The Book Thing

So, for the last seven months I’ve been writing a book. A memoir. One day back in the fall, for no good reason I can recall, I was struck with the idea that there was a book in me. A really good book that would make readers laugh and cry and — yes — maybe wince here and there. And since time’s  a-wastin’ when you’re 64, I got started that afternoon.

I’ve been a freelancer (on and off) since the early 80s, but I’ve never done anything this serious or extensive … or potentially heartbreaking. Sometimes I read through parts of my manuscript and think “What drivel,” while other times I think it’s got legs. Only time and literary agents who might not “get me” will tell.

Only three friends know about “the book thing” because I have been known to abandon projects with alarming regularity, and I didn’t want to meet an acquaintance in the grocery store sometime in the future, who — just trying to be pleasant — would ask, “So how is your book coming?” and then have to lie or pretend I didn’t hear the question.

So I’m going public. My plan is to post pieces of the memoir (as yet untitled) here, as well as some of my recently published essays that I especially like, and see if I’m hitting any high notes. In the publishing world, this is called creating a platform, a phrase that makes me want to gag, to be honest. Writers are notoriously bad pragmatists. But I’m trying. And Baby Boomers are notoriously bad at putting the microphone down at weddings and karaoke. But I’ve gotten better at that, too. Bear with me.