In Part One we suffered through a little autobiography about the time I helped honor local pop music heroes Hootie and the Blowfish, and how that got me to thinking about who we honor with public monuments and tributes, but more importantly, why we do so, and what we’re saying with our choices.
Having long made no secret of my affinity for all things David Lynch, last week I found myself interviewed by the local alt weekly for thoughts concerning 1980s cinema classic Blue Velvet, now enjoying special 30th anniversary screenings at our local arthouse, The Nickelodeon. Thanks to fellow scribe David Travis Bland and the Free Times for including my remarks in the piece, and for bringing back fond memories of my college Media Arts days.
For those of you following this blog for the last couple of years, it may seem like all-DIXIANA all the time. But before that material sees publication, let’s keep in mind that I’ll be offering up one (or more) direct lead-ins to that long-gestating novel series, with its fully realized fictional world I call Edgewater County.
Today it pleases me to post that one of those manuscripts, LET THE GLORY PASS AWAY, has crossed the rubicon of its external conceptual and fine edit, and now approaches readiness for a publication liftoff that at this time is planned via my own imprint, tentatively called Mind Harvest Press.
“I’ve tried to teach my writing friends that there are two arts: number one, getting a thing done; and then, the second great art is learning how to cut it so you don’t kill it or hurt it in any way. When you start out life as a writer, you hate that job, but now that I’m older it’s turned into a wonderful game, and I love the challenge just as much as writing the original, because it’s a challenge. It’s an intellectual challenge to get a scalpel and cut the patient without killing.” —Ray Bradbury
The revision-minded among you may already know where this post is leading: a full year after completing the sixth draft of my epic writing project DIXIANA, I’m at last returning to my Edgewater County literary world to complete full conceptual and line edits of the whole enchilada, all 475,000 words, spread across three individually fat novels.
Wow, shocking news. So here’s my important personal Prince memory…
It’s almost 34 years ago, Saturday night. I’m 17 and driving home from work at Mickey D’s, the first ‘real’ job I’ve had following a series of colorful, off-the-books employments and stabs at entrepreneurship. I close the grills, clean the grease, and by the time all is done, it’s pushing 2am.
I crank it up, roll down the windows, and cruise around for a bit, feeling the night air on my face and reveling in my youth. The music feels unusual and important and different. It’s a moment I will go on to never forget, and that I’ll one day relive upon hearing the news that Prince, only 57—only seven years older than I am now—has passed away. Damn.
As documented on this blog and elsewhere, in November 2014 I was fortunate and honored to present Fellow Traveler at the national Grateful Dead academic conference called So Many Roads: The World in the Grateful Dead. It happened that my panel included Rolling Stone and Men’s Journal contributing editor David Browne, who had a new biography of the Dead coming out that next spring from Da Capo Press. . . which also happened to be called So Many Roads. All pretty cool.
Not much to add this morning that many fine obits haven’t already, except to note that on a personal level, this hurts deeper than I can fully describe.