Having A Good Time In A Bad Place

Kage Baker was possessed of a will of iron, and an adamantine determination. She set her goals and she stuck to them until they were accomplished. Some of them took years to accomplish – but she did it.

One of her tricks was to make her home a fortress. Nothing was allowed in if it upset or distracted her: at least, as much as possible. Not even Kage could hold off reality all the time, but she succeeded a lot more than most of us do. When the fortifications fell, she lit out for the Territories – running, hiding, seeking quiet hidden places in which to do her work. Also her reading, her drinking, her research, and her life in general … she really hated being forced to partake of the world.

I’ve tried to do the same, because it works. Kimberly has given me a place where I can get away with this lifestyle, too, and has been my steadfast doorward for the past 5 years. Without her kindly sheltering me, I’d be living somewhere in Griffith Park in a shanty made of boxes of books, running my computer off a solar cell and leaving out Friskies for the pumas.

But … reality does sneak in. Worse, it’s nothing I acknowledge to be real; it’s outside crap, slithering in like emotional kudzu to block out the light and leach nitrogen from my nurturing soil.

For reasons I do not understand, this 5th year since Kage’s death has been an especially hard one for me, emotionally. I miss her more than I have since the first year. It’s harder than ever to get through a day without something stabbing me in the heart. And the world in general has been handing me burning bags of shit at regular intervals – most of them are only the burning bags of shit the world hands everyone, but enough customized crap has been added to completely blow all my circuit breakers: over and over and over.

I’ve been dumped by old friends, and castigated by relatives. My agent isn’t talking to me. A prior agent isn’t talking to me either, but is attempting to talk for me on the sly. (Anybody have a spare agent they want to give away to a good home?) My cataracts are growing but are not yet correctable: so the world is literally growing darker and blurrier and there is as yet no recourse. I’m cranky, depressed, unproductive and feeling guilty because of being cranky, depressed, and unproductive. It’s a Mobius strip of desolation, drawn in black ink by the dead hand of Escher.

Still, the list of good things in my life is enormous.  I’ve had more successes than I deserve. I have tulips on my desk, hot and cold running kitties, a supportive family and you, Dear Readers. I know all that, but I have this dreadful fear that all the miracles are just barely offsetting the disasters – I’m running as fast as I can to stay in one place, and still I have the dreadful panic terror of the landscape slowly leaving me behind …

Thus my long silence; and thus the use, today, of this blog for a much less important and more mundane purpose than originally intended. I’m just whining and bitching, Dear Readers. I’m throwing my griefs around like a tantrum in a second hand store; before you know it, I’ll be blogging my meals in detailed increments and posting selfies.

Well. Probably not. I have to return a contract to my agent’s assistant for a sale to a publishing house in Italy. And I have to write. And I have a new book on parasites, which suddenly seems to be of dreadful relevance to me. Do I have one? Do I need one?  Am I one?

The answer is probably NO, to all of those questions. I just need more coffee, and a hit of nicotine. My life has always been a 3-pipe problem.

See, I don’t have to stay in the bad place. I’m having a good time. I’ve spent the morning shutting windows, opening doors, patching leaks, packing suitcases – I think I can see the way out of the Slough of Despond and back into that Wood Outside Athens.

Thanks for listening, Dear Readers. See you tomorrow.