100, Eliezer Tristan Publishing, Getting Published, Mutants, Playlists, Poetry

The year of 100…and more!

Yes yes y’all! I can’t believe I haven’t written a post here since May, and I’m ashamed, but I wanted to enjoy the summer and still keep busy some, so a few things got left behind, and that’s ok. Why? You’ll find out in a few seconds or so, depending on how fast you read.

When I left off in May, I’d just come home from an amazing trip to Hartford (and surrounding areas), CT. I’ve made friends that we barely go a day without talking to each other, and helping each other out when one of us needs it. Again, I’m very grateful for them. And I know I left off “Part 1” with the intention of following it up, but really all that would’ve entailed would be me bitching about traveling and NYC, and I’m kinda glad I didn’t because it would’ve been an angry rant and a slur on an otherwise awesome experience.

So, where are we now? Back in June, I celebrated the one-year anniversary of 100 coming out, and since then it’s been a journey of reminiscing many different experiences I otherwise may not have been able to share with so many excellent people along the way. I’m a published author! I still can’t believe it. And I can’t thank everyone who has supported me in this whole thing enough.

Also, if you haven’t heard, I recently had two poems published in an anthology: Fevers of the Mind, Issue 2: In Memoriam , which was a treat. “No And No” and “Everything Is Terrible And I Think You Know Why” are from the early stages of my current work-in-progress and might be some of the more accessible items from it. And intertwined with that, is this:

Yep…on September 1st I became a 2-time published author. You can’t become a doctor twice; just more of one. You can’t become a professional athlete twice (unless you play two sports). The point is, getting published once is hard enough; doing it twice means you’ve climbed that mountain again and stuck a brand new flag in it. And here’s the kicker: it’s already available for your Kindle, and when the paperbacks are ready I’ll be selling Limited Edition annotated copies for $15. Don’t worry…I’ll let you know when the sale goes live!

Mutants is only meant to be a teaser. The actual follow-up to 100 is titled Also Mutants, and it’s a direct continuation of where I was once 100 was finished. This time around, it was actually completed within a hundred days and also won Best Poetry Collection again at Writing.com’s Quill Awards. I imagine it’ll come out some time next spring, whenever I finish off my WIP. Even though there are a couple items from it in Mutants (and some older pre-100 ones as well), I like having a solid stash just so I can feel like I’m always working.

So, as maybe you can tell, although I’m occasionally bad at showing emotions, I’m stoked about this and what’s coming up. For now, besides the Kindle, you can get a dope bookmark in my shop (and props to my man Aaron J. Smith for rockin’ the cover images right)…

 

Ok, well, I think I explained most of everything I wanted to. Go out and buy some of the new stuff and some of the old stuff too at the shop button above this entry. It’s better than getting my book from Target or Walmart (which you actually can if you’re shopping online). If you buy my stuffs from me, your money goes right to me instead of a shitty corporation. Remember that!

Let’s end this joyride in a little celebratory Anniversary playlist, aight? Aight.

  • Boxstep, “Second Wedding Anniversary”
  • Deftones, “Anniversary Of An Uninteresting Event”
  • deM atlaS, “Bad Days Are Over (feat. Atmosphere)”
  • Pearl Jam, “Hail, Hail”
  • Oasis, “The Importance Of Being Idle”
  • The Get Up Kids, “Red Letter Day”
  • DMX, “Party Up”
  • The Roots, “The Next Movement”
  • My Bloody Valentine, “I Can See It (But I Can’t Feel It)”
  • Taking Back Sunday, “New American Classic”
  • Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds, “Do You Love Me?”
  • Braid, “Always Something There To Remind Me”

That’s all I got for you cats today. Stay tuned for more details as soon as I get them, and if you don’t hear from me for a bit just nudge me and I’ll have a sweet excuse lined up, I’m sure. Til then, stay safe and remember I love all y’all. Peace!

 

100, Eliezer Tristan Publishing, Getting Published, Interview, Playlists, Poetry, Selfie-ishness, support your locals

Just your average Friday workday…

Hello again, friends! Second time this week I’m up in here…must be something goin’ on, right? Well, I teased only a little in the last entry and just now on the ol’ Instagram machine…

So yeah, shenanigans don’t stop just because St. Patrick’s Day has passed. That’s me, with the laptop I’m typing on right now open on this tab, with a copy of my book 100, only there are a flurry of pink Post-It flags sticking out of it (to go along with some of the blue ones I’ve used before). What’s going on?

