Updated: May 31, 2022
Today is the sixth-year anniversary of this website, which was intentionally dropped on what would have been my mother’s 85th birthday.
And in the interest of keeping things precise, we are three days away from the one-year anniversary of the new-and-improved michaelaba.com.
June 3rd, 2021.
And what a long, strange trip it’s been…
To prepare for this blog, I attempted to comb through and reread the six previous May blogs from the website. Little journeys in any area of life always uncover a few unexpected revelations, and this was no exception. For one, I’m happily surprised at the ease of navigating through and locating the exact blogs I was searching for. Brothers Tom and Jeff truly organized this site with user-friendly intentions.
Thanks again, men! A job well done!
And I’d forgotten how the website wasn’t totally ready on day one. There were formatting and downloading issues, and before long I was back to editing mode, giving the first three books the same hard once-over I’d mistakenly thought was not needed originally. By the end of the first year, I STILL hadn't finished with the final edits to “Bingo Ray”. (Of course, we offered updated versions to everyone who initially purchased original collections!)
The songs on “Maybe it’s the Moon” hadn’t been recorded yet. The tales to “These Stories Are True” had already occurred, true - but none of them had been committed to the written page. Audio books were a vague contemplation. None of the song ideas to “Thank You For Your Letter” or “Waiting for the Next Surprise” had arrived. And the need for a new-and-improved site, whereby ALL of this was given a fresh perspective, was a truly unexpected development.
And at this moment, on our sixth anniversary, I find myself thinking…
Where did we find the energy to do ANY of this?!
In these intervening years, the fact that SO many songs have been written - an activity I’d contemplated abandoning more than a few times - has been a complete surprise. But the other unexpected development I can clearly view from my current perspective is that not one single piece of fiction has been written since michaelaba.com began. That’s seven years ago, which is sadly disappointing when considering I’d been on somewhat of a roll before this whole internet experience began. The last batch of stories written - including “Mary Louise”, “Window Dressing” and “The Danny Psychosis” - I definitely consider to be among my best.
I did compose (and record!) a complete book of non-fiction in the interim, but I can’t help but wonder: did the fiction-writing creativity I’ve always hung my hat on simply get used up over online responsibilities and deadlines? Or did my experience with heavy self-editing, where I found myself struggling to find the exact word, or rephrase things in what appeared to be a more sensible fashion, leave me feeling depleted? Maybe the concept of my kind of fiction was beginning to lose its appeal - to even myself?
I’m not sure…
Though it’s not as if fresh ideas don’t continue to arrive…
There are still many finished songs waiting to be recorded, but maybe this anniversary will provide me with the motivation needed to discover what remains to be produced from this particular author. I’m feeling a new book of short, quirky and hopefully amusing fiction might be right there for the unmasking. Perhaps a retirement from the hospitality industry might finally be necessary for the time and energy such an endeavor will undoubtedly require.
Well, that in itself is not such a bad thing…
The interesting part is I’m sure to be rereading this blog next year and will be able to clearly ascertain whether or not progress has been made.
Well, in any case - consider this a challenge-to-self duly given. More short fiction!
And thanks to all of you for still being here!