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December 21, 2017

In getting ready to write for the 2nd-ever Christmas blog on michaelaba.com, I couldn’t resist checking back to see what I had to say this time last year. And please let me reprint what, in hindsight, appears to have been a fairly prescient yet incomplete prediction:


So - future improvements to michaelaba.com include gift-certificate capabilities, an option to hear entire CDs at a time, and hopefully a “basement section” where I can post old songs made from cassettes and have the option of including occasional podcasts and schedule viewings of the Lori film… And maybe even a CD of NEW songs…


What I couldn’t have predicted was that ALL these things (except the podcasts) would take place on the VERY LAST MONTH of the year. So, yes - as of two weeks ago, anyone can now see “Lori and the Landlord’s Grill" at any time. And as of - literally - today, gift eBooks are a major part of the site. And CDs can be heard in their entirety as of Monday. And while a CD of NEW songs felt vaguely out-of-reach when I wrote those words last December, I spent the past several weeks recording a total of 17(!) new songs and less than 24 hours ago handed them in to website genius Kyle. I imagine you’ll have access to this new collection before the new year begins. It’s really been an amazingly productive time.


What I also didn’t anticipate this time last year was that I’d even entertain the idea of revisiting my novel, “The Reinvention of Richard Bent”. And that three months later, not only would I present the website with a revised novel I was proud of, but would also decide to utilize my upgraded editing skills to have another pass at EVERY short story on the site. Another three months elapsed before I was able to finish that surprise project and make sure everyone who had purchased a book now had an updated version.


And when we set out to work on the “Basement” section, I didn’t expect to include every old song that had been lost to the cassette world. The idea of digitizing my entire collection was daunting, and I no longer even had a working cassette machine, but as of about three weeks ago, I ended up surpassing my “Best of the Cassettes” idea by figuring out a way to include EVERY ONE of the original 7.


There still are likely a few tweaks to be made here and there, but as of yesterday - and for the first time since this project began - I have nothing left “in the can” that is keeping me from looking ahead. The short term plan is simple at the moment - it’s time for all of us to enjoy the holidays!


Upcoming decisions will focus more on the marketing front, I suppose. A few of you have voiced a preference for a physical book to hold in your hands. Others - mostly the car-drivers out there - have expressed a desire for an audiobook. Should I try to give readings? Do a podcast? At this point, I have NO IDEA about any of this, so next year’s Christmas Blog won’t begin with a simple reprint of last year’s predictions. But I’m very grateful to finally be able to take a deep breath, sit back, and acknowledge how the surprisingly large output I’ve managed over the years - 90 stories (comprising 6 collections), one novel, a book of poems, three screenplays, one short film, and CDs and Cassettes everywhere (154 songs!) - is right there on michaelaba.com, for everyone to see and hear.


I’m also enthused for the freedom I now feel to write something new…

I’m wishing everyone a great Holiday Season! And thanks once again for your much-appreciated support - see you in 2018!!

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