Reflection on Y

YEDITOR’S NOTE: Welcome to the A to Z Challenge, an exercise in self-flagellation we bloggers inflict upon ourselves to teach us discipline as writers and to build audience. During the month of April, I’ll be posting 26 times, once for every letter in the alphabet. Looking on the bright side, we can each be thankful this is an English language exercise and not Khmer, the language of Cambodia, which sets the world record with a 74-character alphabet! After some misgivings, I’ve decided to proceed with my initial idea of blogging about the special people in my life whose names begin with the appropriate letter. There will be difficulties, like having more than one special person whose names begin with the same letter, forcing me to choose. And then there are those letters — O, Q and X among them — where no name springs readily to mind. What will I do then? We’ll have to wait and see!

The author ponders his blogging future.
The author ponders his blogging future.

Y is for Yeti

Let’s take this opportunity to talk about Roamin’ Gnomials, the little blog that could.

Thanks to the A-to-Z Challenge, which winds up tomorrow, I have about a million new followers, many of whom are confused by what is old hat for the one or two regular readers I’ve had since the beginning.

No doubt those new readers noticed the great big letters at the top of this post that read “Y is for Yeti,” and no doubt they are wondering why it says that, because they haven’t read one damned thing about yetis yet, though new readers and old readers alike will have admired the construction of this 78-word sentence that allowed me to write “yetis yet,” which was my real objective for writing it in the first place.

But let’s take pity on those new readers for a moment. They haven’t learned what you veterans already know, which is that Roamin’ Gnomials is a bad idea that keeps getting worse. To attempt an explanation of how we got to this point, we must go waaaaay back to when I was young. See that picture of me up above? Well, there’s really no gentle way to put this: For a 1970s high school boy to have a monster Lord of the Rings poster tacked up on the wall over his bed means that I was a geek, and as some of you know from firsthand experience, geekdom is something you never outgrow.

Fast-forward to the 21st Century, when friends, family and acquaintances started haranguing me about creating my own blog. I listened to their pleas, and in a weak moment, agreed that blogging might be just the thing for me. My biggest worry, however, was that I wouldn’t have enough material to make a blog viable. That’s where the gnomes come in.

You Shall Not Pass! This could have been the Balrog Blog.
You Shall Not Pass! This could have been the Balrog Blog.

See, I’ve always been a fan of fantastical creatures, dating back to when I first read The Hobbit while I was in grade school, so I figured that if I ran out of blogging material, I could always make up some crap about gnomes, just to take up space.

I know what you’re thinking, and you’re right, I could have accomplished the same thing by using any other kind of mythical varmint. This could have been The Balrog Blog, Dwarfish Dingleberries, or White Walker Wanderings, but I ultimately decided that gnomes are a lot more generic, and since I didn’t want to pick some title that would have people showing up here expecting to read about The Lord of the Rings, or Game of Thrones, I settled on gnomes.

White Walker Wanderings would have been a catchy title for my blog.
White Walker Wanderings would have been a catchy title for my blog.

New readers need to understand that the name Roamin’ Gnomials is a bit of a misgnomer. You simply won’t find that many gnomes here — less than 20 percent of my posts have anything to do with them — and that’s because the very premise of this blog was a mistake, a miscalculation that I wouldn’t have enough to write about.

But what about the yeti? Just a minute, I’m getting there!

None of this explains how the name Roamin’ Gnomials came to be. Well, you can’t blame me for that, at least. The title of this blog is the brainchild of an Irish ex-pat nurse who works with my daughter, and my best guess is that she dreamed it up while in an altered state.

The Irish, in fact, have a lot to do with this blog, because if I hadn’t gone shopping for a unique Christmas gift for a different Irish friend, I wouldn’t have found Morgaine du Mer, and if I hadn’t found Morgaine du Mer, I couldn’t have contracted with her to draw the banner art that ties in with the title. When you think about the whole thing in terms of fateful decisions, it makes a strange sort of sense that my staff artist would turn out to be a mermaid who keeps a gnome named Henri for a houseboy, though whether or not he’s Irish is unclear.

Now that all that’s off my chest, I’m sure you have a better idea about this blog, and about my long association with mystical, magical creatures — including, but not limited to the Irish. And that’s why you will not be surprised to learn that when I was sitting in Seat 18F on Alaska Airlines Flight 8 from Seattle to Newark a couple of weeks ago, I looked out my window and spotted a yeti.

If you look carefully, you might spot the yeti.

I tried to get my wife’s attention, but she was fighting her own battle with the slumbering troll that was sitting in 18D, so I fumbled for my iPhone camera and snapped a quick picture over the wing. You do believe me, don’t you? Before you answer, you’d best examine my photo and see if you can spot the yeti. Go ahead, have a look, what do you have to lose?

Whatever you think, my own experience has helped me decide that gnomes, perhaps, have become too passé. I’m thinking of starting a new blog and calling it Yeti Yakking. It might become the perfect venue for spewing fresh entries for next year’s A-to-Z Challenge!


Add yours →

  1. Thanks for a super post! I’ve thoroughly enjoyed visiting your blog throughout the Challenge. Thanks for all your hard work and look forward to reading more once the Challenge is over. Have a lovely weekend.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. No yeti yet….but I am even more bewildered…and ROFLing….hahahaha 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I think I spotted the yeti in the picture. That’s after a few drinks and if I squint really hard 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  4. 😂😂😂 haven’t seen the ‘yeti yet’ but I will keep on looking and geeks and geekdom is a fabulous thing

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I’m glad to be one of those “million new followers” through the challenge–and don’t mind your 70+ word sentences. I’ve a tendency to use those, too, so I won’t judge! Gotta be honest–I don’t see any yeti in the photo, but you had me looking! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  6. You go Yetis!! I can’t believe it’s Y already. This month at Roaming Gnomials was super fun. I’m kinda sad that it ends tomorrow..

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Is Z going to be abt zombies??

    Liked by 1 person

  8. When I saw “Yeti” in the title of this installment I thought you’d signed up Yeti Coolers as a sponsor for your blog. I don’t know if their stuff is sold up there in the Frozen North where you live, but they’re worth tracking down:

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I see the Yeti! BTW-Henri is French, 462 years old and does not like to be called houseboy. He prefers the title Majordome. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  10. I can’t see a yeti in the picture, but I do see several unicorns and a flying monkey. Does that count? I enjoyed hearing about the background to your blog and am looking forward to continuing to follow along after the challenge for regular doses of yetis, gnomes and other strange creatures.

    Cheers – Ellen

    Liked by 1 person

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