Weddings, Singing and Other Distractions
Posted by Will
You’d really like to be writing. But stuff happens and you all know it. Squeeze that schedule, try to wring water from the stone, but somehow the days slip by and you haven’t pushed the manuscript at all. Don’t abandon me on this one- confess! It happens.
And there was a time when these distractions were so prevalent I wasn’t writing at all. In the early years, before I got the bug, I had what some might have called a life. An odd one, admittedly, but stubbornly persistent and even now when I’m trying to make it as an author (between husbandry, fatherhood, oh sure, and that full-time job thing), I keep getting reminders. Honestly, dear reader, I’d rather break upon the shores of your mind the way Athena did- full grown and armed for war- or as Solemn Judgement came to the Lands- an orphan but strangely complete. Not to be! I am already unjustly famous, it seems, even on the web- or at least, much more famous for other things than I am for writing.
At Williams College in the late 70s (yes, the 1970s!) I joined the original reincarnation of the Williams Octet, an a cappella singing group first started in the 1940s at my dear alma mater. You simply cannot imagine the fun and good times that ensued: these fine fellows are among my closest friends to this day (and more than one is a hero of the Lands). After road-tripping the Eastern Seaboard, singing for gorgeous female audiences and sleeping under pianos in the lobby later on, in an undergraduate career that crested with singing the National Anthem on opening day in Yankee Stadium, the group continued as the Lemmings, and I rejoined shortly after moving to NYC. We sang at the Guggeinheim Museum, on busy corners and for Sesame Street! In fact, one of our group made a movie loosely based on our ridiculous post-college exploits, and you can split a rib laughing at The Wedding Weekend if you want. The author/director and one of my fellow baritones freely admitted, one of the characters in the group is a bit like me- see if you can guess which one!
We Lemmings have become older, and jobs and family have split us up somewhat (art imitates life in this case, but only because we came before the movie). The Lemmings have arrived at the stage when we sing for each other’s weddings and that’s about it (next up, singing for each other’s funerals!). I was among the last to commit such a dreadful act (a wedding- I haven’t committed a funeral yet), and here’s where it finally starts to come back together. On February 10th 1996, I plighted my eternal troth to Ms. Dorie Hoover for the second time (another tale, another day), and the Lemmings were there to share the hilarity. Medieval costumes and doo-wop singing alike were captured on film for posterity.
And when the evil genius who runs the group’s media existence started a blog about the Lemmings (“Cliff Notes“, clever), he encouraged me to write about the time the madcap men of music sang for my lovely bride. It was an immortal occasion, I can assure you- many people have told me it was the best wedding they ever attended. I can say that with all humility because I had nothing to do with it- Dorie planned the entire thing. But I did bring in the Lemmings.
So I blogged about my wedding day over on Cliff Notes. The entry came out in mid-July, just after I starting publishing tales; it has a video link right on the page and you can listen to us sing and laugh and enjoy the day.
So now we come to it. Nearly four years since I started writing seriously, I have three stories out on the web and more in production. I am pleased to say that I have a tidy number of sales- several dozen, and then a few score freebies- plus a few very enthusiastic reviews which I treasure. Last summer my friend Kevin cajoled me into writing about my wedding, and did all the work of posting the media under my text.
And this blog entry that I shot off less than a year ago has HUNDREDS of hits for some reason. So I’m already much more famous than myself, for the wrong reasons. New goal- become better known for my chronicles based on thirty years of watching the Lands of Hope, than for this accidental blog about the real world that I rattled off in about an hour . Actually, how about if I just CATCH UP to it first…
What part of real life competes with your writing for attention? How goes the battle to become well known as an author?
P.S.: An impassioned groveling plea, if you haven’t checked out the Lands of Hope Facebook page, I’d be very grateful if you did. I’m only halfway to the minimum for “Likes”, so FB can start telling me how few friends I have and other useful facts.