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I Don’t Always…

In keeping with today’s earlier post.

psychedelics

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Prog Rock Sunday – “Tarkus”, by ELP (plus bonus video)

Again, while the other sluggards are taking the day off from the A to Z Challenge, I am in the office providing you with another quality post!  Prog Rock Sundays is just too powerful of an institution here in Bloglandia.  I could never miss a day of work!

Okay, I’ve been gentle with you in previous weeks, but this one is dense.  For those of you who are not fully chartered in the school of Prog Rock, this one is about as “Proggy” as it gets.  It is a complex, over-the-top composition that is typical of Emerson, Lake, and Palmer.

If the only ELP you know are the acoustic ballads that get played on the radio frequently (Lucky Man, Still You Turn Me On, From the Beginning), then this may be a shock.  If you are familiar with the radio edit of “Karn Evil #9”, then you may stand a better chance.  If you are a fan of ELP through and through, then you already love this song, and need no introduction.

ELP is about as excessive in egotistical, self-indulgent Rock-n-Roll as it gets.  The keyboardist, Keith Emerson, is a virtuoso powerhouse that dominates every aspect of the band.  He controls much of the writing, and certainly leads most of the instrumental sections, which can be lengthy and tedious.  He’ll give Carl Palmer a drum solo once in a while, and Greg Lake has his lovely solo acoustic ballads, but I think those only serve as a break for Emerson’s fingers.

But you know what?  I LOVE it!  I love these complex Prog Rock ditties, and will often play them on long drives (when else would I have time for 20+ minute compositions?).

I know that I am not painting a pretty picture here, but trust me, you will see why I felt that I had to prepare the casual listener for the aural onslaught that will ensue.

“Tarkus” is complex, multi-themed, and often hard to follow, but I think that it is a brilliant composition, and a masterpiece.

And so, I present to you, “Tarkus”, by Emerson, Lake, and Palmer.

Happy Sunday!

Oh, and as a bonus, I cannot help but share this amazing video of Rachel Flowers, a keyboard prodigy (who also happens to be only 18-years old and blind!!) playing an instrumental version of Tarkus on Keith Emerson’s own instruments.  She is quite amazing.  Even if you cannot stomach ELP’s version, you really should check her out, and then watch her other videos!

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Lazy

Well, not exactly lazy–more like sick, exhausted, busy, and other various social ailments.

I feel like I haven’t been producing my finest work here this past week, and I am continuing that trend today by bitching about it. But hey, the A to Z Challenge refuses to play by my rules–which would be to take Saturdays off–and I have to post something today, or else they will cut off one of my Meemaw’s fingers.

But I have felt a bit lazy, if only for the fact that I have had a few great ideas, but they required too much effort, and so I skipped them and went with music reviews, or song lyrics.

For “J” day on Thursday, I originally planned to write about the Juxtaposition of my songwriting and fiction writing, and how I am combining the two into a story that has been in my head for years. However, that would have required much more brain power than I possessed this week, and so I wrote a fluff piece on Jane’s Addiction; and not a very good one, at that.

For “K” day, I promoted my friends’ band, The Kimberly Trip, but that was actually my son’s idea. I was originally going to write a history of the Knight in Medieval Europe. Once that seemed like too much work, I decided to honor one of the most magical concert venues in the land: The Henry J. Kaiser Convention Center in Oakland, home of the Grateful Dead throughout most of the 1980s. But, “The Kaiser” also seemed like too much work.

I guess I can write those posts some other time.

I am already feeling overwhelmed here in Bloglandia. I post everyday, and I read about 50 bloggers every single day. It’s a bit much. I do not even have any time to finish this stupid book that I started reading ages ago. And now the A to Z Challenge?

Well, this is all my own choice, so I cannot really complain, but since I was sick all this week and working doubles every day, and getting a damned PET scan, I felt as though the “lazy” route was the only route for me to take.

I promise to write better stuff soon. As it is, I feel as though this antiquated computer that I use may not survive April, and so I feel privileged to even get a post up every day.

