A couple of real-life things have kept me away from the keys in the last few days (and may continue to keep me away), but I've at least been at work on Fall Of The Hammer in the background during that time. What I thought was going to be a nice, fast romp through a straightforward story, wellllll, kinda got away from me. Not that it's no good, just that it's going to take at least one more draft than normally required to beat it into shape and paint it to match.
I always say to myself, "I'm just going to write something fun," and of course it always turns out to be far more than that. In the same way John Cage and David Tudor noted that whenever they tried to create something conceptual where there was no "composition" going on, it always ended up being melodic in some way. You can never take yourself, whatever you are, totally out of the picture. In my case, it's not that I'm allergic to fun; it's that I'm always conscious of how for me the fun is a starting point and not an actual destination by itself.
"I started writing," Hubert Selby, Jr. once said, "because I did not want to die having done nothing with my life."
When I read those words for the first time, many years ago, I took them for my own almost immediately. I too did not want to die having done nothing with my life, living as I did in a world where I was painfully aware of how easy it was to do just that. But over time I expanded on Selby's vow, and in time replaced it with a different one: I write because I do not want to die feeling I have had no control over my life.
The other day I took stock of all the things friends and people whose tastes I trust have all advised me to watch or read. Some of it is things I should have picked up on my own by now, like The Man In The High Castle (given what a Phil K. Dick fan I am, but I never got around to it); some of it is left-of-center but has elements that are up my alley (The Good Place); some of it is stuff that's a long shot for me but I'm willing to try anyway (latter seasons of Black Mirror). I haven't managed to start with any of it.