How can you miss me if I don't go away?

Welcome to this week's Reno News & Review.

After last week's Editor's Note, I'm fielding a lot of questions, like, Why would you want to leave the best job in journalism?

Look, first, I'm not leaving. I asked my bosses for a year's sabbatical or leave of absence. It's not an unheard of concept, and I'm peculiarly suited to it because of my other projects. I mean, basically, in the last three years, I've completed two master's and worked two full-time jobs. But I'm not making a complete withdrawal, I'm going to keep some duties here—working a quarter time—jettison the day-to-day stuff, and I expect to be back at full strength in a year. And yes, it's impossible to say that I'll be back, but if Schwarzenegger can say it, I'm at least as prescient.

The break makes a lot of sense. I'm burnt out. My creativity is sapped. I'm fatigued. I've burned hot, particularly last year, and I need to get some things back in order. I've let my health slide, gaining 25 pounds, losing strength and stamina. I think this Ménière's disease, affecting my hearing and balance, has something to do with the lack of exercise and high stress. After I started the journalism master's, which I've finished, I sacrificed a lot of things—socializing, gardening, going to the gym. It made sense at the time, but I need some balance back in my life.

A year will allow me to focus on the second master's, and I'll be able to complete the Fatal Encounters database. As I mentioned last week, I have the money to sustain me and the project for a year. A year will also allow me to examine some of the opportunities that have opened up for me nationally. For example, there are some really intriguing fellowships focusing on areas where I'm weak. I'll come back and only have one thing to focus on: the RN&R.

The RN&R team is awesome. Truly, they'll be able to handle things, and hopefully, without my pervasive influence, they'll be coming up with solutions to issues of weekly alternative journalism that I never could have conceived.