Yes, I read... and I write. And to those who have wondered about my doings of late — the mysterious behind-the-curtain business that's all but ended my contact with the outside world — my book-writing is what's got you thinking I went and pulled a Hemingway or a Plath, when the reality is closer to Salinger or Dickinson. I'm not dead, in other words, just hiding.
My memoir is approaching completion and I commit more of myself to it every day, as if my anticipated January completion date weren't soon enough. The passion of watching the stack of pages grow and grow, from the meager handful of sheets that came from my first day's work at the typewriter, is a consuming one. Now that the critical rewriting process is days away, I'm all tingly with the urge to hack and slash these 250-plus pages down to something more readable. My unforgiving red pen has a name amongst the incarcerated writers who bring me their drafts to edit or dispassionately critique — a name many dare not to speak — and I am probably sick for wanting to wield it against my own creation. If it means rewriting my entire book in red, I'm committed to making it the best memoir it can be. Besides, I've been called far worse than "sick" in my time. That, at least in part, is what the book is about.
So while you wait and wonder, don't let your imagination run too wild. I'm alive and well. Bear with me a little while longer; I'll bring you the proof soon. Meanwhile, a birthday card this month would be nice. I'm not too busy to smile.