God's a funny guy, and lemme tell you why I say that. I mentioned on Ann Best's website, when she was discussing bloggerville and whether it will survive, that the Almighty keeps Himself entertained at my expense.
See, I've been off-kilter since that baby was born. He's 3.5 months old, not quite sleeping through the night, giggling a little, crying louder, finding his personality, manipulating his mommy and me, and being an all-around joy.
Plus, work hit me hard.
But enough with the excuses. God doesn't make excuses, doesn't apologize, doesn't give a reason, and doesn't ask why, so why am I doing it?
The fact is I haven't been writing.
Cue God, or fate, or chance, or karma, put whatever name you want on it, but along comes that force making fun of me.
Out of the blue I get asked for a couple of critiques. My ex-wife sends me all my old writings -- and maybe I'll post the very first story I wrote back in high school, now that I found it again!
My publisher calls and says he wants to do a Tour de Dallas, and he politely doesn't mention the book deal because I don't think he likes the books I sent him, and the one I'm supposed to be writing isn't getting written.
I get back on the blogger-wagon a couple of weeks ago and start fidgeting on the keyboard and making sure I still have online friends.
But then the BEST thing happens!
My old boss read an early version of my short story "One Small Step" about a year ago, before I submitted it, before it came out in An Honest Lie 2: Delusions of Insignificance.
He liked it so much he took it home for his wife to read.
She took it to her work. They let their kids read it. He said it inspired him to dig out his old Arthur C. Clarke books and re-read them, said they don't write stuff like that anymore.
He said they were at a baseball game last year and the moon was full and his wife pointed up and said, You think Percy is up there?
And this morning he shows up in my office with a gift bag and a copy of An Honest Lie 2 and says, Sign my book, and we got you something.
What is it? I ask.
Open it and see.
Well, that's what I saw. It even says FREEBOTTOM on the pocket. Percy Freebottom is the character, see. That there figurine is him or my name's Fudd.
What a gift! How inspirational, especially to a writer whose nose gets bent a little farther out of shape every time someone reads his stories.
It's those little inspirational moments that keep us going. It's not the money -- what money? -- or the fame, or the notoriety. It's those moments.
It's that email I sent my Pop framed in his office. It's that email I sent to my (then) wife on September 12, 2001, that somehow went viral and I got emails from strangers saying I'd touched them, made them cry, did you really write this Eric, thank you for saying what I was thinking! I was surprised, by the way, to find that 9-12 email taped to my cousin's fridge door during a visit several years later.
It's those moments that keep you going. They're genuine, heartfelt, real, unsolicited, moments.
Thank you for inspiring me. Thank you for not letting me give up.
That's God I'm thanking, by the way, not you knuckers. You all just distract me from the ~important~ things in my life!
But really, I hope I inspire you, and that some of this enthusiasm rubs off on you and you realize how important a little story can be.
Remember that. You never know who's reading!
And here's another plug for "An Honest Lie 3: Justifiable Hypocrisy" Go submit something!
Have you received unsolicited inspiration lately? How? Who?