2004- Year in Review

Poplar Bluff, MO... in the 21st Century

In early January, we moved back to the city of my birth: Poplar Bluff Mo.  Neither Brian nor I were too excited about the prospect, but we were unable to secure work in California, and my mother was having a lot of health problems.  The move was meant to be advantageous for all of us: we would help out around the house, and the odds of finding work increased.

Not long after we arrived, my father fell, and hurt himself at work.  The hand of Providence had indeed brought us here.  We had to pick up the slack.  Brian found work, and I helped out around the house.

Editing "Liquid Sky"

By march, I had some free time, so I polished "Liquid Sky" into what I thought was a good book.  It wasn't easy.  The interruptions and agitations were constant.  I can't tell you how many started: "Since you're not doing anything..."  

My folks just don't see what I do as work.  Probably because I enjoy it.  That appears to be their real problem.  With a great deal of perseverance, I finished my rewrites...

Quitting Smoking.

That wasn't the only thing I gave up.  On June 1st, I quit smoking.  Not because I wanted to, not because I felt like it, but because I thought I would slit my wrist if I had to hear what a disappointment it was, and "how did we go so wrong."  I decided to quit because their words were killing me faster than the cigarettes.   

I find it laughable that I started smoking because I wanted to, and I quit smoking because of "peer pressure."  For someone as prone to depression as I am, I had to make the attacks on my character stop before they drove me over the edge.

"The side effects have been profound, but the dizziness is subsiding.  I can't wait to be off the patches though.  I have quit before, and I hope this is the last time I will go through this torment [from the Blog- June 1]."  The patches made sicker than I have ever been.  It was almost impossible to get anything done... and the nightmares grew worse.  Vivid claws and ripping teeth... My nightmares are terrors on their own, but the patches intensified them into horrors beyond all description.

Ending all suffering... well, it's a goal

"My greatest goal in life is to achieve a state of freedom from suffering, attachment, and aversion.  My addiction to tobacco is the purest form of attachment and suffering I have in my life.  I will walk the path of Liberation to the best of my ability [from the Blog- June 1]."  I had vowed to end all of my attachments, to end my grasping mind.  I took refuge (privately), and began my practice in secret.

"I ride the waves, but I am no longer tossed about.  That may seem confusing for some of you, and if it does, I'm sorry.  But right now it is a private struggle... I just wanted to give you all a sneak peek [from the Blog- June 1]."

This is something that took me a while to talk about freely not until 2005:  [http://christiansangha.blogspot.com/]

Parents' Health Improves

Mom and dad were feeling so good they went on vacation to visit my sister...

Lights in the Sky (July 4)

This was the first year Brian got to set off firecrackers on the fourth.  His eyes light up with every rocket he launched.  His joy and laughter were infectious.  I hope this is not the last time, he enjoyed it so much.

The Submission Process

None of my submissions for publication were accepted...  I am not sure why, exactly, but I have done a lot of studying since, and I think I wrote a poor query letter.  I also think I started the story too late.

This will not be the end of "Liquid Sky," but it will have to wait.

Less Human than Human (August 3-4)

For the second time in my life, a state I lived in told me that Brian and I could never be married, because there constitution is stronger that the dictionary, justice, and love.    What made things worse was all of the rhetoric, "We love homosexuals, but we just don't think they should be given special rights."

All I can say is, "Your love makes me sick...  You and all of the other bigots like you.  You can disagree with my politics, and 'tolerate them,' but you cannot be prejudiced against me because of who I am and 'tolerate me.'  The KKK is not tolerant because they are only speaking out against minorities, but allows them to exist.  They are still bigots!"

Anticipating Nano

One of the brightest points on the year was the exhilaration I felt in the run up to National Novel Writing Month (Nano), in November.  All year I had struggled to find time to write, and now I had something to rally around.  No one could object to me taking one month for writing... or so I thought, but the dream of finishing another book drew me in.  I began to prepare...

My Music Charted!

Just for fun I decided to release some of my music to Amazon.com.  I didn't give much thought to it, I just sat down and uploaded it one day.  Then around October 1st, I thought it would be fun to see how the songs were doing.  To my surprise, they were charting!

In the end, they all did better than I could have Imagined:

  • Motion
    • Alternative Chart- 60
    • Electric Blues Guitar Chart- 20
  • Ghost Dance
    • Progressive Rock Chart- 3
    • Goth & Industrial Chart- 10
  • Mission of Love (Ultimatum)
    • Alternative Chart- 194
    • Progressive Rock Chart- 26

(From Blog 10-21-2004)

The Thanksgiving from Hell

Your soul can be rubbed raw... to the point where it bleeds and cries out within you.  The pain of a thousand and one invisible needle delivering their poison one by one slowly over a life time is more than I can bare.  My soul may be shattered and hollow, and I may have become too comfortable with that, but even I have limits.

I hope my optimism may return someday, but I am not holding my breath waiting for it to happen.

Reflections on Nano

One month of justifying why I write instead of actually writing...  When I got to pound the keys, it was amazing.  I loved the rush, the sheer thrill of naked writing (see blog),  This year I will be ready for it.  The idea is not flawed, but in my current situation, it is hard to find time to be alone to write.  I usually work on the site while cooking, or doing dishes.

The Failed Quest for a New Book...

No new novel... no published novel... but 2004 was not a wash.  I learned a lot, and I had to become more hardcore.  Writing is in my blood or this year would have beaten it out of me.  On the contrary, it made me seek out new out lets for my creativity.

2004 marks the d
eath of naïveté and the birth or guerilla writing.  Hardcore short fiction to expel the idea for it expels me.  Just wait... you'll see.

On to 2005!