The Not-So-Long Goodbye
This is going to be the last blog entry for the foreseeable future. I first posted that the blog would end last Friday, but it was not a spur of the moment decision. Really for the last month or so I’ve been kind of dogging it. I wrote most of my entries days in advance and I threw out any Sunday entries. When it comes down to it, as I said Friday, I’d rather write than write about writing. And let’s face it, from the number of people who regularly contributed any comments, it’s not exactly going to poke a hole in the fabric of the universe if I fold up my tent for a while.
To kick off this last entry, here are my goals for the rest of the year. I have a number of projects that I’d like to finish before the end of the year if at all possible. Because of this I’ve been pushing myself to write 6-7 days a week, usually 3 or more hours a night. That’s the big reason I don’t have time for thinking about blog entries. That and they recently doubled my load at work–and yet with typical management thinking they of course expect you to get everything done in the same amount of time.
Anyway, here are the projects on my plate:
- Tales of the Scarlet Knight, Volume 6-8: I know no one else is ever going to get this far with these, but I have an ending in mind and I want to finish it off. Like Lost or one of those kind of shows I have numerous things in motion, threads that need tying up. In reference to my “God Complex” entry, my hero gets more crap dumped into her lap, such as having her baby switched with a dead one and then having to rescue said baby a couple of years later. But there’s probably a Happily Ever After buried in there somewhere.
- Les Finley and the Machines of Fate (working title): I had this idea last September when I was feeling paranoid and thought the universe was conspiring to piss me off. Then I got thinking, what if forces in the universe really were conspiring to piss me off?! So the gist of this is a Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy-type sci-fi comedy where our guy Les finds out who’s messing with him and why.
- BPS Files, Vol 1: Lost & Found Again (second draft): I finished the first draft last December. Thanks to some input from my awesome older brother I plan to eventually revise some things and put a second draft together. You can read the first draft here.
- Tales of the Scarlet Knight, Volume 1–The Graphic Novel Script (second draft): One of my first blog entries mentioned the first draft of this project and then later I did an update after I finished the first draft. I need to go back to do a second draft. The first half especially needs some work. Then I need to find someone who knows what he’s doing to tell me how much it sucks.
- Meet Cute (probably short story): This is way off the radar screen right now. The premise occurred to me on vacation in Toronto and borrows from an expression Roger Ebert uses in his reviews. The “meet cute” is the device in romantic comedies and such where the future couple meets under oftentimes bizarre circumstances. Anyway, the gist would be that it’s about some guy who keeps waiting around for his Meet Cute, but it never seems to go as he plans. It’s probably a short story, but maybe I could get it to go longer. Or maybe I could turn it into a movie script where Gerard Butler or Patrick Dempsey or someone keeps being unlucky and then finally meets Amy Adams or Sandra Bullock or someone and they wind up madly in love. I smell Razzies!
So that’s the list for now. I need someone to tell me that I can do all that if I work around the clock so I can scream Harrison Ford in “Extraordinary Measures” style: I ALREADY WORK AROUND THE CLOCK!!!
If your list isn’t that long, or you don’t even have a list, then good for you. Which brings me to my Ultimate Terrible Tip:
As long as what you’re doing isn’t hurting anyone else and isn’t illegal, then the hell with anyone who doesn’t like it.
Pretty simple philosophy there, but we all have problems living up to it. A lot of us get so caught up worrying what other people–family, friends, clergy–think of what we do that we wind up living for them and not for ourselves. And really that’s no way to go about things. You want to be Christian, Mulim, Hindu, or nothing, then knock yourself out; just don’t try to convert me to your point of view because I don’t give a shit. You want to be straight, gay, both, or nothing, then fine with me; it isn’t any of my damned business. You want to be married, single, or a swinger, again I don’t care; I draw the line at marrying children, close relatives, and farm animals though.
It’s only natural to be judgmental, but as long as you keep it to yourself then we’ll all get along just fine. That’s my Universal Theory of Harmony. It boils down to that simple idea that as long as what you’re doing isn’t hurting anyone and it’s not illegal, then I don’t care what you do.
Case in point is when I went on vacation to Toronto recently, my favorite moments were sitting at the Second Cup coffeehouse at the corner, drinking iced tea, writing on my netbook, and watching the people go by. For a lot of people that sounds really boring. For me the only thing better is if I could be in a hot tub while doing the other three things. And for me, going to nightclubs or theme parks is annoying and climbing mountains or biking is way too difficult. But as long as you don’t give me shit about my vacation plans then I won’t give you shit about yours. That’s how it should work.
It’s also why I oppose seat belt/helmet laws for adults, support assisted suicide for adults, feel no need to tell a woman what to do with her body, and couldn’t care less what church anyone goes to.
So my Ultimate Terrible Tip is that you should try to live that ambivalently. If we all did, there’d probably be fewer problems in the world. Or maybe just different problems. Whatever.
Now then, one of my favorite columnists to read during football season is Gregg Easterbrook of ESPN’s Tuesday Morning Quarterback because there’s no other sports column where you can read about football, politics, science, and science fiction all in one place. His usual sign off at the end of the year goes as follows and I think it’s also good advice:
I recommend you employ the offseason to engage in spiritual growth. Take long walks. Attend worship services of any faith. Exercise more and eat less. Perform volunteer work in your community. Appreciate the beauty around you — nature is not there by accident.
And in closing, a benediction written by my favorite author, John Irving, in one of my favorite books The Cider House Rules:
Goodnight you princes of Maine, you kings of New England.
That is all.
(PS: If you followed the Sunday Morning Serial “Virgin Territory”, you can read the entire story through my archives.)
(PPS: Buy My Book! Buy My Book!)