Friday, June 26, 2009

In her own words

My mom has a mountain of gripping and amusing stories she loves to share. Most of the best stuff will remain private, something for my nephews to see someday. She would drop a heavy pot on my head if I ever let some of the really juicy gossip get out.

There is so much that she has seen that I am eager to know more about. This clip is rather silly, she has a habit of laughing at herself midway through her stories. It may be hard to catch what she means, but to sum up... she is talking about some fellows who used to enjoy their moonshine.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

My first week at 36

Seven days have passed since my birthday (I should be allowed to celebrate for the whole month).

Have my bones been creaking a little more than usual? Nah. Are those more grey hairs on my head? Course not!

Am I taking a broader assessment of life as I know it? You bet.

Things I'm doing differently these days include drinking more veggie juice each morning and taking my vitamins. And I'm recording conversations with my mother when I drop by the house.

Speaking of houses, I may try buying one. I've got about six months left on my current lease. I have the means to get into something modest, no palatial mansion...yet. But there are a number of considerations to make before I take the real estate plunge. Stay tuned.

On the literary front...

In speaking with a couple of authors last night in Manhattan, I was heartened by some of the things they told me. While it is true that the digital age has made the media and publishing landscape a scary place, it's evolving and not dying.

Bookstores may not like this, but it's OK if e-books grow in popularity. No, it's not the same as picking up that paperback and reading poolside. However, e-books can put long-form writing in front of the short-attention-span masses. Textbooks for example are rapidly appearing in e-book form. As long as the content gets read and there is a clear business model, lets not quibble about the format.

Then again, I was a little shocked to hear about a couple of kids getting a book deal about... well I'll let you figure this one out. Must literature really be reduced to this?

Twitterature: 19 Year-Olds Score Twitter Book Deal

As for me and my writing, I've hauled myself back into the saddle working on Heritage House. I've had a number of "late night pizza" evenings where I nosh on a slice of pepperoni while working on the story. Not the best thing for my waistline but it keeps me focused. I'm amused at the "bromance" that I see emerging on the page. That was not part of the original plan, but what story ever comes out exactly the way you imagine?

I may put the revised first chapter up in URBIS for critiques. We'll see. I am getting caught up in rewrites again when I should be moving forward. Heritage House is happening in odd spurts. I have a few disjointed passages that pop into my head out of sequence from where I am at. Maybe after a sip of wine it will all start to flow in a more natural order.

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