Reflections on then and now
What I said then…
Piers Anthony was a great author. He used to include little snippets of his life in the back of his novels. It was kind of a blog before blogs existed. I like that tradition. I’m going to borrow it.
I’m not saying I’m at the level of Piers Anthony, but you borrow from the best.
This here is the very first of my author notes. That should be noteworthy in some mighty hall someplace. Trade them with your friends! This is the very first note from MW McCabe! Eh-hem. Let me back down a couple notches. Right now, I’m only famous in my own head. Then again, that’s all that counts.
If you’re not having fun in life, you’re doing it wrong.
And then there’s the title of this nog (that’s like a blog post at the end of a novel).
What was I talking about? Oh, yes. The title. Paradise. Is that wishful thinking? When I have a buck or two under my belt, I plan to move to an island paradise. That’s a bit of a long-term goal. Is this paradise now? I suppose that’s a state of mind. I’m doing the work I want to do. I’m sitting at a keyboard in front of a new laptop. I’m not stuck in a cubicle and nobody is telling me what to do. Yeah, that’s the stuff.
Of course, this would be a whole lot better if I was making a couple bucks. (That’s where you come in)
Since this is my first nog entry, we don’t yet have a dialog. You don’t know anything about me. If you want a one-on-one chat, I’m always available by email. I am email@example.com. You know you wanna.
Anyway, I am an author with exactly one book under his belt. This here is the first book in a trilogy. I have the next two books in my head with plans for a continuing series. I’m going to see how fast I can slap these babies down. No promises at this point. But, big plans are sparkling in my eyes, fair reader.
I am oooooold. That depends on how old/young you are. I have one friend in her 70’s who calls me, “kiddo.” I look very young for my age, but I am 44. I have had to restart my life twice now, so it’s a good thing I look young. I’m gonna need it.
My future looks bright (God willing) so let’s fix our eyes forward. I have met my soul mate and am in love for the first time in my life. Looking back, you can see that past loves were only crushes. I connect with my fiancé on a very deep level. I like her insides as much as the outsides. Beauty will fade as you grow older. Inner beauty only grows more profound with age.
She has SIX kids and one grandchild. I am about to become an instant father/grandfather. I’m pumped about it. Four of the kids are adults, 22 through 26. There are two seven-year-old twins. The grandchild is five. I connected in an instant with the young kids, and I have a great relationship with the older kids. I’m looking forward to raising some young ones.
That’s all that’s fit to print! See you next time, fair reader! Stan Lee signed off with Excelsior. That kind of became his catchphrase. It’s time for me to pick my own.
Peace, love, and hope!
And this is now…
I was so incredibly hopeful two years ago—dangerously so. I say dangerous because I had a massive bubble to be burst.
It is now February 2020.
I was about to launch a book that I was certain would be a blockbuster. It was not. I was going to make a ton of money. I didn’t. Writers around the world were going to be asking me for success tips. That last one amuses me down deep in my soul.
I have aged a lot in the last two years.
I married my wife in January of 2019. That is now a year behind me as well. We are working on the VISA process to move her to the US. She lives and works in Rome as a chef.
How long will that take? We don’t know. They specifically ask you not to make any solid plans. It could take months. It could take years. I am bracing myself.
I’ve taken a lot of hits in the last few years. I am much more humble and pessimistic. Sometimes I plan for the worst (or at least brace myself).
The other day I was thinking out loud with my roommate. I was thinking about stand-up comedians. How long do they have to struggle before they “make it?” They do stand-up for months and years before anyone takes them seriously. They have to know that the chances of being famous are next to ‘nil. They work for very little or in some cases nothing.
I remarked that you have to love something to be willing to work at it for free. You have to like your art enough that you would do it for free.
That’s writing for me. I could be doing a minimum wage job and make far more than I do writing. Last month I made $0.40. Yes, that’s less than a dollar. I’m not complaining, I’m just giving the reality. I’m likely to make more in the future, but I’m not counting on it. I gotta do this for me. That’s the only thing that’s going to sustain me.
I’ve got the plot for this trilogy stuck in my head. It’s been stuck in my head for a good 25 years. It’s digging a hole in my mind. I gotta get it out and on to paper. Only then will I be free.
So, I got over my massive disappointment from the lackluster launch of book 1. I brushed off what I had of book 2. I started to release it in segments on Medium and on my own web site. Suddenly, I realized I didn’t know all the particulars from book 1! The major plot was still in my head, but the names were not. I decided to get my head back in the game. I am going to edit and release book 1 simultaneous to book 2. Maybe they will finish at the same time and I can grow momentum with book 3.
Releasing an edited version of what I have already written is much faster, but I will soon run out of content I have pre-written for book 2. We’ll tackle that problem later, eh?
That “new” laptop from two years ago is now a little less so. It’s gotten very slow. It’s time to take it to a shop.
I’m also looking for work. I need a side-gig to supplement my writing until I get some traction.
I hope it doesn’t take another two years to get the next one of these out. Look for my next nog at the end of book 3. Until then, courage!
Peace, love, and hope!
February 1, 2020