Sunday, November 3, 2013

Ugh, I need to do this more often

Blah, blah, blah, the usual regrets about not having updated in such a long time. More of the same about how life is too hectic for me to participate in NaNoWriMo, again, this year.  It’s all true and it’s all too tedious to moan about at great length.

Last time, I was looking forward to seeing Marian Call in Kansas City, if only a concert venue could be found.  Someone stepped up and made arrangements to occupy the coffee bar in a Barnes & Noble, and a good time was had by the relative few who showed up.  And, rather than do the obvious fanboy thing, and have her autograph an album or something, I got “The Musician” to sign my copy of The Typewriter (in the 21st Century).  That seemed to impress her.

This year, I saw NaNoWriMo coming, months ahead, and knew that I wouldn’t be able to do anything with it.  For a number of reasons, I decided to satisfy my professional development requirements by taking a college course. So, instead of committing myself to a daily quota of words, I merely have to write a research paper... about mythology... and Sherlock Holmes.

It should be fun, if I ever get around to starting.  Hey, maybe it’s like NaNoWriMo, after all.

Friday, August 16, 2013

Meet up for music?

I had been trying to figure out how to contact Dwayne Fuhlhage (Vintage Technology Obsessions), and then I considered just broadcasting the conversational points I wanted to make.  He had just made a post on Google+ about a Remington typewriter on eBay, being sold for parts as its keys had been chopped.  What are the moral and ethical considerations about liberating a brutalized machine from a keychopper, if one has a typewriter in need of parts?  Would this be an act of redemption for the machine, or would it rationalize the act of keychopping? I was going to reference a quote from Eddie Vedder about making shark fin soup...

And, speaking of “The Typewriter (In the 21st Century),” I also wanted to convey to Dwayne that Marian Call (referred to as “the musician” in the documentary) was going to be in Kansas City on Saturday, September 20th, and that I might be able to be able to get there.  I might even pack a typewriter in the trunk, since I will not be on my motorcycle, this time.

Long-time readers might recall that I had an “Adventure Weekend” back in June of 2010 that started with a concert by Marian.  She told me, later, that I was the only person who showed up specifically to see her perform.  She was less well known, back then, and the Typosphere had not gotten as crazy-big as it has become.  Now, dare I wonder how many Typospherians might get together to support one of our honorary members?  Anybody who is interested can find the RSVP e-mail address on her mariancall.com website. There are other concerts listed, too, for those of you far away from Kansas City.

I wouldn’t even be surprised if she performed her “Shark Week” song, with plenty of audience participation.  That pretty much brings my blog update full circle, now.

Friday, July 5, 2013

The End of my Steampunk Pirate Story

I have been struggling for a few days with a potential blog post. What I want to say and do has been clear enough, in my mind. However, in view of two postings ago, I’m aware of the line between being dramatic and being melodramatic.  I am fighting valiantly against forces of intellectual emptiness.  My mental health may remain fragile, but giving in to the evils of the secular-materialist world has never been an option.

We want to believe that carving a chunk of time out for writing should be therapeutic. We tell ourselves that selecting a neglected manuscript, shutting out the chaos of daily life, and concentrating on some composition would do us some good.  But what happens when the manuscript becomes part of the problem?  What if its lingering incompleteness starts to mock you? The very fact that it has been sitting there, and you can’t recall the last time you looked at it, only serves as a reminder that the chaos of daily life has destroyed all your hopes and dreams.  That stack of yellowing pages becomes a thing of hateful self-loathing.

So it has become for my NaNoWriMo project.  I had started transcribing the typewritten pages. It had been so long since I could think about the narrative that I needed some way to reacquaint myself with my own work. One particular scene had been revised three times to prod the plotline along. My characters had decided that sitting in a darkened room was more to their liking than facing the challenges, outside. I have to agree with them. It’s a dangerous world, out there.

