Brinks and Bricks

What is new here? What’s up with Shrapnel? How close? How far away? What’s the story? Does it matter anymore?

Sometimes it does. Well, most of the time it does. But there are times I get pushed to the brink. One brink after another. At every stage. I keep pausing and checking myself, why are you doing this? If I find the honest answer, I’m kind of able to build the confidence again

…until another stone is cast, and the veins in the glass crack a little differently, or so it seems. I shatter in the same way, have to pick up the pieces all over again, so what does it matter?

It matters.

I have to keep telling myself it matters. It just seems like a constant challenge. A test. Will I be able to have the self-worth that others have? I need to try or die. I can’t just erase my story. I shouldn’t let others erase it either.

I never set out on this path to cause anyone pain. In fact, I’ve made great steps to avoid doing just that. I’ve censored. I’ve respected people’s privacy. I’ve revealed my own fuck-ups, responsibilities, and laid bare my most embarrassing shit. I write, I paint, I make art, music, and do whatever I need to to connect with other people because I can’t have relationships with anyone otherwise. I have tried, and more often than not, fail. For the most part, this is how I speak. I should honestly be kept in a cage at home or have my mouth sewn shut. It doesn’t work for me otherwise. I have no thread to the earth without immersing myself in this kind of work (“art”) — a kind of work that serves as a distraction so I don’t have to think. If I think, it’s not good.

If I touch anyone during the process, or as a result of, creating something that is meaningful to me, that’s just a fortunate byproduct. That’s not something I’m trying to do on purpose. I’ll admit that now. I’m an artist for mostly selfish reasons.

You may wonder where this is going, or why I’m ranting. It’s because over the last few weeks I’ve lost a couple relationships I thought were important to me. I’d always thought both were crucial for me to keep loving and peaceful. More often than not, I’ve lived my life dancing around them as though they were more important than myself. Usually highly disgruntled about them, left in pain, many times in tears, I’m oftentimes pathetically apologetic. Or feel like I am. I don’t blame them for this, but I want to stop blaming myself. I want to blame no one. Instead, I want to not be around people that make me feel like shit about myself or about what I do, or, treat me (or anyone) like I’m lesser person anymore.

It’s no good. Life is too short, which is something you hear old people say a lot.¬† That’s because they’re old and life is short, and I’m old now.

This book has been drawing a clear line in the sand with certain people even though they haven’t even read one page of it. Some people don’t get it, or would rather I publish it under a different genre — as if I can just slap “fiction” on it and my problems will all go away. I can pretend the story happened. Maybe that would make me a “real” writer. Then I can start a #pretendmetoo movement, hide from the Church of Scientology, and not recommend resources for persons in similar circumstances. Instead of standing tall in my truth, I can wither and not call myself a survivor at all. I can embellish and sensationalize all the celebrity friends I have, somehow work them into my story even though they have nothing to do with any point I want to make. Then I can sell, sell, sell! How’s that? Have any of these people met me?

Alright, I’ll get off the bitter soapbox. Back to the news, Jim. And stay tuned for the weather.

Would you believe I’m still making changes to the book? Yup. Well, it’s a different animal now that I’m publishing it myself, or rather, through my own company. And building a company is not something you can just throw together in your “spare time.”

It’s been a lot of work, but my goal — though I may not reach it — is to start getting the book to print in December so I could launch it by April. However, that may not be possible because of other people, other funds, and other little details. Because these details seem to be raining down on me lately, I was just saying on Carol’s Bloggie earlier¬†that I’ve cancelled my solo show in the spring. I have too much of myself dedicate to the company and publishing the book, and that’s not even counting the promotion of it. Hopefully, I can concentrate on my artwork in a little while. I’ll finish out one of the bodies of work I’ve been working on, and show it in the fall.

When I told Craig (Craig Krull Gallery) that I wasn’t going to be able to show by April, I felt a tremendous weight lift off my shoulders. I feel relaxed about the work I want to do. I was working on the small watercolors, and those will be cool and all, but I want to do some oil paintings too.

As for the book, I’ve accomplished a lot. It’s just not visible from the outside yet. Some of it will be. Soon.

In the meantime, mjp and I have been putting all the legality stuff for the publishing company in place, like establishing the LLC, business phone, bank account, state filing, funding, tax stuff, operating paperwork, budget and business plans, and designing our company logo. Crossing Ts and dottin’ them Is. Or crossing our eyes and dipping our tea? We’re also almost done with the website and social media set up, just wondering if there’s really more needed than G+, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Tumblr? Do people actually use that?

Proofing? Yet to be finished. But the cover of the book is pretty much designed. I just don’t have the file yet. And I’m still waiting on permissions from the music publishing companies regarding a couple of lines of lyrics from two songs, which could be pricey. I’ll have to wait and see. My amazing lawyer is going to try help speed that process along by sending out a followup note and see what the hold-up is.

You might think that’s an oxymoron to see “awesome” and “lawyer” in the same sentence, but I’ve been working with an incredibly wonderful oxymoron with a diamond heart. He’s one of the good guys, and he steps up for good causes whenever possible. He should have some kind of superhero cape.


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