It is still Xmas Eve, technically. I have had a fine dinner, and have been listening to a couple of Windham Hill recordings that fit the year, to some extent. One is a volume of Christmas-type music, a compilation. Mostly stuff people wouldn't know or get, and the CD is over 20 years old. Still a very brilliant collection. The other is Will Ackerman's Imaginary Roads, from about the same period.
I also watched Episode 5 of Ken Burns' "Jazz." Got the set a while ago, and have been watching it from time to time. Amazing stuff.
As I've said this is my time to reflect, and I can look back at this year and say that I've accomplished a lot. I'm back in the radio business, when I honestly thought after being let go from XM, that I was done. I had nothing more to accomplish; the goals had been reached, and it was time, as my good friend Beverly Burke noted to others, "to remake ourselves."
I had been doing that beforehand, with my writing and my music. Ahltyrra has been on the shelf since summer; we may well return to action in some form next year, with a slightly different lineup. That is for later.
I look at the potential that Traffic Talk has, and we will begin working on it in the New Year. It's all good, though work, such as it is, has not produced much money.
I don't worry about that.
But my writing...the application I put on Facebook today was the one that shows our status for the whole year. Mine is 73 pages (or photos) long; a lot of mundane scribblings of where I've been and what I'm doing.
In that, however I was able to track my progress as a writer, both in form and in content.
In 2010, I have written five manuscripts. Four are full-length books, the other is about 130 pages. I don't yet know if I can flesh that out to a full story.
Five...in one year? Is that possible?
Well, to be sure each one is going to need work, more than the SDS, and I did add the last volume to that one. To have gotten them done, I am a little amazed. I can't say I'm proud, but more satisfied that I worked that hard to get those things finished.
The previous year, I did very well, too. I created a whole fiction trilogy that year, the Other Roads Club, and a 100-page parody, the Illustrious League. What else I did, I can't even remember.
What I did was kept writing, kept working, kept at the craft. It is an art, but for me, I am running from behind and trying to catch up with the creativity, and making damned sure each story can stand on its own, and be entertaining, thoughtful, funny at times, but hopefully stuff to make you think.
My agent I know has worked tirelessly for me, as well as her other clients. She doesn't get paid 'til we do.
I am strongly in the belief that 2011 will be the year. Even if not, I must carry forward.
I have two new story ideas; I also have a certain manuscript from 1996 that I must look at again. I have a lot to consider, and I have a lot of work to do. This along with everything else.
There is an accomplishment in all of this; despite everything that I struggle with, my depression, my health and my liking for a certain thing you light up (it's legal, don't worry), I have done this.
Will anyone ever read these? Beyond those who have so far, and liked or disliked it? Time will tell. I can't dream that it will happen; I prepare myself for it, and I think about what it might be like when that occurs.
It mustn't go to my head; I must not think I'm the dog's bollocks.
To veer off a bit: this will sound strange, unless you know me. I have an old documentary made of the legendary wrestler, Lou Thesz. At the end of it, he says in discussing his life, career and accomplishments, "This is not meant to be an 'I, I' thing..."
Thesz didn't mean to sound arrogant when blowing his own horn, but he went over an amazing life and what he did. His first professional match was when he was 17, I think. His last was when he was in his early 70's. That last one was to wrestle an actual match in his seventh decade of doing so, but he did it.
I don't mean this to be an "I, I" thing, either. I'm not trying to be arrogant or pretentious. I've worked hard, and I can feel satisfied, and yet a little apprehensive. I don't know if I can continue with this output; all I know is, I have to just keep doing my best at it.
All this time, I've continued to edit and re-examine the Sweet Dreams Series, the Other Roads Club, the Outcast Society, and the other, solo stories. I still write songs; not as many, but I do. I keep working, keep moving forward.
I've, as a certain person said given my steps to this road. "Go on without fear, and you will find out." I'm not at all afraid, just worried about what I've started. I hope to finish before my time is up; and I hope to enjoy it just a bit more, too.
A lot of people have asked about how I got my agent, and how I did a lot of this. I just did it. Forget Nike's "Just Do It" campaign. Just Do It, is what you must do, or you get nowhere.
Hope that all makes sense. It doesn't completely, to me. But it is interesting, and always fun in some strange way.