Hello and good morning to everyone reading—and since this is written language, I’m only addressing anyone who happens to be reading it, wherever and whenever that might be. It’s Thursday again here, as always seems to happen at this time of the week, so it’s time for another of my weekly blog posts.
There’s not much new going on with me. Of course, I’m continuing to work on The Vagabond, and am well into the final run-through/edit of the book, which means that shortly I’ll be laying it out and preparing it for publication. That’s exciting, at least for me, but I hope it might be to some other people out there. It’s a more-or-less classical style horror story, a tale of what Stephen King might call “outside evil” threatening first the residents of a small university city, but ultimately threatening everything in the human world (and—it being “outside evil”—things beyond the human world). In the process, it does some horrifying and, I hope, terrifying things.
As I think I’ve said before, it’s a bit shorter than some of my other novels, except possibly Son of Man*, and the story moves along quickly. I suspect that’s partly because I wrote it over the course of a long period of time—ironically—and thus tended to get on with things in the story when I took it up. Despite that, it hangs together very nicely in style and character development and all that high-falutin’ stuff, which is nice. I’m reasonably proud of it, as far as that goes. And I think that other people, people who enjoy horror and who enjoy dark adventure/fantasy in a so-called real-world setting will also enjoy it.
As for everything else, well, there’s not much to say. “Tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow creeps on in this petty pace from day to day,” as the man wrote. I’m still having a great deal of trouble even finding the urge to read new fiction—or old fiction, for that matter—or to watch movies or TV shows, or anything of the sort. I bought the new Stephen King novella collection If it Bleeds, but I couldn’t even get well into the first story before losing my ability to sustain interest. I’m doing a bit better with science-related non-fiction, especially physics and math-oriented material, but I burn through the books too quickly, and I’m running out of ones that entice me. I haven’t been able to muster the enthusiasm to re-read books of that type that I’ve read before (which is what I usually do), nor even to listen to the audiobooks during my commute. Even my go-to YouTube channels like Numberphile and Sixty Symbols are coming up dry for me. I haven’t even watched the most recent two or three videos of PBS Space Time! It’s very troubling to me (intellectually, anyway…emotionally it’s just the background hiss of the universe) how even the things that usually command my interest without fail, without even trying, have become “weary, stale, and flat.”
Speaking of YouTube**, it’s a common theme amongst YouTubers and bloggers and other, similar creative people to ask their viewers/readers to “like” and to “subscribe” to their channels and, if they like what they’re doing, to consider supporting them through such things as Patreon or that “cup of coffee” thing, and whatnot. I very much like these new ways of supporting creative work, which bypass the need for interceding corporations and marketing departments***. I’ve occasionally toyed with the idea of participating in some such service. But I think I’d prefer just to say that, if you like my blog(s) and want to support it/them…buy some of my books! Even if you don’t tend to read novels or short stories, or if you don’t tend to read sci-fi/fantasy/horror and whatnot, it would still be a way to support me at more than one level.
My books are all available on Amazon in paperback and e-book form, and the latest is available through Barnes and Noble and Books-A-Million, too. It gives me a little boost when someone buys one—monetarily but also emotionally, which I think everyone can I agree I could use. More importantly for me, if you have the book, there’s the possibility that you might read it sometime when you’re feeling desperate and have no other means of escape. And if you do, I think you’ll probably enjoy it, at least if you like those types of stories. I’ve been told that I tell a story very well****.
Of course, you can also support me by listening to my songs, on YouTube or Spotify (they’re also up on Pandora and iTunes and a bunch of other sites for which I don’t have links, but if you go there and search for “Robert Elessar” they should pop up). I’m not as confident that these are very enjoyable, though I like them. But even the very long song is only six and a half minutes long, and I make a few cents every time someone plays them. If you can Like and Share them when you listen (oh, the irony!), that’s always a bonus. I also have some other stuff on my own personal YouTube channel, but that’s not monetized. Still, it’s got some of my stories read aloud by the author (me). It also has my “bad covers” of some songs I like, and one song of my own that I haven’t released as an official “single”.
But, of course, just reading and liking, and if you feel like it “like”-ing this blog is also good. I hate trying to persuade people to read my stuff or to listen to my music or otherwise tooting my own horn. I just don’t like myself well enough to be able to recommend me in good conscience*****. This is where those marketing people really come in handy. I always just feel, “Well, I know that I like it, but I’m the one who made it, so you can’t judge by me. I can’t in all honesty tell other people that it’s great or terrific, even if I feel like it is and am proud of it, because they might think its crap.” For reasons that are far from clear to me, I feel terribly nervous about becoming a sort of poor man’s Kanye West. Which highlights, I suppose, the one advantage (if that really is an appropriate term, which it’s not) that bipolar disorder has over unipolar depression and dysthmymia. Rightly or wrongly, at least occasionally people afflicted with it feel really good about themselves. Even Stephen Fry admitted that’s a comparative benefit.
Anyway, I’ve said far more than I had to say today, so I’ll bring it to an end, here. I honestly hope that you’re all well, and that you try to be good, and that you do your best to stay safe and healthy.
*Which had its origin as a book idea not too many years after I had first started what I then simply called Vagabond.
**I was, you can check.
***Don’t get me wrong, I have terrific respect for marketing departments. Before the past few years, almost all music, books, plays, TV shows, and so on only came to people’s attention—including yours and mine—thanks to the often wonderfully creative work of marketing professionals. But I suspect that industry/profession is continuing to do quite well, so I don’t feel too bad about working around them.
****But then again, I do talk to myself too much.
*****Now there’s a serious understatement.