Tomorrow I leave for the second leg of my book tour to promote my two novels, Heart Land and Gothic Spring. I enjoyed the last trip. (Blog 6/21/10) I didn’t sell many books but I met interesting people, including some delightful librarians, and saw some beautiful country. New experiences are invigorating but, I confess, also daunting. I hate packing, for example. For another, I always fear I’ll leave something behind; or after I’ve driven 100 miles, I become convinced I’ve left the tea kettle boiling on the stove.
I understand that suffering through my insecurities is the price I pay to keep those books rolling off the presses. I also know that publishing novels and going on book tours sounds exciting to others but it’s more pleasurable to imagine than to do. Given my preference, I’d rather curl up with a good book.
So much in life comes with two sides, like a coin. Volunteer for a cause and spend hours on grunt work. Decide to lead a healthy life and live in the gym and feed on broccoli. Become a famous model and you’ll never eat again, not even broccoli. Become famous at anything and kiss privacy goodbye. I think the athlete’s expression for this condition is, “No pain, no gain.”
One of my favorite movies is Defending Your Life with Meryl Street and Albert Brooks. It’s about purgatory, a place where one waits to have his past conduct reviewed before being sent either to a higher level or back to earth to try again. Frankly, I’d be happy to stay in purgatory, an existence without consequences where, for example, Meryl is allowed to eat all the hot fudge sundaes she wants without fear of putting on weight.
Isaac Newton captured the spirit of the two sides of a coin in his third law of motion: For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. But if I had a choice, I’d gravitate toward his first law: A body at rest tends to stay at rest unless it is disturbed by another force. I consider inertia my friend.
Nonetheless, the draw to sell books requires me to leave home for a few days. I’ll post an article for Thursday’s blog before I hit the road. I didn’t write it, but I hope it will be of interest. Friday, the blog will be silent. Look for me on Monday, September 13. Do come back. I’ll probably have an adventure or two to share.