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Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Depression, Mania and the Edge of Madness

Greetings, all...my friend Riz likes to refer to her readers as "blurkers," and I wonder if that's not an apt term. Well, get ready for this one, because we are about to go on a ride.

I am not writing this for you to feel sorry for me, so please don't do that. Also, I am right now back on an even keel, and we'll see just how long that lasts. 

I write this mostly to give you an idea of how I feel at this time, and also how a lot of people (I think) are doing. This is not uncommon, not that extreme, and nothing for you to be terribly worried about. But this shit happens, and with me, it fucking happens.

About ten days ago, I felt it coming...I felt the very slow surge of emotions moving on me, and you know what it is. It's like being around Cape Horn in a tiny boat; you're already battling gigantic waves, and then you see it in your binoculars: that one, monstrous, 100-foot tsunami that is coming right at you. And you can't do a thing about it.

I have reason to feel this way. Yet, should I? 

First, let's take a look at the situation. Oh, and I am about to shamelessly plug again:

Yes, once again, my book "Parasite Girls" is ready for sale, and you can get it here:

https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/377011

Sales are slow...very slow. I should know this, right? It's an e-book, no, there's no book in hand, not right now anyway.

But do you need that? Really?

Look, I'm as much in love of the feeling of a good, old-fashioned BOOK. I love the feel of them. I used to have tons of them, and I still have more than I need. 

That's where part of this issue comes from. I did not expect it to fly through cyberspace, and I did not expect "Parasite Girls" to become a runaway hit...but I would have like more than just a few downloads of the free part that you can read to decide if you want it or not.

Ah, well...such is life. I remind myself, this is only a first step to getting more, and even better stories out there. If this is how it goes, then so fucking be it.

NOW...TELL THE OTHER SIDE OF MY BRAIN THIS!

I am poised on the edge of writing a new story...in fact, I have two or three that I could start any day. But...I have to promote the first one.

My friend Jess has kindly asked me to do a reading of "PG" at her restaurant in downtown York. The Ladybug Cafe (shameless plug for my good friend) is a cool place...great food, nice people, all good...so I will do it on the 11th of December. I am still not sure how I'm going to execute this, but I must engage, read, and talk to the people. Whomever will be there. My erstwhile bassist, Dan Shearer has offered to add guitar to the drama that shall come from this.

Haha...oh, this is hilarious as I write. Now I'm chuckling...everyone's going to think I'm mad...oh, where I am, they already know that.

So yeah, I'm not done...I'm not quitting, and I am forcing my brain to understand that all things take time. You have been patient this long, keep going, do not quit.

Okay...now the next situation:

I am going into my fifth year without full employment. My jobbing about at various places does not exactly translate into good, or even livable income. I'm holding the line just fine, but you know what? Something has to give here.

I have spent two years actively job hunting and searching. Yesterday, in exasperation I turned most of the work over to a service, and hope they can get me some additional looks, hits, and so forth. We shall see.

A few weeks ago, I went to Philly, and appeared at a networking party. It was done at the Wells Fargo Arena; basically, I bought a ticket to the Sixers game, and got stuffed into a tiny room with 75 other job seekers. We were shuffled about to team executives from the Sixers, Phillies, Union, the ECHL and others.

Met some pretty cool people, and very interesting folks. I did better talking with them than getting hold of the executives. The Sixers I don't think were in charge of this; the company that did it does not know how to lay on a networking event, we all agreed. Pretty slip-shod.

I missed the tipoff, and I only watched the first half, because I had to work in HBG that morning...Sixers got their clocks cleaned by the Warriors, who have got some pretty damned good players these days.

No time to really enjoy the experience, though I will go to a game again in future.

So yeah...I also was turned down for numerous jobs, and have been ignored for at least one that I have done before. How it goes...

...so now...let's get to the good part, shall we?

The tsunami hit me over the weekend. Today (Wednesday) is the first day in several that I have not ridden waves of mania and savage depression. This has not been fun, folks. One minute, I feel fine...the next, I'm ready to commit atrocious acts. No, not really, but you feel like you could.

