In other news…

I’m double-posting here, because that’s what us self-marketers do.

From Lichtenbergianism.com:

It’s almost here! On Friday, November 17, you will be able to give me money via Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and other venues!

In return, of course, you will be receive your very own copy of Lichtenbergianism: procrastination as a creative strategy, first edition!

BUT WAIT, THERE’S MORE!

As a special promotional deal, anyone who buys the book from Amazon on launch day will receive a couple of bonus gifts. From me, you will receive an autographed Official Lichtenbergianism Precepts Bookmark and an invitation to join the Lichtenbergianism: Doing the Work group on Facebook, where you will have access to my advice and guidance on any of your ABORTIVE ATTEMPTS.

Also, several of my friends are offering freebies of their own: things like chapters from one of their books and other goodies.  You’ll have the opportunity to request one of these.  (A page listing these goodies is forthcoming.)

How do you avail yourself of this treasure trove?

  1. Buy the book on Friday, November 17, on Amazon.
  2. Email your purchase receipt or a screenshot of same to dale@Lichtenbergianism.com.
  3. I’ll send you a link to the form to claim your bonus items. Easy!

This is so exciting! Start spreading the news.

Another new day

You may recall that one of my goals this year was to establish a daily work schedule so that I have more structure to force myself into working.

There was no point in trying to do this until this week because reasons, but now I’m on day three of said schedule and I believe it’s working.

Step one: clear the desk — again — so that a) I have a clear view of my desktop calendar; and b) I have an actual work surface for one of my major projects.

What desktop calendar is that, you ask?  This desktop calendar:

Here it is in situ:

You may be astonished that I am using a paper and pencil scheduling device, but I can explain.  This is the desktop calendar I used to use at Newnan Crossing and at the Department of Education to do my planning, and it was very efficient.  Yes, I still put things on my phone or my computer, but this was a handy way to jot down meetings, phone calls, etc.  Mostly it kept me on track.

I used to buy these in pads from Levenger, but they stopped making them, and so I designed my own, if by “design” you mean “recreate exactly.”  I still have a couple in storage, and truly I don’t know why I had this one on my desk here in the study, since I don’t really have a lot to schedule these days.

Until now.  Like all good ABORTIVE ATTEMPTS, it’s a start.  I have created out of nothing a list of things that I want/need to get done, and I’ve faked a schedule: blog here and at Lichtenbergianism.com; work on Lichtenbergianism: procrastination as a creative strategy; eat lunch and do the crossword puzzle; walk the labyrinth; plan for [redacted] and William Blake’s Inn.[1]

That schedule will change, of course, but so far it’s driven me to work without too much procrastination.  I’m writing this blog post, in fact, because the schedule says I must.  Running a little late, but I can whack this out and then get back to work on the chapter on SUCCESSIVE APPROXIMATION.

With assistance[2,] of course.

—————

[1] No, there’s not a production in the offing.  I’m just working on it.

[2] For differing values of “assistance.”

Lichtenbergian Goals, 2017

First, a clarification.  These are technically not “Lichtenbergian goals.”  In our official ritual/agenda, they are “Proposed Efforts.”  A subtle difference, and a valid distinction: if we don’t get around to doing one of them, we haven’t missed a goal.  We just didn’t get around to it.

With that in mind, here are next year’s Proposed Efforts.

Lichtenbergianism

I’m carrying forward my 2016 goal to finish Lichtenbergianism: procrastination as a creative strategy and find a publisher for it. It’s just sheer laziness that prevented me from achieving that this past year. As I move forward, I will continue posting chapters to this website (although see below about Lichtenbergianism.com) and about my efforts to implement the strategies outlined in The Essential Guide to Getting Your Book Published [EGGYBP].

I will also continue building Lichtenbergianism.com, both through the blog and the introductory material.

One of the strategies in EGGYBP is to establish yourself as a speaker/workshop leader, both of which I am extremely qualified to do. I’ve already started putting out feelers and hope to start this aspect of the project soon.

Backstreet Arts writing project

Another carryover: work with Kim Ramey at Backstreet Arts on establishing a writers’ group for her audience. Basic journaling, story posters, whole books, compilations of stories—I’ll start wherever I can and go from there.

SUN TRUE FIRE

Not really a carryover, but if I’m going to compose at all, it might as well be this piece.

[REDACTED] at Newnan Theatre Company

Since it has not been officially announced, I won’t name the play I’m directing for the 2017-18 season at Newnan Theatre Company. Suffice it to say that with auditions in Jan 2018, I will spend most of 2017 preparing for the show.

For this production I am going to pull what we used to call a “full Dale” and which everywhere else is called “standard operating procedure,” i.e., full designs for costumes, sets, and lights, with individuals who are not me in charge of production. Production meetings; crew recruitment; maybe even classes to teach people how to do these things. Reach out to sewing fanatics via Jo-Ann perhaps; reach out to the artists at Backstreet; find people who aren’t involved and drag them into it.

3 Old Men

I want to continue to lead 3 Old Men, of course, but now we have another goal for the year. Burning Man’s theme for 2017 (Aug 24–Sep 4) is Radical Ritual—how can we not at least attempt to plan to go? So there’s that.

