Lovers and madmen have such seething blogs…that apprehend more than cool reason ever comprehends.

I'm not in the street you fairy

 

Okay, so…hello and good morning.  It’s Thursday again, and I’m not flagrantly ill*, so that must mean that it’s time for another blog post.  Huzzah!

It’s hard to think of much that’s new with me since last Thursday.  I did get one very nice comment on this blog about my song, Like and Share, and of course, family and friends on Facebook and elsewhere had some very kind words about it.  Since then, regarding music: I’ve been practicing regularly, and I’m working on two projects, neither of which is as “serious” as Like and Share was.  First, I’m working on recording a “bad cover” of the Beatles song, Something, which I’ve been practicing/learning for the guitar for a while now**.  I’m hoping to make something that’s not too embarrassing to have other people hear.

I’ve also been finally arranging a tune I made up a loooong time ago for the Joker’s song from the graphic novel The Killing Joke, written by the justly legendary Alan Moore and illustrated by the absolutely brilliant Brian Bolland.  The melody just came to me when I read the story from early on, but I never wrote it down or anything; like so many of these things, it’s just been bouncing around in my head ever since.  Well, now I have written it, and I’ve worked out the chord structure and everything—for the piano mainly.  If I get to the point where I can play my own frigging composition at speed without missing notes all over the place, I may record it.

I know they made an animated film version of the story in recent years, and apparently someone must have written their own version of the tune for the Joker’s song, but I’ve neither seen nor listened to it, nor will I before I finish putting my own together.  I don’t want to taint my own thoughts, nor get too depressed about the movie version being either better or worse than my version.

Those are just frivolous little playthings, though… “fairy toys”, as Theseus in A Midsummer Night’s Dream might say.  Not that everything isn’t frivolous from the right perspective, but these are frivolous even from my own point of view***.  My most important work, to me, is my writing, and most particularly my fiction, but for some time now, and still for a bit of time to go, that work has been and will be comprised solely of the editing/tweaking of Unanimity, since it’s such a long story (I still like it a lot, though; don’t get me wrong).

Quite some time ago—but not nearly long ago enough—I decided that I wouldn’t begin any new story until I finished the previous one.  This is because one of the main things that derailed me from finishing many (or any) books earlier in life was my tendency to become distracted and start some new project before ever having finished previous ones.  And so, many things were begun but few were finished…and enterprises of great pith and moment with this disrespect their courses turned awry and lost the name of action.

It’s a common enough lament, I suppose, but it’s terribly annoying for me to look back and realize how many balls I dropped because I kept trying to juggle instead of giving just one of them at a time a good, solid fling into the distance.  Such is the metaphorical nature of regret.

On a lighter note, I just realized that it’s 02/20/2020 today, or in the European form, 20/02/2020.  That’s not as cool as 02/02/2020 was, but it’s still fun for numberphiles like me.  Of course, all dates and dating systems are arbitrary (though the length of a day and of a year do refer to real, physical cycles).  Even most serious Christian scholars (including former pope Benedict, aka Darth Ratzinger) estimate that Jesus was probably born sometime between what we would call 6 B.C. and 4 B.C.  None put his birth at year zero…for there is no year zero in that dating system!  (And almost no one really believes that Jesus was born three or four days after the winter solstice in whatever year.)  The counts of years and of months and of days are just arbitrary.  But the numbers can still be fun.

That’s about that, I guess.  Not much more to talk about.  Or, to put it another way, there’s way too much stuff to talk about (or, rather, “about which to talk”) to get started on it here in my weekly blog post.  Perhaps I’ll try, yet again, to touch upon it in audio posts or to write about it, either on Iterations of Zero, or here.  More likely, I’ll just keep having the conversation with myself in my head—and sometimes out loud—until I can finally shut the stupid soliloquy up for good.

TTFN


*Physically, anyway.  By which I mean outside the brain…though that’s certainly a physical organ.  But I’ll try not to split hairs.

**Not as long as I’ve been working on mastering the lead guitar part from Knives Out, by Radiohead, but that’s difficult mainly because it’s just got a lot going on and has no real slow spots.  It reminds me of some of Bach’s Two-part Inventions, which is part of why I like it.

***Actually, to be fair, pretty much everything is frivolous from my point of view, since I’m fairly unconvinced even of the possibility of any external, intrinsic meaning to anything at all.

You cataracts and hurricanoes, spout till you have drenched our teeples, drowned the blogs!

