Thursday, January 6, 2011


So, I'd pretty much decided to quit this blogification. Hardly anyone reads this hoohah and why would they? How could they, when there are so many books, so much verbiage posted? Do I read all that I should and would like to? Nope. And wasn't I taking time away from writing words that might, just might be published? For which I might be paid? And I certainly wasn't taking the time to write here at any length, to write about what's really on my mind. My solitary ways. Shame for my past. Fear of the future, now that the market for the kinds of books I've written and illustrated these past 25 years has dwindled. I've taken part in many a late night conversation with other authors, wondering how they're going to manage.

I guess we'll find out. I reckon the graveyards are full of folks who wondered the same thing. Their bones moulder alongside those of folks who might have had more gumption and more luck. In any case, it's the 6th of January. Loretta Young's birthday, so a collection of her old films are flickering on the video hearth today. THough it matters not one little bit nowadays, some might remember that she and Clark Gable kindled a child together back in the day. The Lebanese poet Kahlil Gibran came into the world on 6 Jan 1883 and, according to tradition, the Maid of Orleans was born 399 years ago today. So there: a bit of trivia. Why is that of any interest? I don't know that it is except for the pondering. Maybe it was on a clear cold day like today upon which this or that child was born, some significant life began. I rather like beginnings. It's endings that leave me flummoxed so I rush into them, meet them more than halfway. There's another beginning around the corner.

“The moon is a friend for the lonesome to talk to...The secret of happiness is to admire without desiring.... Let a joy keep you. Reach out your hands and take it when it runs by."

These and many thousands more wonderful words were written by Carl Sandburg who was born on this day, Epiphany, the 6th of January in 1878, which would have been George & Martha Washington's 119th wedding anniversary, had they lived. as a matter of fact, Geo. H. W. Bush married Barbara Pierce on this day in 1945. I wish that their eldest had not gotten into politics, but that's just me.

In answer to a letter to a writer friend earlier today: Why are we in the writing biz, such as it is:

Because when it's going well, it's pretty satisfactory fun. Even when it's not, one can work out a fine little life in the margins.

The people we get to meet & know, such as nearly all of the school librarians I've met over the years. Other authors.

Sometimes we make money.

The things we learn. Being able to tell about them, if not as much as we'd like.

Finding out how we think & feel about things.

To share our points of view, mine being that there pretty goddam interesting people well worth the knowing and that in the knowing, we'll be heartened. I have been anyway.

The places we get to go, such as, well, the first place that comes to mind is Susan B. Anthony's house in Rochester, NY. and the White House, for that matter. It occurred to me then and now that when the occupants went out the door to talk to people, they may well have felt that it wouldn't do any good, wouldn't change anything, but they went anyway.

Total strangers read what we write. One can hope.

Being part of our civilization's conversation, the borderless, timeless nation of wordsmiths, writers of letters, manifestoes, tales, drivel, & explanations.

To justify our lust for office supplies.

Reason enough, I reckon.

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