In my sleeplessness, I came across Penny Arcade’s blog, where she freely admitted she had blown off her own blog for months, and … well, I’m shocked how long it’s been for me too. But I’m guiltless, or feel guiltless — I mean, this isn’t supposed to be some marketing tool (is it?), where I hypnotize into slavishly following my every I don’t know what. And, you know, if I could make that happen, I’d have stalkers to go along with it, and I really can’t afford body-guards on my meager music royalties. I can afford regular Starbucks lattes on them, I’m happy to say, but I refuse to do it – screw the economy, I need my royalties to stimulate ME.
What was I talking about? The blog, right. Well, I haven’t blogged because my songwriting has been so scattershot, and I’m now in the middle of four different songs, all dangling at the end of other non-song projects. I had to rewrite a script (done) and I had to rewrite a book (also done, and currently being passed around publishers, cross your fingers) and I’m heading to New York April 1 to sing Chris Rael’s song-cycle ARABY, based on James Joyce’s THE DUBLINERS (opens April 8 at Dixon Place for two weeks). And other stuff I can’t remember. Most interesting is my website redesign, spearheaded by my partner Barry, which is going to be a lot of fun – it almost feels like a video game as much as a website — but that comes April 1 or so. Anyway. What was my point? Oh, that I’ve been doing a lot of work that isn’t songwriting. Plus working full time – which I can’t complain about because we’re at the dawn of the New Depression. And I’m grateful, really I am – actually, I’m scared-grateful, certain my good fortune is going to crash down on my head.
It’s late and this blog sounds like it. The only good, song-related news is that one of the new songs comes from William Gibson’s COUNT ZERO. Nobody much talks about this book, but I’ve always loved a certain passage from it and it jumped into a song one day.
Here’s the funny thing now: when I have to work on a piece of fiction or journalism or script-writing I generally shut everything out to do it – I go away from everyone and hole up. I can’t juggle writing anymore with life, and I was never much good at it, which kept work nice and hellacious for a couple of decades there. Now it’s clear to me that this is the case for songwriting as well. The good news is that songs are short, and the architecture is easier to keep together than the architecture of long-form prose. And now that a whole host of other projects are finally settling down for a period, I’m going to do little disappearing acts to finish these songs. I’ve got til, I think, August – don’t know why, but I can see the focus staying there for four to five months. Barry’s being pushy about this: he berates me with orders to just worry about writing the stuff, and nothing else for a while.
Sounds like a plan. So, I reckon I’ll have something to share with you guys here, soon. Adventures in song-writing.