Alice asked the Cheshire Cat, who was sitting in a tree, “What road do I take?”
The cat asked, “Where do you want to go?”
“I don’t know,” Alice answered.
“Then,” said the cat, “it really doesn’t matter, does it?”
― Lewis Carroll, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland
I firmly believe that most of life’s idiosyncrasies can be summed up by one scene or another from Alice in Wonderland.
“But I don’t want to go among mad people,” Alice remarked.
“Oh, you can’t help that,” said the Cat: “we’re all mad here. I’m mad. You’re mad.”
“How do you know I’m mad?” said Alice.
“You must be,” said the Cat, “or you wouldn’t have come here.”
This aptly describes my feelings about my forays into the internet world, as I mark the end of my third year fumbling about this very strange place. Reflecting on my two pithy goals when I launched on July 27, 2014 are somewhat naively amusing. To wit:
Two things are going to happen before this summer is over. One, I am launching this website. Two, I am making serious advances on my mystery book. Unless I am dead. Then the pressure is off.
I certainly did launch the blog, and by the grace of all things holy, have kept it online, despite the many, many times I have thought, “screw this, I’m never writing again and I don’t need the pressure of maintaining this stupid website.” It’s like cutting bangs. When those scurrilous thoughts tormented me, I just stepped away, poured a glass of wine, kept my hands off of the scissors and the delete button, and waited for the demons to depart.
I will always write. I know this about me. It’s the only way I can kill people and not go to prison. And I like my little space in the netherworld, although sometimes its feels like I’m on an cerebral treadmill.
“My dear, here we must run as fast as we can, just to stay in place. And if you wish to go anywhere you must run twice as fast as that.”– Queen of Hearts to Alice
The second challenge, to make “serious advances” on my mystery book requires a bit of
self-delusion nuance in analysis as to whether it has “happened.” In terms of physically writing the mystery/suspense novel, I’ve made more progress on my WIP in the last three months than in the last three years. It has been a disorienting, Alice in Wonderland-y journey. I’ve been tall and I’ve been small, but I still have my head.
And I’m convinced that I’ll continue to make further progress if I just heed what is perhaps the best writing advice of all:
“Begin at the beginning,” the King said, very gravely, “and go on till you come to the end: then stop.” King of Hearts to the White Rabbit.
And if you find a bottle marked “Drink me” you might be well advised to stick with the Pinot Noir.