There are ways to counter this, but none of them were working. I hit the pool yesterday, despite having done it the day before and not being in the best of rested condition. But I tore through it, and felt better for doing so. Dragging myself to the gym and forcing myself in there was the only way. 

When I cannot avidly go there, and see that place as Hell, you know there's trouble.

The cold is another matter. The weather overall, really. Overcast, dark, rainy and cold conditions here, no snow, but I'd rather have that. Most days like these don't bother me, but it's taken a toll on me again.

The past two days have been gut-wrenching. My ego has been tamped back down into its little box, as I demand that I stop thinking like a fucking adolescent about why life didn't turn out right. It does no good, so I will not let that to light anymore.

So what happens is, you force everything into a tight space, and it's not big enough to accommodate it. My feelings of inability start to ooze forth, and I wonder what now can I do to correct this? Is it to late?

I try to consider that I've done about all I can right now, and there really isn't much more available to me at this point. So now what do I do?

The key thing is to "DO" something. I am not a slacker; I have been shamed into lack of slackness from years of my upbringing, where on a farm if the work is done, FIND MORE.

And it's true...the work is never done. There is something else to do, just find it. If you can't find it, you are not looking hard enough.

I have this strange collection of little jobs that I should do, and I keep saying I'll do them, and I never do. That is the most galling and awful thing to me...I hate that...I hate being able to do a lot of things, but not the little ones that have to get done, from a practical standpoint.

One of those is sitting in the back seat of my car right now; today, I was to take this set of items to a place and get them seen to...place was closed...owner hadn't shown up yet.

Thank you for your interest...NOT.

Well, there are other strange things...appointments...I have one to make in about 40 minutes from now, but that is easy. Getting my car to a shop for inspection will finally happen next month, but it took days for me to finally just call the place and make an appointment.

I think I fear the lack of my ride. Sitting for hours in that place, with a blaring television of shit network programming, and...PEOPLE.

I'll make sure I have my headset with me, should that arise.

I have to also take initiative on another thing, but I'm uncertain because I don't have much experience in the area. The only person I know and trust with that can't do it.

OK...need to own this motherfucker, and just do it.

I can do many other things, why not this?

Let's now take this up a notch, to a period of the year that everyone can understand, OK?

THE HOLIDAY SEASON.

Do you know how much I CAN'T FUCKING STAND the holidays?

This has NOTHING to do with religion, or Christmas, or any of that. Just so you know. I don't care one damned bit how you celebrate, or how you don't, that's your business. 

In broadcasting there are no days off. I tend to be the one that is on duty, at least part of those days, and that's fine. I don't mind it.

When it comes to Thanksgiving, I now have my own tradition. I like to cook, and I'm not very good at it, but I do like to do that. So I try to build my time around that, if I'm not working. I like football as much as the next guy, but since I don't have cable and I don't drink, I'll be listening on the radio, probably. All good, no worries.

I will NOT BE SHOPPING ON THANKSGIVING. I will also AVOID LIKE THE PLAGUE the so-called Black Friday. 

I understand for some that is a tradition, it's fun, and yes you can get great deals. Cool, go for it. Knock yourselves out.

I just don't need to do it. I fail to understand it, never have.

Actually today is the day to get the one thing I really want, but I tend to vacillate about whether or not the "thing" I want is really something I need.

And do I need one more thing? I've spent the past month or so in another round of removing stuff I don't want or need. Those recycling bins you see all over the place, they know me pretty well. I just hope that stuff really does get recycled, given to others in greater need than I. I hope so. There's my give-back...these things are good, useable, safe...use them.

So yes...my internal whatever has been a fucking mess the past two weeks or so, and I'm sure it's not going to stop. This time of year, and then extending right through Xmas to the end of it, I have no idea how to cope except to move through it. 

Yule will be a good night to be alone, to light up my altar and reflect on where we are now. That is usually what I do this time of year, but I also tend to approach that with some caution and even more dread.

