Friday, May 18, 2007

On the Urgency of the Well-Set Calendar…

This entry is not about writing.

Let me tell you again, this entry is NOT about writing.

It’s about not writing.

I am not writing about writing but about not writing.

Are we clear?


I long for the days when I could be bored. (Yes, there’s a point. Let me wax for a moment…) Until I hit my 20’s, I went through life just waiting for something to happen. Ah, how I miss those days.

So, it looks like I’ll be starting school in the fall, going to Cal State Fullerton to complete my Bachelor’s degree. There’s no more putting it off. Vicky won’t let me. I’d be happy to fill the remainder of my days writing books and playing video games (and maybe even acting again one day!) but Vicky has it in her head that I should get my degree.

… dammit.

I am a bit worried, I’ll let you know. It’s been a while since I was last in school and I wasn’t that great at it to begin with. (I mean, look! I just ended a sentence with a preposition! What do you think that says about my academic achievements???) This doesn’t seem to hold much water for Vicky. She’d rather see me fail than not try… and I’m still wondering if that’s a good thing…

That gives me about three months before I start. (The fall semester beings on August 16.)

Three months left to do what I want.

And what do I want to do?

I want to write another book, of course!

Listen, I know how it sounds! I sound like I’m on literary crack! But I’ve been so productive of late that I can’t help think I should use it while I got it. You know – if you’re falling anyway, you might as well dive!

The present novel is nearing completion of its first draft. I’m at 63,000 words right now and the aim is about 80,000. (I knew this would be a short book going in.) I can probably whip out the rest in another week or so.


That leaves me with another three months or so…

Plenty of time to crank out one more…

If only I had an idea!

I had one of those long talks with myself the other day. What do you really want to write about, I asked.

Clearly, I want to write about ethics. I want to write about being a better person. I want to write about how people can continue driving their cars as huge chunks of ice melt away before us. Where’s the outrage? How can we insist on our daily greed? How can we not be offended by the poor and the hungry who live right next door? How is it that we could allow our government to say its protecting forests by cutting them down? Don’t we see how stories on the news about families winning the lottery only encourage greed and discourage planning? Why do we allow such shortsighted folly as war and greed, anyway? How did the suburban dream of the house with the white, picket fence and 2.5 kids turn into the million dollar house with no yard, cramped up against its neighbor, and a plasma TV and a refrigerator with a TV built into it and an SUV in the garage and 2.5 kids in private school, prepping for college, insisting on games that cost hundreds of dollars to keep them away from the scary, scary world outside?

I want to write about how “I Want” has become the newest and most important commandment.

Our ever-increasing desires are outstripping our ability to live in the world around us. We’re gobbling up everything in sight and only wanting more.

There’s something very wrong with that.

So, I’ve decided to write a fable, a morality tale, a parable. I’ve decided to put a new spin on Socialism and state the obvious, “If you want to save the planet, you’ve got to stop acting like you own it.” It’s a story about a guy who turns off the wrong road, somewhere between California and Oregon, to find his life’s dream. It’ll cost everything he has. He’ll meet people confused about geography, a one-armed man, and a traveling polar bear (cause you take cold wherever you can get it in a globe that’s warmed up). “If you’re not willing to risk everything, you don’t deserve anything.”

That’s next.

Then, school. That’ll be like a break.

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