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Genesis of a Historical Novel

Thursday, May 31, 2007

the worldly artist

A quasi day off yesterday. Kimmie took the day off to celebrate Robin's birthday; we took her out to lunch at Milestones in Park Royal. It was a sunny day, like summer, and we dined outside on the wide, closed-in patio by the parking-lot. Robin is now 26, the age I was when I first formed a serious relationship with her mother. She is a self-composed independent adult; who knows how I might have changed in the same period?

I'm still looking to provide breathing-space for The Mission. For more than a week I have just been ticking over with my research reading. Yes, I need to work on how to balance my various responsibilities--any copywriting or other revenue-generating work I might have along with my artistic project. This has always been a challenge for anyone involved in the creative life. There is no simple way to solve it; it's a personal matter.

In my case, I'm relatively practical, hard-nosed, and bourgeois for a creative type. I'm attracted to business, science, and political affairs, especially public policy, and especially as this affects people on a global scale. Although I'm strange and eccentric and somewhat neurotic, I've never been an otherworldly aesthete who has no head for practical things or for figures or business. On the contrary, I'm generally a shrewd and inventive negotiator, and I positively enjoy putting together deals (although I'm not by nature a salesman or a trader in any sense). I like finding mutually beneficial arrangements bounded by clear agreements and rules. I like structure and clarity.

I'm interested by money and am very good at handling it. For a layman I have a solid grasp of capital markets, investing, and finance. I understand interest rates and compounding, and have a pretty good knowledge of the Canadian tax system. I hate wasting money (or anything else) but I'm not stingy; I like getting good value for money, and I can live on very little--indeed, I tend to be interested and stimulated by the problem of living within my means. I believe that the best value for money is a good charitable donation; when I was single I dedicated 10% of my earnings to CARE Canada to feed people who weren't eating enough--a cause that still haunts my heart and to which I still donate.

As a result of all this, although I'm an artist by nature, I own my own house and am debt-free. I can talk business with worldly people and enjoy it. In an important sense, I'm one of them.


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