Sorry for the delay between updates. I know many people don’t read this blog yet, and that mostly I’m speaking to the robots, but still, I like to try to keep up with the frequency of regular writing updates.
So, down to it. I recently took to Twitter and Facebook to ask my gangs (Yes, I refer to my followers as a gang) what their favorite “new-to-them” book of 2013 was. I got several interesting answers, from the obviously worth “Silver Linings Playbook” to more obscure stuff like “Angels in my Hair” by Lorna Bryne and “The Story of Edgar Sawtelle: A Novel (PS). @Moritheil (also here, http://animediet.net/author/moritheil) recommended the most interesting entry of the lot. (A Message to Garcia, which you can Google online.) though I immediately took issue with it because A) it was really not a book, ( it is a few minutes reading at just 1500 words) and B) the author Elbert Hubbard missed several key details that underpinned the “moral” of his tale, (Rowan was a soldier, not a civilian, which makes a world of difference) which left it looking like a whining screed. But after reading the account of the person who actually did the carrying of the message to Garcia, I viewed the original less harshly, if incomplete. Reading the actual soldier’s account detailing the difficulties he faced gave the weight to “Message To Garcia” that the original lacked. I’d get into more detail here, but I don’t want to get into silly rants of my own. Instead, I simply suggest that if you read “Carry a Message” that you read “How I Carried The Message to Garcia” as the missing half of the equation. The essence of the story is “Do the job you’ve been assigned to do, without dawdling, lingering, questioning, or any other extraneous cruft that prevents you from doing the job as quickly, and as thoroughly as humanly possible.” Reading how Rowan did his job, the details of the task, the odds he faced and what he accomplished made up for the Hubbard affair, which left me feeling uninspired and saying “That’s it?” After all, a shoe company summed up the point far more concisely quite a while ago (though “A Message to Garcia” was penned considerably before Nike was founded) with the three word phrase: “Just Do It.”
I do agree with Mori that more people should take the phrase “Carry a Message to Garcia” to heart, and be a bit more adventurous when tackling their problems, but a counterpoint could be written as “Let them do the job you asked them to do,” meaning get out of the way. Then I just look at the whole mess and throw up my hands in frustration. And let me tell you, getting my hands to a place where I can vomit them is no easy task.
My own writing can certainly use a solid dose of “Carry the Message,” but between adjusting to my new life as a full time stay at home mom (whereas before it was part time) facing constant eviction, dealing with bureaucrats and creditors (read, fending off desperately with a stick) and coming to terms with my aging mother’s degrading health and resultant personal tensions, writing has slowed to a trickle. Which is why, of course, it’s been so long since my last blog update. Much of the up coming final scenes of the book have already been vaguely plotted out, but I’m rereading my naval battles throughout history and generally trying to give myself a crash course in astrophysics. The book holds firm at seventy-seven thousand words, but I’m getting a general sense of it closing in soon. It also doesn’t help that I find myself comparing the book to other space opera series, like David Weber’s Honor Harrington books, or the recently concluded Expanse series by James S.A. Corey. Rebecca Tsaros Dickson’s book Writing on Your Terms and Delilah S. Dawson’s 25 Steps To Being a Traditionally Published Author: Lazy Bastard Edition are keeping me revving to write. But even the most focused writer has a hard time writing when a nearly three year old is hitting her over the head with an inflatable guitar screaming “POTTY NO, MOMMY, NO YOU BAD GUY” over and over again. It would drive me to drink but who has time for that?