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January 23, 2018

I’d given myself this month of January to sit back and contemplate what my next steps should be, seeing as we finally have in a fairly-finished state. And then, of course, life kind of jumped in the way. There was a funeral to attend at the beginning of the year, frigid weather that meant digging up NYC parking spaces for my car, only to see it towed away due to battery failure last week, plumbing issues that I brazenly tried to solve myself, with the disappointment over my inabilities being slightly alleviated with the fact it took four different sets of plumbers to finish the job themselves…. And I’m still the President of this COOP here on West 87th Street, Manhattan, which always brings day-to-day mini-adventures and traumas… Oh, and I discovered the site wasn’t nearly as “finished” as I’d presumed. Some of the features had small glitches, and the screenplays had yet been made available to download, and a new section to make purchases easier is now being conceived. So my contemplative introspection has barely started, I’d say. I’m truly curious at this moment as to what the opening paragraph of next month’s blog might be…

But this is the way things are with me, I guess. I never sit down purposefully to write a song, but every now and then one comes along. My ideas for stories kind of flash by unexpectedly. And income-generating work (ie, restaurants and bars) often arrive by semi-divine happenstance. I’d like to take the coming year off to write, but I’m not sure of the economic feasibility of such an artistic endeavor… January was supposed to be set aside for reading the tea leaves, so to speak. Instead, maybe I’ll write a new short story and see if a few of my fictional characters have any useful advice. (Although this plot-line already sounds extremely similar to my story “Jessica, James & Sheila” from the Bingo Ray collection… available for the low cost of $1 on!!)

But I want to do some reading as well. I’d set aside “Infinite Jest”, the mammoth opus by David Foster Wallace that’s supposed to be the true work of literary art in what I guess is by now the previous generation. The plan originally was to read this on the side while I was busy editing old stories, because if I was to be subliminally influenced by something while getting the website together, I wanted it to be from something truly great. But the tome stayed on the shelf the entire two years it took to “complete” And now, having finally started it, I’m so glad I waited. He has single paragraphs that are much longer than several of my stories, and his knowledge, descriptions, and insights would have made me question why I have the audacity to refer to myself as a writer in the first place. “Infinite Jest” even has 96 pages of painstakingly-composed footnotes; at this early stage, I’d say the process of reading this novel feels extremely similar to writing one. I’d like to finish this extraordinary composition by the end of February. I’m on page 67 (of 1,079) right now…

My modest piano-and-guitar-playing skills are at a relative high right now, having finished the two-month recording process that resulted in 17 new songs on the site just before Christmas. A part of me wants to simply continue playing to see if improvement can be attained… I’m starting to think my course through the end of March is slowly being charted… And we’ve talked about the need for me to promote the site through various methods, like maybe giving readings here and there, or creating an audio-book, or even an honest-to-goodness physical copy to hold in your hands. Maybe I’ll rent a room somewhere, play original songs while people are entering the establishment, and then read “The Danny Psychosis” in its entirety. Maybe I’ll try to schedule an evening in early July…

Well, as you can see, being in-between projects can be fun but daunting at the same time. Let’s see what David Foster Wallace has to say about it - I’m sure one of his amazingly insightful and seemingly never-ending paragraphs will be all over the subject at some point in my near-future. In the meantime, I hope you enjoy what we’ve accomplished so far. Best wishes for an amazing 2018 and I’ll see you in February!


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