There’s an interviewee in a biography about Jimi Hendrix who claimed that normal people used drugs to get high, but when brother Jimi used them, it just brought him around to normal. So it is with me if I don’t drink to excess.
I was talking to my therapist today and told her my mind races so fast and furiously that focusing is nearly impossible unless I have a drink or two beneath my belt. She didn’t say I’m imagining that but she did indicate that I could benefit from mindfulness therapy. I don’t know about that. I think my problem is I can’t fully explain what my non-focusing mind feels like; you’d really have to journey through my head to understand. I’ve tried in the past to write songs, short stories, novels and screenplays sober, but in the end, just came up with uninteresting, throwaway tripe.
Bipolar, from what I’ve been reading, robs people of the ability to sit still and focus. No wonder I can’t sit through an entire movie without drinking. Sober, I usually pause the flick after 20 minutes or so to do something else, like play a video game or surf the internet. After about an hour, I may get back to the movie…may, but that usually doesn’t happen as I’d simply moved on from one activity to the next till it’s sleep time.
The medications I used to be on (really, I was nothing more than a guinea pig as far as shrinks were concerned) either turned me into a balloon, gave me vertigo, made me constantly gnash my teeth, dried my mouth or made me oversleep. Beer is like a ball and chain on my ankles when I need it to be, like writing fiction or watching a movie. It calms me down and always me to focus on the task at hand. Without it I’m just a man with a kaleidoscope for a mind, a jumbled mass of non-related ideas coursing through my skull, never slowing down, always taking flight. What would a snapshot of my manic mind look like? The picture posted above should give you an idea.
Last night I had the strangest dream – so I wrote it down. It became “The Unusual Case of Mary Piñeta” and is now a short story under the Unpublished Stories section.
I’ll be going on tour soon. What band am I currently in, did you ask? None, really. I’ll be having a book tour of Wetland and Other Stories that should last about a month. Hopefully I will get me some sweet reviews and, even better yet, purchases of my first book. It’s the dilemma of modern authors today. You can’t just sit back and let the small press publicize your book. Those days are over. You have to roll up your sleeves and take the bull by the horns yourself. Yes, it’s very tiring and time consuming, but it comes with the writing territory. I wasn’t expecting it, but it’s all good. Whatever’s clever, right?
As we speak, the paperback and Kindle versions of Wetland can be found on Amazon. I contacted the University Bookstore (UB) yesterday but they told me my book would have to be available at Ingram for a discount, and returnable, before they stocked their shelves with any. According to my publisher, only their best selling titles end up at Ingram. I guess it’s way too soon for Wetland. What a Catch 22, huh? UB can’t carry my books unless they sell, but my books can’t sell unless they’re being carried by UB! I do plan to hit up a few brick and mortars like Third Street Books and Elliot Bay Books in the coming weeks so I’m optimistic.
I had a good laugh when I saw this a few days ago. Thanks, who ever made it. It was just the bit of humor I needed in these low times.
In other news, I’m in the middle of editing the galley of my first book, Wetland and Other Stories. It’s looking good so far. I should be done by tomorrow. I don’t have a timetable for its release yet but I’m guessing it should be out in two or three months. Yay! I’ve released books before but those were on my own college company, Sound Off Press. I wish I could find those juvenile books now. They had not only short stories but also poems and illustrations. Ah. The good ol’ creative days at Iowa State.
You know, in this day and age of self publishing, I’ve often asked myself, “Self, why do you continue to send out your short stories and poems for publication consideration from established magazines?” True. No one has to. With the proliferation of literary blogs, a writer can just as easily sit at home and display their linguistic cunning to the world without the help or backing of a literary agency. Indeed, all one has to do is post one’s site on various blog channels and the readers will come running. Or so it seems. I think, for me, I like the idea of others championing my work because it says, one, that I can write and, two, I’m worth reading. It’s kind of like a pat on the back that says “good job, well done.” I guess I’m still at that stage where I need some reassurance. Rejection does hurt but the occasional acceptance is a panacea for the pain.