Not okay

I want to go home.

I want to go home.

But apparently, I’m from some other planet, or perhaps some other universe.  Nothing and no one here makes sense to me, and apparently I don’t make much sense to anyone else, either.

No, I’m not okay.  I’ve not BEEN okay.

I tried to do right and to be a good person.  All my life.  I did try.  Honest, I really did.

I tried to be a good son.

I tried to be a good friend.

I tried to be a good student.

I tried to be a good citizen.

I got jobs and worked, worked hard in school, all through school; got a full scholarship to college and a partial scholarship to medical school.  Graduated with honors from undergrad.  Top percentile on SAT, ACT, MCAT.  National Merit Scholar, National Council of Teachers of English award.  Alumni scholarship to medical school.

I paid my taxes.  I paid my debts, such as they were.  I never used illicit drugs (though I took legitimately prescribed ones for chronic pain for a while) and didn’t even really drink much.  I never even tried marijuana, ironically, until after I’d been to prison (it didn’t help my chronic pain, anyway; it just made me throw up).

I tried to be a good person.

I tried to be a good husband.

I tried to be a good father.

I tried to be a good doctor and to take good care of my patients, and never knowingly or willingly committed a crime other than modest speeding.

And yet, I ended up divorced, lost my medical license, went to prison.

I even tried to be a good inmate/convict/whatever you want to call it.  Which I guess worked well enough, since I got my gain time.

But I lost my medical license.  I lost my family.  I lost everything that mattered to me.

Everything that really ever mattered to me, I’ve failed at—miserably, it seems—despite supposedly being smart, and working very hard (honest), and putting the needs and wants of the people I loved above my own.  I never cheated on my wife.  I never cheated people I worked with.  I never knowingly gave anyone a medicine I didn’t think was indicated.

But I was divorced, and lost my license, and went to prison, and my kids don’t want to spend time with me.  My son won’t even speak to me at all.  I haven’t seen either of my kids since…I think since 2013.  Yeah, that has to be it, since that was the year I went to prison.

I’ve tried.  I really have.  I’m not just bullshitting or puffing myself up like certain stable geniuses we know about.  I tried to be scrupulous.  I tried to do right.  I’m not at all good at talking myself up.  I don’t like myself.  Not at all.

I’ve tried to be a good writer.  I’ve tried to be a good author.  I’ve even tried to be a reasonably good musician and composer here and there.

I’ve tried.

I’ve tried.

I’ve tried.

I’ve failed at everything that mattered the most to me.  As a son, as a husband, as a friend, as a father.  Even as a doctor.

I’ve tried to be good at the job I do now.  I think I’m just an asshole.  I think I’m just an unpleasant weirdo who’s impossible for other people to understand and who certainly doesn’t understand THEM at all.  I’m an alien.  I’m an outsider.  I’m an intruder.  I’m an other.

I’m undead.

The world is un-sane.  Not insane.  Sanity doesn’t apply.  Nothing makes any sense; sense is a fiction, it’s a fairy tale, it’s bullshit.

I want to go home.

I can’t go home to my (ex)wife and kids, obviously.  My family home is long since sold to someone else.  I don’t belong there, anyway.  I probably never did.

I don’t belong anywhere.

I can’t be with my wife and kids.  I know I could at least be with my mother and father, wherever they are, which is almost certainly nowhere.  Which sounds fine.

I want to go home.

I want to go home.

I’m NOT OKAY!

I’m NOT ALL RIGHT!

Don’t ask me how I am, for fuck’s sake!  I hate that!  I’m not all right, and I don’t want to tell the truth, which will just make you feel awkward and confused, or to have to lie to you.  I don’t know how many ways I’ve tried to scream that I’m not okay, for so long.  I haven’t BEEN okay, or good, or tolerable, or even remotely acceptable, for way more a decade, if I ever was.

I’m not okay.

I’m not good.  I tried to be good and to do good, but I’m no fucking good and I never have been, and I fuck up everything that really matters to me.

I hate myself so much.  I’m disgusting and I’m a horrible person.

