Sunday, January 30, 2011

appointment disappointment

Remember how I said that today you would get to listen to the new tune I created called “Sea Lion Shuffle” . . .

. . . well, looks like you won’t be.

But it has nothing to do with the song not being finished. Actually I like it and really wanted to share it with you today. It was made with the new program and sounds better than the Whale Dance I think, though it’s not a dance tune but more of a slow atmospheric piece complete with waves crashing, seagulls and yes, Sea Lions.

Pisses me off big time that it wouldn’t upload.

What went wrong?

The F*(&ing site screwed up ever time I tried to upload the file, and after many (about six) attempts to download the 5 MB MP3 file I plain gave up.

Whale Dance took first time without a hitch, but now this site wants to act like an ass.

So, disappointment for me, and likely disappointment for you since you can’t hear it.

And it doesn’t help that I’m on dial-up either. Each attempt takes fifteen minutes until I get a fail message - what a grand waste of time.

With all that said, I’m not sure when I’ll get the song uploaded, or where, so you can finally get to enjoy it.

I’ll try a few more times and change this post if it does work. But I’m not hoping for too much. I may need to find a better hosting site.

The best laid plans . . . yada, yada.

Until next Sunday . . .

Sunday, January 23, 2011

got a go go

In a huge rush this morning, and yes, it’s only 6:00 AM, the time when most normal people sleep in on Sunday.

Hey . . . I’m normal . . . sometimes.

Why the early rise?

Well, my little one is off on a school trip for a few days and their bus leaves at 7:00 AM.

I’m happy for her and she is over the moon, which it is hard to get her back down to earth and get her to eat breakfast and then settle in the car to make the trip to the school.

Still, should be fun for us all. She gets a great trip and we get some quality couple time.

Win Win.

The writing is coming along very slowly on the new short story. I’m possibly spending too much time agonizing over the psychological ramifications of every scene and word out of everybody’s mouth.

I should just let the first draft flow where it may, but I’m trying hard to stick to a specific agenda for this part of the story collection, and don’t want to screw it up. Hence the agonizing.

Never fear though, it will be done by month’s end even if I have to pry the hard parts of the story from my mind with a claw hammer.

Better strides have been made on my newest musical creation. I think I’ve just about got it nailed for this month and no, it’s not a thumping dance trance tune. Some of you will be let down, others are likely sighing with relief.

So "Sea Lion Shuffle" will be debuting next Sunday. Another win . . .depending on your perspective, of course.

Rest assured the next tune, Dolphin Disco, will see me return to the body thumping bass lines and techno dance trips and synths you just know I can’t resist. The eighties did colour everything I do. What can I say?

Well, it’s about time I got the last of the last minute things together for the offspring’s journey.

Until next Sunday . . .

Sunday, January 16, 2011

fractional fiction friction

And a few other f words I can think of.

Writing, to those in the know, is a slow, hard, tedious business. The business being the part where you get paid for the hard, slow, tedious bits.

To that end (the business part) my awesome wife (of 22 years this month - like, holy wow) is editing the story I wrote last month and is almost finished with it. That means I will be sending it out this coming week with the hopes of getting some cash for it.

And, my current work in progress is about 30 percent complete, in first draft stage. I’ll have it completed by month’s end when my wife will pull it apa, um, take a look at it for me.

So, all said, it really does seem like forever is an actual time scale to use for some of my works. However, I will continue to chisel away and who knows, by this time next year I may have a published credits list up. I could start one already, but three published short stories is, well just three.

I’m shooting for ten published works, then comes the list.

I’m also getting better at using the music program, but some of the features still elude me. Germans are notorious for creating super-complicated and over-engineered creations, are they not? Remember the Tiger tank, the one that was pure power and awesome but so complex that it broke down more often than it worked? Um, nevermind.

Yes, I’ve been reading far too much WW2 history lately. Just read yesterday that Hitler decreed that all crustaceans should be killed by tossing them live into boiling water . . . he thought it was the most humane way to off them before eating. One bullet . . . that’s all it would have taken people, just one . . . sigh.

Um, back to music creation. My newest tune “Sea Lion Shuffle” is progressing nicely and even got a nod from my wife. In fact, she wants me to create a 30 minute piece of relaxing music for her to relax to. Keep in mind my wife and I share about a 1 percent overlap in musical tastes.

On the weather front, last night was supposed to be our regular (though postponed by a week) reading night for the Second Saturday Psychos . . . and I got about half way there when the skies opened up and produced for me a dazzling display of pure white . . . within two minutes the highway was completely covered in snow and I could see maybe twenty feet in front of me.

What did I do in my Cobalt with all seasons?

