My mother would ask me, “When are you going to start writing?”
She’d give me a guilt-inducing look of disappointment. That’s not the kind of writing she had in mind. She had something much more glamorous in her sights. She envisioned me writing a book; a book that would win a Pulitzer, or maybe the Nobel Prize in Literature.
Back then, she saw me making the talk show rounds with each and every magnum opus I indited. And somewhere in the midst of an interview, I’d mention to Leno, or Letterman, or Oprah, the fact that I could not have been a successful author if it wasn’t for all the support and encouragement my loving mother gave me. At that point I’d turn to the camera and wink subtly at her.
And she would beam proudly back at the TV set. That’s because my mother has always wanted to bask in my reflected glory. A glory that has always eluded me, and that I never pursued much in the first place. I’ve been too preoccupied chasing unicorns.
Eventually I did get around to writing a few books. But they weren’t the kind she could point to proudly and say, “See this book? My son wrote this!” No, these manuscripts were of an ilk foreign to the universe of her mind. They tipped sacred cows, and trampled the holy lands of her religious convictions. Also I self-published them, and sales shot up through the lower single digits over a period of several years. Not the sort of sales figures that get you on the Tonight Show.
But that’s okay, I wrote to save the world. Ha! And I wrote to organize my thoughts and save myself from insanity. HA!! And I wrote for the pure joy of sticking a middle finger in the face of conventional wisdom and oppressive, fusty philosophy. Hahaha! (News flash: nobody noticed.)
No, my tomes didn’t sell well, so I started giving them away. That turned out to be an ingenious marketing strategy, because now literally hundreds of souls across the globe have found their salvation through reading my works. Well actually, I really don’t know what good my writing has done. When I look around, the world still seems as dysfunctional as it’s ever been.
Perhaps that’s because my idea of dysfunction is function for others. And others’ ideas of dysfunction are my function. We’re all nuts in or own ways, but blind to our own craziness. Meanwhile we scratch our heads at the odd behavior of others, that we see so clearly.
Even if my readership was in the millions or billions, I doubt it would do any good. I believe that nobody changes the world. Rather, I believe the world changes itself, in its own time and on its own terms.
But if you’re looking for a little amusement and dare to walk down a path toward something different, dodgy, and demented, you can try reading one of my books. They’re all free. Just check out the Free Bookstore in the menu of this blog, or click on any one of the book covers in the sidebar on the left.
Who knows? If enough people read my books, I might become famous. And then my aging mother can go to her deathbed bathed in the reflected glory of all that glamour.