LAVOLA – The Space Between (Acoustic)

Sparse, delicate, haunting and ethereal in its beautiful melancholy, Lavola’s first new music released since 2014′s fantastic LP This Book Is My Cowardice is an acoustic solo track, live and accompanied only by a childlike and looping Korg synthesizer. Cires’ vocals are fragile, wavering and intimate, a vulnerability closer to his demo-style debut EP than anything found on the raging and eruptive seas of Leaving Paris or … Cowardice. It’s a gorgeous, evocative song that brings with it a pain of nostalgia around something that you can’t quite name, or maybe not even remember intellectually, but can’t help but feel deeply emotionally, and it’s all the more powerful for its ghost-like, streetlamp-silhouette-soaked ambiguity. Listen to this.

I feel so overflowing with ideas and I love it. This is when I am happy. This is when I am real. This is when I am me.

I am me when I have half-a-dozen articles that I wanna write and six novels I can read in my skull and need to translate into word docs and a ton of short films I want to direct and plenty of features I want to write and all sorts of things flowing out of me, images I need to splash across canvas like blood or an evening sky, a red sky at night meaning sailor’s delight, or however that rhyme goes. I am me when I am 40,000-something words into the first draft of a novel after just a few weeks of progress and have spec scripts done and tons of poems done and I am dying, needing, striving to get these things out of me and into something others can perceive.

I love it. I love this. I love the creativity that won’t stop being inside of me. I love this freedom. I love this sense of limitless wonder and joy and euphoria and challenge and production and tangible proof of something that once existed only as a certainty within my head that is now something outside of it. I love it. I love it all so much. I love writing. Writers who say they love to write but act like they hate writing make no sense to me. All I truly love is writing. It’s everything else that seems so difficult to me. I don’t get those people. Do they just want to vanity of it? I don’t know. I am at my happiest when I am written into a corner and fighting to make a plot thread satisfy. I am at my fullest when I am fending my way through a second act and striving to get to that third that I’ve been dreaming of since I penned the first word of the first. I am at my richest when I am rewriting, having made the clay in the first draft and crafting it into a statue in the second or the third or the fourth.

I fucking love writing. I fucking love making things. I fucking love sketching and drawing and painting and making things. I love making things. I love feeling like a servant to ideas. I love feeling like I am humbled by my art. I love feeling like I know why I exist, and that I can prove it. This is all I want to be. This is all I want to do. The rest is research and noise and inspiration and obligation. I am so honestly, sincerely happy when I am doing this. I love when I am meditating and struggling to keep a clear head because too many ideas are flooding me. I love when I am falling asleep and leap up alone in bed, reaching for a notebook or a fresh iPhone note to jot down the new thing I know I must make a reality that I can share with someone else. I love it. I love it so much. It’s not always simple. It’s not always easy. But I can do it. I can do it. And I love to do it. This is me, goddamn it. This is me.

RIP You Magical Man

My whole life, I’ve loved movies.

I’ve been obsessed. I’ve liked them more than reality, most of the time. They’ve always seemed like the ultimate marriage of art – writing, photography, imagery, performance, music. I don’t know if I’d be that way if it wasn’t for what I started off with.

The earliest memories I have in my life blend together, and I can’t tell you which came first, but they go like this: I’m sitting in the living room of the house I lived in as a young kid, and I’m close to the TV set, and it’s big, bigger than me, and on its glass screen I’m watching a girl click her heels together to go home, and I’m watching a glass elevator burst through a rooftop, flying through the ceiling.

Seeing The Wizard of Oz and Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory as a kid showed me things I wasn’t going to see in real life for years – beautiful, swirling, gorgeous imagery, fantasies that blended into reality, perfection and wonderful, full-color life that defeated the drab, dark, dingy worlds around them. They made me believe in magic. The blended together in that way that only the earliest, foggy childhood memories do, but they’re there still. Gene Wilder as Willy Wonka was enchanting to me. He was magic. He was life. He was the opposite image I had of every adult I had ever met. He was, quite simply, perfect. He was commanding; he was sweet. He was mysterious; he was warm. He was lovely.

All my memories go from there. I can chart my whole life in film, and on that chart, that’s where life really began – being a little kid, barely able to register reality around me, but registering the reality those two movies made, and I don’t know if my life would have ever really started in such a way if I’d not seen him pretend to be feeble, and pretend to fall, and then suddenly and majestically rolled with absolute grace.

I’d go on to love him in all the things everyone else ever did – anything with Mel Brooks was like heroin to me as a kid, and even though none of the jokes made sense to me, Young Frankenstein was an early favorite. Blazing Saddles was the kind of film they could never make at any other point in time. He was a beam of bright memory for my young mind to latch onto during the insanity of Bonnie and Clyde. I always loved seeing that man on the screen, and even though I didn’t know the guy, and even though there’s nothing that special about my memories, memories that millions of countless others have, hearing that Gene Wilder is gone – that man who I will always, always see in my head as that magical, frightening and unbelievably delightful agent of imagination and wonder – it hits.

