Inspired to Keep On
From The Morning Pages:
Late to the party this morning, got hung up reading a bunch of my old Blog posts. I, for the most part, dig them, there is a voice – my voice – and there is both a gentleness and a fairly clear sense of loathing and doom. Again, the idea came that I should gather many of my posts together and publish in book form. Call it “Stories” or something more catchy, of course it could simply be called ‘Couch Surfing at 70’. That would work, and I do own that domain. I think a while back I created a Word doc for the purpose of gathering, maybe got as far and beginning copying and pasting, I can’t really remember, I’ll look around when I fire the computer up after completing this morning’s three pages. Like I always say – it’s good to have goals.
Earlier, up in the recliner with coffee, I finishe a fat zine titled “The Gigging Life” by an Oregon writer named Matt Love. It was inspiring, a lot, and encouraging, and spontaneously I picked up my phone and went to Facebook and found him there, the first listed Matt Love, and sent a friend request. I added a message, briefly explaining me and being inspired and all and hoping we might connect, what with us both being Oregon authors, and never mind I actually also have published a zine of my own, though I didn’t mention that. Matt’s ‘gigging’ zine, which was a gift to me from my Patron Joyce Welsh, was self-published by what looks like a publishing company he – Matt – created in Astoria. It’s called ‘Nestucca Spit Press’. He has written, according to personal info in the zine – and nearly all the info is personal – 15 books and self-published them all. I myself am up to the number six in self-published books.
One of my books, I hope you know, is “Astoria Strange”, and with his publishing company in Astoria and me and my supernatural tales set in Astoria, it already feels like we have at least a bit of psychic connection. So I hope he accepts my request. Perhaps, then, we could talk about my next book, a collection of out-of-the-main-stream yarns called “Collected Strays”, a book I have been “working on”, well, at least involved with, some four or five years now and with, at this moment, no end in sight. But, I can say it will be very cool when I finally get it done – my best stuff yet – assuming our Country doesn’t implode before then. And just how amazing would it be if I could be published by an actual publisher other than my so-far Amazon self-stuff. Especially as one of the longer stories in “Strays” is — Spoiler Alert!!! — my first follow-up story to “Astoria Strange”, again starring Ted Davis and Elsbeth and Rennie Moss and Bonnie Salvador, Loqui, Darcy, Harold, Ruthie Thompkins – well, all of them. With a new lead character named Sammie Gagner. Once, of course I finish the damn thing, now a year old and not a fourth of the way complete.
The point being it would be beyond dreaming to have my book published in Astoria by a zine guy who has ‘gigged’ all over Oregon, over 600,000 miles logged in a couple of trucks around the state, telling his story, being a powerful advocate of the philosophy expressed by another of my literary favorites, Austin Kleon in his book “Show Your Work”. Joyce, my Patron, has encouraged me to sell my poetry books by getting my lazy butt off to open mikes and slams and other public venues. Another of my Patrons, Marie Buchan from way over there on the north Scotland coast, recently sent me an email with an article called “Don’t Sell Your Art – Share Your Mission”. There’s a pattern here. In fact, I would like to think – and do – that where you find yourself this very moment, here at Couch Surfing at 70, is another way I am sharing my work, advocating reading always, and doing my best to crank out at least a little hope.
Actually, I have spilled just a tad beyond my three morning pages of today with the last paragraph. The point, hopefully obvious, is that I write and paint and want, really want, to keep putting my stuff out there into the world, and that people like Matt and Austin, my wife Susan, my Patrons and my closest friends, they all inspire me daily. To, like we use to say back in the day – just keep on keepin’ on.