The Year Ahead

Twenty below, but beautiful. To those of you in the Singapore or Albuquerque this must seem insane. All I can say is that the poor Malaysian exchange students I see wandering the university campus in swaddled confusion would surely concur. But for those of us who have grown up with this, it is simply extreme, not insane. However, it certainly enforces a unique mindset upon us while we are in its thrall.

I just want to let you know what I hope to be doing this year. First, the long, slow slog of the Joseph and Nez Perce book is coming to an end. The bulk of the material is in the hands of my editor, so I can only wait and light a few candles. This has been tough, both emotionally and editorially. I only hope it works out. I’ll tell you more as the process proceeds.

Once this is over, I’d like to turn my attentions to a smaller homiletic book again — maybe a companion work to Simple Truths and Small Graces. It would be good to do a little spiritual self-examination and housekeeping again. Such a book would focus the attention in a way that would make me a better person.

I would also love to move the Neither Wolf nor Dog film off the dime. I did a screenplay years ago at the request of the director, John Irving, but our collaborative efforts came to naught. The script has since bounced around to various people who claim to be able to get it made. But Hollywood is a tremendously venal place with a financial and moral value system that, to my mind, leaves much to be desired. I’m seriously considering trying to reclaim the script and seeking out a native cast and crew that would make it without all the extravagant foolishness that comes along with the Hollywood culture. Maybe I’m naive, but a few good actors, a good director, several cameras, a good lighting person and a good editor should be enough to get something done. Besides, this should be a native film, benefitting the native people. I think I’ve been too passive and pliant up until now. It’s time to make a statement and to get something done.

I also want to get back to speaking and teaching. I miss the public contact, and I especially miss working with young people. I’m going to do what I can to get myself back in those arenas.

Lastly, I’ll be in England for the latter part of March and early April. I’d like to do some readings or presentations over there. I know I have many readers across the pond, so if any of you have any venues that might be suitable, let me know. I’ll be based in Oxford.

Well, that’s a skeletal sketch of my professional aspirations for the year. If I can accomplish some portion of them I’ll be a happy man.

It’s been a long stretch in the privacy of my own mind. I’m looking forward to opening the windows and letting the air of the outside world rush in.

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