Lichtenbergian Proposed Efforts 2019


As you all know by now, one of the great RITUALS of the Lichtenbergian Society is our Annual Meeting, which took place last month. For some reason I have not blogged about my Proposed Efforts for this coming year, so let’s do that now.

(For those just joining us, please note that these are Proposed Efforts, not actual goals as I sometimes refer to them. No one who has read more than a little of this blog — or the book — should expect me to complete these.)


After not writing a single note of music in 2018, my soul craves the agony of composing. Don’t ask; it just does. I am not a fast composer, nor am I a trained one, but I’ve written some nice stuff and I’d like to add to that. But what?

My first goal is to write a suite of short piano waltzes because 1) I’m really good at waltzes — see here, here, here, here, and here— and b) only one instrument? Yes, please. The working title is Ten Little Waltzes, a play on both Ten Little Indians and my own Six Preludes (no fugues) and Five Easier Pieces. My results so far, one month into the year? Maybe eight measures of drek.

I am also mulling over two projects: SUN TRUE FIRE, a massive orchestral/choral work, the text of which is an amazing spam email I got several years ago; and a suite for high school orchestra or band with chorus based on a wonderful series of young adult books. For this one, of course, I would have to get permission from the award-winning author, but I need to warm up with the waltzes first. I am of course nervous about asking, but a) he and I have had pleasant interactions before on social media; and 2) I’ve done it before.

And then there’s Seven Dreams of Falling, a play and (partial) opera libretto by C. Scott Wilkerson. This project has languished for five years; Scott got entangled in finishing his PhD, and somehow hammering out a libretto version of his wonderful play wasn’t on his to-do list. Then I got involved in the burn community (vid. sub.) and we lost track. Last week, though, I emailed him to ask if he were still interested, and he said yes. So there’s that.

Work in the labyrinth

I have several projects in the labyrinth that I’ve had on a to-do list for a year now. 2019 may well be the year I get them done.

Burning Man

I’m turning 65 this year. I deserve it. (Full disclosure: I first planned to go to Burning Man when I turned 60. That didn’t work out, so I started attending the Georgia burns (Euphoria and Alchemy), and within two years found myself in charge of designing and laying out the entire thing.)

Prep 2020 Shakespeare

One reason I didn’t write this post back in December, right after the Annual Meeting, is that I could not legitimately announce that I’m directing As You Like It at Newnan Theatre Company until they announced their 2019-20 season. This is the first time I’ve directed Shakespeare since 1999’s Taming of the Shrew; I “retired” as artistic director at the end of 2002 and have been using my time otherwise since then. However, I jumped back into the game with Peter & the Starcatcher last year, and simply directing a scene from AYLI for the season announcement gala a couple of weeks ago reminded me of how thrilling Shakespeare is to work on.

(Yes yes, I was part of our six-man Coriolanus back in 2008, but that was a group-directed show.)

So there you have it: a list of projects I am fully prepared to procrastinate on. Prepare for much whining as I do so.