In past posts, I have tried to interject humor into my thoughts. I know some readers have expressed that this is one of the main reasons they enjoy reading the blog. Personally, I don’t think I’m that funny, but I try.
Except lately, I haven’t been. Most of my recent posts have been arguably humor free. And for that I apologize. One reason has been the seriousness of the subjects I’ve been dealing with, and another is that I tend to be at my “funniest” when I am at my most acidic. As my wife puts it each time one of my “humorous” posts comes out, “Why do you have to be so negative?”
So it would seem I’m funniest when I’m at my snippiest. And today I don’t want to be snippy…
I just don’t want to.
I mean, theoretically, I could ask the question, Is it just me or is anyone else concerned that we’ve got John Cleese in drag serving as our Secretary of Health and Human Services?
I mean, seriously, doesn’t the Obamacare rollout followed by Kathleen Sebilius’ media tour and congressional testimony not resemble something you would expect to see in a Monty Python sketch?
“Ms. Sebilius, isn’t it true that President Obama’s statements from 2009, which he has repeated many times since, that people who like their health plan would be able to keep it was misleading in light of the millions and millions of Americans who are getting kicked off their plans due to Obamacare regulations?”
“No, the President never said anything misleading in any way.”
“Really? Can we watch the video?”
President Obama from 2009 “We will keep this promise…to the American people. If you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor, period. If you like your health plan, you can keep your health plan, period.”
“So from that tape, Ms. Sebilius, you don’t think people who are being kicked off their plan because of Obamacare regulations could have been mislead by that statement?”
“Not at all. But let’s not focus on that, let’s focus on the number of people who will now get healthcare because of Obamacare.”
“You would rather focus on them than on the 14 million who now will not have healthcare, that they actually did have before, because of Obamacare?
“Okay, fine. How many people have signed up for healthcare on the new website?”
“We are not going to release those numbers at this time.”
“Do you know the numbers?”
“But you’re not going to tell me the numbers?”
“Because we have chosen to release them later.”
“But you could help us focus on those who are getting healthcare who didn’t have it before if you would share those numbers, don’t you agree?”
“But you’re not going to?”
“No. Not at this time.”
“Do you actually have cheese?”
“Of course, we are a cheese shop.”
“Then I will take some chedder cheese.”
“I’m sorry, we are all out of chedder.”
“What cheese do you have?”
“We have a nice limburger.”
“Then I will take limburger.”
“…Oh, dear, it appears the cat ate it.”
“So, in fact, you do not have any cheese.”
“That is correct.”
“You understand I have to kill you now.”
“Of course, sir.”
Does anyone else notice how easily that segued from reality to absurdity? It makes my head hurt.
But as I said earlier, I don’t want to focus on that today. I would rather discuss something else that might not lend itself to the humorous.
The NBA season started last night and the sports pundits have been falling all over themselves wondering who, if anyone, can take the crown away from the Miami Heat. Amongst all these pundits, a common refrain is that it is way harder to repeat as champion than it is to win the first time. I’ve heard this argument related to sports all my life. And I’ll admit that I’ve always been skeptical. I mean how can it be harder? Just do what you did the last time. And this time around, you’ll have the chance to be better because now you know the formula for success.
Well, I am skeptical no longer.
You see, now that the book I wrote is out in the marketplace, the most common question I get from people I know or from anyone who still wants to interview me (which is not many) is if I plan to do another one. Each time I answer, I get a little coy, but the sense I leave everyone with is that I will try to do it one more time.
So I guess I should come clean. I am doing it one more time. I started on my second book several months ago. And you know what? I’m finding it way harder to write than the first one.
I’ve been through it once, it should be easier right? But it’s not. The drive is different. Before, I was writing to discover if the dream I had harbored for years was really even a possibility. I had to know. But this time around, I already know. And it has sapped the drive a little bit.
The second thing is that a lot of people joke about my becoming a rich, famous author. But the actual experience has been not so much. Especially in the “rich” department. I think deep down, I hoped that THE RELUCTANT BLOGGER would provide a decent return. In my most wild “realistic” hope, I wanted it to pay for a trip to Hawaii for my family. I don’t know that we would have gone to Hawaii, but I wanted to think the book would allow for that opportunity. At this point, I think it could possibly get us to Yuma for two nights.
The third and final struggle is that THE RELUCTANT BLOGGER was about me. Anyone who knows me already knows that. Almost without fail, any family or friend that talk with me about the book share that when they read it, they can almost hear me talking. And to be truthful, that was by design. Heaven knows it certainly made it easier to write. But this time around, I’m not writing about me.
With the new book, I wanted to try something new in hopes of rekindling that fire that I mentioned in reason one. So I’m delving into the world of history and legend. No, I am not joining with most other authors and penning a Yound Adult novel and no, there will be no magic nor fantasy involved. But it certainly is not some guy five hundred years ago writing a journal for his prairie shrink either.
And you know what I’m discovering? Trying what I’m trying is a lot harder than what I did the first time. Well dang. I wanted something challenging, but I didn’t necessarily want hard.
So that begs the question. Should I have ventured into a new arena or stuck with what I know? One of the things that makes Mary Higgins Clark so popular is that you know what you are going to get. She’s written the same book twenty times, but she’s certainly figured out how to do it well.
All of these questions are rhetorical. I’m not going to scrap what I’ve done so far because I’ve done too much. But I will admit that when it gets exceptionally difficult, I am tempted to scrap everything and revisit my old friends, Dr. Schenk, Todd and the rest of the gang. In fact, during these moments of reflection, I have come up with what I believe would be some very interesting stories that could be told in a similar format to THE RELUCTANT BLOGGER with Dr. Schenk acting in the same role as he did with Todd. Definitely something I will consider in the future.
But for right now, I need to buckle down and focus. I want that second ring. The one that is truly turning out to be harder to get than the first one.
In other news, I received an exciting e-mail today. My publisher informed me that THE RELUCTANT BLOGGER will be appearing in the Deseret Book catalog that is going out to 350,000 people between November 25th and December 29th. I can’t begin to explain how big this is. It is very fortunate for a book not published by Deseret to be featured in one of their catalogs. So my request is that if you receive the catalog, share it with someone who doesn’t and happen to point out this amazing book you’ve heard about and…Oh!!! There it is!!!! or something like that. The other favor I have, and this is a big one, if you have read the book and enjoyed it, it would be very helpful to me if you would go to these links Deseret Book or Seagull Book and leave a review. I know it seems silly, but it means a lot. So I thank you in advance and remember; nothing says the holidays like a book about a dysfunctional man struggling with the death of his wife by writing on a blog to his psychiatrist. I mean, can’t you almost taste the egg nog after reading that sentence? Consider THE RELUCTANT BLOGGER as the perfect gift for that person who’s impossible to shop for.