- I'm the co-host of THIS IS ROCK 'N' ROLL RADIO with Dana & Carl (Sunday nights, 9 to Midnight Eastern, www.westcottradio.org). As a freelance writer, I contributed to Goldmine magazine from 1986-2006, wrote liner notes for Rhino Records' compilation CD Poptopia! Power Pop Classics Of The '90s, and for releases by The Flashcubes, The Finkers, Screen Test, 1.4.5., and Jack "Penetrator" Lipton. I contributed to the books Bubblegum Music Is The Naked Truth, Shake Some Action, Lost In The Grooves, and MusicHound Rock, and to DISCoveries, Amazing Heroes, The Comics Buyer's Guide, Yeah Yeah Yeah, Comics Collector, The Buffalo News, and The Syracuse New Times. I also wrote the liner notes for the four THIS IS ROCK 'N' ROLL RADIO compilation CDs, because, well, who could stop me? My standing offer to write liner notes for a Bay City Rollers compilation has remained criminally ignored. Still intend to write and sell a Batman story someday.
Friday, November 25, 2016
The Joy Of Blogging
That's a conservative number of how much new material I've written for this blog since its start on January 18th of this year. It doesn't count This Is Rock 'n' Roll Radio playlists or hype, it doesn't count any old material from my archives (regardless of whether or not the material had been previously published), nor really anything I wrote for any other purpose and then decided to publish here, too. No, that word count only reflects what I wrote specifically for this blog. That's about 200 typed pages, give or take. And I think most of it has been pretty damned good. Add in the veritable wealth of archival material I've presented in my ongoing quest to post something each 'n' every day, and it would be tough to claim there hasn't been a lot happening here on Boppin' (Like The Hip Folks Do).
I'm really, really enjoying having this outlet for my writing. Yeah, I wish there were some, y'know, money involved--and saying that gives me an opportunity to once again beg for generous blog supporters to sign up to support me on Patreon for as little as $2 a month: Fund me, baby!--but it's been so, so gratifying to have a reason to write again.
There are specific perks to writing for one's own blog, and the main perk is that I am the sole arbiter of what's appropriate for me to write here. For example, take my just-completed five-part Flashcubes fiction, A Brighter Light In My Mind. I had a lot of freedom when I was freelancing for Goldmine--then-editor Jeff Tamarkin was a delight to work with--but it's unlikely I could have convinced Goldmine or any other publication to let me concoct a lengthy fake history of a band that's basically unknown outside of a relatively small circle of fans (albeit a small circle of fans who are--let's face it!--smarter than everybody else). But that piece was such a blast to write! It was never anything that I'd planned to do; it was just a notion that occurred without warning, and I found myself at the computer writing it. Yeah, just like that. It almost felt like I was simply recording facts from another reality, rather than effectively makin' stuff up. It flowed quickly, and I'm proud of the result.
My Batman pulp fiction story The Undersea World Of Mr. Freeze was almost like that, as well. I had a vague, undefined idea (just the title, actually) for a Batman-Aquaman story when I was a teenager in the mid-'70s; decades later, I wrote a few paragraphs of the story for an online DC Comics bulletin board, but then this year I took those few paragraphs and expanded the piece into a complete short story. It was a similar situation with Eternity Man!, the first five chapters of a rock 'n' roll superhero novel I began on the blog in February, a work which flowed quickly and almost effortlessly from my mind onto the computer screen.
I don't write a lot of fiction, and the Flashcubes piece is the only fiction I've published here that's gotten any kind of response or reaction. But, it's still my blog, so if I'm moved to post more fiction in the future, that remains my prerogative. I hope someone will dig it...!
Non-fiction is what earns the ol' clicks on here. My most popular posts have been about The Monkees, and I'm grateful for all the attention those pieces have received. I don't have any more Monkees stuff planned in the short term, but I didn't have that Flashcubes piece planned, either. I was thinking about two different Monkees-related ideas today; we'll see what happens (and if it's Wizard Glick's will).
My most popular recent series has been The Greatest Record Ever Made, and there will be many more of those coming. The Everlasting First, my A-Z recollections of my initial exposures to various singers and superheroes, will continue soon, picking up where we left off (J is for The Jam and Jimmy Olsen). My de facto autobiography Singers, Superheroes, And Songs On The Radio will also resume with more tales of your future blogger reading comic books and listening to records in the '70s. There will likewise be more in my Virtual Ticket Stub Gallery series of concert memories, and there will be more Comic Book Retroviews on the way, too.
Off the blog, I have two other projects in very early stages of not-done-yet. One is a secret for the time being. The other is my long-promised book on The Ramones, collecting my 1994 Ramones interviews for Goldmine under the title Gabba Gabba Hey: Conversations With The Ramones. I don't have a publisher yet--haven't even spoken with anyone about it--and it's a long way from finished. I do have the rough draft preamble/introduction written; that will not be published on the blog any time soon, but it will be available privately in December to my $5-a-month Patreon supporters. Everybody needs a reason to give!
What else? Lots. A daily blog eats up a lot of material, but I aim to keep it comin'. A post a day, every day. And with that, the new material word count just reached 131.132. And the hits just keep on comin'.