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Ten books by the age of seventy, if I don’t die first

Ally,

I thought I’d send a little note. I’ve been sending all kinds of notes this weekend. I turned my second book over to my editor at the University of Nebraska Press on Thursday evening. That out of my hands for a while, I will get back deep into dissertation, dissertation, dissertation starting tomorrow. It begins another round of intense work that, I hope, will earn me a Ph.D.

Three things I have in mind:

1. To put away the resentment I’ve been carrying for all those people who ever said I’d never be a writer. I put them in the acknowledgements of my book. They were responsible for the chip on my shoulder that got me writing in the first place. I’ve stopped being angry and found myself grateful.
2. I still have a chip on my shoulder regarding the Ph.D. I’m going to show those fuckers.
3. In addition to the dissertation, I want to publish seven more books by the time I’m seventy. That will make ten in all. I may do more. I may get it like all the people around me dropping from exploding hearts, cancerous brains, car wrecks, guns to the head, etc. But if I live that long, I want to have at least ten books behind me.

Right now, I’m at the end of a short break. Tomorrow I have to face that shitty dissertation chapter I’ve been ignoring. But I’ve found a little every day will either get me a dissertation or one of the eight books I still have to publish.

I hope you are well. You spoke to me of dates the last time you wrote. I remember when I sobered up, I felt like a scared sixth grader. I realized I had not really learned that dating was a social skill. It was a very difficult and painful lesson. I hope that is not what you are going through.

Let me hear of you soon.

Patrick

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