Category: blogging

Welp

Welp, here I am.

It has been a while.  A long one. I see that I have a couple followers on here still.  Hey guys!

But it’s 12:03 PM on a day in August of 2016 and I’m here, and I’m writing this entry, and in my imagination this is the first step toward a lot more that proceed from it.  Journey of a thousand miles, first step, all that.

I started this blog in 2012 to promote my writing, or to at least create a central location for it that folks who were interested in my work could use to find it, and find out more about it.

Then a bad thing happened:  I stopped writing.

I could go into the reasons, but so much time passed that the reasons took their course and ended, and yet still I didn’t write.  Not even blog entries like this one. I don’t write these days, and I don’t have an excuse.  Haven’t for a while now.

But it isn’t writer’s block.  What is that, anyway?  Is it the way that artists associate themselves with their work too much and paralyze themselves?  I see this in music from time to time.  Inability to separate oneself from one’s work.  Leads to total meltdown.

No, I am not blocked.  In fact, I have a lot of ideas, plans, outlines, and future work stacked up and ready to go.  I think about it often.  I have no lack of motivation, either.

And I so want to say that I don’t have time.  I am, after all, criminally busy, but I never believe anyone who says that they don’t have time for something, and I can’t bring myself to try and shove that one down your throat.  We make time for something if we want to bad enough.

But I don’t, and I seek to undo that.  More on that another time soon perhaps.

So I am back, and I don’t have new writing for you to read, aside from this here thingie you’re reading.  Just letting you know.  I am here with nothing new for you.  And I gotta say, writing this without further product to share feels even MORE self-serving than usual.  I mean, a personal blog, hel-LO.  Just writing it implies that I think you want to know what I have to say.  I don’t think that, in fact.  What’s more, I don’t have a desire to share it with you.  Yet, here I am.  Trying to think of this thing as more of a…public journal.  Though I will put myself at risk of being flamed, I plan to freewrite into this blog. This new perspective, I hope, will help bring me back to this blog in the future.

Moving on. As you probably know, I am a musician as well as a writer.  More, in fact.  Music has always been my first.  I struggle daily to find time for my creative loves, and I do mean struggle.  It is by far the largest of difficulties in my life.  I realize I have much to be thankful for in this.  Recently I purchased a small plot of land in the woods, with an old log cabin on it, in deep disrepair.  I spend a day a week up there now, working on it.  I often wonder why I invited this new devourer of time (and a hefty one at that).  It has proven quite absorptive of my attention and motivation.

Anyway, as a musician, I compose, perform, and record my own work.  I do collaborations with others, and I do keep myself in a band, but taking up serious recording (a new thing, as of 2012) has freed me to pursue my musical dreams far more comprehensively.  And I’ve done a good deal of that.  This year I released three albums.  Huge, I mean enormous, efforts there.

But where are they?  They’re sitting on my computer.  They’re sitting in boxes in my apartment.  No one knows about them save the few people I sent copies to.  This is indicative of a terrible truth about myself that I still chafe at:  I am sorely unmotivated to promote my work.  I DO the composing, the arranging, the performing, the recording, the producing.  I taught myself basic Photoshop so I could make album artwork.  I set up a publishing company, a DBA.  I spent countless hours teaching myself to be a sound engineer, and yet…..visit websites?  Solicit attention?  Somehow, I draw a line here.

And because of this, my work goes unknown.  Unheard.  Even my book, which I did shamefully little to promote, has had much more attention than any of my albums of music.  Hell, I even found myself on Goodreads recently. A few reviews.  Random strangers have spent more time writing about Shame the Devil than I have in the last couple years.

I had this idea, and I’m still unsure about it, but this idea is old now and it hasn’t been banished by a stronger voice, so now it’s coming to the forefront and I think it’s time to start putting it into fruition.  The idea:  re-gear my site to be about all my creative works.  Make it a home for music, writing, ideas, and other things.  No longer only about Michael Lejeune the author, who is an ephemeral phantom at best.  Now, about Michael Lejeune the musician, author, and whatever the hell else I am.  I suppose that through this site, if it blossoms the way I hope it will, you may decide for yourself.

