Getting There

Of course the question is: where?  "If you don't know where you're going, you might not get there," said Yogi.  When you go someplace on vacation, you're just going to come back again, so why spend the time going?  In order to make progress, you have to know where you're starting and where you want to end up.  Do you have to make progress every day to be a success?  When I go to bed at night, I have to be wiser or richer or smarter or more beautiful or . . . what . . . than I was the day before?  And who is going to evaluate that progress?

Me.  Because it is inbred that I need to make progress every day.  When you look at a thermometer, you can evaluate if the temperature is going up or down.  You can measure the temperature.  When you look at a bank account, you can easily evaluate if the pile is getting bigger or smaller.  When you count the number of steps you take in a day, you can quickly (and constantly) tell if you are moving toward your goal.  (If you walk backwards, does it deduct steps?)

So we need a life scale, a life thermometer.  I suppose that's why there are all those "places to see before you die" or "bucket lists" or travel stickers on the suitcase.  I am convinced that most of us just want to live through the day, eat or sleep, laugh occasionally, get up the next morning and do it all over again.  "Write a 250 word essay on buying apples."  There's a goal.  "Write a 500 page novel."  "File your taxes by April 15th."  "Lose twenty-seven pounds."  "Bench press a hundred pounds."  Add up all these short term goals and pretty soon you have a life.  But do we want it to just be measured in days, months or years?

I don't know about you, but I'm still working on where I'm going.

The Plumber and the War

My great Uncle Cedric (Cedric Marshall Fox) was a very interesting chap.  He served in the first World War, wrote poetry and music and plays, and might have been a lawyer (although he never practiced law).  This is one of his poems:

The pipes of the palace got leaky

Cedric Marshall Fox

Cedric Marshall Fox

And the king for a plumber sent

The plumber was smart and cheeky,

And with ominous smile he went.

 

For a year he kept plumbing, that plumber,

And perhaps he is plumbing still,

But you never saw a man dumber

Than the king when he saw his bill.

 

That king was in deadly strife

With another king near by.

At a dreadful cost of life

And drain on his treasury.

 

But he forthwith stop that war

T’was the best thing he could do;

For couldn’t raise money for

The war and the plumber too!

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www.paulhraymer.com

First entry in the Commonplace Book

                  An old fashioned scrap book

                  An old fashioned scrap book

A Commonplace Book is a place to put word stuff.  (A scrap book is different.  But this is a great old scrap book.)  My grandmother used to keep all sorts of notes and thoughts and memos and cute little ditties in varies books and diaries.  My plan is to keep this more focused.

I thought it might be interesting to define some of the steps in creating my latest novel.  But who knows what is interesting these days.  "I am sitting on the patio!"  People take lots of pictures of the food they are eating.  Imagine if you had to buy film to take pictures like that.  Then you'd have to pay to get it developed and then pay to get it printed and then find a way to turn it into an electronic image.  What a world!

I am writing this on January 20, 2017, the day Donald J. Trump is being inaugurated as President of a country where lots of people don't know who won the Civil War or who the first President was.

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Thoughts or comments?