The idea was that if I was too busy bothering the rocks and stuff, I could slip one of my bottom-drawer pieces in. In reality, I was too busy trotting around (and in one case, inside) volcanoes, fiords and glaciers, so there was a gap.
I took away four works to look at: clean fourth drafts of Not Your Usual [Colonial] Villains and Not Your Usual Explorers, as well as a good second draft of the book I am researching (Not Your Usual Rocks) and a rough draft of a book that may end up being called either Shore Things, or maybe, just maybe, Littoral Truths. That one will be several years in the making: it's time to slow down and smell the coffee.
Still, there's room for a bit more craziness...
* * * * *
I suspected that if a writer lacked a background of hair’s-breadth escapes, desperate acts of derring-do, like quelling a riot with a derringer and a solar topee, they never got published. As I approach advanced middle age, my cynical streak has expanded to a broad band, and I wonder if they made their adventures up, but that came too late to save me.
For example, I am a good shot with a rifle, but I only shoot at things that don’t bleed, scream, or shoot back. That’s a quite proper attitude for humans, but it might be problematic for guerrillas, so I dropped the idea of being any sort of guerrilla.
Given my highly-developed Rikki-Tikki-Tavi tendencies, that first answer meant that almost the whole world deserved my respect. Later, I discovered that Karl Popper went through a similar bout of introspection while working as a cabinet-maker, but used his time far better.
To be continued.