I haven't posted anything here since November 12, 2010. For several reasons.
I caught what's probably the flu around that time: and haven't really shaken it since. I'm pushing age 60, and next year I am not missing the flu shot.
That's also when I started having problems doing creative work. Dealing with some sort of an influenza-like infection didn't help any, but there may be more going on than that.1
This post is a sort of status report, telling what's changed in my plans.
Apathetic Lemming of the Month
The Lemming's blog is fun to research and write for: but I've decided that it's time to cut back a little. (Apathetic Lemming of the North (February 21, 2011))
Loonfoot Falls, Minnesota
From May 23, 2008 to November 5, 2010, I'd been cranking out a 250-word post each week in Loonfoot Falls Chronicle-Gazette, yet another blog. The idea was to develop the setting, a small town in Minnesota. Quite fictional: although it's at least as accurate a picture as Garrison Keillor's Lake Wobegon. I actually live in a small town in central Minnesota: and that's almost another topic.
Then, in mid-November of last year, I realized that I was having a hard time creating new posts - and not all that many folks had been visiting that particular blog. Since I had a modestly rich set of characters, settings, and situations established: I haven't written anything for that blog since.
The odds are pretty good that I'll restart the Gazette column - and I'm getting to that.
Only So Many Hours in a Day
Some creative types work in a studio - either as a member of a team led by someone else, or as the chief 'idea' person. There's nothing wrong with that, in my opinion.
As I recall, the big creative names in Renaissance Italy, besides being talented artists, ran businesses. These days they'd be commercial artists, interior designers, and a plethora of other job titles. They didn't necessarily do all the work on every piece that had their name on it - any more than Walt Disney or George Lucas have been doing all the work in movies they've made.
Like I say, I have no problem with that. The idea, as I see it, is to get a movie, or a comic strip, or something else 'out the door,' and if it takes a team to do it well: it takes a team.
Which doesn't have all that much to do with what I'm doing.
I'm one person. I've gotten help, from time to time, from members of my family: but there isn't much that I write or display that I didn't make myself.
That's kind of nice for my ego - when the results come out well - but it puts very real limitations on just how much I can expect to get done. Which is why I've cut back on how much I write each day.
The World of Loonfoot Falls
As I wrote those posts about Loonfoot Falls, Minnesota, I found I was collecting material about the semi-fictional world the town was in. I made notes as I went along, even when the idea never made it into one of those 250-word posts.
There's a big difference between some nifty ideas, and a story or picture involving them that someone else might find interesting. Or, I hope, entertaining.
What I've started working on is playing with that 'extra' material from the Loonfoot Falls project, and seeing if I can make them into stories, or illustrations: or something.
Which is part of what I was working on today. Here's what I have to show for most of an afternoon's work on the world of Loonfoot Falls:
That's right: It's a door. An ordinary door that someone's apparently painted green. Or some color that's sort of green.
Not very impressive, by itself.
But, it's a start.
- "Facts, Frustration, and Fear"
A Catholic Citizen in America (January 28, 2011)
- Technical Difficulties
Loonfoot Falls Chronicle-Gazette (November 13, 2010)
- "A Not-Entirely-Misspent Afternoon"
(August 20, 2010)
- "Getting Serious by Getting Silly: Meet Galaxy Cadet Aster Alpha"
(March 28, 2010)
- " 'Belvedere Union Grand's Room 313' - a Short-Short Story"
(November 2, 2009)
- "The Art Market in Renaissance Florence: Workshops, Production and Business Strategies" (.pdf)
New York University in Florence (Spring 2009
1Something quite unpleasant happened around Christmas time, back in '60s, and I the way I get frantic around that time of year may be more than the usual cultural craziness. I discussed that in another blog. (A Catholic Citizen in America (January 28, 2011))