So, you can expect changes.  You who have put your email on my followers list.  New things coming here.  Music available.  Updates to the very old content still posted here.  A re-tooled blog, no longer about the author but about what’s going on with the guy.  I apologize now for the ridiculously vain nature of this beast, this broad display of look-at-me-I’m-worth-watching.  It is for me a simple statement of greeting.  It says hello, it says thanks for dropping by, it says here’s what keeps Mike up at night.

There’s No Place Like Home

Ding! Dong! The witch is dead!

That is exactly how I feel. Except instead of “The witch is dead!”, it’s “The cover art is done!”

Graphic Art Wizardess Abbi K has worked extra-special magics into the cover for Shame The Devil. It’s been a learning experience for both of us (Did you know that DPI is graphic-artistinian for doggies-per-inch and is pronounced doopy? Now you do). You can see the front cover here, and you’ll have to trust me when I say the back cover and spine are equally awesome.

Or better yet, buy a copy!

Well, buy one when it becomes available. Which will be soon. Today I ordered my first galley proof, and I’m excited. When the mailman delivers it, I intend to take a knee and chant a song of praise in a deep, melodious baritone. When the glorious ray of sunshine wanes, I’ll take it inside where I can worship it further.

Then comes the incremental disappointment that comes with finding all the errors in the proof. But that’s what it’s for, after all. And when they’ve all been sorted out, the book can be translated for ebooks and slapped onto the worldwide market in both formats: electro-mah-jigger and pulpy-papery-slab. And then everyone runs to their computers and buys one!

The website is looking more snazzy lately as well. I upgraded a few pages, got some issues with image quality and alignment figured out. And I added the Misfortune 500, an idea I had for getting a bit of my writing style on the website, inviting participation from visitors (that’s you!) and of course, having a bit of fun.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to start plying Abbi for more artwork. I have a few publications planned for 2013 and as of right now, not a jot of art to jazz them up with.

Wish me luck!

Let’s Get Meta

So what is the point of this whole blogging thing?  Why am I searching for ideas for content for my meager little corner of the web?  Why am I gearing up my brain to spout an itty-bitty packaged tale at readers every so often?  You didn’t ask me for it.  In fact, in my estimation, you’d probably be better without it.

But I’m putting a book up for sale soon. I am a garage saler, and Shame the Devil is my old, dusty Atari console that just happens to still work (if you were lucky enough to read Harry Potter as a child, fret not over your confusion – an Atari is like a Playstation, but made of twigs and rocks and powered by a hamster wheel). I have marked my ancient video game console with a buy-me-please low price, but how do I get anyone to see it?

Here’s how:

  1. I take the tops of last week’s pizza boxes and write ‘Garage Sale’ crudely on them with a sharpie, in true homeless beggar style.
  2. I duct-tape these to the street signs not only at the ends of my own street, but at major intersections all over the area.

If I want my archaeological artifact of electronic recreation to actually sell, I need to make sure that every passerby in the tri-county sell-zone knows that some schmuck on Elm Street eats lots of pizza and is having a garage sale.  It’s the same for my novel.  Nobody’s gonna read it if I don’t plaster it everywhere, sparing no exclamation points.

But I’m no blogger. Or at least, that’s what I thought until the need to put my narrative nonsense into the minds of others struck me like a flying slab of slaptastic salami. I think though, that the nonsense I blather at my friends could easily translate into a tasty blog – perhaps that’s where the term actually came from after all. Blog = Blather Log? Or perhaps it’s actually an acronym: Boring List of Gimcrackery.

So here’s my first real blog, done for the sake of itself. I hope it inspires a teeny spot of interest in my book. It’s cheap, and I’m told it’s fun to read. At any rate, reading it has to be more inspiring than playing Space Invaders for a comparable period of time.

Probably, anyway.