Rain

Good morning, everyone!  Though “good” is relative; I was severely rained upon by a thunderstorm on my way into the office today, so I’m pretty much soaked to the bone as I write this, and I will probably be damp all the way up to quitting time.  Still, if that’s the worst trial I encounter today, I’ll be justified in considering myself lucky.

Today is, as I’m sure you know, another Thursday.  It’s also the first day of August in 2019, and this is my usual, weekly blog post, but as those of you who’ve been following will know, I’ve posted other items since my previous formal posting.  At the end of last week (ish), I released my song Catechism on Iterations of Zero and on my YouTube channel.  Then, earlier this week, I put a video version of it here on my main website, though I haven’t yet put it directly up on my Facebook page.

I must officially issue a caveat:  the “video” portion of the post consists merely of my Iterations of Zero icon.  I promise you, no one wants to watch me performing a song.  In any case, since I played all the several parts myself (recording them at various times before mixing) it’s physically impossible for me to do it.  I suppose, with a little work, I could do a music video that cut between shots of me playing different instruments and singing along with the recorded song (lip-syncing, keyboard-syncing and guitar-syncing, presumably), but I have no good location in which to do such a thing, and the software required to do it well would probably require significant money.  In any case, I’m far from photogenic enough to make it worth anyone’s time to produce such a video.  I know I don’t enjoy looking at my ugly mug, and it’s hard to imagine that anyone else would, either.

The song, Catechism, on the other hand, is not bad to listen to, and I’m a reasonably good singer.  The production/mixing are certainly better than my previous attempts, which leads me to the strong temptation—to which I will no doubt succumb—to remix Breaking Me Down, and probably to redo some of the parts from scratch.  I’ve discovered already, with a bit of tinkering on the original, that by taking the tempo up from 90 beats per minute to 100, I could not only shave about 40 seconds off the piece,* but also make it peppier, which would be good considering how dark the lyrics are.

I’ve also—somewhat frustratingly, though in a good sort of way—found myself driven to begin writing chords and formal music for another old song I’d sort of made up a long time ago.  I imagine this is a little like being a drug addict…as soon as I’m done with the last fix, and despite heartfelt promises to myself and others, I immediately begin working my way toward another one.  It’s a compulsion.  Still, if this is my worst vice,** I can consider myself not only lucky but actually blessed.

Still, my primary addiction remains my writing, and in addition to the musical release, I was true to my word about my latest story.  Free Range Meat is now available on Amazon, in Kindle format only.  For those of you who strongly prefer actual, hard copies of stories to read—and I sympathize with your preference—I can only say that this and all my other Kindle-only “short” stories will eventually be collected into Dr. Elessar’s Cabinet of Curiosities, which will be available in hard copy.  I don’t know, though, how long it’s going to be before that happens.  Free Range Meat might well be the last story to be included in it, but I might decide to finish my novella (tentatively titled Escape Valve) first and include it as a never-before-published treat, if treat it will be.

But for the time being, my authorial energies will be focused entirely on Unanimity, which is a good thing, since I’m not even three-quarters of the way through its second editing run-through.  No matter how ruthlessly I cut, it’s going to be a long book in its final form.  I still like it, though, which is always a pleasant discovery.  Most importantly, I like the characters, even the “bad guy,” and I hope that readers will like them, too—even the bad guy.  It can be fun, of course, to find an antagonist you really hate, who’s just irredeemable and horrible, so you can feel real joy when (and if) the villain finally gets his*** comeuppance.  But it’s often even more fun to have a villain with whom you can at least empathize and maybe even sympathize, and—from time to time—with whom you can find yourself agreeing against your own will.  Who among us hasn’t occasionally secretly wished that Hannibal Lecter were around to punish certain severely rude people?

Maybe that’s just me.

Well, that’s my weekly update, and it’s been a busy week indeed, marred slightly by a virus of some kind that I’ve been enjoying since Saturday.  I wouldn’t call that a very high price to pay for getting done what I have in the last seven days.

As always, I’d enjoy getting any feedback you might feel like sharing, whether about my story, or about my song, or about anything else that strikes your fancy, in any of the venues which I haunt.  All I ask is that you try to be reasonably polite.

After all, how certain are you that Hannibal Lecter isn’t out there watching?

TTFN


*which is currently longer than Hey Jude but with nary a “Na, na na nanana naaaaah” to be found.

**which I doubt.

***yes, most of my favorite villains are male, which I think is consistent with the real world, though perhaps I’m being sexist.  I tend to like strong (but not quite villainous) female characters, as is probably obvious especially from Mark Red, but also Son of Man, and even The Chasm and the Collision.  This pattern will not be broken in Unanimity.