The intelligent thing. I turned around and went back home, disgruntled I might add. And when I got back to my house there was only patchy clouds in the sky. In fact I looked up at the moon and some stars. WTF? Then I remembered - it’s winter in Canada. And so I watched the movie, Zelig, instead.

Woody Allen is nuts, but good nuts, like honey-coated cashews.

Well, another week came and went and I’m two crawls closer to the twenty mile distant success line.

Until next Sunday . . .

Sunday, January 09, 2011

ass immolation

Yeah, I’ve been parked in my writing chair in front of my computer for many an hour this week, and my butt has been taking a burning because of it.


Well, two good reasons, and one bad one.

First the good.

A new short story in forming and taking shape. I’ll have it done this month as promised to myself, but it’s a rather harder go than I anticipated. It’s a continuation of a larger story arc based on my superhero (heroine actually) character and there is a lot of psychology involved. It’s part three of thirteen.

I’m no expert on inner turmoil and relationships, so I’m improvising and trying to get it as close to realistic as will be acceptable to the masses . . . yes, I do want to sell it eventually after all this work. I hope to have it out as a short story collection . . . before I die of old age anyhow.

The second good reason is music creation. I’ve been labouring over my new program and trying to figure out how it all works. It’s very complicated and I don’t have any formal music training to guide me. I just go with what I think sounds cool and rearrange what is not working. The program has five different synthesizers to mess around with and each one is complex and puzzling to me, but I am persevering, albeit slowly.

Despite the complexity I’m making a song that is sounding pretty good. I’ll have this, my next creation in the “Under the See” album, up by the end of the month even if I’ve only figured out about ten percent of the music program. And for some strange reason I always gravitate towards a dance beat as opposed to a slow chill techno sounding piece. Oh well, my inner clock is wound up tight I guess and runs faster than most.

The bad is, well, computer games. The more hours I pour into my writing and music creation the more hours I use blowing off steam wasting punks in Fallout 3, or racing like mad in Grid or Need for Speed: Most Wanted.

Yeah, I am an incurable PC gaming dad. One day I’m going to write a song about it. I’ll even sing it now that I have the software to correct any off key notes I wail out, which will likely be all of them. I love technology when it comes to doing these kinds of things.

On the less creative and more mundane aspects of my life our Christmas Tree is still up. It was at the insistence of my daughter, but still, it’s like half-way through January already, isn’t it?

I’m one for taking it down and putting it away once Christmas Holidays have ended. Others in the house don’t agree. I follow orders, mostly.

So, another week of toil comes to an end just in time for another to begin.

This working for oneself is onerous. The pay sucks, but the boss is somebody I can live with.

Until next Sunday . . .

Sunday, January 02, 2011

shiny new year

Well, I must say I’m damned disappointed.

I’ve waited almost two, no make that three, full decades to experience their arrival . . .

And not one damn peep out of them!

I speak of extraterrestrials, of course. What were you thinking . . . Inlaws . . . *shudder*

2010 was supposed to be the year when “they” arrived to reveal to us their intentions, or take over the world, or use death rays to reduce us to ashes . . . or something . . . anything.

I think even Nostradamus himself produced a quatrain about their impending visit;

In the year of twenty on ten,
Floating on air come skinny men,
Heads like eggs, and wicked keens,
Brandishing burning laser beams.

Okay, maybe it wasn’t Nostradamus . . . in fact I may have, um, made it up. Hey I’m a writer - what do you expect?

Anyhow, huge disappointment there.

But enough with the things I was expecting to happen in 2010 which did not. On to the things that did happen.

On the writing front I nailed a short story in December. It’s still under revision but it will be mailed out this month for sure.

And on the reading front, can you say I cracked the 20,000 pages mark for the third time ever, and actually read the most of any year since 1988 when I started keeping records . . .

. . . yes, you can. I know, keeping track of all my reading since 1988 likely makes me a freak, but didn’t you already know this?

So, my book total for the year 2010 was a solid 69 books read . . .

And I really wanted to create a new song and post it before the year was out but the learning curve, and the distractions from family fun, were too great for me to overcome and actually make something that you could listen to without vomiting.

Starting this month and for all the rest of the months in 2011, while I lament the aliens no-show in 2010, I’ll be producing one short story and one electronica tune. I’m hoping the short stories end up in print and the tunes end up in your media player . . .

Oh, and I’ll continue reading like a fiend so I can crack the 20,000 pages mark again.

It’s a tough goal, but somebody has to attempt it to try and inspire others.

And for that one special reader who is soon to be a mom for the first time - good on you! I’m so happy for you and your hubby!

Until next Sunday . . .