Category Archives: F Scott Fitzgerald

Balancing Act


this is me doing a headstand. i have been practicing yoga for years. this is just one of the many random things you’ll catch me doing because i can. and yes, this requires balance. it’s the balance on the grid i can’t manage so well.

I’ve always been honest with you.  I am having a hard time balancing myself on the whole social media thing.

I recently returned from 10 days of being off the grid and it was like food for my soul. This vacation came on the heels of writing furiously for “Camp NaNoWriMo” (National Novel Writing Month) and almost maniacally for a month straight. During that month, I also managed to write blog posts, almost as a treat to myself to change the tempo, write about some real things and simply get things off my mind. A couple posts were well, totally and completely random.

During NaNo Camp, when I wrote, I wrote about 6k words a day and I never let up the intensity of what I was doing.  I holed myself in my office for several hours and played music to evoke the proper mood and tone.  I said a prayer to my muse and to God asking for guidance and support and clarity.  I requested that I stay on task and that I do what is good and honorable.  On my final day, I wrote 4k words in less than two hours and even I was surprised by how the novel ended.  Oh, and I put on about five pounds and I kept at the writing.  I was told by someone that what I was doing was pointless.

The vacation was right on time.  I loved being off the grid.  As much as I enjoy the online experience, I always enjoy, and prefer seeing and touching and employing all my five senses in the actual experience of being with the people I know (I don’t taste/eat them, I eat with them, and the smelling sense is passive… my olfactory system picks up the people… admit it: yours does too).

On my personal Facebook page, I have the luxury of being in real-life contact with a great majority of the “friends” I have and I always enjoy our real contact.

After vacation, I didn’t go online for almost two more days because I knew that once I did log on, it would be for a while.

So when I did go online, I was online for a long time.  Even though I logged off, I would log back in.  I started a post about what I learned on vacation that started out as very heavy and heady.  On my way back from picking up my son from tennis camp, I realized that I needed to lighten up that post.  So I wrote the humorous post that I did publish about what I learned while on vacation.

But my need for outreach didn’t end there: after I posted, I stayed online to check my stats for visits to the page.  I’m admitting a lot here, and it’s hard to say because it’s akin to a neurosis… not an addiction, but a weirdness in that I would like to be validated through the online world and hear me now: if my kids or my best friend told me what I am telling me (and you) right now, I’d tell them to not bother.  To let it go.  To see their value in themselves and that their basis of “appreciation” or “validation” was extrinsic and completely out of whack and that the amount of “hits” or “reads” or “fans” has nothing to do with their essential value, talents or gifts in this tangible world we have been granted a finite time to live in.

I can rationalize this all I want and say my interest for “outreach” is because of my professional public relations grooming, to see if I “nailed it” when I posted.  Or I can chalk it up to my BA in Writing.  Or I can claim it’s because I’m a social animal (which I am: but I realize that I recharge from actual human contact), or that I’m just genetically inclined to Write.  But Writing is not necessarily or actually at all: the same as Being Online.

But I didn’t say to myself what I’d say to my kids or friends.  I checked to see if people “liked” the post on Facebook.  I went on my Grass Oil fan page on Facebook to see if anyone shared it.  This neediness went on for about an hour and I’m not excited to admit it.

Blog stats … I saw myself saying, “just one more check for hits and then I’ll shut down…” and when I heard myself say it outloud, that is when I finally shut down.
I have wondered about this interest of mine for a while and I think the only way to shut it down is to become hypervigilant and beat it.

So I see a crossroads: the intersection of my online experience impinging on my real, tangible, off-the-grid life and vice versa.  Am I alone in this? Does anyone else have this concern?  Is it time management? Yes, obviously.  Set a timer? Sure… I just have to remember to do that.  Hyper vigilant. I also can’t use my writing as an excuse to be online.  I wonder: if I treat the writing as a “job” then will I be better about my time management?  But then I have another conflict with authenticity… it’s not a “job”; it’s an interest.  A job earns income.  In the final analysis, I see that what I’m dealing with is a value issue. And very likely a dopamine response…

.  .  .

I am realizing that the online thing is more than a balancing act for me, it’s almost an identity concern, in that I am having a need to see myself validated through the online experience.  I won’t say “crisis” because I think that word, the fact that it even exists, is bullshit.  We create our own crises; issues don’t suddenly become a crisis.  It’s because we ignore things that allows the “crisis” label to be exploited and then all shit hits the fan.

