Hello and welcome, reader.
Once again, weeks passed before I knew it. As usual, you must pardon my apparent laziness. For most times, when I take a break from writing these pleasure notes, it means there’s work for hire going on elsewhere.
Either that, or I’m resting between bouts of fiction writing.
I ought to have told you, by now, how if a writer doesn’t work, he won’t get paid.
In case I forgot, there you go.
So, my take on the hustle will, most often, keep us away from here.
But it’s no wonder to me that we seem always to return, because we enjoy posting these few and occasional lines for you to read.
I also like it for more reasons than just practise. Though one is ever aware, writing takes endless amounts of that.
As neither diarist nor biographer, however, this blog also stands among the few examples of personal writing I have ever made public.
For here, and only here, everything is personal.
Aside from it, most everything else I do or have done was or is for either hire or sale.
If you’ve wondered, I make a habit of not speaking about my work, neither how I do it nor what it is I’m doing.
Besides that, I’m also not one for sharing personal stuff. Those close to me have grown used to our being that way over the years.
I’m also careful with whom we share our private opinions.
One supposes those statements, at first glance, might be hard for a reader to grasp when made about a man who publishes what he writes. But like the concept of separation of church and state, once you do, you see, plainly and at once, how everything else is made better because of it.
Likewise, if he is to survive in a world made by the artist, we save a man only by knowing where one life ends and another begins. At all times, this must be so.
For if it is not, we place sanity at great risk.
In my life, that’s the way it was, is, and ever shall be. And I’m also quite sure, though many seem unaware of it, that most of us share an experience quite similar, in fact. As far as it goes, the only real difference between you and me is the way my job puts those multiple identities on public display.
Here’s what I mean.
Most folks live several markedly different lives. In many cases, they have at least a distinct personality they take to work, and a separate one they put on when they get home. As all of us who are old enough to read this know, we can say the same of school-age children. Not only that, but in every situation a person finds themself, most tailor their looks, speech, and demeanor to best manage it.
In this way, at most times unawares, we are but social animals reacting to life’s demands.
Because it’s so common, and desperately needed, when managing daily life, most of us do our best to ignore these facts of our own behavior.
Few of us wish to either be or think ourselves false.
Here, we accept people are not acting so. At least, not in most cases. And much of the time, when it happens, there’s no mean intent.
Instead, we see these most common and widespread habits as one among many instincts key to our survival. I will even go so far as to claim free will is largely unknown among our kind.
But despite making the statement, I must also make clear how I am no determinist. Though I also hold firm to my belief in the latest physics and its philosophical implications.
In short, as an atheist, I’m happy enough living in a deterministic multiverse which responds to choices made by its inhabitants.
Of course, you’re free to believe your own thing. To me, it makes little difference. Just as what I’m thinking means nothing to you.
As far as I’m concerned, live, and let live is the highest ideal pursued here.
It’s certainly a tough one against which to measure oneself. But that’s the gig. So far as I can tell, anyway.
However, I digress.
Because what I want you to know is I’m not hiding anything from you. Aside from what I don’t want you to know about my personal life.
The above statements are correct for both myself and my work.
Despite the extremely public nature of what is now a career of some length, I have always and ever will demand the privacy of my personal life be respected absolutely.
Those few willing to accept my terms are only then made part of it. As they who choose otherwise, soon enough are not.
My reason for keeping this rule is simple. The blood I’ve spilt, and there’s been plenty, whether in the ring, on the stage, or written on some unread page, is all I have to give you. For myself, I must preserve what is left of me.
I also want you to know the choices I make about what I write are mine. I make them because I believe them not only best but correct. For all concerned. As well, when writing, I do my best to show things as they were. That’s because, as a writer, I see the job first, as not a place to either moralize or claim to know better about what I’m writing than those who lived it in real time.
My job is presenting the facts of life as fiction, with as little praise or admonishment as I am able.
And if possible, without either regret or exaggeration.
Only by doing so can I let you see, and, I hope, feel, how it was for the people about whom you’re reading when you crack the spine on one of my books. And that, believe it or not, is also the whole and complete basis, and entire explanation, for how and why I have lived my life.
Now, you should know I think it’s a damned shame if these simple facts are not to your liking. But you must also accept it won’t change either what I’ve done, or what I might do next.
Because with a pirate manning the helm, the artist must chart an outlaw’s course as his own.
Another good thing to know about me is I write fiction, not biography.
Before everything else, for a reader, I believe that most important to know. You should also understand I do not write for myself. I write for those who might come along behind me one day, and want to know what it was like back there, in the long ago.
I guess it’s also worth recalling how I don’t care too much about things like money, fame, or being popular. For me, it’s always been about knowing, and then showing, what we did to one another while we were here.
I write mostly about things you should learn in school, but don't.
At least, that’s how I see it.
So, there you have it. Now, I could surely waste many more words explaining, but the name of the game is minimalism here. Along with that, come a few constraints I’ve applied, with great care and far more trouble, to each of my novels.
Beyond this, I think it best to leave the rest of the figuring out to you. Have fun.
Thanks for being here. And for sharing this note with anyone you think might like to read it.
Peace and love,
April 16, 2022