I’ve been away, haven’t I? Not away physically, just psychically. But some would say I’ve been away psychically most of my life. Whatta they know.
It’s a chilly, rainy day in the Valley and it feels and sounds wonderful. I wouldn’t have thought I’d ever say that about a gray dripper of a day, but this one is most welcome. I remember all those five and six and seven day episodes of gray drippiness in western New York when we lived there, hating each of the five or six or seven days they lasted, getting more and more depressed as the gray drips lingered. Those of you in the upper tier states, hunkered down in your snow drifts, would really consider me balmy for now saying I’m enjoying this day. But we get so many calm, sunny days here that every now and then a day like this is nice. But please, don’t hate me for saying it, all you northern tierers.
I’ve been busy editing a first draft of daughter Jeri’s novel called Evolutiion: The Long Journey Home. It’s a most unusual plot, one that I couldn’t begin to describe, but it’s quite interesting, and she’s thrilled to have gotten it done. I told her she had gotten done a rough draft and that it still needed work. She was all right with that and will get to work on a finished copy. And then we’ll get it published.
And other time was spent on getting out all my Christmas cards and cd’s. Now I can settle back and catch up on some reading I’ve been neglecting, and a day like this is perfect for reading and thinking. All it lacks is a fireplace in front of which to sit as I read and think. In the Valley of the Sun, one needs a fireplace only once or twice a year. I’m now reading all of a series of books by David Wiltse, whose main character is a retired FBI agent named John Becker, a man who specialized in tracking down really nasty serial killers, tracking them down and then usually killing them. His character quirk is that he fears he’s too much like those he hunts, that he can too easily identify with the awful needs that drive their psychoses. He wants to stop doing this job, but the FBI keeps hauling him back in. Becker is a most unusual character. I remember several years ago reading a novel called Darkly Dreaming Dexter, about a character similar to Becker, driven by his needs to kill people. So his father, seeing this in his adopted son at an early age, channeled him into police work where he could satisfy his psychotic needs by killing killers. And now Showtime has a very successful tv series about this very character. Odd that we can twist our expectations about right and wrong and accept Dexter as a positive character, much like Becker. Then there’s Lawrence Block’s odd character, a professional hitman named Keller. Keller takes assignments from Dot, who gets the assignments from her sources that know about Keller and need him to hit someone. The oddness of the situation is that we, the reader, can accept Keller for what he does because of what he is—a quite attractive, caring, likeable person. Odd.
I’ll try not to be away quite so long from now on, Amy and the few others I have who read my drivel. And even if I’m my only reader, that’s all right. I’m as driven to write as John Becker and Dexter and Keller are to pursue their dark needs.