Energy crisis.

Crisis of faith.

Political crisis.

Healthcare crisis.

Diabetes crisis.

Debt crisis.

All this stuff is always brewing, we just decide to play backgammon instead.

What I’m dealing with is a “concern” (and I’m not using my PR background spin machine to rationalize it); but I will say this: the nanosecond the social media experiences I am concerned with become a crisis is the day I’m offline for a year.  And sipping mai tais on Oahu…

And if you ever hear me refer to my flesh and bone friends as “my IRL friends,” I want you to point at me and laugh heartily. (I learned about 4 months ago from someone I overheard that “IRL” stands for “in real life”) … I don’t operate in that world. All my life is real. I might squander it, but make no mistake: everything I do has a consequence.

.  .  .

I am a Writer. I have finally enabled myself to say this.  Just giving myself permission to allow myself to think about being capable and prepared to admit it was like, y’know, like HUGE, man.  And I’m good with it.  I have another thing to help explain myself.

That said, I’m not a marketer, a spin master, a social networking maven nor am I terribly interested in garnering massive amounts of attention.  I just wanna write and create and move on.  Is that so bad? So, that’s part of my concern.  But then the trappings of “value” come back in to play.  If I didn’t care about what people thought, why would I share it?  This is deep stuff, it’s sorta circular. For me, I will consider it until I don’t anymore.

Value.  Success.

Success.  How does one (and this is a personal determination, which is why I like it) define success?  What makes you successful?

Let’s define “successful” first:

successful |səkˈsesfəl|


accomplishing an aim or purpose : a successful attack on the town.

• having achieved popularity, profit, or distinction : a successful actor.

I like the first notion; the one about accomplishing an aim (I’m not terribly fond of the example they gave).  I did that with “Camp NaNoWriMo.”  I met the goal and now I have a bona fide “WIP” (work in progress), which I am farming out to few interested readers (a*hem) for their feedback.

What’s my goal with this tome?  I would like to say, well: to share it.  To publish it and I dunno, sell it? Sure! Why not? I’m game.

(I mean, why does a woman get pregnant? Surely not to stay pregnant… she does it to have a child, raise the child, educate the child and then be able to lean on that child during her golden years, providing she was good to her child.)

So I’ll work to sell the book.  Ok.  That’s a “job.”  But here’s where I get stuck: I feel that the first notion’s contingency on the second notion: “having achieved popularity, profit or distinction” sucks the wind out of the first notion’s sails.

That secondary notion is essentially taunting, “So what.”  Did Michaelangelo (and no, I’m not comparing myself to him, but then again, why not?) have to deal with that? I’ll have to read more about him.  Did anyone (besides a detractor or two) think he sucked?

It’s as if that secondary notion is waiting around a corner and trips that first notion, or shoves it in a locker, or puts its head in the toilet to give it a swirly, or reaches down into its pants and gives it a wedgie.  So the so-called quandary for me then is this: I distinctly hate, am loathe to, dislike and otherwise am annoyed by that bulleted, second notion of the definition.

For all creative types: musicians, artists, actors, painters, poets, writers, sculptors, mimes… That secondary notion is a bully and in the 21st century of social media, and to me: the work of self marketing, dealing with that bully doesn’t automatically help the first notion’s cause.  You can market yourself to the moon and back: tweet, tumbl, Pin, digg, LinkedIn, Facebook, Wiki and contort your eSelf into oblivion and your efforts could still be null.

And so now it’s my turn: “Now what, social media?”

I envy my hero F. Scott Fitzgerald: all he had to do was write and drink and vacation with his rich friends.  He didn’t have to sweat launching a fan page or a ham radio station.  Of course, there was his beloved Zelda to deal with, but I can be my own Zelda if the proper circumstances present themselves. Oh! What fun that would be!

I could do all the eMarketing possible and my book could still not be profitable. Does that mean that it is or I AM therefore “unsuccessful”?:



1 an unsuccessful attempt: failed, ineffective, fruitless, profitless, unproductive, abortive; vain, futile, useless, pointless, worthless, luckless.

2 an unsuccessful business: unprofitable, loss-making.

3 an unsuccessful candidate: failed, losing, beaten; unlucky, out of luck; informal: losingest.

No. I am not a failure or the losingest. So the solution, as in many all of our life concerns, lies within.  I can reframe my relationship with social media and my identification with my “Work”: begin tweeting, go to Pinterest and all the rest or I can cut my jib, so to speak, and stay where I am: OK with Things as They Are… until they change.  That, my friends, is the rub.  No sense creating chaos in preparation for something that might not ever happen… And there’s all the sense in the world in just being OK with being OK.

