It’s Still Snowing : A New Year and a New Poem

It’s still snowing
for God’s sake when will it stop?
I wished for snow in August and now it’s here
I need to stop wishing for shit.
What a trap!
Perhaps if it wasn’t so gray and dim and gloomy–
but on the other hand, what a great excuse
for laziness and depression!
Yesterday’s ebullient mood is just a memory blur.

Massive doses of vitamin D and still
it snows and I feel damned useless
though God knows what I’d be like
if I didn’t take it.
So I take it, even after an article
that says most doctors claim
vitamins and supplements
are completely useless and don’t do anything.
Whatever.
I feel very powerful when I am taking my vitamin
supplements even when I gag on
a Centrum Silver pill the size of
Rhode Island.
Some herbs (Chinese ones especially–I learned the hard way)
actually do harm.
I keep taking vitamins anyway.
I’ve been doing this for 30 years or more–
why stop?
SO
“let the snow stop but the vitamins continue”
is my new mantra.

However,
looking out the window of Unchartered Books
it is Saturday and I am amidst the group of writers
I meet with on Saturdays I wonder,
WHY CAN’T I BE HAPPY?
Maybe I am just the gloom and doom type.
Someone on Facebook asked for a word to describe
the bulk of our writing and I posted
“Death.”
That pretty much says it all.

Every day feels like it’s OK but it could also be my last
and at least twice or thrice (I always wanted to use Thrice somewhere) an hour
I think about Death.
My death, mostly, although occasionally the death of others, past, present, future.
You never know. You gotta be prepared.
I rehearse my own death in a thousand different variable ways–
I create scenarios about the many kinds of ways I could die,
though I tend to repeat some over and over and over–
I imagine the many kinds of funerals including cremation and
having the kids throw my ashes over the rim of the Grand Canyon.
Sometimes in my scenes the kids are sad and solicitous as I lay dying
(Faulkner! Faulkner!)
but other scenes they hate me, they ignore me or they spew nasty, ugly
diatribes at me, around me, to me, about me.

Speaking of death but not apropos of it, I recently thought about how
incestuously connected everyone was when I was
growing up.
Like:
Milton Grossman was married to Gloria and they had Jeff (and Jeff’s sister
whose name I forget), and I had a crush on Jeff in Sunday school for ten years–
he was a gorgeous blond but so incredibly dumb! It was unbelievable how dumb he was
even though Gloria was an intellectual with amazing cheekbones and such a smile and Milton
was a professor at Michigan State.
Jeff didn’t like me anyway.
SO….
Milton’s sister was Rosalind who became my stepmother six months
before my mother Blanche died in 1981–Rosalind and Herman, her then-dead husband,
had been friends of my parents since their Muskegon days
way back in the 30’s when they all got married and embarked on the American dream–
wedding bells to the belly of the beast.
But that was much later.
My parents were, of course, dear friends of Milton and Gloria too–
they were all friends and connected and part of the same
small group of Jewish people in Lower Michigan.
I guess there weren’t that many.

All of these people are dead now.

And my father married the widow of the couple that were
supposedly their dear best friends
and Rosalind became the 2nd Mrs. Fine which was completely weird
when I went to Walnut Hills Country Club and saw two lockers with
Mrs. Fine on them in the women’s locker room.
Six months later my mother died.
She didn’t want to share being Mrs. Fine.
She didn’t have to and Rosalind hadn’t earned it anyway.

Then two years later, when the pre-nup wore off
Ros took half a mill and bought a condo
in Tucson and left him. Many years after that
I went to live in Tucson, long after my father had died,
and actually hung out with Ros but she proved to be
quite difficult and I went on to graduate school
in N. Virginia and she went to a nursing home in the east
near her eldest son Michael.

My dad was alone for eight years after Ros left. Those
last eight years were intense and they pretty much
sucked for him
but he was a brave and deeply positive man with a ton
of repressed rage so somehow he got through it with the
help of me, his three grandchildren and
Xanax, Wellbutrin and twelve other pharmaceuticals.
I once made a list of the drugs he took
but I can’t remember all of them. I kept track for him
and every time we went to the hospital
emergency (more and more often those last years),
I had the list of medications in my purse.

Now I am moving toward the age my father was when all this shit started.

And it’s still snowing.