I have to tell myself this: I have accomplished much in these years, and I have more to offer, and to give. I will do it, and I will not quit. My family doesn't quit for nothing, and that's that.

I am riding out a not-so-perfect storm...today I'm good. Tomorrow, who knows?

This is what I deal with on some level, every fucking day of my life. This is not fun. This is also not for you to feel sorry, as I've said. 

If I could push a button and turn this off, I would not do it. My creative abilities would vanish, and I'd be nothing more than a drone in a suit, sitting at a desk somewhere, or walking the aisles of a convenience store in the middle of the night. I would not be me. I would be even less.

Whatever happens, I have to keep pushing, promoting and moving forward. The survival mechanism, I suppose; I do admit to lacking some of the tools I need to really get forward, but I made it this far.

Whatever...time to get going on "things." Fun, fun, fun...

Thursday, November 14, 2013

"Parasite Girls," Release Event, and Getting Pieced Back Together...

Hey all...it's Thursday morning, and I'm slowly buzzing my way in the upward direction. Chick Corea and John McLaughlin's "Five Peace Band" is an appropriately rippling sound to go through my brain right now. Interesting stuff...

So, yes...the book came out on Monday!

https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/377011

You can view it there, and buy it if you choose. Currently, the manuscript is under review, which means until it passes muster, it's only available there. Soon, however, "Parasite Girls" will be available across numerous platforms, including Amazon, Barnes & Noble, KOBO, and also through participating libraries. Very cool.

Well, the selling part is slow. I had to expect that, because when one goes to Smashwords, you see that EVERYONE thinks they're an author.

Now I'm not going to be a critic and shit on people's writing I have not read, if it is not my taste. But I can see why certain rules and regulations are in place for what can be published and what can not.

I'm not offended by it, but...there is an awful lot of alleged erotica for sale, in short story version, and for not much money. I say "alleged," because erotica and pornography to me are two very different things. If erotica is written well, and is experienced or imagined well, it can be very good. 

Then there's the stuff I recall seeing on spinning racks in one of porn shops in Boston's former Combat Zone some 20 years ago. About like that.

I will not name the name of the person who wrote one bit I chose to sample (I don't even remember his/her name), but this lesbian erotica was nothing more than some sexually repressed individual who had no experience, and used adjectives stolen from other such writing. Blech.

I don't have a problem with you projecting your fantasies, because I won't be buying them. But you'd think there'd be a little respect for craft? Oh, that's right, what am I thinking...? My bad.

There was one guy who had a string of short stories, and I get the feeling either he hasn't had sex for a long time, or he's got a misogynist streak in him that only Adam Carolla and similar such losers can top. It's not about objectifying women (or men, for that matter), but an outright resentment, and even hatred for them.

Interesting, no?

So anyway...the great advantage of being able to self-publish means you are creatively free. For the most part, anyway. No one checks on you, unless you are willing to submit your work to a professional, in order to make sure you are doing it right.

I am thankful that I got a free shot. Christie Stratos of Proof Positive put out an offer to proof work for free to start her business. I got lucky, and was one of those people. She gave me a very strong review of something I did not learn in school, or just didn't bother to listen to.

A lot of my issue was punctuation, and the killer commas. They kill dialogue, dead. Christie helped me through her critique and examination get rid of them, so the storyline flowed better.

Most writers I'd hazard a guess don't do that. They just put it up there, under the idea that, "Oh, it's my work, it's brilliant, and people will flock to it."

Ah, no. So far, the only person who has bought "Parasite Girls" is ME. I made the buy as a test, and also a gift for a relative. I needed to make sure the system worked. It does, so it's all good.

I've found my work is in a sea of published authors, self-published authors, and wannabes. I do NOT want to be seen as the latter; I'd like to think I'm a step or two higher than THAT.

So anyway, I am going to be talking this mother up for a while, and I hope you'll forgive me. I just think "Parasite Girls," while not the greatest work of my career, is a good story that examines social concerns, some real-life issues, and an underlying theme: WE ALL HAVE A STORY.

