It's a collection of writings (mostly humourous) that includes short stories, poems, haiku, lists, q&a's and a one act play. The writing was all done and ready to go over a year ago but - I don't know exactly why - it has taken up until now to lock it in. I had some kind of mental block. Other things took precedence. I felt hesitant to complete the project - even though all the 'hard part' (writing) was already done. Creating stuff comes easy. Commitment is harder.
I suspect, too, there's also a thing to do with success/failure. Each of them confronting in it's own way. Failure - meh! - that I can handle. I've done it often enough. Huge failures, relative failures, destined-to-fail failures, avoidable failures, interesting failures.... The list goes on. And it's not just me. We all know failure intimately. Failures are the Lego blocks with which we construct our make believe multi-coloured castles. No, I think it's more about fear of success. Failure of completion. Of having to move on. Of life's impermanence. Am I being too recondite?
Anyway, I've done it now. It will soon be off to the printers and after proofing, I'll do a run and have a launch. It's exciting. The best part is that it will free up some mental space to get on with my other projects. Funnily, over the last year I have completed enough new poems/lyrics to publish a whole other book. Which is something I plan to do. Plus I have another in the works - with much of the writing also done - a 'life of the artist' memoir. We'll see how long those ones takes to get released. (I hereby VOW they will be expedited quicker! LOL)
My first book was published in 2001. It was called All I've Ever Wanted Was What I Know I Can Never Have. It was similar to this one in some ways - a compilation of writings. I had an exciting and successful launch in Sydney at the Middle Bar. At the time I was right into the nightlife scene, so promoting it was easy. I had a lot of 'evening' friends. Add in my 'day' friends from over the years living in Sydney and I easily had 100 people attending. I knew the managers at Middle Bar and they kindly didn't charge me and also threw in free champagne. It was great - speeches, live music, give aways.
Soon after that I moved up to Byron Bay to live and wrote a second book. Sadly, I did not have enough money to get it published and it lingered inside my iMac (the coloured bulging ones) for a few years. Then the hard drive died. And the whole thing was lost. Content (ready for printing - I had taught myself Quark), and the cover; the lot - kaput! It was disappointing. But weirdly, I did not stress too much. For me the fun is in the writing. I had had my fun. Still, kind of a waste. I wasn't going to let it happen again this time. One word: backup. I learnt. Also, computers have improved.
Since then I have also finished and printed four volumes of comics. My first two, Weird Is Good and We're All Free* (*To Be Deluded) have been released. I had the launch of WIG at Mullum RSL. It wasn't as big as my Sydney release but it was a relative success, nonetheless. My second one, WAF* debuted at Rock&Roll Coffee Company cafe, also in Mullum. I failed to adequately promote it (not one of my strengths) and although the launch was satisfying and fun for those attending (myself included), even an impartial observer would have to call it a bit of a fizzer. Let's just say there was a case of champagne and a few hundred cucumber sandwiches left over. Plus a lot of cheese. And books. It was not a reflection on the quality of the book or it's contents, however, so I was not too worried. Frankly, I was just glad to have staged the evening (which included an exhibition of 20 or so works - framed prints from the book) and for all the arranging (food, beverages, lighting, music, staff, etc) to be over with. Like I said; for me the fun is in the creation.
Not sure how I will approach the launch of this new one (which is called Capricorn King Decrees That Insouciance Must Prevail!') I think I will just lower my expectations and do something low key that does not involve expensive outgoings and attention demanding arrangements. In some ways, the time between now and when I receive and open the boxes full of the freshly printed volumes is the most exciting time. Like giving birth, a bit. Raising the kid is a different skill. I'm just going to let this one grow organically. It's my sixth, after all. I still have yet to launch my third and fourth comic collections, too. Perhaps I need a manager. But can I be managed? I think not. Not now. It's way too late for that.