Monday, 14 December 2015

Let the results speak on my behalf.

Results speak for themselves.

Despite best efforts to deny it, those claiming recognition as completed works of art speak to both talent and commitment.  In the most successful instances a work may also demonstrate the ability to extend the boundaries of either its creator's ability or intent.  For while occasionally true seldom is a finished work exactly as conceptualized by the artist, for better or worse.

We get what we get.

This is often in spite of our interest in achieving something entirely different.  Art imitates life most strongly in this way.  The relentless search for profundity common to our kind usually supersedes intellectual curiosity.

It seems likely we're better off as a result.

The best of intentions invariably lead beyond or beside those places for which we most often believed we had been searching.  A man relentlessly devoted to a plan my intentions surrounding the work I've done have long been clearly defined.  Yet it is with neither surprise nor disappointment I report that most of my completed works vary in astounding ways from their original blueprint.

Life seldom gives what a man believes he wants.

A decade's long career as songwriter, performer and producer impressed upon me the ability of a 'completed' work to evolve.  In the milieu of contemporary music a 'finished' song arrives at a recording studio certain to be rearranged to suit the whims of a producer.  The producer will employ a variety of musicians to arrive at the performance he believes will most successfully represent the material to a listening audience.  The musicians interpret the instructions of the producer via the arrangement and performance of their instruments.  A separate and extensive list of professionals will be responsible for recording the musical performance.   There are more engineers responsible for both mixing and mastering the recorded material.  Each will add their influence to the finished work prior to its release.

While a simplified view of an intricate process it demonstrates that many cooks are often involved in the artistic kitchen of professional music.

There are fewer people involved in the writing of fiction.  This is perhaps why I have always preferred writing over all other activities.  We must leave that discussion for another time.  For while the work of writing is a solo pursuit an assortment of cooks are required to complete the literary meal recognized as a published novel.  The array of beta readers, proof readers, line and copy editors, advisors, formatting and design experts involved in turning a manuscript into a novel defies the imagination.  This list ignores the marketing and promotional aspects of the literary business who themselves compose a phalanx of significant number.  Each of them adds a unique flavor to the meal served to the reader.

I best enjoy working alone.

Though I won't deny that without the emotional and financial support of friends and fans it would not be possible.  I'm fortunate to be blessed with people who appreciate and support my work and because of them have been able to continue doing it.  The growth and development of my efforts in both music and writing has been ~ entirely ~ enabled by that support.

To paraphrase a wise man there is no one among us who is truly an island.

My fiction work depends on support received from the aforementioned group of beta and proofreaders, editorial commentators, sympathetic academics, and fans of the writer.  Without their help I'd be lost in the proverbial sea of nightmares caused by being too close to the artistic forest to see the storytelling trees.  That working alone should involve the desperately required aid of so many people remains one of life's great surprises.

I'm as grateful to experience it as I have been to receive the help.

So it that my relaunched career in literature continues.  With the publication of 'A Dog and His Boy' it has, most surprisingly to the writer, occurred.  The first sales along with the experience of holding a paperback with my name on the cover make it undeniable.  There can be no undoing.  Though certainly nothing like what I had planned as an arrogant high school teen on the way to the bestseller list, the experience is no less fulfilling.

To get what we need is far superior to getting what we think we want.

That I am now aware of the existence of typographical errors in the text of 'A Dog and His Boy' continues to vex me sorely.  I have wrestled with the reality of this situation and like many of those things of which we can do nothing it rankles.  To allow the situation to pass unchallenged seems beyond my vanity.  It is a damnable shame that a misplaced apostrophe or a mangled sentence should deface the work of a man's life but there it is.  Print and text errors are unavoidable I have since been informed.  The results are well within the guidelines adhered to by traditional publishers and thus technically unassailable has been the reassurance.

We get what we get.

I'm considering publishing a page that identifies text errors in 'A Dog and His Boy' here on the blog site.  If you'd be interested in seeing such a page created let me know by leaving a comment.  As errors are identified I can create a list of corrections and post them.  While quite limited in number they are causing me grief and I worry they might do the same for others.  As it won't surprise me to find I'm being overly sensitive I'll watch for comments and proceed accordingly.

Thanks for being here and thanks for sharing the blog.

-          TH
December 14, 2015

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