And to all of you whose blogs I read faithfully every day, I really enjoy them, so I am not complaining. I guess I am just getting wrapped up in a new obsession, and I need to find the balance.

And so, I keep on truckin’ on…

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Grateful Dead

“G” is for Grateful Dead—always has been.  Or at least since 1985, when I first discovered them.  From the time I first saw them in concert in Oakland, California back in November 1985, no other music in the world has touched me like the Grateful Dead.  They will forever be my favorite band.

I understand that many other people in the world simply do not “get” the Dead, and I get that.  There is a lot of music in the world that I simply do not appreciate.  It happens.  I’m already over it.

But I have been successful in getting a few friends and a couple girlfriends to open up to their music.  This is probably due only to my overly enthusiastic play-by-play that I give when listening to a particular show or album, but they went along with it anyway.  However, even as I tried to get them to appreciate their music, no one has fully understood why I saw them in concert 70 times.

Yes—seventy times.

PRZ-001009

Ahhh, just one more…please!

And that is such a low number compared to many friends that I know, but between 1985 and 1994, I saw them as often as I possibly could.  I had a really cool job that let me disappear for a week or two, as long as I had my shifts covered, and as long as I worked 60-80 hour weeks when I returned.  I stopped seeing them a year before Jerry Garcia died, but not because they were a freakin’ train wreck by that time (and they were), but because I met the girl who would become my future ex-wife, and my priorities changed.  I had always meant to get back to see them again, but it never happened.  If Jerry Garcia were still alive today, and if the Dead were still doing their thing, you better believe that I would still have been seeing them all these years!

I remember when I was introduced to them.  I knew a few of their songs from the radio, but did not pay much attention to them until my best friend at the time, Dan, played me some of their records one summer afternoon.  He had a really groovy sister who owned a few of their albums, and we would listen to the records up in his room with the windows open and the music cranked to 11.  I liked them, but I was still not hooked.

I was a huge fan of the Rolling Stones at that time, and Led Zeppelin, and various Progressive Rock bands, and the Dead intrigued me, but I hadn’t grasped the magic of their music until I finally saw them live.

Dan had won tickets to a show in Oakland from an Indie radio station, and asked me if I wanted to go.  This was on a school night during our Senior year of high school, but my parents were uncharacteristically cool about that.  After driving to the wrong venue in Oakland, we finally got to the show and went to Will Call to pick up the tickets.  They gave us little red raffle tickets instead of proper Ticketmaster tickets, and we weren’t sure that we would get into the show.  It all started to feel like a cruel prank.  Fortunately, no one even looked at our tickets. We were allowed in just as the lights went down for the first set.

Grateful Dead 12

I only knew three songs of all that was played that night.  In fact, I remember being playfully mocked by a random Deadhead when I stated to Dan that they did not play “Truckin’” or “Casey Jones.”  She said, “Well, they did play ‘Sugar Magnolia’”, to which I gave some sort of enthusiastic puppy dog response.

What a newb!

Anyway, they grabbed me that night.  I did not drink any literal Kool-Aid that night, but I was entranced by the melodies and noises coming from the stage that night.  Jerry Garcia was in particularly poor shape during this show (this was after his big bust and before his coma), but I just figured that he had a cold, or something.  Something in that frail, gravelly voice touched me, and I needed more and more.

Lookin' good, Jer!

Lookin’ good, Jer!

And that is what I try to convey to people: Garcia’s voice, especially as he aged, had such an emotional quality to it.  He could trigger a response with just a simple inflection, or even a squeaky crack in his voice.  No one else in the world could do for me what Garcia could do with his voice.

A lot of people complain that the Dead sound unrehearsed and sloppy, and at times, that is so true.  Each individual musician had their own unique way of playing, and each one had enough ego to take the foreground at any given moment.  Garcia played guitar like a banjo; Bob Weir played the guitar as if he were trying to do the opposite of actually playing the guitar; Phil Lesh played the bass like a solo cellist in a symphony; the two drummers were complete opposites of each other, and often sounded like rocks in a dryer; and each keyboardist just tried to keep up with the madness.  They were not an ordinary band!

