Good morning, good Thursday, and welcome to the latest posting of my blog. I hope the year is going well for you all so far.
Those who follow my second blog, Iterations of Zero, will note that I recently posted the lyrics of a song, “Schrödinger’s Head.” This is rather new and out of the blue, I know. I certainly gave no explanation when I posted it, so I thought I’d tell the story behind it here.
Last week, a coworker and I were idly chatting between tasks (we sit next to each other at the office), when it occurred to me that “Gwyneth Paltrow’s Head” would be a great name for a sort of indie punk band. I did a quick Google search and couldn’t find such a band, so between us we thought we should—at least in our imaginations—invent it. Of course, the name of the band’s first album would be “What’s in the box?”*
After a bit of thought, though, it occurred to us that, at least if the band were to seek real commercial success, it might be better not to call itself “Gwyneth Paltrow’s Head.” Ms. Paltrow is a curious character, and it’s hard to know how she would react to such a dubious homage. We thought it might work okay if we switched it around and called the band “What’s in the box?” We decided, further, that “Gwyneth Paltrow’s Head” was probably not even a safe name for the first album, and regretfully concluded that it would be better to go with “Tracy’s Head.”
At some point after that conversation, with my thoughts meandering like a restless wind inside a letter box, I decided that “Tracy’s Head” was just too banal and context-dependent. The idea popped into my mind—possibly the result of quantum fluctuations—that the answer to the question “What’s in the Box?” might very well be Schrödinger’s cat, one of the world’s all-time most noteworthy box-dwellers. And, since the Schrödinger’s cat thought experiment is all about superposition, it seemed fun to meld my metaphors and call the first album “Schrödinger’s Head.” My colleague found this amusing enough, and he gave his approval. It occurred to me then that if one is going to have such an album title, there ought to be a title song. I’d had a good night’s sleep the night before (a rare occurrence) so I was full of pep. Thus, when a lull occurred in the business of the day, I grabbed a piece of scrap paper and scribbled out the lyrics to such a song.
I’ll be honest: for the last two of the final verse lines, I had to go online and look up more rhymes for “head.” Not that they’re particularly difficult rhymes, as I’m sure you’ll note, but even so, I was drawing a blank by then.
My colleague looked at my rough draft and said that, of what he was able to read (my handwriting sucks) he thought it was fun. So, I typed it up and loaded it onto Iterations of Zero. I had some trouble dealing with WordPress’s new, supposedly better, editor; I found it cumbersome and non-intuitive, but that may just be because I’m not used to it. In any case, the song is there, for your delectation. I’ve even started writing a tune and chords for it, but that’s going to take longer than the words, and I don’t know that I will ever share it with anyone even privately, let alone publicly. If I do, of course, I’ll let you know.
Okay, enough narcissistic babble about making up bands and writing songs on a whim. I now turn to some narcissistic babble about my books and stories.
Penal Colony is almost ready to publish, but we still need to get a cover put together for it, which is behind schedule. Nevertheless, it will probably be out before the end of January.
Speaking of the end of January, the final catastrophes of Unanimity are happening, the final confrontation is well underway, and I really should be done with the book by the end of the month. Wow. It’s the longest thing I’ve ever written, that’s for sure. It’s longer than all but a handful of books that I’ve ever read. Fear not! I will cut it ruthlessly in rewrite and edit, of course, and the final product will be much shorter than the first draft, but still, there’s no way it’s not going to be a meaty book. (For vegans such as the aforementioned Ms. Paltrow, fear not: any such meat is lab-grown, clean meat, and no animals were harmed in the production of the novel…other than the author).
That’s about all there is for this week. I hope you get at least a little tickle out of my song lyrics, if you bother going to check them out. Be on the lookout for Penal Colony. You can even just begin to scan the distant horizon for the eventual approach of Unanimity, but please don’t hold your breath. It’s still going to be quite a while.
*All this refers to events at the end of the movie “Seven,” for those of you who don’t recognize the references. In case you haven’t seen it, I won’t explain further. I don’t want to give any more spoilers than I already have.