"Where HAVE you been?" Their voices were cold, accusing, and I knew I was in for it.
"I've been....I've been..."
"Don't say busy," the Larger One warned, his breath coming in chilly-looking puffs from his over-red nostrils.
"I was about to say gone," I corrected. "I've been gone, that's what."
"Ohhhh. Gone." Their eyes commiserated with one another as if to say, 'That's no excuse at all, but I suppose we must take it.' "Well, next time at least tell us."
I nodded, relieved that All and Sundry hadn't booted me off the blogosphere and blotted me out of their minds. "Next time I'll tell you."
"Is that a promise?" the Larger One inquired.
"And your word is good?"
"It is good."
"Then," he said, "I suppose we must forgive you."
-Pay Up, Globe-Trotter (an unofficial series of reprimands to Myself from Me)
I have been globe-trotting once again and instructing 130-some students in the mysteries of Political Involvement as Youth in America, and shepherding their hearts toward Christ, and buying more Wodehouse and Machiavelli and a bit of Shakespeare to balance it out. I did forget to tell you I was leaving, but you see, I didn't think there was much purpose in posting about writing when I hadn't been doing it in practice because that is called Deception in most nations and is generally frowned upon. I have, however, been doing a lot of Conversation and much Converting. I have found a mutual Wodehouse-Lover quite by accident when we were lolling about my brother's apartment and said Lover of Wodehouse made fun of me for adoring Scotch accents and then promptly remembered The Coming of Gowf, which he then proceeded to read amidst much chuckling from me and the rest of the assembled company. Then, after having taught kids how to be a lobbyist (or, rather, how to discern whether you ought to take money from a particular lobbyist or not) I lobbied feverishly to convince the very wise and learned minds of Jeremiah Lorrig & Co. of the worth of Winnie-The-Pooh. I could hardly believe that anyone of so broad and genteel a mind could have managed to grow up and entirely escape an acquaintance with A.A. Milne. I remedied that by having another unacquainted friend read us a bit. They laughed even harder than they did over Gowf. I think I have converted them. This pleases me.
As far as the production of Writing, it has been very slow in practice, but productive in the fact that I've been thinking and reading a great deal, and my store of expendable-matter is now finally filling back up. I'd quite drained it a month or two back. I failed to mention to you that beyond my novel-writing, I am also going all-tackle into a non-fiction book that you can read about in this post. I am excited about this very different way to use my talents that will, hopefully, be fruitful. It is a project I need to read myself, and thus I sort of have fallen into having to write it as well.
In addition, I have been rummaging up all sorts of peachy ideas for Fly Away Home-themed this-and-that which you might be able to buy someday. I will keep you updated on all things pertaining to that. I am in the process, actually, of making some rather large decisions. (Don't get too excited, I haven't been offered any contracts.) In other news, I would like to do a plug for two friends. First off, Mirriam Neal:
She is releasing her pro-life, gripping, threatening, victory-claiming novel, Monster. I was so excited to hear that this novel was finally coming out because by Jove! I read the first edition and cried. It is such a good story. Dark and terrible at moments, but so full of light in the end! It's a book I think every American needs to read since we are facing large decisions about the preciousness of Life. Please buy a copy when it comes out. You can read more about it here.
Also, my details-loving friend Rachelle Rea (whose work I totally recommend, as I've experienced its healing scourge) has started in as a freelance editor! I may or may not have mentioned her already, but of all the beginning-editors I know, Rachelle has the credentials. She's done unofficial editing (but professional quality) for several years, and if you're needing an extra brain to coincide with your own when it comes to judging your book, please give her a chance! In closing, (because Alfredo-sauce-making calls) I will leave you with this Cleverness of Wodehouse which I happened upon on the drive home. It says it's about portrait-painters, but I swear he meant Aspiring Novelists:
"A portrait-painter, he called himself, but as a matter of fact his score up to date had been nil. You see, the catch about portrait-painting--I've looked into the thing a bit--is that you can't started painting portraits till people come along and ask you to, and they won't come and ask you to until you've painted a lot first. This makes it kind of difficult , not to say tough, for the ambitious youngster."-Carry On, Jeeves by P.G. Wodehouse
P.S. How would you feel about another contest?