Maslow and Prosopagnosia

I live in New York, and every building I walk into has a man behind a desk asking me to sign in. I think about those men. For eight hours a day they sit at a desk, bored beyond belief. They expend 1000 calories, occupy two square feet, consume 185 liters of oxygen, and ingest several cups of water all to provide a modest amount of security for the people upstairs who pretty much do the same thing.
Is this what their parents hoped for when they spent eighteen years raising them? Is this an adequate result of twelve years of school? Was this worth emigrating thousands of miles? Is this a reason to get up in the morning?
Even more pressing, are any of us, in any job, any different?

How to Take Criticism

Be as humble in victory as in defeat. 
This week one of my novels won an award, but I did not attend the ceremony. I'd like to say I eschew popular support or that I write for arts' sake or some similar nonsense. No. The truth is, I avoided it. I am very grateful for the selection and pleased that someone not only read my work but was inspired to an opinion. That said, the only way to weather the manic storm of infamy is to watertight both bow and stern against the spittle of the masses.
Authorship is self-motivational. Seldom are we asked to retire from humanity for the lengthy production of speculative work. No, we bring it on ourselves and, whether tortuous or fair, some part of us believes the exercise worthwhile, either for our own benefit or the edification of our peers. I believe the concise word is 'conceit'. For that reason, the best thing that can happen to any author is