Quick note.

Still alive, still here. Not writing nearly enough.

Finished a book review today, way behind on something I promised I'd look at for a friend. Plus reading for myself, and I hope another couple books to review because getting paid is rad, plus reading for myself, plus... all kinds of other things. I've got a ton of non-writing stuff to do, and hey, you know what I'd really like to do? Write. That'd be awesome. Trying to dig myself out of this hole, and I imagine I'm failing at it spectacularly. But then again, I'm imagining the hole too, so...

I want to take the opportunity to thank everyone who weighed in on my previous post. I was actually hoping in my absence, some more responses would trickle in, and I got a couple of emails too. I might try and break up the broad strokes, and just have a single post with the best stuff in it, to stick in the sidebar for easy access. I appreciate everyone weighing in - the response was about what I expected, but not who I expected it from, mostly. And it's always nice to know who's out there, watching.

If you're reading this now, and would still like to add something, or respond to something someone else has said, then feel free. I'm... sticking to my story that I said my piece, so I won't be adding much myself, unless, I don't know, the Metatron appears to me with something that needs put out there.

I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving. Mine was beyond excellent, great food, the best company, Margaritas, and "The Muppets" and so many other good things. I usually do a fairly maudlin "what I'm thankful for" post, but hey, this year, I just unplugged from the internet and enjoyed myself. Even I can't be tortured all the time. It's exhausting.

And lately, not as productive as normal. But the fruit's still there, just gotta find another way to get the juice.

Begs the question.

I want to know what you think [I fear this is going to wind up looking pathetic].

I don't have many rules here on the blog, but one of things I've said from the beginning is that it's my space, and I naturally have the time, so I'm always going to have the last word. Just one of those things I can exert some measure of control over, and it helps me feel comfortable here. Plus on the rare occasions crazies show up, I don't feel bad about moderating.

But here's a rare occasion - chance for anyone reading to chime in without me butting in, because I'm going to get my two cents in right off.

My last post I talked about struggling with some of my ideas that didn't really feel like they had any soul to me - just self-indulgent stuff, stuff without a reason, a message, or anything personal behind it. And if that is even self-indulgent, or if that's just fun.

Post prompted this comment from my good friend John [that's John Wiswell of "The Bathroom Monologues"], fresh off writing his novel, which I think deserves highlighted:

"The question of whether something is worthwhile if it's just self-indulgent will probably last another age, until we're all digital and things are decided by sub-protocols for us. But for now perhaps we can jerry-rig a second question onto it: is it okay to do something self-indulgent if you wouldn't do anything else with the time otherwise? Might be better to finish your own Hobo With A Shotgun by the end of the year rather than end the year with nothing finished. It's a conundrum that paralyzed me for a long time."

Now, first, let me just say "Hobo With A Shotgun" was excellent, and I'm sure John meant nothing by that comparison. Second, I personally don't have a ready answer to this question, and even John seems to only be leaning in a certain direction with his statement. About all I do feel comfortable saying on the subject, and I feel like I can say this quite adamantly, is that one of the reasons I write is to write things that I would want to read. And if I'm being perfectly honest with myself, I really just have no interest in reading heartless, soulless stories right now, and the thought of writing more of those, adding to the... pile, which I feel is kind of a fitting word, doesn't exactly spur me forward.

But that's all I've got. So, look, I know I don't have loads of traffic, but what I do have is fairly steady, and I'm just asking that if you read this post, no matter how you come to it, that you tell me what you think about the question. Especially if you're a writer, or an artist, but if you're not, if you're just a consumer of these kinds of things, I'd still like to hear your feelings, hypothetical, or actual, or otherwise. Feel free to comment anonymously. Feel free to write a lot, or a little. Just... chime in. I'd like to know what people think.

And make sure you visit "The Bathroom Monologues" in thanks to John, for asking the tough questions, or if you just want to read something good.

Laura Prepon is a Scientologist. And then it gets worse.

Haven't done a lot of work in the past couple days. Hence the long lull between posts.

I've actually kind of been sleeping like a normal person lately, a not uncommon occurrence when you think that the usual "up-all-night/sleep-all-day" lifestyle does occasionally lend to catch-up days where you find yourself crashing hard and waking up at seven or eight o'clock in the morning. Once you're awake at that time of day, it's kind of... difficult to not start dozing off around nine. Personally, the whole experience is a bit of a miserable one as far as I'm concerned, the morning not particularly being my friend, what with the nausea and the crabbiness [yes, yes, how can I tell?], and the weird sensitivity to light, sound I have anytime I stick my head out the door before ten o'clock.

Which, I guess is fine. I stick to my dark little cave of a room for the opening hours of the day, and that's not so bad because the cat is still settling in, and I figure as much time as I can take, bonding with him, that's good. I don't have a lot of experience with older pets, most of mine started as puppies or kittens or whatever you call baby hamsters, so this is all kind of new, and I don't really expect to change any of his habits at this point, I just sort of want him... comfortable here, and comfortable with me, and I want to be comfortable with him too. I have always been a coward at heart, and would not put it past myself to become gun shy about interacting with a creature who was physically smaller than me.

I've done a little writing. Had an idea for a comic that I wrote the opener too. I like writing openers, beginnings, even though a lot of mine look the same, there's something fun about carving out the world, or the scene, or trying to figure out how you're going to introduce everything. Halloween must have hit me, because this was kind of a horror-themed thing, and I got a couple pages out of it. And I think I could actually do all of it, but I'm just...

I mean, part of it is just the general hang-up I've talked about a lot here. And the other part is, since college, well since a certain point in college, I've kind of wanted everything I do to have some sort of message, or personal oomph behind it. I feel like it's important to have something to say, something that's a part of myself, even if it's just a little something in a much bigger something that doesn't have anything to do with that. And that doesn't necessarily mean that whatever I'm doing is about me, just that there's some bit of something personal in it. It probably sounds ridiculous, but that's the sort of thing that tends to separate my work from more mindless, Tarantino-esque rip-off pulp.

I don't know. It's that age-old question if something is worthwhile if it's self-indulgent, or just for fun. There will be tons of people who say it is, and there will be tons who say it isn't, and there will be a few - a blessed few - who don't think of it at all, and are probably better for it. And for their sake, I wouldn't bring it up at all, but those people probably also stopped reading a couple paragraphs ago when my hand-wringing started.

Anyway. I'm mid-book review, and I have more waiting-room intensive errands this week than usual, so who knows what kind of work could get done. Then again, I was also supposed to be sorting out some of the clutter in my life. Decisions, decisions. Have to wait and see.