I am a 44 year old, happily married, church-elder, liberal, family-man, heterosexual American male. I hold a Bachelor of Arts from the University of California, Davis in English, with, had I filed in time, a minor in Political Science, 1984, and a Juris Doctor from the same school (1987). I went to law school because I realized that I knew nothing at all to write about -- knew nothing of life -- as of 1984, and I thought that law school might lead to a career that would teach me about life. I was right: 15 years as a civil litigator (and a short stint as a special prosecutor for the Multnomah County, Oregon D.A.) taught me more about human nature than 100 years of "civilian" life would have.
I always assumed that a law practice would lead me to a career as a novelist -- but, instead, it led me to great joy, great competitiveness, and ultimately to great pain as I took my clients' pains upon myself. I finally had to quit, and five years ago quit my litigation practice and became a mediator, arbitrator, and writer.
Lately I've been working on a book that Jennifer Nix, editor of George Lakoff's "Don't Think of an Elephant", Kos' "Crashing the Gates", and Glenn Greenwald's "How Would a Patriot Act" thinks has promise: rebutting and mediating the "War on Christmas" and "Culture War" being mounted by the Right against the principles of egalitarianism, parity, and freedom enunciated by the Founders.
The problem is, I don't have a formal "book deal." Jennifer is supportive of the idea, and is pitching the book to Working Assets Publishing (her new employer), but it's not a guarantee. Meanwhile, since I want the book to be released in the Fall, I'm working on it day and night, setting aside my work as a litigation "neutral" and as a homemaker (my wife is a student at the university of Oregon at age 51), in order to do so. And, incidentally, neglecting VichyDems.
Ergo, my infrequently-updated blog, and your highly-stressed blog proprietor.
I care about this project deeply. It's my life's work, when you get down to it, especially since I'm a mediator by profession: reaching across the divide to the good people who honestly believe in God and America and who are being misled by demagogues and false prophets and who should, if they understood the issue, be Democrats (at least, if Democrats were worth following, as Dean is and Ms. Clinton is not). So I'm giving everything to it.
But tonight, with a daughter frustrated at her inadequacies at softball, another who has tested as a genius but is receiving C2 and C3s in school because she cannot get it together to turn her homework in (and her dad can't get it together to provide her with adequate support) -- I'm frustrated. Is this (the blog, the book) just a fool's errand? Or are we --- all of us together -- going to change the world, and get the pendulum swinging back our way? It's certainly time. But sometimes, it's hard for even the cheerleaders to fathom how the home team is going to come back and win.
So: community: help. Is this going to work out?
Don't worry. Tomorrow I'll be back to telling you that it is.
I love you guys. Time for another martini.
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