Sunday, November 29, 2009

Where I'm At

Sitting here watching the Steelers and Ravens. With Big Ben out, I'm surprised this game is as good as it is. Go, Dennis Dixon!

Anyway, it's been a long, holiday week. As you know, we Unknowns have just bought a house. Since I had vacation to burn, I took the week off to paint. There was a steep learning curve for yours truly. And I'm just getting over my exhaustion. Earlier today, Pooh and I put Mrs. Unknown on a plane to Switzerland for a meeting and settled in for a pleasant afternoon of football and pizza. Pooh was screaming, "Go Steelers! Go Steelers!" as I put her to bed.

So, I figure now is as good a time as any to tell you all where I'm at in this Unknown life of mine:

Well, I'll be honest, August's Health Care Stories Project pretty much wiped me out. There I was, saying I was going to take some time off to write a new novel--only to start the most intense blogging project I could've possibly imagine. I don't know. I was getting so upset over the "health care debate," I felt I had to do something. I hope in our own, small way we made a difference.

I have no regrets either way, but I don't think I've really recovered my former "swagger," yet. Of course, there were a lot of mitigating factors. There was work--as usual. Then there was the accursed house-hunting. I may still rant about that later.

I gotta tell ya, though, I was shocked by how all-consuming looking for a house can be. There's a heart-rending, house-hunting paradox that never can and never will be resolved: you're never supposed to get your hopes up when looking at a house, but, in order to put a bid in and possibly commit yourself to 30 years of debt, you really have to see yourself in any given house; and what is seeing yourself in a house if it's not getting your hopes up?

I can't tell you how many Christmases and barbecues I'd envisioned that will never be. How many disappointments. But hey, it was all part of the process. And, as we kept telling ourselves, these were good problems. There are so many folks out there still losing their homes, while we got to buy our first. So, no matter what was happening, no matter how depressing it became, we were indeed fortunate. Even though I'm a little bummed that we didn't get to move back into the city, I know I should count my blessings. And I do.

So, there are a lot of changes in store for the Campbell Clan. The house will not be the last of them. I'll keep you informed as they come to fruition.

One change was my "celebrating" my 39 1/2th birthday. Yeah, I know. A half-birthday. When was the last time you counted one of those? It's just that I'm suddenly looking at the hilltop, and I didn't know how I felt about possibly going over it.

So yeah ... I'm looking at a few changes.

The new Growler is one I'm looking forward to. Frederick Douglass had one. It's where we got the idea. His was a little, windowless brick building he had built in his backyard where he'd go every night to write. Mine is a little room in the basement overlooking our backyard. I painted mine "Jazz Blue." I'm pretty excited. Like Virginia, I will finally have a room of my own in which to write. I can't wait.

Aside from writing, I would kinda like to turn the Growler into my own, private DJ booth. I don't know why, but I can't get the idea of being an internet DJ out of my system. It's just that, as a music fiend, I have so much music I can never possibly listen to, and I like sharing.

I've done the internet radio thing twice before, which met with (a) little interest. But those were just throwing up a bunch of songs and letting them play. There was no real interaction whatsoever. This time, though, I'd like to be an actual disc jockey--talking, ranting, shucking, jiving--with a podcast. No, I wouldn't expect this thing to be a success, either. But I think it would be fun.

Of course, a bunch of things would have to happen before I go on the cyberwaves, though.

One of those things is a new novel. I don't like talking about works in progress, but I will tell you it's a science fiction story, oddly enough, about storytelling. It's been delayed a bit with the move, but I plan to get back to it in a week or two. I think those of you--all 12 of you--who liked Sunshine Patriots will dig this one.

Actually, if all goes as hoped, I'd like to celebrate my 40th year on this planet by coming out with three books next year. One would be the aforementioned new novel, of course. Another would be a sort-of "Best of" Tome here. And I have another book, a satire, that will be sure to piss a bunch of folks off. I'm four chapters into it.

It's weird. I'm not really looking at the impending doom of my 40th birthday as my becoming "over the hill." It's not that I think 40 is the new 20, or any such nonsense. I actually don't know if I am cool with it. But birthdays are good problems. A lot of people never make it to 40. So, no matter what is happening, no matter how depressing it becomes, I am indeed fortunate. Even though I'm a still little bummed that we didn't get to move back into the city, I know I should count my blessings. And I do.

So, for now, I'm just thinking of all the possibilities the new home and the new year can bring. And how cool would it be to do something extraordinary? How cool would it be to come out with three books in one year?

It would be so spectacular (my name not being Nora Roberts nor Stephen King), it almost wouldn't matter if they sold well, or not.


So, that's where I'm at right now. On the threshold of the Eternal New. A little apprehensive. A little scared. Feeling my age and feeling my oats. But more than willing to take on all this change--and the future.

Way to go, Dennis Dixon!

Sure, you lost, but you sure as hell did yourself proud!


D. Misha said...

Awww, pish-pash. Turning 40 isn't so bad; you're just hitting your stride. Thanks for sharing. And once I read "Patriots," I'm sure I will look forward to pouring over your upcoming work - especially the sci-fi title. Congratulations on the new family home - you're doing it, fam!

Brooklyn, NY

Sue said...

I hear you, life gets in the way. Congrats on the house, by the way, I love being in a new house, all the possibilities. Enjoy.