Time has passed quickly. Time passes quickly. Anticipation, however, puts the future so far out of reach that my return to Hong Kong seems impossibly far away.
There’s so much to do before my departure, and I’m lovin’ it, feeling like a McDonald’s television advertisement for saying that I’m lovin’ it, and losing myself in the balancing act, tottering between anticipation and enjoying the time I have left in rural Indiana, where there’s real peace and quiet (never mind the insect orchestra screeching through the night, and the neighbor’s heavy excavation and farming machinery, and the offroading course a couple miles down the creek, and the sound of gunfire as deer season begins, and the sound of passing pickup trucks, and the Tom Waits grumbling of the 64cc Makita chainsaw that seems to dance through downed wood rather than simply cut).
I remind myself that, in not all too long, I’ll be back in a city, listening to passing cars and the ticking of pedestrian crossing lights, bathed in the light of neon signs and street lamps, feeling the pulse of the city that I thought I knew so well. I never explored much past the bars and waterfront, of course, because that’s where you find yourself when you’re a drunk with delusions of literary grandeur. The bars, the clubs, the 7-11′s – and, during my seven year career as a kid show clown, the chandeliered ballrooms of Hong Kong’s countless private, members only yacht and country clubs, rubbing shoulders with the rich.
Six weeks in the country. Rural Indiana, land of the Hoosiers (as in, “Hoosier Daddy?” or “Hoosier favorite football team?”), has been good to me. I’ve learned what neighbors are: part of a holy trinity of relationships, along with friends and family. The Buntons (Bill, who is a drunk) and the Reinharts (German Baptists, who are like the Amish but with mobile phones and heavy machinery) have become more than neighbors. They’re family friends.
The next six weeks will be spent in the woods, chainsaw running, stockpiling firewood to keep the family warm while I’m away. Once we’ve stockpiled enough wood, we’ll borrow a pickup truck to haul the wood to the shed. Then, we’ll borrow Bill’s big ol’ gas powered wood splitter.
Six weeks of living out in the country, removed from “civilization” – though folk out here seem a damn sight more civilized than the city folk I’ve met. There are exceptions, of course, but folk out here seem better, more alive, and less inclined to find themselves consumed with 21st century depression (not to mention the all-permeating presence of urban malaise).
I’ll miss it out here, just as I’ve missed the city. Not that I believe that one or the other is a greener pasture. They’re just different, and speak to me in different ways.
(Writing updates after the break.)
My schedule is packed, and my routines must suit my life. This means that, for the next while, I’ll be focused on getting Zen Motherfuckers ready for release. I’m in the middle of the second editing pass, another two planned after this, then the formatting.
Zen Motherfuckers will be first released as an ebook, then as a print-on-demand paperback via CreateSpace. When I return from Hong Kong, I’ll order a bunch of copies myself (possibly with an alternate cover) and do the signed, numbered print run I’ve wanted to do from the start. I mean, hell – signed, numbered copies of anything are ridiculously fun. Collectibles are fantastic.
The signed, numbered copies will be available directly from me. Expect them to be ready by summer 2012.
The Roadkill / Rapture Boys is on hold until I head to Hong Kong. Working on too many projects at once means that I don’t have the attention required to do things as well as they need to be done. I miss things, write mediocre prose, and find myself flustered and quickly tired. I’ve outlined the rest of the first book, though: chapter headings with paragraph-long blurbs. I’m about halfway through the story, a little over 40k words so far. It will need a fair bit of editing, of course, but it’s a good story, and I’m looking forward to seeing the final product. The second and third parts of the story will have to wait until next year, after I’ve finished collecting the experiences necessary to write Hong Kong Sober.
There’s another possible project in the works: a south of the border travelogue, exploring Central-and-South America for the first time. More about this in a later post.
Also to come in a future update: I’m planning a website revamp. I’ll let you know more a little closer to the date.
Expect the second installment of World War Clown tomorrow, and a third on Friday.