Despite a surplus of things on my mind, I come to you with precious little to say. It’s not that I haven’t set the stage: my feet are up, Robert Johnson’s on the CD player and I have so much of the wife’s good coffee on board I can feel the blood changing gears as it races through my veins. Still, the words won’t come. Perhaps it’s the myriad of unrelated issues that are ruling my every thought these days; disconnected incidents that are joining forces to form one mother of a blog-clot. Whatever the reason, I have sat here being taunted by a blinking cursor long enough to break down and just blab. I’ll understand if you bail now, for I can’t promise any reader satisfaction is in sight. However, if you’re really bored, settle back for a moment while I tap my inner Kerouac. But be warned, it may not be pretty.
We’re moving! Me and the fam, that is. It’s a long story, but let’s just say all public schools are not created equal. We’ve known we had to leave the immediate area for quite some time now but couldn’t very well do so until we off-loaded our current domicile. Now that the sign in the yard finally sports a fancy ’SOLD’ crown, Operation Cardboard Box is in full swing. A few weeks from now, I’ll load my every possession into a moving truck (or two) and set a Northeast trajectory. Fifteen or so miles later, I’ll reverse the operation, put things where my wife tells me and try to get used to a longer commute. One bright spot: my new home is less than a mile or so from ‘Owls Roost’, one tri-state killer of a mountain bike trail that will greatly assist me in removing the half-inflated spare tire that now connects my waist to my chest. I told you this would get ugly.
American Idol keeps occupying much of my working life. With three North Carolinians still in the nationwide cheese-off, I’ll continue playing caddy to A.I. correspondent Shannon Smith as she documents every facet of the hopeful vocalists’ former lives. Doing so has had had a weird side effect, however . Every day some burly male co-worker or another will corner me, quiz me on my insider opinion, then sheepishly admit they and their families are now watching the show religiously. I usually let ’em off easy by telling them it’s okay before swearing their less than manly secret is safe with me. Occasionally this backfires when their enthusiasm quadruples and all they want to talk about is Chris Daughtry, Buckie Covington and of course, the adorable Kellie Pickler. I don’t dare tell them I’m just days away from jetting back to Hollywood for a star-studded red carpet event, lest they begin to hyperventilate and lose any last vestige of heterosexuality.
Enough Idol, please! What’s far more important to me is the book I’m trying to write, or to be more exact, the book proposal. I’ll keep most of the particulars to myself, but just know this: 18 months or so of constant blogging is starting to pay off. Powerful and generous figures have contacted your lowly lenslinger and convinced him that an anthology of short stories is indeed a marketable possibility - if only he’ll hammer the work into shape and promise to stop referring to himself in third person. He - sorry - I have started to do just that, though I gotta tell ya - re-writing sucks! I’d much rather pound out my thoughts in a rush of creativity and hit the ever so therapeutic ’Publish’ button, than sit and groom my words for maximum coherency. Still, I’m doing it and can honestly look you in the monitor and say, “It’s going to happen.” That’s a bold statement for an underachieving pessimist like myself.
Speaking of thwarted literary ambitions, I’m doing my best to fulfill them all. A few posts back, I unveiled a fictional character that has lived inside my head for a very long time. Garrett Lee Whitaker, or “G. Lee” as I’ve come to think of him, is an alter ego’s alter ego. Through him, I seek to illustrate the sketchy world of street-level broadcast journalism I love to loathe. By fictionalizing some of my misadventures, I can amalgamate my myriad of experiences in a way that won’t get me in the kind of superheated H20 that beleaguered memoirist James Frey now finds himself in. Look for G. Lee to pop up every now and then to add a little color when the real world goes gray. Otherwise, consider him the main character in a long line of exciting novels I’ll probably never get around to writing.
That’s fair, isn’t it?