I haven’t done much freelance writing lately. Honestly, my focus has pretty much been 100% on getting the new brewery up and going. That focus, by the way, is not gonna slow for at least a year. With everything I have to do, I do not expect to even open the doors until next fall, and even that will take an awful lot of blood, sweat and tears.
Some opportunities, however, still come up…
Even when I don’t seek them out, I have enough friends and contacts who know what I can do to feed me “snacks” from time to time. Look, when you’re known in certain circles for certain emotional things, the work kinda finds you.
I sometimes wish it didn’t.
A snack came my way recently…one I wish I had refused. I certainly thought about doing so, but the money…
I was asked to rework an ending for a video game. It was the “bad” ending, yes, but it still was a prominent part of the game…and one that needed attention. The money wasn’t great, but it was better than what I get in my only-the-healthcare-matters “real” job, so of course I said yes…
All I needed to do was craft some character notes, and write a suicide note and eulogy.
I did it, of course. I did it because I always do. I don’t make promises that I don’t keep. I wish sometimes that that was not the case, but I always deliver*…
*Not always on time, but I always deliver in the end.
So, I finished it…then I called out from work today and opened a new bottle of scotch.
I also cranked up the music. A lot of music. An amount — and volume — of music that I’m fairly certain had my neighbors calling the landlord.
I needed it, both the booze and the music. They weren’t “my” characters, but I adopted them, and that means I built some feeling for them. They weren’t ”my” characters, but still I broke myself to turn out material that mattered…
Then I went and reminded myself of courage, and what it all really means.
Look, I like blues and rock and a certain amount of folk inspired music. What I can’t stand is complete country. I hate “hillbilly” music almost a much as I hate sell-out, commercial shit. Which means I can’t stand 90% of what is called “country” today…
But, well, sometimes the meaning of the song transcends any categorization. I’ve mentioned it before, but, well…this particular tune has a story that bears repeating:
I can think of no greater sign of courage, nor of love, than what Steve Earle did with the song below. He took a song from his son, one that he never saw or heard until after his son’s suicide, and he recorded it.
Dear God, I can’t imagine the kind of strength that took. When I need to remember courage and devotion and love…yeah, this song is all I really need.
More importantly, when I need to remember just how much art can heal and inspire, all I have to do is think about the story, and listen to this song: