This new chapter of my life starts with a soundtrack — where I’ve been, where I’m headed, and with whom.
In the last chapter, our man was at the beginning of 12 months of chaotic change, coincidentally book-ended by the 4th Street Fantasy conventions of 2017 and a couple of weeks ago. I need to write about that, soon. Anyway, it was a year with ups and whole lot of downs, and very little writing progress. Hopefully, that ends now, once I get my feet back under me again.
In the meantime, as hip and cool as I am for 45, I hope to age more gracefully than this guy There, but for the grace…
So, what’s ahead for the next year, I wonder?
This chapter, I dedicate to my Mom. And not just for obvious reasons. I’m spending my birthday this year in the 216 because she’s been in the hospital for the past week and some change. It’s been a long, tough week–mostly for her. And thankfully, there is a road ahead. It’ll just be bumpy. In any case, considering there wouldn’t have even been a Chapter I of my life without her, I’m glad to be here for her. THANKS, MOM!
That aside, what a year! I went through Viable Paradise and lived to tell the tale! I went to cons and survived their controversies. I renewed some friendships, made some new friends, and now I’m looking at some dayjob changes that might actually benefit me (as well as adding more responsibilities of course).
What’s to come? Your guess is as good as mine, but I feel the answer is wrapped up in a Luis Buñuel tribute, inside the lyrics of a New Pornographers song…
Sorry I’m getting to this a day late, but it’s been a hectic couple of weeks. Chapter XLIII of my life began yesterday, and I’m hoping for some big things. I ended Chapter XLII with two major accomplishments: a promotion at the dayjob to a managerial position which not only gives me an office with a door I can close, but also the funds to attend the 2016 Viable Paradise writing workshop. That’s VP20, everyone! Or, is it VPXX? I’m partial to the latter myself, because it reminds me of a Chicago album.
Speaking of which, the song below is from Chicago XXXVI. With things to look forward to, I’ve been wondering if a new year requires a new attitude…
I think it’s time for you to lose that cynical suit, now.
You’ve worn it out and man, the jacket don’t fit you no more.
–Chicago, “Something’s Coming, I Know”
Let’s give it a shot…
“The graceful life is just a matter of the path you choose.”
That, my friends, is the goal for this chapter of my life. And, yes, maybe I’ll throw in a 3/4 movement and then a heavy guitar/horn breakdown while I do it, too.
|From Heavy Metal|
We’re still 18 years away from 2031 when, if I’m still around, I’ll be 58 but still look the way I do now depending on what sort of genetic and/or cybernetic modifications I’ll be able to afford. But that doesn’t stop me from feeling like an ancient relic now.
Let’s just say that I’ve now lived long enough to get to the point where I can completely relate to what the late, great fellow-Clevelander Harvey Pekar says…
Don’t fret. Our man isn’t that hopeless. Granted, I’ve never been one of those people who fully appreciated the whole “adversity makes you tougher” idea. But I’ll tell you this–adversity has sure made me shrewder. It’s made me smarter. It’s made me hungry for the things I want in life. And it’s damn sure taken my patience away from the things that would stand in my way.
So, I take the ups and downs. Because as Robert Lamm sings…
We’ve all had our highs
The lows we can’t command
Sleeping through insomnia
It is more than you can stand
Boy, is that right.
I have a day off tomorrow. But not the day after. In the meantime, I’ll not be taking comments from the peanut gallery just now. In fact, I’m likely fast asleep. I love time-shifting this stuff.
See what I mean? Shrewder!
It’s my hope that by the time I hit Chapter XL, I’ll be able to look back on the time between now and then, and have at least as many good things to say as there was about the year 2261 in the Babylon 5 universe…
And because it’s a holiday weekend as well as my birthday, the peanut gallery is closed. 🙂
Today, Chapter XXXVIII of my life began.
After having survived past the midpoint of a year that’s really been more bad than good so far, I got to spend some time with some good friends, and had a chance to take a good look at some stuff on the horizon that makes me smile…
- I’m starting a new dayjob on July 15th. I’m working for the same uni health center, and I’ll still be pushing paper. But, as I joked to a friend today, I’ll be pushing higher-level paper at a higher pay rate!
- I just submitted my first piece of fiction for 2011 today. Given that (a) life has made it very hard to get into fiction-writing lately and (b) most of my writing time has been spent preparing for my presentation at this year’s Rod Serling Conference, I think it’s quite the accomplishment. It’s like a dam just broke. Which is good, ‘cos I got a lot more fiction planned for this year.
- In just 11 days–Readercon, where I’ll get to renew some friendships and revitalize my writing mojo like I did last year.
Y’know, things may just turn out all right.
Today, Chapter XXXVII of my life begins.
“I’m 37. I’m not old.”
-Dennis, Monty Python and the Holy Grail
I’m starting this chapter off right with a two-and-a-half week vacation from my dayjob, a trip next week to Readercon, a camping trip with friends the following weekend, and after that, my next NSO gig at the next home derby bout.
For the past couple years, I’ve tried to obtain writing-related birthday gifts. This year, though, I dusted off my Audible account, and treated myself to Role Models by John Waters. I quoted it a lot recently, having read snippets from it and heard various podcast interviews and readings.
I’m listening to the first few chapters now, and thinking about my own role models. I’ll blog about them some other time. But this book is making me give some thought to who’s influenced, not just my art, but my life as an artist. In Waters, I think I’ve found a new one. Just look out the quotes I’ve used recently as well as the links below. If you’ve been paying any attention to how I feel about writing and how I pursue it, I’m sure you’ll understand why.
- Waters’ “10 Best Pieces of Advice for Functional Freaks”
- From NPR’s Fresh Air, “John Waters: A Bad Influence Picks His ‘Role Models'”
- On KQED’s The Writer’s Block, Waters reads the chapters “Cult Leader” and “The Kindness of Strangers.”
- Waters on The Colbert Report