I’ve gone AWOL on blogging for a long time: slightly more than eight months, which is cyber-eternity. It is not, however, book-writing-publicizing eternity. It is the blink of an eye. Several years ago (a few more blinks of the eye) I started a publishing venture in much the same way I started snow skiing. To ski, I reasoned in the short-sighted bloom of youth, one needs only four things: nerve, correct clothing, a pair of skis, and a snow-covered hill. In my complete ignorance, I assumed that finding cheap, flattering, waterproof pants and a matching jacket posed the greatest challenge in this list. After all, with waxed slats strapped to my feet, how could I fail, given my basic sense of balance, to do anything other than plummet gracefully if I stood at the top of a slick slope and aimed myself in a downward direction?
A week or so later, click-clicking up the side of an ice crusted mountain on a chairlift, I felt blithely confident in powder blue ski pants and a jacket my brother had salvaged from a clearance rack at the sporting goods store where he worked. I was sharing the lift with a guy about my age. Based on the three square inches I could see of his face, beneath the goggles and knit cap, he seemed rather attractive.
“Do you ski much?” he asked, smiling. Nice teeth, at least.
“This is my first time.”
“No kidding. But you've taken some lessons, right?”
“Nope. I didn’t take a lesson.” The smile faded. We rode in silence for a few minutes before I continued. “What happens at the top of the lift? How do you get off?” I had imagined the chair would politely stop, and I would sidestep my way to a well-marked launching pad, where I’d have plenty of time to deep breathe and muster the only item I lacked: sufficient nerve.
“You ski off the lift.”
“Really! No! I mean, how? What do I do?”
Needless to say, he skied off the lift. The forces of gravity and my weight combined to ensure only the fact of a descent, which I made as a mortified tumbling orb of light blue.
Fast forward 30 years, and, sad to say, I seemed to have learned very little. Write a book? Start a business? I need the following: determination, writing skill, financial backing, a computer, and several pairs of comfortable jeans. This list would not have been so far off the correct path if every day were composed of 72 hours and every person advertising a skill in book production were proficient, willing and honest. Of course, neither of these conditions is real. I dismissed the first, believing myself to be capable of an endless succession of 12-hour days, and learned the second in the School of Hard Expensive Knocks.
So, I have changed and rearranged my circumstances: Wisely, I punted the publishing to a publishing partner, who knows how to ski off the lift, figuratively speaking. I've also written a book of relationship games. John is contributing to these games, to increase the likelihood that the typical man will actually play them—They involve such things as punch cards, corrals of plastic horses, gold stars, and bacon. More on these projects later.