I have determined thus (as I write): If I become annoyed that my online experience is seen as dominant over my tangible, breathing oxygen, using the bathroom, eating a sandwich, petting the dog, caressing my child world then it’s time to get the hell offline.  If I see that my tangible world impinges on my “enjoying” my online world, it’s time to get the hell offline.  The online world is a 24/7 experience.  Emails we write can be held onto for the next day, week or month or year.  The Machine makes us believe that we need to respond now – just because we are able to.  What I need to remember is that an ability does not equal a mandate.  A whiny bladder is a mandate, a child is a mandate, a dog that nudges is a mandate, a growling stomach is a mandate.  A hit on a blog is a nice to have; a fan on the page is a nice to have; a “like” on a blog is a nice to have; a reblog is a nice to have and they are good for the ego but they mustn’t define us.

Wow… I think I might’ve just sorted all that out.

Thank you.

Update: NaNoWriMo, Confession: We Don’t Have a Flobie and Other Stuff on My Mind


Hello again. Thanks for reading. Have a great day.

Wouldn’t that be nice? I’ve got so much on my mind.  I’ve been writing a book I don’t think anyone will like.  Which leads me to my quandary: why bother? I keep going because I saw a great video the other night presented by Liz Gilbert who wrote Eat Pray Love ( elizabeth_gilbert_on_genius.html) that I found via another blog, Three Kings Books, “CarrTalks” whose author has become an e-friend of mine to me (I have no clue if I’m a gnat to her or not, but she’s very interesting and kewl and is inspiring me to test myself). I have found that there are more reasons to keep going than the one or two in my head.  I also find that going to a book store helps: look at all the books that someone in New York or Los Angeles thought were a good idea to buy the rights to, print and push at Barnes & Noble. I have to admit, sometimes it’s daunting: seeing reprints of War and Peace or The Road or The Great Gatsby or Hamlet and then I look around and see Leaves: All You Wanted to Know or Fashion for Dummies and Eyeglasses: A History then I figure, anyone can do this.  Which means that I can too.  Maybe I shouldn’t.  Shh.

Someone on my Grass Oil fan page on facebook (link to join at right margin for both of you who might be interested) asked me about the NaNo process and I am still unclear on what she wants, so I’ll spew what I’ve learned: it’s great. If you’re wired like I am: slightly frazzled, wound a little tight, but have a concept and the stamina to sit for several hours continuously (at least two) a day or break it up a couple times a day, then go for it. Having a deadline has been one of my favorite things that I miss about the working world. I loved the rush and the benchmarks of the editing and production process.  I loved having typos (shit!) on the final draft. But that’s the reality. A quick NaNo FAQ for my FB fan-friend:

Q: How do you take care of your kids during June and still write?

A: Cereal. Lots of cereal and lots of milk. Make sure everyone has clean underwear too. They can put on what they wore last week, it’s still in the hamper, I assure you. Oh, and an online subscription to “Club Penguin” can’t hurt. If I had a kid in diapers and was attempting NaNo at this juncture I’d also be under the table with an empty bottle of Tanqueray. Know your limitations. The book can wait, diapers can’t.

Q: What about nonfiction? I have a great personal story.

A: This is about writing novels, so pretend it’s someone else you’re writing about. Make it the opposite sex, make the city the same but in another state or planet. Lie.

Q: What is this all about? I mean, what’s the end result?

A: You get to say you wrote a book within a month and if that ain’t enough for you, you’ve got issues. Sorry, but true. When you’re ready to submit, they count it up and it’s still yours. ADDENDUM (this just in from NaNo winner friend): “But once you’ve validated your word count, you also get a snazzy certificate that you can type your own name into and print it out and put on your wall. Plus you can say you’ve written a 50,000 word novel/novella in 30 days. : )”  Novella… HEL-LO…

Q: Don’t they sell it?

A: No. They are there to help you along. To get you focused and committed.  Honey, if your first draft is ready for the shelves, then why’d you need NaNo? Fitzgerald took seven years to write Tender is the Night. (I like to say that a lot, it helps me procrastinate.) This program, to me, is all about getting shit done: showing up, suiting up, getting that coffee and getting busy. It’s about taking your dream to write a book and freaking making it happen.  The “value” of it then becomes an ego issue: isn’t it enough that you wrote one? Or do you want money now? Get an agent, get used to rejection. It’s OK: no chance ever taken is not worth taking. What you said? Never mind: Is it your dream? Make it a reality.

