Are they really a hobby or the embryo of a business?

Notes from Alexis: I love her “process” for writing a book, and you will love her new hobbies.

Jan 22, 1992

Dearest Lex,

I woke up this morning and thought: I have to tell Lex to stop drinking wine. When I was 25, I had to give up all alcoholic beverages because they gave me such horrendous headaches. I have never liked beer or wine, but I did drink cocktails now and then, but it got to the point where I was having my hangover fifteen minutes after I had my drink.

The thing about wine is it is all chemicals. There may have been a time (back in Ceasar’s day) when wine was made from grapes, but no more. Now it is all chemicals, as I found out when I tried making my own. We watched a program that told all about it and boy; it was enough to scare the pants off you. My advice is to keep off the wine for a month and see if the headaches stop (but, of course, keep up your other programs). Headaches can, and often are caused by more than one thing and sometimes the mix just becomes too much.

I keep checking on S.F. and her new “Gallery” opening.  Dad heard this guy on the radio, who is the photographer that is going to open the gallery with her. I drove by to see it. All her files of index cards had been moved out, and there were a ladder and some buckets. Two weeks later, ditto. She gets all this great media attention, but then doesn’t know what to do with it, and nothing ever comes of her endeavors (notice I didn’t say efforts). Not that I think there has ever been a plan or purpose to anything she does.

I haven’t been able to work on “Shipwreck John” for a week, I will go in today and work on him. I have discovered I have an MO (modus operandi). First, I have to have a name. This is just a working name, and I am perfectly happy and prepared to change it later if it doesn’t fit, which I did with Henry.

Next, I have to do a cover, which I am also prepared to change. Nevertheless – ‘Hello’, there has to be a cover. Now there is a real ‘sure nuff’ book that merely needs to be written and put between the covers. This was true with all my books. It’s as if I have to have something concrete to hold in my hand before I can believe there is a book in the future. I read about writers who write every word in their head before they touch pen to paper or finger to key. Not me. I only have to have a name and cover, and I’m off and running.

So, therefore, there is a “Shipwreck John” but no Dorsett or McGuffin yet, (but getting close), because I haven’t taken the major step of the name and cover. Still too much research.

I now have a hobby. A hobby being something that never can be turned into a business, right? I collect. What I collect has doubled in the past week. I now collect two things. First, I started off with purse wallets, and as you know I have a nice collection. You only saw half of them because at the time I was a closet collector, but now they are out in the open in a box.

My second collection, which I have only just now recognized, is moisture absorbers. You get them in every bottle of pills, and they come in all sizes and shapes. But what to do with them? They lay around on counters and in drawers, and there is the thought underneath; ‘Maybe I should keep them’?

I see things clearly now. A museum of moisture absorbers! Someday in the future, it will attract tourists who will come from all over the universe. Well, that isn’t too far-fetched right, if people would go to see a giant stuffed mouse, why not moisture absorbers? Of course the purse wallets may also be in the same class, however, I keep thinking someday I may actually use one, so there is that to consider. Are they really a hobby or the embryo of a business? Worry and fret. Nothing in this life has been ever simple.

Well, I got all my stuff out of the drawers and into the shoebox to get ready for taxes and that’s step one. Step two is to list everything on a sheet of paper. Step three is working with the form. I am particularly eager to get some money back because Dad gets more disillusioned with his job every day. J. had nothing good to say about J. T. (the new boss and owner of  Honda-Chevrolet dealership) right from day one. But I reserved an opinion until I had met him, which I did at the Xmas party. He made me no convert. He is a slippery eel. He will look you right in the eye and with great sincerity say, I don’t lie. All the time the hair on your neck is standing up. Last night Dad said he was going to start actively looking for another job. It takes him a while to get moving, and he won’t make a move until he is sure, but then he never looks back. So we’ll see.

Well, granny is her usual self. I have had some revelations that I will tell you in person as they are l-o-n-g stories, but anyway, it has helped me cope with the situation.

My chest is feeling better, but I only have half-day strength, while having full-day jobs. About the only way I can manage is to just lie down. Fortunately, I can do that, but I want to get with the program, have things to do.

Well, sweetheart must close as ‘Shipwreck John’ is calling.

Love,

Mom

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