Thursday, September 15, 2011—Orange, California
It’s been a whole week since I’ve added an entry to this diary. This is because there’s really not all that much to report. Plus, I just haven’t been in the mood or had the time to write.
There have been a few developments in my life worth noting, though. I’ve been making some revisions to the Burning Shore Press site, getting it ready for when I relaunch the company with my first poetry book. It’s looking good, clean and to the point. Speaking of my poetry book, I think I’m going to redesign the cover. The one I’ve posted on the site looks OK, but I’ve decided I’m over photographs, especially black and white ones, as the focal point of my covers. I have an idea for a cover that harks back to those great concert posters of the sixties. I want to design it myself; I’ve got some ideas rolling around in my head that I know will work. I’ve also come to the conclusion that my poems, whatever their merits or faults, contain a lot of color—and I want the cover to reflect that. Besides, the current cover of me looking out over Long Beach from Signal Hill now looks a bit pretentious to me, a bit obvious too.
I’ve also started looking for more freelance writing jobs. Like I’ve said before, I want to be a free agent in life and writing is my only ticket to that goal. I’m just beginning this project, so I haven’t any successes yet. My hope it to find one new paying outlet for my work a month. Given how little time I have at the moment to pursue these jobs, this seems like a doable goal.
What else? Lately some very interesting ideas for the next Backwaters novel have been percolating to the top of my brain; the opening scene has begun forming in my mind. This is important because when scenes like this starting coming together it usually means I’m getting ready to start putting pen to paper, so to speak (actually fingers to the keyboard). For months I’ve had the basic story idea, but the details still feel very green for the most part, and my characters, including my first-person protagonist, are still a bit vague. Again, though, once scenes start forming clearly it’s the sign I’m getting ready to roll. It could happen anytime, next week, next month, a few months down the road. I’m not pressing it. Writing a novel is like childbirth—the thing will arrive when it’s ready, and not a second earlier (besides, I’m still a bit burnt out from my work on Mother Earth and am not yet in the mood to give the time and effort that its takes to dive into a long piece of fiction).
I do want to write, though. I have all sorts of ideas for essays, as well as short stories, which is an area I haven’t gone into much. There’s my Greek book as well, of course. But none of these ideas are quite ready to come out either. Some of them are close too, though. Once the flood gates open I could be a suddenly very busy man.
Still feeling good about most things overall. Anxious to get back to Greece even though it’s months away. Am still also feeling a bit alienated here. Long Beach, Southern California, simply doesn’t fascinate me like it used to. I feel as if I’ve given everything I have to this place and haven’t gotten anywhere near enough in return. I want to move on. It looks like the next stage of my life will take place in a new watershed, a new land. I hope a man in his forties can successfully learn a new language.
Getting antsy to start my Greek language studies. Thinking of trying to pick up my French lessons again as well.
Been reading a lot, culture theory stuff primarily, partially as research for school, partially just because it’s a part of what I do, who I am. Finishing up Fante, Dan Fante’s first memoir, which juxtaposes his life with that of his father’s, with alcohol, too many women, and writing being the connectors (unfortunately in that order). A good, if somewhat limited book (blackout drinking, fucking , and the [strangely under-described] redemptive power of the muse are all that Dan seems to be able to write about). Starting to tackle Patrick Leigh Fermor’s travel books. I’m only forty pages into the first one and really starting to get into it. I have also been rereading all of Gary Snyder’s essays. I’ve taken a break from that, though. Will probably pick them up again after I’ve finished with the Fermor books I have.
Not getting enough sleep. Early morning and night classes combined don’t mix. More budget cuts likely to be coming down the pipe. Wonder if I’ll soon be out of work or more likely seriously under employed. I’m not really worrying about this, though. Though I don’t know why, I can’t shake the feeling that the gods have my back on this sort of thing these days. Feeling a little special, magic, like some sort of destiny is looming on the horizon I'm more than ready to deal with.