Well, I'm here, but I'm not HERE, if you know what I mean.
I am researching the next chunk of the book. It's certainly the mid-section or perhaps the middle two-thirds, or whatever. In any case, I've moved the research into a new time period which means I'm trying to figure out "what happened" during that particular block of time (in this case roughly 1900-1940).
The only thing I know for sure is that my initial instinct, way back when, was correct: The Jungle didn't "cause" much of anything to happen. It was more of what we'd now call a tipping point than a cause; a straw (beefsteak? pot roast? rolled rump?) that broke the camel's back.
But even that moment (c. 1906) is clearly not the main event in the years from 1900-1920 and beyond. Not even close.
Anyway, it's all fascinating, but the most efficient way for me to deal with all this new information is to stay focused on it. Or, more accurately, to allow my brain to stay focused by not digressing into things like beer, random rants, pondering the nature of the cosmos and other distractions.
So that, dear readers, is why I'm not here ranting away. Soon as I get a good grip on this new material and actually start writing the next chapter(s), blogging will return to its usual pace. 'Cause I can research for hour and hours, but I can only write for a few hours at a time.