Friday, November 14, 2008


Before leaving New York for Louisiana, hoping to do some journalism, I had contacted several publishers here and I renewed that contact with a number of them upon my arrival, without success: most of the publications are small in terms of staff and budget, and unfortunately some of them have sensibilities to match (the provincialism is blunt and even proud). There are a few other publishers that stated an interest in the possibility of my doing something with them, and I have been trying to come up with projects--for one of them, involving the subject of regional film, I have received, thus far, only a few responses from possible interview subjects. Yesterday, I submitted my resume to a couple of art galleries in Lafayette, Louisiana, with no significant expectations, and also, elsewhere, for a couple of office jobs. Earlier in the week, I did some painting of the roof of my mother's house, and today helped her pick oranges off a couple of trees that she has at the edge of the yard. I learned yesterday that some New York mail is being forwarded to me, by a friend, after several delays. I would like to think more about literary concerns, specificially about a fiction project, but that is not what has been on my mind, at least not in terms of writing or reading, though I have been thinking about the difficulty of cultivating an audience. I saw an interview that Charlie Rose conducted with John Updike, and Updike said that it was his Rabbit books that put him on the literary map and if it wasn't for those his work would be like the Baltic republics. Obviously, it is important to do something that achieves critical and popular success, something that can become a reference point, a fount of authority, for others. And, various other matters have crossed my mind: the transition of Senator Obama into president; the death of South African singer Miriam Makeba, whose Sangoma album is still a favorite; the changing, cooling and rainy weather; and November 15th as Native American culture day; etc. But, mostly, the difficulties involved in creating a complete life and a successful career have been what I have been thinking about.