Home is the place where, when you go there, they have to take you in.  That’s what my Dad used to say, quoting Robert Frost, I think.  I don’t know.

I have no home.

I want to go home.

I want to go home.

I want to go home.

Lovers and madmen have such seething blogs…that apprehend more than cool reason ever comprehends.

I'm not in the street you fairy

 

Okay, so…hello and good morning.  It’s Thursday again, and I’m not flagrantly ill*, so that must mean that it’s time for another blog post.  Huzzah!

It’s hard to think of much that’s new with me since last Thursday.  I did get one very nice comment on this blog about my song, Like and Share, and of course, family and friends on Facebook and elsewhere had some very kind words about it.  Since then, regarding music: I’ve been practicing regularly, and I’m working on two projects, neither of which is as “serious” as Like and Share was.  First, I’m working on recording a “bad cover” of the Beatles song, Something, which I’ve been practicing/learning for the guitar for a while now**.  I’m hoping to make something that’s not too embarrassing to have other people hear.

I’ve also been finally arranging a tune I made up a loooong time ago for the Joker’s song from the graphic novel The Killing Joke, written by the justly legendary Alan Moore and illustrated by the absolutely brilliant Brian Bolland.  The melody just came to me when I read the story from early on, but I never wrote it down or anything; like so many of these things, it’s just been bouncing around in my head ever since.  Well, now I have written it, and I’ve worked out the chord structure and everything—for the piano mainly.  If I get to the point where I can play my own frigging composition at speed without missing notes all over the place, I may record it.

I know they made an animated film version of the story in recent years, and apparently someone must have written their own version of the tune for the Joker’s song, but I’ve neither seen nor listened to it, nor will I before I finish putting my own together.  I don’t want to taint my own thoughts, nor get too depressed about the movie version being either better or worse than my version.

Those are just frivolous little playthings, though… “fairy toys”, as Theseus in A Midsummer Night’s Dream might say.  Not that everything isn’t frivolous from the right perspective, but these are frivolous even from my own point of view***.  My most important work, to me, is my writing, and most particularly my fiction, but for some time now, and still for a bit of time to go, that work has been and will be comprised solely of the editing/tweaking of Unanimity, since it’s such a long story (I still like it a lot, though; don’t get me wrong).

Quite some time ago—but not nearly long ago enough—I decided that I wouldn’t begin any new story until I finished the previous one.  This is because one of the main things that derailed me from finishing many (or any) books earlier in life was my tendency to become distracted and start some new project before ever having finished previous ones.  And so, many things were begun but few were finished…and enterprises of great pith and moment with this disrespect their courses turned awry and lost the name of action.

It’s a common enough lament, I suppose, but it’s terribly annoying for me to look back and realize how many balls I dropped because I kept trying to juggle instead of giving just one of them at a time a good, solid fling into the distance.  Such is the metaphorical nature of regret.

On a lighter note, I just realized that it’s 02/20/2020 today, or in the European form, 20/02/2020.  That’s not as cool as 02/02/2020 was, but it’s still fun for numberphiles like me.  Of course, all dates and dating systems are arbitrary (though the length of a day and of a year do refer to real, physical cycles).  Even most serious Christian scholars (including former pope Benedict, aka Darth Ratzinger) estimate that Jesus was probably born sometime between what we would call 6 B.C. and 4 B.C.  None put his birth at year zero…for there is no year zero in that dating system!  (And almost no one really believes that Jesus was born three or four days after the winter solstice in whatever year.)  The counts of years and of months and of days are just arbitrary.  But the numbers can still be fun.

That’s about that, I guess.  Not much more to talk about.  Or, to put it another way, there’s way too much stuff to talk about (or, rather, “about which to talk”) to get started on it here in my weekly blog post.  Perhaps I’ll try, yet again, to touch upon it in audio posts or to write about it, either on Iterations of Zero, or here.  More likely, I’ll just keep having the conversation with myself in my head—and sometimes out loud—until I can finally shut the stupid soliloquy up for good.

