Friday, November 17, 2017

Sort of back...

 I assume that the readers of this blog are lucid enough that they realize things have not  exactly been going well.

 It is no one thing; it is EVERY thing. It is mortality and decay and entropy and luck, and admitting when you CAN'T play today..

It is realism. Look, fans, I have written some good books, but I am unlikely to die rich. I would settle for out of debt. If Querencia and/ or Tiger Country/Only a Mountain haven't sold to Hollywood I doubt they will quickly enough to pay my bills,  I am unlikely to write another of either.

I have decided that the Gila monster venom isn't working. It has been an enlightening experience, full of stumbles, pratfalls, and forced humility. God knows if old age isn't for sissies then sickness isn't for anyone who doesn't have a sense of humor. I'll have some details for those of you with a strong sense or humor and/or Buddho-Christian humility, but I warn you it is pretty coarse.

Re field sports. The big hawk had to go back to Bill Meeker. She was entirely too much bird for me. I had asked Bill for a 12 ounce Barbary tiercel, hand-raised. He generously responded by driving up a 34 ounce Gyr cross female, chamber-raised with an attitude. Not to mention that she was into four mile flights. Bill generously took her back after a few days, driving to pick her up from El Paso, and says that next year he will breed me a proper Barbary male. In the meantime, such falconry companions as Padre Pablo (Paul Moore) and Paul Domski have suggested that I should fly a Kestrel, Matt Mullenix style, out of my truck. As my apprentice, the nearly 80 year old Juan Gutierrez is recovering from multiple cancers, it is probably a good idea.

The Puppy also has many ideas and may be too much for me. Suffice to say for now that while she continues to be sweet and  intelligent, she also continues to destroy every object that catches her fancy, and does not listen to a single thing I say, considering me to have the social status of a wounded puppy. She does listen to Libby.

(Guns: after selling off most of mine and attempting an ill-timed effort to crowdfund a last fine gun, two things happened: David Zincavage GAVE me an utterly Germanic sixteen, and John Besse came back from Idaho with two guns destined for me or my shelves at least -- one is an interesting hammer-12 from the 1870s with the exact dimensions of my .410;  the other, a  Parker ten, is probably too heavy for me to carry these days.)

I'm recovering from a double hernia operation plus various falls, and to be honest, I feel a lack of attention from my primary neurologist. I'm making changes in this. It seems time when one receives more information from a consulting clinic in Denver once than in  years of therapy.

The richest veins of humor and humility  lie in the hernia operation. They sort of tell you what will happen. What they don't tell you is the effect of gravity. That all your male parts will be swollen up to twice their natural size and purple as a grape is not in the information handout. That the condition will last five days and more, only is succeeded by itching is something you can find out for yourself. But the funniest thing is that all the rummaging around in your intestinal region that produces your fluid and makes you swollen and purple also stops peristalsis. When you realize you have not used a bathroom and are becoming inflated...well, let me repeat what I said to my sister Karen, who heartily agreed: "Old age leaves you nothing in the way of dignity except what's inherent. I used to be modest and reticent. Well, see your dignified older brother at Happy Hour with a vodka lying on his side in his bed, trying to concentrate on his New York Review of Books while a nurse of his acquaintance rummages around in his large intestine looking for a blockage. And failing that, gives him a dose of sodium citrate so strong that he dares not go more than 20 feet from the toilet for 24 hours."

So here we are. Will the blog continue? If you wish, and as it can. I cannot devote my primary time to it, particularly as I can't type. Libby is typing this with much physical effort as my voice and her ears are not a good match for dictation, and dictation software has yet to prove itself to Parkinsonians. I have some more work but all work is extremely tiring right now.  This may change as I adapt to my present meds, and may well change after Februrary and a new neurologist. A temporary neighbor has given me an interesting tip on a radical but rooted new therapy. Time will tell.

Meanwhile, FYI. The novel is at Penn and maybe one more place (Malcolm?). The Book of Books is apparently dead in the water at Lyons Press, as the previous Book of Books (Sportsman's Library) made no money and its one proponent is leaving Lyons. Perhaps Daniel on how to revive it as a crowdfunding project? A memoir of sorts seems unlikely to sell unless one one of the others did, which seems unlikely at the moment. The same thing -- sorry, Dutch -- for an anthology. Though  I would do the Book of Books for you.

The most maddening prospect is the Passenger Pigeon project. I am more convinced than ever that I have the key to the phenomenon. But I have no agent, and the only people willing to do it are SkyHorse. I trust Jay Cassell there,  as he put Hounds of Heaven right, but they can't give me enough money. Worse, the president of the company wants a new sample chapter and I haven't a clue what to say in it. I've never been so blocked. except intestinally. The trips I need to make to Wisconsin and Berkeley are both expensive and mildly intimidating but I'll do them if I can.

This is the point, along with many others, to put put in my inexpressible gratitude to Libby Frishman. She thinks she's grouchy. I maintain that not only is she not grouchy; her occasional temper means that she is accruing far more virtue by having to work for it than would be demonstrated by a blissed-out ninny.


