I am currently reading, well, let's be honest, listening to Douglas Adams' last book The Salmon of Doubt. It is a collection of prefaces, introductions, newspaper columns, and various other random musings that were left in the depths of his hard drive after his far too early death in 2001. I am only 1/6th of the way into the book, and am enjoying it immensely, albeit with a huge side order of melancholy. It fascinates me that his more conversational pieces sounds exactly like the Hitchiker's Guide to the Galaxy. No, not the series, the actualy entries in the guide. It seems rather strange, yet also totally apt that the truest representations of his thought and speech patterns come from relative non sequiters. There is, however, one small problem. Listening to Adams' words can be incredibly inspirational to a guy like me who fancies himself as someone quite capable of writing a book someday, if he can only come up with the right story to tell. I hear the clever, Adamsian cadences and bizarre juxtapositions and I think, 'my god, I can do that too!' But then, the eponymous fish wriggles its way into my consciousness and whispers, 'but not as well.' This is a struggle I have faced all my life. I have little tolerance for bad literature, and have long since abandoned my youthful vow that a book begun is a book finished. Nowadays if I'm not enjoying a book, I stop reading it. The upside of this is that I tend only to read what I consider to be exceptional writing. The downside of that is that it often leaves me feeling like a Little League pitcher practicing with Sammy Sosa.
I don't really know if there is a real point to this, merely an observation, put out there so that I can't allow it to slip quietly and ignored into the tar-pits of my subconscious. Maybe if I can wrestle this particular demon into submission, I might just get that damned book started. And hopefully an unwritten book started, will be an unwritten book...written.