I also want to continue as Placement Lead for Alchemy and Euphoria, now that I’ve had greatness thrust upon me. Especially if we move to new land again: I want the opportunity to design a burn that becomes a home for years.

Unsilent Night

This one just developed last week when I was trying to explain the music I had used in the labyrinth for the Tour of Homes, Phil Kline’s Unsilent Night. Years ago I had tried to get in touch with Mr. Kline to see if he’d allow us to do an Unsilent Night parade in Newnan, but never heard from him. When I looked the music up to show people, I was super pleased to see that Unsilent Night now has its own webpage, and that indeed they were encouraging parades all over.

I’ve already made contact and started a Facebook group to begin planning for the event next December.

Establish a routine

I got out of a daily schedule this past summer and fall, so I want to reestablish specific periods of work each day.

Seven goals, some of which have massive subgoals themselves. We’ll see how I do.

Onward!

A fun Abortive Attempt

Remember these?

Here’s one thing I figured out to do with them:

A lovely little package!

From the back:

Oooh, let’s open it!

Ta-da!  Lichtenbergianism Precept Cards!

One side has the Precept and the logo, and the other side…

…has the And so… section from each chapter in Lichtenbergianism: procrastination as a creative strategy.

They’re kind of a pain in the butt to make, but if you’d like a set, let me know.

Lichtenbergian goals 2016: a review

For those of you who are just joining us, the Lichtenbergian Society is the group of men who are my soul brothers in creative procrastination. Every year we have an Annual Meeting around the fire in the labyrinth, and part of the ritual is that we propose our Efforts for the coming year, which our Recording Secretary duly engrosses in the journal.

The other part of that process, of course, is to have this year’s Efforts read back to us and to confess our success or failure. Cras melior est is the appropriate liturgical response to any failure.

Since the Annual Meeting is this Friday, it’s time to prepare my soul for the ordeal. Let’s see how I did in 2016.

Here’s the original post, if you’re interested.

Lichtenbergianism

I wanted to finish Lichtenbergianism: procrastination as a creative strategy this year. Somehow that did not happen. Something to do with procrastination, I think.

On the plus side, I’ve made headway in my own head towards thinking about getting the thing actually published. Part of that effort towards world domination was establishing Lichtenbergianism.com, which is not nothing.

But actually finishing the book? No.

3 Old Men

If my goal was to expand my burner theme camp to include a 50-foot square arena for “yelling at the hippies,” well… cras melior est. We didn’t have enough campers at Euphoria in May, and for Alchemy, we didn’t have enough space.

But there in the last paragraph of last year’s post, look:

I also want to continue working with Flashpoint Artists Initiative, the nonprofit which runs Euphoria/Alchemy, as a small-time volunteer on various projects.

Ha. I was certainly accomplishing that goal, doing my usual webmaster volunteering for the art fundraiser and even going so far as to volunteer to be Co-Lead for Placement, right up until the morning that I woke up one morning to the email saying that I was THE LEAD FOR PLACEMENT, KENNETH.

So if my goal was to remain a “small-time volunteer,” I failed miserably. You can read about it here.

Backstreet Arts

My goal was to work with Kim Ramey as she established a public art studio for the homeless/underserved population here in Newnan.

Cras melior est. I lent a sympathetic ear to Kim Ramey and offered what I hope was helpful advice, but mostly I was missing in action. However, she has forged ahead and this past month the studio (behind Bridging the Gap) passed its inspection and will soon be open for business. I hope I can get my act together enough to volunteer down there and create a space for writing and publishing.

???

This was my Undefined Universe Project, in which I decided not to work on music which had not been specifically commissioned for a performance. As I said in the post,

So my goal is to allow the Universe to send me a project which is attached to actual production.

Cras melior est, although that’s on the Universe, right? I did decide to pick back up on SUN TRUE FIRE on Retreat (here and here), but otherwise the Universe certainly gave me the finger. Oh well. It’s not as if I haven’t been busy or creative in other ways.  Which is the point of TASK AVOIDANCE in the first place, right?

Onward to 2017!

Oh, for…

Here’s some stupid:

Fox News Asks Whether the Statue of Liberty is ‘Transgender’

For real.

Merciful Cthulhu, conservatives, that’s not how art works.  Here, let Wallace Stevens explain it to you:

I

The man bent over his guitar,
A shearsman of sorts. The day was green.

They said, "You have a blue guitar,
You do not play things as they are."

The man replied, "Things as they are 
Are changed upon the blue guitar."

And they said then, "But play, you must,
A tune beyond us, yet ourselves,

A tune upon the blue guitar
Of things exactly as they are."

It does not freaking matter if Bartholdi used his brother instead of his mother as the model for the statue.

Let me repeat that for the hard of thinking: It does not freaking matter if Bartholdi used his brother instead of his mother as the model for the statue.

He did his sketches, and he MADE THE THING THAT IS NOT.  Those of us who are sane, who know that art is newness, and that it is not in service to your ideology, know that it does not freaking matter if Bartholdi used his brother instead of his mother as the model for the statue.

