The Pres, the economy, my books, and a shot of whiskey

In another bring-it-to-the-people conference last night, President Obama sent a strong message about what he’s hoping to do to steer the economy in the right direction, in addition to the thousands of other things that need to get done to put the country back on a path that will keep us at the top. We’re toppling. I think that’s abundantly clear. The education system is sub-par. The healthcare system is a giant mess. I don’t even want to talk about job loss. So much of what’s happening is wrapped up in the slime of greed and laziness. I wish I could just wash it off, but we’re in deep. All of us.

Last night an email from my agent suggested I try magazines for my latest picture book manuscript. She was so enthusiastic about the story at first, but now seems stricken by what she called the “terrible” market. My agent is losing hope and it does not bolster my confidence. I’m beginning to wonder if the novel has a prayer. She loves that one too, or at least she did a few months ago when we started sending it out.

It seems that getting out of this quagmire requires stripping down to the essentials, being honest and up-front, and doing some real hard work. It’s hard to turn the ship around, to use the President’s metaphor. But it has to be done.

Many will not be on board. But what if stripping down relieves us of the excess that has been weighing us down? What if it means that we have the opportunity to be more innovative, or make smarter choices? What if being honest turns us into a community of people who care about each other’s well-being and bolster each other’s success? What if that real hard work helps us to create some of the best in new technology, new business models, new literature?

I was always told, “that which does not kill you, makes you stronger.” Imagine coming out of this stronger. Is it more practical to complain and criticize, or do we get out of this hole faster if we get on board?

Hey, maybe this ship serves cocktails. I might need a shot to relieve the tension of all that hard work I’ll be doing. See? It’s not all bad.