Yeah, I said it: "Rocks in a dryer."

Yeah, I said it: “Rocks in a dryer.”

But they had the capacity to create magic every single night.  There were nights that I could not even begin to explain.

Wait.  Full disclosure:  I did a lot of drugs in my late teens, but by 1989, I stopped altogether.  You cannot say that I only appreciated their music because of the drugs, because I saw far more shows sober than high.

Anyway, there were nights that I could not even begin to explain; moments of magic that seemed impossible, and yet we all felt as if we were waiting for that exact thing to happen.  You can read about at least five examples of this from an earlier blog entry of mine.

There were also moments when we should have rioted and demanded our money back.  However, that’s what you get when you follow the Dead:  Some nights are magic, and some nights…not so much.

I swear this is the exact angle that I saw my second show.

I swear this is the exact angle that I saw my second show.

It would be impossible for me to give a list of introductory songs for newcomers to check out; the Dead are a personal experience, and each person has to find their own way around the maze.  However, I will list a handful of my favorites.  Brown-Eyed Women, Terrapin Station, Crazy Fingers, Help on the Way, Jack Straw, Lazy Lightning, Black Peter, Althea, Scarlet Begonias, and Box of Rain.

Anyway, I am doing a poor job of describing the indescribable.  Let me just end this with a song I wrote back in 1998.  This was about 2 ½ years after Jerry died, and I was still feeling the loss.  I was also feeling the loss of community, identity, and that indescribable moment.

The lyrics to this song are just as vague as the feeling of actually being at a Dead show.  Still, I think they capture it pretty well.  At least in my mind.

Anyway, here it is:  “Hit the Sky.”

Hit the Sky

By: Joel C. Marckx

1998/03/19

There was a fever from off the streets

And all I know, I’ll never hold it anymore

 

A thunderous tune sings, time-struck with wonder

Familiar journey with urgency

Madmen are shouting roaring gospels

Soothing psalms, and galaxies

And all I know, I’ll never hold it anymore

 

            The great foundation, fleeting landscapes

            There are no words for memories

 

Our navigator, a face in red smoke

Lighting fuses in hot pursuit

After surrender, respect is silence

Intoxicated, and scarred for life

And all I know, I’ll never hold it anymore

 

            Discerning pathways near infinity

            Floating in and around the sea

 

I still remember, but I can’t describe it

I sure would love to be there again

Now I just put on my favorite Dark Star

And hit the sky…hit the sky…

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Filed under Deep Thoughts, man..., Lyrics, Music Reviews

Back to the Beginning

(Attention: This story contains profanity, suggested drug use, adult themes, and is intended for mature readers only.)

(continued from yesterday’s post, After the Fight)

Monday, June 28, 1999 – 6:15 pm

Lily knew there was no more time to stall.  Regardless of Justin’s drug habits and work habits, and of all the neglect she has felt in the past year or so, she knew that having an affair was inexcusable.  Yet, she learned that with Cody, offense was the best defense.

“I am sorry for what I have done…”

“What?  What did you do, exactly?”  Cody would in no way let her off so easily.  He wanted her to say it.

“Running off like that and…”

“And what?  What exactly did you do?”  He was not going to let her off the hook for this.

“ I had an affair with Charles, and…”

“You ran off and fucked some other guy!”

Lily, was beginning to fume with anger.  “Yes.  I fucked Charles.  I fucked him, and you made me do it!”

“What the fuck did you just…”

“I never would have done that.  Never!  You drove me out of our own home because of your stupid drugs.  You left me all alone while you worked in the studio.  You left me here with nothing else to do but study Kung Fu.  I’ve spent more time with Charles in training in the last year than I have with you.”

“You what?”