I wasn’t old enough to ever be hit by the passing of Judy Garland. But in my weird, toddler memory full of VHS tapes and phantom lines across the screen, she and he are bound together permanently. None of this really matters, but it matters a lot to me. I’m not one for the afterlife, but if Willy Wonka taught me anything as a child, it’s that imagination is just as powerful as reality if all you do is believe, and in my imagination, those two are together, guiding one another through the land of Oz and that chocolate factory, singing and dancing, giving hope to a little kid who watches it happening, and making him believe in art and magic in a way that nothing else in his life would for years to come.

Things Are Happening, You Just Can’t See Them Yet

So unless I’m mistaken I have something coming out later this month in the inaugural issue of the very cool Bad Apple Zine, as well as a short story in Open Thought Vortex scheduled for July, and then there’s a couple things with no dates set yet that I don’t want to mention ahead of time since they fall under the umbrella of “I really don’t know.”
Second draft of a novel is done. Complete. It finished month and a half sooner than I planned on, and all ~100,000 words were done in the space of a single month, which ended up being the most prolific month by far of my life. I’m going through piles of writing, of prose and essays, of articles and short stories, of diagrams for story structure for future projects and screenplay projects that people have asked me to be a part of and it can all very easily be summed up as, “I’ve got a lot going on right now and everything seems quiet but it’s probably going to get a whole lot louder very, very soon.”
My start date of the great literary agent search is going to be at the tail-end of this month, but I’m already getting lists of names together that I plan on combing through. I’m not self-publishing this novel but I might self-publish a novella later in the year. Who the hell knows. The more you limit yourself to one venue the more you limit your audience and I think that people in every camp of “ways to put art out” are all making a binary issue out of something that shouldn’t be; we can put anything we want out at any time and can still go through the “traditional” channels everyone who makes anything should be using all of these venues all the time instead of hunkering down in some corner, planting a flag, ranting about why you’re “right” about the way things should go and dying in a corner screaming about something a whole nobody cares about. Just make shit and get it out there. Make things people see. (He said, while sitting on a pile of unreleased things.)

I’m borderline overwhelmed with ideas, with projects and with work and am having a lot of 12-16 hour days on the regular lately and “days off” don’t seem to exist. And I really don’t want them, at all. My life keeps getting weirder and weirder by the minute and I don’t want things to progress any differently. I don’t feel satisfied, I don’t feel successful and I don’t feel like I’ve ever done enough and I think those are all extremely important things to feel if you want to keep feeling that drive to push yourself harder, to move forward faster and to do better things.

I don’t care about most things people are supposed to care about and I don’t really value a lot of the things people are supposed to value and I just do not care about much else other than what it is that I am doing which is, ultimately, making things, trying to say something, trying to create something and getting them in front of people. “Exhausted” is a word I am constantly refusing to let myself feel and it’s fantastic. There is nothing better than ending a day feeling totally drained from making things and ripping things out of your skull and spraying them across some sort of canvas or page or screen or any other thing artistic mediums use.
So, basically: shit’s happening, you just can’t see all of it yet, and I am excited about all of it coming out.

Digital Fear

I hate how I constantly think whenever I see something like “Wi-Fi hotspot” that that means that the internet’s floating around in the air around me and so Gary Busey Facebook updates and Donald Trump’s twitter and Nickelback music videos and 4chan are all getting breathed into my body and coating my lungs and I can’t do a single thing about it, all day every day anywhere with Wi-Fi I am just having my body get pulverized by the air that is filled to the brim with weird porn videos and strange rants against feminism and things like rape apologists on reddit just polluting every inch of me, it’s disgusting and terrifying and I have no say in any of it

This WordPress Thing

Every other writer I run into has one and I don’t so this is fixing that problem. Chances are if you want the most up to date look at what I’m doing, my tumblr will still be the way to go, and my twitter will continue to be the strange cesspool that anyone’s is. Facebook is an absolute non-event for me in every sense of the phrase and without a doubt is the last place to bother trying to get anything resembling updates on my work because I’m chronically awful at using it.

Nobody reads anybody’s blog unless if you’re George RR Martin and even then it’s just because everyone is waiting to see if you’ve finally slipped a release date in for The Winds of Winter. But that hasn’t stopped me from vague and long-winded posts on tumblr and so I probably won’t allow it to stop me on here. Whenever something comes out, I might post about it, and might use this site as a way of commenting a bit more than I often do (which is not at all) on whatever it is that’s being published. If you care about anything I make and are interested in that type of self-obsession then this might be the place for you (little-known fact: that Talking Heads song was originally titled that and they decided it was too non-committal [better-known little-known fact: I made that up just now]).

So, yeah. This WordPress thing. Everyone who writes but me seems to have one of these so now I do too because I don’t see why I shouldn’t (other than it’s perfectly meaningless and is just another thing to have to keep track of but that’s most tasks in life). That’s about it. Hopefully this goes alright. Clearly, my expectations are high. “Unnecessary” is a word that never looks like it’s been spelled right, but it likely applies here.