The Writ, The Read & The Rock – 11.19.18

It’s been a while since I’ve done the weekly look back, so here is a retro report on the past week or so . . .

++ The Writ ++

So since the start of November I have been participating – for the third year in a row now – in NaNoWrimo (National Novel Writing Month for the rare uninitiated). In the past I hadn’t lasted more than a few days to a week at most. This year I’ve survived nearly three weeks, mainly by finally embracing not giving into my usual OCD about editing every word, phrase, sentence, paragraph and page to some semblance of “perfection”. I’m also not sticking to one novel project, instead just doing word vomits on multiple projects as they arrive to me because as always this creative mind of mine is always littered with a multitude of ideas – old and new. It’s just how I’ve always rolled, so why fight it? As I write this very paragraph I’m currently tallied at 17,852.

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++ The Read ++

As a lifelong bookworm I’m always reading a variety of material, from novels to comic books/graphic novels, to short stories and nonfiction, etc. I rarely walk out of a library (or bookstore for that matter) with just one book. Let’s suffice it to say that recent trips to Barnes & Noble, all four local branches of Half-Price Books and an Amazon order altogether cost me $$$!!! And a week later I was at the library walking out with yet another armful. A good chunk of my reading is research for my own writing, you see. So it is what it is. Don’t judge me. Unlike people, books rarely let me down or disappointment. Currently the two books dominating my attention is ACROSS THE UNIVERSE (2011), book one of a YA sci-fi trilogy by Beth Revis, and THE WICKED + THE DIVINE – Vol. 3: COMMERCIAL SUICIDE (2016), an urban fantasy/modern mythology serialized graphic novel series by Kieron Gillen and Jamie McKelvie.

The latter was a series I originally started when it launched in 2014, but I lapsed on it. So I’m getting caught up one volume at a time. The former has one of the most engaging first chapters I’ve ever read! Many a writer – new and old – could take notes on CHAPTER 1: AMY. I don’t read a lot of YA books and even though the two protagonists  are young in this book they hardly announce themselves as YA – they’re just interesting people in a harrowing situation deftly portrayed within a very compelling, suspenseful narrative. 94 pages and 15 chapters in I can see why this novel, a debut one from Beth Revis, has garnered so much critical acclaim. And I have no idea what’s to come in the following two books that complete the trilogy. But I’m anxious to get there. Guess that means another trip to a bookstore or yet another Amazon order. It’s a bookworm life I lead.

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++ The Rock ++

This past week or so my music listening has typically been wide ranging as usual, starting with METALLICA, 2PAC, OUTKAST, WU-TANG CLAN and FUGAZI, and ending with BLONDE REDHEAD, DEF LEPPARD, PJ HARVEY and DAUGHTER. In the coming week I plan on getting back to SOHN, LONDON GRAMMAR, SONIC YOUTH and APOSTLE OF SOLITUDE, but really the music selection relies heavily on any given mood, so we’ll see how the week plays out.

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Not to Disappear (2016) by DAUGHTER

In other rocking news: I did not play my guitar or bass this past week. Actually, I haven’t played since NaNoWriMo started. Clearly that’s NOT rocking.


++ In Closing ++

We lost a pop-culture icon recently, a loss I knew was inevitable any day now and one I knew I would exclaim with shock loudly when I saw the news come across my feed. Rest in peace STAN LEE. Thank you for all the Marvel comics you co-created with countless collaborators and all the ones you “presented” by the time I started reading regularly in the Fall of 1986. Especially thank you for the X-MEN who weren’t my introduction to Marvel Comics (that was Spidey and Hulk) but were my main draw to superheroes overall. I might not have enjoyed my teen years quite as much without them.

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Earworm Ruckus – PJ Harvey

Arguably Polly Jean Harvey’s finest moment. The Uh Huh Her album might’ve been the culmination of her old sound but ironically I’d say this was the peak of it. And that duo with Thom Yorke is sonic nirvana.