Christmas 2013: Random Thoughts


Christmas 2

Random Thought #1: It’s Hard to Be an Artist

It is really hard to be an artist. No matter what age you are or what stage of life you are in, you are probably existing in a social milieu as a kind of foundling, a misfit in many cases; fragile in your monetary connections. You are much like a miscreant unwanted child, no matter how old you are, wandering the desert of social approbation looking for a home for you and your work. Hands out, pleading for help, for attention, for money, you may spend a lifetime working at incredibly demeaning jobs that pay nothing and demand everything, jobs which strip your energy, your time and your self-esteem, where you are often subjected to humiliation and contempt on multiple levels and platforms, where, at the end of the day, your paycheck is never enough to feed yourself and others if you are supporting children and/or a family and certainly not enough to even feed yourself.

We hear constant cries about how our children don’t value Math and Science and how we must encourage our children, especially our girls, to embrace Science and Math and go into the professions that require a solid foundation in these subjects. I support this wholeheartedly and my youngest child is a doctor. I love Science as a lay person, I am fascinated and read and study constantly cosmology, relativity, time-space, neuroscience, environmental and climate issues. I watch and read about animals, space, planets, microbes and medicine. It is all part of the stuff of life and it is captivating and spellbinding. But, are we ever hearing a cry out that we need more artists? How refreshing it would be if the headline in the paper would be: “Artists of all Kinds! We Need You! Our schools need to help children develop strong skills in Creative Storytelling, Music and Composing, Dance, Visual Art, Graphic Design and other related Creative Pursuits!” That would be refreshing. Without storytelling where are we? Science is absolutely dependent upon storytelling. The observance of phenomena and the subsequent theories about the patterns and consequences of related actions and interactions of this phenomena are all part of the scientific process. Science tells us stories about the world of phenomena and the Universe we live in. These thought experiments eventually produce medicine and related therapies that have changed our entire civilization for the better. Because Science has a seemingly “practical” application we give it more attention and more approbation, but, then, what is your definition of practical anyway?

Could we put Melville’s Moby Dick up against Salk’s Polio Vaccine? The polio vaccine saved perhaps millions of lives, but who was saved by Moby Dick? Can we even measure the soul’s evolution against the body’s healing? And in the end, who can put a price on Art anyway? We pay for a vaccine and we are cured or prevented from a disease for life. We pay for a book and we are deepened in our understanding and comprehension of life. Which one weighs more on the scale of evolution? Who in our civilization decided that the preservation of the body and mind through medicine and science is more important than the nurturing of the emotions, the edification of the soul and the understanding of the mind and mental states? I feel they are equally important, in fact both are crucially essential to achieve a fully rich and holistic life. Leaving one part of the equation out while beefing up the other is lopsided, unbalanced and will eventually cause the entire system to collapse, which is just about what we are witnessing today at this critical juncture in the human species’ development: the collapse of the system from multiple fronts. It’s not just the collapse of the eco-system–the eco-system is an outer manifestation of the inner issues we face as a species. Our internal compass has gone astray and we are now lost in the sea of confusion.

As it is, Art, in all it’s myriad forms, (and these days with digital platforms, ever burgeoning ways to be creative), is considered an adjunct to life. Yet, I am pretty sure, that just as some people have a vocation and talent for Science and go into Medicine as a vocation, a calling, a profession, one becomes an artist because one has to be one, it is not really a choice. Although some of us come to the creative practice later in life, the journey to being a creative artist is one that a soul and body and mind take because there is no other way to express the exuberance of life itself. It comes pouring, gushing, flowing and sprouting out in all kinds of ways. To not honor this urge would be to invite neurosis, psychosis, insanity, suicide, and a host of other unwanted illnesses including physical illness. But on the other hand, to EXPRESS oneself as an artist, to declare oneself, as in my case, a WRITER with a capital “W,” is tantamount to inviting rejection. Unless you are, like the top 10% of wealthy people in this country, the top 10% of lucky writers who are published and fairly successful in getting reviewed and read, you’re likely putting your work out into the ether of the internet hoping someone will stumble upon something you’ve written and be touched enough to respond to your directly. Or that someone will be moved to donate! Or that someone will be moved to publish you!

Hello world! Are you out there?

I’ve been informed that now that I’ve posted all my fiction on line to be read “for free” no publisher will offer me a contract with an advance because I am already “out there” for nothing! If that is true, so be it. No one was reading my work before I created this site and no one was offering to publish me for pay either. I get lot’s of offers to publish if I PAY but that’s not an option for me both financially and psychologically. I would rather give the work away to the public than pay someone to create a hard-cover book that everyone will know as soon as they look at is that it is self-published. Without the backing of a reputable publisher to provide you with an editor to gloss your work, a machine to promote and sell your work, an advance to keep body and soul together while you work on your next work, connections to get your work reviewed, and marketing to get you and your work out there on book tour and interviews, you haven’t much of a prayer that a large enough audience to make a difference will notice you.  I’d rather just utilize this site to keep my work available. A friend recently sneeringly informed me that the days of “build it and they will come” are over, one must get aggressive about self-promotion and self-marketing and make a full time job of scouring the internet and marketing one’s site and blog to get attention. In some ways I do agree with him, it’s essential; but I just haven’t got much of a clue how to do this. In addition, I believe in Karma anyway. If I am meant to attract attention to this site and my work, it will happen.

This site stands as MY MESSAGE IN A BOTTLE. Those messages do get through–but sometimes it takes years, and it might even take a lifetime! What matter? What have I got to lose?

Random Thought #2: Being Alone on Christmas Eve

I wandered out into an extremely cold day on Christmas Eve 2013. Here in my city of Chicago is it 7 degrees and with the wind chill probably 7 degrees below zero. I put on a sweater and one of my jackets, scarf, mittens, hat and sorrel boots and walked out to the local cafe, New Wave Cafe, where I go (usually daily) for coffee, humus plate and email browsing on my iPad.

I love my iPad, it was a gift from my son-in-law who got a new iPad mini. Yes, I love it, but I also find it annoying. I have the original iPad 1 version and (I say this from total love of Apple Products) because of Apple’s built-in obsolescence design/marketing approach, everything you buy from them is like buying a new car, it depreciates as soon as you drive it off the lot. The same with an apple product. The design and capabilities start to disintegrate practically immediately and you are stuck with an iPad, iPod, iPhone and/or iMac (or whatever) that has already been improved upon with several successive newer versions and your version is not upgradable because apple wants it that way. They want to force you into upgrading into a newer product at least once and preferably twice a year. These days most people can’t afford that, so we are walking around with older versions of apple products that just don’t work very well but they beat having no product at all. That’s where I am with my iPhone (I have the dreaded 4.0 version with no room for storage and no room for upgrades) and the iPad 1. Woe is me. The iPad continually shuts down no matter what program I am using. It moves at a snail’s pace and some programs just don’t work at all. I need an external keypad (on my New Year’s list of gifts to myself) so I can test drive it for an alternative writing device, but right now my best use of the iPad is to watch HBOGO, NETFLIX and HULUPLUS in bed because I’m too lazy to fire up the iMac and lie sideways on my bed to watch the movie. The iPad gives me mobility so I can get out of the studio and do email and Facebook and cruise the net for research on articles or current writing projects, it is fun to watch video clips on You Tube and various other tidbits, it is OK for reading books on my Kindle program and fine for reading the New York Times, National Geographic, Vanity Fair and other papers and magazines I’ve subscribed to, but a laptop it is not. However, I am going to continue to pretend it is a laptop and hope for the best. I am sometimes good at denial, even though it’s a river in Egypt.

So there I am at New Wave cafe at 10 a.m. in the morning on Christmas Eve and there are five of us there who haven’t “gone home” for the holidays, (most of the clientele are youngish–20-30-something) or gone over to spend the day/night with friends and family locally. I am home. I am local. The music coming out of the speakers is Tom Waits at his best: weeping, wailing and nashing his teeth over some decidedly glum chord progressions and the semblance of a mournful dirge that slightly resembles a tune. I am my own friends and family it appears. My two younger children are in NYC, probably more than happy and relieved that Mom isn’t around to annoy them with obligatory visitation. My oldest told me she was tired, reminded me of the last job I got fired from (one of the total humiliating defeats of early 2013), and said the best favor I could do her was to leave her alone all day to rest and recuperate and await the arrival of her husband, my son-in-law, from his family visit in Nashville later this evening. So I’ve come to the conclusion that the best gift I can give my loved ones is to leave them alone!

Merry Christmas.

Random Thought #3:

I’ve spent the better part of 20 years studying and practicing Buddhism. I spent 20 years before that studying and practicing Christian mysticism and Astrology. I spent the period before that being raised as a Jew. I guess I can call myself a Jewish Buddhist Christian Astrologer. I’ve taken something (quite a bit actually) from each of these incredible religions and studies (although Astrology is not a religion and Buddhism claims to be the Science of Mind, according to the Dalai Lama), and I am a complete amalgamation of all of it. Call me the Spiritual Soup Kitchen, I don’t care.
The question I ask myself today is: IF I KNOW BETTER WHY CAN’T I DO BETTER? As I listen to myself kvetching in this blog, I really do wonder why I can’t get to gratitude from complaint. It just seems to all hinge on the difference between what I expect or want to happen and what actually IS happening in my life. One thing that is NOT happening is the ability to generate money, any money, and certainly enough to support myself and to do some things I would love to do such as: 1) have a car 2) move to a 1 bedroom apartment rather than 2 rooms 3) pay my daughter back for her financial help 4) travel 5)visit my other two kids in NYC. That’s the wish list for now. However there is an absolute necessity for me to force myself into making a gratitude list. After all, it is Christmas. Yet, I feel like George Bailey in It’s a Wonderful Life, a movie I never tire of watching every year at Christmas because it has such a timeless gift of storytelling, performance and magic, (please refer to #1 Random Thought about Art). George didn’t appreciate his life either and was about to end it all when the Angel Clarence appears out of nowhere to save him. I believe in angels. I know they exist. I’ve had two incredible 3-dimensional visitations from Angelic Presence in my lifetime. No one will believe me so I won’t tell those stories now. Maybe later. Anyway, I know angels exist. And we all have our own following us around, including the Recording Angel who records everything we say or think or do–which scares the shit out of me, but whatever. The point is we really are accountable for every moment of our lives, including the subliminal thoughts we think no one hears. However these angels only want the very best for us and their love is total and unconditional. By way of saying thanks to them and to the Gods at Large I am making a Gratitude List for this Christmas Eve 2013.

GRATITUDE LIST CHRISTMAS EVE 2013

1. I am grateful for my life and my strong healthy body and mind

2. I am grateful for my 3 children who are all alive, well and happy or reasonably so in their lives. Of course they are human and they struggle and my son is an artist so I know his struggles, but they are alive and well! Even if I cannot see them or have no invitation to do so, I am relatively secure in the knowledge that I gave them plenty of love and confidence and a good start in life to provide them with the confidence and well-being to weather the storms of life. I am especially grateful for my daughter Bathsheba and her generosity and support over a period of years that must be a trial and tribulation for her. I am also so proud of her business, Sparrowhair and the wonderful contribution she makes to our neighborhood and to the world at large.  I am also grateful for my son Ben and his acerbic wit and honesty as well as his enormous dedication to his craft and art of acting and his general creativity and talent. His latest project, the film Detonator, (http://www.detonatormovie.com/#!trailer)  shows what a terrific actor he is and watching the movie made me very proud.  I am grateful for my youngest daughter and her successful transition from medical school into being a Doctor, a neurologist, a neuro-engineer and making the world a better place with the care and expertise she provides her patients at Columbia Presbyterian Hospital in NYC.

3. I am grateful for my talents as an artist–the writing and music especially, but also the ability to think creatively and out of the box. Thank you for giving me a good mind, a philosophical bent, a critical faculty, a dreamy storytelling ability and the ability to play the piano! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!

4. I am grateful for my 2 warm rooms filled with my books and all the wonderful hi-tech equipment I received from my daughter Bathsheba! (who I have thanked above) I love my little artists’ den and although I kvetch I would like more room I am GRATEFUL for the rooms I have. There are homeless people out there. I have food. I have a ton of clothes (I’m a clothes and shoe fanatic) and plenty of books, movie channels, magazines, candles, perfume, writing facilities, a warm comfy bed–what more could a person want? I am grateful! The only reason I have all this is because of Bathsheba. Thank you Bathsheba.

