In the white heat of work… or what passes for it… I find that my posts have been simply, “Look, here’s today’s results.” I haven’t been very interesting in my writing, I’m afraid.
It’s not there’s been no struggle in getting William Blake’s Inn orchestrated. There’s been plenty. But it’s nothing to write about. Choosing whether to use the trombone or not is not exactly an existential dilemma. (For the record, I prefer the double bass.)
However, I feel as if I’m at a place where I need to pause for a moment and look about, to see where I need to go next. Alexandr Solzhenitsyn wrote in The Cancer Ward that you had to beware the “final inch,” that point at which you’re nearly finished with a project and you begin dragging your feet in order not to finish it. There is something terrible about being done with a project, and most creative types relish the creative frenzy of starting a project than the tedium and finality of wrapping one up.
I know that finishing the penguin opera was very strange: popping that score in the mail to Köln was not so much thrilling as it was creepy. In my letter to Nancy Willard accompanying the score and CD I sent her this week, I described being done with a project as “not so much a feeling of accomplishment as abandonment.”
And of course, I’m not finished with William Blake’s Inn, not in the least. I still have four large pieces to orchestrate, and so now I have to prepare myself for a period of experimentation, probing, and failure. That takes some girding of the mental loins.
Still, I recognize that my mind is doing some independent girding of its own, turning its attention away from the drudgery of completing William Blake towards the excitement of other, less-finished projects. There’s the symphony, of course, but there’s also Mike Funt’s A Day in the Moonlight, his resetting of Rostand’s The Romancers into a Marx Brothers vehicle. He has several theatres just waiting for it to be turned into a musical, and like an idiot he’s asked me to do it. His first response to my telling him that I had finished composition on Blake was to suggest that now I could get started on Moonlight. Selfish bastard.
This is a project that could be a lot of fun. Heck, it could even get produced. Very tempting. I even opened up my files on that and actually wrote another line or two of lyrics before I shut myself down and pulled back into the real world, where I have to finish the major project in front of me.
I also have to find time to dig in and learn CSS with some degree of mastery. Yes, I have a very clear book, but I’m a Mac user and am loathe to actually read the manual. I like to take bits and pieces, but then when stuff doesn’t work, I don’t have the background to fix it. For example, the 100 Book Club List, you may have noticed, no longer floats the list on the right. For some reason, when I added another book to the list, the whole thing vanished in DreamWeaver. It was still there, I could highlight the text where it should have been, but it just went invisible. If I deleted that which I had added, the list reappeared. When I took it out of the “div” tag, it reappeared. I do not understand this. Is there some character limit on “div” tags? I do not know. See what I mean?
And of course, there’s always the actual production of A Visit to William Blake’s Inn. And restarting Lacuna to get started on that. And calling Joe Crain to ask for space to get started on that.
I have enough to keep busy.