I’m increasingly aware that the 2008 hijacking of trillions of pension dollars, the stonewalling tea party Congress, the election of 2016, the abandonment of the Paris Accords, Charlottesville, mass shootings, police shootings, imminent environmental chaos, protection of sexual predators, and the steady erosion of the rule of law, decency, and compassion had pretty much knocked the whimsy out of me.
I went back to pieces I had written before the Trump ascendency and quite liked the voice I found there. I’d written the sorts of bouncy, occasionally silly short essays that had amused me throughout my reading life. On the off-chance that they might amuse a small cohort of like-minded readers looking for something to pick up on the way to the bathroom, I decided to snare what I saw as the best, or most palatable, of the bunch and pop them into a collection entitled Afterwards. The title is cryptic enough to
fool attract the unwary while acknowledging this later, post-retirement, chapter as the cauldron in which this bouillabaisse was steeped. I’ll be proofing and reconfiguring then dropping text on my pals at Kindle Direct Publishing.
Here’s the actual foreword –
Afterwards. After Words.
I wanted to call this collection Bertha and the Blueberry Country Club for Cats, a reference to one of the essays in this collection, a whimsical description of a fragment of conversation overheard, a silly piece, one that amused me in the writing of it, and an excellent example of the frivol I chose not to escape. I suspect a cat themed book would be far more successful than the obscure musings of an obscure writer, but as I have been untroubled by success thus far, why mess around with it now?
The Impractical Cogitator pays tribute to the extraordinary compendium of short essays by the world’s most cogent thinkers and writer, The Practical Cogitator, edited by Davis and Greenslet. Any scattered shards of wisdom that show up in my work land with little authority and even less consistency.
“Entertaining ideas without the slightest concern for their efficacy.”
The plan was that I would entertain the ideas, turn them loose, and let them land as they might. As are all aspiring writers, I had been told to write about what I know, which turned out to be a very limited horizon of opportunity, so I decided to write what I like, and I like self-deprecating, rambling, slightly goofy armchair observation of the universe’s merry march toward whatever comes next.
I am aware that the audience for that sort of reflection is small at best and that my brand may not suit every (any) taste, but what the heck; what’s at risk beyond the shards of remaining dignity in self-publishing this collection? I can give copies away as gifts, scatter them around waiting rooms in doctor’s offices, leave them on the bookcases of various bed and breakfast inns, and keep a supply in the car in case I get caught in a snowstorm and need both reading matter and insulation.
So, without further chatter, you are invited to see what happened afterwards.