Well, I’ve finally set up my own reading event with the Cortland Free Library! It’s literally taken me as long as the book’s been out to do it. I dropped off a copy there as soon as I had one, and I guess they had to send it to their “central processing area” for “verification” or something. After months of waiting, the Summer Of Norb ’18, and watching other Eliezer Tristan Publishing authors doing signings and newspaper interviews and whatnot, I reached out again to the library (only after I requested a book they didn’t have and had to get from another branch). One of the women (kinda cool that they know me when I walk in) mentioned my messaging them as I was checking out, and, well, check this out…

Wherever they shipped out my book to, turns out they still have it. Soooooo, they went the traditional route and ordered one for the library! And she said they’d be getting back to me soon about setting something up during April’s National Poetry Month!! Finally, boom goes the dynamite!

But here’s where I fucked up…she gave me two dates to choose from: one in early April, and one toward the end. And I knew Easter was super late this year, but I didn’t even think about looking at the calendar or anything…I just told her either one was great and I’m mad appreciative. She replied with Tuesday, April 23rd…great! I went to mark it down on my calendar and…ohhhhh shit, Easter is the Sunday right before. Usually I visit my mom in WNY that weekend, and we don’t usually know how long I’ll stay until we get closer to the date and it’s time for me to book the trip. It’s bad enough I missed her birthday last year because I was on my Pacific Northwest tour…but a holiday followed by Dyngus Day (the best Polish holiday of the year)? Hoping she’ll be ok with me having to go home either Easter morning or the following Monday. We’ll talk about it soon, I’m sure.

Anyway, I’ve got a public event coming up!! First one in Cortland! Cannot believe it and I cannot wait…it’ll be an excellent tune-up for my trip to Hartford, CT in May. It’s been quite awhile since I performed in public (not counting the karaoke I did during the holidays last year). Gotta shake the nerves off and sweep away the dust bunnies and get used to speaking out loud again. I’ll be fine. Wish you could be there! Being stoked about it is the best way to overcome the social anxiety that’ll set in and quell the nerves that will no doubt tell me to cancel. It’s a BFD, and I’m gonna rock it y’all!

In other news, I’m also a little worried. Funny story: I cancelled my doctor’s appointment for a checkup in January, because we got a metric shit-ton of snow and I wasn’t going out in that. Rescheduled it for February, but on that day it was super cold with 70+ MPH winds, and of course I wasn’t goin’ out in that either. So in one sense, it’s actually kinda a good thing that I’ve put this off…I woke up one day about two weeks ago and my right shoulder was stupid pissed at me and didn’t wanna comply with the rest of my body.

I tried a TENS unit. I tried a CBD rub on it. I tried arthritis aspirins and those heat patches with menthol or whatever’s in ’em. Nothing worked. I hadn’t done anything out of the ordinary to cause the pain and weakness I was experiencing, so I started to get a little concerned. I have a high tolerance for pain, yet this had me wondering if I should try to move up my appointment or complain at the ER.

A little background first: it’s the same shoulder I broke twice in high school. The first time was before a wrestling meet my junior year, and it was diagnosed as a minor rotator cuff tear. That summer after a football practice before my senior year, I couldn’t lift my arm again. I saw a sports doctor, and he revealed the crack in my socked that looked as if it was starting to fuse. Therefore, a 2x broken shoulder. Nice. And that was like 25+ years ago. My thinking was this is some scar tissue building up, or maybe a pinched nerve.

Nope. The direct quote from my doctor’s email: “Your x-ray shows some spurring in the joint that could be due to tendonitis.” Well, that sounds fantastic. My choice was to either see a specialist, or have him do a cortisone shot (and I opted for him doing the shot). Now I wait to get another appointment with him (he’s a good doc and has few openings, and the nurse I spoke with didn’t want to make me wait a month to see him). It’s not life-threatening or anything, but it’s certainly affecting me and makes being upright more painful than usual (the only time is doesn’t hurt so much is when I’m laying down, but that’s obvs no way to go through life). Let’s hope it doesn’t come to surgery, and let’s also hope this “spurring” thing doesn’t decide to start happening in my other joints as well. I don’t need that and neither do you need me telling you about it, ya hear?

