Friday, January 02, 2009

New Year Tags

Though I will post on Jan. 2, I’m actually writing this on the first day of 2009, whatever that means. I don’t know why I give any special significance to the so-called new year. At any rate, I don’t mind re-setting some things and moving forward on new ideas.

The old stuff includes a preface I need to draft for my author friend. I’m having trouble with how to open the darn thing. I mean, I want to say something interesting, intellectual, and maybe even provocative. Nothing comes to mind, however. If I am able to get over the writer’s block of the thing, the rest should come out in short order. I have no plans to drag this out; besides, I have new ideas that need to take center stage.

Idea #1 is to use the tags function of the blog to categorize some of my 2009 initiatives. My top initiative involves training for the 2009 Bay State Marathon – which I want to complete at a 4:15 pace. My tag will be “marathon training 2009,” and I’ll use the blog as a running journal.

Other initiatives include my book aspirations. One tag will be “43 Things” for an idea I have to make a list of (small) things that make life worth living. I have six categories – mind, touch, sight, hearing, smell, and taste – and I will talk about seven individual items in each. The idea came to me when I was thinking about the joys of nougat. I wanted to learn about nougat and write about it, and then I thought perhaps many other little niceties could be compiled in one place for a good read – good on the beach, good by the fire, and good fun. The 43 sections will each have a regular structure – maybe a brief story to lead off, and then whatever else I can dream up. I can probably finish in a year or year-and-a-half.

Another tag will be “Jewisher” for my idea in ordinary voices on Judaism. My goal will be to establish my voice, create an outline/storyboard, and write to it. For the book, I hope to use my author friend’s Jewish values as a template. I’ll also need to draft a call for stories and get my author friend’s blessing, assuming he doesn’t laugh me out of cyberspace for the audacity to approach him when we clearly do not play well together. I would like a nice draft done – and reviewed by my wife – by the end of March 2009.

I also want a tag for “writing/living,” which addresses my project on writing and living well. I’m excited about this one, so I hope to make good headway in 2009 on it.

A final tag I will discuss is “music.” I want to develop a series of short essays on the music that has affected me most in my life. My approaching 40th birthday has something to do with it. Prufrock measures his life in coffee spoons. I measure mine in songs and artists. We’ll start with the Beatles and maybe earlier in my life, but then we’ll talk about Dylan, John Coltrane, the Stones, Keith Jarrett and John Zorn. I’ll also discuss particular songs I love. Eventually, I want to develop a soundtrack for my 40th birthday.

These projects make me pretty excited about the year ahead and all that is to come. Perhaps I should acknowledge the general gloom and doom that surrounds everyone right now. Yes, the economy is dreadful and getting worse. War seems everywhere and endless. The environment seems not only to be transforming in front of us but exacting revenge. Heartache and head-shaking inanity – not to mention insanity – seem to underlie the behavior of ordinary people everywhere. I recognize this, but I don’t care. I can only do what I do, and that must be enough.

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