Monday, February 16, 2015

A Little Help From My Friends

Couple things...

First...

I plan to be better at feeding this blog and get it going with a little more gusto and regularity. New book coming out in summer, 2015:  THERE'S A HAMSTER IN THE DASHBOARD: A Life in Pets, (Dream of Things). It's a collection of essays about how pets catch us being human. I'll be posting a bit of it on my website soon. www.davidwberner.com. I like this collection because it's not your typical, sappy, overly sweet book on pets. There are actually some stories you—my fellow pet lover—will read and find yourself cringing over. I'm not a perfect pet lover. Who is? But the stories are told with love and the reality that we are all very, very human and pets help us understand that. 

Second...

I'm working on a new manuscript, as I have mentioned in earlier posts. Like Joan Didion—and, oh, how I love to equate myself to old Joan in some way, even though I am certainly no equivalent—I don't know exactly what I'm writing about until I start writing; I don't completely know what I'm thinking. I'll eventually get there, but recently I have had some tremendous help from my friends. 

I posted a question on a writers group's Facebook page asking for gut reactions to title ideas. You see, titles, even working titles, help me to figure out what it is I'm writing about. I've been through a mess of ideas, as you might see in earlier posts. The clear winner at this juncture? OCTOBER SONG: A Memoir of a Musical Life. We'll see if that sticks. 

Here's the early, simple synopsis: On a whim, I entered a songwriting contest and unbelievably and unexpectedly was named a finalist. The contest was a pretty big regional deal. I had to travel from Chicago to Virginia to perform my song on stage at a legendary venue with other songwriters, some very good ones. Now, I am a musician, but I am certainly not a professional. I played in a band long ago, played some coffeehouses in my hippie days, but I would never consider myself a true musician. But I love music, I love my guitar, I've written songs, and when I was younger, like every teenage guitar player in the world, I dreamed of singing on a big, important stage—Carnegie Hall, The Troubador, The Fillmore in San Francisco. So, I got to thinking: What happens to the dreams we have when we are young, the ones we don't fully realize? And then many years later when we have a chance to touch that dream again, how do we handle it? What does growing older do to our dreams? For me, what does it do to my musical dream? But honestly, it could be any of our dreams. It could be your dream. 

Lastly, thoughts on the news: 

Brian Williams is never coming back to NBC. He'll be the host of a new cable show where he can lie his pants off as much as he wants. Probably on Fox. He'll fit right in. 

I will greatly miss the writings of David Carr of the NYTs. He was a genius. 

Bob Simon was one of the last of the great broadcast reporters. His death coming at the time of the Williams' scandal seems ironic, or maybe just weirdly coincidental. 

And can Kanye West please just go away!

Best to you, always. 


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