December 3rd, 2008
Finished Landscaping. It's been three years in the making. The initial draft and subsequent revisions have been completed for several months. Nearly a year. But the fine tooth combing took a year itself. Now that it is done, put to rest and between the covers, I'm going to leave it sit. On my self-publishing bookshelf at Lulu.com. I haven't much faith in the saleability of this book. It's good writing, but the subject matter isn't top notch, as the subject matter is me. My life and the musings that developed as I struggled to settle up north. In the old house near the old church, in the country. It is a personal book filled with journal entries. But, if you are familiar with my work, you know that my journal entries aren't simply journal entries. For some reason, I can't help but dig a little with each word. The title, as you can imagine, suggests the theme of the writing.
land·scape: noun, verb, -scaped, -scap·ing.
a section or expanse of rural scenery, usually extensive, that can be seen from a single viewpoint.
Fine Arts. the category of aesthetic subject matter in which natural scenery is represented.
--verb (used with object)
to improve the appearance of (an area of land, a highway, etc.) as by planting trees, shrubs, or grass, or altering the contours of the ground.
Indeed, the writing is the viewpoint of one man living alone in a rural setting. I tried to paint a picture. Alter contours. Do some landscaping. Show the world for what it is while not losing sight of what we want it to be. To do this, one must go below the surface. Get the fingers dirty. The knees bruised. Work the very earth that he is from and will return to. And by the simple act of digging—going deeper—one is able to improve the appearance of the surface, of the world, he is part of.
Or something like that.
I've never been very good at explaining things. Not formally, anyway. Probably why this book will not be successful. Probably why my other works aren't successful. Because I'm unable to sell my work, my writing, my ideas, they get stuck on self-published bookshelves in stores that do not really exist (amazon.com, barnesandnoble.com, lulu.com). And I get to write about my writing for no other reason than to hear myself talk. Convince myself that what I'm doing is good and right and important. Even if it is only for me.
I've only done one official book signing. One newspaper interview. And I've only written one novel. First novels are not taken seriously. My short stories, nonfiction and poetry have only been filler or lone bright spots in obscure magazines. But to hell with thinking about it so much. All of it is practice. God knows I need more of that. And maybe if I practiced more I wouldn't be here writing about my writing.
It is the third day of December. The gray cold world, believe it or not, is ripe with possibility. So much out there to find, discover, unravel, make true. It's only a matter of digging for it. Under the dead leaves. Beneath the icy snow. Within the howl of unforgiving winds.
Let's make the most of it. Be thankful for our progress. Mindful of our growth. Focused on the keeping at the keepin' on.