Saturday, November 8, 2008

Let's get serious

OKAY

So I ran into someone a little while ago who reminded me of the things that are really most important to me. It was an unexpected meeting and I was just glad to be able to speak to this someone given my prior years of childishness. Thank you for that.

Right now, I am a modest reporter plying his trade...but I also want to... I need to become a published author. (well DUH, I have been saying that for years).

This is going to be a nightmare to pull off given the current climate of the publishing market. But this next book idea, it's a good one. It's a great one. I needed to link the mythology of it to characters you can't get out of your head.

I actually have some vacation time coming up. Guess what I will spend my time doing...

some people ask what I will write about, what kind of story.

When it comes to fiction, I am most interested in genre stories of the fantasy/supernatural flavor.

Years from now I might do some sort of memoir drawing on my years as a journalist. Nonfiction speaks too closely to the day-job and I don't want to mix the two at this point. Just doesn't appeal to me. My oldest sister and others try to point me down that path probably because that's what they want to read.

Sorry, these are the stories I have inside to tell.

I have some detective work to do on an old hard drive to recover some old material. Bits of info nearly forgotten but good ideas nonetheless.

Once I am hip deep in this next book, I promise to reveal more...

Friday, November 7, 2008

Home for the holidays

I have been thinking about throwing a party, opening the doors to The Dojo. A non-denominational holiday get together. I may even decorate. How about that?

But if I roast a turkey...people may passout on my couch!

Hmmmm...now to decide on the menu... and to pick a day.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

subject matter for the next book

I already have the "Mythology" down for my next book project, something I kicked around for quite some time and took extensive notes on. That's my obsessive-compulsion kicking.

But the mythology is just a road map and not the story. The story is the journey the characters take across that road map.

I will deal with what literally keeps my up at night.

I will tackle my insomnia.

I have not had a good night's sleep in what, two years? So my next protagonist will help me confront this little problem.

It won't be ABOUT insomnia but will play upon some of the internal causes that may lead to it. It's a far more complex story than it may appear on the surface.

Anywho, that is where I am at. I am done fiddling with Riding Ten Thunders. I will keep sending it out, but it is time to get the next project moving.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

History making night...

I am going to disregard the actual politics of last night's election for a moment, there are plenty of people cheering AND jeering out there.

I just want to talk about the act of voting. It was a great turnout from what I hear, many first time voters and people who made an extra effort to make to the polls.

It was not easy for my folks to vote. They are both in delicate condition. Dad is 80and Mom (would kill me if I told the world). But I picked them up and drove them out. It took more time for them to walk from my car to the polls than it took to actually vote.

The walk itself was the challenge. My parents each have a laundry list of health problems. My dad had to take a few breaks along the way inside to catch his breath. And I had to help point out the candidates to him inside the booth because his eyesight is failing.

But we did it. We voted. Me and my Mom vote at every election, even for the local fire chief. We make a point of always being counted. My Dad has not always made it to the polls given his health. He wanted to be there last night though, be a part of it. To have his say. To be heard.

We don't talk all that much, my Dad and I. There are wide differences in opinion between us. He doesn't often listen to me because he already has his mind made up. But I could tell he was glad to have voted. To be here for it.

His father, my grandfather, did not have much education. He worked in a factory in Harrison I believe. He worked with his hands in an age when horses and wagons rumbled down the streets of Newark. My grandfather did not understand in some ways why my father made such an effort to go to college and become a pharmacist.

My dad was the first in his family to attend and graduate from college. Columbia actually. But he doesn't make too big a deal about it.

So there went my Dad to vote, to witness an historic change that must have seemed like an impossible dream when he was trying to make his way through college. Back then, living the great dream was possible on paper but in practice was hard to fulfill because of the color of our skin.

There are folks out there who have said our votes don't matter. We won't be heard. We were heard last night. We were heard from the evergreen forests of New England to the sandy beaches of California. We were heard on islands in the Pacific Ocean and on the steppes of Russia. We were heard by those who agreed as well as by those who disagreed. And last night the vote was slim in some states but much wider in others. The final count was clear, crystal clear.

But no one should rest quietly now, pat themselves on the back and say "Mission Accomplished." Oh, no. Not in the least.

Last night was a beginning, a resounding reply to a need. We all have work to do now. What this means is we must engage, participate, debate, and communicate in this democratic arena as never before. There are no more excuses for people to be disinterested in the governance of the land. We have a duty to be partners in democracy and must never again hide behind the claim that we are not being heard.

The world is listening now. We must honor this opportunity by saying something worthwhile for ourselves...

Sunday, November 2, 2008

other stuff

Sent out the manuscript again yesterday. Even as I sit around editing and rewriting, the book remains in the 94,500 to 95,000 range at about 360 pages.

Have not heard back from MENSA regarding the test I took. Guess that means I am NOT a rocket scientist after all.

I think it is time to seriously start some new stories, plan a new book. I can't bank my entire future on "Riding Ten Thunders"...

hey...a contest!

Bantam Spectra, one of my favorite book publishers, seems to be running a short fiction contest.

But the rules say you must not be published (in fiction that is).

I have asked whether online-only ezines count...being that I got one story in Reflection's Edge two years ago.

That would REALLY be a downer if I can't enter this new contest because of that.

Keep your fingers crossed.

UPDATE:

Well this just bites. I can't enter the contest. Crap. Crap. Crap. I need alcohol.

Flame and Bone

When I was made from fire
Poured into the tender vessel of caution
That keeps my smoke from rising
Quickly did I discover that apart from crisp drizzles or falling snow
The world chilled my touched
Walking the narrow cornered gap between girders and cut stone
One learns to tuck his shoulders in or risk
Jostling a neighbor passing by rapt with want
For a clear path without the distraction
Of another man's boiling eyes
The tip of a finger
That oldest of all weapons
Grown deadlier and pristine in its invention
Gathers a mote of a cinder on its bare flesh
And turns pondering how best to scratch the impious itch
Prying open the tender seam
Where the oil of thought dews
Offering a new wick to ignite
Squirming alive as a salamander of mischief
That yearns for a taste of air it is so ready to devour
The steam of breath betrays me
Before the glint of orange spreads
In popping bright waves
Eroding the fibers feeding it
Leaving naught but ash
As my shell of quietude falls away