I spend an inordinate amount of time wondering if my decision in 1991 to skip the whole career thing was a wise career move.
I wonder this a lot because, geez, I have so much time on my hands.
I meet strangers at parties. They ask what I do. I tell them I stare out the window for an hour, type for about 90 seconds, then resume staring out the window. I then repeat the process throughout the day until 3:30 or about when kicking off the Happy Hour is deemed socially acceptable.
Who knew that doing squat for years at a time would essentially pay squat?
I look back on the last 30 years of my life and it’s like I’m the star of one long beer commercial. There’s joy, laughter, camaraderie and deep in the background a whispered admonition to “Please Drink Responsibly” that me and my happy band of sudsy co-stars knew was not meant to be taken seriously.
I have so many people who really love my books, my inane posts and pointless little musings. Sample: “Fashion experts who work to ensure ample bosoms fit snugly in frilly brassieres are rack-contours.”
Took me about two whole hours of staring out the window to come up with that one.
Know what I did once I’d composed and posted it?
Took the rest of the day off!
I did. I was feeling the same sort of accomplishment I feel on the days when I find a quarter on the sidewalk.
Of course, there’s the inevitable awkwardness when you stroll through the front door and the family wants to know how your day went.
How many fathers are going to respond with bold honesty, “It went great! I came up with a really nifty tit pun!”
I sense just how much people want me to succeed. It’s not uncommon for readers to ask me if I yearn to be famous.
I can’t get them to understand my entire aspiration is simple break-even solvency.
I’m nearing the home stretch of my second novel. Understand, there is near-zero clamor for me to write another novel. Yet, I believe “The Last Baby Boomer” is my best work and the praise I hear for it supports the contention.
“Boomer” is 66,132 words (248 pages). Just this weekend I crested 70,000 words on the new book. So it’s an actual book.
A 20,000-word book could fall victim to indifference, neglect or a sudden burst of mocking sanity that insists writing any book is a colossal waste of time.
This book I’ll soon finish and it’ll one day this fall be for sale.
It’s the Romeo & Juliet story, but instead of her being on a balcony in Verona, she’s in Heaven and he’s in Hell. In order for their love to flourish, she’s going to have lower Heaven and he’s going to have to raise Hell.
Their names are Evan and Elle.
I’m calling the book, “Evan & Elle in Heaven & Hell: A Long Distance Social Media Afterlife Love Story.”
Please, hold your applause.
As I learned so cruelly with my first novel, a clever premise and snappy writing does not guarantee success.
This book could be an abject failure, and in some way each of my books have been just that. They don't make money. Not for me.
In fact, by some bottom line standards, you could judge my last 30 years in that same harsh light.
I choose not to.
Despite decades of evidence to the contrary, I persist in believing the bet I made on myself this week in 1991 will one day pay off with me hitting the solvency jackpot.
And on that day, I’ll stare out the window and to my everlasting delight, I’ll see you approaching, you and so many others whose cheer has buoyed me through so much bewilderment.
Together we’ll simultaneously raise Hell and lower Heaven.
A good time will be had by all.
All I ask is that you please drink responsibly.
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