Bradbury says that a writer should write every day, that when you stop, the real world tries to kill you.
I understood that before . . . but these days it’s getting more acute, there are more little razor-fanged real world avatars buzzing in, more and more, and if I go lax for a second, they start gnawing. And the fangs get sharper. Financially, things are getting scary again. Unless I can manipulate some of my debts, they stand at about $1,500 a month. That’s just for loan debt, no luxuries attached. Yikes… If you stop, the real world tires to kill you.
So I best keep busy . . .
A couple of Mondays ago, I was the featured reader at TWILIGHT TALES. It was fun. People, friends and strangers, really seemed to like my work. I love doing live readings and I am apparently good at it, as it’s now my number 1 compliment. People that liked to read something I wrote, liked it better when I read it. People that struggled with it a little understood it better. I have an offer to use a friend’s sound equipment and make some audio CDs of my stuff (maybe do some podcasts).
I’m now seriously considering starting a little audio/fiction/performance/radio company. It’s basically what Orson Wells started with – and that sexy dragon, Technology has gone all Ouroboros and looped back on itself, sucking on its own tail, and with the advent of the MP3 file and podcasts, there is an audience for audio fiction again. I’ll need to gather more voice actors . . . but more on that later.
Matty J. and I sat down to some overpriced coffee to discuss working together on another movie, to write something strange and dark and out there and I think that’s down my twisted alley. And by the bye, contact him if you need any wedding video needs. Over the summer he filmed a flick called Ruin. Nick acted in it and I gave a little help on the script.
I met, through another acquaintance, a composer who came to my reading and gave me his card. Last night, Nick and I went to the premiere of a short indi film he composed the music for and I talked a little more about helping write a series of films he and his group are looking to do.
I’ve had the recent fortune with talking to not one, but several artists interested in drawing stuff for me, either based on something I wrote, or for my would-be website. The wonderful Sabra has drawn the following pictures for me. I like them a lot. I like the negative effect of white charcoal on black paper. Below are the pics with a little sampling of some of the text behind them:
This one’s titled “Soul” and depicts the dark muse, Crow, summoned in my epic poem, Souls Unsure. He’s a very chatty muse and says some of the following . . .
No form. No shape.
I am protean,
vague, variable, voracious,
a shifting blotch of black ink
spilled over bleached bone.
I am the hungry sky,
the shadow of the sun,
the appetite of the immortals,
the black-hole appetite
that swallows light.
I am gallows humor,
and dripping with gore.
I am a murder of crows
waiting for a murder of you,
and until then, I perch
in the back of your head,
where I hungrily eye your eyes,
from the other side,
whiling away the time
by plucking shiny coins
from the dead water of the mind.
This one is “Black Pearl” and comes partially from Book II of my epic and partially from recent events in Sabra’s life. In Book II, Crow takes us into a hospital and tells us what he sees (Syth, mentioned below, is a fallen angel wandering in the hospital) . . .
In the middle bed,
a police officer who played hero.
Used to play the game as a boy,
Cops ‘n robbers in the street.
When shot, he’d just yell, “Do-over.”
Life begins anew.
When boys grow up, they still play.
Boys just love their dangerous toys.
But what do you yell,
when a drug bust goes bad?
What do you yell?
“Do-over,” whispers the cop bleeding out,
eyes turning to stained glass.
Two would-be dealers playing criminal.
One on the left – One on the right.
Green-Masks shake their heads sad.
Under the green masks, they’re glad.
Deploy standard issue priest.
“Final confession boys?”
“Fuck you,” says Mr. Left,
“God can go spit.”
“I pray forgiveness,” whispers Mr. Right,
“Will I sleep in Heaven tonight?”
Priest promises Father’s forgiveness.
But bullet-holes don’t forgive.
Drip-drop goes I.V. Saline.
Drip-drop goes blood off cross.
Three crosses hex
the dead-star abyss of Syth’s eyes.
But don’t go looking there.
That’s a whole ‘nother story, too long to tell here.
Let’s just say that I was there, and I
ate an unrepentant thief’s eyes.
And this drawing, “See the Tree,” is based off a concept I want to use in my website . . .
There is a black tree
It grows in my head
And every black branch bares a raven
And every raven tells a different tale
And ravens eat memories and meat
In their enterrpise of plundered corspes
And ghosts swim in their plumes
And in every feather is a haunting rhyme
If I have but the courage to pluck the quill
And, by the way, check out Sabra’s blog for information on hiring her to do drawings for you. Support an artist. Maybe get a unique gift for someone you know.
In traveling news . . . I’ll be in central and southern IL this weekend and coming week. I’ll be in Eureka late Saturday (maybe Sunday), Nashville (IL) after that, and Springfield after that . . .