Some time back, I announced I was giving up the fiction-writing life to be an engineer. I felt enormous relief after having applied at my local geek-science-school. The baggage of fiction writing–the utter need to be what I’d told myself I would be since childhood–was pulling me down. Now, of course, I’ve started school again and, although I’m only taking one math class this semester, I’m already suffering the effects of stress. Stress isn’t always negative. In this case, it isn’t. I’m enjoying my class and looking forward to taking at least three classes come fall. Since I already have one completed degree, there are a number of classes I don’t need to take this time around. Therefore, I’ll be able to focus on my major rather than the myriad of niceties that goes along with any degree these days. I’m going into mechanical engineering because it’s a diverse engineering field that will enable me to find exciting work (hopefully). Talking to electrical engineering majors, I have learned that the E.E. department requires its students to take “depth” classes in philosophy or sociology at the 300 level or higher. Thankfully, the M.E. department doesn’t require such integrity from its majors! Who needs philosophizing engineers in this world, eh?
As you well know, I do enough philosophizing on this blog, which I’ve had trouble keeping up with this past week. I have a lot going on. Yes, allow me to tell you about my life. Thanks for asking. I’ve been working a little here and there on editing my book, the one I plan to throw up as an e-book as soon as possible to get it off my mind and heart forever [deep breath]! I have long called this book either White Ladder or Franklin’s Ladder depending on my mood. Recently, I decided it had to be changed to Anna’s Ladder in order to reflect Anna as the protagonist, as well as to pictorially demonstrate the palindrome in the cover art. However, the ‘s destroys the palindrome, and, in the context of the book, the ladder isn’t Anna’s except on a purely psychological level, as the entire book is Anna’s psychological reality. To make a short story long, I’ve finally concluded that I’ll call the book what I’ve long wanted to call it anyway: Anna and the Dragon. In the early days, when I queried friends and family with this title, nobody liked it. It was too plain or childish or something. But lately, I began wondering why I should care what others think. I’m not going to market this book, nor even shell out the dollars for a professional edit. I’m not locked into doing what an editor thinks best. Anna and the Dragon it will be because that’s what I want, and I’m tired, frankly, of capitulating to others. And you know what? Suddenly everybody likes Anna and the Dragon as a title. It’s mythic. It’s simple. It allows for an unbroken palindrome.
Okay, so there you have it: If dragons represent the shadow aspect of being, then being an engineer and self-publishing my books with my chosen titles, written the way I want them to be written, are my dragons. They’re what I’ve always wanted, but have never had the nerve to admit it. Autonomy is my shadow, and it’s so enormous that if I don’t watch it, it will consume me. I’ve got my eye on the dragon, though, on the sneaky beast who doesn’t know that I know that he knows…what? I don’t know, but even if I did, it would be a secret.