I’m not an author/artist of terribly brazen ambitions, at least not in terms of the entire “Fame-game, ho-stroll, dumb-it-down & sell your soul” paradigm. No. No no no no NO. I would like my work, my efforts, to be recognized or just basically enjoyed, and I would like to make a reasonable living in the process. But fame is not one of my desires, not for its own sake. In fact, I’m surprised that so many human beings still apparently hunger for fame, that so many seem to ache with growling bellies for the chance to satiate themselves with it. It’s always been a bit of a psychological disease, fame, but at least it used to be a somewhat fascinating disease. These days, fame strikes me as possessing all the mystique and attractiveness of some sort of venereal infection. Anyone can “get” it, if they’re reckless enough, and it’s the kind of malady that I imagine prompts sufferers to stutter and stammer in the presence of indifferent, overworked doctors in the closet-sized examining rooms of dreary clinics across the globe:
PATIENT: “Oh, God. No. What is it, Doc? Is it as serious as I thought it was? Have I caught a bad case of the Kardashians? I knew those bugs weren’t going to just clear-out overnight. Tell it to me straight.”
DOCTOR: “Actually, I’m afraid it’s worse than Kardashians. You’ve got a particularly nasty Honey Boo Boo on your Bieber. I must say, I haven’t seen a case of fame this virulent in quite some time. But calm down. There’s a slew of new pharmacological treatments for grotesque infestations like this. In fact, I have about a dozen free samples in my cabinet right now. Name brands, too. Would you like to try six or seven of them? I’ll throw in some Oxycontin for the indignity of it all.”
Anyhow, satire aside, the idea of fame (as it’s cut-and-pasted for humans today) ought to disturb anyone with a shred of soul. But I’m not here to judge the motives of others, necessarily. I may not want fame, but I’m also not stupid. A particular level of success brings a measure of notoriety. I’m okay with that, so long as matters don’t become tubercular. I think I possess enough emotional stability at this juncture to “deal” with it, but one never knows, does one? Our plans and self-perceptions are easily dashed and brushed aside by Fate. Blogging and tweeting and Facebooking and YouTubing is all a bit much, frankly, but I’m doing it because I realize that, in order to spread the word about my work without aid of a manic LA publicist, I have to participate. That’s okay, too, so long as I feel I can be honest and rational with potential readers. If it ever feels utterly manufactured, or even begins to drift toward the remote possibility of feeling that way, you can rest assured that I will cease and desist.
That is why I am revealing the true purpose behind my writing efforts, aside from the enjoyment I derive by sharing stories of my own creation and the desire to make a living doing something I very much enjoy. No hordes of adoring, clamoring acolytes, thank you very much.
I want hordes of lavender. In fact, I want an entire farm planted with the stuff. I don’t even want a big farm. Forty acres ought to do nicely. Lavender is my favorite plant because it is hardy and colorful. Its fragrance is like incense and, Catholic gent that I am, I love me some incense. Contrary to the somewhat effete reputation of lavender, I believe it to be a plant for both sexes. It’s fragrant enough for women who enjoy those little pillow sachets or what-have-you, but its fragrance is clean and almost antiseptic enough for a man to appreciate, as well. The earth’s most beguiling natural perfume, in my opinion. Bees love it and use it to create honey of extraordinary elegance. People can even cook with it, though it isn’t as versatile as its distant cousin, rosemary. I want to plant acres of lavender in some lonesome valley (it grows with admirable tenacity here in Central California), I want to tend it myself from sun-up until sun-down, if necessary, and I want to harvest it myself. I want to feel the dirt in my hands, friends. Maybe I’d open a little shed-sized store in the driveway and sell jars of the lavender honey, or perhaps jars of the lavender/sugar/and tea-tree oil body scrub I make. Or maybe I’ll just stand amid the fields on any given summer evening and be grateful that I sold enough books about magic to merit the magical pleasure of a good crop. That’s my real life’s “dream,” if you will.
So, buy a book or two and invest in a Future Farmer of America. Save a few bees, probably, too. I’ll handle any attendant fame as best I can and, if not, there’ll be plenty of bushes in which to hide. Thanks.
By the way, my good friends at AME configured my Amazon Author Central Page today. Have a look and have a great day. ~JK