Hello and good morning—so to speak—and welcome to another Thursday. It’s time for my weekly blog post. I suspect that this week’s writing will be affected by the fact that I got thoroughly soaked on my way into work today and am thus rather uncomfortable. So much for weather reports of “light rain”. I won’t be able to get a change of clothes until I go home this evening, so I’m likely to be damp and sticky for most of the day. I guess it could be much worse. I guess it could always be much worse. That’s one of the wonderful things about reality; it has no bottom level—it’s basements all the way down.
As you may be aware, I finished my “bad cover” of the Beatles’ You Never Give Me Your Money and posted a link to it here and directly shared it on Iterations of Zero. Have a listen if you’re at all interested. I have to apologize for the opening piano part, which—despite recording and rerecording five times, and trying to adjust in many ways using the sound-editing software, I couldn’t get to sound quite right without either a real piano or a much more expensive electronic one than I have available. I finally got frustrated and just gave up and left it with the best I had so far. The rest of the song isn’t too bad, though, and the guitar parts were played on my very good Strat, which was built by my house-mate—who is a much better guitarist than I am—and is also very good at putting a guitar together and improving it.
I have now returned more or less fully to working on The Vagabond, the title of which contains a definite article that is still going to take me a long time to internalize. I’m on the second run-through, and I’ve found that I need to alter or clarify a few things to get rid of some time-continuity issues that I never noticed when originally writing it. This is pretty typical, though. I’ve found it useful literally to keep a running tab of what the day and date is in my stories—at least the ones where such a thing is pertinent—to make sure I don’t create too many embarrassing accidental contradictions.
It’s peculiar that the time of year in this story is almost the same as that in Unanimity. I guess I implicitly think that horror in a university setting should start in the fall, early in the academic year. Those who have been to university might think it would be more appropriate to put the real horror at the time of final exams, but somehow, I have yet to do so. Maybe I feel that it’s too unfair to interrupt students who are studying and cramming, since that can be stressful enough.
I have to say—referring to the above-mentioned soaking—I’m getting sick of the weather here in Florida. It’s been raining almost nonstop for a period of, oh, let’s see…forever, I think. This is not an unusual pattern. This tendency, in addition to the fact that there are no changing leaves in autumn—which I miss sorely, as I even miss wintertime*— is something without which I could do. The meteorological patterns aren’t the only things wonky about Florida, though. The politics here is/are frankly idiotic, as anyone who has followed the news since at least the year 2000 should know. I don’t think that I would have spent three years as an invited guest of the DOC in any other state in which I’ve lived**; perhaps I’m being overly optimistic, as well as being too generous with myself***.
The natural beauty in Florida is, of course, stunning and remarkable, with much wildlife one doesn’t tend to see anywhere else in the US—including introduced species like the Burmese python and some very large iguanas, as well as numerous more indigenous reptiles and oodles of beautiful and amazing birds, insects, and arachnids. But these and other natural wonders are all but driven into unnoticeability by that most problematic of introduced species: The Naked House Ape, which is a terrible pest here.
I’m not in the best of moods, even for me, I’m afraid. Apologies.
I still enjoy writing, at least (and the editing/rewriting process as well, though not quite as much as the initial composition), and that’s a very good thing, since it’s pretty much all I have****. I really need to get back to posting on Iterations of Zero, so I can keep the relatively dark stuff (other than dark fiction) out of this blog.
But, of course, as I’ve said many times in many ways, there is a reason that a lot of what I write is dark and that most of my short stories are horror stories. Even The Chasm and the Collision has its quite dark moments, being a fantasy adventure. And I just finished rereading Son of Man, my science fiction novel, which has as one of its central points the previous, deliberate destruction of most of the human race in an event of “biblical” proportions, called the Conflagration. Weirdly enough, my demi-vampire story, Mark Red, may be less dark than most of my other writings.
Ah, well, it is what it is. Darkness is cheap, and Scrooge likes it. It must be cheap; ninety five percent of the universe is made up of “dark” matter and “dark” energy, after all. The ironically-named “ordinary matter”, such as what comprises us and everything we can actually see in any wavelength of light, constitutes a mere rounding error among the matter and energy of the cosmos—a very brief candle indeed.
On that cheery note, I’ll call it done for today. Despite my gloomy demeanor, I wish all of you the best of all possible days and weeks and months and years. Try to stay safe and healthy, please.
*I grew up in Michigan, then did my undergraduate work in upstate New York, then lived in Chicago for two years before going to New York City for medical school—it was the warmest place I’d lived up until that point. I’m okay with winter, though of course, it has its own issues.
**There’s a local saying that goes, “Florida: Come on vacation, stay on probation!”
***Those who know me are probably aware that such is not my general habit or character, however. If anything, I tend to treat myself far more harshly than I do anyone else.
****Plus, some “music”, including my amateurish covers and a few mediocre original compositions that are at least temporarily distracting for me, though many people would probably be just as happy not ever to have anything to do with them.