April 27, 2007

Just Plain Begging

This is excruciatingly awkward, since I've only been back to writing for a few days. As regular readers will know, I've been out of commission for much of the last two months because of the unexpectedly quick passing of my sister, followed by a succession of ailments that confined me to bed most of the time. I do feel better now, although my generally weak health prevents me from ever feeling truly well these days, as has been true for the last couple of years. But I think I'm at least getting my writing stride back, and the essays over the last several days have been...well, pretty good. I'm especially pleased with my latest piece, "Living Under the Guillotine's Blade." That has some decent writing in it.

Anyway, given my inability to post recently, I can't say: "Look at all the great writing I've done!," since I haven't done it. But I'm basically back to where I was when I wrote the post from hell several months ago. (I can't bear to read that entry, since the subject matter is so painful. But in one severely limited sense, I'm glad it's there, since I can now simply link to it when I must, without having to describe my circumstances all over again.) So, yes, I'm close to broke, with only about $70 to my name. If it weren't for the very kind people who have made donations over the last few weeks and months, the cats and I would have commenced starving several weeks ago. As always, I extend my deepest thanks to those generous donors, as I do to everyone who makes it possible for me to continue at this.

Unfortunately, the first of the month is next Tuesday, when my rent will be due. I obviously can't pay even part of it. My landlords extended limitless patience to me in the past, and occasionally allowed me to get dreadfully in arrears. But a new management company took over a few months ago, and they've made it clear that patience is not a word in their business vocabulary. Their right, certainly. But it puts me in rather a dreadful situation. So, I'm begging. If around a hundred of you had an extra $10 to spare, that would get me through. I could pay my rent and a long overdue electric bill (which can't be extended beyond May 9), and the kids and I could eat for a week or so.

Now that I'm able to write again, there is a great deal of material I want to cover. I need to complete the "Dominion Over the World" series; my outline at present indicates it will have five or six more installments, although it may expand still more. I also need to complete "The Personal Factor" essays, which will permit me to explore some further issues growing out of Alice Miller's work, ones that I haven't yet considered in detail. And as I indicated the other day, I've already begun outlining a new series that will focus on the tribalism that consumes most of our political system today, just as it consumes political writing, including that of the majority of bloggers. I have a lot to say on that subject; that, too, will take me back into Alice Miller territory in part, and I'll also be including some excerpts from and discussion about a very interesting (if flawed) book, Mistakes Were Made (but not by me): Why We Justify Foolish Beliefs, Bad Decisions, and Hurtful Acts. And as always, news of the day when it presents an angle that seems worthy of comment. I think I'll try to start putting up some articles about the arts, too: about opera, of course, and also about books and films. I've watched some good films recently, and some rotten ones, all courtesy of Netflix, the one luxury I've been able to manage. (Still no regular or cable TV, which I've concluded will forever remain beyond my grasp, and the cats always come first in any case.)

So there will be lots of writing to come over the next month or two, and it would be a great relief not to have to worry about eviction notices and related nightmares. Food would be nice, too. I'm very sorry for the begging, both for your sakes and for mine, but I have no other choice, unless I were to sell almost all my books and CDs, which would be...well, awful. Even though May 1 is only four days away now (gah), I felt I had to get at least some new writing done, before posting this. (That reminds me: my birthday is May 5, so if you wish, you can consider it a birthday gift. I know, that's shameless of me. But I'm truly feeling more than slightly desperate at the moment, so I'm reduced to using whatever I've got. In any event, it won't be a very happy birthday this year.)

Amazon and PayPal links are at the upper right. If you need my mailing address, just let me know: arthur4801 at yahoo dot com. As always, my profound gratitude to all of you who are so remarkably kind.

P.S. Speaking of cats! (And I did here.) Wendy continues to thrive, and is developing a lovely plump little belly. She is truly a sweetheart and sleeps with me every night, curled up in my arms at my side. Unfortunately, Fidele, who had waited nine years to become Top Cat (Elyot and Beanie, a heavensent pair of brothers who graced my life when Fidele first walked up to my door in 1993, died in 1997 and 2002, respectively), is determined to make life exceptionally difficult for any newcomer who dares to challenge her authority. Fidele periodically marches into the bedroom, where Wendy feels entirely safe and where she still spends most of her time, and noisily chases Wendy under the bed. It takes me several minutes to calm everyone down after these episodes. I think Cyrano and Wendy will become friends in time, but Fidele is also making that difficult at the moment. Patience, patience; all in good time.

Kids. What are you gonna do?

P.P.S. Please allow me to extend my most sincere apologies if you've written to me recently, and I haven't yet responded. I've barely begun to go through the email that has piled up in the last six weeks or so. I'll try to start reading it this weekend, but the first order of business for me has been to get back to writing. So if you've written, I'll get back to you soon. My apologies again in the meantime.