David's gun with 410

Bo & Lib


Gil said...

Steve, you and Libby have been in my thoughts. I would say prayers, but since I'm not much of a prayer, I don't think I could survive an Old Testamentary, well-placed lightning strike. There's "lapsed RC's" and Totally Collapsed RC's if you now what I mean. Gil

wilnis said...
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Anonymous said...

Sorry to hear this. Was looking forward to "Book of Books"...hope all turns out well. Tom Condon, Eastern Montana.

Anonymous said...

DEAR STEVE - You have every right to rage at the moon, or worse! but your spirit will get you through. You are blest and so fortunate to have the love of a good woman, son, and family, and support from friends near and far, and you clearly mean to make the best of what else life can throw at you!
Take all the offers, and try all the treatments .
I can only imaging the frustrations of it all. Life is sometimes a s@it, but your irrepressible , positive animal spirit still shines brightly , despite it all.....
I had similar problems with a hernia op, initially, but that ,too was soon sorted. Hopefully, yours too will pass.
We all cherish your visceral at times comments, and admire your dogged determination and courage. Keep them coming, as and when you can - they are so appreciated !
Keep holding on ,old friend .
Love , thoughts and admiration for your great tenacity from UK side friends, John and June

Ted Schefelbein said...

I wish I had a sliver of advice or wit that could better your lot. I don’t. Sorry to hear of your current state of affairs, and I hope things improve
or, at least ease up enough to give you time to pursue what you fancy.
Getting old is a bitch, but, it usually beats the alternative.

PeterW said...


I am currently reading, and enjoying, “Edge”.

Much as I love your work, do remember that you don’t owe your readers anything. You have given us what we paid for, often more. Anything else is not a matter of “owing”, but of shared values, interests and mutual respect.

Do what you have to do, and we will hope for the best for you.

Thankyou...... Peter.

Phil Yearout said...

Ditto to Peter's comments above.

Sierra Muse said...
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Chad J. Love said...

Sorry to hear that, Steve. I've been blocked (mostly writing-wise, but, admittedly, occasionally intestinally...) for two years now, but I still read your blog regularly, and have been waiting anxiously for the new book of books and others. I've been trying the social media thing as a proxy, and it's like eating cheezy poofs: mildly tasty in an artificial way, but absolutely nothing of substance. Would hate for you to stop writing, the world is full of cheezy poofs, but not much good thought food. I don't do "prayers sent" and other such pap, but I'll fervently hope you get better, have a change of fortune and inspiration on the book front, and are able to continue the blog. I'm in the process of selling most of my meager collection of modern guns to fund my first proper double gun purchase and I need this blog for inspiration...

Steve Bodio said...

Thanks all. Things continue to evolve.Sierra Muse-- with respect, that aint the problem. Fore one thing, the reputation is worse than the fact Image and all that. i monitor every part of my health including my liver and at least two good docs, like me believe like Churchill that I have taken more from booze than it has taken from me..

As for my resolve, it is still strong. the trouble is GETTING PUBLISHED- and typing.

Anonymous said...

Well, you know what they say, Steve--it is better to have typed, than to have never typed at all! I, personally, have NEVER typed--it's all huntin'-an-peckin'! But I probably have the BUFFEST right index finger you've ever saw! Sorry Bo-bo is being a pain--her dad and uncle can be too--especially RIGHT NOW well into Deer Season when I CANNOT SAFELY run them and burn them out regular--they(and I!) are all stir crazy! And here's wishing you the best--I'm afraid I've been neglecting my Blog Tithes to you lately--I'll see what I can conjure up to remedy that. Nothing like some fresh reading material or a film to watch for a DISTRACTION--have you got that dang DVD player of yours working proper yet?.......L.B.

Sierra Muse said...

Stephen - Be assured - your reputation hasn’t preceded you - at least not to my nook and cranny of the Sierra Nevada range. My perception of you is based solely on scrutiny of your own ruminations in print throughout the years. You’ve held my interest because you’re a poet with your prose. A poet and a philosopher. A skilled wordsmith. So I have excellent recall of your story - your tale within the tale. And, the subject of alcohol’s reach into your life comes up frequently. Parkinson’s is a nasty adversary and I admire your resolve to live your life on your own terms as best as you can; and a little nip to ease the rigors of your journey certainly makes sense, as long as you manage to stay on your feet when you’re up and about. And, as long as your acuity and brilliance of mind and wit haven’t been compromised. It’s a delicate balance, but then what in life isn’t a balancing act for us all? You’re a rare talent in your own unique and quirky way and I wish you and Libby a continuing gratifying journey along the path you’ve both chosen.

Steve Bodio said...

Sierra, thanks- I only meant to clarify the record. I know the real dangers and I am trying to steer between them. A small private publisher has just agreed to back my remaining books, which should help a lot.

Sierra Muse said...

Stephen - That’s very good news and I wish you continuing success and a little luck and progress with your treatment options in the new year. Please keep us all posted from time to time how you’re doing whenever you get a notion to reconnect with those of us on the fringes cheering you on.