Because this is a blog devoted to publishing, we try not to stray too far from our book-related mandate. Today, however, as I follow the heart-rending coverage of the aftermath of the earthquake and tsunami in Japan and the “concerns” about an unfolding nuclear disaster, not to mention events in Libya and Bahrain, I’m struggling to find a way to draw a line between the events I’m paying attention to and the topic I’m supposed to write about. The best I can do is point to indie publisher Melville House, which is donating proceeds from sales this week to Japan disaster relief. Somehow, discussing anything besides the assorted catastrophes taking place around the world feels like fiddling while Rome burns. I realize that this is a poor excuse for a once-a-week blogger. But the fact remains that today I’m stuck. For all you out there—you who (unlike me) are actual writers—to what degree does the news cycle crush your capacity to get words on the page? The fact that the computer is both tablet and a portal to the broader world complicates the task mightily. An author with an internet connection is no longer alone at her desk, so how do you keep the real world from intruding on the one you create? Disconnect? Dust off the Smith Corona? Or simply display better discipline than yours truly?