Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Stories, the Civil War, Music

Apologies, first and foremost if you find this post lacking in the letter "E."  The keyboard is being difficult; however, I'm doing my best to make sure you do not go without.  Any other letters missing are from pure wantonness.

Well, if you've noticed a slight absence of myself from this here bloggery, it is because I've been hunkering down in my stalactite-infested apartment, writing, reading, and watching as many documentaries as I can on the Civil War.

First, the writing.  I've been working on two short stories, a flash fiction piece, and a novella.  The first short story is a revision of a story I submitted for critique the first week of Clarion.  It follows a gangstery goon by the name of Johnny Gorgeous and the trouble he gets himself into after mucking up a job.  The other short story is about "silent film's silent auteur," Jarvis St. George, who between 1929-1934 made 41 silent films of absurdist nature.  There is a slight discourse on the unremarkable life of Jarvis, followed by the script of his final film, titled "Dr. Whizgig's Displacement of the Universe Rag." The script is about a pianist with a Gila monster for a head and his lover, a broken automaton.  The flash fiction piece is about the limitations of having no limitations - that is to say: outer space gets lonely only being consciousness.  And the novella is/was part of the world I was working in during NaNoWriMo in November.  It tells the life of the revolutionary, Sharon Dover, as she rises against the Ministers of Poro.  The novella is told in vignette form and the style is blatantly ripping off Eduardo Galleano's Memory of Fire historical texts, which I positively loved, albeit with a few touches of my own and a much narrower approach.

I've also been working on a couple of songs for the new Tin Tin Can record.  I think we're going to performing one or two new songs at our upcoming shows in February and March; though by the end of March, I think Justin and I will be done writing and we can focus on learning and recording this batch for the upcoming record.

I've been listening to the Smith Westerns record, Dye It Blonde, pretty much nonstop for the past two weeks.  I love it.  Certainly, it isn't a record that will change music or the way you think about music or such pretentions as that.  However, it is really fun to listen to and to work out to - the melodies are fantastic, the guitar and bass sounds are phenomenal.  The record just hits my sweet spot - it's like a mix up of Beatles, T. Rex, cool 90s music, and cathedral chamber reverbed vocals.  Well, erm, the vocals, maybe, could be a little better.  But who cares with catchy songs like these?  They're just words, people.

And I'm in the midst of watching Ken Burns' The Civil War on Netflix.  One helluva documentary.  This is probably going to distract me from doing all the above in any kind of timely and responsible manner.  I keep telling myself: this is research for the ever-looming novel.  And it is, of course, as the novel is about an uprising in the city/state of Poro; though, after that, the similarities stop.

So, this is where I've been the past few weeks and where I'm likely to stay for awhile.  I certainly be updating this blog every now and again, probably once or twice a week or as I see fit or as interesting things happen.  Where have YOU been?

And how many E's did I leave out?

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