TTFN


*Physically, anyway.  By which I mean outside the brain…though that’s certainly a physical organ.  But I’ll try not to split hairs.

**Not as long as I’ve been working on mastering the lead guitar part from Knives Out, by Radiohead, but that’s difficult mainly because it’s just got a lot going on and has no real slow spots.  It reminds me of some of Bach’s Two-part Inventions, which is part of why I like it.

***Actually, to be fair, pretty much everything is frivolous from my point of view, since I’m fairly unconvinced even of the possibility of any external, intrinsic meaning to anything at all.

Discuss unto me: art thou blogger, or art thou base, common, and popular?

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Hello and good morning!  Welcome to another Thursday and—almost, but not quite, by definition—another episode of my (usually) weekly blog post.

First, let me apologize for missing last week without a word.  I ate something that really didn’t agree with me* early in the week, and for most of the rest of the week I was quite ill.  I considered getting online last Thursday to jot out a quick message to the effect of, “Hey, I’m sick, so I’m not making a formal blog post this week,” but I didn’t even have the gumption for that.

Again, I apologize.

I haven’t been completely idle over the last few weeks, however.  In fact, I’ve been rather absorbed with creating/producing/performing my latest—and probably best so far, at least in production quality—song.  It’s called “Like and Share”, and I’ve posted it here on this blog, and as a video** on Iterations of Zero, and on YouTube here.  As the name no doubt suggests, it’s a song that deals with social media, and as my nature no doubt suggests, it deals with the dark side of such media.

Sorry; I am who I am.

Though I always say words to this effect, this time I really, really, REALLY would like to know what you think about the song, so if you have a moment, please take a listen.  It doesn’t sound dark or anything, in case you’re worried.  Apparently, it’s got something of a sixties feel.  My sister—to whom I owe a tremendous debt for listening to various drafts and letting me know about balance issues and clarity issues and whatnot—said that if George Harrison and Pink Floyd had made a song together, this would be it.

Now…she’s my doting older sister, so she’s going to tend to be generous; I don’t want you to get your hopes up unreasonably based on her statement***.  Still, I do think it’s pretty good as far as it goes.  But I am needy, in my own weird little way, so if any (or all?) of you could take four minutes and thirty-seven seconds’ to listen, and then a moment or two more to make a comment either on my blog(s) or on YouTube or on Facebook (it’s also posted there), I’d be deeply grateful.

Seriously.  I’m begging.

As is usual when I’m in the final throes of making one of my songs, I’ve missed about two or three days’ worth of editing on Unanimity, but I’m back to it now with a vengeance.  It’s coming along and tightening up nicely.  I’m not yet getting bored of it, and most importantly (to me) I still like my main characters a lot.

It’s very hard to enjoy a story, even a good one, if one dislikes the characters, especially the protagonist(s).  I think the closest thing I know to an exception to that rule is The Chronicles of Thomas Covenant the Unbeliever.  Though I find Thomas Covenant at least somewhat sympathetic (some of the time) and almost always interesting, I am by no means surprised when some people say they absolutely loathe him.  However, essentially all the other characters in the books are so moving and inspiring—especially Mhoram**** and Foamfollower—that even if you passionately hate Thomas Covenant, you can still really enjoy the books.  Also, the villain of the series, Lord Foul, is probably my single favorite bad guy of all time.  It doesn’t hurt that he speaks so eloquently that you might think him to be channeling Shakespeare himself.

It doesn’t hurt that he actually speaks, come to think of it.  The one serious dissatisfaction I’ve always had with The Lord of the Rings is that Sauron isn’t really a character.  I know, I know, that makes him all the more menacing—like a force of nature, rather like Lovecraft’s Great Old Ones.  Just imagine if we were able to read a conversation with Cthulhu!  Probably his voice alone would drive an interlocutor mad.

