Wednesday, December 3, 2008

My Opus 100

I know I'm going to get this quote wrong (I'm doing it from memory), but here goes:

"Over the course of 40 years I published an average of 1,000 words a day;
Over the course of the second 20 years I published an average of 1,600 words a day.

Over the course of 40 years I sold an item every 10 days on the average;
Over the course of the second 20 years, I sold an item every six days on the average."

These words were found on a scrap of paper in Asimov's desk by his wife, Janet, after he died of AIDS in April 1992 at the age of 72.

[I remember I learning about the death of one of my favorite authors: I was still in the Marine Corps and my unit was out in the field for an exercise. Someone had snagged a USAToday during a supply run to the rear and brought this little sliver of civilization out to the boonies with them. I was glancing through the Life section and saw Asimov's picture and thought to myself, "Cool, the last book of the Foundation series must be coming out." Only to have my joy turn to abject horror in learning the author of one of the most famous series of books (and one of my most favorite to boot) had died. Before finishing the last book. Turns out, he'd finished it, it just hadn't been published. Whew. But I digress.]

A thousand words a day for 40 years equals 14.6 million words. Permanent words printed on paper, not like these you're reading thrown into cyberspace on a blog. Words he was paid to write.

Words he loved to write. Words he just plain loved.

Think about that for a moment...throughout his extraordinary life and career, Asimov wrote or edited 460 some odd books falling into all but one of the categories of the Dewey Decimal System. Seems he wasn't too big on philosophy and psychology (100s).

The title of this post, my 100th since The Foggy Dew appeared in the waning day of July, comes from Asimov's one hundredth book Opus 100. One hundred posts in 125 days. Not a bad start.

But nothing to crow over either (although I am, just a bit). I got this started in the summer heat of the presidential election season and, I hope, I'll be able to keep throwing my words out there to see if they make a difference.

I love politics. I love reading about it, talking about it, arguing about it and writing about it here. As it says at the top, "A little revolution is good for the soul..." (Although, Arjewtino once suggested "No stalking. Just free panties" as a slogan after the Virtual Panty Raid promotion a little bit back.) It's our job as citizens to keep an eye on our leaders to...encourage them to do what is right, not what is popular.

The work hasn't ended, it's only just begun. So let's get to work.


Doug said...

Good post. I love Asimov. I miss him. They just don't make writers like him anymore.

And you know what? It wasn't that he just wrote 1000 words a day.... he wrote 1000 brilliant words a day. My posts tend to be pretty long, perhaps around 1000 words... but I'm just a blowhard. haha

FoggyDew said...

Doug - It's hard to believe he's been gone 16 years. But with so many books to choose from he will live on forever. Personally, last year, I reread all of the Elijah Baily books. Sooooo good.

Oh, and welcome.

f.B said...

big, big congrats on the century mark.

and a little revolution is so good for the soul.