HAPPY NEW YEAR 2017!!!

Happy New Year!! 2016 had some tough moments……..but, for me, the bloodshed started in early December, 2015 with the death of Scott Weiland.  My friend and I discussed our shock at the time. His death was unexpected, but not surprising, really.  We discussed how you never really know anything. All the platitudes are true…..”you don’t know what you’ve got til it’s gone, only the good die young, the future is not promised, each day is a gift”…blah, blah…..I could go on…but, you get it. Anyway….it seemed like only a few days later when Lemmy died. That hurt too. We knew he was sick….just hoped he would dominate it like he dominated metal. And, then in early 2016…Bowie….okay….now it was starting to feel personal…my childhood was dying.  Okay….not really…..how can I explain?  Let’s see….if I were the type of person to record meaningful personal life events on my body…..I would have tats with all of these people for one reason or another. (Of course, the first one would have been of Andy Gibb….but, I digress.)

I know it is not rational to mourn the loss of people you don’t know….but, each of these people touched me in some way that I found significant.  We grew up together.  Or, it felt like we had. So…while I did not cry or attend funerals or memorials….I was sad. Noticeably sad. And, then …Glenn Frey.  RUFKM?  The Eagles is the one band to share one thing……my mother, my daughter and I are all big fans. I remember long road trips with my mom listening to that greatest hits 8 – track over and over and over…..(which is a joke, because 8 – tracks never ended or stopped……more digression.)

So…..this was getting ridiculous.  ( I am not going to go through the whole list…so, stick with me……) The Eagles were on my bucket list. I had missed their most recent tour due to funds and a promise to “go no matter what” next tour.  Well, damn. Not sure if they would tour or not now……but, I am kind of a purist.  You need to have the essence of the band there…..(at the very least) or I won’t go. The Eagles are not the Eagles without Glenn Frey. This made me sad and angry (at people, money, divorce, courts, etc) and not sure what else. It is at this precise moment in time that I find myself at some silent fundraising auction.  And, there on the table is a guitar….signed by most of the Eagles (Okay….more purist…no Randy Meisner….now I have ventured into music minutiae for most of you….) and NOBODY is bidding on it. I have had 2 super strong but very tasty drinks on an empty stomach.  I think it is my job to start the bidding….just to get it rolling…but, surely…..someone will outbid my tiny little $1800 in order to own this piece of American history?  Surely.  

Ha!  I am definitely not Shirley. Nobody outbid me.  And, I didn’t care. I missed their concert dammit…I was getting the damn guitar…because NOBODY OUTBID ME!!! (I don’t have $1800 laying around to buy a $200 guitar with sharpie marks on it. I don’t have $18 laying around for the same thing.) I had buyer’s remorse for a little bit….but, I really got to thinking……..I could have gone to the show and taken my mom and daughter for less than I paid for that damn guitar.  Which would have been great for many reasons but, mostly because my Mom has passed since.

So…….I decided.  Life is short. Enjoy it. Eat dessert first……blah blah….Okay really…..if there is something I want…..I spend a little time evaluating my level of want, cost, etc.  If I will regret not going…then, I need to bite the bullet and find a way to make it happen (whatever it is….concert, dinner, trip, shoes, shot glasses, whatever).  

It is at this precise moment in time that I find myself at work, reading a review of the most recent GNR show in Las Vegas.  I had thought it was a one time reunion.  I was incorrect. They were on tour.  Well, hell…..tickets must be sold out, right?   No, they were not. I could score some fairly good seats in the next 2 minutes for the low low low cost of $275.

Each.

You have to buy 2. So you don’t have to sit and experience this alone.

Even if you have no one to take.  Well…that isn’t fair……I have plenty of people to take….but, who will appreciate it $275 worth? And, don’t forget driving, parking, food, drinks, dinner…….(I skipped the souvenir….hahaha). But, $275 EACH?  WTF?  And I was under pressure….because I just knew if I didn’t buy tickets right this minute…they will sell out and there will never be another tour and, and, and…..well.  I bought them. Life is short.  And, then I called the one person in the world I thought would not think I was out of my mind. He works in radio, is a musician, lover of music, and manages bands and organizes tours. His reply, “We were just discussing this at work…..what does the person look like that would spend that much money to see that band?”

Me….that stupid person would look like me. I blamed it on Glenn Frey and the damn guitar.

It really has been on ongoing process for me. For the last few years, I have been giving up expectations, setting goals, and being thankful for EVERYTHING!  People probably think I’m the village idiot..walking around happy all the time with a big dumb grin on my face….but, I don’t care.  I’m happy. I’m not judging.  I still get disappointed and sad…but, not as often.  Seems when you spend so much time being thankful and working towards goals, that is what happens……you are happy and content.  Well.  That is what happened to me. Not everyday is a warm sunny beach. But, the beach, on a crappy day, is still the beach. And, I LOVE the beach.

And, that is the very long explanation for why I didn’t hate 2016.  I had a great year. I was thankful for all experiences…I achieved some goals…….I sat around thinking how happy I was.  Have I discovered the key? The key to being happy?  I am a fairly happy person anyway. But, this year…..I am sooooo happy. 2016 cut my childhood away in tiny little slices…..and, then it died. Maybe it needed to. Maybe because of all of this. Or in spite of it, I became more present this year. AWESOME!

What Am I Doing?

Publishing your first book is a fantastic and ridiculous experience. It requires more than just a good idea for a story. Much more. If you have written something that you think is worth publishing, you have to decide: self publish or not. I chose to self publish. So, all of the decisions were mine. Also fantastic and ridiculous. Something that started on a whim (a blog for another day) is now requiring some serious thought and research. Where do I publish? How long should my “story” be? Should I put all of my stories together and make a book? Should I structure it as a series instead? How much should I charge for it? Where and how to publish? How many times should I edit/update? Who should read it? Should someone read it? What should I name the characters? Should I use a pseudonym? What will my pseudonym be? Who do I tell? What if they want to read it? Is it good enough to publish? Will anyone like it? Read it? Buy it? And on and on until I am a freaked out mess. (If you haven’t figured it out by now, I have a tendency to obsess and over think some things. Not all things, just some things.)

While trying to nail down the answers to these questions (and many more) I also had to figure out a name and think about the cover. Fortunately for me, I had a graphic artist friend (see her info) willing to do the artwork for free. So, I phoned her with my name dilemma.  I told her the name I had picked out, “Dreams and Fantasies” which she thought was too literal. Dang. She suggested “Deep Surrender” or “Dark Ecstasy”, which I loved but a quick search told me they were already books. Then we started getting silly: “Lick Me” (already taken numerous times); “Fuck Me Cross-Eyed” which lead to “Fuck Each Other Stupid” (a line from one of my books, actually); “Hard Surrender”; “Dark Hardness”; and “Hard Darkness”, to name a few. It was funny and we were laughing, but I still hadn’t picked out a name.

I started to research how important a good title was. Maybe I could just pick anything. Concensus was that the title was VERY IMPORTANT! Great! More anxiety. Somehow in all that searching, I found a link to Lulu.com . An online publisher that had a “title grader” on it.  Fabulous. I just answered a few questions, typed in the name and Lulu provided me with a percentage score on whether or not the book would be a best seller. I entered every name we had come up with and received the scores of 16%, 27%, and 32%. Bummer. I wanted to sell my books, turn lots of people on, and quit my day job. Even 32% wasn’t good enough for those lofty goals. And, then I typed in “Dark Compliance”…..score of 69%!  I think we have a winner here.  Name search over. Anxiety and obsessing over (for now). I will let you know how it works out.

Check out this sexy read