Saturday, January 06, 2007

A Simple Plan

I have so many projects on my plate. The new book, the old book, three film projects - one of which I am producing, a few graphic jobs...

Damn, it doesn't sound like much when I write it down that way. It must be the work within each project that creates the weight. For example, in the previous Starart post I listed some of the things I need to accomplish before the store site goes up. Still nowhere near completion, btw. The list for Everybody I Shot Is Dead is a hundred times longer, and so on and so on.

I am busy all day, every day (I have no life)...with seemingly no progress. That's been driving me crazy. Exhausted at the end of the day (meaning whenever I decide I have to nod) asking myself, "What did I accomplish?" Feeling something fell through the cracks. One of the balls hit the floor. And that ball always seems to be Everybody I Shot Is Dead. Or My First Kiss. Or...

A few days ago, I came up with a plan. A simple plan that any person with a modicum of organizational skill would have implemented in kindergarten. So, I'm a few years late. Okay, the plan. I use an electronic calendar that has a 'to do list' function. I put an item on it called "Write on Everbody" and then I selected the repeat every day option. In order to check it off each day I have to do something on the book...scanning, writing, designing or whatever. If I don't do something I can't check it off. And if I don't check it off it rolls over to the next day. Then there are two of them. So far, I've checked it off for the past two days. And I've already worked on the book today (but plan to do more tonight) so I'll check off another one.

It's both daunting and comforting to see that item on my calendar. On every square of every month for all eternity. It makes me want to get the book finished. Motivates me. Yesterday, I started looking through my old calendars (the pre-computer ones) in an effort to fill in the blanks of my past. I did 1977, then realized I had a second calendar for 1977.

Then I read one of my journals. It covered the first few months of 1979.

If you read this page you must be wondering what this could possibly have to do with Everybody I Shot Is Dead. I was actually in the gruelling stages of working on Starart that year. The Klaus mentioned is Klaus Voormann - one of the artists in Starart. Cynthia was his wife. Otto is their son. I was living at their house (in the basement, Kato-style). Keith was my very close friend . I had taken some promo pics of his new band while I was in Toronto looking at printers for Starart. Shadow was a former friend. The page is relevant to EISID. It identifies the date I shot one of the musicians. Harry Nilsson. He was one of the dinner guests.

I found another interesting story in those pages. It was an entry I made on January 19th. The story has stuck with me all these years. Every little detail. Emblazoned on my brain. Except the identity of the other person. I knew he was a musician but I couldn't have told you his name. Until now. Bruce Palmer. The bass player from Buffalo Springfield. He died of a heart attack in 2004. Even though I didn't shoot him, I'm 90% sure I'm going to put the story in EISID. Instead of a photo, maybe I'll draw a picture of him. Like I'll probably have to do for Canned Heat since I still haven't found my photos of them...even though I toured with them for three long weeks. Another story that needs to be told, with or without photos.

One more book accomplishment yesterday. I found some photos I took of a guy who looks an awful lot like another musician who is no longer with us. I kind of remember shooting him but I'm not 100% sure. I have a similar situation with another guy - I remember the shoot (it was a TV variety rehearsal) but I'm not sure on the singer. He looks eerily like the youngest brother G, but maybe not.

Sadly, my brain is made of Swiss cheese. Happily, I have calendars and journals.


Word Imp said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Word Imp said...

I'll try again. A spelling mistake in my previous comment annoyed me too much so I deleted it. This is what I meant to say: You seem to have happened upon a clever and cunning plan. Glad it's working. I am usually in a similar situation with too many projects on the go and something important suffers. One thing I'm intrigued by is your comment that you have come across photos and don't remember the subject clearly enough to be sure. I've been thinking lately how weird memory is like that. I look at stuff I've had published or see things I've written in diaries and I have no recollection at all of doing them. Memory loss is scary.

Dave Olden said...

Thanks for this... it's not as much how much you have, as how you have it.

Again, thanks.