For the last few years my friend John Batdorf and I have been working on a project to harness the power of music to help recovering addicts looking for a soundtrack to recovery to replace the songs that triggered their addiction. To learn about what we’ve been up to and how you can help, please check out the link below. I think it’s important:http://www.indiegogo.com/Soundtrax2?a=217656
In the last 24 hours or so I’ve felt a “surge” of creativity. I haven’t felt this way for some time and it’s exhilarating. It’s not exactly a manic enthusiasm, more of an excited hopefulness that there’s still something in the tank.
So I’m taking advantage of this new found inspiration and plowing the fields and planting the seeds of three new projects. They are in their “infancy” phase, as I call it. These ideas are very fragile and I’m trying to nurture and protect them until they can withstand the necessary challenges they will face when they’re more developed.
The great thing about “infant” ideas is that you don’t have to change their diapers, listen to their cries for attention or get them their immunization shots. But they MUST be fed…constantly…and more often than not, they do spit up the stuff they can’t or won’t absorb.
AND SO, I’m mixing the formula and being conscientious. Although these three are newborns, I’ve got to say: They’re GORGEOUS!!!
It’s a snow day (snowin’ like crazy as I write this) and I’m home playing with my newest toy that I got for my birthday. It’s an iPad and it’s so cooooooooooool. I’m sending my first M2B:) blog via my iPad hoping that the coolness of the tablet influences the coolness of the author.
I’ve been thinking about coolness a lot lately. It may have something to do with my recent birthday. I received the coolest gifts of any birthday in a decade and yet I secretly wonder if I deserve them. Well, that’s misleading. I don’t wonder if I deserved being treated with such thoughtfulness and love, but I wonder what I need to do to become cool enough, in my own mind, to own such cool gifts.
Maybe, just for today, I should surrender to the advertising myth that ALL I have to do to be cool is to OWN COOL STUFF. It’s nonsense of course, but at this very moment, I think I’ll just let it work for me. Just a second. I’m going to go look in the mirror, with my iPad in hand and see what I see. (Be right back)
Wow!! I saw a cool guy with an iPad. This is fantastic. I didn’t have to DO anything. This is working for me. I think I’ll call somebody and tell them I’m writing a blog on my new iPad and see what they say. (Be right back)
Wow! The first thing they said was, “That’s SOOOO cool!” Incredible. I’m looking cool. I’m told I’m cool…I’m even FEELING pretty cool. Excuse me, I think I hear my wife calling me.
“Hey Grandpa with the iPad. Did you take out the garbage?”
A bit of reality kicks in. Grandpa with the iPad is right. That’s who I am. A “poser” with an adornment. I surrender to the truth, and call back to my wife. “I’m on my way right now”
And she calls back. “Cool!”
Okay, I have officially had enough winter. Enough gray skies. Enough snow, sleet, rain and wind. I’m way, way ready for spring. To officially invite the season that was supposed to have arrived a month ago, I’m wearing dark glasses. More than an invitation to the sun, I’m sort of daring it to manifest itself to me in this gloominess lingering before me.
I’m blasting HERE COMES THE SUN from my iPod and singing along. It’s time…I’m beckoning to the sun: ”It’s alright, da da da da do do do da da da It’s alright” And just now I’m discovering that I’m singing to myself; “It’s alright, you can come out now. The ice is slowly melting. It may just be a glimpse, but here comes the sun. It’s alright.” And so it is.
Though a month later the the traditional spring equinox, I’m declaring today, April 21st 2011 the first day of spring. My spring. Doesn’t matter what the weathman says because, Little darlin’s, it’s been a long cold lonely winter. Little darlin’s it feels like years since it’s been here. Here comes the sun, here comes the sun and I say, It’s alright.
More tomorrow. Til then I want you to know, little darlin’s…the smiles returning to my face.
I’ve been hibernating. Actually, cyber-hibernating. Haven’t been blogging for a couple of months because my brain sort of shut down after the Forgotten Carols tour this year and it’s taken longer than I expected for it to re-boot.
I chuckle because I just took Lynne’s computer in to MacDocs for some repair work. A new video card and more ram was needed to get it operational and while I was there I thought how great it would be if I could just leave my brain there for a few days. ”Ahhhh, here’s the problem. Poor fellow has a chip missing.” And that would be that. But alas, no such luck. Silicon Valley doesn’t make my kind of chips.
When I started this Mission To Be Happy Web Site…or is it blog spot?…on January 1, 2010 I decided to write about where I found a meaningful happiness pretty much everyday for a year. I sort of hoped it would help people get interested in my little M2B:) book/CD which had just been released. I imagined that if my “mission” caught on with others I could do a little tour, singing the songs, sharing the stories and then at the end of the year I’d expand the franchise to do, “Mission To Be Happy in Marriage” or “Mission To Be Happy in Parenting” etc. etc. But a couple of things caught me by surprise. The public reaction and my own.
As for myself, I didn’t realize the relentless nature of writing about happiness, in an authentic and meaningful way, every day. It was always bedtime and I was reviewing my day and deciding which moments corresponded with which chapter and song from my book. Then, I tried to find a way to write about it honestly enough to be true to the spirit of my “mission”, but also interestingly enough that it would be worth the time it took to read and/or respond. I kept going to bed later and later just trying to get the description of the day’s discovery right. Some days were better than others. Sometimes the writing seemed way less happy than the experience itself, and other times, just the opposite. But, by doing it so consistently I kept track of 2010 for posterity to remember me by.
I was happy to have received some encouraging feedback from those who read my daily entries, though I was disappointed that it didn’t fuel the fire for my book. In fact, in the almost thirty years I’ve been writing songs and stories, Mission To Be Happy seems to have reached fewer folks, and with less connection than anything I’ve ever done…by a factor of 5. Translation: My publisher announced that after 6 months it was being permanently assigned to the sale bin, and in less than a year on the market it would be out of print.
“But what about all the cool ideas I have for sequels to M2B:)? M2B:) Midst International Turmoil and Revolution? Or M2B:) When Gas Hits $5+ Per Gallon? Or, perhaps the most exciting, M2B:) When You Don’t Know What To Actually DO With All That Gold You’ve Been Buying?”
All anyone could say was, “You know, sometimes book ideas work and sometimes, not so much. Let it go, Michael…it just wasn’t a Chicken Soup for the Soul idea.”
“But the Chicken Soup for the Soul series didn’t have my upbeat and enlightening songs accompanying the books.”
That was it. End of conversation. The M2B:) franchise idea was pronounced dead. Resurrection unlikely. So now what? Do I stay on my mission to be happy, sing my songs and forge ahead, alone, as an ambassador of an approach to finding happiness that’s worked well for me, or release myself and see if the URL HappinessTakesTooLongAndIsExhausting.com is available? Which will it be?
Well, as Jack Benny famously said, “I’m thinking it over.”