Alright…let’s reel this back in and take back some of the excitement from earlier this entry, k? I’mma scour my iTunes library and hit you with a reading playlist for today to set your weekend up. You’re with me, and I’m with you…let’s do this!

  • Reggie & The Full Effect, “The Fellowship Of The Bling (Featuring Hungary Bear)”
  • Weezer, “El Scorcho (Live at Reading Festival, 1996)”
  • Atmosphere, “Hockey Hair”
  • Guns N’ Roses, “Catcher In The Rye”
  • Nirvana, “Lounge Act (Live At Reading)”
  • Beastie Boys, “Shake Your Rump (Reading Festival ’98)”
  • The Beatles, “Helter Skelter”
  • Blur, “On Your Own”
  • The White Stripes, “We’re Going To Be Friends”
  • Elvis Costello & The Attractions, “Everyday I Write The Book”
  • Son, Ambulance, “A Book Laid On Its Binding”
  • Blur, “Black Book”

Ok, well, I think that’s it for now…time to watch the UB Bulls in the NCAA tournament and figure out some dinner.  Remember, I’m ready and available to be hit up for your interviews, podcasts, general nonsense, and speakeasies. Us people who write gotta stick together, keep pushing everyone up, and keep doing them damn thangs we’re doin’. Have a kickass weekend y’all!

100, Eliezer Tristan Publishing, Getting Published, Interview, Mental Health, Playlists, support your locals

Let’s talk!

Hello all you fine purveyors of this wondrous wedge of fancy internet cheese! Today’s entry will be short, as it’s your from-time-to-time reminder that yes, I am available for print and web interviews, podcasts, appearances, and all forms of pimpin’ myself out to the general population for the sake of 100, talking about mental health, and generally being #NorbAF in a world that wants to cram everyone into certain boxes.

This morning greeted us with the arrival of an interview I did recently with Hawk & Young about precisely nearly everything I just mentioned in the previous paragraph. I really enjoyed doing it and I hope you feel the same when reading it…you can find it here at Interview of Norb Aikin.

Hope you don’t mind me being proud of or sharing my accomplishments. It’s a big deal to some and a bigger deal to me, because I honestly haven’t felt this good about practically anything in a long, long time before this happened. I made something tangible that is out and circulating around the world…something that isn’t just a website or a blog entry or a poem that sits in a notebook on my shelf. It’s real, and I have to support it. I know a lot of writers call their books their “baby” and I’m kinda not down with that analogy but whatever works for them is fine and I get it; I don’t have kids to be proud of and I’m not a pet owner but this is something I’ve done that’s become bigger and better beyond my wildest (and modest) expectations and you’re gott-damm right I’mma celebrate it as much as I can (without, hopefully, makin’ y’all sick of me). I’m just trying to make the best use of my time now with something I do better than mostly everything else I’ve done in life. Let me have this!! 

Ok, my mini-rant is over, so let’s break outta here on this beautiful Sunday with a little conversational playlist, aaa-iiight?

  • Mudhoney, “Between Me & You Kid”
  • The Flaming Lips, “Talkin’ ‘Bout The Smiling Deathporn Immortality Blues (Everyone Wants To Live Forever)”
  • Girlpope, “That’s A Good Question”
  • Elliott Smith, “I Can’t Answer You Anymore”
  • Moneen, “What Did You Say?…I’m Sorry, My Eyes Are On Fire”
  • The Tragically Hip, “Hot Mic”
  • Atmosphere, “Say Hey There”
  • The Get Up Kids, “Conversation”
  • A Tribe Called Quest, “Can I Kick It?”
  • Deftones, “When Girls Telephone Boys”
  • The Strokes, “Ask Me Anything”
  • Aesop Rock, “Kill The Messenger”

Ok y’all…and just so you know, that playlist is random based on the songs I can shuffle through my iTunes library (first come, first posted), so don’t read anything more into it than what it is, kay? Thanks. Now, there’s a Sabres game coming on soon so I’m gonna get away from here for a little bit. Remember: Please like and share the Hawk & Young interview on your social media vice(s) of choice and remember that I’m always here for you whenever/wherever you need me (physical and mental state willing)…your boy over here has a book to promote and can use all the help you can give! Thanks, and peace!!

100, Eliezer Tristan Publishing, Getting Published, Holidays, Homies, Mental Health, Playlists, Poetry, Road Trip!, Stigma Fighters

Back Home: The Thanksgiving Edition

Hey everyone! Hope you’ve had an enjoyable Thanksgiving holiday with friends, family, and loved ones…and you haven’t made life a living hell for them or the poor souls in retail on Black Friday (and having spent my entire life in customer service and retail management, believe me when I say there’s a special place in hell for you if you have). I got back this afternoon from a week at my mom’s back in Western New York, spending time with her and some friends, and while I’m thankful for being able to have done so, it’s also nice again to be back home where I can sleep in my own bed and get back into my routine here (until Christmas comes around next month and I’m back out on the road!).

And what a week it was! Both my beloved Sabres and Bills had some big wins. I spent some time with the homies down at Matty’s Pub, watching the UFC (or is it MMA? I have no clue. [Side note: Outside of a few highlight clips on SportsCenter, I’ve never seen UFC or MMA before…and I’m very clueless about it other than the general premise of watching two people beat the everlovin’ outta each other. So with those expectations and those only in mind, I was not disappointed.]). Matty’s Pub was also the venue of choice for Sunday’s Bills game (where there was also a brawl) but more importantly, this picture hung of my late brother who was a staple behind the basement bar until he passed two years and one week ago today.

Let’s see…what else? I had a run-in with the Subway at the Greyhound station in Syracuse because they made me a breakfast wrap they were incapable of ringing me out properly for, and after informing me I’d basically have to pay double for something other locations have made easily for me in the past and told me I couldn’t use my “Tokens” or whatever their loyalty program is now, got really shitty with me when I told them I didn’t want it (seriously, how much of a corporate hardship is it to slap steak/egg/cheese inside a sun-dried tomato wrap??)…and when I complained to their ownership group about it, got nothing more than an “Ooops, sorry about that, but we talked to the employees and it won’t happen again!”…uhhhh….ya damn right it won’t, cuz I have zero confidence now in your business practices and customer relations (especially when combined with your substandard food offerings in an area where my choices are Subway, Dunkin’, and the in-house bodega with no better selection than the vending machines). So yeah, that sucked.

But…mom and I took 2nd place in Pub Trivia (thanks to a colossal tie after the final question that necessitated a wild stab at the overtime question) on the quote-unquote Biggest Party Night Of The Year. After dinner some of my brother’s friends (ok, I can stop calling them that, because they’re my friends too now) came out for karaoke, where things proceeded to get loud and rambunctious (of course). [Side Note: This is the same place my brother took me to for my 40th birthday, where a very Crown-and Coke’d me vociferously complained about the karaoke DJ not having any Beastie Boys songs in his catalog.] While I am proud to announce that the DJ has made tremendous strides in his offerings, I cannot say with the same enthusiasm that my performance Wednesday night was as exciting.

But hey, fun is fun, am I right? My only regret is that I didn’t get a recording of me doing “Sabotage” also, where my boy said, and I quote, “You’re scaring people.”

Thanksgiving itself was low-key…just mom and I and some turkey and her stuffing (my favorite, and if you say anything other than stuffing in general is your idea of “the best part of Thanksgiving Dinner”, then you’re a cop) and football and me on the couch in my pajamas from morning ’til night. It’s hands-down my favorite meal of the year, along with Second Thanksgiving (the midnight raiding of the leftovers). And Friday was pretty low-key as well, or at least it was until I was tagged in a Facebook post from my publisher announcing the arrival of the Stigma Fighters Anthology Vol. 4 launch on Amazon…which she says is dedicated to me (!!) and not only includes my very first online submission for them, but also three poems that aren’t in 100. How #NorbAF and #dopeAF is that??

And hey, it’s not just me that’s in this amazing collection…I’ve met and/or became friends with quite a few of these people in a very busy and incredible 2018 so far, and it’s worth much more than your time to check out their stories and how we’re all trying to do our part in combating the stigmas surrounding various mental illnesses.

So yeah, it’s been a week y’all! I’m so thankful to have so many exceptional and amazing people in all the many facets of my life who care about me and do beautiful things and kick so much more ass than they even know. For that, I think it’s time to bang out a good ol’ Thanks and I love you playlist! Hit it!!

  • The Tragically Hip, “Courage (For Hugh MacLennan)”
  • Filter, “The Best Things”
  • The Get Up Kids, “Holiday”
  • Mike Doughty, “Thank You, Lord, For Sending Me The F Train”
  • Death Cab For Cutie, “Autumn Love”
  • Franz Ferdinand, “Come On Home”
  • The Killers, “Ruby, Don’t Take Your Love To Town”
  • Uncle Tupelo, “I Got Drunk”
  • Hey Mercedes, “Our Weekend Starts On Wednesday”
  • The Black Keys feat. RZA, “The Baddest Man Alive”
  • Hail Mary Mallon, “Grubstake”
  • The Hollies, “He Ain’t Heavy, He’s My Brother”

I understand this playlist may mean very little to you, but it means a lot to me and that’s kinda what counts…my blog, my rules! Anyway, that’s where I’m at…I’m off to take advantage of a couple Writing.com Cyber Monday deals and say what’s up to some friends there. Hope you’re all well, and if not you know where to find me. Much love, friends!

Eliezer Tristan Publishing, Getting Published, Mental Health, Playlists, Poetry, Work In Progress

“Politics” and More Good News!

What’s good homies? Here’s your reminder to (if you haven’t already) get out and VOTE!! In honor of Election Day in the US I posted yesterday a brand new video reading of “Politics”, which is from the current notebook I’m drawing words into, World By Design. I hope you’ll take the minute and a half required to check it out.

Of course, the big news lately around these parts has been Barnes & Noble picking up my book! Big thanks to the homies at Eliezer Tristan Publishing for getting that hooked up!! That’s one more venue for you to purchase your copy of 100 at (and here’s how)…

Yes, it’s still crazy…and no, it hasn’t really sunk in yet that at some point I’ll be on shelves possibly all over the place. If you’re in a B&N, ask for it by name. Make them order it. If you get it from Amazon, PLEASE, review it!! And if you’ve gotten it from me or ETP, let us know! Take a pic with it so we can share it on Instagram and Twitter, yo! We’re spreadin’ the word through word of mouth, ya know? And if ya got a podcast or access to a newspaper, my laptop is open for business via interviews and whatnot. Just let me know where to send the press release, k?

One more thing I’ve been up to…I just submitted another new article to a very prominent Mental Health Advocacy site (not gonna name it yet cuz I don’t wanna jinx it). Fingers crossed…may take a month or so to find out, but #ItsOKMan (there’s your hint, I suppose).

Alright y’all…let’s kick out a little “Get Out And Vote” (and other things) playlist then!

  • The Band, “When I Paint My Masterpiece”
  • The Smiths, “Shoplifters Of The World Unite”
  • Radiohead, “Electioneering”
  • My Chemical Romance, “Disenchanted”
  • Bob Dylan, “Masters Of War”
  • Rage Against The Machine, “Voice Of The Voiceless”
  • Bruce Springsteen, “The Ghost Of Tom Joad”
  • Anthrax, “I Am The Law”
  • Pearl Jam, “Do The Evolution”
  • Saul Williams, “List Of Demands (Reparations)”
  • The Replacements, “Unsatisfied”
  • Atmosphere, “Commodities”

Ok…I guess we’re done here. Remember: VOTE MOTHERFUCKERS! And when you’re done, send Amazon/B&N reviews…it’s important from a business stance I’m told. More reviews on Amazon get you better advertising and search results, or something. And after that, take a nap or reward yourself with something nice…you’ve been a good adult today! Peace…much love to you all.

100, Getting Published, Playlists, Road Trip!

NO SLEEP TIL…PORTLAND!!!

Yes yes y’all! What’s happenin’? The flight is booked, the couch has been made available, and come September 6th I’ll be in Portland, OR for the Eliezer Tristan Publishing launch party! The West Coast Summer Of Norb Tour is in full effect…don’t get a late pass; be on the go with me!

From Portland I’m heading to Seattle to sightsee and chill with a friend. I’d love the idea of swinging down to Vegas to meet some people I know there and then to Cali for a day or two or three, before trippin’ back with a stop at Indiana for more people, and then heading home before I plot the East Coast trip.

My life is mad wicked crazy right now.

You can’t front on that.

So hey, hook me up with your city and let’s hang out, West Coasters! Tell me where and when in September is good…I imagine I’ll spend a few days in Seattle after the 8th, so name your options and let’s see what happens!

In the meantime…let’s bang around to a little West Coast playlist, alright? Alright.

  • Interpol, “Heinrich Maneuver”
  • Modest Mouse, “The World At Large”
  • Nirvana, “Lounge Act”
  • Soundgarden, “Room A Thousand Years Wide”
  • Jawbox, “Breathe”
  • 7 Year Bitch, “You Smell Lonely”
  • Alice In Chains, “Grind”
  • Felt, “Bass For Your Truck”
  • Beastie Boys, “High Plains Drifter”
  • Pearl Jam, “Hard To Imagine”

That’s my word, individuals doing your own things. Peace, and don’t forget to get at me if you want me to read in your city yo. Much love…ttyl.

100, Getting Published, Playlists, Road Trip!, support your locals

The “Summer Of Norb” Tour Continues!

 

Hey folks! What’s happenin’? So much goin’ on lately…I don’t even know where to begin! Just got back from spending another week hangin’ out at my mom’s…

…because birthdays are good and oh also there was a little matter of catching up with some friends and signing some books. Played a round of miniature golf with an old friend and her adorable little daughter, ate tons of WNY staples (Sahlen’s hot dogs, chicken wings, Bison chip dip, etc.), dropped off a copy of 100 at the Arcade library, and took in many of the familiar sights and sounds of home.

Along the way, there was no shortage of good news!

I finally received word that my website is (for the most part) complete and ready for your viewing! Norbaikin.com has links to this blog, my Writing.com portfolio, my publisher’s site, Amazon’s 100 link, and other assorted goodies…and we’re in the process of setting up the means to buy signed copies of the book directly from there. How sweet is that?

And if you’re disappointed that I didn’t get to see you this past week because you don’t live close, fear not! Eliezer Tristan Publishing (located in Oregon) is having their launch party on September 8th…West Coast, here I come! Forty-three years after I invaded the eastern portion of the United States and set up shop in NY, I’m finally getting over to the left side of the country. Besides Portland, Seattle is on the itinerary as well…and if you want me to make a stop in your city and it has a bookstore, cafe, or other venues interested in hosting a slightly irreverent and occasionally aloof poet from the part of NY hardly anyone talks about (but when they do they’re talkin’ proud) then you need to get at me so we can set somethin’ up! I promise I’ll try to be as well-behaved as I possibly can be.

So yep, that’s been my life for the past week or so…couch-surfin’ at mom’s and talkin’ books and gettin’ tatted up at a longtime friend’s tattoo shop…

For those curious, “Na Zdrowie!” is basically a Polish toast, and Doug is my brother who passed away almost two years ago. It was important to me to have a way to remember him that we could both appreciate, and having the work done by someone we both knew well was imperative. It was one of his favorite things to say when hoisting up another shot (usually Jack Daniels Fire), with the other obviously being “Drink up, fuckers!” While we may not have always been raised proper or right, we were raised fun and mom’s still proud.

Alright, how about a launch playlist? It’s my favorite part of each entry!

  • T. Rex, “Spaceball Ricochet”
  • Atmosphere, “The Arrival”
  • Pearl Jam, “Light Years”
  • Beastie Boys, “Intergalactic”
  • The Who, “I Can See For Miles”
  • Jimmy Eat World, “77 Satellites”
  • Something Corporate, “The Astronaut”
  • Aesop Rock, “Bring Back Pluto”
  • Radiohead, “Subterranean Homesick Alien”
  • Smashing Pumpkins, “Rocket”

I think that’s all there is to say for now…thanks to everyone I’ve had the pleasure of spending time with this week, whether talking writing or reminiscing or just being. Peace! I’ll catch up with all y’all again soon!

100, Getting Published, Playlists, Road Trip!

Let’s take this road on the show!

Hey y’all! I know it’s been awhile since we’ve been here…I’ve been trying to soak it all in and see what’s coming next for me. Let’s do a quick recap, if you don’t mind…

Mom got her copy of 100 and she’s mega-proud, because I’ve finally done something with my life.

The book is doing well…so well in fact, that I’m gonna take a trip out to Portland, from Central NY, for a launch party. And there ain’t no party like a Portland party cuz a Portland party don’t stop. Or something. It’s fitting though that this long road I’ve been on between struggle and grief and sacrifice and pain and the doubts of not knowing…will get not only a showcase but a decent full-scale celebration as part of the Eliezer Tristan launch. Crazy, I know…but still a lotta work to do on my end, promotion-wise.

Then there’s these…thanks to my man Aaron, better known as Cultural Savage…postcards and handouts. Yes, it’s a 5-picture IG album. Get on it or get over it.

It’s all so overwhelmingly awesome. And it’s also scary…dealing with depression, anxiety, and fibromyalgia means travel can often be uncomfortable and hella stressful. I usually travel by bus (primarily from CNY to my mom’s in Western New York, so relatively short distances), but it never fails…something always seems to go wrong when I take the Greyhound, which makes me even more miserable and uncomfortable. I’m not happy and settled until I get to where I’m supposed to be, and it drives me nuts, which also drives me nuts in turn that it drives me nuts. Call it a perpetual cycle of nut-driving, if you will.

But flying? Flying definitely freaks me out, and I don’t know why. Add to it that I’ll be meeting a lot of really cool people for the first time…and that’s like anxiety’s perfect cocktail. But hey, let’s throw in the unpredictability of fibro…waking up not knowing what’s gonna hurt, or when or why or how much and for however long (for example, a few days ago I managed to cramp up both my calves just trying to get out of bed and I’m still working through that) so yeah, super-sized cocktail. Yesterday I was fine until I took a shower, and one side of my neck started bothering me. Today, it’s the other side…the kind of pain where you have to turn your whole body to look to the side, and that’s really inconvenient when you’re trying to cross the street. My body’s a roulette wheel and the house always wins.

But fuck it…I’m determined to make this one of the best experiences of my life, one way or another. I’m gonna get to see the Pacific Northwest, hang out with a great team of people who have all contributed to this new saga in my life in one way or another, and I’ll get to share my words with an entirely new audience. I’m not gonna let my body stop me as long as I can manage myself long enough for the trip, and I’ll figure out a way to override my brain when the creeping doubts and toxic thoughts about backing out begin to seep in. This is my shot. I’ve got to make the most of it and see what happens…it’s a once-in-a-lifetime experience in an existence dotted with negative “only this would happen to me” situations.

With that said, let’s launch into another playlist, huh? Good tunes…anthem-quality sing-alongs and road trip essentials (well, at least my essentials), and just me, trying to remember the things I’ve learned about Mindfulness and staying in the moment:

  • Eminem, “Lose Yourself”
  • Redman feat. Erick Sermon, “Whateva Man”
  • The Beatles, “Help!”
  • Wilco, “Sunloathe”
  • T. Rex, “Thunderwing”
  • The Killers, “This River Is Wild”
  • Better Than Ezra, “Normal Town”
  • The Drifters, “This Magic Moment”
  • Further Seems Forever, “Hide Nothing”
  • William DeVaughn, “Be Thankful For What You Got”
  • Karen O and the Kids, “Rumpus”
  • Hail Mary Mallon, “Knievel”

As always, this is my music and if you don’t like it, remember, I didn’t invite you! And I’m pretty sure my iPod is still louder and cooler than your Spotify or TIDAL or whatever it is the cool kids do for music these days. But I still love you! Thanks and peace and hope you’re all well!

100 WIP, Getting Published, Playlists

#ItsHere …and what it means to me.

This is friggin’ amazing, y’all.

Got some copies of my book, which you can get here from Amazon on your Kindle or in print. Now the struggle has a name!

Poetry has kept me sane the last six years, if not the last 25 or so. It’s given me a voice against my mental health, coworkers, companies, and crazy situations I’ve found myself in…even if it wasn’t heard. It’s my art; putting words on a page like a painter uses paint. This is my skill, and this is how I document my reality. I’ve got notebooks full of poems that have been a crucial release point in terms of dealing with myself. Some are good, and some are trash…but the point is to always keep writing, and keep everything you write.

But I often struggle when asked what poetry means to me. Different writers have different answers and comparing one to another is ridiculous. We all write for different reasons, and in the long run this isn’t a competition…we need to support each other no matter what. And I don’t write for solutions necessarily…it’s just my way of dealing with the world that doesn’t always take kindly to strangers in it.

Can I share with you a short sample? Will Eliezer Tristan Publishing mind?

