A Pithy What?
Say what you like about James Joyce, he was a man who had a knack for epiphany. And last night, as I occasionally do, I had one of my own. It wasn’t a profound moment of sound and fury, no tears or anything like that, just a sudden but conclusive realization, more or less out of the blue.
That realization was, “Yes, of course I’m going to Further Confusion in January. Duh.”
Now, that may not sound like much — after all, I’ve been going to FC pretty regularly since the mid-00’s (the oughts?), but it carries with it a lot more significance than you might think.
You see, I have been seriously contemplating the issue back and forth for some time now. FC, while I enjoy it, is often a giant production, involving as it does a trip to the far side of the country and several days in a not-exactly-cheap hotel. In order to pull it off, I need to be fairly confident that my time at the table will justify the expense, and with the winding down of Suburban Jungle and the recurring lack of interesting new products to show, sales have been wobbly compared to their one-time heights. To go to FC means committing myself to creating new things to have at the table, getting back into the artistic swing, and coming up with ways to be generally awesome so people will want to buy my stuff.
There is another factor, a sort of “self identity” thing that’s harder to nail down. I love the furry scene and have since I first came across it, but it’s only one aspect of my larger self. There are lots of other things I also want to do with my creative career, but the success of Suburban Jungle (and the attendant demands on my time) pushed everything else to the side for so long that I lost touch with a lot of those interests. One of the reasons I decided to end SJ was so that I could do something else for a while. But within the furry community, SJ is my claim to fame, leading to a sort of “Without this, what am I?” situation. I haven’t really worked out an answer to that one yet, but really, it doesn’t matter anyway. If I keep moving forward with new things, the question will answer itself eventually.
What surprised me the most about this particular epiphany was the cold matter-of-factness of it all. If you’ll tolerate a bit of Anthropomorphic Freudianism here, it went something like this:
SUPEREGO: By the way, we’re going to FC. Start making that happen.
EGO: We are?
SUPEREGO: Of course we are. You’d never be satisfied if we didn’t.
EGO: You realize what that entails, right? Ten hours on a plane, five days away from home, jet lag?
EGO: We need a book or something to have at the table.
SUPEREGO: That’s why I’m telling you now. The books are overdue anyway. Get on ’em. Besides, Sue’s working on NeverNever again, so it’s the perfect time to get Attack of the War-Cats into production and drum up interest. Both books need to be done by next May anyhow, for Confuzzled.
EGO: Okay then, decision made! I’ll alert the media, so to speak.
SUPEREGO: You do that.
ID: Will you two shut up? I’m trying to sleep here.
No sturm, no drang, just a matter-of-fact certainty. This actually pleases me quite a bit, because it’s the same matter-of-fact certainty that made me pick up a pencil and just start drawing SJ one day. I always consider that to be a sign that I’m on the right track, and it’s a sensation that I’ve been sorely missing for some time now. “This is the way it is, and this is the way it will be. So go to it.”
I guess I know how I’ll be spending my evenings and weekends for the next few months, now! 
 Interestingly enough, a built-in assumption seems to be that I’m going to be writing as well. I’m not sure how I’m going to fit it all in, but Superego doesn’t seem concerned about it, and he generally knows what he’s doing.