Everyone has their reasons for why the things we do, which I noted earlier. Aidan, the main character tells his by doing, not talking. A lot of flashback scenes for him bring his life in a way, full circle. His longtime friendship with the female lead, Mima is seen through the past, and how that past becomes present.

Now, the term "Parasite Single" is one you have likely never heard of, unless you are from Japan or lived there. There is a book about it, written by a professor named Masahiro Yamada. I have not read this book, and in no way am I going after the man for what he wrote.

But he formulated the book over this phenomena he detects in Japanese society, and it is a shift. A lot of young Japanese women (and I don't doubt some men, too) seem to be staying at home a lot longer than you'd think, and allegedly living off their parents so they can live self-indulgent lives.

Okay, I can think of at least one or two of those in my own family, but I won't name names. Their business, their choice. And that's another point--these folks made their choices.

Why so different in Japan? Well, the concept of roommates is not exactly known over there, far as I understand it. Japanese folks live alone, or they live with family. This is not unusual in itself. Prof. Yamada's assertion it seems is there a fair number of "parasites" who do go to school, go to work, make good money, etc., but they stay at home. 

The insinuation is they spend all their money on themselves, and offer nothing to the family in terms of rent, board, upkeep, food, and so on.

That cannot be the case in every single person. This is one thing I do not like about criticism--it's too easy to paint with a broad brush, or in some cases, a power painter.

Everyone has their reasons. In America, you often hear snarky comments in the media or from internet trolls who say that so and so lives in his mom's basement, or stupid shit like that. Anyone who does that, they assume must be a failure at life or a loser, or something.

Well, everyone has a reason. Sometimes it's money, lack of work, illness, think about it. Aidan's journey takes him back into Mima's life, and those of her dearest friends, Sora and Eko. They appear to be parasites, and are tagged as such. 

Why? Both are about 30, and still live at home. We soon find out why, in Sora's case, and it's a matter that's close to me.

Eko seems the poster child for the term, but she too has a story.

Again, we paint with a very broad brush, and we have to be really careful not to. Not all people are what they seem, and behind each person's plasmic self are the reasons for what they do, or don't do.

Simple as that.

So, where to next? I hope to be making an appearance in York next month, as part of the city's First Friday series. More on that soon. In the whirlwind of getting "Parasite Girls" out for the public, I've had to consider everything else. Those mundane things like, you know, work, haha.

My personal issues are not so great at this time I can actually focus enough to sit here and write this to you. I have to be patient about the book, and do my best to stimulate some interest. Either way, I am undaunted about the next steps I plan to take, and those will be formulated over the next few months.

I do have to consider "work," because while I have some, I need to find more. Such fun there, but that's life. I have to think about the world I live in, and I mean at home. There's a lot to focus on, and yet I am having a hard time focusing on each thing. Occasionally I disappear into that wormhole, and don't stop until I get a proper conclusion.

Kinda like my writing, heehee. As I've said before, I write because I love it. It's therapy, I think I have a bit of a knack for it, and there is something really satisfying about the accomplishment.

When Alice and I saw the book drop on Monday, I felt a great relief. For better or worse, "Parasite Girls" is out there. I fucking did it.

Till next time, that's my story and I'm sticking to it.

Peace, Out.


Sunday, November 10, 2013

"Parasite Girls" upcoming release, and Why the Things We Do...

Well, here it is Sunday, and I'm in the Office, trying to organize myself and get ready for another exciting afternoon behind the board for Hershey Bears hockey...can you smell the sarcasm cooking yet?

Oh, I do enjoy the job, but it has its disadvantages. I am hopeful to soon know more about long-term and actual employment, but I have a much more important step to take on Monday.

It's time for a SHAMELESS PLUG:



How about that?

This is the cover for "Parasite Girls," my debut, which comes out on Smashwords as soon as this week. A dream will come true...I will be a published author.

Hold your applause, please, because I want to make sure we can get this done and done right before any of that. My friend Alice will do diligence at getting the final format done tomorrow, and the upload completed. 

