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Thereís a scene at the end of Superman II (I hope Iím not ruining this for anyone, but if you havenít already seen this movie, I figure you never will) where Superman returns to the White House after falling in love with Lois Lane, giving up his powers, and allowing Zod to conquer America.
ďGood afternoon, Mr. President,Ē the Man of Steel says as he places the U.S. flag back on the roof of the White House. ďSorry Iíve been away so long. I wonít let you down again.Ē
With all due respect to the vastly superior Richard Donner version of this movie, which axed this return-to-the-White House scene altogether (no more spoilers; just see it), this is my personal Superman II moment. Iím sorry Iíve been away so long. And to all the readers who were helping me reclaim America in the name of commonsense, sanity, and awesomeness, I pledge, like the aforementioned Son of Jor-El before me, never to let you down again.
As many of you know, but it bears recapping anyway, in 2001, I began writing columns on everything from the news of the day to the world of sports to all those strange little quirks of American society that drive neurotic, self-obsessed, and self-aware people like me crazy. I am very proud to say that, by early 2002, those columns became a weekly institution, drawing readers from literally all around the planet, and attention from such lofty places as MSNBC and Fox News. During the course of my column-writing days, I interviewed not one but two different guys who ran for president (I didnít prove to be good luck for either of them), and saw my columns appear on more websites than I can possibly remember, and in print publications from New Jersey to California and all sorts of neat little stops in between. I developed friendships with a number of my readers, and absolutely loved the dynamic of responding to hatemail with love (and occasionally to lovemail with love). At its height, my weekly column, JDM vs the World, was nothing short of a stinking, steaming pile of success.
But vs the World was not enough.
In August í07, I abandoned my weekly column like Benjamin Button on a nursing home doorstep. I did this to pursue my original goal of writing fiction—which I succeeded in writing, but not in publishing (for reasons I would love to go into, but not here, because the story is longer than the novel itís about). Things happened along the way. Opportunities. The birth of my first child. For a while, I tried to convince myself that I didnít want to write anymore—that it was something, perhaps, I was never meant to do. As an Op-Ed writer, you get used to being wrong from time to time, but I was never more wrong about anything in my life than that. Writing is now, as it has always been, and will always be, an inextricable part of me—as much a part of me as my nose or my fingers—a fire that all the water in the world could not put out. And it is with that knowledge that I return to you today, Superman references tucked beneath my arm, to tell you:
I am back.
This announcement is triple-tiered, so let me start at the bottom and work my way up. For starters, yes, the column is coming back, but in a different form. It will no longer be weekly (at least for now), and when it will start is anybodyís guess. The first one could come tomorrow, or a week from tomorrow, or sometime next month. But I promise itís coming, so thanks for your patience.
Thatís part one.
Hereís part two. I am establishing a new presence on Facebook and Twitter. Iíll be using these sites to make announcements on things such as the availability of new columns, as well as to spout off on stuff that doesnít warrant column-length treatments, but seems worth mentioning anyway. I invite everyone who’s reading this to follow those links and either Like me on Facebook or Follow me on Twitter so you can stay up to date on all the doings in the world of JDM.
Which brings me to part three. And this is the part I am truly stoked about:
ďVERSUS NURTURE?Ē youíre asking yourself.
Thatís right. VERSUS NURTURE.
This February, I will be releasing my brand new novella, VERSUS NURTURE, exclusively in ebook formats. What this means is that, for the first time ever, you will be able to take me with you wherever you go. So whether you own a Nook or a Kindle (or one of the other fine ereading devices out there), or simply have the free Nook or Kindle apps for your Mac, PC, tablet, or smartphone, you will be able to download this story for a popular price, read it, enjoy it, and read it again.
VERSUS NURTURE is a literary/science fiction hybrid about a couple who meet in college during the days leading up to the war in Iraq. Still together nine years later, they unexpectedly receive the biggest news of their lives. But before they can so much as sit back and consider it, they suddenly find themselves facing the single biggest decision anyoneís ever made in history—a decision so big it will surely affect every future person on the planet.
Thatís all I can say about it for now, but more information will be revealed as we get closer to its February release. (Iíll use Facebook and Twitter to communicate much of that information—including how to read sample chapters once available, as well as how to win a free copy—so donít forget to take the three seconds to follow those links).
To all the truly amazing people who have liked me and followed me since the beginning—since long before ďlikingĒ and ďfollowingĒ were buzzwords, and back before every American with two eyes and a set of hands had a blog—thank you. Thanks for your support, thanks for your belief, and thanks for all the times you kept me on my toes. You are the people I am most excited to share VERSUS NURTURE with, because without your support over the years—and without your occasional pokes and prods and suggestions of a comeback—Iím pretty sure this announcement wouldnít be possible.
So, until next time, thanks for reading JDM, and thanks for all your continued support.
Iím sorry Iíve been away so long.
I wonít let you down again.