Showing posts with label writing. Show all posts
Showing posts with label writing. Show all posts

Friday, December 31, 2021

Bye-Bye, 2021


The thing about being retired is that there are no mile markers. Shoot, I often even forget what day of the week it is. When one is gainfully employed, they're working for the weekend. Three or four-day holiday weekends are the best. Sure, Mondays suck, but there's always a reprieve just a few days away. This is a long-winded way of saying I don't really know what the heck happened in 2021. The days all run together. With Covid, my big outing is weekly grocery shopping. 

When I was first working from home after Covid hit, I tried to summarize in a blog post the things I learned each week. So I'll try that for the year 2021.

  • I learned that elected officials are incomprehensibly stupid. And power-mad. That's a bad combination. I learned that career bureaucrats easily fall in love with their images on a TV monitor and will spout any inane proclamation just to keep being invited back. 
  • I learned that it's possible to fall in love with a new pet, even after the agony of losing a long-time buddy. It took me a bit; I was hesitant to appear disloyal. But once we decided to adopt a new cat, we were determined not to leave the Humane Society empty-handed. Sasha (not her name then) leapt down from the cat tower and caressed my outstretched hand with her face, and I knew she was the one. I was used to a senior citizen cat and Sasha (nee Stuart Little, for some reason) was only about six months old. It was an adjustment, but not an entirely negative one. A somewhat exhausting one, nevertheless. Now she's a little over a year old and a bit more sedate (a bit). She likes to cuddle and she keeps my legs warm at night. We've settled into a routine and we would be lost without her.
  • I relearned that two-year-old boys are endlessly fascinating. (It'd been a while, after all.) My two grandsons are little originals. And smart like only newly-budded minds can be. I'd long forgotten how fresh and new the world can seem. Ollie informed me he doesn't like certain types of peppers his dad grows in the garden, which was news to Dad. He also was endlessly fascinated when I swaddled his teddy bear, and made me repeat the procedure until he felt confident enough to try it himself. Asher giggles uncontrollably at a big rubber ball being rolled back and forth. "Ready?" he began repeating, after I said it about a hundred times, rolling it over and over back to me.
  • I remembered that I actually like writing, but I'm not very ambitious. I found a writer I admire, in a TV interview, no less; and began reading snippets of his writing. My goal is to write as cleanly as he does. My proclivity has been to use too many modifiers, which in fact only exposes weak writing. If you have something to say, just say it. Perhaps my problem is, I don't have a whole lot to say. Regardless, I've begun revisiting a story I started a while back, and I'm trying to do better. I don't think I'll ever write another full-blown novel, but a novella is doable.
  • I am somewhat of a The Office groupie. I don't know how many times I've watched the entire series, but I like watching a show that doesn't offend my overblown sense of discerning taste. That kind of whittles the choices. Network television honestly reeks. I've even experimented with watching shows from the eighties that I used to view religiously, and I wonder how desperate we the viewing audience was back then. There really are essentially two sitcoms in all of TV history that are seminal. The rest can go to hell. I leave it to you to fill in the blank for the second one. Because you probably have a different opinion from me -- even though your opinion would be wrong.
  • I learned that today's country music is mostly really, really bad. I rather suspected that, but I did a couple of posts in which I reviewed the top ten hits of a given week; songs I had never in my life heard before, I don't even know how to define the tracks I forced myself to listen to, but "country" is not a term that springs to mind. To be fair, a couple of them were not technically bad -- not good enough to download, but not hideous. There may be hope, after all, but I doubt it.
  • I also learned that my musical prejudices may have been unfounded. If anyone asked me which decade was the worst for country music, "the seventies" would trip merrily off my tongue. The thing is, though, once I started creating Spotify playlists for the different decades, I found that my favorite one to listen to is from the decade of the seventies. How can that be? Has my whole musical life been a lie? Granted, I did cherry-pick the best of the best for my playlist, so there's that. I do like controlling my music.
  • I learned that podcasting, while it seemed like a no-brainer, is actually a "brainer".  I spent far too much time writing scripts and then recording them, and my estimated audience turned out to be (generously) two people (I think Anchor just didn't want me to feel bad.) I don't regret trying it. One has to try things.

It seems I didn't learn a ton of things in 2021. Quality trumps quantity, however. Every year has little milestones that might actually be big milestones. My life in 2021 wasn't bad, all things considered.

I don't know what 2022 will bring. Maybe I will become a world-renowned artist, or at least pick up my never-used art pencils and draw a picture. I could do that. 

