Weekly Update 12/20/2013

December 20th, 2013

It’s been a fairly interesting and productive week, positively Beethovian in its creative energy. Before I get into that, I’d like to take a little time to address some things that might come under the heading of “Housekeeping.”

First, I’d like to ask everyone who writes to me to please include an email address when you do. I really like to respond to everyone who’s kind enough, and engaged in the story enough to write to me. If you’re moved enough to take time from your day to write to me, I owe you the same courtesy in return, and I can’t do it if you use the anonymous ASSTR feedback system. Of course, if you send hate mail, then I can understand you wanting to remain in the shadows. However, in the almost two years I’ve been writing, I’ve only had one email that might remotely fit in that category. I’ve had forum posts aimed at me that were pure hate, which in turn provoked me to get myself banned from a certain website which shall remain nameless, mostly because it’s now become a home for pederasts. But emails? Please include an address so I can write back. I don’t bite – usually.

Some of you may have noticed I added a new “Friend” to the eponymous “Friends” page of the site. Her name is Jaehla, and she is a gifted young poet. She puts me in the mind of Christina Rosetti and Edna St Vincent Milay. Her poems are not erotic in the traditional sense of the word as most people use it. Sensuous is more like it, but even then not so much an erotic sensuality. If I don’t make sense, you owe it to yourself to read them. They are astonishingly good.

It’s a bit early, but I’d like to take the time to wish all of my loyal readers a wonderfully Merry Christmas/Happy Holidays while I’m sure I can do so. The weather people tell us a major ice storm is headed our way. Having lived through the infamous Ice Storm of 1998, where we lost power for two weeks, I’m well aware of the potential for a long stretch without electricity. Therefore, I want to send my greetings while I know I can. You’ve all given me the gift of your time, attention, and often your kind comments. I wish I could give you more in return, but my scribblings will have to do.

I had an extraordinarily productive weekend last week. I’ve mentioned before that I’d set myself a creative challenge for Chapter 13, trying tackle something abstract that’s so far out of my comfort zone as to be downright scary. I had no idea how I was going to accomplish my stated aim. Then, as happens from time to time, I had a sudden restless burst of creative energy. It started with a personal memoir I wrote (but I’m not ready to put it out yet, if ever). It poured out of me like a flow of lava from Mt. Etna. It didn’t end there. Indeed, it only seemed to be the opening act of the play. What followed next was sublime, almost transcendent, even mystical (excuse the hyperbole). It was as if the Muses Calliope and Erato took me by the elbows, led me up to a curtained stage, and pulled back the curtain to reveal to me the answer to my conundrum.

Herr Ludwig van Beethoven has an ability to spark amazing things inside my head if the emotional stars align. I had his 9th Symphony in my ears, and it was as if it called forth my Muses and bid them take pity on me. In that Beethovian state of mind, the crucial denouement poured out of me, almost measure for measure with what I was hearing. I’m not a fast typist – two fingers all the way – but this time, I kept up to an extraordinary degree. What came out was the answer to my conundrum, and an epiphany thrown in for good measure. Is it any good? That’s not for me to say. That will be up to you, my humble readers, to decide. I am sure it’s the only possible outcome I can be satisfied with. If it turns out to be pretentious garbage, then it can’t be helped. I can’t do better.

All that said, I strongly suggest you get you get your hands on a copy of Beethoven’s 9th Symphony and listen to it in its entirety, but especially the 4th movement, the Ode To Joy. Here’s a YouTube link to the version I used as my guide: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iing5ny_wru.

That singular burst of creative energy aside, I was able to make significant progress on the other four scenes. The necessary research is done, the basic framework for each scene is set in my head, subject to approval by Calliope and Erato. I’m aiming for the first week of the New Year as a completion date for the rough draft, though that’s almost certainly too ambitious a goal.

So once again, Merry Christmas to all of my great fans and followers. You guys all rock, and I’m eternally thankful for your support. I hope I never disappoint.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from Letoria