Stephen King has an affectation that I feel even he cannot get away with. He loves to call those of us who have bought 50 or 60 of his various works his "Constant Readers". Since that was the phrase he first used to describe Annie Wilkes, (the character played by Kathy Bates in the movie version of "Misery"), I am not sure he means it as a compliment to us. But either way, it is the kind of phrase even the world's all-time best-seller hero cannot use without sounding a little (a lot) forced, a bit writer-ish.
It just doesn't sound like good writing.
Be that as it may, my Constant Readers, I have come to let you know something. You are all just the tiniest bit in a rut. And since I come from RutLand, you can trust that I know what I am talking about.
Why do I say you're in a rut? Well, for reasons best left in the appendix of my autobiography, I have not written a post since April 17. And that was, to be frank, a whining, self-indulgent complaining lament that someone may be taking away my games. Since then - nada.
But what do my googling eyes reveal but Constant Readers who come back to the blog day after day, finding nothing and still not letting it make them stop coming. Loyalty? Or just plain bad habits?
I don't know, but here's the stats:
They compare the blog's readership for the period April 17 to yesterday this year (when nothing was added) and last year (when I was writing about our adventures in Mumbai, Dubai, on the Suez Canal, in Alexandria, Athens and Mykonos - not to mention the trip through Pirate Alley in the Gulf of Aden).
And what do the stats reveal? Well, for starters you can see that on several days there were more visits to the blog since I stopped writing than when I was actually telling people stuff.
It showed that the number of visitors to the site over the two periods was EQUAL. That's right. I didn't lose one visitor by not bothering to do anything. In fact, about the only two significant statistical variations were, first, that people spent less time on the site this year than last.
Which is a good stat, because I would really worry about you, Constant Readers, if you spent as much time reading nothing as you had reading something.
And secondly, I actually had a 71% increase in new readers by not writing anything. It's almost as if retirement is a sound business decision on top of being fun.
For your information, there is a bit of variance by nationality. As you would guess, most of my Constant Readers are American or Australian. Well, the Yanks more or less cottoned on that not much was happening, and there was a 41% decline in visits. The Aussies, however, posted a 24% increase in visits. Read into it what you will, but I think the best phrase to explain it is to use the American spelling for the Aussie chant: "Oy! Oy! Oy!"
Anyhow, after a long period of inaction, we're back in action. More later this week, Constant Readers.