Good morning! Welcome to the last Thursday of March 2019.
Back in the day, I would have written an episode of “My Heroes Have Always Been Villains” on such a day, but for reasons inexplicable to me, those posts were never popular, and they’re unlikely ever to become a regular thing again. This makes me sad, but there’s not much I can do about it.
For those of you who’ve been waiting for more “audio blog” entries on Iterations of Zero, don’t get discouraged, even though all I’ve posted there this week were two cheesy recordings of me playing guitar and singing Pink Floyd songs. I’ll return to the audio blogs, probably by next week, but there are reasons for my diversion.
It all started (as the cliché goes) when I was playing guitar and singing Radiohead’s “How to Disappear Completely” in my room at home, and for fun I decided to record it on my cell phone. I was honestly surprised by the sound quality when I listened to it. This set my wheels spinning, which can be a perilous thing.
I have a fair amount of experience using sound editing software because of the audio I’ve done of my own stories. I decided to play around with it, and with the surprisingly good smartphone audio; I recorded and mixed the chords, then the vocals, for “Pigs on the Wing” (Part 1). It came out rather well, I thought, despite my mediocre guitar playing.
Thus encouraged, I decided to do something slightly more complicated. I recorded three separate parts for “Wish You Were Here,” which is a nice song to do because the guitar automatically sounds pretty, even though it’s not too difficult for a fumbling amateur.
The point of all this, really, was to practice recording before using the software and my two good electric guitars, to work on my own original creation. As you may know, a while back I posted the lyrics of a song called “Schrodinger’s Head,” which I’d written on a whim after joking around with a coworker about possible band names and first albums. Since then, I worked out the song’s melody and chord structure (this isn’t difficult, so don’t be impressed) during my regular goofing around on guitar. Once I knew that I could make pretty darn good recordings using my very ordinary smartphone, and since I had audio software to clean up and mix those recordings…well, I realized that I could—with my cell phone, with a laptop and/or desktop computer, and with my guitar(s) and practice amps—do what would have required lots of expensive studio time and even more expensive equipment back when The Beatles and Pink Floyd were making their greatest works. I can’t match their musical skills and genius, obviously, but I can, thanks to five decades’ worth of improved technology, do by my lonesome something that could never have been done in the past.
What I have done is to put together rhythm guitar tracks, an intro lead guitar riff, and main vocals for my song. I’ll be adding other tracks, including more lead guitar, a possible “bass” line, maybe some backup vocals, and whatnot, and I’ll let you hear the result (on Iterations of Zero) when it’s finished. A few select people—close friends and/or family—have heard what I have so far, and reviews have been encouraging.
Don’t worry; I’m not going to quit my day job.
I’m also not going to quit writing, and I have not slowed down on that. My novella, which will ultimately lose the title Safety Valve, is coming along steadily, and it continues to surprise me with its weight. I wrote a scene in it this week that drew from own few experiences of sleep paralysis, and that writing process evoked some of the terror I felt on those occasions, even though I was writing in a brightly lit office. I hope that at least some of that feeling comes across for the reader in the final product.
Editing, unfortunately, has not been going as quickly as it ought to on either Unanimity or Free-Range Meat. The latter isn’t such a huge problem, since it’s a truly short story, and should thus be relatively short work. Unanimity, however, nearly meets the description from “Paperback Writer”: “It’s a thousand pages, give or take a few.” I really need to pick up the pace, or it’s going to be a looooong time before it’s ready to publish.
I wish I could devote more time to all this and not need to work to earn my living. If anyone out there has a big chunk of money they don’t need, and that they’d like to give me so I can write and do other creative things full time, please get in touch. In the meantime, the rest of you, do please let others know about my writing and my books, if you enjoy them. And do please rate and review mine and other people’s works when you get the chance. It really makes a difference.
With that, I think I’ve written enough here this week. April, Come She Will—before the next time I post here—and I wish you a happy April Fool’s Day in advance.