This last week was my birthday. I turned 45 years old. I spent my birthday at my day job painting shelves. We’re opening a new restaurant, and I was lucky enough to meet the owners in July. They hired me to be the Wine & Liquor Director, and we’ve all been working really hard trying to get The Beer Plant opened.
While working a few days ago, I listened to two episodes of the TED Radio Hour, Slowing Down and Shifting Time. These two episodes really spoke to me. I’ve been slow my whole life. It simply takes me longer to get anything done, to go through important hurdles in life. I’m slow. I procrastinate a lot. Every once in a while, I get something done. My poem Blueberry Hill took me 10+ years to write, and I’m still not entirely sure that I’m not going to tweek it some more, for example.
Shifting Time in particular, was about our perception of time. How time fluctuates depending on our frame of mind, on our environment, and how we actually create this mysterious thing we call “time” that we often perceive as being out of our control. That’s what I took from this podcast, in any case.
Here I am, just five years away from turning fifty years old, and I’m not sure that I’m happy with how I’ve managed my time, and I’m not sure how much time I have left, and however much that is, I’d like to publish a few more books because that makes me happy and content.
One of the stories they covered are how older people seem to be happier. Not all of the time, but a lot of the time. And the reason for that is that they slow down, they take it easy. They have a different understanding of time itself, because they are conscious of the fact that they have little of it left. When an old person tells you that they “don’t have time” to do whatever it is you’re asking them to do, and you are looking at them, and all they’re doing is hanging out not doing much of anything that you can tell, what they’re really telling you is not that they don’t have time during their day to do whatever it is that you want them to do, but that this is not something they want to spend the little time they have left being alive doing. That concept really hit it home for me.
You might have noticed: I am back on Facebook. I left Facebook for 25 days because Facebook was becoming such a time-suck, one that was creating lots of negative energy in my life. Hours upon hours simply disappeared. During that time I wasn’t meandering within my internal thought process, my personal universe. Facebook had become a crutch where instead of letting myself go off into my daydreams, I would sign on and zone out in front of the never ending scroll of pictures, political articles, and the never-ending rants of every person I’ve ever met.
It’s addictive–I tend to obsess over a lot of meaningless things–and it was having a negative impact on my creative process. I came back hoping I can use Facebook for sharing my little articles, and keeping up with folks I know. If I fall back within the rabbit hole of mind-and-time-suck, I will have to quit again.
So, here are the things I have time for:
My next book, Songs of the Rollin’ Chateau, should be out early 2017. I’m working with the artist Brian Wootan, who is creating several original drawings for the book, as well as a poster and the cover. We will probably hold a crowd funding campaign to raise money to go to print, and to spread the word. Marketing ideas are welcome. Please leave a comment below, or contact me directly.
During these 25 days away from most of social media, I have started thinking about my next collection, which I think will contain very short stories and essays as well as short poems in prose. I’m currently calling it: Urgent Irrelevancies, though that will probably change a few times before the book is finished. I don’t know if it will be a full length collection, or more of a chap-book size.
Submitting poems and stories to various magazines needs to become an important portion of my week, every week of the year. I might even try to write for various print-based publications. Recently I was given a book review assignment by Lone Star Literary Life. That should be live the next week or so. There will be more reviews with them!
Hanging out with people in person. Traveling to different cities to hang out with people in person and camp in the middle of nowhere with my dog. Drink great wines, preferably with friends.
Finally, I will be concentrating on my day-night job as the Wine & Liquor Director at The Beer Plant, where I will also be working as a full time bartender.
What do you have time for? Leave a comment, let me know.
Peace & Love
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