This is how I feel safe and how I feel like I’m contributing to society. It’s how I view the world and make it less awful for me in a corrosive era of our existence. Maybe I didn’t want to be on a team but they threw me a uniform and I had no choice but to be the best I can be, which turned into reaching the pinnacle of the conquest. Maybe this is what I was meant for all along, and my posturing of “good life” was just for show (like so many of you). All I wanted was to get in where I could fit in, and I’ve been able to do that often enough that I don’t hafta worry about who my friends are, even if I’m a shitty friend at times. My body is full of pain, but my heart knows no boundaries. And if that’s who I was born to be and have been lucky enough to survive and spit words, I’ll take it.

Let’s bang out to a published playlist, shall we? Let’s appreciate and support one another!

  • The Tragically Hip, “World Container”
  • Moneen, “The Passing Of America”
  • Faith No More, “Sweet Emotion”
  • Modest Mouse, “Sleepwalkin'”
  • Public Enemy, “He Got Game”
  • Beastie Boys, “Egg Raid On Mojo”
  • Dana Fuchs, “Don’t Let Me Down”
  • Street Sweeper Social Club, “Mama Said Knock You Out”
  • Reggie & The Full Effect, “Your Girlfriends Hate Me”
  • Temple Of The Dog, “Times Of Trouble”

Ok you guys…I’m waiting on a tech support call so I can get my website feeling right and the way I want it…I can only scratch that scab for so long til it becomes infected. Anyway, today’s been awesome and thank you all for joining in on the ride!

100 WIP, Getting Published, Photos, Playlists, support your locals

#ItsHappening

Yes yes y’all! Let’s update you on the last couple of days, since so much has happened between the last time I looked at this blog and now. Follow along!

    • The results of the photo shoot are in! I’ve got a back cover headshot, a back page photo, and of the 67 pics maybe five to ten I actually like (though not the fault of the photographer…after all, he did his best with what he had to work with).
    • The front/back covers are live! 100 front and back cover
    • And here’s a sneak preview of the dedication page, clipped from the editing proof… kickass job by my crews!

dedication

So I had a late night and tried to sleep in a little this morning. Well past my usual wake-up time, as I’m slowly coming to, the Aesop Rock ringtone goes off and it’s the amazingly talented and lovely Sarah Fader on her way for some donuts, checking in. I keep saying things like “Shit’s getting real” yet each day shit keeps getting more real. And we’re going over the list of things I still need to work on, which is crazy because it’s the last hurdle I need to get myself over. Things like Press Release info, newspaper and radio contacts, email addresses from interested readers, finishing off the website and changing the hosting. Life comes at you fast, yo. I told Sarah I had to run some errands and do some packing for a short trip home starting tomorrow, we did a lot of YaaaYYYY!-ing, and I got up to take care of my bizness. And this is what I came home to…

BOOM goes the dynamite!

It’s hard keeping up with the social media posts…the Facebook and Instagram and Twitter love. Cuz like I said, I still have a ton of work to do…and we’re not even in the promotional stage yet where I’m gonna be doing interviews and signings and all that that entails. Plus, I’m taking a weekend off (but not really) to see my mom and hang out at a family friend’s kid’s grad party…which I’m looking forward to, because it’s time off but it’s also some networking opportunities. Gonna bust out the memo book and the nice pen to jot down some email addresses. Gimme yours now and save me some trouble! That way I can send them to my balls-out team of indie warrior women at Eliezer Tristan Publishing and you can be updated as to where I’ll be and how you can get the book. Buy it off the site, get it from Amazon, stuff it on your Kindle, or see me in person and say hey…get you a signed copy! It’ll be nice to see some of you again! It’s been way too long.

Let’s go out on a strong note and see what kind of playlist iTunes wants to generate for me today as I get out of here to bang out work and get ready for some family time…

  • Reggie & the Full Effect, “Mood 4 Luv”
  • Jawbox, “Savory”
  • Atoms For Peace, “Dropped”
  • Jimmy Eat World, “Futures”
  • Joe Tex, “I Believe I’m Gonna Make It”
  • The New Amsterdams, “Without A Sound (Eleanor)”
  • LL Cool J, “I Can’t Live Without My Radio”
  • Wilco, “Company In My Back”
  • Deftones, “Feiticeira”
  • Radiohead, “True Love Waits”

That’s all I got for you today, kids…keep watch on your email, this blog, and my Facebook and Twitter for now til I fix up the website. You are my inspiration, my key, and my love. Peace y’all.