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Annual - The Zotmeister

solving the puzzle of life one entry at a time

Dec. 28th, 2005

05:05 pm - Annual

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It's amazing what can happen in a year. I find it difficult to believe that I've actually kept this journal for that long "already", but sure enough, there it is - Disambiguity, right where I left it. That trite little introduction served mainly as a warning; I figured that my journal would be largely unsafe for the general public, and I suppose that I still largely feel that way. Nonetheless, just over a year later, not only am I still updating it, but others are still reading it, and more than just those I knew beforehand.

Now I suppose that there are those that are here only for the puzzles. I can't say I blame them. In fact, I encourage them. I put the puzzles tag on those creations of mine, and I'll often give out to others the link to that tag rather than my journal as a whole... along with a warning: "You read the rest of my journal at your own risk.". I'm okay with that; I see no reason why they should feel compelled to suffer through my bouts of too-much-information to get to what they'll really enjoy. And enjoy it they do: I'm getting solutions emailed to me from Europe, and perhaps beyond; just today, glmathgrant started up a fan journal... or is it a competitor? Although I didn't expect the puzzles to occupy this great a percentage of my journal at the onset, I don't mind their popularity, and I hope they continue to entertain.

Yes, I am getting to a point. Like all my other anecdotes, there's a reason I'm mentioning all this. So why the annual report? Well, I consider most every article in my journal as an "active" one; obviously, I write and publish them at a specific time, but the anecdotes, self-revelations, puzzles, and such are not intended to expire. I invite new readers-and/or-solvers to peruse my back catalogue for entertainment, inspiration, and whatever other positive affects they seek. It's a wonderful feeling to get emails from new solvers, especially when they solve more than just the latest puzzle; to see that they took the time to experience my earlier wares and study all I had to offer is quite satisfying. The feeling I got yesterday upon checking my email notifications, however, was truly endearing.

I consider my puzzles "safe", in the sense that they aren't loaded with tripe. I didn't exactly have a lot of confidence in my more anecdotal entries, such as those that I began this journal with; they serve mainly as a clearinghouse for my mind, a means of organizing my thoughts for myself. I reread those articles on occasion, mainly to see if I have anything to add or change and to see if they are still pertinent. They are written without regard to the tolerance levels of others; it defeats the whole purpose if I withhold truths. I'm not going to hold back here any more than I'd hold back on myself. With that in mind, I tend to be a bit fearful of others diving in.

Of course, diving in can happen. The articles are public - the doorway is open, and anyone brave/ignorant enough to march on in can do so and read me like a book, almost literally. Last weekend, that's exactly what happened: one of my intrepid puzzle connaisseurs took the plunge and read Ineffability. Now that certainly wasn't the first time it was read - it had four comments, after all... but those were from people who know me personally. Indeed, who else would be aware of my journal at that time, right? But now there's a fifth comment on the article, from someone who bravely went back and decided to learn more about me. The very presence of that comment tells me two things:

  • The article was read.

  • The reader did not immediately storm away, never to read my journal again.


  • That alone is more than I could hope for, but the comment itself was glowing. My words were not merely tolerated; they were appreciated, perhaps even admired. Perhaps to some of you it is merely a comment, but to me it is a revelation. It made me realize something else, as well: e wasn't the only one. My emails and other communications have shown that others are more than just 'accepting'; 'honored' would be more accurate.

    I never expected my journal to be condoned, much less celebrated. I never expected it to be viewed by more than a few who already knew me. And I certainly never expected it to be celebrated by new acquaintances!

    Believe me, the honor is mine as well. To everyone that has been reading my journal - or any subset thereof - for any period of time over the past year, I deeply thank you. My trek I will undertake alone if need be, but I am greatly appreciative that, at least at present, I do not travel alone. To everyone that has communicated with me regarding my journal, take this article as what it is: the greatest representation of my immense gratitude that I can express.

    I also promise I won't turn this happiness into pride, either; I know better than that. That would be a disaster.

    Oh, and one other thing: those of you who remember my first article - be it from a year ago, or from moments ago having followed the link above - may note that I mentioned short fiction being among that which I'd be presenting here. You may also note that I haven't yet. I intend to remedy that soon. My recent "rediscovery" of my earlier work for The Sanctum Puzzler has gotten me wanting to get back to storytelling. I also hope to present a few more select anecdotal articles should I find sufficient courage to go through with them - and thanks to some new friends, I now have a sizeable chunk of just that.

    - ZM

    P.S.: Leave it to me to write a journal article about the journal, right? An article about a comment to another article, no less. I'll be buying Doug Hofstaedter's books at this rate.