“No.  Not like that.  I mean real training.  Without you around, it was the only thing that interested me.  I get bored around here.  So, I trained.  Every day.  Charles had been making moves on me for a long time, and I laughed them off every time.  When I saw you stoned in the basement, I just wanted to hurt you.  And I wanted to feel some pleasure that I haven’t felt in a long time.” She paused.   “I didn’t feel anything, except guilt.  But, I was so goddamned angry with you, Justin.  You have been too busy for me lately, and we haven’t had any real time together in a long time.  We hardly make love anymore, and when we do, it is so fleeting because you are either tired, or you are heading off somewhere.”  Lily was sobbing again.  “I guess you are also too stoned lately to want to make love anyway.”

“You can’t put this all on me.  I will own a lot of that, but I will never believe that I made you fuck another man.  If you did that, you must have been thinking about it for a long time.  And, it probably wasn’t your first time.”

“It was”, Lily moaned.  “I swear it.”

“You’ll have to excuse me for not taking your word on that.”

“Well, I guess I don’t blame you for not believing me, but I swear on my life that I have never done that before.”

“I’ve done a lot of things in my life, but I have never cheated on you, Lily.  You know that I have had had many opportunities, and I never cheated on you.”

“I know.  But, I never gave you a reason to.”

“Don’t give me that shit!  You have a beef with your husband, you talk it out, or you leave.  You don’t cheat!  You just don’t do that.  That is a level of betrayal that is simply unforgivable.”

Now that Cody had said that word—unforgivable–the real crux of the issue was out.  Cody had to ask himself if he could really forgive her or not.  Lily wondered the same thing. She wanted to equalize their crimes by comparing drug addiction and neglect to infidelity.  After all, were they not both different kinds of betrayals?  But she knew that she had crossed a line to which she may never return.  She could have left Justin, but she never wanted to.  She was afraid to confront him because he was so busy and tired, and a little fragile.  And, because she was afraid of the truth.

Lily was certain that Justin would choose his work and his friends over her if given an ultimatum.  Sure, they had a strong bond that they once saw as unbreakable, but it was now fraying at the ends.  She knew it.  Surely Justin did, too.

Once again, the deadly silent stare between them replaced the words they needed to speak.  Neither knew what the other wanted, or where the other would go.  Twenty minutes into this confrontation, and they still did not know how it would end.

Jamil was right, Cody thought, I do want to forgive her, but I just don’t know if I can.

“So, what do we do, Justin?”

“I don’t know.  I don’t even know what I want; let alone what is possible at this point.”

Lily began to sob again.  She was afraid that Justin would throw her out of the house and end their marriage, but she tried to believe that was not possible.  Hearing him admit that he did not even know what he wanted to do crushed her, and she feared the worst.

After finding Cody in the basement last Friday, stoned and apathetic, Lily wanted to believe that she had had enough.  She knew about the drugs, and she was tired of being neglected.  She imagined that she would break their bond finally by betraying him, and then she would move on with her life.  Now, she knew that was not what she wanted at all.  She wanted things to go back to how they were before Dutch Oven, MGHB, and all the drugs.  She remembered the happiness they shared together, on a daily basis, on the road with the Manatee, and especially at home during his off time.  That was what she wanted.

She hated how much Justin was working these days, and she hated all the extra time on the road touring that they have had to do in the past year.  Life had become chaotic with the success of Dutch Oven, and she hated it.  She wanted her old Justin back.

But now they were set on a frenetic pace bouncing back and forth between Sacramento and New Britain; between Dutch Oven’s commitments and Colonel Manatee’s commitments.  Before Dutch Oven and MGHB, Justin worked only half the year with the Manatee, and then they spent the rest of the year in Sacramento.  That, of course, opened the door to working with a side project—to working with his friends—and that is how this mess all began.

Lily only wanted her Justin back.

Cody broke her train of thought.  “So, what are you going to do?”

Cody was certain that she would want to go, and he was prepared for that possibility.  But, after careful consideration, he knew that was not what he wanted.  If she chose to stay, he would take her back.  He did not know how the marriage would survive in the long run, but he would take her back.

“I just don’t know how we even got here, Justin”, Lily cried.  “In just five short years, we are already like an old married couple that barely acknowledges each other anymore.  I just wanted to feel something that I was missing so badly, but I don’t want Charles, or anyone else for that matter; I want you, Justin.  But I don’t want the person you have become.”

