So I missed my usual post last Thursday. Looking at the blog stats, it’s easy to tell; people don’t visit when there’s nothing to visit. As for why I missed it, that’s a tale as old as time. And probably less interesting than watching paint dry.
Boiling it down to the essence, a multitude of little things crept up on me, and seasonal depression is very real. No need to say any more. Depression, above all, is fucking BORING. It’s blah when you’re in it, and hearing other people bleat about it is even worse. And see, here I am writing about it anyway, despite fully intending not to. [slaps self, but gently, with one hand only, so as not to spill the delicious root beer float in the other]
Okay, back to it. So today, because mental resources are at a low ebb and there are a lot of interesting things out there, is a Castalia House Sensor Sweep type of post that makes a couple of quick points about articles and blog posts on various topics. But because I’m hooked on that Old West thing, I’m calling it a roundup, of course.
I only recently got turned on to this band, but they’ve been doing their thing for a solid 20 years now. And their thing is kickass blues rock. Heavy, with a big dose of shuffle, funk, and swagger. An unbeatable sense of humor, too. These guys are serious about making good music, but they don’t take themselves too seriously.
This song from their most recent album is a good representative. If you like this, you’re in luck, because they’ve got 20 years worth of great stuff like this waiting for you…and once you know some Clutch, come back to this video and have fun with all the Easter eggs.
I’ve been listening to this band for a while now, but only on YouTube and Spotify. I finally bought their second-to-last — and far and away their best — album so I could play it in my truck, which holds within its sacred cab the only decent stereo system I have. Thus I have finally heard the full depth and VOLUME of this death metal masterpiece (along with anyone else within about 75 yards), and it is good.
The album art is something else, too; you can see a lot of it in the video, but unfortunately not in any detail. It’s basically death-metal pointillism: All the weapons and guillotines are actually an intricate network of smaller images of more weapons and guillotines. Oh yeah, and skulls and coffins. Can’t forget about those.
Are you still an aspiring writer?
This article, by Nat Russo at Erindor Press, dives into some of the reasons why so many of us are merely aspiring writers when we are actually much closer and more capable than we think. Those who have reached the Holy Grail and put their fiction into print might also want to read it, because it touches on confidence-and-mentality roadblocks that writers tend to face at any stage.
You’ve been writing for days, months, years, perhaps decades. You have a few pages or paragraphs under your belt. Or, perhaps, you have partially finished manuscripts collecting dust somewhere. But, you just can’t bring yourself to use the word writer. Are you still an aspiring writer?Nat Russo, A Writer’s Journey
Personally, I’m not reluctant to call myself a writer because it’s actually how I make my living…just not by writing fiction (unless you count the little white lies marketing departments tell).
Still, I am an aspiring writer of fiction. Or, as I’d put it, I’m an aspiring author. Being a writer is easy; being an author of stories for other people…it’s been a desire of mine to write and publish a fantasy novel since I was 15, and here I am, 30+ years later, still without a finished novel, let alone a published one.
Yeah, this article definitely has a message for me. As does the next…
Writing breakthrough: Misbeliefs
So the central nugget here is that everyone goes through life clinging to certain misbeliefs, and that because they stem from basic human brain wiring, they’re a sort of universal well of character-building, dramatic tension, and reader-relatability in stories. (Spellchecker tells me “relatability” isn’t a word; spellchecker can eat my shorts.)
I can’t explain it any further without either being a big boring moron or using way too many of someone else’s words, so I’ll just refer you to the article: Writing breakthrough. And life. But also writing.