Hello, good morning, and welcome to another Thursday, and thus another edition of my weekly blog.
If I ever become the absolute ruler of the entire human world, I think I might change the name of this day in the English-speaking world from Thursday to Blogsday. After all, what does this day of the week have to do with the Norse god Thor? Not much, as far as I can see. It’s merely an artefact of the past, no more relevant for modern life than the human appendix, though less problematic. This name change would, of course, be arbitrary in a sense—certainly it would be biased, and would mean little to any who did not write or at least read blogs on Thursdays—but it seems unlikely to cause anyone harm.
Arthur Dent, from The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, might even find “Blogsday” refreshing. He never could get the hang of Thursdays. Perhaps the name change would give him at least a psychological sense that things were better, and in his case, that could be quite potent. After all, this is the man who learned how to fly by developing the knack for throwing himself at the ground and missing. His mindset seems to have impressive consequences.
Of course, those in nations or cultures in which Thor matters could continue to call the day Thursday; I’m not a cruel tyrant, at least not in that way. And if there are cultures where the days of the week are named sensibly (similar to the modern Japanese way of naming months, which translate roughly as “Month 1, Month 2, Month 3, etc.”), I would be more than delighted for them to continue to use those names.
And, as should go without saying, whatever people call the days of the week in the privacy of their own homes, as consenting adults, is entirely their business.
It seems unlikely, though, that I will ever become lord and master of all humanity, and this is probably a good thing—it certainly is for some humans, I can assure you of that. But it’s amusing to think about, at least for me, and since I’m the one writing, I can do what I want. Here in this blog, I am lord and master, at least as much as anyone is of anything, which is not much at all. Even Genghis Khan, Julius Caesar, and Alexander the Great were never really lords and masters of much. As witness: they are all dead, and they have been for quite some time. We see no evidence that this is likely to change.
Of course, in a universe of infinite spatial expanse with a maximum number of possible quantum states in any given region, there are no doubt places where those three individuals are still* alive—if that’s possible in principle, anyway, and I don’t see why it wouldn’t be—and where they are at least still relatively in charge of their local area. But that mastery is at least spatially limited, for they are as subject to the laws of physics as everything else is.
Anyway, enough thought experiments for the moment.
It’s been a reasonably productive week, and I’m quite pleased to be able to tell you that I am now on the final run-through of The Vagabond. I just began it yesterday, so it will be a bit of time before I’m done, and then will come layout and so forth. I’m still hoping to be able to find that old drawing of mine that I want to use as the basis for the cover. If I can’t find it, I’ll have to try to reconstruct it in one form or another. In any case, it’s highly unlikely that the book will be out before the end of February. It may well be available sometime in March, but I’m not certain.
I’ve been playing around some more with my new microphones, and I’ve recorded several versions of both the guitar parts and the vocals for my “bad covers” of Julia and Blackbird, but I’m not quite satisfied with them. I think it may be that my voice still has a bit of raspiness left over from Covid. That didn’t stop me from doing my “bad cover” of Nude, but that song involves a lot of reverb and keyboard sounds and so forth, so I wasn’t as bothered, though my falsetto at the beginning and the end was not as good as I could make it if I recorded it now.
Oh, well, somewhere off in the distant reaches of the universe—if space is infinite—there are an infinite number of versions of me who recorded it both later and better. But they aren’t particularly useful to me, here.
I also played around this week just recording myself practicing and singing, including doing a quick “demo” of my long-neglected original song Mercury Lamp, hoping to use that process to light a fire** in me about that work. I also recorded myself playing and singing Karma Police, Polyethylene Parts 1 and 2, Pigs on the Wing Parts 1 and 2, and even Street Spirit (Fade Out), of the guitar part for the latter of which I’m beginning to feel just slightly proud. One thing I’ve learned through doing this is that, with a metronome going and with my awareness of being recorded, I get very self-conscious, and I don’t play or sing as well as I usually do. I doubt that this is unusual, but it’s good to learn it about myself, and I plan to do my best to work past it.
I’m tempted to upload some of the audio from those recordings here to my blog, especially the ones for Street Spirit and for Mercury Lamp, but I will hold off for now. The thought of other people hearing them is both amusing and mortifying, but it’s useful for me to listen, so I can hear all the things I’m screwing up and—hopefully—improve upon them. I’m also learning the best software to use to record these sessions, given the limitations of my computers. Audacity, it turns out, is prone to losing data when recording (on my machines, at least) because it’s a big program and records everything as stereo, even though there’s only one mic. This apparently leads to it getting gummed up after its recorded for a bit, and it can be quite frustrating to have sung and played something only for it to tell you “data has been lost at the indicated locations”. Of course, those are always the places where I sang and played everything perfectly.
Not really. But I do get terribly frustrated.
Anyway, that’s just toys and games and self-indulgence. Writing is what I’m really about, and writing is what I’m doing now. I haven’t done any Iterations of Zero this week, though maybe—just maybe—I’ll end up posting some of my rough recordings there for fun. In the meantime, look forward to The Vagabond, and then both to Outlaw’s Mind and to Dr. Elessar’s Cabinet of Curiosities, which will include my long-lost story House Guest.
I honestly feel that, once The Vagabond and House Guest are out there in the world, it will be fine if I die. Sure, it would be nice to recreate Ends of the Maelstrom, and to do Dark Fairy and the Desperado, and Changeling in a Shadow World, and to write the two remaining books in the saga of Mark Red, in case anyone wants to know what becomes of him, and so on. But all that is asking quite a lot from the universe, and the prospect of doing them doesn’t feel like adequate motivation, let alone justification, for continuing to bear fardels and to grunt and sweat under a very weary life.
In any case, as the song says, “the losing card I’ll someday lay”, no matter what, unless this is one of those rarefied regions of the multiverse in which I will happen to live forever***. In this universe, my kids are alive and in reasonably good health, and they’re out there somewhere living promising lives—though I never get to see them—and I’ve written several books, and even learned some guitar and recorded some songs. And my lost works The Vagabond and House Guest have been found and will almost certainly soon be published. It seems churlish to consider asking for anything more.
Well…except that I do ask that all of you do your best to stay safe and healthy, and I hope you have as a good a week, and as good a life, as you can.
*Ignoring the fact that, given Special and General Relativity, the notion of simultaneity across such distances is incoherent.
**Pun not originally intended but embraced when realized.
***Now that’s a horror story!