Cody acknowledged her plea with a subtle nod.  He felt ashamed.  He knew that she was right; he had changed.  He allowed an obsession control his life, and it affected his relationship with the one woman he believed that he would ever love.

“I am not sure what to do about it right now”, Cody said.  “I have so many demands piled up so high, and I can’t just walk away.  I need to find some sort of balance.  I need help.”

“I could have helped you all along, but I felt like your Sacramento bands were like a private club closed to the public.”

“They are…”

“But you could have let me in.  You always did with the Manatee, so why not here?”

“I don’t know.  I guess I just wanted to hide that lifestyle from you, even before I got submerged in it.”

“Well, you had your mistress, and I had my own.” Lily tried to joke, but was met by Justin’s piercing eyes.

Cody simply brought the conversation back to topic.  “So, you are unhappy with the way things have been, and you had an affair with another man.  I’d say the choice is yours, Lil; what do you want to do?  You can either stay, and we’ll try to make it work, or you can go, and we’ll just start off on our own.”

Lily could not believe her ears.  Was he giving her a choice?  No ultimatums, and no threats, but a choice to stay or go.

“If you go, you’ll get a nice chunk of alimony or a settlement of some kind, so you won’t have…”

“If you think for a second that I give a shit about the money…”

“I’m just saying it’s there.”

Lily was disgusted, but also a bit relieved.  She was happy that he offered to let her stay and work on the marriage, even if she had doubts that much would change.

Lily smiled, walked over to Justin, and squeezed in beside him in his chair.  “I would like to make this work.  I love you, Justin, and I don’t think that I could ever love anyone the way that I love you.  But with so much hurt and betrayal between us, do you really think that we could fix this?”

“Maybe the only way to fix this is if we don’t trust each other for a little while.  I hope that we will again build that trust up, but for now, maybe we just have to keep an eye on each other.  I don’t know if that sounds right, but I think it may be the only way, for now.  And then, if we cannot get past the trust issues, then we will have to talk about splitting up.”

They gave each other another long, hard, and silent stare, except this one was soft and loving.

“I love you, Lily, and I am sorry for the hurt I have caused you.”

“I love you too, Justin, and I am so sorry that I hurt you, too.”

With no more words between them, they held each other’s hands and walked back into their bedroom to show each other exactly how much they loved each other.

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After the Fight

(Attention: This story contains profanity, suggested drug use, adult themes, and is intended for mature readers only.)

(continued from last Tuesday’s post, The Fight, part 2)

Monday, June 28, 1999 – 9:10 am

The silence in the car was toxic. There was plenty to say, but between the two lovers, there was a wall of shame, confusion, and fear that kept their mouths closed, and their eyes from making contact. Cody shifted in his seat. He was uncomfortable not only because of the terrible rift that had been created by both Lily and him, but also because he was going through withdrawals from the drugs that he had not had for nearly sixty hours.

Cody was arrested Friday night after the fight at NorCal’s, and he was not arraigned until Monday morning. There were lawyers from both the Dutch Oven and Colonel Manatee offices trying to post bail, but the judge refused to make an exception of Cody based on his celebrity status.

Cody did not mind. Every minute he was in jail was another minute that he did not have to face Lily. He was ashamed of his drug use, and he was ashamed of the fight that landed him in jail. He was also ashamed that his marriage was surely ending after Lily’s infidelity. This was the biggest issue for him to face, and he was not looking forward to it.

Now, in the car with Lily, on the way back to their home in Fair Oaks, he wished to be anywhere else but there. He sat slumped in his seat, staring out of the window, and tried not to acknowledge his wife in the driver’s seat next to him.

Lily also feared this meeting. She dreaded the drive home, but knew that she would have to confront the issue head on. Still, she did not visit Cody in jail; instead, she communicated with the lawyers and met Cody at the courthouse on Monday morning. Lily spent the entire weekend alone wondering how their confrontation would go. She was angry about his arrest, and was doubly angry about his drug use, but she knew that she would have to answer for her affair with Charles.