Let's hope it goes well. Mitch Bentley is the artist, and you can find out more about his work and services at Atomic Fly Studios.

So, what's it about? In a nutshell, "Parasite Girls" is the story of a burned out journalist named Aidan who is trying to remake himself. He turns up on the doorstep of his old college friend, Mima and they reacquaint. The past is recalled, some of it scary; Aidan soon leans that while on her own, Mima struggles with her past and present.

Two of Mima's closest friends, Sora and Eko are also tagged with an unfair term, the "parasite single." It's a real phrase, used to describe young people who stay at home longer than they "should," and live off their parents.

The point is that's a broad brush and wrong to use on everyone. Aidan knows everyone has a story, and he finds out what theirs is.

Aidan recalls, as do the others, just what never dies despite years and miles that separate people.

I hit on some real aspects of society, and return to a place I once lived. I also have a few things to say about the media which I work in, and also a look at mental illness, and some of its manifestations.

It's a good story, I think, and one that needs telling. I do not touch terribly deeply on some items, because those would be books in themselves. 

The book comes out on Smashwords, here's my profile:

https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/torygates

More info there very soon. I also joined an interesting group, the Independent Author Network:

http://www.independentauthornetwork.com/

The landscape of writing and authorship has changed. Actually, it changed a long time ago but we were loath to allow ourselves to think that. The days of being sneered at (and worse) for putting out your own work is no longer a bad thing. It does NOT mean you suck as a writer, or weren't good enough to rate a publishing contract, a book tour, and the top spots on the NY Times Bestseller List and Oprah Winfrey's reading list.

The thing is: this changed a long freaking time ago and we did not know it. Or again, our egos did not let us consider it.

Here is my case study, which I use as a template: about 17 years ago, I conducted an interview with two fellows from New York (by way of Maryland) who were in a folk-rock duo called the Wicomicos. Carmen Yates and Mikel Campbell had been in a rock band in the early 90's, had a record deal, all of that. It didn't work out.

They chose to cut loose from all that, by writing their own songs, producing their own records, touring in a big red van, and getting their own gigs. They did it themselves, made a name for themselves, and produced two very good recordings.

Carmen is in New York, and primarily makes a living producing music for soundtracks, TV commercials and other such projects. He has a new band called Racing Rain. They showed us it could be done.

Self-publishing has taken off with the advances in computer technology. Used to be, you had to pay some company a lot of money to make your books for you. This is called a "Vanity Press." Now the term has changed, and the way this is all done has changed a lot, too.

I have shied away from any company that wants money for me to put my books out. I don't have it, and I wouldn't throw it down the hole. I know of too many horror stories, too many people who were ripped off, too many people whose dreams were stolen by sleazy, unscrupulous operators. Just look at Writer's Beware, and you'll see those stories.

Not to say you can do it all for free, not at all. I've been careful with the money I spend on getting "Parasite Girls" ready. You see the cover? That was my largest expense, I suppose, but still a very reasonable amount, given Mitch's talents and the hours he spent on it.

You do need a killer cover. Get that through your head, folks. I also thank Alice for focusing in on a pivotal scene, the one that captures your imagination (I hope) and also captures the energy, the mania and the madness of each person involved.

Now, back to music for a bit: for years, I saw artists selling their music from the stage. Even those who had record deals did that, cut out the middle man, $15 for the CD, right here, right now? Why the hell not?

Hard to do with books. You can't really tour if you're not known, and the days of that are pretty much over. I am NOT the kind of person that can sit at a table in a bookshop with a stack of poorly-made books with shitty bindings and a generic cover, smiling with the hope that somebody buys my book.

It does not work. You need to engage--you need to show them, not tell them. A bit of fine advice from writer friends about my style years ago.

I am still trying to figure out how to engage with a book that is not a book. I will figure that out.

There are countless bands out there that do it themselves. With no label but the one they form for themselves, a Reverbnation and/or a Facebook page, and the availability of reasonably inexpensive recording gear, they are already on the way. Sure, you're not flying first class (if at all!), you're sleeping in the van, on people's floors, couches, spare beds, at your mom's. You see where I'm going, right? You pay your dues.

