Friday, January 24, 2020

2020: Where I Stand Now...

So 2019 was a pretty crazy year that completely derailed many of my creative projects that I was hoping to complete and even hoping to start. In February, Third World Sun’s drummer, Mike Driml, had a heart attack. I spent much time going to the hospital to keep him company as he began his recovery and, after a series of unfortunate events for him, he lost work and his residence. He ended up in his car and then ultimately on my couch. The result ended up with all of the members of Third World Sun going their separate ways. There was more to it than this, but that was how it turned out. I’m now renting the basement that we used to rehearse in to a tenant. The financial increase has been welcome.

Nevertheless, not to belabor these personal issues, but my focus was not what I expected it to be in 2019. Let’s go through where things now stand based on my last post.

Third World Sun: Eclipse
The new Third World Sun album became available in mid-2019, just past the original mid-April target release date. Once Mike had his heart attack, Scott and I decided to complete the album. His drums had already been recorded and we didn’t know if he was going to make it or not. Turns out, thankfully, he did recover. The album is only available in download format. If you’re interested, you can download the album at this link: We’re all incredibly proud of it. In September, we disbanded Third World Sun. We’d been together since Lori’s passing (5.5 years) and our lives had all grown in different directions. It was no longer very easy to keep it going. It was a mutual decision. So that project has come to a close. I do miss playing with the guys. But it was a huge drain on my time. And so, now in 2020, I should have more time to tackle other projects, many of them I had hoped to address in 2019. Download Third World Sun: Eclipse:

A Stranger At The Gallows (Worlds Collide #2)
I still have one more editorial pass to go. I could not get to it last year. But I should be able to get this out this summer. So May or June of 2020. I’ll release cover art as soon as I have it.

I did give the website a bit of an overhaul at the end of 2018. But I’ve started a new homepage refresh concept that I hope to do in the next couple months. So, something else for the middle of 2020. More info to come.

The Paul•Barers
With the shuttering of Third World Sun, I reverted to some material that I had written near the end of my marriage, stuff I wrote just before Lori’s stroke, while she was in the hospital and immediately following her passing. For The Paul•Barers, I did the drum programming myself, play bass, play synthesizers, and sing all the vocal parts. And I’m producing it. Sitting in on guitar is my friend Ryan Carbonara, who I’ve known since high school. He’s probably the best guitarist I know and his playing and contributions to these songs have elevated them far above what I could have made them on my own. Also, my daughter Melody, played ukulele on one of the songs. So far, there are eight songs. The goal is to do about 14 and release the album. Stylistically, these songs have an alternative-80s vibe to them, harkening back to when I first fell in love with music. Duran Duran has always been my favorite band. And I’m striving for a sense of that in this music. Whether I succeed or not is another matter. The hope is that, mid-year or so, I’ll have a band put together around these songs and we can get out and play them live. For now, you can hear the first eight songs on the band’s reverberation page.

Elvin's Pet Peeve
Work continues scanning of the original Classic 1991/1992 Elvin's Pet Peeve comic strips. I’ve got probably 30-40 storyboards for NEW Peeve comic strips. Just need to make the time to do them. Would like to set up a schedule in my life to start turning them out on a regular basis. Maybe not once a week. But maybe between new ones, I can still get the backlist up (which will be new to most people anyway). I love this property and really have enjoyed writing new material for it. But it requires time to pencil and ink new comic strips. And since no one is paying me at this point, the schedule takes a back seat to the day job, raising my daughter, and other creative projects. Now, if I could get a couple sponsors for the strip online…

Elvin's Pet Peeve T-shirts/Merch
"Peeve's Back" shirts and "Sir Loin Emotions" shirts are still available. For now, Peeve merch is only available online: Elvin's Pet Peeve online store.

Secret Project
Still hoping to do this secret project. Lots of ideas have been put down. Tons of notes. Still need to brainstorm with my partner and figure out how to get it off the ground with a bit of distance between us. It can be done, but we just need to figure out the best way to get it going.

Secret Podcast
Also hoping to get a new podcast off the ground with a secret partner. We’ve been talking about it for awhile. But we’ll see… Maybe 2020 is the year.

Faith Restored (Fairlight #4)  

Started on Faith Restored, the fourth novel in the Fairlight series last year. But then life took over and I never had a chance to get back to it.

Other novels
I've also got some percolating ideas to follow up Planetfall with and am doing some reading an research on that front. Either there will be a new Planetfall trilogy. Or there will be TWO new Planetfall trilogies. Whatever the case, I recommend that you get your copy of Planetfall and read the first trilogy (it’s three books in one volume). I’ve gotten good responses from it. Planetfall in print. Planetfall in digital formats.

The Creative Underground YouTube channel
I WANT to keep this going, but I just haven't had the time. It needs to be re-launched. And 2019 just didn’t get me there. Hoping 2020 is the year for the return of The Creative Underground as well as my new podcast with my friend.

Peeve Comic Books
I originally drew a handful of Peeve comic book stories back in 1991 and 1992. I'd like to get those published for your reading pleasure and do new stories as well. In fact, I've recently come up with a few new characters that would be best introduced in a longer story. However, I'm focusing on the comic strips first. Once the 1991 and 1992 comic strips have been scanned, I can scan these and colorize them for publication. So, once the comic strips are scanned, this will move into that slot.

Melody Midnight children's books
I've written three and a half of these. They're written in an every-two-lines rhymes meter that reminds me of Dr. Seuss. My plan is to illustrate these myself. I have already done some character designs. So the next step is to break apart the text into pages and start storyboarding the book. It's a big step and not something I've had time to tackle. Once some of these other projects go through the pipeline, this one is very close to my heart so I want to get to it but I don't want to start it until I can dedicate the time to it that it will require.

So now that Third World Sun is wrapped up, I’m hoping to have time to get to more of these projects. My creative work (as well as raising my daughter) is really what makes living my life worthwhile. I can’t wait to start rocking it.

So, what are YOU working on?