This morning, I had a swollen left lymph node in my throat, a headache, and stiff shoulders. Ick. Went to do my five hours of not-hard-at-all time at the not-a-day-job, got home, futzed with the television which would not play the DVD (a recurring problem that I thought was solved), got that figured out, took two Advil, started to watch Steamboy… fell asleep.
Ended up taking a nap on the couch, which is something I almost never do. I’m not a napper. Still, it’s what the headache wanted. I woke up in three hours!, finished watching Steamboy (which was farking awesome!), and decided to allow myself a day.
My headache was gone! I checked e-mail, fixed an error on the MWS Media web site, and had it in my head that I wanted to play some guitar.
I haven’t pulled my acoustic out of its case in I don’t know how long. My callouses are pretty much gone, as is the strength in my left hand. All the same, I stuck all my MP3s on shuffle and started to play along.
I had a blast. I don’t suck as much as I thought I did… and something interesting happened. I realized that one of the reasons I stopped writing songs was that I’d forgotten how to allow myself to be simple. There’s a lot to be said for E, A, D… and I know this, I knew it… but over the years, you forget it. It took playing along with John Mellencamp (“Authority Song”) to remember how much fun it can be.
I also stumbled across “Stars of Track and Field” by Belle and Sebastian, one of those songs I can recall the first time I heard it (in the car with an old girlfriend, a lifetime ago.) I fought situational guilt and memories and learned how to play it — nice and simple, great tune with an undercurrent of bitterness and bile that’s nicely countered by Belle & Sebastian’s trademark Cute.
In between tunes, sometimes during, I had a brief chat that was somewhat frustrating due to our different views on the potential of the future and human development (that’s another story). And toward the end, as this person often does at the end of our chats, he referred to me as “handsome.”
I finally laid out that I thought that was a little inappropriate. He said, “Oh. Okay.” and signed off soon after.
I reckon I probably offended him… no, scratch that: I vibed that he was offended, which is something different. He didn’t ask for an explanation, but here it is anyway:
I don’t care about people’s preferences. I’ve had gay and bisexual friends since I was a junior in high school – and of course, probably before then, but I didn’t know it. Do whatever you want… but ethical behavior needs to apply to everyone. I’m married. I wouldn’t be comfortable with a woman constantly closing a chat by calling me “handsome,” so why would I accept it from a guy?
It’s that simple. Of course, I could be reading waaay too much into it. But I’m glad I spoke up about it.
After that, I played some more… Jets To Brazil (“Conrad,” “Sweet Avenue,” “Starry Configurations”) , Eugene Edwards (“All About You”), X (lots of songs — I cheated a little on the shuffle), fIREHOSE (“Sometimes”), Aimee Mann (“The Moth,” “That’s Just How You Are”), Children’s Day (again, lots of tunes) … it was great fun. Ended the session… I kid you not… singing “Time (Clock of the Heart)” and I still knew all the words. Remember, I was in high school when that song came out — it’s my oldies, okay?
Did I write today? Nope. And that’s okay.
You know, I’ve figured out that I shouldn’t have put the kind of deadline on Light of the Outsider that I did. I don’t want this book to suck — I have to be happy with it, and I want to be able to match the challenge it represents.
I’ve been saying it’ll be out in late summer / early fall. Why? Because the two conventions I’m attending this year are in August and September. I would like to be able to hype Brave Men Run – A Novel of the Sovereign Era and Light of the Outsider – A Novel of the Shaper’s World at those cons.
That’s a stupid reason to push like a madman and have an end result I’m not satisfied with. It would be different if I was published traditionally, and there was pressure to sell a ton of books in the first six months of release, or there was a danger of going out of print in a year. Going DIY, POD, means I can promote my books forever… there is no life cycle.
So the book will be out when it’s ready. If that’s August, or September, or October, or November (which would just be a year after BMR, after all). And I promise, those of you who are interested, it will be worth the wait.
Okay. ‘Nuff of that, for now. This entry has covered a lot. It’s nearly midnight, and I’m not so tired. Damn nap. I’ve got a tax appointment at eleven in the morning. So I can still be up an hour or so.
One more thing… I’m listening to an old (number 42?) edition of The MWS Media Radio Show… I have to admit, with all modesty… I put together a good music podcast in my day. Pity no one listened… but that’s mostly my fault for not promoting it like I could have.
Okay, that’s all. G’night!