Glimmers

My mother is now moved in with us, and it’s odd – with the stress of having her in the nursing home out of the way, interest in working on a long-term writing project is starting to peek its head out of my mental clutter.

I haven’t been completely inactive creatively. I’ve been working on a couple of new songs over the last couple of weeks. The tone of these recent songs has been kind of odd, maybe stress influenced. I haven’t written too much about the songwriting here, but maybe I should. The Foundry was supposed to look at all things creative, and that certainly fits the bill. Remind me to put that on my list of things to make note of.

(I should add here that working on songs does not take a deliberate effort on my part like working on a major project does. A lot of times when I know I’ve got a few minutes, I’ll pick up my guitar and after playing something to warm up, I’ll plink around with chord progressions with one of my lyric notebooks at the ready – I’m up to two now. It’s more a spontaneous than planned, the latter being a requirement when you’re tackling something as weighty as a novel or a play.)

Yes, I said “play.” As I said earlier, I didn’t think at all about working on my Christmas play while I was doing Barefoot in the Park, but this morning in the shower a scene for it popped into my head and I realized that it was something I needed to have in order for the play to work. Can’t argue with that.

And last night I was watching a local news broadcast, waiting for the weather forecast, and I grew disgusted by the way that half the broadcast seems dedicated to shilling for network programs to come later. I’ve done this before, but when it happened before what I didn’t do was imagine a first chapter of a novel in which a news anchor grows disgusted of these same kinds of “news” practices and decides to incite some kind of revolt. What kind, I don’t know – it was only the first chapter. The only other thing I know about the story is that it takes place in the same universe as and that’s the end of the news – probably because I have already established a cable news network in that novel – and that cable TV personality Richard from that previous novel appears in this new idea as a supporting character (this novel would take place before the events in and/news).

So now my long=term creativity is starting to wake up from its slumber – or exile – and I’m going to have to decide what to do next. Alarmingly, outside of the notion of the newsroom novel, I have a lot of other choices:

· Rewrite And/News.

· Write the Christmas play this summer, like I was going to do last summer. Then see about directing it as a special at the local community theater.

· Finish the romance-of-sorts novel that I described as “Nicolas Sparks meets Woody Allen.”

· Finish the comic mystery novel that could be the start of a series.

· Pull something else out of my hat, like finishing my big SF novel, Yaszawa or coming up with a yet-unthought-about project.

· Actually start recording an album of my songs. Although this could be done in between writing.

The writing is likely the way I’ll go; with Mom home and needing to be looked after, my plans to start playing out at coffeehouses are going to be curtailed for a while – I won’t make my wife be the one to stay home all the time so I can go out and do my thing. She needs to go out and do her thing, too. At least I can make some demos on my home recorder if I can just make myself do it during those spontaneous guitar moments.

There’s a lot I can do now that the pressure is off. It’s just a matter of determining what I have time for.

Listening: Cowboys International, Revisited (via iPod Shuffle)

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