I turn 40 today. No tears for me–forty seems like a good age to be: still young enough to learn new tricks, old enough to have experienced almost everything a writing career can throw at a person. I’m happy to be alive, alert, relatively sane, and generally upbeat about life. A writing life is both a privilege and at times a burden, but so far so good…
Below I’ve posted photos of the bookshelves in my office, which hold everything I’ve published or been published in or been on the publisher side of printing over the last 25 years. (This doesn’t include another few shelves of saddle-stapled mags and chapbooks and whatnot that’s currently being turned into bibliography by a certain Mark Wingenfeld. It also doesn’t include over one thousand web-only essays, book reviews, editorials, and interviews, as well as another two thousand plus blog entries.)
So, yeah, I’m going to celebrate today. I’m lucky, I think–much more good than bad. I’m 40, and I’ve got a wonderful wife (love ya, Ann–my co-conspirator on every creative project), creative, wonderful friends, a great family (Riley’s first time at the beach), and a slew of books that came out much closer to the vision in my head (and collaborators’ heads) than I ever had the right to expect. Not too much to complain about, to be honest, except three lazy cats who refuse to help out around the house.
And, finally: thanks to all of you for reading this blog. I’ve enjoyed the sense of community, making new friends, the controversy, the laughs, and even the sad times.
(Note: I had started this post before hearing about Thomas Disch’s death, and after that I contemplated just deleting it because it felt strange, and then decided to go ahead with it anyway because that felt strange, too. So, it’s an odd day–happy, celebrating, in the one context, and yet sad in another context.)