Q: Are there any requirements?

A: No. This is voluntary. You’re not getting paid.  Underperform if you wish. Overperform if you wish. There is one requirement if you choose to go the distance: a 50,000 minimum word count by the end of the month (providing you start at zero words) enlists you in some contest. I don’t know what that contest is, and a friend won it one year and while I’m totally excited for her, I don’t know what that means. But because I’m all about commitments and value and showing up, I’m going for 75k minimum because I started at 18k on 1 June and 50k is only about 135 pages at 12pt Cambria, but who’s counting?  That’s only 70 sheets of paper; that’s not much of a book to me. I want a book I can injure people intruders with. Not emotionally, by the way, physically. Emotionally takes too long. I want to give a bad guy a black eye with it.

Q: I missed June.

A: Next one is August. Then the big one is in November. Oh, and post-its are your friend. Get lots and write on them and then stick them on to other post-its and forget about them.

I will readily admit that I went into NaNo Camp with little more than zero knowledge of the process and I’m learning more as I go along; I’d be truly lost without my NaNo friends pushing me and helping me out. They better watch it or I’ll dedicate my book to them… 😉

No more questions, I’m out of hypothetical questions and rhetorical answers. 🙂

~ ~ ~

Writing this book has taken everything away from my family. I throw frozen bread and deli meats at them when the sun is at a 45˚ angle on my street and the shadows are one-third longer than the trees. Clothes are clean, but well, it’s not pretty. Dog hair is everywhere. Zone Bar wrappers and empty coffee cups  are leading out of my office toward the rest of the house. My eldest has begun shaving. My middle son is 5’10” and my youngest has asked the dog to be his parental guardian. They need haircuts.

We have a Flobie knock off. It wasn’t a matter of money, it was a matter of warranties and not saying we own a Flobie. “We bought the ‘Robo Cut’ which is much more manly,” said no one ever.  I ply my three sons with chocolate to get in The Chair.  They like to come to me to have it done because I’ve always cut their hair, save for the photo-op time for each of them that we endured as a future warranty against claims of negligence to prove to them that we did actually throw money at other people to groom them and that this vacuum-haircut at home thing is all just a crazy made-up fiction. (Remind me to delete this post in five years.)

this is not the kind you dance on. you sit. now. hot towel?

They also like to come to me to do it because they like to be able to have a conversation with their barber.  Thing 1 who is 14 and freaking hilarious, said that when had a memory of going to the barber, it was always confusing for him due to the language barrier and three-word sentences between himself and his talented Asian follicular cutter. He regales us with stories, amplified by his father’s true experiences. This is one such event that happens around our house after dad gets a cut. T1 is playing the part of the barber… lights… curtain … cellphones on stun…

Barber: Hello! Welcome!

Field male: Hey, thanks. I’ll sit here and wait?

Barber: You sit here.

Field male: Ok, hey I’d

Barber: Off work today?

Field male: No, just on my lunch br

Barber: Number one blade?

Field male: Sure, uh, no actually just on the si

Barber: Number two then?

Field male: Well, you usually do it shorter on th

Barber: Remain still. I cut.

Field male: Do you remember me? You cut my hair last

Barber: Sure! How baby?

Field male:  Uh, I don’t have a baby. My youngest is eight

Barber: HaHa! I know! Just kidding! How daughter?

Field male: sighs. Oh, her? She’s great. She’s going to the Olympics.

Barber: So great! Rifle?

Field male: No, water ballet. She’s the ball.

Barber: Oh! My daughter love horses.

Field male: What?

Barber: Trim eyebrow?

Field male: Sure. Thanks. Water ballet is

Barber:  Shave too?

Field male: No, not today. I’m afraid of you.

Barber: Ha ha! Ok, hot towel?

Field male:  Definitely. I can hide under it.

Barber: I show you picture. Here’s my daughter on horse.

Field male:  Under the towel. Owh, waaow! Fthat’s freat! Fhe looks feautiful!

Barber: Ok. Fifteen dollar. Next!

So my kids like the Robo-Cut. Last night we ran out of chocolate bars. Thank you, I’ll be here all week. Take care of your waitresses.

