There’s an old Wicca tradition about bad stuff. I know, I’m doing a lot about traditions at this time of year, but it’s a good time of year for it. Christmas is over and whatever you think about that, the days are going to get longer and longer until they’re magically, sleep-stealingly long, the way they were when I swapped stories and dreams with someone with a bottle of wine under a eucalyptus tree last summer.
After this year I have a lot less bad stuff to get rid of. But I’m going to write down some things I’m going to do this year and being a hip and happening kind of guy I thought I might as well put these things here, where everyone can see them and challenge me on them. So here they are. My resolutions for 2014. Or goals. My resolutions are for me and those they affect. My goals, well, this will kick me on along towards them. As we say down the stables.
1) I will direct and broadcast No Batteries Required on radio.
2) I will re-draft No Batteries Required as a screenplay and pitch it to Cascade, same as Not Your Heart Away.
3) I will find an independent publisher for Not Your Heart Away.
4) I will learn to play the ukelele. Actually, on advice from a friend who thinks my saxophone playing is pretty good, I’m sending the ukelele back and making a promise to myself to play the saxophone every single day. A quick blast through Kirsty McColl’s A New England was today’s effort, copied from the radio. The radio in my head, anyway.
5) I will perform 3 poems at the Open-Mic night at The Old Mariner, Woodbridge, 29th January.
6) I will write The Cloud Factory.
7) I will finish writing Janni Schenck, which started life as School Lane.
8) First I will decide the format for Janni Schenck, film, book or play.
9) While I’m there I might as well re-draft No Batteries Required as a stage play and get it performed, probably using the same actors and actresses who are doing it for radio.
10) I can’t actually think of a tenth thing. I mean, I can, but I can’t really put that on here publically so not that, not here. Instead, I will get better at playing my old low tone saxophone. I might even team up with someone who can do the music while I do a 1940s crooner set. This is a thing in my head. In a progress update I’ ve found someone, but she’s a bit committed. Life stuff. You know. Stuff.
I don’t know why when I was 14 the first album I ever bought was original 1944 RCA Victor Glenn Miller recordings. But it was and they were and they’ve stuck in my head forever. And I thought the other day that a Christmas present to myself might usefully be a mic-ed-up concert uke to accompany the songs I’ve always known. The Nearness of You. Fools Rush In. The Glenn Miller version obviously, not the pathetic Bow Wow Wow lift musak one. And probably Ain’t Nobody Here But Us Chickens, the song my disappeared friend Simon Talbot used to introduce his radio show in Florida, about a thousand years ago. Or maybe How Long Will I Love You? If you want to do something useful in 2014, find Simon and tell me where he is. A lot of people who love him would like to know. And we don’t. It’s been years now. We miss him. A lot.