NaNoWrimo: Day 5

I’m under 5k on Day 5. Clearly not the hare so that makes me the tortoise. AKA King Molasses. AKA the undisputed Emperor of  S  L  O  W.  AKA Slowpoke Rodriguez. But, at least I’m doing good at breaking the habits of old. More on that in a later post. At any rate here’s a nice graphic. #NaNoWriMo2018 #Day5 #iWrite

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The Call

++ Post #547 ~ 66 words of dialogue ++

Created: 8.8.2018 by BLR


– Hullo?

– Hullo. Is that you?

– Last time I checked. Who is this?

– You know who this is.

– Mmhm. What do ya want?

– For some reason you’ve been showing up in my dreams lately. I just wanted to make sure you were still alive.

– Why do you care?

– Well, even though I hate your two-faced, lying, conniving, backstabbing ass, it doesn’t mean I want you dead. Yet.


Fin.

Inspired by a true event. Sorta. It’s complicated.

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Get Away

[Post #545 | The Evening Muse #9]

In light of the start of vacation, here’s a related entry written back on June 30, 2018.

Lately when I close my eyes I see myself in a certain, uncertain setting: in a moving vehicle with a sun/moon roof open, a big bright blue sky overhead with scattered cotton-like clouds, the wind blowing through open windows and an open, sprawling road laid ahead with a variety of surrounding landscapes and scenic vistas.

In recent weeks, at least since true Spring and Summer weather finally broke in May, I have been stricken with an unrelenting wanderlust. Actually, I’m not sure that’s the most apt term, because getting away from it all seems to be the main mission. Particularly this past week or so the echoing thought in my mind has been to get away from all the noise of everyday mundane life and escape to a place of unparalleled peaceful and quiet serenity.

My head has been a jumbled mess of thoughts, hopes, dreams and frustrations and it seems I could use a few days somewhere remote and secluded to simply confront and mentally resolve all those haunting voices. The only way to achieve it so be effectively gone away from and devoid of all the usual responsibilities — if only just for three days or so.

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Inner Peace

[Post #544 | The Morning Muse #13]

There’s no outer peace on this side of death.
I’ma use these next 5 days of vacay to try to achieve a modicum of inner peace.

That was my opening post on Facebook today as today is the first day of a rather impromptu and haphazardly planned/not-quite-planned pre-back-to-school/off-to-college family vacation of sorts. It’s complicated.

But nevertheless, while any sense of external peace in this life is nigh-impossible prior to dying, I hope to maybe find a bit of the internal stuff during our little getaway. Of course I don’t kid myself into think it’s very likely, especially given how The Plans aren’t going quite as planned, yet I concede it may be infinitesimally possible that eschewing many mundane daily responsibilities for a brief spell will somehow reward a body and — more importantly —  a mind the reprieve it so desperately needs.

Here’s a picture I shot in Niagara Falls, NY from our 2016 vacay.

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Metallica – Live S**t: Binge & Purge

[Post #543 | Daybook #13]

It’s been a long, long time since I’ve listened to METALLICA’S 3-disc live set Live S**tBinge and Purge, recorded and released in 1993 (the Mexico City portion of the box set). Tonight I was bopping around Spotify looking to cue up Metallica’s instrumental songs (“Anesthesia – Pulling Teeth”, “The Call of Ktulu”, “Orion”, “To Live is to Die” and “Suicide and Redemption”) to use as a soundtrack for a brief stint of writing when I scrolled to this particular live concert recording I’d been shunning for so many years. I jumped right to “Creeping Death” in the track listing and what I immediately noticed was how much better the live songs sounded twenty-five years ago compared to modern times. Not because of the band’s performance or anything like that. No, it’s because back then their guitars were tuned to E-Standard tuning (A440) rather than the E-Flat tuning they’ve been using the last fifteen years or so (I believe since the St. Anger “Madly in Anger” tour in 2003, at least). These days when I hear modern live versions of their songs it’s a bit of a bummer because the majority of the songs sound off — because they are off, by a half-step, or semitone in musicology terms. I’ve been listening to Metallica for thirty-plus years, so it seems only natural that when a fella puts on the music of the soundtrack of his formative years that he’d want it to sound like it’s supposed to sound at least in terms of the original tuning, even when it’s via a concert, live or otherwise. [End old man rant].