A New Year's post-mortem
Image from the cover of Self-Loathing Comics #1, by R. Crumb. Published by Fantagraphics Books. Click image for full cover.
It's a sobering fact that Neil Young manages to make records faster than I can absorb them, and that Kristine Kathryn Rusch writes books faster than I can fucking read them.
As John Lennon put it, "And so happy Christmas, and what have you done? Another year over ..."
Am I going to manage to do something with the new year just begun?
Let's take a look at the projects I've undone ...
- The ghost-writing project: closer now to 10 years in the fucking making than five. That my client is still telling me to "Take your time" isn't helpful, but, y'know, it's still my fault.
- My erstwhile publishing company, is still a House with but a single title in print and a pretty moribund website.
Yes, we have one novel in the pipeline, with (the author promises) more ever-so close to ready for prime time, but pretty close to fuck-all has happened since 2014. And it's (mostly) my fault.
- Reviews. Nalo Hopkinson interceded with her agent to get me a comp of Sister Mine years ago. I've read the novel twice, taken copious notes, and drafted the review — probably twice. But finished the review? Er, not as such. Same with Peter Watts' most recent novel, Samuel R. Delany's brilliant Through the Valley of the Nest of Spiders and several others.
- I've also left unfinished reviews of Neil Young's memoirs — now two volumes of 'em! — and Patti Smith's beautiful book about her relationship with the photographer Robert Maplethorpe.
- And on and on ... Where's my thoughts on the redoubtable Eddie Campbell's most recent graphic novels, or that critical appreciation of (a small sub-section of) Kristine Kathryn Rusch's oeuvre?
- And speaking of Neil Young, I've wanted to say something about his most recent record. Only before I got that done, it was his two most recent records. Then three. And suddenly he's put out four god damned albums and what have I done?
- And speaking of music, I went to see a concert by Canada's own Grimes last December — no, not December 2016, December 2015! And, once again, I managed to draft a write-up of that good-but-flawed show, and — again once again — I managed to not finish it to my satisfaction. And so it languishes on a stick, waiting for le môt juste. Never mind the major series of critical appreciations I've been planning on each song of Emmy the Great's first two (now three!) full-length albums.
- In fact, this journal post threatens to become one of my never-finished projects. Not what I intended when I started it a couple of nights ago now. Seeing as how it's 04:36 on a Wednesday morning as I type this paragraph, I think ...
... I think that's enough — though I could go on. And on. And on.
Somehow, I need to (somehow!) make the time to get done that which I want to get done.
Yes, I'm pretty happy with my quotidien life. I am approaching the 7th anniversary of the night I told Raven I was sweet on her. I don't hate my job (though the hours sometimes get to me, the pay is lousy and it offers neither security nor benefits).
And arthritis aside, I am in better physical shape now than I was a decade ago. I'm still playing soccer and I recorded more than 1,500 kilometres(!) on my bicycle between August 23 and the end of the year. (I missed a few rides, too!)
In truth, I am, on the whole, actually pretty happy.
So it's not all bad, not by a long shot. But I'm not satisfied with where I'm at, either ...
Dare I hope this rant/whine will serve as some sort of spark to get my creative juices uncoagulated again?
For this morning, at least, I dare.
"You say you love me like a sister
Then you walk me to the cafe
where the drinks cost more than music ..."
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