~ ~ ~

Nice problems to have: My ice dispenser won’t work. I moan about its bloody inconvenience but then I recall I have a refrigerator. Problem solved.   I’d also like to live in a slightly larger or more 21st century attuned home. I love where my house is: a private street with little traffic, but the living room is massive, a vestige from a time when people used to come home from drinking at the agency to drink some more with Larry Tate and his wife. But then I remember that I have a home and it’s very comfortable and we’re not underwater and then the problem vaporizes. I get this way about the house after I come from a home that is naturally larger and in which I am a guest. I think, “if our house were bigger, then we’d be able to have parties like this,” but then I remember that I don’t have parties like this very often and that for the five of us, the house is plenty. It’s all the hampers in the way. Stupid NaNoWriMo.

~ ~ ~

The Internet has Taught Me

The internet has taught me that there are a lot of people out there. Many have great ideas and others just like to swear and be crass and shock other people. I mostly enjoy my time on Facebook and blogs. I think they’re great outlets for sharing ideas and being entertained.  I also realize in my old age that dropping F-bombs for the sheer habit of doing it isn’t nearly as hard as choosing another word altogether. Anyone can be crass and get a laugh.  And this just in: “The U.S. Supreme Court has thrown out fines and sanctions against broadcasters who violated the Federal Communications Commission policy regulating curse words and nudity on broadcast television.

The justices declined  to issue a broad ruling on the constitutionality of the FCC indecency policy. The justices said the agency is free to revise its indecency policy.

For Pete’s sake… talk about shitty timing. Is all hell going break loose now on everything? Time to cancel cable I fear. By the way, “shit” is not a swear word to me. It’s a noun, “what is this shit?”, an exclamation, “oh shit that hurts!” an adverb “that was a shittily performed play.” And the F-bomb does have it points. But man, I really gotta be in a state to write it, keep it and publish it. It takes a lot of shit from people to get me there. Oddly, the universe has blessed me with a couple such people, but we don’t speak anymore.

The internet has also shown me that if you think you had a crappy childhood, you’re wrong. Or you’re right. It all depends. The thing is, everyone has been disappointed. And if anyone out there thinks that giving a child everything he or she wants, sheltering them from every possible adversity and picking them up the moment they fall down or before they make contact is the key to raising resilient, resourceful and emotionally adept adults: stop smoking the crack. Hear me now: You have already disappointed your children, count on it.  Somehow you picked the wrong spoon or you didn’t give her the right amount of ice cream. Or he WANTED THE YELLOW ONE!!!!!!  The thing is: think twenty years into the future: my kids are going to have to fire your kids because they have no coping skills or no idea how to do things themselves. So stop. Stop constantly pandering to your kids. I’m certainly not advocating that you lock them in a closet for hours or deny them food, but let them not get the one thing want. Make them wait fifteen minutes before swimming.  Let them be picked last for the team.  Let them not have something else because they won’t eat peas at dinner. You might just spare them costly therapy one day.  Because life is not always fair.  One size does not fit all.  Living through disappointments and challenges makes us stronger.  Being a loving parent does not mean to pander; being a loving parent means to do your best, apologize when you blow it and teach your children how to pick up the age-appropriate pieces too.

~ ~ ~

I Have A Lot to Say. Clearly.

I’ve written 14 posts in June. Well, no, 13, no, 12.  One is a reblog and one is a repeat of my own. But still, 12. That’s a lot.  If I can write 4k words a day, blog another 1,500 (average) as well and hang on facebook for a moment or ten, I have a lot to say. The thing is, for most of that time, my kids were still in school, so the slowdown is occurring.  My biggest cheerleader, Thing 2 (11) has also been my biggest complainer about how much I’m at the computer.  As much as I say I dig people, I also dig creating people, fictional characters and scenes, but this will come to a greater slowdown next week when I push off for vacation. Despite evidence to the contrary, I dig face time more than e-time though. There is so much I don’t say and that’s usually because I am reluctant afraid of pissing someone off, still. Despite my post “real” a few weeks ago, I feel I must be careful lest I alienate anyone. But I’ve been so pleased with both of the people who like what I write that I am feeling a little freer to be more honest.  Here’s this: I’m not writing anything I don’t already believe in.

~ ~ ~

Happy Summer Solstice! Today’s the longest sunny day of the year! Enjoy! Six months to winter… (it’s so hot here I had to say it).