The amount of money you make will largely NOT be the millions you dream of. The adulation you expect will be no more than whomever is sitting or standing in front of you. 

But that's not so bad...I recall years of doing Rocky Horror before no more than a couple dozen like-minded crazies, and they appreciated what we did. I played to larger crowds too, and it's nice. Enjoy when you get it. The main thing is what you do to get there.

I have more fun writing and creating my semi-real-world universe than anything else of late. I have a ton more stories of different types that I want to tell because I think I have something you might like. If not, no big deal.

I do not plan to soak you for cash. The price will be reasonable and level with what others are charging. Cool thing is, you don't need an eReader or a Kindle--download, read on your smartphone or your computer. All good.

Suffice to say: the world has changed, and we have to change with it. I am putting "Parasite Girls" out to test the ebook waters, and to introduce myself to the world.

There is no point in waiting for a book deal, or for an agent who understands what I'm trying to do to get me one. I'm going for mine, right fucking now.

Amanda Palmer said in a recent speech (paraphrasing here) that the audience you present to might just be those people in someone's living room, attic, space, etc. How true. I told you about Rocky Horror; I recall doing a demonstration of a series of pieces from a version of The Hunchback of Notre Dame in the loft apartment of the director's friend in New York in '96. Maybe two dozen people there? I don't remember. But you do it, because you love doing it.

I love writing. I love my work in broadcasting. I love to play music. It's fun. To be able to do these things and actually make a living is ideal, and I have had that over the years, so I'm damned lucky.

I am not done yet, either. Parasite Girls is just the start, and I have more to share. I hope to live long enough to not just reap some of the fruits of my labor, but to see how you react to it. That'll be the bigger payoff.

I'll be shamelessly plugging it all on my Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and fuck knows where else. This is what I do.

See ya.

Saturday, November 2, 2013

"The Stranger" -- That Would Be Me

I am sitting in the cafe of a place that is not my usual one; I finally crawled from the wreckage of a 22-hour workday, and am not in a celebratory mood.

I turned 48 yesterday, which is kind of a strange number. Forgive me, but I don't feel old anymore, not at all. I am not in the shape I once was when I leapt into audiences during my days in a certain theatre production, but at least I still have some ability to get about. Mentally, my capacity is not what it once was, but I can still think reasonably quickly.

We are at a very exciting period in my potential rest of my life--without naming names or going into details, I had a pair of job interviews that went well in recent days. I feel very positive one or the other might just be the one, and some stability of a sort can return.

I am not one to worry about this, because I don't need to. I have enough else to worry about!

As soon as next week (I hope), my first book, "Parasite Girls" will be ready for release. It is pretty much now--the manuscript is done for the final time, Mitch Bentley's cover is brilliant in its color and capture of a certain character's creative mania, and I've got most of the details done.

We just need to connect dots, threads and related stuff, and I will be a published author.

Don't congratulate me yet--I need to get this last part accomplished. Then I can feel better about it.

Navigating the world of the ebook, cyberspace and a digital realm I know little about is daunting. I have to plug, shamelessly and I have to figure out how I'm going to make this work stand out.

First plug: http://www.behance.net/torygates

Go there, and you'll find draft cuts of "Parasite Girls," plus potential follow-up work I'm at right now. You'll see everything else about my mad "careers."

I honestly think without arrogance that I have written a good story. I didn't have the space I wished I had to dig deeper into some of the self-destructive tendencies of a couple of the characters. There's what I could do with what space and time I had, and the flow is crucial.

My style has changed, and that's why a lot of things have not been released. My method is not the same, either. I am also of the belief that eventually I have to tackle the most difficult assignment of my writing life...me.

I for some reason keep putting off getting things that I want to read, probably because I'm afraid of being too unduly influenced. I can be. My walk through this place spits horrendous things at me, and they leap out, leer and snarl at me with tentacles that have only evil going on.

