Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Mostly Successful

by Daddy X

A piece of art can cost lots of money. Or, if one has a good enough eye, a lovely and evocative object can be found for free in the woods. For visual examples of that idea, just go into the archives for my post “ShelfLife.”

Aesthetics aren’t quantifiable by a measure of money. Artistic success depends on an intrinsic assessment not preceded by a dollar sign. A rock or piece of wood may resemble something within our existential scope or evoke an abstract archetype, producing an effect on our psyche difficult to price.

Success is determined by the results we want or need to achieve. I’d think that all here aspire to success, not only in our ability to arrange words, but also to receive positive feedback in the form of dollars, enough to at least finance the effort. Setting realistic goals helps solidify our objectives.

I may be in a unique place among us, considering my finances have about hit their last plateau. Momma and I are finally comfortable after many years of simply not so. This little house is now ours after thirty years of monthly payments. It finally feels like we’re coasting, not clawing. For the most part, I have made a living turning hobbies into businesses, first with restaurants, an extension of my love of good food and cooking, then in the antiques trade, in which I still dabble. Now of course, there’s my … ahem… my gardening hobby, which keeps us in the manner to which we’re accustomed. :>)

On the big picture, Momma X and I have come a long way in the traditional sense, especially since neither of us went to college. She abandoned a scholarship to get into a marriage and out of a bad living situation.

I fucked off at business school, overcut in every class within a month. Seems the pool halls of South Street in downtown Philadelphia had more draw for this student than accounting classes. I wanted to be a salesman at the time, and Pierce Business School was just a bus ride from home. For better or worse, South Street was just a few blocks past Pierce. Often, I kept going. Right past the school. Funny. I did become a salesman with the antiques.

South Street at the time wasn’t the yupped-up scene it is now. It was then a gray and desolate dump, all African-American bars and Jewish rag merchants.  Most days I was the only white person hanging out. Certainly the only student from Pierce. No other student would consider going to South Street for a beer after school. Those people were serious about their accounting.

What I'm getting at is that some hobbies make money, some don’t. My record in that regard is pretty good as far as success goes. Just not so much in the writing thing. The consolation is that some people think what I write is okay. So I guess I’ll have to go with the artistically based assessment that I’m like that stick in the woods, perhaps aesthetically valid, but not really worth much money.

So be it. I’m a successful guy. (Mostly)


  1. Actually, Daddy, I'm in awe of your versatility. I was noticing the other day how wonderful your crits in Storytime are.

    Good not to have to worry about money, though. Financial concerns can really eat away at one's peace of mind.

    1. Oooo... Thank you Lisabet. How nice of you to say. I've been feeling a little irrelevant on ERWA lately. So much techie talk. And double thanks for putting the link in correctly. Let me know how you did that. You can send something off-list if you don't want to clutter up the pages with instructions.

  2. I need to think about getting more active on storytime too. Its been a long time, and I'm still plugged in but I got out of the habit of reading things there. Part of my complaint is that it was mostly flash fiction which i don't read or write. I need meaty stories. I need to go back and take another look.


    1. It would be good to have you back, Garce. You could show the newbies how it's done. I consider you and Bob the best writers on Storytime.

      I find that stories, flashers, poems, etc. do better when lots of people are posting those individual forms. In other words, flashers promote more flashers, and quickies can bring more quickies. Plus, flashers don't take as much time to write, or to crit for that matter. Novel chapters invite more novel chapters, but they aren't particularly suited to crits since it takes a critter lot of staying power over a long time span, and novels are not really suited to the monthly Gallery.

  3. Having fun with just about everything you do, as seems to be the case with you, is the best kind of success.

    1. Thanks for saying, Sacchi. It's pretty much how I view this life. When anyone asks about the meaning of life, I'll typically answer: Experience. To experience this body, this world, as it is at this time. Beyond that, life is sorta what you do with it, and how you handle the BS that comes with it all.


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