Last week was a very difficult one for the artist in me, which is, as some claim, most of me excluding the annoying parts, though others suggest the option that it is, in fact, the summary of the annoying parts, and that there's nothing in me but that. It was difficult mostly because of two rejections of two major works by myself, though some people I know might not call them that, but in this case it's my feeling that counts.
The first work is my story collection, which has been by now through most of the major publishing houses in Israel, plus a considerable amount of smaller ones. I'm rather used to receiving rejections by now, but what happened last week wasn't that – it was a bad case of Vanity Press. Finding that a publishing house which you sympathize if a vanity press is quite depressing, especially when they ask you, very sincerely, to help a bit with the production of your own very interesting and worthwhile collection, to the sum of 15,000 NIS, tax excluded. I took a copy of the suggested contract home, just so that I've something to show, when the time comes, someone else's grandchildren. I will find a publisher eventually. However, it's high time to write a novel too, and indeed I've started one, and am already 440 words into it. Damn.
The second work is my Funkapella album, which is really getting there, at last. I gave a demo to a representative of one of Israel's major record companies. Contrary to my expectations from such people, this guy isn't full of himself, or of shit, or of whatever it is some other record companies people are made of. His extremely good taste was demonstrated in liking the album a lot and giving me some well deserved compliments. I know some people who should take courses from him, in that respect. Alas, he also claimed that the album, in its current form, isn't commercial, because of a single, tiny, insignificant problem: lack of emotion.
Now, as all those who know me can no doubt testify in court, I'm one of the most emotional characters upon this planet. Nor am I in the habit of keeping my emotions to myself. While it is true that most of said emotions are to be found somewhere on the scale between plain mirth and elaborate self-satisfaction, I see no reason for any kind of discrimination. The general audience's overreaction to "emotions" such as "love", "sadness" and "pain", pardon the quotes, as expressed in popular music, was always a mystery to me.
However, this guy suggested that I try to write a song with more of that "feeling" thing. I decided to try that, but it was very difficult. It's not that I haven't written a "feeling" song in my life – I have, and some of them will have to be destroyed before I'm dead – but creating one which will fit the musical concept of Funkapella was something that seemed to be contradictory, and re-listening to some of those old sad songs made me sure of it.
Then I found, somewhere in my I-had-an-idea-but-forgot-about-it folder, a raw sketch of a song which I once thought of, which I, having been in a weird mood at the time of recording, played upon an electric guiter, despite my proven lack of ability of any kind as far as this particular instrument is concerned. It's a nice song, really. The only problem was, alas, that the lyrics consisted of four words, i.e. the first sentence of the first verse, and that your humble had no idea what the next four words might be, not to mention the messy business of writing a chorus.
And in this state of mind, a short stories writer trying to find a plot for a novel, a funny song writer trying to induce feelings, not to mentiion lyrics, into a new song, I spent the remaining days of last week and the beginning of this one. I also got a terrible itch due to some previously unknown allergy. It was also very hot. Even those of you who didn't witness it can probably imagine the hon. humble, sitting for hours, mutterring broken words, plots and rhymes, cursing, chewing on pencils and keyboards, and scratching like a dog.
But yesterday, being pissed off and too hot and generally fuming, I went into the studio, and despite an irrational number of interruptions, irrelevant phone calls, power hangups, writing blocks and the such, wrote the whole lyrics and recorded a first demo of that goddamned nice song. It pushed the album length over the critical 45 minutes barrier, and that leaves me with only some more mixing and minor fixes to get over with.
Now I'm satisfied.
Let's see how long this lasts.