The closer they got to their home, both Lily and Cody felt their stomachs tighten and their hearts pound a little heavier. They were scared, and had no idea how this day would end.

Once inside, Cody tried to speak, but Lily was still not ready. He ordered him to bed. He needed some real rest, and she needed more time to think. She could tell that Cody was not ready to talk—was in no condition to speak rationally—and that he, too, would need more time.

Cody did not argue. He went straight to their bedroom, kicked off his shoes, and collapsed on the bed into a virtual coma.

Lily sat in her study and cried. Once he had come home, it became more real to her. She sobbed hysterically with the realization that their marriage was probably over. Once the tears had stopped, she walked into the bedroom and lay down beside Cody. When she realized that Cody was in a deep sleep, she curled toward him, threw her left arm around him, and held him tightly—perhaps for the last time.

She was in the living room when Cody emerged from his sleep some eight hours later. She heard him taking a shower fifteen minutes earlier, and made a pot of coffee in anticipation of him coming down the stairs. Cody poured himself a cup, and sat down in his chair on the opposite end of the room from her. They stared at each other in cold silence, waiting for the other to speak first. No movement, and no words; only eyes locked in silent battle. Just as Cody was about to make the first move to ask her directly about the affair, Lily spoke first.

“Why were you naked?”

“What?”

“Why did you strip down naked to fight that guy?”

Cody had to think hard for a moment about the question. He was so prepared to talk about the affair, or about his drug use, that he had almost forgotten about the fight outside of NorCal’s.

“I wanted to shame that punk all the more by kicking his sorry ass while naked. You should have seen this guy, Lil–all brawn and attitude, on a steroid-infused rage—he needed his ass beaten.”

“By a naked junkie?”

“Okay, Lil, which issue are we starting with? The drugs, the arrest, or the affair? We got a lot to cover.”

“You’re not kidding, Justin.” There was another moment of silent staring before Lily spoke again. “I would say the drugs started it; let’s start there. How long has it been out of control?”

“I don’t know if it ever was out of control.”

“You were barely conscious in the basement of our house. Your eyes were rolling back. I’m not even sure you knew that it was me yelling at you. You just had a stupid grin on your face…”

“I was just getting the last of the tour out of my system…”

“In our house? You brought that shit into our house, Justin! You have never done that before.”

It was then that Cody realized that Lily had known about his drug use for some time now. His shame deepened.

“How long have you known?” he asked.

“How long do you think, Justin? I am with you all the time. Did you really think you could hide that from me?”

“I only did a little bit, and you never said anything about it before…”

“You and Huey aren’t exactly sly about it. You make it look like you have been drinking, but it’s not the same. You are not the same when you are drinking.”

Cody had been open with Lily about all of the drug use in both the MGHB and Dutch Oven, but had always sworn that he stayed away from it all. He assured Lily that he would be fired from Colonel Manatee if he ever was caught doing hard drugs, so he would never even try. But when he discovered Huey’s penchant for heroin, he could not resist the temptation to share this one vice with his best friend. Cody and Huey never used needles; rather, they smoked it so that it would leave no trace. Once the heroin became a regular part of the band dynamic, cocaine soon followed as a natural counterpart.

“Besides, you have completely pulled away from me this past year”, Lily continued. “You work too much, and you spend too much time with Huey, Jamil, and all the others, and you have been pulling away from me. How long have I known? I’ve known the whole time, and I just watched it happen without saying a word because you were fulfilling your dream. I wanted you to be happy. I wanted you to realize your dreams. But, I also wanted to be a part of it, and I haven’t been for some time. I’ve just been your wife, not your mate. I feel like you replaced me with the drugs…or with Huey.”

Lily was sobbing hysterically now, and Cody was speechless. He had no answer for her. Of course he wanted to make a name for himself; to be something more than just a side player in the Manatee, but he had no idea that it had affected Lily so negatively. He was unaware that she was so unhappy, and so left out; just as he had no idea that his drug use had gotten out of control.