How hard it is for me to look at the shelves without thinking, and this is not exactly kind:

"I WRITE BETTER THAN 95% OF THIS SHIT!"

Really...50 Shades of (fill in the blank with your favorite color). How many knockoff versions of that are there?

Books with titles that play on other titles, and not in a satirical or humorous way? Examinations and re-examinations classic works, that are in my mind meant to trade off the name without actually doing anything?

Now, I will admit that a parody work of "Downton Abbey" is going to be damned funny, I bet. "Downtrodden Abbey," written in what reminds me of the Harvard Lampoon's trashing of Tolkien, with "Bored of the Rings."

Cleverness and a nasty little jab here and there doesn't bother me. Ripping off someone with your own version of something that makes fan fiction look brilliant in comparison, well, bleah.

Am I arrogant and egomaniacal enough to think "Parasite Girls" stacks up well against anything out there? I think it is a good story--a smooth read, only a few major characters, and a touching upon issues and concerns that are real. Things that happen in society that are real, whether you want to admit it or not.

Not the heaviest thing I ever did, and not in the Young Adult genre I normally do, but it is a start and I think a good one.  

An excerpt:

http://www.behance.net/gallery/Parasite-Girls-Excerpt-2/10641913

Rough cut, this scene has been re-written. The lyrics to "Blade" are my own.

https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/torygates

Oh, look it's me--well, not the best thing to look at, but I can live with that for now. Its not a bad profile, and the picture is not that old. 

Around the time of my birthday, just missed Samhain I did I tend to get introspective. I think about the past year, what I am trying to do, where my direction is headed, and all that shit.

Sorry, I just don't feel the need to say, "Oh, never mind--is NASCAR/Oprah/SOMEFUCKINGHIDEOUSREALITYSHOW on yet?" 

Or, "Oh, never mind--let's go shopping."

THIS is as close to shopping as I ever get. I have on my table before me a strange manga by Nico Tanigawa. Part research material, part a look at me back in the past...I shudder to think that I might just have been that girl on the cover. That introverted, that messed up...ei.

The other is Albert Camus' "The Stranger." The BBC marked Camus' coming 100th birthday early this morning with a partial reading. I had to get this.

Yes, I'm easily fucking led, I know.

But the narrative is darkly brilliant, isn't it? If you have read "The Stranger" or any of his stuff, there is a method and a way that few can catch up with. 

And here is the key: Camus PUTS YOU IN HIS SHOES. YOU SIT IN HIS CHAIR. YOU ARE HIM, AS HE TELLS HIS STORY.

Perfect, without it seems hardly trying.

"The Stranger" has a central point, a Frenchman who for no real reason guns down an Arab on a deserted beach. The Cure did a song called "Killing an Arab," which I believe was about this story.

I am not arrogant about being my own Stranger. I must be that odd character other people see, that one who sits alone and writes, stares at his computer, reads, drinks a lot of coffee. I don't personally care whether people wonder about me or not; I would not turn you away, unless you either come onto me with a need to meet Jesus, or start talking shit about things like I'm your friend...and we've never met.

I did make a pitch just now for "Parasite Girls" to a young lady at the table next to me. I think she was just being polite, but did say she'd look at the Behance page. 

That's the kind of thing I have to do. I have to engage people, and I'm not good at it. I need to not be afraid to sell the idea, without selling my soul. 

But I have a story to tell, and I must tell it. I must tell all the other crazy stories you see on the Behance page, and ever more that I must rewrite, edit, fix and make real.

I got quite a job ahead of me. A real job (haha) might get in the way, but that's not what it's about. 

I am still driven, at 48 to work in broadcasting, to write, to make music, to create. I have to do it--not for money, fame, etc. I do it because I want to.

Now...I am NOT one of these people who is going to remain inside a box and decry the materialistic whatever that drives other people. Should I become a person of means once more, I will make absolutely no fucking apologies for it, thank you very much.

If not, at least I fucking did it.

Ei...I must now actually read some of this, and find out if the Stranger and I have anything else we can talk about. Better than this, I'd say.

Peace, Out.