Or I could stream The Office again.

Saturday, December 29, 2012


When I hear someone say they are a writer, I think, how boastful.

I've been working on my book for untold months (I actually don't know how many), and I cannot call myself a writer.

I'm a trier.

Sometimes I hate, hate writing.  Certain passages are all wrong.  I don't know how to make them better.  Make them interesting.

I've read and reread and reread what I've written too damn many times, and I waver between thinking it's good and thinking it's awful.  Asking myself, would I even want someone to read this drivel?  And is there even a point to it all?

I don't even know if, when I finally finish this book, I'll bother to have it published.  But I will finish it. 

I'm a trier.  I don't give up, unless something completely bores me.  Pain, yes.  Boredom; I won't bother.

That's not to say I'm not bored with my writings.  I've read some chapters so many times, it's like watching Back To The Future for the eight hundredth time.  Sure, it's fun and all, but you know what's coming, and you can, in fact, recite the dialogue right along with the characters.

That's probably why I keep adding things.  At this rate, my book will never be finished, because I keep coming up with new passages, simply (admittedly) because I'm bored with the old ones.


And here I sit tonight.  Knowing that I should be writing....the book, that is.  Instead, I'm looking for diversions; excuses.

Sigh.  I guess I'd better go.  Pull up that word doc titled, "My Book"....again.

I really gotta keep trying.

Friday, February 24, 2012


There's this person who likes to complain about stuff (no, not me this time).  I found him on one of those songwriting message boards.  He wrote a hit song once, and now he does, well, whatever it is he does.  I don't exactly keep up with his life, you know.  I don't even know the guy.

I liked the things he said about music and about the music business, so I always read his posts, and then I found that he had a blog here on Blogger, and I subscribed to that, and then that disappeared, and I found out he'd moved over to Wordpress (which, frankly, is NOT user friendly, and although I have a version of The River Runs North there, too, I never update it, because I just don't care to hunt around to try to figure out how to do things).

Sometimes I do like to read his blog, though, because he says things about music that are true; that most people are too cowered to say, because I guess they all think that maybe they'll have a chance at a hit song someday, and thus, they don't want to rock the boat.

One of his posts (as I digress) was about how he'd leave numerous comments for someone on Facebook, and they'd never respond, so he finally decided to de-friend them.  I thought, hey!  I do, that, too!  Except mine were blog comments, and the blogger never acknowledged them, so I ultimately decided to de-follow him.   It was THIS guy!  Funny.  Or ironic.

I guess we never recognize the same behavior in ourselves that we abhor in others.  I'm sure I'm the same way.

But this post isn't so much about THAT GUY; he's just the conduit.  

I do notice, though, that every two months or so, he says he's going to chuck it all, give up music; get a REAL job (have fun!), and then, about a month later, he's posting about his latest music project.

It makes me smile.

I always find absolutes amusing.  Not to diminish what someone is feeling at any given moment, but I just know how I am, and I know that I sometimes will write in absolutes.  Even at the time that I'm making my big pronouncement, I know that there's an 80% chance it's not really going to come to pass, but we all like (need) to vent, so let's do it, I say!

I said (not very long ago) that I had given up songwriting.  And lately, I've been thinking about actually pulling out the guitar and writing, just for the fun of doing it.  I haven't actually done it yet, but that feeling is starting to creep in, so there's a better than fifty-fifty chance that I probably will.

I give up lots of things, from time to time.  I give up writing, I give up video (slideshow)-making, I give up songwriting.  I call it boredom.  Not so much a dissatisfaction with the process; just burnout.  I think, though, that whatever it is you come back to, ultimately, is the thing that you are meant to do.  Otherwise, you'd never come back.

This guy, who's had a number one hit, who apparently makes his living from playing music, isn't going to give it up.  He's burned out, yes.  Right now.  But he'll come back.  They always come back.

And, yes, as he writes, today's music is bad.  Bad.  But maybe that's the push he needs to write some good music.  You need that kick in the ass sometimes.   And nobody will buy it, and then he'll bemoan the state of the music industry, but that's just how life is.  The cycle keeps cycling.

Few people read the things I write, but I don't seem to stop.  I can't.  It's what I do.

So, if you're wondering what you're meant to do, take a look at what you keep coming back to.  Kicking and screaming sometimes, but yet you keep coming back.

THAT'S the thing.

And, since this is a video blog, after all, let's take a look at our list, and maybe resolve to figure out what we are meant to do.  Thus, the LIST: