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“Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from here?”
“That depends a good deal on where you want to get to,” said the Cat.
“I don’t much care where—” said Alice.
“Then it doesn’t matter which way you go,” said the Cat.
“—so long as I get SOMEWHERE,” Alice added as an explanation.
“Oh, you’re sure to do that,” said the Cat, “if you only walk long enough.”

                                                             Alice’s Adventures In Wonderland 

What do you do when you don’t know what to do?  Where do you go when there seems to be an infinite number of paths down which to trod?  How do you decide which route to take?  Which path is right?  Which way will lead you to a prize?

And how do you decide which prize you really want?  Oh, the endless possibilities…!

For example, I’ve got a Karankawa Indian skull that I’ve got to visit in a week or two.  This particular Karankawa skull was dug up on the property next to mine and has been carbon-dated at over 6,000 years old.

You see, I’m trying to gather information for a History of the small Texas town in which I live.  So…

I’ve got Karankawas who lived and fished and hunted this terrain many moons ago.  I’ve got the Mexican Army running roughshod over the Texian’s landscape in their efforts to subdue that pesky Republic.  I’ve got plantation owners who raised sugar cane and ran for their lives during the Runaway Scrape.  I’ve got black slaves and prisoners who kept the economy of the South going.  I’ve got bootleggers and potato farmers, train engineers and cotton gin operators.  I’ve got a Jewish emigrant from Poland who started a business and raised a family amidst black sharecroppers and Mexican Bracero field hands and Texas cow herders.  That’s life in America, I understand, and yet pulling it all together and making sense of it takes a bit of chicanery, as it can at times feel a bit like a shell game.

I’ve also got a contemporary mystery set in this same Texas landscape that is partly based on a true crime and that I can’t figure out how to solve…as in, you know, the whole who done it kind of thing.  Of course, the actual mystery on which the story is loosely based still hasn’t been solved either, so I shouldn’t feel so bad about my own lack of a solution.  But, alas, I do.

I’ve got a historical novel set in Colorado that is based on the actual history of the late nineteenth century, but I’m trying to fit fictional characters into that world and, much of the time, they just don’t “fit.”  Sometimes my ornery characters don’t want to play by my rules and, instead, choose to just head off down their own paths.  The nerve!

So, the point is—for the town history to come together, I’ve got people to interview, archaeological records and bones to view and catalog, research to conduct on the internet and in the library, and photographs to take (mostly of buildings and people and places that no longer exist, which adds another layer to the puzzle).

For the novels, I’ve got plot points to invent, time lines to connect, and wayward characters to bring under control.

I’ve also got a friend’s self-help manuscript that I want to edit and critique. I’ve got another friend’s true adventure story that I promised I would help turn into a screenplay.

I’ve definitely got plenty of stuff to write.

But, sometimes, I feel like I’m in an M.C. Escher painting of stairways leading nowhere and everywhere at the same time.

I think this is what I like and need about Blogging:  I can write a bunch of gibberish and never have to truly create a finished product.  I don’t have to formulate a conclusive idea or a cohesive theme.  I don’t have to actually accomplish anything.  With a blog, I’m free to write well…just thoughts.  I can plop down a few words that I have floating helter-skelter around in my head, press Publish, and …I’m done.

I don’t have to finish a novel, a town history, a screenplay, an edit…I don’t have to commit to a completed Anything.  Thank you, WordPress!

Now, as for that Karankawa skull?…

…Yes, I’m going to visit it soon.  I’m going to interview the aging son of the Polish emigrant.  I’m going to write a few scenes in my contemporary mystery.  I may not get to my Colorado history this week, but I will soon.  I’m going to work on edits for my friend’s self-help manuscript.  I’m going to do something on all those projects that I love so much.

None is a burden, all are pure joy!

I am so blessed to have both a vocation and an avocation that can be, at the same time—chaotic and gratifying, exhilarating and nurturing, all-consuming and rewarding.

Thank you, God, for giving me the wings to follow my dream.  And, I promise I’ll do my best not to fly too close to the sun.

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