Thank you.

just finished a book


i just finished a book this morning that i’m pretty sure will affect me for the rest of my life.

i hope it will anyway.

i won’t mention the title right now because i’m sure there are people out there who are familiar with this tome, but who have either biased opinions of it due to the nature of its content and its message.  for those of you who grace me with your faithful reading of this little and inconsistent blog, i will tell you at the end. like dessert.

the writer chose words and phrases that painted pictures of an austere, spartan post-apocalyptic world. it didn’t matter where, but i inferred it was America, the beautiful, bountiful, abundant, mighty America. reduced to ashen shadows, dry creeks, leafless forests, relentless murky skies and loamy seas.

the wonderful irony however in the construction of this book is that while the words depicted desolation, they were so perfectly poised and used that not even apostrophes were wasted. to overuse them would be callous.

the author, a master, is my current hero but not because he’s such a great story teller, it’s because the route of his work touched just about all my senses. fitzgerald does that for me too, but in an entirely different fashion: FSF wrote in the modern world’s most glamorous and flagrant times, the roaring 20s. a time which i often wax romantic as being The Best Era in which to live. so FSF’s usage was decadent although precise as well. this author’s usage is not decadent, but just as precise and it’s definitely not about the 20s.

one of the greatest gifts this book gave to me was that my tears were spared until the end. i got this feeling from the author and his characters that crying and emotional anchoring would be indulgent and cowardly. that we must press on. get the cart. look for food. press on.

i have friends who have suggested to me that they couldn’t read the book; others that couldn’t finish the book, that it was too much. for me, i had to press on. the characters pressed on, despite challenges that would only be defined by our worst nightmares, i mean really bad nightmares, they pressed on. they kept their heads up looking forward, staying the course no matter what.

i checked on my children in their beds each night i read. feeling for their breathing, their warmth and thanking the fates for my fortune. it doesn’t matter if you have kids or not, if you can read this sentence, what you have is worth thanksgiving.

i visually checked the front door to make sure the deadbolt was locked. at times i wished we had a gun in the house. it made me care about China again and consider Iran. it made me hate Target and Walmart and their reckless promotion of consumerism and waste. so in a way, it made me suspicious.

but you can’t live in suspicion. the protagonist in the book reminded me that despite any devastation, we mustn’t live selfishly and angrily at our situation. that we always have something to share or give to those who have less — even if we think we have nothing, we have a smile or a kind word or simply a kind thought. even giving ourselves a kind word or thought is not wasted. try that sometime.

it’s fiction, for the most part. but it really isn’t because despite the book’s setting there isn’t one person in this world past or present or future who won’t feel apocalyptic at times about their own situations: the health might be compromised; the finances are in shambles; the spouse is estranged emotionally or physically; the children are floundering; the job is aimless; life seems pointless; the ambition is gone; the self pity is ABUNDant… these are all parts of The Human Condition and man, if we get to feel these things in our lives, we should realize just how lucky we truly are. because it’s not worse.

what perspective!

perspective is a gift. and i realized viscerally after reading this book that we are lucky because we have been given a second breath which is a second chance every moment. and what must we do when we have those second chances? press on, my friends, press on.

but pressing on does not mean doing the same thing day in and out. it means reinvention of ourselves and adapting, engineering and thriving. it’s not easy, but it’s really the only way to press on.

i am one who has fears. insecurities and shames just like everyone else. sometimes i don’t know what keeps me pressing on. but something does. is it my children? my outside reputation as being a go-getter, hard charging, driven, loyal to the end, my own worst critic, eternally vigilant and cautiously optimistic (all of which are true)? i don’t know. i could spend hours wasting time trying to figure it out, but in the end and after reading that book, i have learned that thinking about it is not wasteful, it’s just not always useful.

i have learned however, that self-pity is an indulgence that the industrial person needn’t allow, and we are all industrious. i’ve heard about that, that “just feeling sorry for yourself” is wasteful and all that, but i never connected with it because whenever i felt it, ‘it seemed like a good idea at the time.’ but i get it now. whenever i feel sorry for myself i will think of The Boy and Papa.

the tears i finally shed were sincere. i feel the author gave me permission to weep, gently, privately and briefly. i was proud to tear up and i was proud of the point at which i wept. we had come so far, these people and i. it was time to let down our guard because we were “the good guys” who had “kept the fire.” but when the tears were over, it was time to bootstrap, to remind ourselves of hope.

thank goodness for those old bootstraps. they’re always there.

thank you.

(the book is “The Road” by Cormac McCarthy and well, i can’t recommend it enough.)