I haven’t been reading much lately. I suppose I’ve been too busy developing my new novel, Fondly, working on pieces for an upcoming art show, preparing to record our next album, 1000 Tragedies, designing posters for upcoming shows, and come Tuesday, I’ll be scoring the next installation of the Beggar’s Carnivale.
Add in that full time job, puppies that need attention, and a woman whose time I cherish, and it doesn’t leave a lot of room for the simple act of opening a book and turning a page.
Just as every musician should be listening to other bands, and as a Mad Man, I should be watching commercials religiously; a writer should be reading.
While the work itself is often a singular exercise, a process left to the individual, it is still a craft that must be constantly honed.
A part of me justifies the time-imposed ignorance with the desire to be original, free of outside influence. But whether thoughts and prose spark me or not, my mind is still mine. My work still comes from my soul, so regardless of outside intervention, it is still very much original and mine.
Reading a book is a commitment. Time and emotion. It’s difficult to muster up enough of either, sometimes, with so much on my plate. Over the past three years, I’ve started reading a handful of books, only to lose steam midway through, regardless of how much I enjoyed the work, or the inspiration it gave me.
So I’m wading back in from the shallow end. I’ve been reading a lot of short stories and essays. So far, so good. As long as it is printed on paper, and can be closed, held, smelled and felt, I give it a shot. If I don’t like a story, it’s only a few pages. If I liked it, I can take that momentum and move onto the next one.
Now, I’m heavily influenced by pretty much everything I find meaning in.
That means I feel compelled to throw another iron in the fire. I can’t stop thinking about releasing my own book of flash fiction, essays and poetry. Perhaps hardback and full color. Or maybe just a chapbook. All these orphaned pieces left hiding in the archives are just dying to see some light, breathe the sweet air of life.
It’s all just chicken scratch in a moleskine right now. Who knows where it will go.
But, just in case, stay tuned.