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Ghost in the machine.

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Sometimes a push in the right direction can come from the most unexpected sources.

Longtime readers might remember Chris Stufflestreet, the music and baseball-card blogger whose death I wrote about in September 2012. (Has it really been a year and a half?)

Earlier today, I was gassing with a friend on Twitter about Pat Corrales, the former major-league player and manager.

The discussion led me to 1973 Topps Photography — the blog Chris left unfinished — to look up his entry about Corrales’s epic ’73 Topps card.

And, whaddya know, there was an unexpected new blog post there, dated Jan. 1, 2014.

Obviously, Chris had banked it more than a year in advance, anticipating a steady stream of ’73 Topps cards to come throughout 2012 and 2013.

In the post, Chris talked about his plans for the new year — this year — and for the blog:

2014 will be the final year of this blog (assuming nothing bad happens to me which forces me to take an extended break). I still have quite a ways to go with the set, however, so so keep coming back to see what I’ve got planned.

Oh, and by the way…once the cards run out, I’ll have some more stuff to show. I’ll also have a surprise ready as a way of saying “Thanks” for your readership. You’ll have to see what that is, but I promise you’ll like it.

I found Chris’s words both saddening — it sounds like he knew he might be getting sick — and inspirational. Mostly the latter.

They tell me I should stop twisting myself around in knots and just write. Forget about being authoritative or definitive, or trying to add to the Great Cosmic Discourse … just get the words out of my fingers, because I might not be able to do it next week, or next year.

If what I write is really good, lots of people will find it. If it’s not, they won’t. Either way, that’s not supposed to be what I do this for.

I just have to more tightly define what I think, and then get it on the screen; and anyone who enjoys it is welcome to drop by. If I can do that, I’ll be back on track, and hopefully also producing stuff somebody, somewhere, finds interesting.

Thanks for the lesson, Chris.



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