….what I’ve been up to…?
This long-ago-abandoned project resurfaced in the months after I got fired from Apple. I suddenly found myself with all of my time on my hands. I dunno, maybe that’s a dangerous thing – quite arguable in this case, since the project continues to be a bottomless rabbit hole in which there is quite possibly no rabbit. Or maybe the rabbit is a squirrel. Still beats the fuck out of me.
Even though I set it aside – quite abruptly – back in 2009, this story always lurked in the back of my mind. When I ‘published’ the first draft of the manuscript that I’d written between 2005 and 2008 (Q: What’s that book about? A: About 500 pages…) I did it under the masthead of ‘Embassy Books and Laundry.’ That was a callback to a front-business that Townsend Brown and his wife operated in the 1950s when he said he was ‘done with science.’ I wasn’t done with the book, either, but I didn’t think it would be thirteen years before I returned to it.
I worked on the manuscript all summer and into the fall. I whittled 200,000 words down to about 100,000. I don’t know if what’s left tells the story, but it tells a story.
In December I sent it to a volunteer from my fusion website for proofreading. I got the file back from him at the end of January, and then had to spend a couple of weeks sorting through the fixes, prepping the illustrations and fixing the endnotes.
Last Saturday (February 11 – Thomas Edison’s birthday), I sent the file to a layout/designer in Pakistan. That was a bit of a monumental moment, representing nearly twenty years of thought and effort since I first went down the rabbit hole in 2003. (Incidentally, I found the layout/designer in Pakistan, and the woman who created the cover from Bangladesh, on Fiverr.com).
In some ways, getting this book out there is the culmination of the primary theme of my life has been for almost fifty years. There is a thread through these two stories, and maybe a reason that they’re tied together.
I don’t know, really, what it all amounts to.
I just know I have to be careful, because I still don’t believe a lot of the things I think.
BTW, if anybody wants a copy when it’s finally ready, I’ll send you one if you’ll write a review on Amazon. I’m imagining an April 1 publication date. April Fools Day.
People sometimes ask me if I cook for myself, and my usual weisenheimer answer is ‘well, I prepare meals, I don’t know if I’d call it ‘cooking’ exactly…
But last week I made chicken tikka masala from scratch and it turned out pretty well. I have a mason jar of sauce in the fridge so it’ll last me awhile. I don’t generally do photos of my food, but this is what the cooktop looked like before I started the cleanup:
It’s either been a mild winter – or a late one.
Storms that have devastated other parts of the region just left a nice sheen in my neighborhood:
I dunno if I mentioned but I started reading Shakespeare last year. First Saturday of each month I meet up with the good folks from the Nashville Shakespeare Festival to read one the plays. Last month was “Much Ado About Nothing.” This month is “As You Like It.” Some evenings I sit in the treehouse while the sun sets and read a scene or two:
In the meantime, life goes on out here in West Bumfuque.
Oh, and, one other thing. That pop-popping sound you hear? Pickleball. I’ve been playing a couple of hours nearly every day since last summer. I am powerless over pickleball and my life has become unmanageable, but I impress myself with my septuagenarian ability to nimbly chase after the balls I just missed.
Back to the new book, and it’s extension of the focus that started with the first book…
I think a lot about what a weird destiny this has turned out to be, a life preoccupied with these two obscure, esoteric subjects. I need to write more about that, and what ties these two stories together – if I can ever figure out what it is exactly I’m thinking. Or, more precisely, find the nerve to actually say it.
Which often reminds me of this: