2.21.2015

The Bullshit Premise

A friend introduced me to a blog that is primarily the author writing about writing (in fact I'm pretty sure that's what it's called). You can find the blog on Writing about Writing by clicking that link. Tell Chris I sent you. He has no earthly idea who the fuck I am, but I think it'd be fun to shoot the shit with him.

So...he had a post on there regarding talent. What? You want the link to that too? Do some legwork.
His approach to the talent question is really thought out, and if I may paraphrase...'who gives a shit about if you have talent or not? Just do the thing you're passionate about.'

That is an incredible oversimplification. You really should read the post.

But there comes a point where Chris asks the question that invariably gets asked. More as a gut-check I think.  And he puts it like this:

"If you knew today that you would never be published, never make money, never get a book deal, never have a fan.....If you knew that for sure, would that stop you from the simple love for the act of writing itself?"


And there you have the bullshit premise. I used to look at that question in its myriad form and answer, "yes...yes. A thousand times yes!!'

And I would. I would write. I could no sooner stop writing than I could stop breathing. Some might look at that and say 'Bullshit, Todd.'

To which I say, fuck you. Because I'm doing it now. I mean. Yes. Posting something on a blog could be interpreted as being published. And yes. I suppose I have fans of my work. My work primarily being what I 'publish' on my blog.  But I'm not making money on it. I don't have a book deal.

So. Yes. I would write anyway.  I think we covered that.

I don't know where I was going with that. Other than to maybe say...find your passion. And then live the hell out of it.  Talent or not. Fame or not. Do it because it's what the fuck you have to do to know that you truly lived your life's purpose.

Have a kick ass Saturday evening my friends. If you're in an area under Mother Nature's Siege, be safe.

-A.T.

2.18.2015

Fine Not Fine

Some of you have noticed (and mentioned to me) that I haven't been writing as much these days.

And it's true. I haven't. People ask if everything is ok. And I reply that it's fine. Because that's the answer most people want to hear. In our culture of news feeds, it's easy to find the shit that makes us smile and scroll past the stuff that might not be as cool as flying kittens shooing lazer beams.

I get that.

And to be completely honest...even though things don't feel completely fine, I don't really go in to it too much because it leads to the 'what's wrong?' question. And that's just it. There's not something that is wrong per se. It's just not quite right, if that makes any sense. I'm getting wrapped back up in the trappings of the world and it's harshing my zen.

Or something like that.

And I'm not going to lie...part of it is my daughter's breakup with her boyfriend. I'm not going to get in to the gory gory here because that's her busines and her story to tell. But working through the process with her kinda shone the light in the deep crevaces of my soul. I realized that my advice for helping her get through this really wasn't as relevant as it should have been. I mean the guy who went through two divorces of marriages totalling a combined nearly 20 years should be able to help his daughter navigate the breakup waters of a 2 year relationship, right? Apparently not.

I realized that the love you have for someone at 20 is much MUCH different than the love you have for someone at 40. Which of course calls in to question the kinds of love...and how intensely did I really ever feel it? Which going back even further (because once we're tumbling down the rabbit hole, why not go ALL the way the fuck down the rabbit hole??). I have cared for every woman I've been in a relationship with. I have loved them all. In a fashion. A kind of love. Is it the Hollywood bullshit romance novel love? Don't know. Was that love reciprocated? Again...it seemed like it was. People say love is hard work. Bullshit. Love is easy. Building a life with someone is hard work. And in this triple lindy down the rabbit hole, it pains me to say that the people in my life that I have had the deepest love for are not the ones with home I vowed to spend the rest of my life. Kind of puts the divorces in to perspective. I cared about my wives. Both of them. I loved them. Part of me loves and cares for them still. But not in the move heaven and earth and I'll mess up anyone that fucks with you kind of way. And that's the problem.

Maybe that's what's "wrong." I don't really have anything in my life that I would fight for. I mean...my daughter. I would move heaven and earth to see her have the best life she can possibly have. But for myself, I'm locked in to the meeting the needs...food..shelter...carnal pleasures...Netflix....delivery pizza.... you know--everything Maslow talked about in his pyramid.

It's just a funk. I know that. Things are clouded right now by the neck pain. I run at between a 3 and 4 on a scale to 10 of pain on an everpresent basis. Its the point where that's almost the new baseline. The problem is...the things that used to bring me joy and happiness now have to be amped up to get through that baseline. It's a constant fog that surrounds me. Keeps me from seeing the obvious things around me.

 

I feel adriift. And it's not really any one thing. Awww fuck it. I'll figure it out. Lunch is over and I need to get back to my day. I feel a little bad that I dumped this crap on you guys.. I don't call...I don't write..and when I do, it's this melancholy malaise sandwhich. Ain't nobody got time for that bullshit.

 

Back to the book(s).

-A.T.

2.10.2015

Still Writing

Holy shit. Has it really been almost a month since I've written a blog post?

Did I really just start a post with the phrase 'Holy shit'?

Is anyone surprised?

No? Good. Because if I had to venture to guess, I'm sure I've done it before. In what is quite likely to be the only time I'll ever paraphrase Kanye West..."I'm too busy writing my blogs to read them."

OK. In all fairness he said that about 'history.' And also in fairness, he's an asshat.

A friend asked me today if I was still writing.  And my immediate reply was 'of course.' At least that was my mental reply. I didn't actually write that as my reply.

But...I was taken aback a bit as I struggled to think of the last time I wrote. Always when I try to figure out when the last time I wrote something, the word 'meaningful' always seems to creep on the end of that.  When was the last time I wrote something meaningful? And between you and me...I've learned that writing something meaningful isn't the point.

Writing is.

But Todd, don't you want to have your works be considered meaningful?

Yes. And No. I'm not writing to give meaning to someone else's life. I'm writing because that's what gives meaning to my life. It's the one time when things actually click.

Ok...there is another time when things actually click and the universe opens up and reveals itself, but as this is something of a family blog (you hush)...I'll leave that sordid tale for another time.

But seriously...I'm always writing.  I look at the dates on this blog, and it makes me a bit sad. For one thing, I have penned WAY more posts in the last 30 days than ever made it to the blog. I mean, to be fair, I haven't actually typed them all. But I have written them.  I usually write a post in my head on the way to work. If the day goes well, I will have time at lunch to actually commit the words from my brainbucket to the keyboard and therefore to the ether.

Lately things haven't been working quite like that. But that's OK. I'm still writing. At least I'm telling stories, in my head.  The trick is to get them to paper.

Speaking of getting the thoughts down on paper, I did actually do some writing last weekend at Carter Caves.

It wasn't what I expected. I figured I'd get more work done on my great American novel (if there is such a thing anymore).

But no.

I wrote a children's book. About the Saddest Shower Ever. I have some ideas for the illustrations, too. So...I either need to find someone to illustrate it, or spend some time doing that. Given my current skill level, it probably would look like the drawings of a child. So that might be a bonus.

There are about four or five other posts floating around in my head at the moment. And I'm hoping to actually make the time to get them out of my head (I have to make way for new random thoughts to buzz about in there you see).  

I also need to get back to work on that great American novel that sits partially finished in some folder on this laptop.  

I'm almost there. I'm almost to the point where there's enough shit purged in my apartment (life?) that I can get back to focusing on the things that make me whole (like writing...making music...), It's been a slow process (going on two years now), but this place is almost the place I know it can be.

I'm really to the point now where a lot of shit is about to get tossed out to the dumpster. I'm sick of making up rationalizations for why I'm still hanging on to them.

Soon.

And when it happens there will be pictures.

Won't that be fun?

Alright. I'm going to close this particular post now before it gets to the point where I feel like I'm forcing things.

Have a kick ass Tuesday my friends!

-A.T.

In The Bag

There are a few common threads throughout this blog if you read it long enough. One of these threads has to do with my obsession...er...ques...