Friday, November 15, 2013


Been reading about all these people who want to leave their cubiclejobs to start free-lance writing as a career.  They seem to be concerned about how to leave their jobs and survive.
I don't have that problem.  I am retiring in April of 2015.  I will have a pension - if the financial system survives Obamacare and QE and all the other governmental idiocies abounding.  
I want to stop working in a cubicle, but I have no desire to stop doing things and be a pasha surrounded by flunkies.  
My idol is Lord Acton, who spent most of a long life in his superb library.  He tried being a Member of Parliament, but found it bothersome and humiliating.  He even became a Lord-in-waiting to Queen Victoria.  That job was undemanding and had many social benefits, which he did not need.  He preferred to stay in his library.  I can understand that.
I cannot wait to get free of my cubicle.  I will not suffer from that uneasiness most of the would-be writers I've been reading about have.  Retirement, even with a pension and a working wife, though, may pose other challenges.
I'm sure many men look forward to retirement as a time to do exactly nothing.  But how many do that?  And is that what most men want to do?  Sit around and do nothing? Even pashas have flunkies so they can be free to indulge their fondest occupations.
Since finishing the first draft of my historical book, 1870, I have realized that I would like to research and write when I retire, full time.  It struck me that my road to full-time writing was a bit different from that laid out in the usual blogs and books you see on Amazon and the Web.  
"I'm too old.  I could have been a writer when I was 30, but not now at 65."
That thought does run through one's mind.  I've put in a career which I heartily disliked.  Why not putter about the garden and pat the dog until Death comes calling?  These days, though, a man of 65 can live twenty, even thirty more years without being one in a million.  Plenty of time to build a business.  Colonel Sanders is the idol for us old guys who want to start a business.  He didn't even start Kentucky Fried Chicken until he was 65.
I'm lucky to have this opportunity.  Maybe I'll write an article about the challenges facing retirees who want to find their muse and go into writing full time when most of their friends are playing games on Facebook and watching for the Scythe-bearer out of the corner of their eye.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Cold again

Forgot what it was like to be cold.  Taking Jack the dog out, I could actually see my breath.  For the first time this fall.  Reading about the Rougon-Macquart makes me a bit contemptuous of Zola.  I  do much prefer Balzac and Stendhal.  They are so much more connected to reality.  Zola comes off as an hysteric.
Oh, sure, his tale of the people of the family rolls right along.  But what does it teach?  What insights into human character?  That man can be foolish?  Who did not know that.  I wish to know how and when and why man can be astute and courageous.  That teaching takes an eye for reality, the hard facts, as in Cousine Bette.  Might as well read Samuel Butler.