If not for Fuller’s reminder I wouldn’t have wrapped up my (delicious) reading of All The Light We Cannot See in time to stay on target for our Infinite Winter, which, by the way, sounds like it’s going to last us until mid-January at best, freeing us to pursue a number of other books through our final deadline in March (which was my counterproposal and devious plan all along). I’ve got plenty of books coming for Christmas, and loads of time thanks to my present
unemployment sabbatical. I’m also hoping to write a lot more. Fuller gives us sporadic updates about Birdland, destined to be reviewed by Harold Bloom as this generation’s Babe: Pig in the City, but I wonder what keeps him motivated outside of class responsibilities…
Straight from the horse’s mouth in podcasts and posts alike, apparently nothing (sorry, I’m not bothering to cite this). Which is to say, we’re both children steeped in mental wanderlust. I could be generous and credit this to a staggering capacity for wonder, which precludes commitment to any single creative endeavor. Let’s say we’re just too talented and interested in everything to settle into one thing; we’re above that shit. Others might need validation or an identity or a career. Nonsense. Why do anything when you could dabble in everything?
In other words, I need help. To answer a question posed to me during a recent interview (asked without a measure of judgment because it was a shared trait): yes, I’m fickle. I’m so hopelessly in search of understanding in every imaginable direction that my attention gets strained into a bowl of wet, inedible noodles. I’ve often worried about my mind functioning as a sieve. I don’t retain information that others deem important (e.g. as an English teacher, things like plot and the names of characters and places; who cares?). In that same interview, I interpreted this tendency as a boon, i.e. it allows me to engage with experience with relatively fresh, eager eyes. I so unrepentantly let go of so much that I encounter that I can’t help but approach the world with openness; it’s because I’m too open, “too” here being qualified by some external value system that I can’t actually identify nor care to follow even if I could.
But before I keep blowing myself for something that I could easily label “ignorance” (a Cypher-esque willed, blissful oblivion), let me apologize for making Fuller complicit in my clearly personal way of being. Instead, let me thank him for being the accountability I need to sit down and complete something.
How about I throw down a gauntlet and call it Infinite Spring/Summer: finish a draft of a lengthy piece of writing. Fuller’s written about his hopes for completion, so I’m laying it out there again in front of him for extra incentive. Truly, it’s a selfish gauntlet. I’m just trying to motivate myself by coercing him into what’s likely to be an uninspired “sure, dude, let’s do this.”
Or I could “grow up” and let that somehow translate to “revise that shitty young adult novel you wrote.”