After getting back from Jacksonville, I decided to take a few days off to rest and recover. I wrote every night, but other than that, I didn’t do much. Summer break is close to over, so I’ll be back to the grind soon. With that in mind, I’m pretty close to reaching my page goal for the summer, which means I should be able to finish the rough draft around late December/early January. I’ve also been working on the cover for book three and plan to unveil it at Dragon*Con.
Speaking of which, that show is just six weeks away. Doesn’t seem possible that it’s getting so close. Even though I don’t have a table this year, there’s still a lot to do. We’re gonna put together media kits to pass out at the show, and hopefully I’ll get some good exposure while I’m there. As soon as I know my schedule of panels, I’ll post them. My hope is to stay pretty busy with panels and interviews the entire weekend.
Something happened on the way to Jacksonville that I need to get off my chest. I was seeking for radio stations between Asheville and Spartanburg and landed on 88.7 WNCW, a station that I know fairly well because it plays an amazing variety of music from many genres. After a few minutes of good music, the song “Painting by Numbers” by James McMurtry came on. Normally, I’m a live and let live kind of person, but something about that smug, pompous, self-righteous jerk rubs me the wrong way. All of his music that I’ve heard is about how stupid conservatives are and how ignorant the average person is. The implication is that McMurtry — the son of novelist Larry McMurtry — is much smarter and more enlightened than the rest of us, and his music is his mode for spreading this enlightenment.
To me, this kind of crap is a big part of what’s wrong with our country today. The quasi-intellectual, pseudo-spiritual Left stares down from its Ivory Tower in utter disdain at the ignorance of the simple peasants, but instead of building bridges and attempting to cultivate connections as a true spiritual being would do, they hurl insults and write crappy music/poetry/novels to show off their “moral superiority.” Then, they sit around and complain amongst themselves about how bad their sales are and how that is proof enough that the average American dwells in a state of blissful ignorance. Here’s a little free advice: most people don’t like to be insulted and turn away from those who insult them.
Of course, the Right is just as pompous, just as self-righteous, and just as dangerous as the Left. Somewhere along the way, our country was hijacked by elitists from the extremes of each end of the political spectrum, people who believe that they know the best way for everyone else to live. This mentality — the belief that we “average” people are incapable of thinking for ourselves — is the biggest threat to our democracy, and the arrogance of this belief is staggering.
So to James McMurtry — and all the pseudo-spiritual children of famous people like him — come down here and walk in our shoes for awhile before you pass judgment on how ignorant and unenlightened we are. Not all of us grew up with Lonesome Dove money and connections.
I had a great trip to Jacksonville. The boys and I had a wonderful time together, and the show was a pretty good success. The drive back yesterday was brutal, and I’ve spent most of today trying to recover, but overall, it was worth it. I’ve got a lot of work to catch up on, now, so the last few weeks of summer will be pretty busy, but it’s the kind of busy I like.
This is the first opportunity I’ve had to post since the other night. The boys kept me hopping until they were picked up this morning, and then the show was much more crowded today than I expected it to be.
So far, the trip has been great. The hotel is magnificent, and the fans at the show have been pretty awesome. While I will never have much love for Jacksonville, I have enjoyed myself. Here are a couple of pics of the kids.
I’m here in Jacksonville. Got the boys at 3:00 PM, and they ran me ragged until about 10:00 PM. For some reason, I woke up at 2:00 AM and can’t go back to sleep, so Friday may be a LONG day. I’m gonna try to post a few updates this weekend from the show, so check back.
Leaving for Jacksonville today. My plan is to drive about halfway and spend the night with one of my closest friends who I’ve not gotten to see nearly enough in the last few years. Hope to get to meet his daughters, too. Then, I’ll drive the rest of the way tomorrow and hopefully have the boys sometime tomorrow afternoon.
I’m gonna try to post updates from the show, so please check back over the next few days to see how it’s going.
Not too long ago, I was a news junkie. I watched it on TV, listened to it on the radio, and read about it online. I knew a lot about what was going on in the world — the scandals, the corruption, the violence. I tortured myself about the looming disaster our economy was becoming, the perpetual crisis in the Middle East, the insanity of North Korea, all of it. Then, a funny thing happened.
When my marriage fell apart, I spent a couple of months semi-homeless, and when I did get my own place, I couldn’t afford to turn on cable right away, so I went about nine months without a television, at all. I also spent most of my time in the car listening to my MP3 player through my Monster cable, and I didn’t spend much time online. I weened myself from the news.
Last night, during commercials in an episode of Law and Order Criminal Intent, I flipped over to Lou Dobbs Tonight, just to see. Within five minutes, I was miserable. The world is still spinning hopelessly to oblivion, and we are all doomed to a future of political corruption, war, and greed. And then, I had the epiphany. Ignorance really is bliss. Having not followed the news for a year and a half, I had very little to worry about outside of my own personal drama, and I was much better for it. I wasn’t sitting around beating myself up over situations I cannot change and cannot impact on any real level. Instead, I had been focusing on myself and learning to deal with my own issues that need serious attention.
So other than as a casual observer, I’m done following the news. I’m much happier without it, but if World War III erupts, will one of my friends please text me and let me know?