5. I am grateful for my deceased parents Francis and Blanche who gave me total permission and encouragement to be an artist and all the tools and lessons to perfect my various crafts to do so. They never put me down or said to get a day job or told me an artist can’t make a living, even though, as it turns out, this artist has never made a living. Perhaps it might have been more practical if my father had chosen not to support me financially but instead trained me for a day job, but I did (and do) have significant learning disabilities and perhaps he knew or sensed this ( I wasn’t diagnosed until age 52) but for whatever reasons he supported me and my three children and enabled us to have decent housing in a good neighborhood with acceptable schools. Perhaps this made me weak in the financial sector and codependent but it also enabled me to be home and raise my children, whose fathers essentially abandoned them, keep on producing more and more art as a writer and as a musician (and in performance in past years). I feel the creative process has kept me alive–it’s a Godsend really. I am an outsider and quite detached from the social milieu around me, I don’t fit in and as a misfit I would’ve been extremely lonely and perhaps even suicidal if I did not have the ability to access my creative process, my sub-conscious and subliminal thoughts and cruise the collective unconscious thought planes! This creativity has been my source of learning, not just about myself but also people, places and the entire world and universe around me. Writing has opened doors for thinking, research and through character development in my work, understanding of the life process. It is how I learn and grow and become a better person. Thank you Mom and Dad–your encouragement is the reason I am still writing and producing work today at age nearly 65, even after a lifetime of rejection.

6. I am grateful for the life and difficult times we live in. It is forcing people to reckon with true values vs materialistic, selfish behavior. We are in the age of exposure and the things being exposed are the underbelly, the truth, the real deal. The fact that we have a social movement that seeks to uncover the hypocrisy of the rich and powerful is a good sign. The fact that climate change is disrupting our dream of the beautiful earth is forcing us into gratitude and appreciation for the very beauty we are now losing. That is better than nothing, I suppose. We are starting to understand here in America that the Indigenous population we tried to eradicate and dispose of when the settlers came to this gorgeous land could have saved us from the very environmental nightmares we are experiencing now. I guess I have to admit I am grateful for the global nightmares because that may be the only way the human species learns. As Buddha says, “life is suffering” and through our suffering and pain we begin to understand the consequence of group choices. This is the 3-dimensional world of the dialectic. We could not know joy and bliss without pain and suffering. Indeed, the pain is the gateway to Nirvana.

And with that I wish all those who have patiently read to the end of this piece:

MERRY CHRISTMAS

PEACE ON EARTH

Chirstmas 1

Timing

Time3

Had some thoughts about timing. I’ve been an astrologer for 40+ years so I ought to know about how life moves in cycles and cycles within cycles. People would be so much more equanimous if they understood the movement of both personal and transpersonal planets because they would see that you cannot push the river, no matter how hard you try. Still, it seems to be in our nature as humans to try to twist a rope of sand or make water run uphill (which we’ve done many times, especially with all the river damming in the west). We have a hard time waiting on universal time, which is impersonal anyway–it’s the flow of energy and events. It isn’t coming and going at our command, it’s just ebbing and flowing–the diastolic, systolic rhythm and nature of life. However, we all take it personally. It isn’t personal.

So, here am I, an astrologer, and even though I am fully aware of the movement of the seasons of life, I can get angry, frustrated and upset because the season for things I desire is just not coming around when I want it to, or it has passed or it isn’t supposed to come around at all! One profound thing I’ve learned from looking at thousands upon thousands of charts is that we do not all have every door of life’s opportunities open to us. Some doors are closed. This is Karma. You just cannot have everything you want the way you want it. And reality is such that if you do get something you think you want, it never works out quite the way you thought anyway. I have to keep reminding myself: this is 3-dimensional reality and our consciousness is so much bigger than the small container we are endeavoring to fit it into. No wonder there are bound to be glitches, frustrations and hilarious mishaps.

In regards to timing–I came to Chicago in 2008, pretty much against my so-called “will..” I say I “landed” in Chicago and it has taken me YEARS to adjust, accept and flow with this experience. Since 2008 I have tried to get a website up much like this one one, with absolutely zero success. Although I think of myself as computer literate, I wouldn’t say savvy at all things. Design is something I’m not too great at, but once I learn something I can navigate within it and create something personal and interesting. I did this in Montana from 1998-2000 where, with the help of a neighbor and friend, I designed and put up a web magazine I called Grizzly50.com. (That’s because I turned 50 in Whitefish, Montana, which at the time I thought was a big milestone). This magazine was out there long before web logs (blogs) and on-line content in magazine form was so prevalent and popular. I was ahead of the curve. I published weekly and had new articles daily. Advertisers from local businesses in Whitefish paid for ads. My “constituents” consisted mainly of locals, but there are a lot of writers in Montana so I think I reached quite a few of them. I designed the magazine to be very visual with plenty of pictures and photographs, but I also had a lot of content that went into weekly featured articles as well as on-going sections that I continually updated. It was a beautiful piece of work, but when I left Montana for Arizona, I left the magazine and went on with other things, like my education.

