Hello, good morning, and welcome, as always, to another Thursday edition of my weekly blog post. I’m riding the train today—as I have all this week and from the end of last week—because my poor vehicle is in the shop. It’s a bit frustrating, but also weirdly nostalgic, and the extra walking I must do has forced me to realize just how little walking I’ve been doing lately. I’ve gotten terribly out of shape. As testament to that fact, though I can’t be certain it’s related, at the beginning of this week, I slipped while getting out of the shower—nothing severe, don’t worry; I didn’t fall down or even have to grab anything to right myself—and my back has consequently suffered a severe exacerbation of its already chronic “failed back surgery syndrome” pain. This makes riding the train more of an adventure than it might be otherwise, to say nothing of simply going to work, but such is the way of things. In the words of the Dread Pirate Roberts, “Like is pain…anyone who says differently is selling something.”
Speaking of pain, I was very disappointed by the reception to my blog post last week. This is really a euphemistic way of saying I’m disappointed in the post itself, since there’s surely no one to blame but me if it didn’t do well. For the first time in a very long while, my Thursday blog post didn’t get even one single “like”. And I’m just not capable of “liking” my own post.
I’m honestly not sure what it was about that post that was so unappealing. I didn’t feel that the writing was particularly bad, but maybe it was. I had, just a few days earlier and after a four month “course”, come off Saint John’s Wort, and maybe that affected my writing style or quality. Maybe it was just that I used a bad collection of “tags” to highlight the post.* If there’s anyone out there who had the courage to force their way through it and has an objective (or not) assessment to give me, I’d appreciate it.
As I said, it’s a bit nostalgic for me to be riding the train again, not least because it was at the train station in Hollywood, Florida that I received the inspiration for my story Prometheus and Chiron, which I like a lot, even if no one else does. (I have no reason to think that no one else likes it, but I similarly have no way to know if anyone does…there are no reviews on Amazon for it, though maybe there’s something on “Goodreads”, and I just didn’t look closely enough.) It is, however, just a bit frustrating to ride the train when one’s back pain makes one feel, and move, as though one were ninety years old…and not a particularly healthy ninety, at that.
Still, I’ve done some good, or at least extensive, writing on trains and/or buses throughout the years. Thanks to the existence of very small laptop computers (and even smartphones!), I can write on the train without subsequently having to decipher and transcribe my own atrocious handwriting afterwards**. I’ve had to do such transcription before, with both Mark Red and with The Chasm and the Collision (neither of which was written on a train or bus, however; they were written at Florida State Prison, which is less bumpy but which has its own drawbacks), and I can assure you, as a fun thing to do to pass the time, it’s highly overrated.
Speaking of such things, the editing and rewriting of Unanimity continues as always; and it does feel like forever, sometimes. It’s still enjoyable to read as I edit, which I guess is a good thing. I always aspire to the mental state of being someone who generally likes the story, but who is fed up with it just enough to be critical about its flaws so that I can correct them with a ruthless but well-meaning attitude. That’s the ideal, but as Run DMC said, it’s tricky. Anyway, it’s coming along, slowly but surely, and hopefully it will be finished sometime before I die, or before the world ends, whichever comes first***.
In other news…well, there’s not much other news, come to think of it. Of course, I’m sure there’s “news” out there in the world; there always is, if you’re looking. Some of it might even just possibly be relatively important, even on a long-term scale (though the majority, I’d guess, is indistinguishable from random gossip around a water cooler—and though biologists and anthropologists say that gossip served and continues to serve important social functions regarding reputation and trustworthiness, etc., I can’t help but find it appalling, embarrassing, and worthy of contempt; say of me what you will). My own life, however, tends to be repetitive and tedious, and would make very poor viewing, even ignoring the deeply unattractive protagonist.
My imagination, however, is thankfully and sometimes joyfully fertile. Einstein is quoted as having said that imagination is more important than knowledge. I’m very fond of both, but I do think that without imagination it’s hard even to arrive at knowledge of any but the simplest of subjects. How, after all, are you to construct a mental model of a concept if you can’t imagine such a model?
Well, to quote the immortal (and, perforce, imaginary) Forrest Gump, “That’s all I have to say about that.” This is not quite true, of course. I could probably go on and on ad infinitum, and I’m sure some of you feel that I already have. But, anyway, I’ll hold off any further mental meanderings until next week, and simply wish you all the very best of all that is possible, both individually and collectively.
*I decided to use the tags “sex”, “drugs”, and “rock ‘n’ roll” for this post to see if it makes a difference.
**Handwriting made all the worse by the bumping and jostling of a moving train or bus. Those who know how bad my script is, in and of itself, can only imagine with dread the nightmare of such Lovecraftian output. The horror…the horror…
***Of course, from my point of view, the two events are equivalent.