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November 5, 2006

superNOVember - 2

by sven at 10:21 pm

SuperNOVember is a month-long event initiated by Shelley Noble. The challenge: take action on your art each day, blog about it daily.

Today's progress:

Tuesday was my birthday. Now I'm old enough to run for president. ;-)

So, I'm calling this a special birthday gift to myself: I'm renovating my studio room. I'm going to tear out the closet to make more floor space. And I'm going to replace the carpet with... Probably Pergo. (Because paint spills and metal chips just do not go well with shag.)

Hence the research into general contractors. My hope is to be making calls about the closet job tomorrow. Stopmo connection: getting this work done will give me space for another table, where metal-working machines will be able to live more comfortably -- and I'll be able to set up a soldering station right in front of the window, where (for the sake of ventilation) it ought be.


As part of the birthday-palooza, Gretchin took me out to dinner at Assaggio tonight. Awkwardly, just as my Spaghetti al Limone was arriving, I had an inspiration for a book I could write... So I hurriedly took notes, while Gretchin patiently indulged my muse.

Possible title: "People As Property: The story of how children, women, and [word?] have been (and continue to be) treated as if they are owned." Um, that subtitle needs a lot of work -- but the basic idea's sound.

(I choose not to talk about it much in my artistic contexts, but I'm a fairly prolific writer of unpublished political essays.)

Anyway, this line of thought lead to a clarification of personal goals. In addition to living with Gretchin, here are the main Things I'm Interested In Doing With The Second Half Of My Life:

  1. write a book, and perhaps a few follow-up books
  2. make stopmo shorts worthy of inclusion in compilation DVDs
  3. watch sci fi
  4. keep playing piano

(...As I jotted darkly in my notepad, "I can still play piano if I have Alzheimer's." Gotta plan ahead, right?)

There's a concept from the Artist's Way that Gretchin talks about sometimes; it's called "your true North." The question is, what does success look like for you? Like, if you're an actor, maybe what's really going to feel like "success" to you is getting a Tony. But for another actor, "success" is maybe getting on the cover of People magazine. Whatever it is that defines success for you -- that's your "true North."

I think for me true North is doing something that contributes to the dialectic of history in a noteworthy way. I'd like to write a book that influences people's discussions for 50 or 20 or 10 years -- that is, however long it is before libraries of worth remove the book from their collections. I don't need my work to touch all people -- but some small niche of intellectuals, activists, or artists -- I'd like to have made a landmark contribution within the annals of their subculture.

I'm more advanced in my political/intellectual pursuits that in my artwork -- but the same true North applies for stopmo. I'd be happy if I did something that was worthy of being collected on a DVD. I don't know if I have it in me to do something that impacts the artform as a whole -- but I'm meticulous and creative enough that I'll bet I could make something adequately beautiful for compilation. That'd be good enough for me. I don't think I need to shoot my own feature-length film.

It's good to assess from time to time, as honestly as possible, what it is that you really want. Birthday-paloozas are an apt time for that.

posted by sven | November 5, 2006 10:21 PM | categories: stopmo