The first attempt I made to set up a site much like this was with a young man I met in 2008 who was arrogant, self-righteous and full of crap. He had a ton of money from his parents and grandparents and spent a lot of time traveling in S. America. He was openly rude to me on numerous occasions. The only reason I put up with it was because I hoped that it would result in a blog much like this one–a storage and display place for all my work and an opportunity to communicate with the public. After many sessions (six, I think) and paying him and paying for a domain site, nothing materialized! The design he “gave me” was unworkable for me and he refused to meet and discuss it after the design was so-called “up.” It was some program which needed someone who knew HTML and was totally not user-friendly. I scrapped it and him. He took off for Columbia and I haven’t heard from his since.

I gave up for a while, although I looked around for programs that would be easy to set-up and use. I found WordPress but still felt I needed some guidance, however I knew no one who would be willing to sit for an hour or so with me and help me with set up. The dearth of collaborative creative options for me here in Chicago is one of the main reasons I am so down on this place. As cities go it is beautiful and easily navigated without a car (I gave up my car in 2008), but the people–meh! Not to mention they are blatantly and unashamedly AGEIST right to your face! That’s a subject for another blog. The hipster element here is reprehensible. Anyway, a second chance arrived just in the past year with a guy who designs sites for a living. Again I paid some money and he sat with me for two sessions getting my ideas for what had hoped would be THE SITE. No go! After two sessions and way too much money paid out, he disappeared and when I saw him again he was rude as hell. Another one bites the dust. I was almost ready to give up when I met Tom, who’s link is on the blog earlier. Tom works part time at the local deli where I hang out and used to work myself. He’s studying graphic design. He came over and in 2 sessions, an hour-long each, we set up this site, tweaked it a couple of times and got the whole thing live and going! He’s a sweet guy, brilliant and respectful. That was all I asked!

What a difference a day makes.

Or, in this case, almost six years! Yikes. But it was worth it. Since I began this journey I’ve created more work and last summer I spent the entire summer scouring my hard drive to collect all my writing onto a smart drive which I could then upload to this site. This site has three-fold reasons for being. Number one is as a storage place for all my work. Number two is to share with the public or people I meet. The third is to market the work.

I end this blog with the observation that timing was the ultimate lesson here. No matter how hard you try to get something going or create something, the chances of success are nil without the permission of the universe–you gotta do things in time, and if you don’t KNOW the time then you have to respect that the time exists and understand that it isn’t going around on your say so! I get it Universe. You gave me my website when it was supposed to happen.

Thank you.

time travel2

Thoughts in November

I have been thinking and feeling about the accomplishment that this blog/website represents. I have concluded that I need to congratulate myself on this accomplishment without needing others to do so for me. This is primarily a display of my life’s work. It includes much finished work and work in progress. It is a large collection of writing, music and videos. My writing spans six genres, just as soon as I start uploading my non-fiction work. I have much more poetry to upload. I am proud of the work I’ve done and the fact that in the face of extreme financial and circumstantial hardship I have kept writing, kept my hat in the ring, so to speak. People used to refer to George W. as “all hat and no cattle..” and I would have to say that in my case I am hat and cattle combined! Here you have the HAT AND THE CATTLE of my entire life.

The only thing that really means more to me are my three children. They’ve given me much more than any creative project has done, they have been the reason I continue to work at all. Even though they are adults now I think of them continuously and daily. I admit I was not the greatest mom and I will win no awards. I struggled with being a single parent, we were poor and I was in denial about that–I kept trying to live a middle class life on poverty wages. I hid from myself my own sense of shame and inferiority and blew it out with a lot of false bravado. I tried to create a world of creativity and fun when we never had enough to eat. It was a disconnect that I am only beginning to realize. Be that as it may, I am holding the candle of light for my three beautiful lights. So yes, nothing will ever take the place of your kids–they are everything. But my grandchildren might be said to be my stories. Some of them decidedly dark and strange, perhaps bitter and angry, but nevertheless true expression of who I am as a writer, as a musician, as a kind of curmudgeon slash pundit in the modern world of the 21st Century. This century where many changes occur, both subtle and overwhelming.

