Sorry. That resolution to blog every day, or even more frequently, didn’t go very far. Where were we? I dunno. So…this is what’s been happening. I wrote stuff, made some music. Here, try some Bowie cover:
I have a story in this book, a short entitled “Eddie”, based on a fragment I wrote fifteen years or so ago. Just a little bit of shock and awe. Really cool cover. Ran Cartwright does good work. I have a round robin piece that I’m puzzling over, and have launched into a piece that has more detail about what Brown Jenkin did while he had the Silver Key. Both are for book appearances (hopefully, anyway), as I move along the path from unknown to virtually unknown to little-known.
Little-known is not so bad, and I’m also working on the better-paid part. Because I have bills too. A grand a month, a little writing money and my babysitting money, that’s not so much to live on.
But I don’t want to be entirely mercenary…I’m still planning a series of shorts for shoggoth.net, and I will release some music gratis. But the days of just letting everything out there are probably over.
I’m older, and sick, and tired. I’m trying to work on less pieces and make them count instead of just spinning and spinning and spinning. There’s no reason why I shouldn’t be willing to slug toe-to-toe with anyone else working weird. The same for guitar, composition, et cetera.
Handsome volumes of Duanestuff and plastic cd cases of modstuff are right around the corner. Before Crazytown will be back on sale at Amazon in February, with a print edition option (yay!) I’m not going to re-up with Amazon exclusive, though. Didn’t deliver as I had hoped. The book will move to Lulu next year, and will stay at Smashwords.
I’m investigating physical cd/download possibilities for a couple of things — the Brown Jenkins blues tune will be one, and discs of literary tributes, cover songs, and vocal versions of previously-released material are not far behind.
Been sitting on that stuff for a while.
And Cub Tracks seems to be going well. We’re undergoing a format change, and there are a few nay-nays, but the articles in general are well-received, with some getting tremendous readership numbers (at least the ones I can collect). I’d be interested to know what the sticky factors are. Maybe I should ask Al Yellon, who runs the site. He might know. He hasn’t said a peep to me about any pieces being substandard or anything like that — I’m allowed, even encouraged, to continue. So that’s a plus.
I enjoy crafting the articles. They’re aggregations of links, but they can be massaged into different media presentation styles, looked at with new eyes. I do quite a few with “themes”, essentially framing devices more or less related to some of the linked content. Mixed reviews, I’m afraid, but that’ll change as things gets more baseball-related. I’m still just drilling down into what works for the audience..heh, to the point that I just up and asked them what they wanted.
It turned out that they didn’t know.
So it goes back to what Al likes. He’s the boss, the editor. If my copy passes his desk, then things are good.
I have some ideas about form that I’ll use tomorrow. Have to cut down on the time it takes to do those articles. The last one took most of the day, since the girl was over. Like eight solid hours of mostly gruntwork, copying and pasting, then cutting and pasting. Structuring the whole document as a baseball game, with a lead-off man segment, ten innings, extras beyond that. Nobody said anything about that, and I’m operating on the principle that no news is good news there. Like when I used to slip my tape into the party music player, and nobody complained, I knew I was good. It was acceptable.
The girl. Ohhh boy. She’s been a problem since her parents called the other day and told her that he’s working again, and that they planned to visit. She has this fantasy built up, you see, where they turn out to be real human beings with competence and financial wherewithal, and take her home to live happily after. That this has been repeatedly proven to be abject nonsense doesn’t dissuade her, and consequently she turns into demon child when she speaks to them because she’s caught on the horns of the dilemma — give up the fantasy, grow up and deal, or be childish and believe in the Easter bunny.
I just want the drama over. There are papers that the parents need to sign for the custody to be permanent, and those need to be signed. And then the child needs to be removed from negative influences as much as possible, and go sit in a corner with her thoughts, and deal with those.
She’s afraid to. I understand. But she’s also eleven, too old to be playing “look at me, aren’t I cute” instead of doing her assigned work, far too old to be snuggling up to such forlorn possibilities. Time to put on the big girl panties, I tell her.
She was such a colossal pain in the ass today that I got a migraine. Defiant, selfish, willfully ignorant. She screwed up her English homework to get attention, took out her calculator and started doing her math homework with it (!) like I wasn’t three feet away. She played the food game. This is where she takes real little bites, and chews slowly, a hundred time each mouthful, and stares wall-eyed at the tv screen.
Fuck that. People have been letting her get away with it for years. It’s a waste of everyone’s time, and it’s over, at least under my roof. 1/2 hour, and the food gets thrown away, and she goes hungry. Her choice. She wasted so much time scewing up her homework that she didn’t get to go across to her house and feed the pets — so the small creatures had to wait until after dinner. Animals like the security of being fed at the same time every day. But she screws that up too, so she can get attention.
She refuses to go after positive attention, even though she claims to like it better — largely because it takes effort to do good things instead of being lazing about wallowing in one’s own ignorance.
Great model, as least character-wise, for Cassilda, who I’ve been writing up recently also.
Yeah, I’m mad at her, and mad at several other someones. It’s a GOOD thing that I don’t have the ability to wish people into cornfields or anything like that. All I can do is to have them die horribly and slowly in stories…
Wait. That gives me an idea.
’til next time.
One of my acquaintances was complaining about a story rejection the other day, wondering why he bothers to continue writing in the face of years of rejection. His conclusion was to doubt himself, saying that he doesn’t think he has the talent to succeed. I doubt that’s true.
But I sympathize. Hell, I even empathize with the “plight” of the SF world’s Sad Puppies, which is, or was initially, about lack of recognition.
It’s the same thing. But the Puppies’ thing got perverted until the original kernel was lost, unrecognizable.
I understand that, too. It’s easy enough to be bitter about things like that. I don’t even get recognized in my own home. I have responsibilities that mean I can’t get in a full day’s work during working hours, and a medical condition that means that I rarely have the energy to do it later…hell, since I got sick four years ago, I barely feel like a part of humanity. The meds help to keep that comfortably numb feeling, to turn the other cheek, and keep on keepin’ on as life goes further and further into the shitter.
But self-pity isn’t the point here. I recognize that, like I recognize the gray-haired figure that greets me in the bathroom mirror every day when I get up.
Or is it? Is that sense of self-worth so tied to the idea that other people confer it? So that when you don’t even get a smidgen of grudging respect, it eats at you, turns you bitter, exacerbating the problem?
Nah. Couldn’t be.
Not me, says you, mixing tenses and personae most disagreeably. I’m not responsible for what other people think, nor do I care.
You can even begin to believe something like that. People have weird ways to care, and to show that they care–because they’re all screwed up by life, the same as you are, I am, we are, he says, twisting his fingers in a strange rhumba.
Getting warm, maybe? Close to the mark?
Everyone’s got some bully in them, I think. People are seldom merciful in a position of power, seldom noble. Instead what we get is a collection of petty tyrants who bull ahead in their own self-interest and then judge other people as if they held the moral high ground, and refuse to concede that there might be any wrongness in their quests for the elusive bluebird of personal satisfaction.
And YOU have to compensate for them, aid them in their quest. Or absent yourself from the proceedings.
They have planted an OB on you, says EF Russell. And it’ll take time and patience to worm your way out of it. Or drastic measures.
Root for the tough guy who saves the day. Suck it up, bide your time until you have your moment. Be ever-vigilant for your opportunity. There’s always tomorrow…
But tomorrow is promised to nobody.
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Posted in miscellaneous
Tagged assholes, child-rearing, existential crises, Facebook, moral dilemmas, social commentary