And indeed, in LotR, when Pippin interacts with Sauron via the palantír, we’re told that his laughter is like daggers, and I don’t think it’s meant metaphorically.  Still, Lord Foul achieves the unquestionable status of absolute worst guy in his universe, and a definite force of pure evil, even though we meet him as a character—a person—very early in the books.  Just take this, one of my favorite quotes from the end of his initial interaction with Thomas Covenant:

“Do not forget whom to fear at the last.  I have had to be content with killing and torment, but now my plans are laid, and I have begun.  I shall not rest until I have eradicated hope from the earth.  Think on that and be dismayed.”

Yes, a character can use the proper objective form of a commonly misused pronoun and still be fundamentally evil.  Actually, there are probably those who think that anyone who uses that form is evil, but who would entertain such nonsense?

Anyway, before I go off on too many tangents, I think I’ll wrap things up for today.  Thank you for reading, apologies for last week, and I do hope that you’ll take a bit of time to listen to and comment on my new song…and even, if you’re so inclined, to “Like” and “Share” it.  This is not straightforwardly ironic, perhaps, but given the rather negative attitude the song conveys toward some aspects of social media, perhaps it really would be ironic to do so.

I think that if you can achieve real irony in any given day, then surely that day hasn’t been wasted.

TTFN


*It thought, for instance, that Shakespeare was a mediocre writer and that mathematics and science are boring.

**As usual, the “video” portion is just a static image of the IoZ logo (see below), so don’t get your hopes up…or, alternatively, don’t be afraid; you won’t have to watch me singing.

***I personally get a sort of Simon and Garfunkel vibe from it, but that’s mostly because of the harmonization.

****I quote Thomas Covenant himself here: “You’re making a big mistake if you ever assume that Mhoram is helpless.”

 

ioz

“Like and Share” – a song

© 2020 by Robert Elessar All rights reserved

 

Words and music by Robert Elessar

Performed by Robert Elessar

Produced by Robert Elessar

 

Can you be what I can be?

Could you be as cool as me?

Commonness is misery.

Like and Share if you agree.

 

Do you think you’re special, too?

Am I as unique as you?

Every other point of view

Seems to be the same.  Could that be true?

 

Look at all my pretty pictures.

Don’t you wish that you were me?

You don’t know the half of it.

You don’t know what you can’t see.

 

Do you believe what you can see?

Pictures of a life so free,

Edited for quality,

Empty of reality.

 

You can’t feel what you don’t know;

You see only what I show.

Just that superficial glow,

Not the darkness that lies below.

 

Look how perfect my world must seem.

Don’t you wish that this was you?

Don’t you wish your life was so fine?

God know, God knows, God knows

I do too.

 

You can’t like what you can’t see.

You can’t see the actual me.

This is all illusory,

Even if you don’t agree.

 

Do I see what you can see?

Are you dead inside like me?

Every flaw is agony.

Like and Share

Like and Share

Like and Share

If you agree.

Fie on’t! ah fie! ’tis an unweeded garden, that grows to seed; blogs rank and gross in nature possess it merely.

ulysses

Hello, good morning, and welcome to another Thursday edition of my weekly blog post.  I didn’t sleep well last night—even by my standards—so if I say something even more bizarre or incoherent than usual, I can only apologize and beg you to bear with me.

It’s been a moderately interesting week.  I can honestly say I think I’m finally starting to see some effects of my new depression treatment regimen (not “regime”).  This can’t mean as much to all of you as it does to me, but nonetheless it’s probably a welcome thought for those committed to following this blog.  At least it means—if I’m correct in my assessment—that I’ll be less likely to write quite such dreary things as sometimes drip from my computer when I’m wallowing in the dumps.

I posted an audio smidgen—only about seven minutes long, if memory serves—on Iterations of Zero yesterday, though it was recorded a week ago. People don’t seem to be responding much to those, so I may relegate them to history’s anonymous junk heap and go back to trying to find time to write about such topics instead of simply moaning and groaning aloud about them.  That’s fine, though.  Written language is more efficient.  It’s also the lifeblood of civilization, besides being the love of my life.

