Of late, life has felt like a band of threads that I keep getting balled up, and even losing my grip on in a few cases. Multiple trips north to deal with family deaths, followed by Hurricane Irma – which left us with a damaged roof and no power for a week – have continued to plague us long after we thought that we would have recovered. And my writing – be it blog or essays – has suffered for it. I need to focus and to get a tighter grip.
And, truth be told, I’ve been wrestling with the concept and the format and the content of my next book. As my wife’s vacation time has dwindled with Walmart’s fiscal year, we await 2018 to bring us more opportunities to travel (and then, only in the U.S. for the duration of the Trump reign). So, for now, I’m striking out in a slightly new direction: a book of essays that are non-travel in nature (with some possible exceptions). The works will be thoughtful, snarky, humorous, and… well, that’s where the whole “wrestling with concept/format/ content” thing comes in. Ideas for essays that have come to me over the past year or so that did not fit in with the travel theme of my previous books – and that I put aside into a mental “other” folder – are now being dusted off. I want these essays to not only express my views on some issues and to inject some humor into what could become dry, pedantic prose; I want them to parallel my life story, presenting a memoir in essay form that entertains rather than tries to illuminate a somewhat average autobiography.
Does that even make sense? Now you understand a little how I’m struggling with pulling together what will probably be a diverse group of essays into some semblance of a unifying theme. If nothing else, the effort – and the result – should be interesting.
Oh, and before I go: I’m bouncing back and forth amongst a bunch of possible titles for the new book. So far, these are the contenders:
- God’s Hand in It
- Life Under the Porkpie Hat
- When I Grow Up, I Wanna Be Kenneth Tobey
- Neither Beast Nor Man
I’m partial to the third, at present. What do you think?