I looked forward to my trip to Minneapolis. was a crossroads for my first Book of Blues. Good and great stuff keeps being said of Book of Blues, but I needed to hear something harsh. I don’t care how much I put into the book. Someone has to hate it eventually. Those people are out there. I want to find them and find out why they think it sucks. If anyone will hate it, it’ll be my cousin. We have that sort of combative nature. The spirited competition keeps us on our toes.
So far, I get a bunch of these sort of comments:
“Wow, there’s a lot going on but I can really follow along.”
“I found I really miss the characters when I haven’t read it.”
“Book of Blues is actually like 3 books in one.”
“I just wish I knew for certain what happened to some of the characters.” – this was the harshest one. This complaint was fixed by assuring the reader that there was a “TBC” (“To Be Continued”). Closer to the truth, “Could Be Continued,” because, in the end, who the hell really knows. As Brainyquote.com just reminded me on my gmail as I await a confirmation email, that old blues god, Søren Kierkegaard, once said:
“Life must be understood backwards; but… it must be lived forward”
Soren Kierkegaard said a lot, but I take him at face value.
You get spoon-fed him enough in college, with his thinkings put on a pedestal and placed on high only to find this theologian’s biggest practical experience in love (relationship, not metaphysical and all those damned words he had for describing it…) was being engaged to a lady named Regine Olsen and then breaking it off because he felt it was his call in life to suffer a life of solitude to keep him focused on his dutiful, devout, sacred writing, you tend to grain-of-salt his wisdom at times. OK, now granted he’s from 19th century Danish high society and multiple cultures throughout history have had their own unique measurements on age-appropriateness including the sacred bar mitzvahs, but what 27 yr old PH. D. grad really wants to shack up with a 13 yr old? I mean, seriously, Liv Tyler wasn’t even that good looking when she graced her first magazine cover at that age. Not that the poor boy died a virgin. According to the tale, his friends helped him with that by getting him shit-faced one night and taking him to a prostitute. The best sex he can’t be sure he remembers. Is it any wonder that he literally wrote himself to death by age 47.
So, anyway, I didn’t get that brawling debate over Book of Blues like I had hoped because my cousin had started Bin that not-so-much kind-of-way. He’s a newlywed, working a couple jobs to make ends meet. I let it go. The itch to get the book published still weighs heavy, but I can only be so many kinds of asshole about it.
So, I go back in three weeks, enjoy the drive through the Wisconsin countryside. The trip wasn’t a total loss by any stretch. I got to hang out with my cousins. My cousin’s wife and I walked down Minnehaha creek (yes, everything in Minnesota seems to start with “Minne”. Yes, a “Minne”-joke) and followed it out to the sacred Mississippi River. Great times, great, peaceful days.
And, by the way, if you end up out at the park and take the 46th Street Bridge over to St. Pauls and chill out at The ChatterBox Pub, mix their strawberry lemonade with their specially-brewed IPA. It sounds crazy, but I drank them all night. Tall, leggy waitresses can be that kind of inspiring, but despite what my cousin might have said to his friends in LiveJournal, I don’t “play a mean game of ‘pick up the waitress’.” I’m only so many kinds of asshole.