I did, though, on a whim whose source I can’t really credit, decide yesterday to start doing audio for my second latest short story Penal Colony.  I had no specific plans for how much to do, but before I’d finished for the day, I’d recorded about forty-seven minutes of unedited audio, getting more than thirty percent through the story (based on Kindle’s reckoning).  I’d forgotten how much I enjoy reading my stories aloud.  I may go back to it in something like earnest (but not like Frank, I don’t like that guy), doing audio for Free Range Meat, and then resuming the audio for The Chasm and the Collision, for which I think I stopped after chapter nine.  Then, who knows, maybe my other books and stories will follow.

It’s gonna be some time before I get to doing audio for Unanimity, though.  Just thinking about it is daunting.

As further evidence of my gradual but hopeful improvement of chronic mood disorder, I sent out copies of the latest version of Unanimity and my partially complete novella with the working title Safety Valve to my sister and to a dear friend from my youth (both of whom share my love of reading), just in case, as I think I put it, something happens to me.  This may seem morbid and not at all non-depressed at first glance, but it’s a departure.  When I’m deeply in the throes of depression, I become almost completely nihilistic at numerous levels, such that I think that if I die, I really don’t care what happens to my writing, no matter how much work has gone into it…and there has been a LOT of work.  Needless to say, if I were to die, I would not then care what happened to my writing, but the me now can care—or not—about things that the nonexistent future me will be unable to choose to care about or not…if that makes any sense.

Anyway, the fact that I did it shows at least some improvement.  It’s still possible that I might do something successfully self-destructive*, but at least I’m acting to prophylax against such occurrences.

As for other things…I’m studiously avoiding following the process of the presidential trial in the Senate.  I already feel a thoroughgoing contempt for pretty much everyone involved in the government—and by extension many of the people who keep electing them—and in my currently improving but still-fragile mood, I just don’t need the exposure to all the stupidity, vanity, ignorance with wings, hubris, manipulation (successful and otherwise), and petty monkey-poop throwing by a collection of supposed public servants who actually serve no one but themselves, and don’t even do that very well.  It’s spectacles such as these that lead me to the calm, resigned feeling that, hey, it’s not such a big loss if humanity, and even the whole planet Earth, just withers and dies.  It’s gonna happen someday anyway; it might as well be sooner rather than later.

I can do without reinforcing that feeling.  It’s already hard enough to argue against it logically; I’d like to curb the emotion.  Otherwise, I might start working on a doomsday machine of my own to see if I can hasten the end.

Don’t worry, don’t worry.  At least as of now, I’m not doing any such thing.

Humanity doesn’t really need my help, do they?

TTFN


*Of course, there are always external dangers to life and limb for us all, and sooner or later they do catch up to us, but I tend to be by far the greatest threat to my own continued existence.

What, gone without a word? Ay, so true blog should do; it cannot speak, For truth hath better deeds than words to grace it.

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Hello, good morning, and good Thursday to all my friends, comrades, fellow travelers, and anyone who doesn’t consider themselves adequately described by any of the preceding terms.  It’s time for my weekly blog post, something without which I know many people’s Thursdays would not be the same.

I’ve been fiddling around with some things related to Iterations of Zero on and off lately.  I posted another “audio blog”, this one about the need for people to justify their statements, particularly if they’re saying something derogatory.  If they can’t, then you should just ignore them or tell them to take a number, get in line, and kiss your ass.  I don’t recall precisely what set me off at the time, but such things do get on my nerves, especially in the era of rampant social media-based epithet hurling.  In that bit of grumbling, I also deal with the difference between words and the proverbial “sticks and stones”, and mention, obviously, the Cheese Shop Sketch from Monty Python’s Flying Circus.

I’m still not sure whether these audible meanderings are beneficial, as compared to writing articles out.  I don’t know which form of thinking in public people prefer to consume, at least from me, and I haven’t received much specific feedback on the question, or if I have, I haven’t noticed it yet (and I apologize for that, if so).

I’ve already recorded a short subsequent audio burst, or whatever one would call it—they don’t really merit the term “podcast”—but haven’t edited it much, because I’m frankly not sure people like these things from me*.  They are, I must rather guiltily admit, much easier to produce than written posts, at least in first draft.  They’re just me thinking out loud into either my laptop or my smartphone.  Since I’ve been known to think aloud even when I’m not recording, this engenders a big advantage in the low activation energy needed to initiate a posting.  Still, the writer in me feels guilty.  He also feels cramped.

