Friday, April 25, 2008

Diligence, Penny Pinching, Political Obsessing, and Pity

It's been about a month since my last entry. I intend to add to this blog more frequently and regularly going forward, though in my defense I have not been guilty of idle hands. Over the past several weeks I'm happy to say that I've been working on my novel "Matters of Convenience" on a pretty regular basis. The manuscript has surpassed 400 handwritten pages with its end on the not too distant horizon. At such a pace it's entirely possible that I'll complete the first draft by summer's end and will have it ready to submit to literary agents and/or publishers before the close of 2008. Not only have I been diligently working on my novel but I also penned a book in poetic form geared to toddlers that is waiting for accompanying illustrations by Erin. It has not been copyrighted so I won't post it here yet, but I am rather proud of it. "Baby's Day" is its title and Ava was the inspiration, particularly during the period when she was getting upset on a regular basis about being brought to daycare Monday - Friday. Erin and I did not want to leave her in the care of others and head to our day jobs any more than Ava wanted to be dropped off, but as a family that requires both our incomes we have no choice in the matter. I suppose "Baby's Day" was written as much to cheer Erin and I up as to give our daughter a more positive perspective on the situation. It's my sincere belief that once Erin has contributed her fantastic artwork to go along with my simple words, if/when published our book will be a welcome addition to the libraries of many working parents with young children. Stay tuned for Erin to give you a peek at an illustration or two from it. We definitely intend to create more children's books. Our second one will probably have an adoption theme.

Speaking of which, we're planning for our second child so that means we need to budget accordingly. As summer quickly approaches we'll hopefully find plenty of ways to make it the best one of our lives without breaking the bank. This is a potential topic to write about going forward. Last I checked, being flush with cash is not a requirement for fun. A lack of funds simply makes it a bit more challenging, which could in turn could make the results of our research more rewarding. There is plenty of wonder and laughter for us to experience without daunting price tags attached.

My obsession with Barack versus Hillary continues, as does my disappointment with the Clinton camp for doing their best to scare less enlightened voters away from Obama by portraying him as a man with strong racist, militant, unpatriotic ties. She isn't too far from proclaiming (with plenty of supporters helping to spread her ugly message) that a vote for Obama may as well be one for Reverend Wright, Al Sharpton, Mike Tyson, OJ Simpson, Louis Farrakhan and whoever else makes certain sectors of White America nervous. Barack Obama is not a perfect man or a perfect candidate, and he will not make a perfect president. But if given the chance I do believe in his potential to be a great one, and if Hillary Clinton is to get the opportunity ahead of him (which still seems doubtful) I only hope that she does so fair and square rather than appealing to the darker natures of an older and/or lesser educated demographic that clings to the past of our great imperfect nation rather than embracing the future envisioned by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

The police officers who shot and killed Sean Bell on his wedding day as the 23 year old man left the strip club his bachelor party was held at have been acquitted. Perhaps it actually was a fair verdict. Maybe those police officers truly did see justifiable cause to fire 50 times at unarmed men. It's possible they really believed they were in danger and needed to shoot before being shot at first. I don't know precisely what took place on that fateful night with absolute certainty. What I do know is that Sean Bell is dead, his daughter is fatherless, his loved ones will find no peace from the legal verdict so need to look elsewhere for solace, and that black men scare certain people. Amadou Diallo frightened cops with his wallet, causing them to pump 41 bullets into him. Barack Obama continues to scare off Hillary Clinton's strongest base of support. I'm sure I've made someone somewhere nervous at some point by my mere presence. It doesn't make me angry anymore so much as sad.

That's all for now. Take care.

- Roy Pickering (author of Feeding the Squirrels)

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