I've been away from these parts for the last week and owe a bit of an explanation. Coming in to bitch doesn't count. I put up novel-length word counts between UTK, Will's Mill, and some guest posts here and there. It left me with nothing to say outside of that, both due to mental and physical exhaustion. I've been calling, typing, and digging rather than pondering baseball or music ... or anything.
I'm left with an odd thought after reading the various tributes to Peter Gammons over the last few days. I've had the pleasure of meeting Peter on a couple occasions and talk with him a few more times than that. Now, I hear his voice when I read his pieces, even when they're from years ago. It's actually the same way for most things now, when I've had the chance to meet many of my favorite writers (or at least talk on the phone, in the case of Rob Neyer.) Somehow, it's a more personal experience for me and I find myself enjoying it more and more, reading more and more from people I know.
I'm a bit worried that eventually, it will close my circle, so I work to make sure I'm not missing a good new voice or locking out a venue I might not normally check. Some of the best beat writers are at "secondary" newspapers or even some of the newer outlets like radio stations, weeklies, and TV-associated websites. Add in blogs and I'm sure to always be finding new ones, even if I don't yet hear the voices.
The really odd thing though is reading my own stuff. I hear it in Tom Waits' voice. No idea what that means.