Slack And Blue2/25/15
Ever since Genesis, or so it would seem (actually, only since last April), I've been a shameless noncom in the war of words against the eternal silence. I've had plenty of stupid excuses and you've heard them all before from far better writers than myself, so I'll spare you. Mostly. Maybe I'm bored. Maybe I'm underappreciated. Maybe I'm underpaid. Maybe I'm (whisper it) getting on in years (NOOOOOOOOO!!!!)
But slacker or no, or even gettingold or no, I'm getting good and bored with what I've been (not) doing. My brain is rusty, my eyes are peeling, and 100,000+ words of irresponsible blather that have slipped through my fingers and bounced off the collective inattention of the Innuhnut over the past scratching-at-20 years, words that I persist in renting virtual shelf space for despite my lesser intentions, line up at bedtime to dress me down. It's time to get back into the ol' game, put a few over the plate, hitch up my britches (I SAID BRITCHES) and take another pass at that mountain...you see that mountain? Someday I'm gonna climb that mountain...
In truth, I've been over That Mountain about a zillion more times than The Bear, up it, down it, seen it, done it, snagged it tagged it wore out the t shirt and rag-bagged it. It's not my first or even eleventy first rodeo anymore. That in and of itself might contribute to my general state of OH I DON'T THINK SO that arises like the toxic fumes from a grey-market chemical plant in a third-world country whenever I contemplate putting letters to screen (pen? ink? paper? why whatever are you prattling on about?). It's conceivable that, with even Harper Lee only recently demonstrating the presence of more than one novel in her, I've unreeled all the catgut my fiddle can string. Maybe I'm just a musician.
Welll, okay, a musician and a half-assed graphic designer and a fairly competent recording engineer and a songwriter and composer and snips snails and puppy dog's tails. Which is to say, I'm one of those autodidactic polymaths (awk!) (ward!) you read so little about on SuccessNews.com. And, yes, a writer. A compulsive one — finest kind. My mental aberration, let me show you it.
Worse, I'm a compulsive ritualist. Whether this portends Actual Illness Actually or not may be left as an exercise for the snoring reader, but it's been a blessing or curse or something most of my life that I need to do things a certain little way or else. I've been building dada shrines and staging harmlessly bizarre rites of springwork and inventing cryptic pseudo-religious texts and gnomic conspiracies and in general flinging misguided pattern recognition around like a manure spreader in heat since I was knee high to a hardback copy of Gravity's Rainbow. Nothing like an interrupted pattern to drive my soul to the tottering brink of crepuscular distraction — or worse, an overarch locution. And here I am with the Duodecade Essay Site Blues playing an endless drum solo in the back of my mind (drums stop, very bad!). Boomlay Boomlay Boom.
But it's not like I let any of this stuff get in the way of good sod-off shotgun sabbatical. As I admitted at the outset, I'm El Slacko Supremo when I puts my absent mind to it and don't ever forget it. I've got a million excuses to putter away my obsessions with, a million of 'em hachachacha, some of them even moderately profitable. What I ain't got is a letter from home to let me off for neglecting my own intentions after the fact.
Couple years back I made a great big thing, or even A Great Big Thing, about taking one of my longstaggering projects, the yearly calendar that I previously laboriously constructed and distributed literally dozens of actualy physical copies of at crushing personal expense, and deposing it to online status. Saves trees! Saves postage! Costs mere electrons! I had the patter down pat. Did the whole convert-this-turd-to-PDF thing, even included instructions on how to crank out a dead tree version. So there was that.
This year, the slack monster was so pervasively slacky that I didn't even get the bloody calendar made until after New Year's had thrown me under a bus and run off with the milkmaid. Oh, the humanity. In fairness, all the compulsive ritualism in a platoon of orthodox Abrahamians can be swept away by one torn rotator cuff, although that's a whole other story but thanks for reminding me. Still, teeth-grinding, garment-renting and ashes-heaping the while, the wholy secular sacrament was prepared. Having achieved this height of irrelevance, I proceeded to slide right back under the bed for another nice winter's nap.
So here it is half past February, early spring crawling out of the ground in all its unspeakable cheeriness, and I'm finally, FINALLY getting around to passing out this relic of my sodden past of youth and strength, even in virtual virtue. I stand accused in the eyes of my overweening literate self. And the rest of the universe? Couldn't care less. In previous, zealous times of bright productivity, I had a few friends who besieged and entreated (okay, they asked nice) to be remembered for a 13-month roadmap of the highly-dubious future from my ripe and cheap imagination. This year? Nary a peep. The Wages Of Slack, it would seem.
So Happy New Year, all. Better late than never, I guess. Here's the somewhat past their pull date fruits of my labor, along with a studious intention to stay a little higher on the ol' info radar for a while:
(As noted last year, if you want a virtual calendar for your portathing, straight is where to go, but if you wanna dead-tree the casbah, go for the print. Detailed instructions here (the squint print at the bottom).)
Thing is, I made it a New Year's Challenge to myself to write a novel or something this year. And the weird part about writing is, you have to do it to do it. Or as my esteemed sister of spirit Bubbles, sharing body-space with my friend Joy down in Bisbee Arizona, would put it: "I get it! WRIIII-TING!"