I had a peculiar burst of “creativity” the other night and morning that I rather quickly acted on, which is unusual enough.  I took the recent audio of my “karaoke” version of No Surprises, by Radiohead, and I decided to make a simple video—but not as simple as my usual “videos”, which generally contain just one fixed image.  Instead, I got a bunch of old drawings of mine that I’d scanned into the computer, sometimes decades ago, and picked out several that fit the mood I was in when I sang the song**.  I tried to make the video with the simple Microsoft video editor, but I didn’t think much of the outcome, so I did a trial installation of the latest version of CyberLink PowerDirector, a program I’d used in the past, so I could do crossfading between pictures and whatnot.  I also used a graphic manipulation program (GIMP) to distort a picture of me from the one true video post I have on YouTube (it’s not pretty) so that it vaguely resembled Thom Yorke’s face in the video version of the song (see above).

This all happened with surprising speed; when I get into something, I often become somewhat monomaniacal.  I skipped editing Unanimity yesterday, and even skipped practicing guitar (which anyone who’s heard me knows I cannot readily afford to do), and I produced a satisfactory video.  It was nothing special, but I thought it evocative.  I uploaded the final product onto YouTube, shared it through Facebook and Twitter…

…and within minutes got the notification that the video had been blocked for copyright reasons.

You might think this would irritate me, but you would be mistaken.  I was mildly surprised—ironically, I suppose—but within seconds I thought, “Well, fair enough.”  It’s their song, the copyright belongs to them or to whomever they assigned it, and the enforcement of that copyright is entirely their decision.  I certainly never meant to try to make any money off the video—I’ve never monetized YouTube in any way—but again, it’s their decision.  Thom, Jonny, Colin, Ed, and Phil wrote the song, it belongs to them…or to whomever they’ve given the rights to it.  As an arguably creative artist myself, I certainly don’t want anyone using my stuff without permission.  I want people to pay for my books (though you can listen to some of my stories and the first nine chapters of The Chasm and the Collision for free on YouTube ad libitum, read by the author).

I may upload my video onto IoZ in place of the simple audio of the song, but I’m not sure.  I’d like to have some of you see it, but I don’t want to go against any literal desires of Radiohead.  Of course, the block was clearly an automated response, without any specific human consideration; it happened too fast.  I don’t think the fellows from Radiohead are following my work closely enough to have responded so quickly.

With all that happening, I’ve gotten a little less editing done on Unanimity this week, but at least it’s shorter than half a million words now.  I’ll try to trim the fat enough so that it’s not just a heart attack waiting to happen…though I do hope it will be the kind of meal that makes you have nightmares.

In all other things, though, I wish you well.  I always enjoy any comments you might care to make, either here or on IoZ or anywhere else I lurk online.  But do remember, if you have a beef with me, you’ll need to back it up with evidence or argument, or I’ll just tell you to f*ck off.

I will, however, joyfully accept unjustified compliments.

TTFN


*Though, to be fair and honest, I did get actual, thoughtful feedback on my discussion of the wavefunction and many words.

**Not a happy one, but at least not apathetic.

The brain may devise laws for the blog, but a hot temper leaps o’er a cold decree

scream

Okay.  So.  It’s Thursday, and thus it’s time for another edition of my weekly blog post.  Hello, and good morning, and all that chitty chat.

I’m not sure that I have much to say that’s very interesting today, not that I’ll let such a thing stop me.  Nothing much new is going on, as it were, just a lot of the same old same old.  I posted a “karaoke” song on Iterations of Zero over the weekend, and I then (yesterday) posted the audio I did on common misunderstandings of evolutionary theory and some troubles with social media as well, but as far as I can tell, no one has listened to that.  Except me, of course; I listened to it repeatedly during the editing process.  But it’s hard to say whether anyone else has listened to it.