Enjoy the Day

I highly recommend this blog. I’ve found it informative and thoughtful and very encouraging in my own meditation and spiritual practice.

http://deconstructingyourself.com/meditation-%E2%80%94-why-deconstruction.html

In addition I want to write a bit about my experiences since I constructed and posted this website/blog a few days ago. Of course anticipation is three quarters of gratification and in this case maybe more! I was hoping, (in my private fantasy- blog- world) that the construction of a site that holds most of my writing for the past 18-20 years would be met with excitement and attention! Of course this is totally unrealistic and I, of all people, know exactly how much content there is out here in the Wild West Internet! I posted a warning about stealing my work and upon re-reading this felt it to be quite severe in tone, but then I have to cut myself slack. I have been stolen from before and in a very public way! It was a terrible experience and it is on shaky ground that I post the fruits of my lifetime’s creative journey on line. It demands some element of universal trust, but it also presupposes a kind of human trust as well, and we know these days that is in short supply.

Be that as it may, my need to both collect all my work into one space and to share my work with others trumps my fear of being plagiarized, although the latter fear is still there. That said, I sent selected friends a link to the blog, perhaps 30 or so people I know and are on Facebook, and received only one reply. This was quite discouraging. I also posted my link on my Facebook page with very little response one way or the other. I also know that posting unfinished work, (novels, plays, TV pilot etc) was probably not my best shot, but I also feel that if a potential editor or publisher tunes into the site he/she may find a novel or play or TV pilot in progress interesting and decide to discuss possibilities.

So, if I am totally honest with myself I have to admit that my main desire is for this site to be a marketing tool for my work and, as such, attract a potential buyer for my so-called wares. I am not interested in self publishing or going the route of Amazon or other self marketing sites. I need the collaboration and gloss of a professional editor who loves and believes in my work; I need an advance from a Publishing House to pay my bills, to support some aspect of my extremely reduced lifestyle and maybe pay back my $130,000 in student loans? At the very LEAST, I need a Publishing House with a reputation, a respected list of writers and the capability of paying for my book tour and marketing.  Please don’t jump in and tell me everyone wants this and it is well nigh impossible; I already know this. I still want it. I think my body of work warrants it and I am holding out until I get it. This may mean I don’t get published at all during my lifetime. After all, I am already 65–the odds are against me, right? But I believe in holding fast to some dreams, not all, not even many, but one or two that you feel are really an important part of who you are, and being a writer is an essential component of my core identity. I have been doing this since age eight and will probably continue until I am unable to do so, for whatever reasons.

I was told in graduate school that I had a “singular voice” and many professors felt it best not to tamper with it. I never heard anyone say it quite as directly to me as this, but now I understand this is true. Those of us with singular voices and a willingness to go into scary and dangerous places with our work may find ourselves left out in the cold for a while, but I believe in time, good work will surface somehow. I am hopeful that my work is good and that it pleases or at least challenges or interests those who venture into this space.  I do know that I am a person who is relentless and unflinching when dealing with getting underneath the veneer of social niceties and really going into those dark and dirty spaces of human interaction.

I am not a pessimist, in fact quite the opposite. I believe in evolvement and I am sure that if we can continue to survive as a species after this difficult earth-wide transition we are going through, our species will enjoy a golden age of amazing consciousness, awareness and healing, corny as that sounds. Now, contrast that deep feeling I have with my work! It is truly a dichotomy for which I have no explanation. My work makes people cringe, I’ve been told,many stories create some discomfort. All well and good. I give myself permission to go into the writing process with full trust in the ability to put my conscious mind to the side (during a first draft) and allow the energy to flow through. The result is often unpacking all manner of possible scenarios that I would never entertain in my own daily life!

I am loving the journey and I hope you do too.

WARNING

It goes without saying that this site is filled with all manner of original content, all created by me over a 18-20 year period. It is ALL copyrighted and dated. DO NOT STEAL MY WORK. I will prosecute anyone who tries to publish my work under another name, or if I see any portion of this work from something as small as a sentence to as large as a paragraph or entire manuscript published on-line or anywhere else. It takes tremendous courage, discipline and dedication to create this much work without the approbation of the world or the renumeration of a publishing house. If nothing else, read and enjoy, and further respect my integrity as I trust and respect yours.