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What Comes Next?

To be a successful novelist, you must make yourself make the writing and promoting of the novels you write absolute top priority in your life - and for a whole bunch of reasons, I have not done this, at least until just recently. The stories I spent mch of my twenties trying to get out on paper were aimed at giant monstrosities of themes with characters running wild and often out of control in my head and heart and onto the pages.

Even way back at Princeton when I was at the same time working at the federal LSD research center in Skillman, a very interesting wife of a publisher cooked me delicious dinners and asked me all sorts of deep questions, thinking that I perhaps had some sort of new outrageous Fitzgerald/Kesey hit coalescing in my head - I was very much influenced right then with Richard Farina's Been Down So Long It Looks Like Up To Me and we were talking about me playing in that general type of story line but with what I saw going on arouond me fleshing it all out. That was as close as I came to taking the work of writing a successful novel seriously.

While at the research center I met and became friends with an acerbic philosopher named Alan Watts who was wont to say, ,"Life is so serious, if you take it seriously it just might kill you." I stuck that quote into Google Beta 3 without even thinking about it - because that theme was what kept me from writing seriously, at least seriously enough to become a success with the profession. Now, I'm almost seventy, I am going to die in the next twenty years and am quite happy to let taking writing seriously kill me in the end. Better than cancer, hey!

I wrote my first full novel (that my mother threw away because it scared her) at the age of 19 and never really stopped. The result is that I now have six novels and six screenplays that seem very good, but which I've never taken the time and effort to take to market. They sit here as digits patiently begging for attention and release.

With Google Beta 3 completed and the characters continually squirming around inside my brain and heart begging for further exposure and release (and fun), I now face a decision - what to do? Do I focus my authorian intent primarily on doing my absolute best getting the film version written, sold, produced and out, which has been a long-term goal? I also realize I can expand the novel into a TV series which would be great fun and an immense amount of work.

Part of me wants instead to jump right ahead into doing a final rewrite of the next novel in this series - it's already written and called 10%MAX, happening about five years after Google Beta 3 ends ... with most of the same characters and themes. Or will a publisher push me to write the obvious next logical step in Google Beta 3 that reveals what happens immediately after GB3 ends? And finally I remember that I have all those earlier screenplays and books - should I focus on getting those earlier stories up and out?

Right now I have no idea what's going to happen next - that's pretty much how life flows these days and it's working very well. The present moment does reveal the next step, pretty much impeccably. I feel that probably the first editor/publisher already set to read the GB3 will ask me to participate with her in the publishing game, and I feel readyf and even eager at this point to do whatever needs to be done to make Google Beta 3 a success.

I do aim with my fiction to show a mindful, heartful, participatory path for us to walk into the looming future, rather choosing to continue down the perhaps-overly bio-robot, psych-tech, manipulation-driven psychic freeway we're barrelling down at present. It seems to me that inventing new tech and putting it into commercial use at mass levels before even testing their longer-term effects is right on the edge of commiting suicide - we can't play Russian Roulette forever without shooting ourselves in the head.

As I think is evident in GB3, I do love tech - I just don't want it to dominate, inhibit, distort squash or kill what I consider to be the truly human dimensions of humanity. We must choose consciously what we are willing to give up, just for the sake of making us more tricky and hip and entertained and comfortable. In this light, Mahalena comes through loud and clear for me as a new type of hopeful hero. I had one version of Google Beta 3 in which she got killed. I had another version in which you think she got killed. Now with this new ending, I feel ready to send the book out into the world because ... she lives.

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