Saturday, March 28, 2009

Riding and Writing…

Have courage.

I know I haven’t been writing much but this is what I have for you today.

Yesterday, I went on a 40 mile ride down the Santa Ana River Trail and up the beach to the Huntington Beach Pier and back again. The pier and the beach were lovely but, on returning, I headed into what I can only call a “light Santa Ana Wind condition”. And it sucks to say “light” because it was blowing my ass nearly backwards! I struggled for every yard on the way home and considered pooping out and calling Vicky (“Honey, please pick me up!”) many times.

This morning, Vicky and I hit the trail but the winds were starting early and we finally did poop out, turned around and rode the winds home.

We didn’t let it stop us and we’ll be back again for another ride.

And so, I say, have courage.

I came very close to finding representation for my book, Climbing Maya, this week. Sadly, though the agent loved the book, she felt that there wasn’t enough action in this philosophy book for the average reader. Let me repeat that. She felt there wasn’t enough action in this philosophy book. And, you know what, she may be right. Maybe popular philosophy is a misnomer.

But I didn’t let that stop me. Even though Vicky is still proofing it – and I’m beginning to think that Vicky’s lack of enthusiasm may be telling – I sent her a letter about another book, Daughter of a One-Armed Man. I did it because this is important to me. I believe I’m telling valuable stories that should be shared. That I and my books are worthwhile.

Sometimes things suck and you get the wind in your face and you have to fight for every inch. But have courage. I’m not saying you’ll win every time. I know I haven’t. But maybe it’s not about winning so much as fighting the fight. You never know what might happen.

Monday, March 16, 2009

I beg your pardon...

I may not have promised a rose garden but I remember saying something about vegetables!

In fact, of my two New Year’s Resolutions (Hit the Farmer’s Market & Grow My Own), this was one that is actually helped out by being out of work.

And so it was that Vicky and I went down to Armstrong Garden Center (the nice one in Tustin) yesterday for a variety of yummy plant life. We didn’t spend a whole lot and walked out of there with plenty of tasty treats.

Today, I planted them. We’ve got four varieties of tomatoes: the Better Boy, the Wadda, the Early Girl, and the Ace. Some mature in just a couple of months, meaning we could have a bounty of red beauties through the summer! I also planted a creeping rosemary and some sweet basil – yum! For Vicky, I planted a Jalapeno bush… hot stuff!

This is, of course, assuming I don’t have a dirt-brown thumb. After all, it’s been a while since I last had a garden. Different life and a different city.

We’ll see.

In the meantime, I’ll see if I can get Vicky to post some pictures!

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Facebook and Facing Up…

Self-loathing, meet Ken.

Ken, meet self-loathing.

Oh, you don’t need to introduce us. We’re well acquainted…

So, I’m getting my emails this morning and there’s a friend request from Facebook. If you’re not on Facebook, you should be. If, however, you want to remain undisturbed by the nightmares of your past, you shouldn’t be… really…

So, this person says to me, “You were the coolest guy I knew in high school.”

The coolest guy? Was this person on drugs?

On top of that, I have no idea who he is – so I don’t know what kind of person would send such a thing, would say such a thing, because I’m not cool – I never was! I’m an abject failure who never lived up to all of the…


All of these thoughts poured out of my head, just sitting there in front of the email.

Hate yourself much, Ken?

Is it possible not to hate yourself but just to hate how you turned out? If so, that’s me. And I can’t look at this email without thinking, “Liar.” This guy’s adulation looks to me more like accusation, like mockery, like the worst insult you could possibly pay. It’s like he’s saying, “You thought you were so cool back then but look at you now. You’re nothing.” And he’d be right.

So, what am I going to do? Ignore this guy, just like I’ve ignored the other people from high school who have found me over the past twenty-or-so odd years… and hope he goes away…

I don’t know. They say you have to be really tough to take all the rejection a writer’s life brings you but I’ll tell you the truth. After twenty-five years of almost constant rejection, living on unemployment checks and my wife’s good will, nothing more than a phantom of the person people expected me to be, I just want to crawl into a hole…

Thursday, March 05, 2009

I was just in a collision… almost…

So, I’m on the 91 freeway. Stop and go traffic.

We stop. We go. We stop. We go.

It’s an old story.

This time, though, the woman behind me, driving what appears to be a Ford Explorer, has zipped into my lane at speed and someone forgot to tell her the “stop” part.

She slams on her brakes – I can hear them over Enigma playing on my car stereo – and she gets that rigored tight snarl stretched across her face, the one you get when you’re about to slam into some guy’s Honda Civic with your two-ton Explorer…

And I think about how I’m out of work and what little luck I’ve had with bringing any money into the house and how my unemployment insurance is about to run out and how I need to refile though I just lost my job about a month and a half ago… and how swell Vicky’s been and how horrible it’ll be to have to tell her that my car’s totaled…

And I can see the fear in this woman’s eyes as she’s about to plow into me…

And she doesn’t. She stops just in time.

Sometimes, the other shoe doesn’t drop… just yet, at least…