And the Rest Is Cabbage

Turtle-Dog-Abadan-Iran copy2

 

If you want to be somewhere, you only have two choices: Here and Elsewhere. That’s just physics.

As a writer looking to increase blog subscribers, I want you to be Here, naturally.

But the call of Elsewhere is strong. Elsewhere has neat stuff in it, like videos of turtles playing with puppies.

Elsewhere has slide shows of celebrity side-boob and children jacked-up on dental gas.

But what’s Here? What do we have Here?

That’s a good and fair question. I need a mission statement before I continue.

What Is This Blog?

Forgive me if I repeat myself, but I want to be clear what this blog is and isn’t, so you can better decide if you want to keep checking in or not. I hope you do.

I am writing a book. For now, we’ll just call it THE BOOK. It’s not the Bible, though. That’s a different THE BOOK.

This blog isn’t THE BOOK, and I will not include excerpts from it here. THE BOOK will be a real-life, bound bundle of papers with inky words in it, and probably a cover. It’s that kind of book.

This blog is about what’s going on in my head as I write THE BOOK. It’s a reality show in blog form.

Like What? What’s In Your Head About This? Go!

Well, I can’t write all my thoughts about THE BOOK in just one sitting. You would be bored, and you have an Uber waiting. A single blog post isn’t nearly enough space to share with you all my hopes, dreams and excitement about finally becoming the ballerina author I was born to be.  So I’ll break this one up into parts. Each week will be a different part.

So much of the future of THE BOOK is unknown.

I know I’ll finish it. In fact, when I do finish it, I’ll feel really good about myself for getting my ass out of bed every morning and working on something until it’s completed. After that, the rest is gravy, really. Many great and wise writers say writing should be its own reward. A lot of people write books, but there’s never a guarantee those books will attract an agent or publisher or  truckloads of dollar-bill money.

It will be enough someday — when I slip on a Microfiber accent rug and lay dying on the floor of Bed Bath & Beyond — to know I wrote every single day, and because of that, I can call myself a writer.

What’s THE BOOK About?

I say this in the nicest possible way: Please don’t ask me what the book is about. If you see me at  Bed Bath & Beyond or something, don’t ask, “Hey, what’s your book about?” because I’ll just pretend I forgot to get something over in the accent-rug section, and I’ll run over there too fast, and … well … I’m just saying, you don’t want to be responsible.

Here’s what I can tell you …

It’s a fictional story, a novel, a collection of people and situations all invented by my brain. It’s not political. It’s not a love story. It’s not Science Fiction or Action/Adventure. It’s not Disney’s “Song Of the South.” Other than these very specific things, I can’t tell you what it’s about. I feel that would jinx things for me. Right now, the story is frolicking on a little, pristine playground in my head, and if I tell you what and who is on that playground, it won’t be my little secret anymore. The rushing feet of the curious will muddy the green grass of … Oh boy, that’s enough. I just don’t want to tell you yet. OK?

I probably have about a year or so until I’m finished with THE BOOK. Currently, I’m about three-quarters of the way through the first draft. First drafts tend to be disorganized and rambling, and that’s OK. That’s how an author (that’s me!) finds his or her way through a story. I learned about shitty first drafts from an incredible book by Anne Lamott called “Bird by Bird,” which I’ve read dozens of times since my twenties. More about Anne later.

Brass Tacks: Who Am I?

I’m Craig, a 53-year-old man, who lives in Cleveland, Ohio.

Cleveland is a place between New York and California. If you look on an America map, New York is on the right. Then there’s 500 miles of cabbage. Then there’s Cleveland. What you know about Cleveland is we have a Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. The rest is mostly cabbage.

Up until now, I’ve been an intermittent writer. That is to say, between a string of terrible occupations, I’ve had one full-time job as a writer. I’ve sold a few stories on my own. I’ve won some writing awards, wrote for a local magazine, then started my own, short-lived artsy newspaper. One time — and this was the best thing ever — a funny piece I wrote was read out loud by someone in front of a big audience in a theater. Hearing a whole crowd of people laugh at my story was like a heroin-high I’ve been chasing ever since.

So, listen, I want you to check in next week for more. I want you to subscribe to this thing (over on the bottom left), because I’m building an author platform, which means I’m building a loyal following. Agents like that kind of thing. I won’t spam you or sell my list anywhere. K?

I know the call of the Great Elsewhere is powerful. And you can go there anytime you want to look at the turtle-puppies and the dental boobs or whatever. But once a week, maybe you can just poke your head in Here, and I’ll keep you updated on the progress of THE BOOK.

Alright. Go on. Catch your Uber. I’ll just be Here … waiting in the cabbage.

 

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Favorite Books On Writing

"Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life" - Anne Lamott

"On Writing: 10th Anniversary Edition: A Memoir of the Craft" - Stephen King


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