There are tools in WordPress with which to check one’s metrics and clicks and all that, but I have a hard-enough time fitting the writing (or the recording) and editing of these posts into my schedule.  Frankly, it’s a good thing that I have no life, because otherwise I don’t see how I’d get anything done apart from running about like a decapitated chicken.  Yesterday at work, for instance, was one long chain of trying to address problems most of which shouldn’t have existed.  Ironically this involved greater stress than did working as a physician, even in the emergency room of the primary city hospital in the Bronx, since in the latter case at least one was surrounded by and working with motivated, skilled, and intelligent coworkers*.  It’s difficult to overstate how wonderful that can be.

So, I’m still trying to figure out what I’m going to do with respect to IoZ and these alternative subjects about which I want to speak and/or write.  I often enjoy the recording of my thoughts (which entails the crystallization and clarification of those thoughts themselves, carried out aloud), but though it’s easier to do the rough draft for audio, the editing is much more onerous than is the editing of a written file.  Also, it’s astonishing how data-inefficient audio is.  I’m seriously considering using voice-to-text on some typical portion of one of the things I posted and seeing how big the Word file is relative to the mp3.  The current draft of Unanimity, which is now just under half a million words, takes up a little more than 1 megabyte of storage.  A simple, compressed audio file can take up more than that amount of memory for only a few minutes of speech.  God help you if you look at a raw wav file or similar.  Don’t even try to think about the size of video files!  It will drive you as mad as an encounter with one of Lovecraft’s Great Old Ones.

I guess there was a good reason—probably many of them—for inventing written language.

It’s difficult for me to tell if anyone out there is more interested in listening to audio files than they are in reading my written posts; I’ve received no feedback on the subject, nor any clear and convincing data, one way or the other.  As for me and my house, I prefer reading in one sense, but it’s weirdly easier to fit audio into my schedule (I can listen while commuting, for instance).  Also, many people whose thoughts interest me do a lot more podcasting than they do blogging or writing books or articles.

On the other hand, my hearing is not great…with the exception that I quite literally, constantly hear a very intense and high-pitched “A”** in my right ear.  But that’s tinnitus, and as far as I can tell, it conveys next to no information***.  I’d probably be better off if I just didn’t listen to anything on my commute and eschewed watching videos, except with subtitles and the sound turned down.  I already avoid phone conversations if I can, partly because they are maddeningly noise-ridden****.

So, anyway, if anyone out there has any suggestions about whether you think I’m wasting time with the audio stuff for IoZ, and/or if you prefer it to written matter, or if you have any other comments, I’d appreciate the feedback.  I’m very much talking to myself, otherwise, and I can do that without using the internet.

In other news, Unanimity, at least, is going well, as I hinted above.  The editing process is bearing fruit, which hopefully will be ripe for your consumption and enjoyment in the not-too-distant future.  I’m still enjoying the story, myself, but I’m reaching that excellent stage where I can read what I’ve written and say, “Well, that whole paragraph adds absolutely nothing to the book.  Delete it.”  Stephen King counsels that, when editing, you must be prepared to “kill your darlings,” but honestly, it sometimes feels more like killing cockroaches…which, a reasonable interest in entomology notwithstanding, is not a difficult thing for which to find motivation.

It’s the cleaning up afterward that’s annoying.

TTFN


*I know what you’re thinking:  How did I worm my way into such a work environment?  I have no clear answer for you.

**I know this because I tried to discern what note it was the other day, and then checked my guess against a keyboard, and I was right.  It was an “A”.  At least I can tune a cello any time I need to, no matter where I am.

***Other than the obvious, which is:  “Hey, you’ve got pretty nasty nerve damage in your right ear!  Hey!  HEY!!!  HEEEEEEEEEEEEEYYYY!!!!!!!!!

****To be honest, though, that’s mainly because of anxiety.  Still, when one is already socially awkward, the added problem of trying to decipher someone’s speech without the help of visual cues from body language and lip movement is just that much more problematic.  I suppose video calling might help, but then I’d have to let people look at me, and that’s never a good thing for either party.