Kickass, the doorstop dog, reports that the keeper, in his relentless quest to find advantages in being old, considers publication of his one and only novel—Margaret’s War, and then quotes Kurt Vonnegut in a 1973 Playboy interview: “I suppose that flowers, when they are through blooming, have some sort of awareness of some purpose having been served. Flowers didn’t ask to be flowers and I didn’t ask to be me. At the end of Slaughterhouse-Five I had the feeling that I had produced this blossom. So I had a shutting off feeling you know, that I had done what I was supposed to do and everything was OK. And that was the end of it.” The keeper is in no way comparing his novel to Vonnegut’s masterpiece, nor does he think of himself as having produced a blossom. But maybe because of his age—Vonnegut was only 46 when he wrote Slaughterhouse-Five, the keeper will be spared any long term pre or post publication pain from the lifetime incubation of his Margaret’s War “Billy.” Vonnegut, on the other hand, endured a 25 year mutation from his unspeakable death- camp experience to the creation of his “Billy Pilgrim” and he then lived for a long time after realizing he could not ever rise again to the creative energy level required to write Slaughterhouse-Five. And so it goes.
(See billstokesauthor.com for more Kickass and news of the novel MARGARET’S WAR.)