaw News, it was time for a change and to get back to that part of myself that I’d put aside. I worked as a mail carrier the past year (I was the one in the vehicle with the squeaky brakes) while I decompressed from journalism and figured out what came next.

On Sept. 30, I left the postal service to get back to my writing roots by — how else? — drinking heavily and taking up smoking!

Ok, not really. I launched my own editing business: Easy Writer Novel & Manuscript Editing Services.

Establishing this business was always going to be my end game once I fully retired. But then I thought: Why wait? I can start my own business and put our financial future in jeopardy RIGHT NOW!

Seriously though, ever since I began posting my weekly Nickel’s Worth on Writing and published my book offering writing tips and inspiration, I’ve wanted to move in the direction of being able to help other writers full time with everything from basic line editing and proofing, to manuscript critique and online coaching. Easy Writer is the culmination of 23 years as a writer, journalist, syndicated columnist and editor, allowing me to take what I’ve learned over the past two decades and share it with other writers. And just like Hair Club for Men, “I’m not just the founder — I’m a client!” Which is to say, while I’m offering advice and direction, I’m also back in the trenches working on my third novel.

All this being said, I just want to thank everyone — readers of this blog, fellow bloggers, the person who messaged me asking “WTF is up with your blog, dude?” — for their support and patience while I seemingly entered a vortex five years ago before returning like Steve Rogers in the last “Avengers” movie with grey hair, age lines and a whole other life lived in the meantime.

I have no idea who of the 8,000 or so people who followed this blog are still doing so. If you are, I hope you’ll drop me a line in the comments. If you’re not, I completely understand and will write something for you.

Regardless, it’s nice to be back at the keyboard and this blog, moving onto the next chapter with you. I promise it’ll be a page-turner…

— Ned

October 29, 2022 (Sheesh! Really?!?)

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Ned's Blog

I was a journalist, humor columnist, writer and editor at Siuslaw News for 23 years. The next chapter in my own writer’s journey is helping other writers prepare their manuscript for the road ahead. I'm married to the perfect woman, have four great kids, and a tenuous grip on my sanity...

29 thoughts on “I’m sorry, where were we..?”

  1. Count me in. Welcome back! I was thinking of you this very morning (fully clothed, don’t worry) while commenting to Michelle at the Green Study, who is herself making a return to blogging. And guess what: me too! After 20-month sabbatical, I have a biweekly newspaper column again, which is just the right frequency. I’ll be posting Monday. Maybe if we all keep doing this, we can pretend the last five years never happened.

    1. Ross! How great to see your mug again my friend! ( I promise I’m wearing pants). And how terrific that you’re my first comment. I know we’ve been out of touch (and not just due to age) but I’ve kept up through Instagram. Took a deep breath before pushing the “publish” button but so glad I did. Congrats on the return to a regular column! As long as one of us is out there, the world remains in balance (once again, our life parallels astound me). Five years? What five years…? (cough cough)

  2. YAH!!!!!! So glad to see this drop into my Inbox!!! I’m so happy you are back. Although I have been following you on FB and IG so I got to see all the cool pictures of your favorite mailboxes. That was fun!! Maybe do a blog post about that someday!! It’s SO good to see you! Wait did I mention that already?! ❤

    1. KIM! Thank you so much for the kind words and keeping up with things through “the socials” (just learned that term from my daughter). It’s really nice to be back, and especially being able to re-connect with folks like you! 😉

  3. NED!!!!
    I have missed you and your humor!! Even if I said to myself “Ned’s Blog… whaa…why is this in my email?” But now I remember!!

    Welcome back!!

    Did I win first comment?!

    1. Hahaha! I’ve been getting a lot of that! And actually, Ross Murray was the first comment, like within a minute or two of this posting. So nice to see so many of my blogging buddies again!

    1. Thank you! It’s an interesting mix of comfortable familiarity and slightly terrified new territory but, like I say whenever I make Wishbone dressing, “You gotta mix its up a little!”

  4. NED! So wonderful to see a post from you show up in my reader this morning. Congrats on retirement and creating your new business! Look so forward to reading more💕

    1. Hey LYNN! It’s wonderful to see you, too! Thanks so much for the kind words and pushing the “Read More” button instead of the “Block! For God’s Sake BLOCK!” button. Looking forward to getting back in touch with everyone — and eventually reality 😉

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