Moron writing

IMG_1222 I sat in the upstairs dining hall at Farmer’s Market on Fairfax and Third.

Luckily this large and airy room – the perfect place to take your lunch – is largely unknown to the crowds of tourists below who parade the aisles of the market, jostling with their trays, looking for an empty table. Farmer’s Market is for some reason a big tourist attraction, a Los Angeles landmark. Thankfully, most visitors don’t notice the staircase that leads to the big dining hall, which, as I say, is usually quite peaceful.

I began to write. “To write, just for the sake of writing” is a great thing, said Dave of The Funny Names Blog. It’s true. there’s a certain pleasure, an inherent personal value, in writing. Several years ago when I first started blogging, I commented to Eric Alagan – that is we conversed, or conversated if you like, via the comments section – about the validity of blog writing.

My position was that blogging is not “real” writing. To me writing meant writing a book, some short stories, or long literary essays. Blogs were by their nature briefer. (And they seem to get briefer by the day). I also felt that writing for the blog would detract time and energy from the “real” writing. (My thoughts and positions have never been overly PC)

Well, looking back, I must say that I was 100% correct. Empirically, (and one must always be empirical when one can!) I’ve blogged hundreds of posts, but I’ve written zero novels, just a few stories. In short I haven’t written very much. Now, don’t get me wrong. I like a lot of my posts. But my literary production is definitely down.

Unlike writers who make a living from writing (a group about as numerous as the legs on a millipede and equally as attractive) I have always been unable or unwilling to write commercially. I don’t throw in any gore or gratuitous sex (although I am nonetheless a firm believer in sex when it’s gratuitous) For me, the writing is so time-consuming that it seems a pity to write anything that I don’t like, that isn’t genuine.

“OK. So when are you going to start the next novel?” you ask.

“Soon'” I say. After some of that gratuitous sex, maybe.

The Bumbastories Mid-Week Magazinej

THE HORSE RACE OF BLOGGING images-2

Followers of Bumbastories may have noticed the blog’s evolution, nay its devolution, not only quality but also in frequency. Bumba, if you remember, and even if you don’t remember, broke out of the blogging starting gate at an ambitious and quite laudable “Every Day Another Story” clip. images-3 After the first turn, however, his gallop eased into a “well, almost every day another story” sort of canter. And then, somewhere in the backstretch, Bumba slowed to a weekly Bumbastories Magazine shuffle. images-4Then the weekly magazine lapsed into monthly. It looked like Bumba was out grazing somewhere.  images-5However…er…. before we get off track altogether….with no further apologies, here’s this month’s Mid-Week (Huh?) Bumbastories Magazine, which we hope will be a horse of a different color (And no horsin’ around!). THE BUMBASTORIES MID-WEEK MAGAZINE First a little tribute to Buck Owens of Bakersfield, California. images-1Click below to hear Act Naturally, which Ringo Starr and his little group recorded famously a while back (Ringo’s group recorded a goodly number of things famously). But the original of course was written and sung by Buck Owens and the Buckaroos. Buck wrote and performed a prodigious list of great country songs. Bumba and Maybank played this one last nite. Please sing along if you know it.

*****************************

EVERY DROP COUNTS

Los Angeles got some very welcome rain (yesterday). mosaic_2The drought situation is not appreciably changed, though. The reluctance of government officials, our representatives, to enact conservation measures, including price hikes for water is pitiful. The politicians are paid well by the agriculture conglomerates, but they are also afraid that the people, the voters, might be displeased by price hikes and inconveniences. I believe they under-estimate the public. People can understand that it hasn’t rained, that we have to conserve, that prices for vegetables will go up. To paraphrase Drew Barrymore, “We ain’t stupid, you know”.

Many good citizens are already conserving water. Way to go.

However, even the most conservative libertarians must concede that the drought and issues like climate change and protection of the environment requires a response that only government can orchestrate and implement.

****************************

ABOUT WRITING

I write but I don’t know why. I carry pen and paper most times. I write when I can. It keeps me busy. (An older man on a park bench Writing about writing) It’s a bit of a habit, the writing. I suppose it makes me feel I’m not idling away my time. But I am, of course. So who am I talking to? Who will read this? Not many. I suppose I’d be happy if just a handful of readers – say a dozen or two dozen, OK, make it three dozen people out there – someplace in space and time actually read my books. I write to charm. To amuse. To tell a good story, which, in turn, tells something deeper and more eternal. Which I figure is worth sharing. To achieve that kind of artfulness is not impossible. I figure it’s a good thing to keep trying to hit that level of art and amusement – at least every now and then. Oh yeah, and keep playin that country music!

*******************************

Eclipsed

image

George Packard, intrepid roving reporter for Bumbastories was out on the streets of Los Angeles at 5 o’clock in the morning. That’s right, George was looking for a scoop.

Lo and behold, there was a total eclipse of the moon! George took a couple of quick photos. “Now, there’s a scoop,” said our roving reporter at 5:15.image

However, the news of the eclipse was already out. Astronomers had been drafting ephemerides, or predictions of the movements of celestial bodies, for thousands of years. Kepler compiled an ephemeride in 1617. The Chaldeans were predicting lunar eclipses several thousand years before that.

“OK, so it isn’t a scoop,” said George. “Never mind. It was nice to see, anyway.”

Bring It On Home To Me

thHere’s Sam Cooke”s great 1962 classic Bring It On Home To Me, performed unclassically and with little class to boot by Maybank and Bumba the other day. Sam Cooke, an alumni/graduate of the great accapella gospel group, the Soul Stirrers, died too early. But he left us some wonderful songs – which we can still play

I’m Gonna Sit Right Down And Write Myself A Letter

I’m gonna sit right down and write myself a letter

And make believe it came from you.

I’m gonna write words oh so sweet

They’re gonna knock me off my feet

A lot of kisses on the bottom

I’ll be glad I got ’em!

I liked this song as a kid when I first heard it on the radio. The 1957 Billy Williams recording that was a pretty big hit at the time. The lyrics are just up a kid’s alley. You know, writing a letter to yourself, making believe it’s from your girlfriend, kisses on the bottom. Despite growing up I still like this song very much, and I’m trying to learn to play it. It has some terrific chords I think. A few years ago I heard a Fats Waller live radio show recording. The great Fats Waller can be an inspiration for some people. Check out Fats Waller. Anyhow, the song was written in 1935 by Joe Young and Fred E. Albert. Fats Waller had the first hit recording in that same year. The song was recorded by all the great singers of the era: Armstrong, Bing Crosby, Frank Sinatra, even Sir Paul did it recently.

It’s a Sing-Along, so here’s the rest of the lyrics

I’m gonna smile and say I hope you’re feeling better

And close with love the way you do

I’m gonna sit right down and write myself a letter

And make believe it came from you