How art works has nothing to do with your fear of other people’s dangly bits.

That is all.  Go read about art: Lichtenbergianism.com

Lichtenbergianism: a new frontier

No, I haven’t written any more on Lichtenbergianism: procrastination as a creative strategy, and no, I haven’t done any more work on the book proposal.  But I did establish a new front in my battle for world domination.

As I posted the other day, I bought the domain name for Lichtenbergianism.com and started a trial website at Squarespace.  Within 24 hours I had ponied up for a business website; within 48 I had a new email address and a MailChimp account.  Soon I shall have a new Twitter account.

(The MailChimp account means you can sign up to have a digest email of the week’s blog posts sent to you every Saturday, i.e., you can procrastinate about learning how to make procrastination work for you!)

Now if I only had actual content for the website.  Hey, I’m working on it—every day is a glorious flood of SUCCESSIVE APPROXIMATION as I figure out what it is I have to offer and how to put that before the public.

Lichtenbergianism: WHAT HAVE I DONE?

I have done a thing.

Why have I done this thing?  Because if I am seeking world domination, I have to have a platform.  Yes, I already have this platform, but I want to keep my private thoughts on a separate plane from my benevolent despot thoughts.

Here is the problem, though: WHAT THE HECK AM I SUPPOSED TO PUT ON THIS NEW PLATFORM?  Talk about an ABORTIVE ATTEMPT.  Just jump in there, man, and don’t count the cost.

As has been often noted, it’s not the jump that kills you, it’s the SUCCESSIVE APPROXIMATION.

So let’s think this thing through.

  • If Lichtenbergianism: procrastination as a creative strategy were ever published, of course we would want to tie it in to Lichtenbergianism.com as a marketing ploy.
  • The Essential Guide to Getting Your Book Published [EGGYBP] encourages you to have an online presence before your book is published.
  • I can begin to promote the idea of the book and any auxiliary services such as speaking engagements, workshops, etc., as part of the book proposal.
  • Especially if I were able to begin doing workshops and such even without the book being published, Lichtenbergianism.com would be the appropriate base.
  • With the new domain, I can keep emails about Lichtenbergianism separate from my other personas, e.g., my personal life, my burner life, etc.
    • This would also give me a separate Twitter account with which to begin seeking my minions for world domination.
  • Filling the new domain with… what, exactly?… would force me to concentrate on exactly what: blogposts, linked articles, tweets, etc.
  • Arrrgh!

You should tell me what to put on the new site in comments.  We’ll call it focus group testing.

In other news, I have done some serious work on getting the book proposal done.  Next up: get serious about finding an agent/publisher.

Easy, fun, and SWANKY

Now someday it may happen that a victim must found you will find yourself hosting a little soirée for a friend’s book launch, and you will think to yourself how nice it would be to have those little plastic plates with the event  printed on them.  But you don’t have them, because a) they’re expensive; b) you only need a couple dozen, not 500; and c) you waited too late to even try to get them.

So you make your own:

Here’s how.

Open your favorite program to make posters/brochures/labels/bookmarks.  I use Apple’s Pages because it has everything I need.

Create a rectangle the size of your label (clear mailing labels are what we’re looking at here.)  I got 2″x4″ labels.  To make it easier to select the rectangles later, make sure that the rectangle is filled with white.  (If you leave it just blank, then you have to click exactly on the border to select the rectangle, and that’s going to be very tedious indeed.)

Now fill it with your text blocks and images and whatever.

One reason I like Pages is that when you’re in “canvas” mode, little blue lines pop up to show you when objects are aligned/centered/etc.

Pro tip: once you get your one label made to your satisfaction, select everything and GROUP THEM so that nothing slides out of place.

Here’s the critical step: flip that sucker horizontally:

Think about it: you’re going to be peeling these off and putting them on the bottom of the clear plastic plate.  You’re going to be seeing the label from the other side.

Now:

  • Duplicate your label across.
  • Align the labels.
  • Group them.
  • Duplicate that row and position the new row.
  • Measure your label sheet and position everything to land on the labels.  My labels were edge-to-edge, but if there are spaces between yours you will have to ungroup the row of labels to position each one.
  • Print on a piece of paper, then hold it up to the light behind a label sheet to see if you got the positioning right.
  • Adjust if necessary.

Once you get all the labels where they need to be, here’s the tedious part:

  • UNGROUP everything down to the level where you can select each rectangle and turn off the border line.  In Pages, it’s called the stroke of the object.  Your mileage may vary.  You’re doing this because you don’t need or want the lines, just the contents of the rectangle.
  • I wouldn’t delete the rectangles themselves, because one day you’re going to want to do this again and will need those borders.  If you’re clever, you can LOCK the position of each rectangle so that they won’t slide around by accident and all you have to do is duplicate the contents.
  • Print the labels.
  • Apply them to the bottom of your plates.

Have your soirée.

your host, the author, some rando

And don’t forget to make your bar as hipster as you can:

And bookmarks.  Don’t forget the bookmarks:

Swanky!

(The book, by the way, is Another Farewell to the Theatre, by Marc Honea, pictured above.  It is published by The Lichtenbergian Press and was designed by me.)