A Month Of Silence, Two New MonkeyBiz Reviews And An Invitation

For those who pray and meditate, it can be bliss.  But for those who value their creativity, it’s frustrating as hell.
A silent mind is an unproductive one and as a result, this website has been a ghost town for exactly a month.  The sad thing is this isn’t the first time this has happened.  A quick perusal of the content tucked away in the Website Announcements section reveals several old articles explaining these occasionally inactive periods.
So, what’s my excuse this time?  Oh, the usual.  Laziness.  Writer’s block.  Perfectionistic tendencies.  You know, the old stand-bys.
However, that’s not the entire story.  As I noted in this space over two years ago, I’m a recovering magazine addict.  After parting with all of my wrestling titles in the summer of 2004, I moved on to my vast collection of Entertainment Weeklys along with other remaining showbiz publications such as Movieline, Premiere, Empire (a British movie monthly), Variety, Inside Hollywood and Rolling Stone.  At that point, I was down to eight piles of reading material.  I’m happy to report that since the posting of that 2008 piece, I only have five piles of EWs left to go through.  Everything else has been read.  Most issues have since been recycled.  (The rest await their removal in what I call The Done Pile.)  In the last couple of months, despite the occasional movie screening (eleven stinkers so far), I’ve been a reading machine pouring through issue after issue, only saving what I need and chucking the rest. 
Naturally, this ongoing process takes up a great deal of my time.  Add to that my overall lack of inspiration lately and, well, you get the picture.
It’s not as though I haven’t tried.  No less than four poems and an EW-related item were initiated within the last couple of weeks.  Despite some promising lines, it was impossible to put together a consistently good set of rhymes.  So all the incomplete poetry was scrapped.  As for the other piece, despite writing quite a few paragraphs, I lost interest in the premise and hit delete.  I’ve been struggling to come up with something substantial ever since.  My increasing lack of patience certainly isn’t helping matters.
With my 35th birthday on the horizon, it’s glaringly apparent that I need to get my act together.  I’m still at home, unemployed and dateless, certainly not where I envisioned my future as a much younger guy.  The good news is it’s not all bad.  (In fact, it could be worse, when you think about it.)  I’ve been slowly making progress on other aspects of my life (for instance, my mom is teaching me to cook which, for the most part, I’m enjoying) and despite my occasional frustrations both creative and personal, I’m generally in better spirits these days.  If only that growing sense of optimism would lead to prolific, literary brilliance as well as a steady income doing what I love.  Here’s hoping both happen in the near future.
Meanwhile, I’m happy to report that MonkeyBiz has finally published two of my CD reviews.  Last year, when I was still a client of Employment Hamilton (the file was closed in March 2010 without a satisfactory resolution), I was pointed in their direction by my well-intentioned counsellor.  After a series of back-and-forth emails, I was given the opportunity to critique recorded music by a couple of independent Toronto acts.  After listening to each CD a few times, I went to work.  Once the completed reviews were submitted, the waiting game began.  Despite occasional attempts to find out their status, it was uncertain whether my work would be accepted.  My contact wouldn’t give me straight answers, despite being a fan of my writing.
Finally, after my last EH meeting, I fired off one last email, this one to the editor who published a piece I wrote last fall regarding a Green Venture/Ladies Home Auto Care event.  (Sadly, the piece is no longer online.)  She confirmed what my counsellor had just told me.  My MonkeyBiz contact was no longer working there and for some reason, the four reviews I submitted to her were not in her possession.  Thankfully, she wanted to read them, so they were re-submitted.
The first piece, an assessment of Rearranger by Autobodies, was posted March 28.  Most of the original review was thankfully preserved in the final edit.  (Only a few lines were cut here and there.) Two weeks later, a review of Sage Against The Machine by Dirty Penny, appeared on the site.  From what I can tell, nothing was changed from my original submission.  We’ll see if my other two reviews will see the light of day any time soon.  I hope to have more stuff ready for them in the near future.
Finally, here’s something I’ve been meaning to write about for quite a while now.  You can follow my blog through a Facebook application called NetworkedBlogs.  It’s absolutely free.  Whenever a new piece is added here, members will be the first to know.  (I usually post announcements on my wall.)  Because this is a small-traffic site, I only have 17 followers at the moment.  Hopefully, starting with this posting, constant reminders will help boost the total.  To become a follower of my blog, simply click here.  To those who’ve already done so, thank you kindly.
In the meantime, I hope to get back to business soon.  Look for new postings in the near future.  Hopefully.
Dennis Earl
Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
Sunday, May 9, 2010
2:05 a.m. 
Published in: on May 9, 2010 at 2:05 am  Leave a Comment  

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