The dawn of a new year passes with little notice around these parts.
With more of them than I care to admit rung in from the stage on behalf of untold revelers I beg no pardon when choosing to sleep an old one out when given the chance. The peculiar luxury derived from knowingly avoiding work demanded by others I learned as a schoolboy skipping classes.
I derive no shame from continuing to enjoy the experience.
A man of acceptable discipline also reasonably satisfied with his performance I make no resolutions. The summing up common to these occasions is also avoided as a fellow in my circumstance can be intimidated by consideration of such matters.
I acknowledge no fear in response to the growing body of work for which I must answer.
That my artistic productivity continues unabated remains my primary objective. In whatever form I should pursue it to the best of my ability. Throughout and despite obstacles encountered personal or environmental of any kind or significance for as long as it remains possible for me to do so.
I long ago accepted this as my personal and freely chosen duty.
The decades spent pursuing these quests have passed with frustrating speed. Those skills gained along the way though honed to a professional point were acquired with great difficulty in most instances. That a man works best in solitary obscurity has both helped and hindered though it remains difficult to judge the relative importance of either in this case.
I enjoy the work and rarely consider much else.
Another reality difficult to deny is the psychological burden work completed in a man's own past imparts when attempting to move forward. As the weight of experience tears the veil of youth from the mind of the adult so too efforts earlier created rend the shroud of mystery concealing works to come from the imagination of the artist. The shared component of vocational creative life of any kind is displacement of the amateur's joyous freedom of expression with the professional's restrained practice of technique.
I receive no misery working at activities once pursued for enjoyment in spite of this.
While the body of work behind a fellow is best left there I accept a man is at least somewhat reflected, imperfectly if undeniably, by it. Though a rare choice to acknowledge my own accomplishments they are as significant a point of pride for me as for any of my ilk. That it has lacked significant popular appeal to date is balanced, more than less, as much by quantity as quality.
I willingly embraced a life of anonymous poverty to create it.
The introduction of 'A Dog and His Boy' to the reading public is thus ongoing. While the learning curve of the publishing space is doubtless steep and regularly punishing it can also deliver occasional rewards. Efforts to promote the novel continue and early reviews while uneven have now, albeit sporadically, appeared at various places around the literary world. With focussed application and positive word of mouth by readers the hope is this will accelerate in coming months. The popularity of the paperback edition has been a pleasant surprise while the cost of shipping books by post is a bitter pill to swallow. A phrase now despised in these parts is exchange rate but that's a story for another time.
I am certainly thrilled my work is being read.
Meanwhile the edited final draft of the second novel I will publish is now being proofread. Plans for a release date are in development and the weekly blog posting schedule continues meantime. After eight consecutive six day work weeks at the keyboard however a break well-earned is next on the writer's agenda. Though unlikely to manage a repeat of the remarkable productivity of the decade just passed a man appreciates having posted a target. The next weeks also feature a return to the performing stage and thus my time is, as usual, at least semi-regularly infringed. Despite this a decision on the next literary project and a working schedule for its completion will no doubt shortly be devised.
The dawn of a new year, and with any luck more of the same, is upon us all.
Thanks for being here and thanks for sharing the blog.
January 4, 2016