Today is basically half a year of my posting every day. It’s… unbelievable. I wasn’t sure that I’d make it this long keeping up with daily posts. You get in a groove.
Admittedly, some days are harder than others. Some days I’ve found no time to write, heading from one gig to another. Some days I’ve been able to queue up a week’s worth of posts in one sitting.
One or two days, I just got it in under the wire.
This is a bit of a milestone for me, and thank you for taking any time to read this at all. It’s my practice and testing area; an avenue for thoughtfulness and experimentation; and a crucible of trying to come up with the right word for the right situation. But it’s been one-hundred eighty-three days, and damned if I’m not looking forward to the next six months.
And saying that, it’s basically my stay in Alaska. The next six months of posts will all be from Alaska.
Huh… How about that?
“Writing is easy. Just put a sheet of paper in the typewriter and start bleeding.”
– Thomas Wolfe
This quote has come up a few times, one a variation credited to Hemingway, others to authors I’ve not known before. But the quote has been rolling around in my head for days.
I read Cheryl Strayed’s Wild and I felt a very intimate sense of who she was, how she suffered, and what the journey meant. She bled, literally on the trail, and figuratively on the page. She exposed who she was.
It’s my intention to do the same, but in the writing, I always feel a bit of a filter in place. Not so much a mask of how I want people to see me, but more a guardedness about letting anyone become too intimately aware of my existence. Some sort of desire to remain among the transient awareness of reality.
It’s partially to blame for the vagabonding spirit I suppose. Anywhere I go, I can just as suddenly depart. While I’ve made many friends along the way, and good ones, any of them will say that I’m a shit-communicator when it comes to keeping in touch. Family likewise feels I stay distant, and I do.
I’m hopeful my summer will reveal more about me than I understand at this point. Cautiously optimistic, as anywhere you go, there you. But among the work requirements and the exploration, I’ll be sitting down at the computer and trying my best to bleed.
Here’s to whatever may come.
I’ve not been wholly satisfied with the Weekly Rundowns, so I may be changing them a bit here in the near future. Still playing with form, so we’ll see how it lands. But for now, here’s some stuff for you:
Reading: Locke & Key Vol. 1 from IDW Comics, written by Joe Hill and illustrated by Gabriel Rodriguez. And there he was again, this Joe Hill. Son of Stephen King, and prominent storyteller himself, has created a lot of buzz with Netflix’s adaptation of Locke & Key. I think I became familiar with the series while reading the recent Hill House collaboration with DC Comics: Basketful of Heads, Daphne Byrne, et al. NOS4A2 was on AMC last year, and now Netflix has Locke. I watched it, I enjoyed it, and I wanted to see how close it got to the source material. I read Volume 1, and it’s close enough to be familiar, but different enough that I enjoy reading the comics even after watching the series.
Listening: Honestly, nothing with any repetition. No new music this week, though Flora Cash’s Somebody Else and Fun.’s 2012 album Some Nights have been in my head this past week.
Doing: Packing. With my months away quickly approaching, it’s been important to put as much as I can in storage, free up space around the house. I wanted to have a yard sale before leaving, but it’ll have to wait until I get back.
There are things in your life that you will regret. You can dwell on them, letting them hold you back. Or you can learn from them.
I didn’t know him. I wasn’t familiar with his work, nor did I know I should be.
I first became aware of James A. Michener during a Twitter Q & A session with another author, discussing Thurber’s The 13 Clocks. Neil Gaiman had said that James Thurber’s book for children was quite possibly his favorite, and was then asked what would be second.
His response was Michener’s Poland. Being Polish myself, I looked this up straight away. Poland is a sweeping novel, spanning 700 pages. And despite my browsings at the library and used book stores, I’ve yet to come across a copy. (I did find it on Amazon, obviously, but I’ve not made the purchase.)
As I’ve been reading Wild, Cheryl Strayed’s account of traversing sections of the Pacific Crest Trail on a three-month through-hike, she mentioned both her mother’s love of Michener novels, as well as reading The Novel on her trek, one of Michener’s books. Again I’m amazed at the interconnectedness of it all – that I can go so long without a hint of one author, only to have him pop up in two very interesting places.
As a preparation, I’ve purchased Alaska on Audible, another of Michener’s epic tales. At 57 hours, I’m sure that I’ll be listening to this for quite some time.
“Articles fade after a week; people keep books.”
– Adam Grant
There’s a rich history work that is available, on every conceivable topic, and in many different forms. But what is it about Plato that holds up so universally, whereas some authors who wrote merely fifty years ago are all but forgotten? Or why do some books stay in a personal library for life?
What writing is it that matters? Where do we go to drink from the well that never runs dry?
My favorite authors include Seth Godin, Neil Gaiman, and recently John McPhee, Alan Watts, and Mark Adams. I struggled through Kerouac’s On the Road, but I greatly enjoy reading his poetry.
And of course, there are others. And I’ll keep buying books, reading what I can, and scribbling along on here and in my notebooks as I do. Will this writing matter in 100 years? Honestly, no. But someone’s writing will, and that means something.
I feel strongly about many things in the political arena, while at the same time I won’t espouse my opinions because, well, they are just my opinions. While opinions are valid, when considering the fate of more than just myself, it’s important to base decisions (and talking points) with a focus on facts over beliefs.
That said, I want to take this year and post at least once a week on the nature of politics. On two-party systems, and fair wages. On immigration, Amendment 2, and all the amendments. On Constitutional rights, the judicial system and criminal justice, and on politicians.
I’ve no idea what this will look like, but I know that I want to say some things that maybe I wouldn’t otherwise. And, it seems to make the most sense that I’d write it out here.
As always, it’s work in progress. It’s part of an overhaul I’ve been planning for months, and it’s only one facet. Because we are, at our cores, experimental creatures.