The story I envisioned with such hope, two Novembers ago, has gone beyond suffering from writer’s block. I have had to accept that, although I still have an abundance of ideas, I can not force myself to care.  Fighting to go on with the project was doing as much damage as any self-destructive behavior could.  The thought of destroying two years of work is painful. The thought of trying to continue it is agonizing, and I must do something desperate to end this suffering.

It is too bad I could not put this posting together, yesterday. It would have felt appropriate to set fire to a manuscript while other people were burning up their income on fireworks. Either way, it’s just a paper representation of a part of our lives we can never reclaim. And, in a bizarre way, perhaps I am declaring my independence from what has become an oppressive, frustrating overlord.

It’s not like this was a living thing, Or, if it ever was, it has not been for a very, very long time.  As the embers begin cool into gray ash, I release those ill-conceived creative thoughts back into the nothingness from whence they came. I've got more significant things on my mind.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

You Don’t See Me, and Now You Do.

Where has the time gone? Would it not be better for me to ask where have I gone? Coming up with an answer might depend upon my being able to return to self-awareness. The short answer is that the last few months and the foreseeable future, for that matter, involve being so immersed in multimedia that I have been unable to form coherent thoughts, much less write them down or blog about them.

Yesterday, I saw “Now You See Me” at the local theater. Going out to movies has been one of the many extravagances I have been obliged to indulge in. The internet tells us we must experience the latest cinematic presentations, and we are not supposed to know we have any free will to refuse.

I do not want to launch into yet another commentary about the morally-corrupting influences of popular culture, but I can highly recommend watching this movie as a mildly cynical reflection on modern society. If you have seen any promotional advertisements, you may be familiar with the thesis statement that the closer you look, the less you will see. It is no spoiler to say that distraction is a cornerstone of a successful magic trick. For a couple of hours, I was pleasantly distracted from the excruciating agony of being aware of living in a world where people can easily be dazzled with noise and flashing light; sound and fury, signifying nothing.

Perhaps, at some point since my last posting, I came to the conclusion that, if only I could stop thinking, I could be like everyone else in my daily surroundings.  This losing battle to maintain coherent thought is wearisome. It has been tempting to burn all my journals, since past experience has no relevance for whatever future might have once been possible. It has been tempting to shut down my blog page, since it mocks me with the reminder that of not having been updated in months.  If not for the mental stimulation coming from the Typosphere, I think I would have to look into a seven percent solution of cocaine, with whatever long-term consequences it would entail.

Monday, December 31, 2012

Remington Home for the Holidays

It seemed like it would be a tragedy to be homeless, going into the holiday season. Things started looking pretty grim for myself, shortly after my last update. The tale is one of woe and intrigue, but I prefer not to relive or reiterate it.  Suffice to say that I've made a sort of peace with the darkness, preserving a place to rest my head for a while longer.

Another thing which had no proper place to call home was the Remington DeLuxe 5 which I purchased during warmer weather. The original carry case had served it well, but at the ultimate cost. The factory box donated the internal hardware related to securing the machine inside, but nothing could be salvaged of the hinges, the latch (without a key, anyway), or the handle. Bright brass fittings were purchased and a leather handle was stitched up. It took a while, but you can see the results.
Ever the fan of irony, I should admit that one of the motivating factors was the desire to take the Model 5 to write-ins during NaNoWriMo. Last year's sporadic participation was well-received when I showed up with a typewriter in-hand. A fancier case seemed like an additional touch of class for this year, or would have been, ahad I not been distracted by non-literary brushfires to put out.
 

Perhaps, with the advent of a new year, life will stabilize and slow down to the point where the red Remington can get out, once in a while, and do some composing.
 
Happy New Year, to everyone in the Typosphere.

 

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Where'd the pretty trees go?

On the way to work, this morning, I was stricken by the rapid onset of Winter weather. It seems like only last week that I was thinking I should get the camera out for some Fall foliage photography.  Suddenly, I'm looking at trees with a dusting of frost.  The really awesome part is that the underlying colors are still there, resulting in a mid-morning fade from white to blazing reds, oranges, and yellows.