Doomed Expedition 

One of the best scenarios ever is the Doomed Expedition. I gravitate toward any plot arcs that feature the mission destined to fail, or, better yet, the goal that can be reached, but only at such an extreme cost, it is hard to understand the value of that undertaking. Pyrrhic victories.

I think this resonates most with an audience sensitive to overwhelming odds, or to those susceptible to that little voice inside–that slim notion that suggests, “Do you think you can make it?” It’s an underdog setup, and to me, there is nothing more gratifying than the long shot. For what else are we here?

I have begun switching up my reading and my information consumption considerably over the last two weeks. Something has occurred to me: we aren’t coming back. This is it, kids. Seven-year-old Vince wasn’t riding his red BMX to the pool at Cannon Air Force Base, saying, “Boy, at 37 I hope I plateau in an industry designing its own demise. I can’t wait to settle for a mediocre salary and the slow death of my creative dreams.” And yet here we are. It’s a Doomed Expedition, but only if we close our eyes as the ride accelerates at the end. I have a tuck-and-roll loading.

The Doomed Expedition is one of the first stories I have begun to write for the book that is central. Essential. I have roughly thirteen vignettes set up so far, but I think the Story is so big that at some point, it is really going to write itself. All of you are part of it. You always were.


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