Picking at a fiber from a small hole in his leather chair, Huey took his eyes away from Lily. “For what it’s worth, I have decided to quit using drugs all together.”

“Why? Because you were caught? Because you are up against charges? Or are you only now quitting because you know that you can’t hide it from me?

“No. I’m quitting because I realize that it has gotten out of hand. You know how I hate to be controlled.”

“Well, don’t do it on my account.” Lily was not sure what to make of this new claim.

“Well, I am doing it on your account, and my own, for that matter. I told Huey and Jam on Friday that it had to stop. And yes, you catching me in the basement had a lot to do with that decision. So did the arrest.” Cody had the sudden realization that all the guys from the Manatee must already know about the arrest, and that he would have to answer to them about it, as well. His stomach tightened further.

Lily was not sure that this decision would affect her at all. She still had to answer for her own crimes, which she was not yet ready to do.

“So, how are you going to do it? Quit, I mean.”

Cody never really thought about it. “I guess I’ll just quit. When I gave up smoking cigarettes, I just quit. Simply made the decision to stop, and I stopped. I guess I’ll do the same now.”

“And what about working with Dutch Oven? The whole lot of you are constantly high on something.”

“Well, I guess I’ll have to set some boundaries. You’re right. It’s everywhere on every level of the organization. I’ll have to change things within the band. I don’t know…hire more handlers, I guess. I’ll worry about myself first, then I’ll see if I’ll have to play boss with anyone else. You know I’m not comfortable having to tell anyone what to do.”

“I think that’s part of the problem, Justin.”

“Yeah, well, maybe I’m going to have to get more involved in a lot of matters in my life. Things have gotten slack in a lot of places, haven’t they?” He gave a hard, accusatory, glare into Lily’s eyes, and the silence returned to the room. For about two, long, uncomfortable minutes, they said nothing; only stared at each other’s eyes, knowing where the conversation was headed next.

“Okay, we’ve talked about my shortcomings in this world…”, Cody started.

“Oh, not by a long shot…”

“…what about your own? Are you even aware of your own? Let’s talk about you now.”

(to be continued tomorrow…)

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Filed under Blue Moon Baby - The Novel

I Got Stuck…

…and so I skipped around a bit.

I’m talking about my novel, Blue Moon Baby, and my recent progress in writing it.  I started writing it from beginning to end, but then I got stuck on a section, and then waffled about for a while not writing anything.

I have had the entire story mapped out in my head for years now, and I have only recently begun to write it.  The whole purpose of this blog is for me to get practice writing, and so I write about a host of different ideas that swarm in my head throughout the day.  I also have been reading other writers’ work to see their process, and of course, I read tons of writing tips from people who seem to know what they are talking about.

However, after I got stuck, I decided to jump ahead–WAY ahead–in the story, and share a piece of it that I have really wanted to write for some time.  I posted it here on WordPress here, and here, and…<crickets chirping>.

That story is pretty gritty; probably the grittiest part of the novel, and is filled with cussing, graphic drug use, and a bizarre fight scene.  I liked it, but I did not get much reaction from anyone out there in Bloglandia.  I got a decent amount of views, but only a few like, and no comments.

Was it too gritty?  Did it suck?  Does anyone actually READ anything on my blog?

I realize that complaining about the internet means I’m doing it wrong, but I am puzzled over this one.

Anyway, if anyone is still reading this far, I must ask this question:

Have you ever skipped around while writing your novel, or do you stay firmly on your timeline?

As I mentioned before, I have the whole story planned out in my head, and I made a solid outline for the novel, but I just felt that this chapter of the story needed to be written.  Of course, I realize that everything I have written for the novel will have to be re-written later down the road.  Likewise, I wrote “The Fight” in blog form, with lots of back story that wouldn’t necessarily be there in the actual chapter.

I plan to continue this story where it left off after “The Fight” with posts on Monday and Tuesday, so if you are interested, stay tuned!

Happy Friday!

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